Robots vs. Princesses…What Could Be Better? An Interview With Todd Matthy
What's better than a comic about Princesses? What's better than a comic about Robots? I'll tell you…it's a comic about both! I sat down with Robots vs. Princesses writer and co-creator Todd Matthy, to discuss his new book and the Kickstarter that goes along with it. Here's our chat:
Christine Marie Attardo: Hi Todd. Thank you for joining me on Bleeding Cool.
Todd Matthy: Thank you for having me.
CMA: Before we talk about Robots vs. Princesses, tell me a bit about yourself. When did your love of comics start?
TM: My love of comics started in Nursery School when my Dad would buy me Transformers and Superman comics. I began collecting in 2nd Grade with Marvel Cards. Then the Death of Superman and X-Men animated series hit and I was hooked.
According to my Mom, my desire to make comics began in Nursery School after a teacher showed us how to make books. I came to the realization that this is what I wanted to around 3rd Grade.
CMA: This may seem like an obvious question, but what is Robots vs. Princesses about? Where did the idea come from?
TM: Robots vs. Princesses is about a princess and her giant robot defending her kingdom from robot invaders. It is NOT a story about tea parties being broken up by robot battles with the good robots saving the day. The princesses are active not passive. They are their kingdom's last hope. This is also not your typical "VS" story. It is about finding your place in a divided world.
I got the idea when I was subbing in a first grade class. The teacher left coloring pages for her class once they finished their work. Princesses for the girls, robots for the boys, then it hit me. I started thinking about a princess meeting a robot, where they were from, what would happen next, all of that until I had enough to fill an outline.
CMA: Can you describe the journey from idea to page? What was the creative process like?
TM: I wanted this to be different from most all-ages comics. I didn't want to talk down to children. I want this book to be re-read and with each re-reading the reader discovers find something they didn't see before. I also wanted a strong emotional core so children could relate to the characters.
Next, I created the characters and their world. I had each princess represent a different kingdom in the world of Harmonia. Every five years the royal family from kingdom serves as "High King" and "High Queen." Then, I created Chromia, the home of the robots, and the Forbidden Woods to separate them. Leading to the reason why the robots and humans have been separated for so long.
Then, I started outlining and writing the scripts. The Comics Experience Creators Workshop really helped me keep the focus on Zara and Wheeler. You want to showcase everything about your characters and world but unfortunately you only have so much space and taking the focus away from the main story can kill the story's momentum. So they really helped with that. I also good advice from editors like Janelle Asselin and Heather Antos.
CMA: Your Kickstarter ends on June 1st. What has the response been like so far?
TM: A little slow. I thought we'd be farther along at this point. I'm hoping we can pull off a miracle. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. Some cool rewards have yet to be unlocked.
CMA: After reading the preview, I definitely wanted more. The set up was intriguing and the art style was dazzling. Can you share a bit about the characters? Who will the story focus on besides Princess Zara and Wheeler?
TM: You can thank Nicolas Chapuis for the dazzling art. He's handling pencils, inks, and colors. The crux of the story revolves around Zara and Wheeler however, while I was writing Artelia developed a story of her own. Artelia lives by the mantra "knowledge is power, especially forbidden knowledge." This will be touched upon in the background but if I do a second series she will definitely be the driving force.
Another character that opened up to me while I was writing is Tyrannis. While his actions make him an evil robot overlord, the reason he's fighting makes him a little sympathetic. His story will surprise a lot of people.
I enjoyed writing Gunnar, the noble but triggerhappy robot. I'd like to team him up with Penelope for a "buddy movie" some day down the line. And I can't forget Tyrannis' lackey, Meglia. I loved writing him because he speaks with a "sssshhhh" and it was fun saying his dialogue out loud.
Oh, did I mention there are princess songs?
CMA: Is there anything else you'd like to share with Bleeding Cool readers?
TM: That we need their help to put this out. We have a publisher but they will only put this out if the campaign is successful. Let's pull off a miracle.
We have until June 1st so please back and share. Thank you for your time, Christine Marie.
CMA: Thank you so much for chatting with me. I look forward to seeing Robots vs. Princesses in print!
So there you have it folks! You don't want to miss out on helping this book grow and come to life. It's easy to see it's massive potential. The Robots vs. Princesses Kickstarter ends on June 1st. For more information head on over to their page.