INDIE SPOTLIGHT ON MATT KROTZER

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The Grayhaven Comics Staff Spotlight

We’ll spend the next few weeks featuring some of our incredible staff members who volunteer their time and energy into putting together GrayHaven’s comic line. As a group we’re from assorted backgrounds and even different parts of the world, but we share a passion for creating comics and helping others to bring their comics dreams to life!

This week we talk to Matt Krotzer

Position: Letterer, Artist, Writer, Graphic Designer

 

How did you come to be involved with GrayHaven Comics?

I saw Marc Lombardi promoting the original You Are Not Alone book on Bleeding Cool, and started talking to him about it, and GH in general. At the time, there wasn’t a need for me to contribute art or writing, but there was a big need for someone who could letter. I’ve studied lettering, in addition to being a graphic designer for the past 15 years, so I decided to jump in and help out. In a very short time, I found myself with quite a lot of requests from GH’s editors to help with the lettering on their books… and also discovered a love of lettering that I might have never realized.

We all wear many hats at GrayHaven. Of the jobs you have to do, what do you find most rewarding?

Lettering. It’s vital. A comic can be forgiven many things. Poor art can be masked by good inking or colors, or overlooked with good writing. Poor writing can be overlooked with good art. Poor lettering, on the other hand, makes even great art and writing look amateurish and bad. It’s the one discipline for which there is no counterbalance. Plus, as letterers, we always get the final word.

We’ve all made appearances at different conventions. What is your favorite part of the convention experience? Your least favorite part?

I love the social aspects of it. Meeting new people – fans, fellow creators, whoever. Talking and discussing comics.

My least favorite part? Creators who are disrespectful to their fans. If people are waiting in line to meet you, get your autograph and buy your merchandise, the least you can do is muster a smile and be personable for a few seconds.

Of what GrayHaven projects are you most proud? Why?

I’m really proud of My Geek Family. It was my first title design, and the book is just absolutely charming. Lettering the book was a ton of fun, and I’ve actually become friends with Doug and Donal through working on it. I can’t wait for the sequel!

I’m also quite proud of the work I did overhauling the Grayhaven logo and cover dress for the books. I’m very anxious for the new books to start printing.

MGFcover

Are there any other works – be they comics, literary, or art related – that you’re working on?

I just wrapped the 5-issue series The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild for Zenescope Entertainment, and have an assortment of independent projects that are in the works.

What kinds of comics do you enjoy reading and why?

I’m a superhero guy. I’ll occasionally venture outside of that genre, but the majority of my reading is capes and cowls.

What are you current top five books to pick up?

The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild (Not just self-promoting here… it’s a great book!)

Sex Criminals (There’s a reason it wins so many damn awards. It’s great!)

Batman (Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are putting together a truly legendary run on the book.)

Gotham Academy (Why are more people not reading this book?? It’s awesome!)

Death Vigil (Stjepan Sejic is a superstar in the making. Clever writing, great art.)

How were you first introduced to the comics medium?

Right around the time the first Batman movie was coming out, my mom sent me to camp… one of my cabin mates had a big stack of Batman comics… during that week, I think I read all of them at least twice.

Do you have aspiritions to be a professional in the comics industry?

Indeed. And I give GrayHaven all the credit in the world for providing me the opportunity to get my foot in the door. The work I did for them provided me with a portfolio I was able to show off and use to get pro work. I’m not quite ready to quit my day job, but I’m finding paying gigs and building a name in the industry!

What is the fundamental advice you’d like to give to all up-and-coming comics creators?

Make comics. Even if just for yourself. Nothing trumps the learning you’ll get just by doing it. Practice your craft. But don’t wait for someone to discover you. In the modern market, self-publishing is easier than ever. Digital, or even small print runs are easily managed.

Study. Don’t just read comics. Examine them. Figure out what works and why. Go online and research. There’s SO MUCH free learning to be had, right there in your browser’s search bar.

Most importantly for artists… learn about bleed, trim and live areas on the page. Understanding and using them properly will put you miles ahead of many working artists out there, and make your pages that much easier to publish. I’d rather work with a mediocre artist who gives me properly sized and formatted pages than a great one where nothing’s done to spec.

 

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