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Five for Creating with Matt Nelson, creator of the Web-Comic Catbeard the Pirate.

    Five for Creating with Matt Nelson, creator of the Web-Comic Catbeard the Pirate.

    Welcome to Five for Creating! An interview series here at ComixCentral where we focus on getting to know Indie Creators and what they are working on through a series of five questions. This week we chat with Matt Nelson creator of the Web-Comic Catbeard the Pirate.

    1. Tell us about Catbeard the Pirate.

    Catbeard is the most scurrilous pirate on the seven seas. His whole life has been spent in pursuit of one legendary treasure – the famed hoard of Scurvy Skeen. Along the way, he hit a bit of a snag when he angered a magical sea crone, who transformed his beard into a living cat! Against all odds, he embraced the change, and now sails the sea even more notorious, as Catbeard the Pirate!
    I came up with Catbeard by accident. Back in 2011 I was playing with my (now sadly late) cat, Tiger, and pushed her against my face. “Look, a kitty beard!” I said to a friend with me. “Catbeard, the Pirate!” he responded. That was all I needed to be struck with sudden inspiration.

    2. Catbeard the Pirate started in 2011, what drives you to continue telling his story?

    I’ve always loved drawing and reading comics, especially adventure comics like Usagi Yojimbo, or comedic adventure like  Groo. Catbeard is the first thing I’ve done which scratches that itch for me. I like the freedom that comes from a fantasy story. Should Catbeard have to fight dinosaurs? Absolutely! Could Catbeard have to deal with his Beard’s own forays into kitty romance? Assuredly! Will he fight yeti dressed as Vikings? WHO CAN SAY?! But it’s not out of the realm of possibility, and that always gives me something new and fun to draw. Plus, I feel some duty to the Cap’n and his crew. We’re going to see this voyage through to the end.

    3. What goes into introducing a new character to the plot? Do you usually come up with the character and fit them into the story or do you build around them based on need of the script? Or is it something totally different?

    So, sometimes it’s the setting – currently there’s a storyline where the crew will be invading a massive floating library on the sea to get another of the clues to Skeen’s treasure. Out of necessity, then, I have to design pirate librarians. Other times, it’ll be just me doodling in a sketchbook, coming up with a design I like, and thinking, “I gotta work him/her into the story somehow.”

    4. What’s next for our furry bearded pirate?

    The story of Catbeard is actually winding toward its ultimate conclusion! I’ve planned for seven Catbeard books, and I’m currently serializing the sixth one online. Catbeard has to infiltrate the Pirates’ Library with the help of all buccaneers’ most hated enemies, a clan of ninja! If he and the crew survive that encounter, things will finally come to a head between he and his oldest rival for Skeen’s treasure, the Dread Pirate Templeton. Only one will make it to that golden hoard!

    5. Here at ComixCentral we are about promoting all things Indie Comics. So, besides your own work, what is one Indie property or creator you think people should be checking out right now?

    I’ve been reading a comic on Webtoons called Lore Olympus and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The kind of thing that makes me want to throw away all my drawing tools in frustration; it’s just lovely to look at. It’s a retelling of the Persephone myth in modern times, and it’s quite clever. I’m sure the author is probably half my age, just to make me even crazier. Definitely give it a look.


    Matt Nelson is a cartoonist from the Pacific Northwest. He has been drawing comics for as long as he can remember. His favorite things (besides comics) are cats, board games, and craft beer.


About The Author

Joey Sheehan

Joey Sheehan is nothing special. Honestly, we don't even like him really. But if you like reading him or want him to talk about featuring your work on CXCBuzz send him an email at editor@cxcbuzz.com

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