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Hey, Matthew Loux...Take 5!
Interview by James W. Powell
Posted May 26, 2005

Although he’s was a founding member Reflux comic anthology, Matthew Loux has never seen his art grace the pages of an entire graphic novel…until now. Last week, Loux’s first professional novel hit the stands in the form of F-Stop. The romantic comedy, written by Antony Johnston, follows the misadventures of an amateur photographer who gets in way over his head after one of his friends lies to a young model.

 

Before the young artist tackles more projects and becomes a household name, I tracked him down and asked him to Take 5…

 

 
 
 
 

Seeing your first graphic novel hit the stands must be very exciting. Can you tell us a little bit about the entire experience?

 

It was a very cool experience, both challenging and rewarding. I guess it started about two years ago when I met Jamie Rich at the New York Mocca arts festival. I gave him a mini I had just done and he gave me the okay to keep sending them stuff. After about half a year and several pitches James Lucas Jones gave me a call and asked if I was interested in doing F-Stop. I was pretty excited because I'd been a major fan of Oni's books for quite some time, and had always secretly wanted to work for them. They first tested me out on a few character designs and some sample pages but pretty soon after it was all a go.

 

Kissing in Paris...F-Stop styleOne interesting thing about working with Antony was that he doesn't finish the writing before the artist gets it. He sends the story in parts and changes things to suit the artwork, which I find sort of flattering in a way, but I definitely had to get used to it. And also because of that, I really had no idea how F-Stop was going to end until about October.

 

So being my first book, I was faced with the daunting task of doing 165 comic pages, but I felt I was up to the challenge. There were parts of the process that was difficult to get through, but I always enjoyed working on it and working with Antony. Plus after a while you do get used to not sleeping much.

 

So when the process finally brought me to the finish it was first pretty amazing to finally be done with it, but then to see it printed and on the shelves was just the best ever for me. It proved that all my hard work and lack of sleep was worth it.

 

What about the F-Stop story drew enough of your interest for you to consider taking on the job once it was offered?

Probably the most attractive aspect of F-Stop for me was that it's a romantic comedy — a genre rarely executed properly in comics today. Comedy alone is rarely done right if at all in comics, but romantic comedies especially. Too many people are afraid to try it, but thankfully not Antony and not Oni. I thought Antony really hit the nail on the head with this story, and what impresses me the most about his writing is how natural his dialogue feels. The characters really talk like they're from California, and you'd never know that it's really an English dude writing it.

 

F-STOP is entertaining and could easily be enjoyed by a large audience, yet, as a romantic comedy, it might not get the attention(or shelf Space) it deserves. With that in mind, what would you tell the shop owner who might not have it displayed prominently, or the graphic novel reader who might not be willing to look past the latest action hero collection?

I guess I would say it's time to try out a funny book that is actually funny. I'm all about action, but I like to laugh, too. Also, you should try a story with some meat to it, and not just 22 pages of pinups.

 

Can you give us an idea of how you developed your unique artistic style?

F-Stop interior imageThat's a good question...Nice of you to call it unique. Well, I guess it just evolved on it's own. I'd been drawing since I could hold a crayon, but I didn't get serious ‘til high school. I was lucky enough to have a good art department at school. During high school and into college, I was focused on fine art and realism. But I always drew comic stuff on the side. It was a way to relax artistically because I didn't need any reference. Once I got back into comics in college, I started doing my own. Back then my style was much more organic looking, and even more cartoony. Then eventually my work started getting more angular and crazy. I'm not really sure where it came from; it just started showing up in my work. But I realy like that you can emphasize a point or a mood by exaggerating the body language of a character.

 

Now that you have your first graphic novel under your belt, what's next for you?

Well, it's not totally official but I'm in talks about doing one of my own stories with Oni Press. I really want to explore the world of comedic comics; books that are just enjoyable to read, and possibly re-read. I'm also hoping to land some other gigs here and there. I should have some official news about what my next project will be within the next week so keep an eye out for info about it on my web site at www.actionmatt.com.

 

Thanks for the interview. I hope you all enjoy the book!

 

Fashion model from F-Stop

 
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