I got a chance to talk to Mat Heagerty about the amazing Just Another Sheep (which I read and loved) check it out!
The Gravy Age: What is Just Another Sheep?
Mat Heagerty: It’s the freaking awesome story of Banning, a timid teen with some strange abilities learning to think for himself in the late 60’s. It’s a really fun road trip book. Think Y:The Last Man meets Easy Rider!
TGA: Setting in the story in the 60’s was an interesting choice, what led you to this time period?
MH: The sixties was full of a lot of loud voices preaching, protesting, and championing their causes. It seemed like the perfect place to put an overly impressionable teen. Also, I love the visuals and the music that come along with the era.
TGA: I think there are some interesting thematic ideas to be explored with Banning set against the time period, an innocence, that works perfectly with the character and the time. Was that built in from the beginning?
MH: From the start I liked the idea of placing the story in “simpler times”. I don’t think Just Another Sheep could work if Banning was Googling things along the way. The sixties seemed like a time were things were very black or white, and yes, innocent. The perfect place to put such an inexperienced and innocent guy like Banning.
TGA: Without giving too much away, it was refreshing to see that with his abilities, Banning isn’t a manipulative guy, or more of a sort of take charge cat. Is it easier or harder to write a character that is that passive?
MH: I find it very easy to write passive characters. I can be pretty timid myself. You should have seen me pitching the book to Action Lab, I was the awkward timid living embodiment of Banning.
TGA: How many issues is Just Another Sheep going for?
MH: Just Another Sheep is set for 5 issues. However, if the response is good I’d love to do another 5 issue sequel series set in the seventies.
TGA: The art is wonderful, with the art, letters, and colors working together in that special way that comic books can. How much was in the script? (As is the lettering or the panels forming words in between them etc…)
MH: This was my first time working with JD Faith (Line Art) and Jon Cairns (Colors/Design). I was very specific (I’m sure annoyingly so) with what I wanted for the first issue. With the other four issues I got increasingly less micro-managerial as I learned to trust my collaborators. JD Faith is amazingly talented, he just kept turning in better and better pages as the book went on. It’s been unreal to watch his art grow. I’m certain he’ll be working in comics for a long time to come.
TGA: Where can people find the book?
MH: Issue #1 will be on the shelfs of the smartest comic shops Nov. 4th. It’ll also be available through Comixology that same day. Action Lab has also joined up with Comicblitz.com which is a really cool all you can read monthly digital comics service. The series will eventually be on there too!
Thanks to Mat for taking some time to talk to us. This book is so good, and I hope you guys check it out, and help spread the word.
As always, if you are a writer, artist, letterer, colorist, editor, publisher, whatever the case may be and you have a book you would like to talk about, get in touch with us here at TGA.