Hello and welcome to Small Press Saturday! I recently had the great opportunity talk with Matt McGrath about his comedic horror one shot ID-10t Error. Back it HERE.
CW: Tell me about yourself.
MM: Certainly! I live in Toronto with my partner, my 18-month-old son and our dog and cat. As my day job, I work in content marketing at a pretty large Ontario University. When I’m not working or being a dad, I write comics (or at least, try to anyway). Years ago, I also tried my hand at acting and appeared in a bunch of indie Toronto plays and a couple of small roles on TV shows. My biggest claim to fame was appearing in an Orville Redenbacher ad that appeared on billboards and subways in Toronto several years back.
CW: What can you tell me about ID-10t Error? (cool title btw!)
MM: Thanks! I’m very bad at coming up with titles. It’s always the last thing I do in the writing process. I was doing some research online to try and find inspiration for a title. I saw that ID-10t error is an inside joke among computer programmers and engineers to poke fun at laymen, and I thought it would make a perfect title for this comic.
In terms of plot, ID-10t error is a bit of a twist on Frankenstein. In this story, our creator makes his creation – an AI robot – only to destroy it. But of course, once the AI comes online and gains consciousness for the first time, it immediately only wants one thing: to survive. So the story is this cat and mouse game where the AI plots to escape its captor while Bradley (the creator of the Robot) does everything he can to make sure he destroys his greatest creation. So why does Bradley go to all this effort just to “kill” his robot? That’s a mystery and is revealed later on in the story.
CW: What inspired you to write ID-10t Error?
MM: Haha, yeah. The inspiration of the story is a bit of a spoiler for the mystery described above. I always try and answer this question very carefully when asked. But, overall, it’s about my frustrations with the technology that I rely on daily – something everyone can relate to. When tech malfunctions or breaks down, it can be immensely infuriating, especially when you have no way to vent those frustrations against an inanimate object. So ID-10t error is about a guy who deals with his frustrations with technology in the most extreme possible way. Hope that doesn’t give away too much!
CW: Tell me about the creative team.
MM: I’m working with a phenomenal team of artists. I take solace in the fact that if people don’t like the story then at least they’ll love the art and lettering.
The artist on the book is Otavio Colino, a comic artist from Brazil. I discovered Otavio’s work on a Reddit group after I had finished the script for the book. As soon as I saw his work, I knew he would be a perfect fit. ID-10T error is meant to be a comedy…but it’s a comedy that doesn’t have a ton of conventional jokes. I wanted the humor to come from the absurdity of the situation, so all the heavy lifting in the comedy department fell on Otavio’s shoulders, and I think he totally nailed it. He’s so gifted at illustrating over-the-top expressive characters, both in their facial expressions and their body language. Even though the book takes place in one location, the pages are still so dynamic, fast-paced and full of action, which is not an easy feat. I’m really fortunate to be working with Otavio and hope to again in the future!
On colours is Kay Baird who has done an amazing job. One of the main compliments I receive about ID-10T error from people is how vibrant and unique the colours on the book are. She’s really done a fantastic job of adding to the creepy, sinister atmosphere of the story. She’s also an accomplished comic artist in addition to a colourist. A bunch of your readers probably know she wrapped up a successful Kickstarter a month back with co-creator Eastin DeVerna for their book A. Guardian.
I was a big admirer of Frank Cvetkovic’s work for a while, and I was super thrilled when he agreed to do the lettering and logo for this project His work is so meticulous and well thought out. I’ve been blown away by the work he’s done so far, and I can’t wait to see the rest of his lettering once the campaign wraps. He’s one of my favorite letterers, so I’m so stoked to be working with him.
CW: Your Kickstarter is making solid strides forward, what is some advice you might give a person looking to crowdfund a comic?
MM: Hmm, you know, this is my very first Kickstarter. I’m still learning about the platform and how to market a Kickstarter campaign, so I could use some advice myself!
But the main thing I’ve learned so far is that your community of friends, family and peers are integral to getting your project funded and shared. So, way before you start your campaign, make sure to get involved in the comic community, either in-person (although that’s not really feasible anymore) or on platforms like Twitter, Reddit, etc. The indie comics community is very supportive and eager to lift up and help other creators. So make sure you support your comic peers too!
It could mean supporting other Kickstarters, helping to share other creators’ campaigns, or just generally being nice and supportive; if you see a piece of art you like, comment on how awesome it looks or retweet it, for instance. When the time comes for you to promote your Kickstarter online, people will remember your engagement and generosity and want to help you in turn. I know it really helped me.
Also, don’t forget to send the KS link to mom. She won’t know what a Kickstarter is, but will likely still pledge a very generous amount. Thanks, Mom!
CW: Tell me about your past projects.
MM:To date, all my comic output has appeared in anthologies. My most recent work will appear in the upcoming Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures by Renegade Arts Entertainment and edited by S.M. Beiko. I’ve got a cool gothic sci-fi tale in there with artist V. Gagnon and letterer Lyndon Radchenka about a space explorer who falls in love with a gestalt mind stranded on a dead world. It’s pretty rad.
I’ve also had short comics published in Strange Romance by Phantasmic Tales, Caged in Flesh/A Soul Divided by Red Stylo and Called into Being: A Celebration of Frankenstein.
So ID-10T error is my first solo outing and full-length comic. This little comic baby is growing up – exciting stuff!
CW: What is your favorite part of making comics?
MM: Well, this is a very typical writer’s response, but it’s the truth: seeing penciled and inked comic art for the first time. There’s nothing like seeing your script take form and begin to look like a finished comic. I get giddy every time new art hits my inbox. For that matter, seeing all stages of the book take shape is amazing – receiving coloured and lettered pages is so exciting. It’s like Christmas morning every time it happens.
The part of the process I’m not so wild about is sitting in front of the laptop, writing a script, having to force a coherent, entertaining story into existence. Not a fan of that.
CW: What is your dream character or characters you want to work on?
MM: I say this part joking, but mostly serious – my dream project is to write a Sleepwalker mini for Marvel one day. That character has captured my imagination ever since I was a little kid growing up in the 90s. It’s a shame he’s barely been used in the past 30 years. I mean, he’s an alien dream cop that lives inside the head of a 20-something film studies undergrad. How cool is that!?
Plus, you know, Spider-Man as well. But everyone wants to write Spider-Man.
Thanks to Matt for talking, and thanks to you for reading! Don’t forget to back ID-10t Error HERE.
Small Press Saturday with Matt McGrath and ID-10t Error!
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