How did you get the job of drawing
Galahad 2099, and what do you recall about working on that
Matt: Galahad 2099 was a really
fun job for me. I was just graduating from the Joe Kubert
School of Art at that time. Within the last few weeks of the
school year (as best as I can recall) I had met with Andy
Kubert about inking the X-Men. Amazingly I had gotten the
job! Near that time, the Kubert school had like a field trip
to the Marvel offices and several editors were going to be
looking over our portfolios. One of those editors was Joey
Cavalieri. I had actually
been hanging back a little, because I already had the inking
job on the X-men at that time (although I hadn't started
working on it yet), and I wanted to make sure the other guys
from class got a chance to show their portfolios. When I did
show my artwork to Joey, he was like 'What were you hanging
back for?' So, he liked my work and said he might have
something for me.
Just a day or 2 later, Joey called me
to do the Galahad 2099 story! Joey was great to work with
and made this story a lot of fun, because I pretty much had
the freedom to design everything, even Galahad himself! I
was basically told that it just needed to look like a
robotic suit of armor with some similarities to a knights
armor. I really wanted to come up with a cool design, but
there wasn't a huge amount of time to spend just on
character design. Hopefully he looked
alright. I had a blast designing the other robot he fought
in the story as well. And thankfully, the story had a lot of
action going on as well, which was fun. Flying suits of
armor and laser blasting robots, what more could I ask for?
I believe that Galahad 2099 was the first actual job I did
in comics, even though I had already lined up the X-Men
inking job before that. After years in this business, you
get very used to seeing your work in print, but I have to
say, there is nothing quite like seeing your first work
printed in an actual comic. I must have looked that comic
book over a hundred times when it came out.
Were there last minute changes to your
last Fantastic Four 2099 issue (#5)? An issue of
Marvel Vision showed a rough draft of a different cover to
issue #6 Was this alternate cover for #6 completed?
Matt: Wow! That takes me back, looking
at those old sketches. I haven't seen those for many years.
It's hard to remember all of what was going on at that time.
I remember Joey Cavalieri was going over to DC, and there
were rumors going around of the whole 2099 line being
cancelled, so everyone was a bit unsure as to where things
were going in the future. At least on FF2099. I do still
have that cover to #6. Yeah, I was a little disappointed
that the cover wasn't used, but at least I got paid for it.
But I understood that they were taking the story in a
different direction. At that point, they were taking me off
the book as penciller, but wanted me to stay on as inker. I
eventually ended up inking Cary Nord on Daredevil instead.
Unused cover to Fantastic Four 2099 #6
Had you already begun work on the
interiors for #6?
Matt: I hadn't started work on
the issue #6 interiors. They had already decided to bring on
a new penciller at that point. The covers were done in
advance, so the #6 cover had already been finished before
they decided to make the changes.
Did you have to redraw the ending to #5, substituting Tzzar
with Dr. Strange?
Matt: Thankfully, I don't think
I had to redraw anything for issue #5. I believe the changes
that they made in the story were handed off to me before I
got to that point in the script. It was a lot of fun working
on the book. It was my first and only job as a regular
penciller on a title, and I had a blast. Today, I just
cringe looking back on that early artwork. Thankfully I've
learned a lot since then.
Did you work closely with your inker,
Al Williamson, and do you have any recollections about working
Matt: I didn't really work
closely with Al Williamson. I mean, that guy is a legend in
the business, so I just let him do his thing. I remember
thinking at the time that, with his expertise, he should
really be pencilling the book, and I should be inking him.
But yeah, it was definitely a treat to have someone of his
skill inking me. I loved the texture and feel he gave to the
inks. I especially remember what a nice rocky texture he
gave to the Thing. It was really quite a learning experience
for me, as I had not done much pencilling. I would see how
he would ink something, and I would try and learn from that
and incorporate it into my pencils.
What recollections do you have about
working with writer Karl Kesel?
Matt: Working with Karl was
great. I would talk with him on the phone from time to time,
and he's a really nice guy. I was a bit rusty at pencilling,
after inking for such a long time, but Karl made it easy for
me. I remember him telling me to feel free to have Mr.
Fantastic using his ability in scenes even if it wasn't in
the script. For example, if the FF were arriving at a scene,
I could have Reed stretching into the scene, or stretching
his legs as he's walking into panel. That really got me to
loosen up and helped me out a lot. At the same time, Karl
wrote everything out nice and detailed, and it was very easy
to visualize what he wanted.
you have a favorite issue or cover of your 2099 work?
My favorite issue was probably the first one I did, issue
#3. I was given some reference from the last issue, John
Buscema's pencils I think, and they were definitely
inspiring. As well as Rick Leonardi's pencils from the first
issue. I liked the cover to that issue, the classic heroes
all surrounded by the villains. I particularly enjoyed the
opening fight scene in that issue too. There's nothing more
fun for an artist than drawing a bunch of heroes and
villains battling it out.