Saturday, May 27, 2017

Know Your Writers: Nexus cartoonist Matt Smith

May 17, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Have you ever wondered about the Camosun students writing the articles you read in Nexus? Know Your Writers will help you dive into the minds of the writers behind the stories.

This issue, we caught up with Smith vs. Smith artist Matt Smith to talk about versatility in comics, creative writing at Camosun, and living in Kuwait.

Like what you see of Smith’s work in Nexus? Check out more over at smithvssmith.com.

Matt Smith is one of the cartoonists for Nexus (photo by Emma Smith).

What drew you to comics?

I’ve always loved telling stories. My background is in film, but even a short film takes lots of time and money. But comics are so immediate—you can have an idea and throw it down on paper and have something to show people right away. Comics are also very versatile—you can tell infinite stories in infinite ways.

Where do you usually take your inspiration from?

My favourite comics have always been slice-of-life stories. Even my favourite superhero comics are the issues where they sit around talking about how hard their superhero jobs are. So I draw comics about real life. I’m lucky that I live with a hilarious wife and two crazy cats. Readers really respond to the ridiculous relationship comics.

What would you say are the worst and best parts of your job at the paper?

Being published in Nexus makes me feel like a proper cartoonist. It’s great to have a webcomic, but there’s something about seeing your comics in newsprint that makes you feel legitimate. It’s amazing to know that every issue readers will be looking at my work, but I miss the reader interaction I get online. I do love knowing who is reading my comics and getting feedback, something I can’t do with Nexus unless I spend all my time reading over everyone’s shoulder on the bus.

What is your favourite thing about Camosun?

I’ve taken some amazing creative writing classes with Laurie Elmquist and Jodi Lundgren. Their classes really helped me refine my craft and get stories—which I will eventually turn into graphic novels—down on paper. And you can definitely see an improvement in my comics since I took Joan Steacy’s structural drawing class.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Before moving to Victoria I spent four years in Kuwait, so I enjoy doing things that I can’t do in Kuwait, like going to bars and watching uncensored movies. Kuwait is a very flat country with very little greenery, so I’m also grateful for being able to take hikes and see trees.

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