Our regular series of THREE QUESTIONS continues this week with digital comic writer and artist Matthew Petz. Matt is most well known for his original digital comics series WAR OF THE WOODS, a former Zuda Comics winner about an alien invasion told from the point of view of the woodland creatures that try and defend their home. He’s the co-creator of LORDLESS, a fantasy series about a harsh, violent hero set in an bitter arctic wasteland. Matt’s also done extensive production work in the comic industry for companies like comics Madefire, Random House and GoManga that brings a unique perspective to his approach to digital publishing. As the name implies, we’ve asked Matt three questions; the same exact three questions we’ve asked other digital comics innovators. The similarities (and differences) in their answers is often enlightening.
PERAZZA: What is the best thing about comics specifically made for digital reading?
PETZ: I think comics that are made with digital delivery in mind feel more natural then something that’s simply repurposed. It can be as simple as drawing in landscape or as innovative as adding sound and animation. When you take advantage of the technology, you’ll always be ahead of the game.
PERAZZA: What is the worst thing about comics specifically made for digital reading?
PETZ: I still think some people think of digital comics as secondary to print. That’s changing, but it still feels slow.
PERAZZA: What do you see in the future for digital comics?
PETZ: As technology advances I only see things getting more innovative and exciting. We’ll probably have to redefine what a “comic” is. Paper books and pamphlets are great, but they are limited. I think we’ll see more creators taking advantage of the exciting storytelling opportunities digital allows!
PERAZZA: Just to follow up on what you said about digital being second to print, do you think that’s a general attitude for readers or do you think it’s something specific to comic book fans?
PETZ: I have a feeling this is probably a very specific view of comic fans. Whereas ebooks have been accepted as books, digital comics are still seen as lesser to some extent. They aren’t as “real” as print book. I’m pretty sure it’s a left-over collector’s mentality and culture. It’s probably generational and at some point barely anyone will care, but it’s not there yet.
If I was to guess, it’s going to take a massive IP along with superstar talent doing something only in the digital space to really destroy the perceived second class citizenship of digital comics.
PERAZZA: Thanks, Matt!
You can find more of Matt’s work on his website and his DeviantArt page. You can also follow him on Twitter and Tumblr. The first episode of LORDLESS can be read free online at Union Combine while WAR OF THE WOODS: Season One and WAR OF THE WOODS: Season Two are available through comiXology.