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Interview: Sawborg Destructo and Gang Discuss GWAR’s New Comic

Back in late October, we told you about the new Kickstarter campaign launched by GWAR to raise funds for their comic book series, ORGASMAGEDDON. As the campaign nears the finish line the guys have something very special lined up. Matt Maguire of GWAR/Slave Pit Inc (AKA Sawborg Destructo) and Matt Miner (co-writer of GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON comic series) will invade Kickstarter Live and stream a tour of GWAR’s home base, The Slave Pit, on Black Friday (November 25th) at 5PM EST, at

The Slave Pit tour will provide a cool, closer look at the props, costumes, fabrications, and processes that help make GWAR the legendary monster heavy metal band they are.  Peek behind the scenes and get up close and personal – see where it all happens, from the blood and guts to the masks and merchandise.  Immediately following the tour will be a Q&A session with Matt Maguire (GWAR’s Sawborg Destructo) and Matt Miner (GWAR: Orgasmageddon co-writer) where users are encouraged to send questions on Twitter early, using the hashtag #askGWARcomic

The GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON comic series blew up Kickstarter, quickly reaching its funding goal and rocketing well into stretch goals.  It’s written by shock rock legends GWAR, co-writer Matt Miner (Toe Tag Riot, Critical Hit), artist Jonathan Brandon Sawyer (Welcome Back, Critical Hit), colorist Marissa Louise (RoboCop, Escape from New York), letterer Taylor Esposito (The Paybacks, Red Hood and the Outlaws) and editor Brendan Wright (Archie vs. Predator, Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight).  The Kickstarter ends Friday, November 25th at 11:59PM EST.

LIVESTREAM TIME/DATE: Friday, November 25th, 5PM EST
Q&A Twitter hashtag: #askGWARcomic
Twitter contact:  Matt Maguire: @SawborgD, Matt Miner: @MattMinerXVX

In addition to the live tour of the Slave Pit, the guys were kind enough to take some time out to answer a few questions to help celebrate the success of the campaign.

Bloody Disgusting: How did you two start working together? Were you friends beforehand or did you meet because of comics?

MATT MINER: We met through comics but became friends pretty quickly.  After he did art on a LIBERATOR backup for the trade paperback I asked Jonathan if he wanted to take over on art to continue the LIBERATOR storyline over into a new Black Mask Studios series called CRITICAL HIT, because I knew he and I share a lot of the same sensibilities and interests and would be a great fit on the book. He kicked ass on that, we became friends, and the rest is history. 

BD: I’m a pretty much a novice when it comes to how a comic book comes together. What is that dynamic like between a writer and an artist? Is it similar to a writer/director working on a film? Do you both share input on the story and the art?

MM: I think it’s probably very similar to the dynamic between writer and director.  A comic script looks a lot like a screenplay, but instead of directing actors and shots you’re direction action to be drawn in a panel, emotion, dialogue, etc.  Jonathan and I have a very collaborative working arrangement and so he and I brainstorm a lot of story and art ideas together.  He isn’t shy about deciding when there’s a better way to show a panel or a scene than what I’ve described within the script and I always welcome that input.  10 times out of 10 you’ll get a better comic if you collaborate with your co-creators and let them do their thing.

BD: So a comic with GWAR. How in the world did that come about? Did you approach the band?

MM: Yes, when I got into writing comics a few years back I knew I wanted to, at some point, make comics with GWAR, one of my all-time favorite bands.  They have such an incredible stage show with monsters and robots and aliens and blood spray and comedy and all that is just the stuff of perfect comic books.  When I had a few series under my belt, a mutual friend introduced me to Matt Maguire with the band and we hit it off and went from there.

BD: GWAR has a very specific style. Did they already know what they wanted coming into the project or did it take some back and forth to nail down what they were looking for?

MM: Even though I’d consider myself a pretty big fan, there were definitely things I didn’t know, that I needed to learn.  GWAR has a rich mythos and history, that you can read a condensed version of over at their website, and even someone who’s up on their GWAR history is going to need guidance, so really the only way I’d ever want to do this book is with the band’s close guidance and involvement.  As far as the style and themes go, I think I had that down – I’ve been a fan for more years of my life than I haven’t, so I knew what kind of general crazy ideas to throw at them to get the collaboration process going.

JONATHAN BRANDON SAWYER: They’ve been really cool about letting me do my thing with the art. I definitely try to do things in a way that fits within the GWAR world, but every artist has their own style. The GWAR guys all artists themselves so I think they understand and appreciate that everyone’s going to have their own interpretation.

BD: The stretch goal for the Kickstarter campaign is to do a 5th issue, but are there any plans for a GWAR series beyond ORGASMAGEDDON?

MM: We’re writing this book with the average comic reader in mind – you will not need to be a GWAR fan to love this series.  If you’re a fan of horror/comedy like RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD or DEATHGASM, you’re going to love the GWAR comic.  We hope it’s a hit so we can keep making GWAR books and we’d love to try to do some crazy crossovers with other licensed properties. 

BD: ORGASMAGEDDON won’t be GWAR’s first venture into the world of comics. Are comics something you’ve always had an interest in?

MATT MAGUIRE (Sawborg Destructo): No it won’t be the first time. In the 90’s we self published a lot of comics – Hunter Jackson spearheaded a lot of the early efforts. We had mail order black and white comics, then moved to our full color Slave Pit Funnies. Self publishing comics fell to the wayside as we lost members. Making everything you see and hear from GWAR was already a lot to handle, but I always missed the comics.  The comics were a way to tell the stories that we couldn’t tell on stage or through the music.

BD: The aesthetic of GWAR seems to be a very natural fit for the world of comics. Did the band itself draw any influence from comics?

MM SD: Oh yeah comics had a lot to do with the beginnings of GWAR. The origins of the band were told through comics. Hunter had started making a movie called Scumdogs of the Universe, which was a mash up of The Road Warrior with lots of Jack Kirby all up in it. A lot of the design of the members of GWAR came from looking at comics. The Slave Pit always has comics in it so if you need some inspiration pick up that issue of the New Gods and head to the can.

JAMISON LAND (Beefcake the Mighty): I think GWAR has always been influenced by comics. Our look and costume design and our mythos have been very much centered in the comic and D&D world.

BD: How much involvement has the band had in the creation of ORGASMAGEDDON?

MM SD: The great thing about this whole process has been that Matt has made it pretty easy for us. We are helping with the writing and artwork. There will be Slave Pit artists in every issue as well as a reprinted Bob Gorman comic from Slave Pit Funnies.

BD: How would you describe ORGASMAGEDDON to GWAR fans?

MM SD: A mind shattering head exploding time travel extravaganza! With all the kool sick fun that you love!

BD: Can we expect to see more GWAR comics beyond ORGASMAGEDDON?

MM SD: Yes!! This book will be the start of GWAR back into the comic world. Maybe some crossover stories or weekly comic strips… Because GWAR has a lot more stories to tell.

JL: I think we have lots of Ideas for new comics and graphic novels that we hope to realize in the near future. GWAR fans seem to be really behind our comics, so I think the possibilities are endless.





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