This next 'conversation' is with (as promised) a huge fan of Kevin Cannon. He's much more, though. Also a regular contributor to the M&F series... this guy is a fine artist in his own right. But I'll let him tell you all about it.
1) For the uninitiated, your name and location?
Matthew Kriske, Minneapolis, MN
2) What have you been up to lately? What projects have you been attached to in the first 6 months of 2008?
I've been keeping fairly busy with a steady stream of commission work and other projects. Off the top of my head, so far in 2008 I did a two page comic for Muscles and Fights 3, A three-pager for Uptown Girl Presents #3, I did a brief stint as the guest artist for the Big Time Attic webcomic, and I just wrapped up a one-page comic for the City Pages. Also, I've been hard at work on book that collects my artwork and sketches over the past year, that is nearly half complete (I'm only taking the best stuff, hence the longevity of the project).
*Note: Reads like a busy schedule and interesting new release on the horizon. I'm already looking forward to it, Matt. -AR
3) When and where can people pick up and/or see these works?
Musclesandfights.com, otherwise DreamHaven Books and the Source should be a pretty safe bet. The Big Time Attic ones can be seen if you actually take the time to go back through their archives and look for them. City Pages has a pretty wide distribution, so basically anywhere.
4) What projects and events are on the horizon? Do you have release dates in-mind at present? If so, indulge us.
I'm still hoping to put something together for Muscles and Frights, so we'll see what comes together for that one.
I, generally, try to keep involved in any local stuff that comes together, so I'll always be out there somewhere.
Otherwise the artbook, which actually has a title now... so I can stop calling it the artbook... should be printed and ready for Fallcon. Christmas is my fallback date. It should clock in around 70-90ish pages, and will feature an introduction by the legendary Kevin Cannon.
*Note: (The title is "Oddment", by the way.) -AR
5) Have you been working in any new mediums or experimenting with your known style and tools, at all?
I had some fun doing sketches that resembled old photographs a while back, which can be seen on my blog, but other than that I have a pretty familiar handling of my materials. I suppose the only other thing of particular note is that I've become mildly known for my paintings on shoes, which I've perfected a bit.
*Note: I've seen some of those "old photo" sketches and they're brilliant. Check them out! -AR
6) If you've been trying new things, share a bit of your thoughts on that process.
With the shoes, I think of it in the least pretentious manner really. I bought a pair of shoes, painted them up, and people liked what they saw, so it snowballed from there. They are still just shoes, no matter how good the painting turns out, and I'll throw my pair out when they become ratty as hell.
Not exactly what I consider high art, but who am I to complain, if someone else is footin' my bill? (Yep, that was an awful pun, for which I will not apologize.)
7) Do you keep a sketchbook? If so, what do you get out of this process? Do you think it's a good thing, in general, for an artist to do?
Indeed, I do. Given enough time, I'll get a finished book out of it. I would personally recommend it... as it keeps you open to trying new things and keeps you in practice as well.
8) Do you ever use these sketchbook drawings for your printed works? If so, please explain how the sketchbook art informs your finished work.
Pick up a copy of "Oddment" coming Fall of 2008, and all shall be revealed.
9) With convention season in full swing, where can the comic book reading public expect to see you and purchase your merchadise [personally]?
MicroCon has came and gone, so FallCon might be the only other one this year. Otherwise I'm usually available for commission, so people can get something personal that way.
10) The big convention this year has got to be Fallcon 2008. If you plan to be there, will you have anything special for that particular show?
My fingers are very much crossed that everything will come together and I'll have a shiny new book for most of the Convention goers to ignore, and I'll probably have a new batch of artwork to sell at reasonable prices.
11) Now we're caught up on what you're doing and where we can see this year. What are you reading and watching these days? Is there any particular book or film you'd like to make sure people are looking for?
Recommendations for reading: Mona and Other Tales by Reinaldo Arenas, anything by Clive Barker or David Sedaris, Far Arden by Kevin Cannon (Coming in 2009, I'm told), That Salty Air by Tim Sievert, Luna Maris by Steven Archer, and The Portrait by Iain Pears. There are also a few comic artists who I will buy anything they put out. They are as follows: Dave Crosland, Jim Mahfood, Vince Locke, Michael Zulli, Zander Cannon, Kevin Cannon, Sam Hiti, and anything that is local as well as good.
12) Anything already in the works for 2009?
13) Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
Um...Support good artists, expand your horizons and try reading new things (i.e. not just the big two), get out there and try making your own comics or doing your own thing, whatever that might be. (Yep, that was corny as fuck.)
*Note: We won't hold our breath for your apology. -AR
Have a great week, folks. And, if you're in the Midwest, get out there and enjoy what's left of our Summer. 'Cos you know Winter will be here in no time flat.