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Cömic Räwk: Matt Garvey’s Chunks

CHRONICLING THE ADVENTURES OF THE PINEAPPLE CHUNKS, A PUNK BAND HOPING TO CONQUER THE WORLD THROUGH THEIR MUSIC, CHUNKS IS…WELL, LET’S JUST SAY THAT BEING LOVABLE SCREW-UPS WORKS WELL FOR THEM. AS WE FOLLOW THEM THROUGH THE FIRST THREE ISSUES OF THEIR comic journey, we:

Cover art for Chunks #1
Cover art for Chunks #1
THRILL! As the band slays their three-drink minimum at empty bars around the globe!
CHILL! At the prospect of a kid’s birthday gig gone awry!
SPILL! The contents of our guts when we see what they do to an innocent bagel!

This book is NOT the politically correct darling of indie comics. What it IS, however, is the funniest thing you’ll read this year. Between the story itself and the gorgeous covers (each an homage to classic album art), this series has become my most-anticipated release with each issue. Issue #3 just dropped, and I already want more!

So, I was pleased as punch when Chunks creator Matt Garvey was able to check himself out of the psych ward long enough to answer a few of our questions.

HOW MUCH OF CHUNKS IS PLOTTED OUT, AND HOW MUCH IS A FEVER DREAM THAT TAKES THEM ON WHATEVER ADVENTURE CATCHES YOUR FANCY?

MATT GARVEY: I have three story arcs planned, all being four issues long. Each arc chronicles a different time of the band’s success, the first is the rise which we are 75% done, next comes the fall from grace and the break up, followed by the reunion 10 years later like all great rock bands!

HOW LONG CAN YOU SEE THE BOOK RUNNING? AND WHAT KIND OF WEIRDNESS COULD WE EXPECT FROM A COLLECTED EDITION?

MG: Even though I have an idea for twelve issues, I would like to keep writing it…well, as long as I can keep thinking of jokes. I love the characters, all except Rik, he is a bit of a dick. He is that guy in your group of friends who is always an arsehole…but you keep him around because he is YOUR arsehole. Also, if you don’t have a Rik in YOUR group of buddies, well, I got some news for you…ITS YOU!!!!

From a collected edition, I would like to do something a little different and do a FULL colour version. Why? Well, everyone compliments me on the way the comic looks and the “spot” colour is a very stylistic choice, but the real reason it turned out this way is because I CAN’T COLOUR!

The Pineapple Chunks from  Issue #1
The Pineapple Chunks from Issue #1

I pay all my artist collaborators to work with me, so I was trying to keep my costs as low as possible because I don’t have much money. So, I started to try and teach myself to colour (badly) but I thought, even if I can get the FLATS done (the basic layer of colouring that REAL colourists use for rendering) it might save me some money, but I started messing around and I kinda liked what I did, but I can now colour properly!

So, I have kinda painted myself into a corner…literally! I have done a couple of courses recently and I’ve gotten pretty good.

WHAT SOUNDTRACK PROVIDES THE FUEL FOR THIS BOOK? ANY SPECIFIC BANDS/SONGS/ALBUMS THAT HELP YOU CREATE CHUNKS?

Cover art for Chunks #2
Cover art for Chunks #2
MG: Hmmmmmmmmm, I’m a strange person, if you can’t tell already.

With me it is all about mood when I write. A lot of times, I like to have a movie on in the background to listen, but again then sometimes I like music. If its music, my shuffle is waaaaaaaaay out there, I listen to a lot of different genres. One minute it’ll be “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones, and the next it’s Andrea Bocelli “Time To Say Goodbye” then it’ll jump to Johnny Cash, then the soundtrack to The Raid and over to ODB…

IT’S THE APOCALYPSE, AND THE CHUNKS ARE PLAYING THEIR LAST GIG. SO…WHAT KIND OF APOCALYPSE (ROBOT UPRISING, ALIEN INVASION, WEAPONIZED WALRUSES, WHATEVER) AND WHAT’S THE VENUE THEY WANT TO GO OUT PLAYING?

MG: What kind of invasion? Well, it has to be inbred people…too thick to think, but not thick enough to stop procreating. You’ll usually find these troglodytes in supermarkets during the day, shuffling round…but one day they’ll become self-aware and mass!

If and when this happens, I’d like to think that the CHUNKS would be performing in the garage where they started. Just the band, lost in the moment and Dave their manager just watching his buddies do what they love.

Excerpt from Chunks #3
Excerpt from Chunks #3

THE PINEAPPLE CHUNKS HAVE BEEN GIVEN THEIR OWN CARTOON, JEEBUS HELP US ALL. WHAT’S THE TITLE AND PLOT? AND, IF YOU’RE FEELING AMBITIOUS, A COUPLE LINES FROM THE THEME SONG?

Cover art for Chunks #3
Cover art for Chunks #3
MG: If they had a cartoon, it would just be called CHUNKS, obviously! No need to get flashy with names here…and I’d like to think that the plot would just follow the comics, but throw in a few more insane incidents on their rise to fame.

Theme song? Blimey, I’m not musical at all, I can’t play any instruments, I can barely play with myself! I’ll leave the theme song to someone waaaaaaaay more talented than I!

AND NOW, OUR SIGNATURE FINALE: WHAT’S THE STRANGEST THING YOU CAN REMEMBER DOING AS A KID?

MG: The strangest thing I ever did was actually being a kid. I was and still am really weird…I’m a 35-year-old man who reads comics and writes stories about a fictional Punk band and if you have read any of them issues, you’ll see just how strange this comic is!

So, go and buy issues 1-3, you’ll love them, I swear and if you don’t, well, you are lucky, because I DON’T do refunds!

Excerpt for Chunks #1
Excerpt for Chunks #1

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Written by John MacLeod

Dubbed "The Dorkmaster General" in his home territory of western Massachusetts, John has what some would call an "unhealthy obsession" with comics, horror movies and geek culture. He is a staff writer and editor for the web site Zombie Zone News, and is a freelance editor for his own imprint, Surfin' Dead Enterprises. In his spare time, he breeds free-range chupacabras to sell for ludicrous amounts of cash.

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