Unlike any comic book project to date, Miner delivers a message about the world of animal abuse from the point-of-view of someone with expert knowledge on the matter while blending it with a gritty, protagonist in the vein of Batman or The Punisher. His story has captured the attention and accolades of people in the comic and music world, ranging from esteemed writers Scott Snyder, Steve Niles, Matt Pizzolo, and Jimmy Palmiotti to Bad Religion founder Brett Gurewitz and singer/songwriter Neko Case.
The man has put his own money where his mouth is to the tune of $10,000. However, judge for yourself with this interview with Matt about what makes Liberator worth your interest and investment. Here’s your Comic Booked Q&A on the exciting Liberator.
What’s your pitch to potential backers for your Liberator Kickstarter or a comic shop customer if they see Liberator on the shelf?
I’d say if you love gritty anti-heroes like Batman or the Punisher you ought to check out Liberator, which stars a new kind of comic book hero who avenges the torture of animals. Like we say on the Kickstarter page : “For anybody who ever thought comics could be punk and subversive and maybe even glorify some good old-fashioned direct action, this is something unique and worth supporting.”
I’m thrilled to bring something like this to the comic book market – a new concept that I’m totally passionate about and something where I can speak from a position of authority and personal knowledge.
There’s a distinct socio-political message that your story focuses on, which is unique unto itself. Tell us about it.
There’s definitely a message of kindness to animals and direct action on their behalf, but Liberator isn’t going to lecture the readers to stop eating meat or stop drinking milk. Liberator is going to deliver an adventure story of these two vigilante activists who are saving fighting dogs and wrecking the lives of heinous animal abusers.
I’ve spent a good portion of my life helping animals, and I’ve spent most of my life reading comics. I know a comic needs a hell of a story and can’t be a lecture on ethics, and that’s what we’re delivering – dynamic art, a tight story and relatable real-world characters with complex personalities and problems like the rest of us.
There are real-life activists who take action for animals like the folks in Liberator do. I always thought to myself that these people who put on masks in the middle of the night and save animals are like superheroes – like Batman but for animals. Since learning of these people I’ve always wanted to do a comic book inspired by them and their actions.
Not wanting to half-ass it, I saved money to be able to get a professional art team on board, took my time networking and went back to school to learn a thing or two about writing funny books from Scott Snyder.
Tell us about the creative team involved with the Liberator comic.
Delivering that stunning art we have Joel Gomez, a Wildstorm alum who’s recently been doing more work at DC. Giving us those rich and moody colors is, in my opinion, one of the best in the business, Beth Sotelo, who’s one of Aspen’s top color artists, and on backup art we’ve got Yasmin Liang who has some big things in the works and is a name to be watching.
Rounding out the team is Vito Delsante, and he’s lettering and editing. Vito is a familiar name in the comic world from having managed Jim Hanley’s Universe for years but he’s also written Superman, Batman Adventures and his own creator-owned titles.
We also just announced some of the cover artists including Yildiray Cinar and Rod Reis, so if you’re a fan of amazing stories with eye-popping art you’re in luck!
How have they have helped you realize this story?
Joel’s been invaluable in helping me realize Liberator’s potential. The ideas he has for the visuals and the input from collaborating with him have helped bring the book to another level. Vito’s really been there with his years of retail experience to make sure Liberator is going to appeal to everyone since he knows what works and what doesn’t in the comic marketplace, and Beth’s colors bring a whole other level of mood and emotion to every panel.
I’m here for folks if they have genuine questions about anything covered. There’s no core message other than “don’t fucking torture animals” and I think that’s something most people can get behind already. If anyone wants to hit me up on Twitter and get pointed to other sources of info I’m totally available for that (@MattMinerXVX).
Core message aside, what sort of styles of influences did you want to incorporate into your story on a written and visual level?
I’m definitely influenced by the grim and gritty stories I grew up reading in the 1980s. Back in those days I was all in with the darker Batman books like Dark Knight Returns, Year One, and Killing Joke plus the darker stuff Marvel was pumping out in those days like Punisher War Journal and the Wolverine solo book. With those books I really connected with that dark and brooding internal narration, to the point that it was just brought to my attention that it’s not normal that I do it myself in my everyday life.
Aside from that I also took inspiration from the punk rock I grew up listening to – subversive and politically charged bands such as Conflict, Crass and MDC inspired the raw energy and the blunt force honesty with which Liberator’s told. Try writing scripts while singing along to the Subhumans’ Religious Wars at full volume, and see what I mean.
Can readers expect similar themes and messages from any of your future projects?
I’m not sure. I’ve got two other projects in the works that have nothing to do with animals whatsoever. If I had the chance to write mainstream characters I wouldn’t be spinning my personal politics into them, I’d be too focused on telling kick ass stories that live up to the legacies. But I’ll write Liberator comics for as long as I can – these characters have a ton of stories waiting to be told!
For more information on Matt’s Kickstarter check out Liberator here.