Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: Later this month, Vertigo will release the new, creator-owned series, Art Ops, which was created by Shaun Simon and Michael Allred. As the penciller on the project, how did you become a part of the creative team, and what intrigued you about the story?
Matt Brundage: Mike Allred is easily one of the greatest creators working in comics today. Mike has also been a great friends for more that 20 years. Over that time we have collaborated on a few projects like Chasing Amy and The Spirit: The New Adventures with Michael Oeming. Both of these project were due to the fact of how busy and in demand this great creator was. Mike brought me in to assist and help with the project. This is the same situation. Mike is doing multiple projects at a very high level as far as the quality of art. Mike knows what I can do, so he gave me a call to help make the project above amazing. I am so thrilled to be working on an actual book with my great friend and so proud that he asked me to do it with him. The finished product is very special, and we collaborate super well. You are all going to love it.
BD: While Art Ops possesses a complex narrative with layered concepts, the artistic process for the series is likewise untraditional. How would you describe your creative process in working with Allred, given that he will be inking the artwork?
MB: The artistic process is amazing, not only drawing a book with Mike's style in mind but also working with the super amazing Shelly Bond. She shares insights from the layouts to the pencils to the inks, and her instincts on visual storytelling and scripting are incredible. I have worked in other artistic mediums for some time, so having her input on telling this unique story has been invaluable.
BD: Did you have an idea in mind for the art style when you first read the script, or has the artwork developed as you have worked on the project?
MB: I have been a fan of Mike's work since we became friends, so I made sure to pencil the story in a way that I knew would inspire Mike and pair with his beautiful brushwork, as well. The end result turned out so much better than I thought. Mike is truly one of the greats.
BD: With Laura Allred coloring the series, did the two of you collaborate on the artistic process prior to your respective roles?
MB: I send Laura lots of notes and suggestions, and she always exceeds all expectations. What am I thinking telling an award-winning colorist some thoughts on how to color?! Her ideas are so much better than mine, but she is so sweet to listen. She has gotten a little perturbed with the amount of detail I put into the pages at times, though.
BD: Are you planning for a certain number of issues for the series?
MB: Right now, I am slated for Issues #2-5; however, I would love the opportunity of doing another story arc. It’s such a great book, and I feel like I will have reached a great stride by the time my run is done.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
MB: I have been asked to be a part of a high-level art project in New York called “The Unconventional” that will get some of these unbelievable comic artist recognized as the geniuses they are. Not able to talk about it much now, but when it hits its stride, watch out.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Art Ops and your other work?
MB: It’s so much more than keeping paintings in their frames. These stories are in depth and what I feel Vertigo is all about. There are no books out there, in my opinion, that excite me more than these storylines. Jump on board and stay on board. You will love it. Also, keep your eyes open to some of the projects from “The Unconventional.”