I visited with writer Matt Miner to talk about his new project, Death Trap.
Matt has several titles under his belt. His comics all seem to have a certain feel, if GWAR: Orgasmageddon is any indication.
His newest collaboration is no exception.
What is Death Trap, exactly?
On the Kickstarter page, it’s touted as a paranormal, sideshow freak, grindhouse story.
To quote the writer himself, “This comic is the most bananas comic of 2020 – hands down. Rockabilly infused vaudevillian grindhouse with a haunted car, a badass girl out for vengeance, and more circus freaks than you can stuff in a clown car.”
I talk to Matt about the origin of his writing style, the inspiration for Death Trap, and how he came to own a pitbull rescue.
Rufo Tolentino: How did you get into comic book writing?
Matt Miner: I went to school with the goal of becoming a professional writer, but it never quite worked out, and after spending my childhood and young adulthood collecting up rejection letters, I went another way and soothed my woes in drugs and alcohol for like 2 decades. Don't do that. When I poked my head out from all that nonsense it dawned on me that I'd read comics my entire life but never tried writing them - I found the style and process fits me a lot better, and I'm able to do more with a team than I could accomplish on my own. I took a summer class from Scott Snyder and soon after that pitched my first series which was picked up by then-new publisher Black Mask Studios.
RT: Tell us a little about your writing style. Looks like you've collaborated on some pretty interesting comic books.
MM: I think I once heard "write what you know" and I may take that to some extremes. But, luckily, I have a lifetime of really bad decisions to draw from. I like telling stories that speak to my punk and metal roots, that collaborate with unexpected folks (like the guys from GWAR), and more often than not, I like my work to say something about the greater world we live in. I care a lot about a lot of things, and so most of my writing shares my views on things like bullying, race, sexuality, animal rights, environmentalism, and the like. Death Trap is more personal, though, and speaks to the main character's fucked up family situation and that drive we all have to make our parents proud of us, even if we know they're total jerk losers.
RT: So a woman raised by a crime circus family, teamed with a rocket powered dog and the ghost of her murdered father. What's the origin story behind that idea?
MM: Chris Peterson, the artist, and I had a carsploitation concept a few years back that, sadly, didn't go anywhere. Maybe it would, now that I've had more experience and have more doors open, but we took a couple of the seeds from that old concept and grew from there a much crazier and more fun concept that became Death Trap.
Rufo Tolentino: How did you get into rescuing pitbulls? And is this the first time working a pitbull into one of your stories?
Matt Miner: I like putting animals into my stories whenever possible, and god, no. Pitbulls rule the world of Critical Hit, Liberator, and more. I got involved in animal rights maybe 20 years ago, and after meeting my wife, we kind of fell out of that world due to the constant drama and infighting, and started rescuing dogs. One day I saw a "24 hours to live" post on Facebook, with this scared and frail young pitbull girl and I said "Sloane, we have to save her, I don't care." We got ahold of acquaintances who ran a pitbull rescue, and they pulled the dog, named Dara, for us just in time - the idea being that we'd foster her and find a home for her. So, to make a long story short, Dara's still with us 10 years later, and now we run our own pitbull rescue where we rescue, rehabilitate and adopt out dogs. We've been featured everywhere from FOX to VH1 to the New York Times. Dog rescue is the second half of my life when I'm not doing comics.
RT: What should people know about this comic? Why should they support this kickstarter? What can they expect if it gets funded?
MM: This comic is the most bananas comic of 2020 - hands down. Rockabilly infused vaudevillian grindhouse with a haunted car, a badass girl out for vengeance, and more circus freaks than you can stuff in a clown car. If we can get the art funded through this Kickstarter then it'll have a publishing home and see wider distribution to shops worldwide - but the covers available on the Kickstarter are exclusive to this campaign, so they'll be super rare when the time comes. People can get all kinds of rad rewards from variant covers, to the trade paperback, to chances to appear in the book, to professional services to help bring their own comic projects to the next level. There are rewards for every budget, but we definitely need more action on the page - if we don't hit 100% of the goal then we get 0% of the money.
Check it out at www.deathtrap.world.
As promised, here’s exclusive artwork of Beau Davenport– the boss of Davenport Amusements, the rival carnie crime family.
Check out the Kickstarter for info on how to get other super exclusive goodies!