top shelf comics

Matt Hawkins Takes THINK TANK for a Ride on the COSMIC TREADMILL - FORCES OF GEEK

Last week, we took a look at Think Tank Season #1. In celebration of today’s release ofThink Tank #12, we caught up with Top Cow President/COO Matt Hawkins about the latest issue, time management, and of course the genetic viruses in his science thriller.

Plus, Matt talks Minotaur Press and what we can expect from Top Cow on Free Comic Book Day!

FOG!: Hi Matt - thanks for joining us today to talk about the end of Think Tank Season 1. Care to tell is what to expect in Think Tank #12?

Matt Hawkins: The 12th issue is the finale of the first long story arc that kicked off with issue 1. All of the lingering threads are sort of resolved. David faces death his mortality and realizes that there’s not really much he can do to stop the geopolitical forces in motion. The looming confrontation between China and the US kicks off and the collusive nature of it is frightening in its repercussions. That and the virus is out!

David is in a lot of trouble in this issue. In fact, the latest arc, Outbreak, is very dangerous for a lot of the characters. Are targeted genetic viruses possible or even probable in the near future?

They’re viable now. The completion of the Human Genome Project opened up a pandora’s box of possibilities both good and bad.

Had you expected to go this far with the series? This was initially a shorter run, am I correct?

Yes was originally planned as a 4 issue mini series. Reaction to it was stronger than I expected so we kept it going. A book about a research scientist trying to fight the system isn’t your typical comic book, so I wasn’t sure we’d find an audience.


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Somerville comic artist Liz Prince celebrates the release of her first feature length graphic novel Alone Forever (Top Shelf Productions) at Brookline Booksmith on Tuesday, February 11. She tells us about the book, OkCupid dates, Valentine heart captions, and fleeting and awkward MBTA romances.


DIGBOSTON: Hey Liz! Thanks for joining us today. Wow, Alone Forever is actually a thing now. Congrats! How excited were to to open your advance copies?
Liz Prince: It was really exciting. The books came while I was visiting my mom in New Mexico, but my boyfriend sent me a photo of a pile of boxes that arrived, so I made him open it and send me photos of the book. Kind of funny that I saw my book for the first time over the phone, but it was awesome to get off the plane and come home and have 3 boxes full of Alone Forever: The Singles Collection waiting for me.

Now I can’t wait to show the world my comics about sadness and cats.

DIGBOSTON: I love the idea of a Singles Collection for your webcomic. Is there any new heartbreak in the book or are these all on your site?
There are about 20 pages of new material, including a comic essay on all of the OkCupid dates I’d been on, that’s embarrassing enough to make you want to get pick up the book for sure.
There are also some comics from other anthologies and zines in the book that never made it online, but definitely fit into the Alone Forever oeuvre. Plus, it’s way easier to read my books on the toilet in paper form. If that isn’t the ultimate endorsement, I don’t know what is.

DIGBOSTON: From Boom to Top Shelf, to making art for one of the most popular break-in related pop punk bands, Masked Intruder, you’ve gotten some great attention lately! How are you coping with the fame?
Easy: I agreed to write and draw a 250+ page graphic novel in under a year, so I really don’t leave the house much. I’m almost done with that project, which is a graphic memoir (buzzword alert) about my childhood called Tomboy; it will be out in the fall (like how I slipped that in there?). There is also more Masked Intruder stuff going on, that band got huge and I couldn’t be happier for them. I’ve always wanted to be a band’s Chris Shary, so I’m trying to take the Masked Intruder thing in that direction.



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