The following is an interview with writer Matt McGrath regarding his recent Kickstarter campaign launch for the horror anthology, Everyday Fears. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with McGrath about his shared creative process in bringing the anthology to life, the special backer rewards that will be a part of the campaign, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the launch of your Kickstarter campaign! For those readers who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe this comic book collection?
Matt McGrath: This is a book very near and dear to me, as it contains some of the first comics I ever wrote! It’s a 40-page collection of 6 short horror comedy comics all written by me and illustrated by some of the finest illustrators working in the independent comic scene. The uniting theme of the book is all the stories are slice-of-life horror comics that put the normal into the paranormal.
For instance, one of the stories, “Neighbours,” is about the creation of Frankenstein’s monster from the perspective of Victor Frankenstein’s nosey downstairs neighbour. Another story is a two-hander between a lonely teenager and a demon they are desperately trying to befriend. All of the stories are about monsters and people living in a supernatural world, just trying to deal with everyday struggles.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in not only crafting these narratives but in collaborating with your artistic team to bring them to life on the page?
MM: Three of the stories featured in Everyday Fears were previously published in other anthologies and each story had its own editor. Because of this, each story has its unique creative process. For the three previously published stories, I submitted a pitch to the anthology and when it was accepted, I wrote the script and submitted that to the editorial team. My script was given to the artist by the editor and a couple of months later a complete comic hit my inbox with my name on it!
As someone early in their comic scripting career, to be paired with such amazing artists was (and I know it sounds corny) pure magic. Seeing the words I had written work so well on the page and accompanying such beautiful art hooked me on the medium, and I haven’t looked back since.
There are two that are original to Everyday Fears. They are “Daddy Damndest” and “The Lanky Man.” These two stories started as short comic pitches to anthologies but were unfortunately not accepted. But I loved the ideas so much, I kept them in my back pocket. Finally this year, I decided to write them for this book.
When I wrote these stories, I had specific artists in mind, which affected the humour of each story, the pacing, and how I envisioned the page layout. Fortunately for me, once I approached V. Gagnon and Darren Vogt (the respective artists for the aforementioned stories), they both agreed. And the results were even better than what I had imagined.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that these stories may connect with or impact modern readers?
MM: I think for the most part all the stories in Everyday Fears are fun, light-hearted comics readers will get a good laugh out of. Which, isn’t that something we all need these days?
BD: Are there any specific backer rewards that you’re most excited about with the campaign and wish to share with readers?
MM: I kept the rewards on the campaign pretty simple to keep the goal as low as I could and to keep the focus on the book. That said, I think the reward I’m the most excited about is our second print bundle option. This reward contains all of my published comic work to date, which is really humbling!
So along with Everyday Fear, backers will receive issues 1 and 2 of my horror comedy series, ID-10t error. This series is a twisted revenge story between an inventor and the AI robot he creates. In fact, my previous two Kickstarter campaigns were to fund these two issues. So, if people missed out on those campaigns, they can grab these issues here!
This tier also contains a copy of Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures published by Renegade Arts Entertainment. This is another anthology containing several short comics that are sci-fi twists on the gothic romance genre. It’s a good time and I’m very proud of the story I wrote in it, “The Crowned Ones”–my first and only comic that’s not a comedy! The print bundle #2 tier is limited to 10, so backers should grab them while they last.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
MM: Sure, at the moment I’m working on the final issue for my previously mentioned series, ID-10t error. I’m hoping to Kickstart that one next spring. I’m also working on a graphic novel called A Journey Into the Abyss with Merissa Mayhew, an artist from Manitoba. We’ve been working on this book, on and off, for almost two years! The story and world of this book are inspired by the many, many films of pioneering filmmaker Georges Mielies and is our sequel to his most famous film, A Trip to the Moon. In our graphic novel, a crew of explorers mounts a mission beyond the Moon–to the stars in fact. But when they pierce the sphere of stars, they find themselves outside their known cosmos and in a world of cosmic horror. It’s good fun! We’ve been applying for some grants in Canada the help finance the art for the book before we take it to Kickstarter. So, keep an eye out for more news on that in the hopefully near future!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Everyday Fears and your other work?
MM: If you want to learn more about Everyday Fears, I would encourage you to check out our Kickstarter page.
We have preview pages of all six stories featured in the book, more information about the creative team, and of course, all the awesome rewards we’re offering.
If you want to learn more about me, you can follow me on…heavy sigh “X” (twitter.com/stoopid_matt). That’s where I’m most active and post about my work regularly.
I’m also on BlueSky where I’m less active, but, who knows, might be more active in the future depending on what crazy hijinks ol’ Elon gets into next. You can find me there at @stupidmatt.bsky.social
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about Everyday Fears! It’s a great book and I think people are really going to like it.