10 Questions for comic book author Matt Nelson. Visit his comic's Facebook page or Follow him on Twitter.
Hi, Matt! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us a bit about your background in comics?
Governments across the world engaged in illicit human and animal genetic
manipulation that was less then scrupulous, and as a result global
riots occurred. Using the riots as a smokescreen for their own agenda,
terrorists partnered up with social activists unknowingly. Realizing
their window of opportunity would be small, the terrorists blamed these
illicit activities upon the United States, and a nuclear bomb was
smuggled in and detonated upon American soil; Florida. The affects were
immediate as several other bombs were detonated across the globe, laying
waste to much of the global population. Those that managed to survive
were mutated either into monstrosities beyond normal reckoning, or
mutated into a hybrid animalistic humanoid. In the shadows of this
event, several of the hybrids came together to pave their own way in
this new world that was pushed beyond the brink of madness.
The current year is 2042, and the struggle continues... in The Grove
In your opinion, what makes comic books a unique medium for storytelling?
Well, with comics, you have a faster-paced story that is being told, one that is accompanied by pictures. It is the pictures that tell much of the story that the reader might not get via dialogue.
What was the inspiration behind “The Grove”? Do you remember where the idea for the story came from?
Well, I have always been fascinated by stories of survival against insurmountable odds, stories about animals, and stories that are told of the future. Joining them all together gave me the inspiration for the comic, not to mention various movies, such as Waterworld, Mad Max, etc...
Do you have a favorite scene from “The Grove”? Can you please describe it?
Well, not to give too much away, but there is a scene in an issue down the road that is focused on a character named Max. Alone and desperate for someone to hear him, desperate for some form of companionship, Max has stumbled upon an archaic-yet-functional HAM radio, and the dialogue and the imagery that come forth will make the reader both laugh and cry at the scene. There is another scene, in Issue #1 which is out right now, that I also enjoyed illustrating. One of the characters, Kasidy, is being chased by something and while he is racing through the swamp, he is multitasking; calling HQ on his mic asking about his extraction point, trying to evade being eaten by whatever is chasing him, and he's trying not to run into something. I know the readers will enjoy both scenes. I know I did!
“The Grove” takes place in a dark, violent future. How did you go about developing the setting?
Well, as I said previously, I was heavily inspired by such movies as "Waterworld", Tom Cruise's' newest film "Oblivion", Mel Gibson's "Mad Max" films, and other films, such as Bladerunner. I thought about all those films, and thought about what each one brought to the table. I also thought about Orwell's "Animal Farm", and English author Richard Adams' "Watership Down., and how each of those dealt with anthropomorphic animals as characters.
Of the characters in “The Grove,” do you have a favorite? Could you please describe him/her?
Hmm. I would have to say I enjoy Kasidy. Kasidy is an anthropomorphic Rabbit. The term 'Anthropomorphic' simply means "possessing both human and animal qualities". Kasidy is hyper at times, yet has great willpower. That is one of the reasons why his superiors turn to Kasidy, because they know they can count on him to get things done, and he knows how to "think outside the box". He is unique in that he possesses cybernetics, which I think actually help to control his hyper state some.
Do you have a process? Could you please describe it?
Hmm. My process is simple. Sit down at my computer, turn on my music, and begin doing pictorial renderings of the image, with a copy of the script up as well to refer back to. That's it :)
Of the characters and creatures in “The Grove,” which, in your opinion, is the most visually interesting?
Hehe, yes, that would be "Doc". Doc is an anthropomorphic alligator, and is bright and loud, and deadly. In nature, that which is bright and colorful is often equally as deadly. Well, that pretty much goes for Doc as well.
Is there a message in “The Grove”?
Yes. Don't mess with mother nature, or mother nature will mess with you, and she will fight dirty.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on Issues of the comic. No rest for the wicked.
"The Grove" is available at What The Flux?! Comics