Science fiction is a genre well visited over the decades. However how many science fiction tales can you think of that would fall into the ‘noir’ genre too?
The only example I can think of offhand would be ‘Blade Runner’ and maybe the first ‘Total Recall’. To me that is good company for the book I’m going to talk about this week which is ‘WICKED GAME’ by writer Todd Matthy and artisr Roderic Rodriquez. The comic takes place in a fictional future in a place named Megaverse City where the pain of the past shapes the future. We follow an ex-cop named David who gets a visit from the typical beautiful Noir damsel who named Kristina who needs his help to rescue her sister from an underground knife fighting league.
With familiar investigation tropes (which as many know I’m a fan of) on hand but with a science fiction twist it seems that this comic is doing a lot to tap into what comic fans enjoy. You get guns, girls, mystery but also robots as a handy extra. Again this is not a comic you’ll find being sold by many outlets (an exact list of where you can purchase the issue can be find at Todd’s website here:http://toddmatthy.com/) but it seems to be another book offering something different yet familiar. Over and over I do see many comic fans reading the same books and craving something different (which is why I do these articles) and it seems that Matthy and Rodriquez are fitting the bill with ‘WICKED GAME’. While still offering things that people do enjoy they seem to go with the theory that two great tastes must taste great together (being sci-fi and noir) to create a very enjoyable book for fans looking for a little something different to try.
Todd was kind enough to send me a review copy and I found the story to be fast paced and the art to be extremely good quality. I would rank it equal to any of the self published books that we (GrayHaven) put out and to be frank I’ve read a lot worse by people whose names you do know so if you are looking for something with a different flavour I think ‘Wicked Game’ might just be the thing you’re waiting for! Further info about the book, where to buy it and the characters involved are all at the handy link above. Those looking to buy a digital copy can do so at http://comics.drivethrustuff.com/product/128711/Wicked-Game and those wanting a copy sent to them can get one at: http://www.indyplanet.com/front/?product=107641
I caught up with Todd to talk more about the book, himself and the industry in general!
GH: Tell us about yourself. How did you get into comics in general?
TM: I’m from Bronxville, NY which is just outside New York City. My father used to buy me Superman and Transformers comics when I was really young and they helped me learn to read. I embraced comics through the Marvel cards that came out in the early nineties. Then the “Death of Superman” and X-Men animated series hit and I was hooked.
GH: How did you come to learn to craft a comic script?
TM: I learned the format and how to pitch when I interned at Marvel during my senior year of High School. I took a workshop with Scott Snyder a couple of summer’s ago where I learned how to tie the plot to the story’s emotional arc and map it out.
GH: You have your own publishing venue through ‘Todd comics’ what is it like to be kind of on your own versus all what else is on offer out there?
TM: I have to do EVERYTHING. I’m the writer, publisher, promoter, and distributor. I have to seek out my own press, ask retailers if they’re interested in carrying the book, keep sale records, come up with promotional material, hire the artist, and of course, write the book. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it. I love comics and have wanted to make them since I was a kid. This is my dream so if I have to put in extra work, so be it.
GH: How did you come to pair up with Roderic?
TM: I put an ad on Digital Webbing and he sent me a sample. I saw it and fell in love. I love that realistic style and felt it was perfect for Wicked Game. He’s an amazing artist that will one day be a star.
GH: I’ve given people your website where they can find where to pick up but if stores perhaps wanted to stock it (or people wanted to encourage their stores to do so) how do they go about it?
TM: They can get in touch with me directly at email@example.com.
GH: Tell me how the concept of ‘WICKED GAME’ came about?
TM: It came from a couple of places. The setting I made up when I was twelve because nothing interesting ever happened in my hometown. The story of David and Kristina came to me while I was listening to H.I.M.’s cover of Chris Issak’s “Wicked Game.” An image came into my head of a gorgeous blonde in a mink coat strolling into a bar and the story wrote itself.
GH: One thing you’d like to say to those maybe on the fence about buying the book?
TM: It’s very deceptive. A lot is going on beneath the surface. I like stories that can be enjoyed on multiple levels. As a reader, I love it when I can go back to a story and learn something new on a second read.
GH: The book and the world you create seems booming with potential, any plans to revisit it?
TM: To quote Macho Man Randy Savage, “Ohhhh yeeeahhh!” The story has just begun. This is a tale that grew in the telling and we haven’t even begun to explore Megaverse City. Who are the police? Whose the big crime lord, how did she get that way? (oops) How did Westchester County become Megaverse City? These are stories I want and plan to tell.
GH: What else do you have in the pipeline?
TM: WICKED GAME number two is on it’s way and it is the most significant second issue in comics history. Something happens that will set the course of the series going forward. I’m working on a story for an anthology and I’m generating a project with a friend that I’m really excited about. It combines two of my favorite things and is going to ‘bodyslam’ the industry. It’ll be a lot of fun. I also have some short stories I plan to post on Kindle.
GH: What indie book should we all be reading?
TM: ANDRE THE GIANT: LIFE AND LEGEND by Box Brown. It’s more then a book about professional wrestling but a look at the real life triumphs and tribulations of a man who was larger then life in a business where people are portrayed as larger then life.