West Covina comic book artist and writer Mat Nastos looks to redefine the fantasy comic with his new book, ElfSong. “It’s my love letter to two creators who had the biggest influence on me as a young artist, Wendy Pini [ElfQuest] and Barry Blair [Elflord],” Mat told the Examiner. “ElfSong is my absolute dream comic. I love fantasy that is just slightly off of center. In this case I’m taking Native American and Celtic mythologies, tossing in elves and topping it all with a dash of Vikings. When all is said and done, I’m not sure ElfSong is going to be like anything else that has ever been out in the market.”
“ElfSong is the tale of three elves who believe themselves to be the last of their kind as they are forced to face a world much larger, and much more complicated than they ever imagined. Along the way they face ancient magic, a love triangle…oh, and some really big, really scary Vikings! Because you can’t have a ripping good story without some of the coolest bad guys around!”
ElfSong is currently one of the comic projects on Kickstarter.com. Kickstarter is the website that produces the largest funding for creative projects. Having a comic funded through Kickstarter is one of the fastest growing trends in comic self-publishing. Publisher’s Weekly noted that in May, Kickstarter became the number three publisher among independent comic publishers.
“The reason I chose to start off with a Kickstarter project was to help grow a bit of a community around the story,” Mat said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to get fans involved with characters and the comic than by making them a huge part of making ElfSong a reality – giving them a bit of ownership of what is going on with the comic. Kickstarter gives fans a chance to help support a story and characters they love and allows them to be in on the ‘ground floor’ before it goes out to the masses.”
“The characters and stories I have for ElfSong very much grew out of stories I came up with as an Elfquest fan, and as a young artist working on the ‘real’ comic itself,” Mat said. “[ElfSong] comes from my own love of nature and the spirituality that goes with it. There are a lot of themes and concepts that are easier to explore through a fantastic setting that might otherwise be a bit uncomfortable in a present day setting, and ElfSong gives me a chance to do that.”
Mat knew he wanted to be a comic creator at a young age. “I feel like I came out of the womb knowing I wanted to be a comics creator. I’ve always written and drawn, even as a young child,” Mat remarked. “While growing up in Hawaii, I had the fortune to be able to take classes from some of the fantastic local comic artists. From there, I went to the Joe Kubert School in New Jersey for a couple of years before transferring over to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.”
With this training Mat started working in comics in 1993. He started by doing comic work for Raging Rhino Press and storyboard art for film and TV. Since that time Mat has worked on over 75 films, more than 200 television episodes, numerous comic books, and for clients as varied as American Greetings, Highlights Magazine for Kids and Playboy.Through his own publishing company Nifty Comics he self-published The Cadre, which he started writing and drawing in 1995 and has gone on to sell over 150,000 comics.
The Kickstarter campaign runs until August 10, 2011. You can donate by visiting Kickstarter.com and searching for ElfSong or just click here.
For more about Mat visit his website, www.matnastos.net.
Related Link: Publisher’s Weekly: Is Kickstarter the #3 U.S. Indie Graphic Novel Publisher?
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