By: Nicole D’Andria
Monsters are just like us—Everyday Fears plays with that concept in six short comics! These shorts blend horror and comedy in a slice-of-life approach to the paranormal.
The Everyday Fears horror anthology has 40 pages of content (although there is a deluxe edition of the comic that includes a bonus story as well as eight pages of bonus materials). Four of the stories have previously been published (some only digitally), but this Kickstarter also includes two new stories, which feature an awkward teenager summoning a demon just to hang and two teens making a movie while a mysterious cryptid stalks them.
This anthology is helmed by creator Matt McGrath, who also wrote all six stories. He co-created the indie horror comedy comic ID-10t error as well as published some of his other shorts in anthologies like Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures and Gravely Unusual.
Each story has its own style thanks to being tackled by a different artist. The artists include V. Gagnon (Shout Out, Girl on Film), Brandan Tobin, Jon Berg (Girl on Film, Called Into Being: A Celebration of Frankenstein), Shen Travis (Unluckies), Otavio Colino, Darren Vogt (Wow! Comics!), and Kay Woolhiser (A. Guardian, ID-10t error). Some letterers on the projects are Lyndon Radchenka (The Eye Collector) and Frank Cvetkovic (Count Crowley, Errand Boys). For additional details, like who illustrated which story, what artists doubled as letterers, the editors, as well as full artist bios, make sure to check out the Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter is aiming to raise $4008 (CA$5500) by November 16, 2023, at 7:00 PM EST. The base 40 page-anthology is available digitally for CA$9 ($7) and physically for CA$20 ($15) while the deluxe 60-page version costs CA$12 ($9) digitally. Digital and print comic bundles featuring some of McGrath’s other works are also available, which you can learn more about in my interview with him below! But if you’d like to see the rest of the rewards, check out the official Kickstarter page.
To get an even more in-depth look at your Everyday Fears, enjoy my interview with creator/writer Matt McGrath:
Nicole D’Andria (ND): For this anthology, why did you decide to combine horror and slice-of-life?
Matt McGrath (MG): That’s the funny thing about this anthology: I never decided to set out and make a bunch of horror comics with a slice-of-life bent—not consciously, anyway.
So, the way this anthology came together was I wanted to put out a Kickstarter before the campaign for the final issue of my series, ID-10t error—like a palette cleanser I suppose. So I took a look at my past work—comics that I had written for anthologies or contests at the beginning of my career—and I noticed that even though they were written for different publications, they were all thematically similar. That is monsters who are working through some mundane issues, or people dealing with normal problems with a paranormal slant. A couple of these stories were never printed, so I thought it would be cool to package them all together in one book.
I also had two pitches in my back pocket. These were for anthologies that I had submitted to but were ultimately not chosen. But since I liked the stories so much, I didn’t want to let them go. They too were thematically in line with the stories above, so moving forward with this anthology gave me the perfect opportunity to finally write them. Fast forward a few months later, and here I am—in the middle of promoting the campaign for Everyday Fears!
ND: The art styles differ wildly for each story as well. Can you tell us a bit about each artist and why their art style was the perfect fit for their particular story?
MG: They are! Again, that’s a by-product of over half of these stories having been originally produced for different anthologies. Three of the stories in this book, “Practice Safe Hex,” “Roommates,” and “Neighbours” were originally published in separate anthologies, and after my pitch was accepted, I was paired with an artist, which felt like winning the lottery three times in a row considering I was fortunate enough to have Brandan Tobin, Shen Travis, and Jon Berg draw three of my first scripts!
“Storage Crusades” was for a week-long comic-making contest, so I paired up with Otavio Colino, the co-creator and artist on ID-10t error. Otavio is great at illustrating bigger-than-life characters and is a master of facial expression in his illustration, so for this story, I played to his strengths.
That brings us to the two stories that are original to Everyday Fears—“Daddy Damndest” and “The Lanky Man.” For these stories, I did pick the artists, and I was fortunate again that V. Gagnon and Darren Vogt agreed! V. I worked with on a short comic in Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures, a sci-fi gothic romance anthology. V. is an amazing artist and has an uncanny ability to draw the gnarliest monster designs you’ve ever seen—so I knew they would knock it out of the park drawing Furfur, the demon in this story.
Darren Vogt is a comic artist and graphic designer, and I first became aware of his work from a 16-page comic essay he wrote about a Chef Bouardie commercial that has haunted him for 20 years. It’s hilarious, and I highly recommend anyone read it for free on his website. But the type of matter-of-fact, tongue-in-cheek humor in that comic was exactly what I wanted to go for in “The Lanky Man.” When I was writing that story, I was imagining Darren’s art, and that really guided me on how to deliver the jokes and structure the plot.
ND: If you had to pick a favorite character of yours from these stories, who would you pick and why?
MG: Hmmm. I’d have to go with Furfur, the demon from “Daddy Damndest.” He was a ton of fun to write. Not to get into any spoilers, but he starts the comic as your typical terrifying vengeful demon, but there is a turning point in the story where he drops the act and turns into his true form—this shlubby, 9-5, middle-aged demon who’s working a job in hell he’s not that into. So getting to write these two opposite sides of his personality was a blast—and I also had a lot of fun writing about the grind of working as a demon in hell.
ND: If you had to live through one of your shorts in this collection, which one would it be and why?
MG: Several of these stories end up with characters meeting a grisly end, so none of those! I’d have to go with “The Lanky Man,” as I’ve kind of already lived through this story (minus the nefarious extradimensional entity). It takes place in the mid-2000s and is about two teenage kids making a hard-boiled crime movie. When I was a teenager, I dreamt of becoming a director, so I and my friend were always making movies in my parent’s basement, the ravine next to my house, a cool-looking alley—wherever. Just like the kids in this story, we were so earnest in our approach to making these movies even though, you know, they weren’t very good. So this story is pretty personal to me and draws upon some of my real-life experiences (again, minus the 7-foot-tall demi-god stalking us wherever we went).
ND: You’re also offering back issues from your previous campaigns as part of your Kickstarter rewards. Can you give us a brief synopsis for each of those stories?
MG: Sure! So I’m offering PDF and print versions of my series with artist Otavio Colino, ID-10t error. It’s about a very angry, lonely man who creates a robot AI just so he can destroy it. But the AI outwits his creator and manages to escape. The rest of the story is a revenge-fueled cat-and-mouse story between the two. It’s a weird, twisted comedy, and I’m offering issues 1 and 2 as part of this campaign.
I’m also offering limited copies of the anthology I mentioned previously, Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures. This is a 200+ page anthology of stories with sci-fi twists on the gothic genre. My story in this is with V. Gagnon and it’s called “The Crowned Ones.” It’s about an explorer who travels to a decimated planet and falls in love with the lone survivor of the civilization that once inhabited this world—a gestalt mind containing the consciousness of thousands of deceased citizens of that world.
ND: What is the number one reason why backers should pledge money to your Kickstarter?
MG: This book contains some of my earliest work, which I happen to think is also some of my best work. I’m exceptionally proud of this book and the talent I was fortunate enough to work with is truly humbling (just look at the campaign page to see what I mean!).
Readers are going to be treated to six really fun stories—some of them twisted and gruesome and others heart-warming, but all of them very fun!
ND: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers?
MG: Hopefully, aspiring creators will take inspiration from this collection. As I mentioned, a lot of the stories in this book came from pitching ideas to anthologies, which is a great way to get started in comics and build a portfolio. Writing short stories is an excellent way to learn the technical and formal aspects of writing comics and how to work with an illustrator. Creating a story for an anthology is also a great way to network and expand your circle of other writers and artists in comics. Plus, you may even get paid!
ND: Promote yourself! Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell people about?
MG: Yeah! So I’m working on the script for ID-10t error #3, which will hopefully be going to Kickstarter in summer ’24.
I’m also working on a graphic novel called A Journey Into the Abyss with Merissa Mayhew, an artist from Manitoba. We’ve been working on this book, on and off, for almost two years! The story and world of this book are inspired by the many, many films of pioneering filmmaker Georges Mielies and is our sequel to his most famous film, A Trip to the Moon. In our graphic novel, a crew of explorers mounts a mission beyond the moon—to the stars in fact. But when they pierce the sphere of stars they find themselves outside their known cosmos and in a world of cosmic horror. It’s good fun! We’ve been applying for some grants in Canada to help finance the art for the book before we take it to Kickstarter. So keep an eye out for more news on that in the hopefully near future!
ND: Thank you for sharing your insights into Everyday Fears (and the world beyond!), Matt. The next time I hear someone go bump in the night, I’ll be sure to invite the monsters under my bed to hang out! And readers should make sure to check out this project on Kickstarter now.
Do you have a crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart/IndieGogo/GoFundMe/etc. the Week?” Then message me on my website. Also, consider checking out the official Kickstart the Week: Interviews with Comic Book Kickstarter Creators Volume 1 on Kindle.
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