Indie Spotlight - Introducing Foreign Matter
March 1st, 2011
Cover of Issue 1 of Foreign Matter
Cover of Issue 1 of Foreign Matter
Welcome to our first ever Indie Spotlight post! Last week when I posted to Facebook that we were looking for Indie creators and wanted to feature their work, I was amazed at the reaction. A lot of people emailed me. Not everyone had a comic or something to show, but there was a lot of excitement over the request. I read both Marvel and DC proudly and enjoy books from both companies but there are so many good books that remain relatively unknown and so many new ways to read and get comics that I really can’t wait to dive into this new feature.
One of the first people to email me was Martin John. Martin is one of the creators behind Foreign Matter. A superhero comic about a team of superheros called the Champion Collection. The first issue is finished and available for free online. The second issue is also available online but they only have the first few pages done. I was impressed by both the writing and the art. The first issue is pretty ambitious as it lays out a story that seems to span the globe. There are some characters in here that are pretty unique and at least one sidekick that faces a real life consequence from fighting baddies.
I read through everything they have up and was also lucky enough to receive an exclusive look at a page they haven’t published yet. I recommend this comic and will be reading the rest of the series as they put it out.
You can read it for yourself at http://www.foreignmattercomic.com
We interviewed Martin to find our more about this story and the people behind it so I will let Martin take it from here.
Can you give us a little background on Foreign Matter?
Sure I can. Foreign Matter is a twelve issue maxiseries featuring a superteam called the Champion Coalition, something like the Avengers or the JLA of this universe. The team is composed of: Virtus, an energy-based superhero raised by rebels, Femina, a goddess of war and love, Cranium Case, the brain of a genius trapped in a robot body, Foxly, inter-dimensional super-spy, Mystic Lizard, advanced mystic from the future of an alternate universe, the Gentleman, a human/animal hybrid with a heart of gold and an interest in Oscar Wilde, and a newcomer in Salma, the undead girl. This team of heroes is thrust into a murder mystery that soon turns into a global threat and all out action adventure like you’ve never seen before!!
Who is the creative team?
Martin John, writer, creator and letterer. Comic creator by night, he is working for the love and passion of the medium. Blogs daily at http://oncomicwritingandgeekery.blogspot.com/
German Ponce, artist and man of mystery had worked with Moongoose Publishing, SQP Publishing, Moonstone Publishing, and Topps (Trading cards) in America and England. German’s dynamic, powerful style emphasizes detail and a clean line, watch this name closely. http://german-ponce.deviantart.com/ and http://germanponceart.blogspot.com/ to have your mind blown by his artwork.
Alfredo Rodriguez color artist and palette master. Colorist for IDW on A-Team: Shotgun Wedding, Gulliver’s Travels (over Kelley Jones), and Doorways. Writer and colorist on Subsuelo, a Zuda contestant. Prepare to be wowed at, www.alfredorodriguez.cl
How long have you been working on this project and where you you like to see it go from here?
Foreign Matter has been bubbling in my head for awhile, over a decade, but actively about two years. When I turned thirty I decided to finally script it, and look for a collaborator. After a six month period of frustration, German and I found each other on Digital Webbing and he immediately knocked my socks off. German was the first artist to respond and the only one that was willing to do a character sketch (he did all of them without knowing he would get the job), and was promptly hired for being awesome. We’ve been working together for about a year, and have bonded in artistic bliss.
I see Foreign Matter blowing up online and in print, the story is engaging interesting and exciting, the art is getting better and better as German and Alfredo get to know the characters. We’re being published in Flux UK this month, and will collect the issues eventually in two six issue trades, and our content will all be online as well at http://www.foreignmattercomic.com, @foreignmatter on twitter, http://foreignmattercomic.tumblr.com/ on Tumblr, and at Foreign Matter Comic fanpage on Facebook.
It looks like the second issue has been started, when can we expect it to be finished?
We switched colorists in November, and Alfredo just had a little girl so he has been working on the second issue slowly but surely. His work is worth the wait, finely crafted colors that will make you drool. Other than that we are finished the second issue and are halfway through the third. You will see them as soon as they are ready.
What are you reading currently?
Comics-wise; Rosetta: A Comics Anthology by Alternative Comics, The World’s Greatest Super-Heroes by Alex Ross and Paul Dini, Acme Novelty Library by Chris Ware, Fingerprints by Will Dinski, Make Me A Woman by Vanessa Davis, The Adventures of Bernard the World Destroyer by Skottie Young, The Creeper by Steve Ditko, Northlanders the Plague Widow by Brian Wood and Leandro Fernandez, Ghostopolis by Doug Tennapel, Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire, Prison Funnies by Chip Zdarsky, Harbor Moon by Ryan Colucci, Dikran Ornekian and Pawel Sambor.
Books-wise: Various books on physics, a book on how to be a man, one on psychedelic drugs and another on a medicine man in Guatemala.
Which creators would you say have had the most influence on your own project
Geoff Johns has been studied for his grasp on how to write a team books, as well as Brian Bendis, because juggling a massive amount of characters properly takes tact and skill to do properly. Peter David’s book on writing comics has been immensely helpful as well. I’ve been influenced a lot by television, CSI and ER to name a couple.
As far as the art goes I know German has mentioned Kaluta, and Mucha.
I read through the comic online, is it also available in paper form? Where can people go to buy it?
As of this month Foreign Matter is available in print form, What The Flux Comics, a Florida based publisher has included us in Flux UK, an anthology featuring Foreign Matter and three other properties. Pre-order if you can and get 44 pages for $3.50, with an amazing hand painted cover by German Ponce!!!! The comic has been re-lettered for this and is looking amazing.
What made you decide to offer it digitally? When reading comics yourself, do you prefer to read them as digital or on paper?
To tell you the truth I blame the fact that we are digital on Warren Ellis. I was pursuing print and posting on chat boards about what format people would like to see, and how they would like to consume Foreign Matter. Warren said we would never see print (we are being printed Warren!) and that we should look at other venues. That night I downloaded some software and started making a webpage, found Issuu (an free online web reader for PDF files) and the rest is history. The website is not the prettiest, but I learned how to design a site for this comic. Heck, I learned how to letter pages for this comic. I cannot repeat enough that this comic is a labor of love and as you read it, I think it will show.
As far as reading comics, I read them however I can get them. I buy them digitally (although I don’t have a reader), I read webcomics that are free, I get them from the local library and purchase them at my local shops (shout out to The Beguiling, The Silver Snail and Dragon Lady Comics in Toronto). Nothing beats curling up with a comic that you carried home in your back pocket though.
Thanks to all of you that take the time to read our work.