Matt Hawkins is Top Cow’s President/Chief Operating Officer, and Comic-Book101.com caught up with him on the incredibly busy slate he’s got for 2017, his new projects and collaborators, the publisher’s final Talent Hunt, and much more. Herewith, are excerpts:
2017 is going to be hectic for you: There’s Dante in January, a new Think Tank arc beginning in March, new Tithe, and Samaritan arcs in May. Then there are new books like Clock, Swing, Stairway, American Terrorists and Specters in progress. What can you tell us about all these cool, new projects?
Matt Hawkins: Dante is up first and I’m really proud of this collaboration with Darick Robertson. It’s about an assassin who compartmentalizes his life and has a family that’s completely unaware of what he really does. He’s managed to balance this lifestyle for over ten years now and what causes the conflict is his desire to retire. This causes his worlds to crash together and some Chinese mysticism is involved. It’s a fun book and working with Darick was a dream come true for me so can check that off the bucket list.
The new Think Tank: Animal hits in March and with Think Tank there’s always three storylines going on; the geopolitical one, the tech one and David’s relationship and emotional story. The geopolitical one here deals with NATO, Turkey and Russia/Ukraine. Several key NATO officials are killed by animals. That ties in the tech story as animals are being used as suicide bombers with technology that’s viable today. And lastly David’s relationship problems with his girlfriend Mirra Sway continue, but to top that off his dad that he hasn’t seen in ten years shows up.
Tithe and Samaritan are one and the same. That hits in May and deals with the aftermath of Eden’s Fall. Samaritan has been in hiding and resurfaces and starts a new heist of epic proportions. Working with Atilio Rojo on this one, the same artist who did Eden’s Fall. This one is about religion, politics, hypocrisy and the military industrial complex. Good times.
Clock is a eugenics conspiracy thriller I’m doing with Colleen Doran. Stairway is a sci-fi thriller I’m doing with Raffaele Lenco in the vein of Children of Men and Looper. American Terrorists is an alternate history story and Specters is Underworld but with ghosts.
How far along is development of the Postal TV show from Hulu?
MH: The pilot is being worked on now, hopefully that gets picked up and it’ll be on air next year.
How involved are you in the pilot’s development?
MH: I’m involved with the writers and producers who are working on it. I’m not a TV writer but I know these characters so have meaningful input.
Back to your upcoming books, what part of the process of putting together a comic is your favourite, and why?
MH: The research is my favorite part because I love to read and I love to learn new things.
Think Tank is one of your biggest hits. Have you scored a movie or TV deal for it yet?
MH: I’ve sold it twice. Once for a feature film and a second time for TV. I get the rights back this January and will try again. Development in Hollywood can suck sometimes! But never give up, never surrender.
What’s your mindset when you write David Loren, the young, smart, and snarky protagonist?
MH: I channel kind of a cross between a bratty Spock and the doctor character from House. I think about really smart people I know who have low emotional understanding of other people. Kind of a cross between a narcissist and a sociopath but smart with good intentions.
Who would you say would play the perfect Loren on film, or TV?
MH: I don’t know current actors well enough to answer that, but a 28-year-old Val Kilmer would be my pick.
Top Cow is said to have three Hollywood projects that have been bought and will get made. Which ones are these?
MH: We’ve sold roughly 50 projects in the time I’ve been at Top Cow and we’ve had Wanted, the Witchblade TNT series, the Witchblade anime and the two Darkness video games made. That’s more than most, but less than we’d want. We plug away at it constantly but Marc and I’ve always held to the standard that we’d rather not have something made than something we don’t like. We have a grid that we work on with our managers over at Circle of Confusion that has about forty different properties in various stages of development.
Will 2017 see new superhero projects from Top Cow?
MH: Nope. The spandex set is well served by Marvel and DC.
Top Cow is one of the few publishers today which still encourage new voices by way of talent hunts. How long do you intend to run them?
MH: This next year may be the last. So if you want to participate, do so in 2017 as it may be the final one. Not saying that definitively but every time we do one they’re exhausting and take up so much time.
By Abdulkareem Baba Aminu