Interview w/ Glenn Matchett
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I caught up with comic book writer Glenn Matchett, from Northern Ireland, to talk about the highs and lows of being a comic book writer. We talked about Northern Ireland, crime, cop procedurals and his creator owned series Sparks.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me this week. Please tell the readers a bit about yourself and the work you do.
Glenn Matchett: Thanks for having me! I’m Glenn Matchett, a comic writer from Northern Ireland who hopes to make a living out of this wonderful and crazy industry we all enjoy. To date I’m known for mostly anthology work but I have a few one shots and editorial stuff under my belt.
Tell me a bit about the inspiration behind Sparks.
Glenn Matchett: When I decided I wanted to write comics for a living I wanted to do something that stood out. I am a big fan of crime fiction and at the time there wasn’t a lot of female leads in comics so I brought the two together. It was me basically asking myself the question ‘if I had a crime TV procedural, what would I do?’
Where did writing start for you and what is your origin story?
Glenn Matchett: I wrote a lot of silly stuff at a young age cause it was fun. I started getting serious about writing for a living when I read the amazing Kraven’s Last Hunt for the first time. Since then I’ve basically taught myself how to format comic scripts by reading other scripts and just following my instinct in regards to storytelling. I’ve never really had a formal writing education but I’ve absorbed a lot of stories in my life so I know how to take things apart and reassemble them so to speak.
Sparks is clearly influenced by True Crime but where does the overall Crime genre sit for you in relation to Comic Books? What are your go to’s?
Glenn Matchett: Nowadays, definitely the likes of what Ed Brubaker has to offer is always amazing but also stuff like Green River Killer, Nancy Drew by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge are real high points to reach to. Actually a lot of what Kelly Thompson is written falls under the crime genre and she’s one of the best writers out there at the moment so her work I guess.
What are your biggest obstacles when it comes to your work? How do you overcome them?
Glenn Matchett: Money and my own mental health. Making comics is expensive and I’ve been funding this for a lot longer than I’d been planned with very little to nothing back. Other priorities have taken prominence in my life which is why I’m focusing on shorts and crossing my fingers. Making it in comics is also so hard and is a constant mental health tower to climb. Its great when it clicks but like the great Jack Kirby said ‘comics will break your heart’ and its true. You have to be made of steel.
How did you go about finding the right artist to work on this project?
Glenn Matchett: On Sparks specifically I wanted a female artist because of the lead being a woman and I wanted that perspective in the creative process. I put out a call on Twitter and went from there. Finding artists isn’t hard these days, finding a good one who is good and you can afford is the hard part.
Many of us creators work on projects outside of our 9-5 jobs. Do you have any advice for balancing careers with passion projects/side hustles?
Glenn Matchett: Self care is important. I have worked myself to the bone for very little appreciation when I was helping out at a small press company many moons ago. I got very unhealthy and I wouldn’t recommend it. I usually write at night and set myself a small, reasonable word limit that I can go over if I’m feeling especially creative. I think its important if this isn’t your day job that you take time to yourself. You don’t want to get ill doing this or start to resent it.
Do you have any upcoming events/projects/releases you would like to discuss?
Glenn Matchett: I’ve got some anthology stuff cooking but its all at various phases of production that I forget what is coming out when. Its really bad of me. Nothing major sadly, its been like this since the release of Sparks: The Way I Was. I recently wrote out the scripts for the second Living With Death mini for fun but considering the first mini is still who knows how far off, I’m not sure when that will see the light of day.
Thank you for taking the time to do this! Where can readers find you and your work?
Glenn Matchett: On my blog mostly at https://glennmatchett.wordpress.com/ or some of my unpublished comic works at Break The Fourth, here’s just one for you https://www.breakthefourth.com/2019/05/08/breaking-in-with-break-the-fourth-the-lost-tales-what-the-heart-wants/