Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of the first issue of your comic book series, Fallen! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Matt Ringel: Thank you! Fallen is series that is a mix of noir mystery and mythological fantasy and takes place in 1980s New York. I took some inspiration from movies like John Wick, Blade Runner, and a few different '80s classics. What really drove me to write the story though was seeing some of the things other indie creators were doing and putting out things that were so different from the big publishers that I wanted to find my own space out there.
BD: How would you describe your creative process in working with artist Henry Ponciano, and what have been some of your creative influences?
MR: It's been great working with Henry. Henry is incredibly talented and has much more experience than I do in the industry, so he's been good to provide some insight here and there. The process in which we work is pretty uncomplicated. I send him my script once it's done, and if he comes across something that requires some fine tuning to allow him to draw something he lets me know and we work on it together. Sometimes as a writer, it's easy to see something in your mind but then for it to go on paper, it defies physics and can't be done. Henry has been great to let me know when somethings don't work.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Fallen’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
MR: I think that the comic industry lately has seen some drama pop up here and there. People need to remember that things change and sometimes they may not like those changes. The great thing about the industry though is there so much out there that it's easy (and sometimes a lot of fun) to find something new that you like. Fallen is a series that can connect with mature readers that want to find something not in the cape and tights field. I hope people that get into the series are just as driven as the protagonist Casper Clay is to find the answers to the mystery. It was important for me to bring this story to life, because I see it as just the start for me in comics and I was excited to have this as my first one. I've been working on the story for years and at times it was almost a novel, but, ultimately, I really love the idea of it in the visual comic medium.
BD: In light of your successful funding of the first issue through Kickstarter, do you have any advice that you would like to share with other indie creators about your experience with crowdfunding?
MR: Be prepared to work like you've never worked before. As my first time running a comic-based crowdfunding, I had to learn a ton of new skills and things about an industry I only knew about as a reader. You'll be doing things that normally an entire team of experienced people do when creating and selling a comic. The big thing is don't give up! If this is a work of passion, then it's worth the work. I had to relaunch my first campaign after I had few curveballs affect my budget I had planned. I had to hit the pause button, rework the math (which I'm terrible at), and relaunch. It was a good decision, though, because Issue #1 was fully funded halfway through the project and had 117 backers on the Kickstarter alone. I was extremely humbled by that result since this was my first project and hadn't had anything else that was industry tested.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
MR: Fallen #2 is launching June 9th! It would have been sooner but with the world the way it is with COVID I didn't want to ask people to spend their hard-earned money with the economy. Also, with one comic under my belt, I have a few other concepts I'm developing. I gained a lot of experience in making comics from Fallen #1 and I'm working on developing further as a writer. I have some projects in various stages in the genres of sci-fi, a mini series in horror. Most of them are for mature readers, but I'm also working on a fantasy graphic novel for a younger audience.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Fallen?
MR: The best way is to go to thefallencomic.com which will direct them to the Kickstarter page. Right now, it goes to the prelaunch page. Issue #1 is also available on ComiXology. People can always find me on Twitter or Instagram @BadBeaverComics.