Author Chat with Matthew Bogart & Jesse Holden (Incredible Doom), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Matthew Bogart & Jesse Holden authors of
Read on for more about Matthew & Jesse, their book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Matthew Bogart!
Matthew Bogart is a cartoonist living in Portland, Oregon. He makes slice of life comics and has been a member of the XOXO Outpost creative community, was a co-founder of Couch Gallery, and has been publishing comics since he was 10 and his father let him loose on the office photocopier.
Meet Jesse Holden!
Jesse Holden is a writer, designer, and creative collaborator on comics, novels, podcasts, and video games. He ruined his wrist for a week drawing his first 24-hour comic in 1999, and now appreciates developing the stories and letting more talented people do the illustration. He lives in Portland with his dog Fergus.
Meet Incredible Doom!
It’s the dawn of a new age…the age of the internet.
Allison is drowning under the weight of her manipulative stage magician father. When he brings home the family’s first computer, she escapes into a thrilling new world where she meets Samir, a like-minded new online friend who has just agreed to run away from home with her.
After moving to a new town and leaving all of his friends behind, Richard receives a mysterious note in his locker with instructions on how to connect to “Evol BBS,” a dial-in bulletin board system, and meets a fierce punk named Tina who comes into his life and shakes his entire world view loose.
Unlikely alliances, first love, and minor crime sprees abound in this teen graphic novel debut about making connections while your world is falling apart.
~ Author Chat ~
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
MATT: David and Maria Lapham’s comic series Stray Bullets and Wes Anderson’s movie Moonrise Kingdom got me thinking writing a story about a couple of young runaways. Looking back at my own teenage years I remembered a few friends at school being into computers and thinking they seemed like some sort of secret club. In retrospect, they were part of something. Something that was just about to overtake all of society.
Setting stories in a place like that, where lives were being turned on their head, provides such possibility for excitement, heartbreak, love, danger, and humor. I couldn’t wait to get into that word.
JESSE: I feel like I just shamelessly plunder from reality. So many amazing actual experiences from the ‘90s inspired what happens in the book! All the wildest moments are lifted straight from real life.
What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
MATT: Without giving too much away, there’s a moment where two characters named Samir and Allison are spending the day together at Samirs dads house. They are both attracted to each-other, but haven’t yet admitted it yet. It’s an exciting and nerve-wracking day.
They talk and play on the computer for a while. But when Sam gets up to us the bathroom Alison notices a piece of notebook paper in Samirs waste basket.
She pulls it out and discovers it’s a flow chart that Samir has drawn to make sure this day with Allison goes well. One branch of the chart lists topics of conversation to try. Another branch outlines movies they could watch, and includes the title “Ghostbusters” scratched out, with a note next to it that says “Too nerdy.”
A moment later, Allison surprises Samir in the hall and proposes they watch a movie.
“Do you have Ghostbusters?” she asks.Samir beams as if she’s read his mind.
All this leads to one of my favorite moments. It’s a quiet page of Samir and Allison watching TV in the living room, the sound of the clock ticking, the air conditioning quietly hissing through a vent, while the two of them watch a movie. Allison touches her pinkie to Samirs arm, and they hold each others’ hands.
I like this because, to me, it feels like the best moments in life, when your heart is racing because you’re so calm, comfortable and happy.
In a comic that has pretty rough things happen to its characters, it’s sweet. I like that.
JESSE: That flowchart in particular may or may not be based on an embarrassing real thing, from the first time I nervously tried calling up a girl to ask her out on a date.
What do you like most about the cover of the book?
MATT: We tried to show a quiet neighborhood at dawn devolving into an old school type of digital art called “ANSI art”. During the early days of networked computers it was difficult or impossible to share pictures over the network. But a bunch of clever folks figured out ways to make elaborate art by strategically typing a few blocky characters in the IBM Compatible character set. An incredible art scenesprung up around these limitations with literal gangs of artists battling it out over who’s group was the best.
Our cover was partially created using that technique. It was our homage an art form that thrives to this day.
JESSE: Matt did such a great job synthesizing all those elements for the cover. Also, a very different illustration and design of Matt’s that we both super loved too gets to have its debut under the cover wrap of the hardback edition. Surprise!
What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2021?
MATT: It’s cheating because it came out the same day as ours, but Stone Fruit by Lee Lai is a beautiful comic. Its characters are so well observed, heartbreaking and grounded. It takes daring visual risks that end up working beautifully.
Also, The Hidden Palace [harpercollins.com], the sequel to The Golem and the Jinni [harpercollins.com] by Helene Wecker. After reading the first book I’ve been checking on the sequel for years and it’s almost out.
JESSE: Super looking forward to The First Ten Years by Joseph Fink and Meg Bashwiner, and I always have fun with the ongoing Adventure Zone graphic novel series too. Plus Julian in Purgatory by Jon Allen just arrived at my door!
What was your favorite book in 2020?
MATT: I’m a big fan of Year of Zines! by Sarah Mirk. Every day for a year Sarah made a new zine, and collected 100 of the best into a book. Self published zines and mini-comics are the most magical things out there, and her book is both celebration of that, and an inspiration for folks want to put pen to paper more.
JESSE: How To Invent Everything by Ryan North and Lucy Bellwood just electrified me last year. It’s just so smart and so fun, as soon as I finished the appendix I turned right back to page 1 and started reading it again. Wonderful. I also loved It’ll All Make Sense Eventually by Meichi Ng and I’m excited to start Last Dance by Hanna Schroy.
What’s up next for you?
MATT: We’re hard at work on the second volume of Incredible Doom, which is due out sometime next year. Things continue to get even more exciting for the characters, in particular for Tina, which is fun.
JESSE: We’re able to focus even more on the larger character arcs with Volume 2, which is really exciting. I think we’re onto a pretty special story as told across the two volumes, with some big payoffs to come.
Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
MATT: It’s one big circular process with us. We’re revising every step of the way. Jesse and I will brainstorm together for hours till we have the basic beats of a chapter. I’ll go away and write a draft of it in screenplay format. Then Jesse and I will go over what I’ve written and pull it apart. I’ll take the notes from that session and start drawing pages, that Jesse will look at and we’ll discuss.
Exciting stuff has come out of every stage of that process. I can’t say I enjoy one more than the other.
JESSE: Yeah, what Matt said! My dad would tell me, “write drunk, edit sober”—not literally, but it’s nice to cut loose when you’re developing ideas, and try to save the heavy critical eye for the revision phase where you’re hammering it down. There’s great moments and connections to be found in each part.
What would you say is your superpower?
MATT: My dog thinks I’m good at throwing a ball. He sure requests it a lot.
JESSE: Nitpicking. For sure. I’m just insufferable.
Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
MATT: There are lots, but to pick just one, The Hero Initiative is pretty fantastic. As they put it they create “a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work.”
JESSE: I love supporting Portland’s own Rock And Roll Camp For Girls, one of many great nonprofits that work to improve representation in spaces that are dear to my heart, but which have historically been really male-dominated. Rock on.
By: Matthew Bogart & Jesse Holden
Release Date: May 11th, 2021
One winner will receive a copy of Incredible Doom (Matthew Bogart & Jesse Holden) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I like the atmospheric cover. I don't usually read graphic novels, but I couldn't get by the blurb. I'm in! Interesting read ahead.