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Indie 5-Ohh!: Martin John and Foreign Matter

Written by Indy Hunter on Thursday, September 22 2011 and posted in Columns

Indy Hunter chats with Outhouse Contributor Martin John about Foreign Matter!

Some of you might remember Martin John, whose reviews and features frequented the front page earlier this year.  Now he's back, this time promoting Foreign Matter, a unique self-published superhero book that's currently raising money on Indiegogo (a Canadian Kickstarter-esque site).

As Martin and his team dig in to make way towards their goal for their comic Foreign Matter as an Indiegogo project, we asked Martin a few questions about his independent effort. Check below for the ratio folks.
IH: Sooo Martin. What is Foreign Matter and how would you say it appeals to the independent comics demographic. Is it something that mainstream comic fans would find appealing as well?
fm1MJ: Foreign Matter is a twelve issue maxi-series about superheroes. Another superhero comic you may ask yourself? Yes, another superhero comic, but anchored with a fantastic plot and interesting characterization. Foreign Matter is attempting to entertain you with a superhero story unfettered by years of continuity, and injected with love of the genre, a pulp sensibility and pure adrenaline. While Foreign Matter lands firmly within a genre we are also attempting to explore the boundaries of the genre minutely, adding in some scenes that you are sure to have never seen in a superhero comic before. The indie crowd will love these little twists of genre, while the mainstream fans will be captured by German Ponce's incredible art and the comfortable familiarity of a fantastic romp through a new universe with an amazing set of characters. The characters in Foreign Matter come with an international flavor, from various backgrounds and with various sexualities, but it is not something that I am trying to bludgeon people with, it just is, just as it is in reality. Foreign Matter may seem grim and gritty in certain senses (this is an adult superhero tale), but it is not existing to be a tale that is categorized by that. Foreign Matter is a celebration of the genre of superhero storytelling and the tropes that come with it.  For people that are looking for something that has a taste of modern with a healthy dose of nostalgia, Foreign Matter is for you.
IH: "How'd you come into contact with your artist German, and how were you able to sell him on what essentially is your own life's blood dream? What was the hook....?
MJ: German and I hooked up through I wanted to have five pages to sell as a pitch, so that we could sell the Foreign Matter idea to a publisher. German was incredible (as evidenced by the art we have) and the pages he gave me excited me immensely. He loved the story and when I mentioned that I wanted to continue, German was on board. German has told me that he enjoys the way that I write, and the challenges that I set for him artistically. The hook is something you'll just have to read to find out. The first six issues are the mystery, the next six issues are the exciting conclusion.
IH: On the nomination, you've mentioned that you've held back what was an unfulfilled need, to write if I'm about to bid on your book, and I want to know about what brought you here...what would you say cause the soil to get fertile and what was the final straw or shovel that made you dig for this?
fm2MJ: I'm one of those people that have always had writing in my blood. My namesake, my great-grandfather, Martin Leidl, was a writer and I'm sure that has passed along the writer gene into my DNA as well. My first passport had writer as its occupation, but through my twenties I put my writing on hiatus as I became capable and comfortable in my day job as a barber. When I hit thirty I decided to make some changes in my life, scale back the focus that I put on my day job and invest a little more time in what I now call my second job, writing and making comics.
" So why comics now?" I'm dreaming big. I don't want to be on my deathbed saying, "I should have tried to be a writer". I want to be a writer and this is my way of doing it. Why am I writing comic scripts? I love comics. Comics are a passion and an obsession, a medium in which our visual senses get to play with our imagination and literary sensibilities. I find it hard to imagine a medium that I enjoy better.
IH: If people are to invest into Foreign Matter as you and your creative team, have done- what can they hope to expect from you all in the future providing this all makes it pass this phase? Do you have anything on the horizon?
fm3MJMJ: With Foreign Matter we will be releasing six issues monthly with What The Flux Publishing, a small publisher from Florida. Getting the six issues finished will be a major hurdle for us, as we can take those six issues and market them in Diamond and later collect them into a graphic novel. Any money that we make from selling the published copies will go back into making the second half of Foreign Matter. The quality of our issues has increased with each new issue, and the new pages are incredible. We are halfway through issue five with pencils and inks and have just finished colors on issue three.
I am working on multiple projects to pitch. My ideas are in all genres, and it is exciting to take the experience from writing Foreign Matter and apply it to new projects. I am researching/writing a crime/sports story that will take my skills in new and interesting directions. German has been approached by someone at Image comics that was impressed by what they saw on Foreign Matter, so I believe that he is a star on the rise, but he has committed himself to Foreign Matter for the full twelve issues because he believes that this story is one worth telling. Expect some amazing work from German Ponce in the future. Our colorist Dave Edgerly is on Foreign Matter for the rest of the twelve issues while juggling freelance design and comic work of his own. He is an amazing artist himself so keep an eye out for projects that he is on as well, as they are sure to be incredible.
IH: Give us some background info on yours and the rest of the creative teams tastes? Doesn't have to be just comics, but what are the influences that drive you all...when we read Foreign Matter, what are we seeing behind this story?
MJ: I can't speak for German or Dave, although I am sure that their tastes are of the finest qualities.  I'll make a list: Roald Dahl because of his amazing imagination, Dr. Seuss for the same but with visuals, Bill Watterson because he made cartooning amazing, Bill Amend because he made families fun, Gary Larson for being a funny twisted man, Hunter S. Thompson for being insane and incredibly talented, R.A Salvatore for his high fantasy/action yarns, The Hobbit for being innocent and yet so incredible, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for taking me to another world and making me believe I could get there through my closet, Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's Wolverine for being so far ahead of its time and for blowing my mind with a million ninjas, Vertigo comics (Preacher, Transmet, The Invisibles, etc.) because they blew my teenage mind into pieces, and the list goes on and on.

Annd thank you Martin John and Team Foreigner! For the chance to see for yourselves what Foreign Matter is all about as well as help out and donate towards their effort, check out their Indiegogo project at:

And at their home base of operations located at:

As for  me? I'm easy to please, just pass the cheese and I'll see ya' after the grease. I am J.M. Hunter, The Indy Hunter.

Late y'all.

Written or Contributed by: Indy Hunter

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About the Author - Christian

Christian is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Christian is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.


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