Allen: Welcome back to Jazma Online for new interview Matt Frank. I want to focus on your new work at Bluewater Productions: Wrath of the Titans: Cyclops. How did this comic come about for you?
Matt: My friend Jeff Rebner, also a talented artist, had this awesome idea about a story that related to the monsters in the classic Harryhausen films, and his concept for the Cyclops really got me jazzed up. He really came up with the whole original concept. Ultimately he couldn't do it himself, but he graciously handed me the project. I ran like hell with it.
Allen: How hard has it been for you to be both artist and writer?
Matt: It's actually a lot of fun when you're a big monster nerd like me! Really though, had I been working from scratch, there would have had a lot more pressure. Thankfully Jeff's original concept was so cool that I just took that and fleshed it out. It was practically addictive, figuring out how all of the little details would work and how each page would break down. It was really organic.
Allen: Is story based on past Bluewater Ray Harryhausen Presents signature series comic books?
Matt: Not especially. There may be a light stylistic reference to the main WRATH OF THE TITANS series, but otherwise it's based entirely off of THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD.
Allen: How did you research story?
Matt: I made sure, first of all, to re-watch SEVENTH VOYAGE and get lots of reference notes from the locations, and especially work off the designs for the Cyclops and the magic lamp. I also did some research to make some cool-looking Asiatic pirates, and, of course, I made sure to research the prehistoric creatures that appear on the island.
Allen: Tell me if there will be a magical lamp in story.
Matt: Yup yup.
Allen: Did you like reading mythological stories as kid?
Matt: Oh sure, I had books on Greek Mythology and loved reading about Shinto gods and goddesses as well. There's a lot of cool stories to be had in the various religions in the world.
Allen: Tell me about characters, setting and time.
Matt: Well, I don't want to give too much away, but the Cyclops is definitely the primary character. His enemies are a pair of uber-Cyclopea that also live on the island, not to mention the pirates caught in the cross-fire. The meat of the story takes place on Colossa, the island from SEVENTH VOYAGE, and it's set about 10 or so years before the events of the movie.
Allen: What is conflict for Cyclops?
Matt: It's all about the lamp, really. It's shiny and magical, so the Cyclops, One-Horn as we call him, wants it bad. However, so do the other Cyclopea, and so do the pirates. Not to mention the hazards of Colossa itself.
Allen: Where does Cyclops live? How did Cyclops become so large? Why does Cyclops only have one eye?
Matt: He has a den somewhere in Colossa's interior, he eats well, and that's how the gods made him! (it's supposed to have magical powers)
Allen: Is this same Cyclops that menaced Sinbad on his 7th Voyage?
Matt: You got it!
Allen: Are there many Cyclopians in your comic book?
Matt: Cyclops, Cyclopea, Cyclopians, whatever, but yes, they are a race.
Allen: What other creatures will be appearing in Wrath of the Titans: Cyclops?
Matt: Ooh, a few nasty critters. Some prehistoric monsters and some flesh-eating plants, and a few cameos that Harryhausen fans might notice. But you'll have to see it!
Allen: What do you like most about working on new Ray Harryhausen Signature Series story?
Matt: It's a rare opportunity to work under the Harryhausen banner, but mostly it's all of the fantastic imagery that comes with it. Monsters, magic and eye-candy galore!
Allen: What has it been most difficult thing for you working on Wrath of the Titans: Cyclops.
Matt: Working to make this as lush and detailed a book as I can, but it'll all be worth it (even if my hand cramps each time I finish a page).
Allen: Are you also doing cover work on Wrath of the Titans: Cyclops?
Matt: Yes, but I hope to get my buddy Jeff to do an alternate cover, if he can.
Allen: When will Wrath of the Titans: Cyclops be sold in stores?
Matt: We're shooting for January.
Allen: Do you like watching old Ray Harryhausen movies? Which are your favorites?
Matt: GOD yes. My all-time favorite is ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. Dinosaurs and Raquel Welch? You know you love it. THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS is a close second.
Allen: Have you ever met Ray Harryhausen?
Matt: I met him during a special screening of KING KONG (1933) here in Austin back in 2006. He was an absolute joy to meet, and I even gave him a drawing I made of Kong and the Rhedosaurus. He appreciated it, and that was like a religious experience.
Allen: What future comic book projects are you working on?
Matt: I've got a project for Gleaming Scythe I'm starting soon, and Jeff and I are working on another pitch. Meanwhile I've got a little gig with Marvel, and I'm still on IDW's back for more Transformers work.
Allen: Are you planning to go to any comic book conventions?
Matt: I'm likely headed for Wizard World next time it's in Texas, and I'll have to check out Comicon (assuming it doesn't EAT me) and I attend G-FEST (the Godzilla Fan convention) every year.
Allen: Do you have website?
Matt: www.mattfrankart.com and I have a DA page at kaijusamurai.deviantart.com
Allen: What is best way for someone to contact you?
Matt: Email, by way of email@example.com
Allen: What kind of novels do you like to read?
Matt: I'm wrapped up in James Clavell's "Asian Saga," like SHOGUN and TAI-PAN right now. They're long but they're SO good. I may pick up the Warcraft novels soon as well.
Allen: What has been some of your favorite recent theater movies?
Matt: INCREDIBLE HULK was great, and IRON MAN was almost perfect. HELLBOY 2 was a refreshing change from CG-itus that's dominating Hollywood now, and I'm waiting in bated breath for the new ULTRAMAN movie coming out in Japan this year.
Allen: What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Matt: I loves me some alternative.
Allen: Do you read many comic books at present time?
Matt: Yep, like IDW's Transformers stuff, Scott Pilgrim and Ultimate Spider-Man. I also recently got MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK, which is being adapted into a film by Disney. It's a really refreshing take on the kaiju (monster) genre.
Allen: If you could take time machine to any place. Where would you go and why?
Matt: You HAD to ask, didn't ya? I'd likely just head for the Cretaceous Period. Sure, it's dangerous, but I gotta' see my main man T-Rex.
Allen: What is name of your favorite comic book store? What is it about store that you like?
Matt: Well, my usual store is Funny Papers, but Austin Books has a HUGE selection of back-issues and obscure graphic novels. You can get ANYTHING there. But Funny Papers is nice and small and personal. Got some friends who work there.
Allen: What fuels your imagination and creativity?
Matt: A drive to create awesome imagery. If it ain't awesome you'd better give me an equally good reason to draw it.
Allen: Thank you so very much Matt Frank for doing new interview with Jazma Online. Would you like to add any other information about Wrath of the Titans: Cyclops one shot comic book?
Matt: This thing is going to blow your FREAKIN' mind. It's coming out so savage and cool and stylized. My colorist, John Paul Bove, is doing an amazing job enhancing my pencils and really giving the book an incredible feeling. It's becoming something I hope people will really hold with high regard in their collection.
Allen: Would you like to now leave with any other final thoughts?
Matt: Just a thanks to Darren, my editor, for being so patient with the work that goes into this book. We're really pulling out all the stops, and he's been great about it. And monster fans out there will absolutely adore this thing. Do NOT miss this. And thank YOU Allen!