Get Graphic: A Fateful Furred Fantasy Within Sons of Ashgard
May 08, 2023
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
From the creative team of Chad Corrie and Matt Wendt, Sons of Ashgard is a "new exciting graphic novel from the author of The Wizard King Trilogy!"
Hitting comic shops on May 10, 2023, artist Matt Wendt brings his energetic, Saturday morning style to comic shops with this fantasy tale of fate, forgiveness, and fur! In the following interview, Matt Wendt invites you into his artistic process and shows how he brought Chad Corrie's script to life.
Firstly, what is your name and where do you hail from?
My name is Matt Wendt. Born in Alaska but currently live in the Twin Cities metro area of Minnesota
How did you get into art?
I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon. Some of my earliest memories are of me drawing pictures of the Starship Enterprise after watching reruns of Star Trek on television.
What sparked your initial interest?
A friend in the 3rd grade turned me onto a really cool program on PBS called THE SECRET CITY. In the show, Commander Mark Kistler taught kids the fundamentals of cartooning. The obsession only grew from there. Pretty soon I was creating my own characters, comic strips and eventually comic books.
What can you tell us about Sons of Ashgard? What is it about?
It’s a story about a squirrel named Eric Redfur, who is looking for a new beginning from a life he’s trying to put behind him, along with a group of interesting new companions, as they are thrust into the midst of a mystery that they must solve before a dire situation rages out of control.
Is this more of a kids adventure or something for everyone?
I feel this book has something for everyone but it definitely has a few PG moments. Maybe along the lines of Secret of Nimh or Watership down.
Can you get into your character design process a bit. How do you know when the character has the right look?
Chad Corrie (the writer and series creator) sends me the character descriptions and I will do multiple sketches, trying to find the essence of the characters. Eventually, I’d find what works with how I envisioned the characters in my head and roll with that and run them by Chad. Honestly, the characters were sort of still evolving even as I was working on the pages. The bonus aspect of working on a large book, with upwards of hundreds of characters that look alike or have similar features, you’ll eventually get to that muscle-memory point when drawing them. I think by the time I was at the page 75 mark, I had a real good handle of the main cast and their definitive look.
Tell us about your collaborators on the book. Who else is on the team?
Chad Corrie is a terrific writer and really easy to collaborate with. His stories are exciting, interesting and full of great characters and heart. Brian and Kristy Miller did an amazing job of making the art really pop and shine with their expert coloring. Taylor Esposito was able to bring the voices and sounds to our story out with an expert sense of flow and placement.
What tools do you use to draw?
For this book I was still drawing mostly in an ‘analog’(traditional) way. Bristol paper, pencils, pens, rulers, etc…. The cover, however, I did mostly in digital, using the Procreate program on an iPad. That’s a new process for me but I was anxious to try it out so I figured the cover for Sons of Ashgard: Ill Met in Elmgard might as well be my first attempt at drawing something digitally. Somehow I was able to pull it off.
In terms of audience, who is Sons of Ashgard for?
Sons of Ashgard is for anyone who is into fun and exiting, quest-adventures, great characters, and cute woodland creatures wielding swords and axes.
Sons of Ashgard (JAN230467) is available May 10, 2023, at your local comic shop!
If you want to discover more of Matt Wendt’s work, be sure to follow him on Instagram.
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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalypse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.