Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter - Matt Frank Interview
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 2:42PM CDTCategories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al Views: 25,658
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: TRAILCUTTER breaks into comic book stores and digital platforms,thanks to IDW Publishing and Hasbro! Written by TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE scribe James Roberts—and set firmly in that series’ timeline—SPOTLIGHT:TRAILCUTTER delves into the world of an oft-overlooked TRANSFORMERS character… and lays the groundwork for this fall's big TRANSFORMERS event. We sat down with artist Matt Frank to talk about the issue—available today at comic book stores everywhere, and at https://transformers.comixology.com/ or via the Comixology and iBooks apps on your computer or mobile device!
Q: Hi Matt. How was everything for you in 2012?
MATTFRANK: 2012 was a pretty incredible year. No continental shifts or exploding suns, so we’re ahead of the game! I’ve been lucky to have a near-constant flow of work with TRANSFORMERS and other projects.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. How you got into drawing, were you a comic book fan, who has influenced you in your career.
MATTFRANK: As a kid, drawing seemed to be a natural result of the sort of stuff I was a fan of. Dinosaurs and monsters and robots and all kinds of goodness. I just wanted to recreate the stuff that gave me so much excitement.I’m definitely a pretty big comic fan, although my interests are kind of all over the place (though many still chart a course through the same thematicelements). I’m a big fan of guys like William Stout, Art Adams, Ricardo Delgado (Age of Reptiles!), Dan Brereton, and more recently I’ve discovered the glory of books like Blacksad and Scott Pilgrim. Of course, I’ve always loved the TRANSFORMERS comics, be they G2, Dreamwave or IDW!
Q: Were you a fan of Transformers right from the very beginning?
MATTFRANK: Depends on what “very beginning” is...I’m a ’90s kid, so I wasn’t there for the G1 boom. Eventually I got a hold of TRANSFORMERS: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE by Simon Furman, and that definitely opened up a few more doors!
Q: Having done work on MARS ATTACKS THE TRANSFORMERS recently, how did it feel to come back and work with James Roberts in the MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE world on SPOTLIGHT:TRAILCUTTER?
MATTFRANK: Ironically, I made the TRAILCUTTER comic several months BEFORE the crossover! So it actually provided a nice warm-up for when I had to tackle MARS ATTACKS THE TRANSFORMERS in an even SHORTER time frame! But I'm a big fan of James’s work, and it was a real thrill to compliment our respective comedic styles for this book.
Q: Did you have to do much research and catch up with events/characters designs before drawing SPOTLIGHT:TAILCUTTER?
MATT FRANK: My existing issues of MTMTE were scattered around my studio and workspace, each opened to a particular page that proved useful, especially for Trailcutter’s relatively short exposure up to this point. Beyond that, I was pretty familiar with the lore... although I actually got to DESIGN Killmaster, which was wonderful.
Q: Spotlight Tailcutter is part ofthe recent wave of SPOTLIGHTs. How’d you feel knowing that this comic is going to be packaged with a toy, and could be someone’s first ever TRANSFORMERS, or any, comic book?
MATTFRANK: One of the first TRANSFORMERS projects I ever tackled was the pack-in comic, “The Rise of Safeguard,” sold alongside Jetfire and Jetstorm from TRANSFORMERS: ANIMATED. So the feeling is a familiar one!
Q: What advice would you give to someone if they were drawing TRANSFORMERS for the first time?
MATTFRANK: It would definitely be to find your own style... or at least put your unique stamp on the characters you draw. There are so many amazing TRANSFORMERS artists out there, try and make yourself stand out!
Q: What tools of the trade do you use whendrawing the characters? Do you do lots of research before hand?
MATTFRANK: Besides good ol’ pens and paper, I have a ton of reference material, which I cannot stress enough. THE COMPLETE ARK is a godsend (or a [Transformers writer and letterer Chris] Mowry-send!) and I have quite a few of the IDW trades. Beyond that there’s definitely the internet. My own TF collection is somewhat limited (gotta make room for all my Godzilla toys, after all), but they’ll provide good reference in a pinch!
Q: Autobot or Decepticon? Who gets your allegiance?
MATTFRANK: “Me Grimlock no Autobot... Me DINOBOT.” (rips off Con’s arm).
Q: As we head deeper into 2013, whatare your aims for this coming year? Any burning ambitions you would like toturn into reality?
MATTFRANK: I’ve got a few other very exciting TRANSFORMERS projects coming down the pipe. I’m also doing even more Godzilla stuff... and then perhaps a little creator-owned goodness? Maybe something original to spice things up? Stay tuned, kids!