Arts Desk

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Matt Rawson

Matt Rawson is a recent member of the DC Conspiracy comics co-op (whose new and free Magic Bullet comics tabloid comes out this spring). In addition to doing a a new web comic, Rawson co-hosts the comics-related Slabbed! The Podcast Without Fear and writes for the ComicsCritique site. Rawson's previous web comic was "Cottage 3," and he also has done a guest strip for Danielle Corsetto's wildly popular "Girls with Slingshots" online comic.

Washington City Paper: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Matt Rawson: All kinds. I currently do a single-panel humor cartoon called The Glass I. I also do narrative comics and comic strips that have appeared in various places.

WCP: How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

MR: I draw and letter The Glass I the old-fashioned way, with pen and ink, but do clean-up and other prep work in Photoshop. I try not to alter the original art much in the digital process, as I like having the physical artifact of the original cartoon as it appears when published.

WCP: When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

MR: I was born in 1980 in Parkersburg, W.Va.

WCP: Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?

MR: I'm near Washington, D.C. because my jobs brought me consecutively closer to the city. I currently live in Springfield, Va.

WCP: What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

MR: I have a BFA in painting, and a M.Ed. in Special Education. I actually fought my entire four years as an undergrad to get comics taken seriously as art. By my senior year the egg was starting to crack.

WCP: Who are your influences?

MR: Paul Pope, Jeff Smith, Edward Gorey, Philip K. Dick, Brian Wood, Vincent van Gogh, Mark Rothko, Neil Gaiman, Gustav Klimpt, Darren Aronofsky, Toulouse-Lautrec, the list goes on and on.

WCP: If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

MR: Stayed more focused.

WCP: What work are you best known for?

MR: I had a webcomic called "Cottage Three" that ended over four years ago, but, inexplicably, is still getting hits. I also contribute quite a bit to the website comiccritique.com. I hope what I'm known for in the future are the things I'm doing now and from here on out.

WCP: What work are you most proud of?

MR: My daughter.

WCP: What would you like to do or work on in the future?

MR: I would like to continue telling the jokes and stories I want to tell in whatever medium that may be. I'd be lying, however, if I said I'd turn down the opportunity to illustrate Batman or Daredevil.

WCP: What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

MR: I get "over-loads" instead of ruts and blocks. I have too many ideas I want to do, and lack the willpower to prioritize enough to get them all done.

WCP: What do you think will be the future of your field?

MR: I think more and more independent cartoonists will turn to the digital side, as it is infinitely less expensive, and can potentially reach a wider audience than print. I love print. I still read tons of thing in print, and would hate to see it disappear. I just think digital is a very cost effective way to go, where the cartoonist has total control over what is put out in his/her name. Thrillbent.com is a great example of where things are going, I think.

WCP: What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

MR: I go to SPX, Baltimore Comic Con, and Wizard World Philly. The only cons I've yet exhibited at have been SPX and Baltimore, but that will change in the near future.

WCP: What's your favorite thing about D.C.?

MR: I love D.C. I like being surrounded by the energy of a city. The main thing I love about D.C., however, is the free access to some of the greatest art in history.

WCP: Least favorite?

MR: That everyone drives as if they are perpetually late for something. Driving in the D.C. area is almost like a martial art.

WCP: What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

MR: National Museum of Art, American Art Museum, Hirshhorn, etc. If they don't like art, they probably shouldn't come into D.C. with me.

WCP: How about a favorite local restaurant?

MR: Tony Cheng's in Chinatown. Awesome Mongolian BBQ, and a must whenever I go see the Capitals!

WCP: Do you have a website or blog?

MR: Yep. theglassistudio.com.

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