Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Home  >  Features  >  Mighty Creator Spotlight: Mat Heagerty & JD Smith of JUST ANOTHER SHEEP

 Just Another Sheep

 

For MightyVille's next creator spotlight, we're delighted to bring you this groovy Q&A with two creators on the rise in the indie comic scene, writer Mat Heagerty and artist JD Smith, creators of "the '60s finest webcomic", Just Another Sheep! We got a hold of the print version of the first issue at this year's Big Wow! Comicfest and were intrigued by the story of a super-powered anti-hero exploring love and war in the '60s. What really sold was its solid storytelling and striking retro/psychedelic art. We thought we'd better catch up with these guys and find out more about this bitchin' indie comic and the fellas behind its creation. Read on and get the deets, daddy-o ... then read the webcomic at www.justanothersheep.com!

 

MightyVille: What got you into creating comics, and how long have you been working in the medium?

 

Mat Heagerty

 

Mat Heagerty (MH): My story is the same as most people making comics. I'm a huge fan. I've been drawing and writing comics since I was a child. I didn't really get into it seriously though, until about three years ago.

 

JD Smith

 

JD Smith (JDS): Batman: The Animated Series for me. Like a lot of people, I started with superheroes in other media and worked backwards into superhero comics, indie comics, European comics, manga...etc etc.

I've been making comics for seven years now, starting when I was 14 with some crudely drawn webcomics. It's been a slow journey toward competency, and I'm still on the first leg of that journey in my opinion, but more people like my work than they used to, so that's something.

 

Just Another Sheep


 
What inspired “Just Another Sheep”? How did you each get involved in writing/drawing it?

MH: I guess my love of the sixties, science fiction and comics like Y: The Last Man, and Sweet Tooth inspired me to write Just Another Sheep. I stumbled across JD through his amazingly great work on a webcomic called San Hannibal and was lucky enough to get him on board.

JDS: Dead presidents. Thomas Jefferson particularly, he inspired me greatly.

Ahem. Yes, Mat emailed me and things went on from there. I had left San Hannibal after realizing I couldn't put this much time into drawing if all of my projects were pro bono passion projects -- luckily, Sheep has been a solid mix of passion and commerce. I put my all into this book and I hope it shows on the page. Mat's a solid dude with a lot of excitement for comics and I'd like to work with him more in the future.

 

Just Another Sheep

What can new readers expect if they check out this comic? What can you tell us about the main character, and the adventures he experiences in the series?

MH: Just Another Sheep is a sci-fi road trip story set in 1967. It follows Banning, a teen poet with the ability to instantly make anyone experience anything his body has before-- be that food poisoning, intoxication, pain, or pleasure. While Banning is powerful, he's a true sheep, quick to follow. This gets him in a lot of trouble. I don't want to give too much away we are only half way through issue two online. (we update every Tuesday!)
 
JDS: Mat's pretty much covered the plot aspects -- on my end I'd recommend people check it out for the colors from Jon Cairns and Paul Little. Beautiful stuff that makes me look good.

 

What have you enjoyed about creating Just Another Sheep?

MH: Everything. Working with JD, Jon, Ed [Brisson], Paul and Renee [Keyes]. Everyone involved is making an idea I had look a thousand times better than I could have imagined. Fan response online has been great. I'm just really proud of Just Another Sheep.

JDS: Researching the period and getting that authenticity to the scenes has been a lot of fun. Issue 2 features the oval office, so I got to draw that iconic room circa '67. The downside is when research (and by research I mean Google) fails you and you mess something up -- the audience will call you out for that immediately, and rightly so. Something to do better on next time, I suppose.

Oh, and designing the psychedelia-inspired covers and splashes have been a blast. Anything that gets me away from traditional illustration and into graphic design is a real boon for me.


Just Another Sheep

 

We met Mat at Big Wow! Comicfest in San Jose. Have you been to many comic conventions? What has been your craziest/most fun experience at a convention?

MH: I've been to a bunch of conventions, but only as a fan. Big Wow! was my first time tabling and I had so much fun. It's so inspiring seeing all the great work out there, and meeting actual fans! One of my most fun experiences at Con was talking with Jon Layman (Chew) for a while about the business. That guy is hilarious and really nice.

JDS: The only con I've tabled at was Emerald City Comiccon, where I did (spoilers!) free Damian Wayne memorial sketches to trick the mainstream crowd into talking to me about my webcomic. This was unfortunately before I had any print issues of Sheep, so business didn't boom. I'm hoping to do better at the next APE, which I had a great experience at as a fan.

 

Just Another Sheep

 

What is coming up on the horizon for Just Another Sheep? Are you working on anything else that folks should look out for?

MH: Issue two should be out in print later this week. The webcomic is chugging along slightly behind print. JD and I plan on tabling at APE in San Francisco this October. I'm also working on a stand alone called Wrinkled with a really great artist named Will Tempest.

JDS: More sheep! I'm also working on a gay revenge story with Steve Orlando, who is a great talent with some Image and Vertigo credits to his name. It's basically a Tarantino revenge film with a gaysploitation lean, so if that sounds interesting to you, watch out for VIRGIL on kickstarter in the near future.

I also have a ten page story called The Ring slotted for later on at tommycentro.com, which is currently running a great ongoing story called Pax Romana

Other than that, my Tumblr is a great place to follow to see what I have coming up.

 

Thanks to Mat and JD for sharing their story and for giving us all a totally boss webcomic to read! Check it out at www.justanothersheep.com and let us know what you think!

 

More Spotlights on MightyVille:

Mighty Artist Spotlight: Tony Fleecs

Mighty Retailer Spotlight: The AudioComics Company

Mighty Artist Spotlight: Ramon Villalobos

 

 

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