• Rock! Shock! Pop! Presents - An Interview With Matt Miner, Co-Author Of GWAR: Orgasmageddon

    Last month Dynamite Comics unleashed the first issue of their new monthly series GWAR: Orgasmageddon. Rock! Shock! Pop! was lucky enough to get to pick the brain of series writer Matt Miner about his work on this series and other indie comics projects. So without further ado…

    Last month Dynamite Comics unleashed the first issue of their new monthly series GWAR: Orgasmageddon. Rock! Shock! Pop! was lucky enough to get to pick the brain of series co-writer Matt Miner about his work on this series and other indie comics projects. So without further ado…

    Rock! Shock! Pop! – So June saw the release of the first issue of your new series, GWAR: Orgasmageddon. How did it come about that you came to write this series – do you have a connection the band or to Slave Pit?

    Matt Miner - I didn't have any connection to the band or Slave Pit prior to the comic, though since age sixteen I've been a big fan of GWAR and the way they remind me to not take life, or myself, so seriously.

    I had done a podcast called Life Leave Me Alone with Matt Fisher back when I was promoting my Black Mask Studios series LIBERATOR and when we ran into each other at Heroes Con, he asked me what my dream projects were. I mentioned always wanting to do a GWAR book, and he mentioned knowing GWAR's lawyer, and offered to put us in touch. A couple months later I met with the lawyer and Matt Maguire (longtime GWAR slave and GWAR's scumdog nemesis Sawborg Destructo) and we went from there.

    R!S!P! – The comic introduces a brand new character into the GWAR universe in the shapely form of Estrogina. Why the impetus to bring in fresh blood – was it to fill the void that Vulvatron left when she mysteriously left the band?

    MM - No, it had nothing to do with Vulvatron, and everything to do with wanting to have a more rounded cast of characters to write. That's also why we brought back Slymenstra Hymen for the series. I like writing women characters, and what's so cool about Estrogina's character is that, since she is a comics-only character, I was able to help form her personality and quirks and flesh her out, so to say. Whereas Slymenstra demands absolute obedience and loyalty from her slaves and loathes humanity to her core, Estrogina has some softer edges, but will still rip a Nazi's dick off when needed.

    R!S!P! – Can GWAR fans expect to see other new characters introduced in the series or is it going to stick to the core group from here on out?

    Mm - As far as the heroes go, it'll be the core group, however there are new monsters popping up here and there, mostly the creations of Mr. Perfect, the band's number one nemesis at this time, who killed Oderus Urungus with his own sword.

    R!S!P! – The series touches on parts of the band’s history, including the tragic death of Oderus Urungus, old running gags from decades old albums and other bits and pieces. How important was it, when writing this book, to incorporate a lot of little details like that?

    MM - For me it wasn't just important, but it was necessary. We're creating this book as a good jumping on point for new fans, meaning you don't have to know GWAR's history to get into the book, but I felt it was absolutely necessary to make some nods to the past and pay homage to things that have come before in GWAR's mythos.

    R!S!P! – Given the band’s rabid and fanatical following and their impressive longevity, was there ever a concern that the fans might feel that you’re not getting it right?

    MM - I'm sure there are some that are worried that I'm screwing up, but for the most part the fanbase has been extremely supportive and stoked that the books are happening. I'm co-writing with the band, members of the band are doing artwork, and everything gets approved through them, so it's not like I'd be able to mess up even if I wanted to. I'm a fan from way back, I have multiple GWAR related tattoos, and this book means too much to me to take lightly.

    R!S!P! – Given that the series sees the characters travelling through time and basically getting into trouble and causing horrific historical events, there’s a lot of room for political incorrectness and potentially offensive ideas. Is there a line you or GWAR don’t want to cross here or is everything on the table?

    MM - In issue one we see Kurt Cobain blown away by GWAR's manager Sleazy P. Martini because Kurt found another source for his heroin, so you tell me. It's a GWAR project, so if you're worried about being offended, put on your “fun” and “satire” goggles before you read it.

    R!S!P! – You write more than just GWAR comics. Tell us about your book Liberator for Black Mask – what’s this one all about?

    MM - Liberator, and its follow up series Critical Hit, are about young vigilantes who don't fight guys in capes in tights, but rather take on animal abusers, dog fighters, and the like. It's a cause close to my heart and since I know these clandestine heroes exist in real life, and I know something about the world they operate in, I thought it was a great premise for a comic series.

    R!S!P! – You also write Toe Tag Riot for Black Mask, a horror comedy about a punk band that turns into zombies who then feast on victims that they choose based on their own ethics and belief system (including those shit bags at the Westboro Baptist Church). Why should readers check this out and how have ‘real life’ events influenced this book and maybe some of your other writing?

    MM - Toe Tag Riot was heavily influenced by my love of GWAR – a rock band that murders folks, complete with jokes and massive amounts of gore. Why should anyone read Toe Tag Riot? Because Westboro Baptist Church themselves said that the book would “split Hell wide open.” Good enough reason?

    R!S!P! – You’re also involved with a New York based pitbull rescue organization. What inspired you to get involved with this and what can you tell us about the work that is being done there?

    MM - I've been involved in work for animals for about a decade. Stopped eating and wearing them, the whole nine yards. After working in animal rights activism – protest work – for several years, my wife and I started rescuing dogs on our own, as we saw an immediate need to help animals that were right in front of us. This continued for some years until the formation of Redemption Rescues with another partner, and so we have a mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome abused, abandoned, and neglected pit bulls. You can check out our work at www.redemptionrescues.org

    R!S!P! – As an indie comics creator, what would you say are the biggest challenges in indie comics today?

    MM - Right now we have some of the very best stores, ever, in comics coming out from the indie world, so it's tough to make your own voice heard, and stand out from the crowd. While the quality of the work improves, the margins for comic shops are razor thin, so you really have to shine in order for stores to give you a chance.

    R!S!P! – How did you get into writing comics in the first place? What drew you to the medium?

    MM - I've been a comic reader for my entire life, and when I was younger I had aspirations of writing professionally. After years of rejection I finally gave up on myself, which I never should have done, and took up things like drinking and drugs instead. Now that I'm sober and have my mind back, I realized I'd never given writing comics a shot, so I took some classes, studied a bunch of books, and here we are.

    R!S!P! – You wear your politics pretty plainly on your sleeve – has this ever landed you in any hot water in the industry?

    MM - It's probably made editors afraid to hire me, but whatever. I cared about that perception at first but any more I just want to write ridiculous violence and dick jokes with GWAR. If editors of cape books find me and dig my stuff, they should know I'm a professional and I'm not going to try and make the Punisher a vegetarian to push my personal viewpoints or anything. I find what's unique about the character, the thing I connect with, and I write from there.

    R!S!P! – What’s next on your plate? Anything else you want to mention to our readers?

    Well, I'm working on Kickstarting a horror anthology called This Nightmare Kills Fascists. This is a project conceived over Twitter when chatting with co-editor Eric Palicki and some other folks. It's filled with dark horror in the vein of Creepy and Eerie but told against the backdrop of modern political anxieties. We asked some of our massively talented friends to join us on this one, so expect stories by Chris Sebela, Ryan Ferrier, Vita Ayala, Ariela Kristantina, Katy Rex and many many many more people who write and draw amazingly well. Check that out at NIGHTMAREKICKSTARTER.COM.

    If you want to keep up with what Matt's doing, check out his website here or follow him on twitter at @MattMinerXVX.