Rogues Portal got the chance to speak with Top Cow COO, Matt Hawkins about one of his latest projects, Samaritan: Veritas (with Atilio Rojo on art). The third issue of the series just came out on August 2 which completes the first story arc.
Check out our Q&A below!
ROGUES PORTAL (RP): Where did the idea for Samaritan first originate?
MATT HAWKINS (MH): I wanted to write a heist story like Heat or The Town. I love those movies. But we’ve seen so many heists of banks, armored cars and art museums I wanted to do something different. So I started looking for where there was lots of cash and voila! Megachurches! So I started from there and developed the Samaritan story and Samantha Copeland came into being.
RP: Samaritan has ties to Eden’s Fall. Eden’s Fall has ties to Postal, Tithe, and Think Tank. Did you always plan on interconnecting these titles together?
MH: No it happened organically, the first couple time we did it just for fun…but then we realized that the stories were all non super-hero and not supernatural so they could easily inhabit the same world. And thus the Edensverse was born.
RP: In Samaritan, I enjoyed seeing references to political news that we are witnessing in the real world today. Lately it seems like every day there is a new scandal popping up. Is it now automatic to turn on the TV to see what you can incorporate into your own universe?
MH: I definitely stay current with technology, science and geopolitics. I read a lot of futurist blog sites too and the science journals which are always theorizing about what will happen. It is fun to see stuff happen that I wrote about.
RP: The character Dwayne Campbell has witnessed some incredible things! Are we close to seeing him change his outlook on how he views his purpose?
MH: Dwayne is at his core a good family man that cares about the good guys winning. It’s not always an easy determination but he has his code of ethics and values and that sort of delineates his action. He’s the only truly good character in the storyline.
RP: Without naming names, there are publishers that seem hellbent on constant changes with both content and prices alike, while others seem to be getting more of a grasp on readers with not just their content but with consistency as well. What do you think of the comic book market as a whole at the moment?
MH: It seems to be trying to find itself. I tend to ignore what everyone else is doing and focus on what we’re doing and try to build our core fan base. We used to sell 90% of our books through the direct comic market, now it’s about 40%.
RP: What is your favorite and least favorite part to creating comics?
MH: My favorite part is the research my least favorite part is the waiting between when I finish a book and when it actually comes out.
RP: You create some really thought-provoking narratives. What is your research and creative process like?
MH: It’s ongoing and continual. I read a lot. A lot of what obsesses me and plagues my thoughts gets excised into these stories. I try and research generally about an hour a day. When I’m researching a specific project I’ll immerse myself in the content for weeks.
RP: I have seen you say that when you are writing you live by a mantra “ write what you want to know” Is there anything new that you are researching for an upcoming project?
MH: I’m researching cancer immunotherapy, the future of GMO and artificial intelligence. Good times!
RP: Last time we talked, we ended our interview with a question about the NHL/NBA playoffs. We’ll avoid sports this time and ask you what has been your favorite place that you have visited this year. You appear to really enjoy traveling!
MH: I enjoyed Cape Town, South Africa. An absolutely stunningly beautiful place and I got to go face to face with a great white shark!
RP: There are times when I should be writing and I am spinning my wheels on the net reading random things or scrolling through my Netflix queue. What are your chosen ways to procrastinate when you should be working?
MH: Set work hours. I write 4 hours a day. Turn your WiFi off.
RP: Con season is upon us. What are your favorite things about going to a con?
MH: I’m actually on a plane headed to Boston Comic con as I write this. I love getting the opportunity to meet and chat with the people that read my books. I think my readers tend to be more thoughtful and smarter, I love them all!