Talking with Einar Masson and Matt Harding about the “Not Forgotten” Kickstarter Anthology

For the past week I’ve been running some interviews I’ve carried out with contributors to the Kickstarter comicbook project “Not Forgotten: A Public Domain Superhero Anthology”; firstly I interviewed Omar Morales about his ‘Moon Girl’ short, and following that I spoke with Casey Desilets about his Golden Age character of choice, ‘Black Satan’.

Today I’m pleased to present an interview with the two creators behind the entire project: Einar Masson and Matthew Harding! As you can imagine it’s a pretty busy time for these guys; the campaign is less than a week and a half away from ending, and there’s still some funding left to go. The project looks like a lot of fun, with many awesome, established and upcoming creators involved. Read on for my interview and let the creators themselves tell you why it’s worth your support.

Iron Skull by Kevin Cuffe & Ricardo Lima
Iron Skull by Kevin Cuffe & Ricardo Lima

First things first, your campaign mentions that you guys met in college, is “Not Forgotten” the first anthology like this that you’ve collaborated on? What sorts of things have you worked on in the past?

EINAR: This is our first collaboration, yes. I’ve worked with a group called the Bay Area Comic Anthology, with whom I Kickstarted the first volume of comic shorts inspired by life in the Bay Area. I was not directly involved with the Kickstarter itself, but I served as production artist, helped with shipping and getting it into stores (I think people can still find it in most major comic shops in the Bay Area). Matt has more direct experience with running Kickstarters, though.

MATT: In college I Kickstartered two issues of my personal comic Popapocalypse, about Mad Max

Air Male by Rica March
Air Male by Rica March

style versions of advertising icons trying to kill each other (popapocalypse.tumblr.com), and I was involved in artwork for 3 volumes of Ultrasylvania, which was a senior project graphic novel collaboration. Since then, I’ve done a bunch of motion graphics work for Madefire studios, production artwork for Black Mask Studios, illustrated one of seven motion comics for Stan Lee’s Lucky Man television show, and done freelance illustration and coloring for comics here and there. I wrote an upcoming series coming out from Action Labs, as well a series of short stories for Apple, for their “Terms and Services: The Comic Book” which can be found on Apple’s website for free.

How’s your experience of the Kickstarter process been so far? How important do you think it is to the current comics industry?

Atomic Tot by Angi Ahlers & Nathan Shorts
Atomic Tot by Angi Ahlers & Nathan Shorts

EINAR: It’s been very educational! You have to do a lot of research about what makes a good Kickstarter presentation, what kind of rewards people respond to, and what month, week, day and even hour of the day is good to launch.

MATT: Kickstarter is an amazing resource for the comics industry, because it’s put fuel into the indie market and made it possible for anyone in the country to create a comic and immediately connect with people who are looking to help fund upcoming artists. The comics industry is a hard place to get a start in, and from what I’ve been told, even harder than it is to start in Hollywood. Kickstarter has given an advantage to people in the early stages of their career, which is great.

Mars Mason the Intergalactic Postman, written by Eric Esquivel and illustrated by Ryan Cody!
Mars Mason the Intergalactic Postman, written by Eric Esquivel and illustrated by Ryan Cody!

The “Not Forgotten” anthology focuses on those Golden Age heroes that didn’t quite make it. Now that you’ve studied these heroes a bit more in depth (and seen what other creators have achieved with them) are there any specifically that you’re surprised didn’t make it back in the day?

Terena of the Tundra by Ashley V. Robinson & Morgan Beem
Terena of the Tundra by Ashley V. Robinson & Morgan Beem

EINAR: He didn’t make it into our book, but there’s a character called Rainbow Boy whom I absolutely love. I figure he’s ripe for a comeback as an LGBT+ icon, but it doesn’t seem to have happened yet. I guess it’d be a little too on-the-nose today.

MATT: Fantomah is a character that could have been adapted and fleshed out more through the decades and still been around today.

Are there any forgotten heroes you’re particularly interested in that didn’t quite make the anthology?

EINAR: There were several great pitches that we had to turn down, usually because they didn’t quite vibe with the book tonally. One such story was a Stardust the Superwizard story that was very nice

Barry Kuda by Kevin Buckley
Barry Kuda by Kevin Buckley

and had a unique art style, but sadly it wasn’t quite the right fit for our book.

MATT: There are two characters that I’ll be doing a “24-hour comic day” comic as a telethon on the final day of the Kickstarter that I personally love, but hadn’t discovered until maybe two weeks ago. Their names are Nightmare and Sleepy, and Nightmare is a wrestler dressed like a skeleton with his sidekick teenage manager Sleepy. Stay tuned, because I have an awesome idea for a short comic to do for them.

The Black Knight, written by Max Weinstein, illustrated by Malcolm Johnson
The Black Knight, written by Max Weinstein, illustrated by Malcolm Johnson

Finally, for anyone that might be sitting on the fence about the Anthology, here’s your chance to win them over! Why will people love “Not Forgotten”?

Jet Powers, written by Jared Rosmarin and Illustrated by Eugene Young
Jet Powers, written by Jared Rosmarin and Illustrated by Eugene Young

EINAR:  If you like modern superhero comics and would like a little insight into where they came from, you should get this book. If you’d like to own a showcase of some of the top emerging international talent in comics today, get this book. If you like grim-faced avengers, magnificent magicians, intrepid space explorers and gross muscle-babies, get this book!

MATT: I hadn’t truly fallen in love with the Golden Age until we started this book and dove head first into the archives of golden age 1930s and 1940s comics. These guys are the Model T of comics, the Apollo 11, or the guy who fell into that cave and discovered all the stuff from ancient Greece,if you get what I’m saying. When superhero comics began, it started with a messy explosion of creativity and ideas, and we’re paying tribute to those creations with this book. Some of them are crazy, some of them not so great, some of them ahead of their time, and some just plain good. This book is a history lesson on the

Black Terror by Miiike and Greg Menzie
Black Terror by Miiike and Greg Menzie

beginning of the superhero in America, and we are proud of what we’ve done to modernize those characters and create this book, and we know you’ll love it.

Thanks Guys!
If you want to support “Not Forgotten” you can do so with as little as a dollar, just head on over to their Kickstarter page! The campaign ends on March 9th so there’s not much time left to ensure this project gets the funding needed to come to life. Check out all the art scattered throughout this article if you need proof of the talent involved, and there’s more to be found on the campaign page itself.
Einar Masson is a Freelance cartoonist and comic book creator. You can find him on Twitter @EinarMasson and emassonart.tumblr.com.
Matthew Harding is a comic book writer and artist, freelance animator and production artist and can be found on Twitter @stilltsinc and his WordPress blog Harding World.

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