Matthew Schofield

Main Guest

Matthew Schofield

Wooooooohoooooo its Matt! The force behind Steamroller Man. This Brisbane boy now live in LA doing the stuff dreams are made of. Whats that… well you’ll have to watch to find out.

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Transcription Below

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Voice Over (00:04):
This show is sponsored by the Comics Shop. We hope you enjoy the show.

Leigh Chalker (00:26):
Good day and welcome to a prerecorded version of Tuesday Chinwag. So Tuesday Chinwag is sponsored by the Comics Shop, and my name is Lee Chalker. I’m the creator of the Australian Independent Comic Book Battle for Bustle available at the sponsor Comex Shop. The show is streamed across two channels. One is the Comex Network, which is a Comex based community for all like-minded people. It has live streams, it has a publishing wing, and it has the C community base. So everybody is welcomed. It has a love for the medium. We are also broadcast across Aussie verse, which is an Australian organisation community that loves all things comics and pulp. They do pulp, I should say. Well, pulp, even Pulp Fiction. There you go. And they do interviews, they do halls, they do plenty of video content, going to comic book conventions, et cetera. So thank you very much. I’m very grateful that the show can go across both of those. The best thing you can do for both of those channels is to like and subscribe. Now they’re across Facebook, they’re across YouTube, which is the most important because of its algorithm. They are across TikTok and they’re across Facebook. Now I have a very, very special guest today, and the reason why it is prerecorded is my guest, Mr. Matthew Schofield. Hello, sir. How are you? Hey

Matthew Schofield (01:56):
Lee. I’m good. How are you?

Leigh Chalker (01:58):
I’m rocking, mate. I’m good to go. I’m very happy to meet you now. Same. Today is a Saturday, we’re prerecorded, and where Matthew is in Los Angeles is a Friday. So I did a few prerecorded shows last year, and for some particular reason I fell into the habit of giving a weather report. So I’m going to continue with that. So today in North Queensland, Townsville, where I am based, it is February the 10th, 2:41 PM in the afternoon. The air quality is good. It is partly cloudy, and it is 35 degrees. So for any of you interested, there you go. For any of you that aren’t, there you go.

So for anyone that hasn’t seen the show before, across both channels, Tuesday Chinwag is a show based on who, where, when, how, and why. Sometimes we get through all of these questions, sometimes we do not. The show is fluid. So it’s about getting to know the story behind the creator that is on the show with me, and basically just having a good time having a yarn and just in a long form, relaxed interview, seeing all things happening in their world, how they got there. So Matthew Scofield, it is a pleasure today, mate. Now we were talking briefly at the beginning of the show, and before we get into the deep existential questions of it all, mate, I was wondering how is it in Los Angeles and what’s the weather like there Right now?

Matthew Schofield (03:34):
Weather here right now is cold. It’s winter and it’s February. So winter over here is from, it starts gets cold in December and then goes all the way through to February, March is still pretty cold. So yeah, it was quite cold today and we’ve just had a week of pretty torrential rains. They had an atmospheric river that hit Los Angeles and caused flooding in a lot of areas. So yeah, it was fortunately, where I live in the city is I live on sort of the side of a big hill, so we’re not really subject to flooding because the water just flows down the hill. So that was good.

Leigh Chalker (04:32):
So my question to you, man, straight up before we do get into the existential questions is because I’m not a weather man. No,

Matthew Schofield (04:40):
Neither am I.

Leigh Chalker (04:43):
Well, this might go nowhere, this question, but let’s try anyway. What and atmospheric, what did you say? An at

Matthew Schofield (04:52):
Call it an atmospheric river, and I don’t know exactly what that means.

Leigh Chalker (04:57):
Is that a real thing?

Matthew Schofield (05:00):
It felt pretty real.

Leigh Chalker (05:02):
Well, that’ll do, mate. That’ll do. That’s the best definition you can give. It felt real. So I happy to roll with that. Matt. I never heard of an atmospheric river before.

Matthew Schofield (05:12):
Yeah, sorry, I can’t really explain it to you in the meteorological science terms or anything. I just hear on the news like, oh, an atmospheric rivers going to hit Los Angeles next week. And I’m like, oh, okay, well, whatever that means. It just means a lot of rain and storm

Leigh Chalker (05:37):

Matthew Schofield (05:38):

Leigh Chalker (05:39):
Funny how they’ve always got to come up. It’s like one bureau is out doing another bureau, you know what I mean? It’s an atmospheric river and over there, I dunno, a celestial monsoon, some other area of the world is something else.

Matthew Schofield (05:54):
When I first moved to la, and it’s sort of a bit of a joke amongst LA residents, but when I first moved here, I was really struck by how, because it doesn’t really rain that much in Los Angeles and the roads, the roads are made for dry conditions. And so when it does rain and if it rains a lot, potholes start to form and the roads get slippery. And so it’s always chaotic here when it rains. And the news like bulletins, they’ll do these on the local news. You’ll see storm Watch 2024, they’ll do a big graphic comes on the screen. And I thought that was bizarre when I first moved to LA back in, moved here in 96, and I just thought coming from Brisbane, which is where I spent the first 20 plus years of my life, where we get more tropical storms every summer and all that. So I think Queensland people are much more used to weather, but than Los Angeles people. So yeah, it was always like, it’s raining news flash, it’s raining.

Leigh Chalker (07:31):
Yeah, well it’s raining up here in Townsville because someone could throw out a dirty bucket of mop water on the street and you’ll get like 60 people in their fast cars all trying to do skids in it. So you can smell the burn and rubber and nearly every street man mans over, someone’s left the tap on again. But that’s what you do up here, I guess if you’re that way inclined. So Matthew, mate, we’re already off and running, but I’m going to mate for any of anyone out there watching that doesn’t know you. Who

Matthew Schofield (08:14):
Am I? Okay. So yeah, my name is Matthew Schofield. I grew up in Brisbane, as I said, and I’m an animator by trade. I’ve worked in the animation industry since about 1995, and I started off working in Sydney, and then in 96 I was lucky enough to get a job over here in Los Angeles on a feature film called Cats Don Dance. And so then I worked on a couple other animated feature films, worked on the Iron Giant and Prince of Egypt and Quest for Camelot. And then after Iron Giant I moved on to The Simpsons and I’ve been on The Simpsons ever since. So I still work on The Simpsons. It’s going to be my 25th year on the show this year.

So yeah, pretty crazy to think about that. I’ve been on the same show for 25 years because in the animation industry that as you can probably guess, that’s sort of unheard of to have any show go on for that long. So yeah, I feel really lucky to be where I am and be doing what I’m doing. And I also have loved comics since I was a kid. I had my first comic purchased for me when I was about seven. I was thinking about that today and I must’ve been six or seven because I knew how to read it myself. I didn’t have, so I was already reading. And so I just have loved comics ever since I got into comic collecting hardcore when I was in grade eight. So that was 1985. And that was a pretty, as you would know, 1986, that’s one of the pivotal years in modern comics. Right, because you had Watchmen killing Joke, dark Night Returns and Batman, year one all come out around that time. Absolutely. So yeah, I’ve been collecting since then. I haven’t stopped. I’ve only just shifted what I collected, but I have tonnes of comics in my garage. I don’t even know how many, just boxes and boxes and boxes of comics.

Leigh Chalker (11:07):
So you took them all with you from Brisbane on your

Matthew Schofield (11:10):
Gene? No, I have gradually brought whatever could fit in half a suitcase every time I would go back to visit my family because my collection from when I was in Australia, I left that there at my mom’s place in her garage. And so every time I’d go back to visit, I would be like, oh, do you know where you put, there was a box and it looked like this that had my West Coast Avengers and my Phantom comics in it. And so I want to find those and my mom would be like, oh, I think yeah, come down to the garage and we’ll have a look. And so then we would literally, every time I go back to visit, I would be like, can we just look in the garage? I’m sure there’s still something that I haven’t brought back even I was just there at Christmas and now my mom’s, it’s almost like I’ve indoctrinated her into, she was like, I think you’ve still got comics down in the garage. And I was like, no,

Leigh Chalker (12:25):
She might be sick of the 25 year journey of having to move the bloody boxes boxes around me. Yeah,

Matthew Schofield (12:30):
Exactly. So I was like, no mom, I actually do think I’ve got them all now. I don’t think there’s anything left, but she was like, oh, I don’t know. I think we should have a look. And I was like, Hey, I don’t mind looking. You never know. We might find some treasure down there that I’d forgotten about. But yeah, we didn’t find any. So I think I finally have brought all my comics over here and then I’ve been buying comics since I’ve been here too. And then my wife I, she collected comics when she was in her late teens, early twenties. So then when we got married, our collections merged and it’s like, oh my God, we just got so many.

Leigh Chalker (13:18):
Do you have moments, does your wife still share the passion with you of look through the back issues and stuff?

Matthew Schofield (13:26):
No, she’s like, can you stop buying? Because I’ll be like, we’ve got no space. We’ve got no space in this house anymore. And she’s like, well, I’m not the one buying comics every week. So

Leigh Chalker (13:43):

Matthew Schofield (13:43):
To blame for that.

Leigh Chalker (13:44):
And I’m like, as long as you’re not using ’em to prop up legs on tables and the old, no,

Matthew Schofield (13:49):
No, we’re

Leigh Chalker (13:50):
Not white rest. You watching Tally Mate got the feet propped up on the old, I dunno, your box of uncanny X-Men or something. I told you there’d be use for these one day. You never know.

Matthew Schofield (14:04):
Not quite at that stage. It’s not like, I don’t want to give you the impression that it’s like a hoarder’s house where it’s just stacks of stuff that you’ve got to move around through that when you’re trying to get to the bathroom or whatever. It’s not like that. Or where

Leigh Chalker (14:19):
You giving same impression and realised and thought I’d better throw this bugger off the scent and tell him that it’s not. Oh mate. Hey, close to finding out about what goes on in Matthew’s house there. Very

Matthew Schofield (14:35):

Leigh Chalker (14:36):
Yeah. Yeah. What was your favourite comic book back in the, oh, actually what was your first one then? There you go. What was

Matthew Schofield (14:42):
The first one? So my first comic was, I still remember vividly going to the local news agents and it was sort of down the road from our house and my dad bought me a Mighty Mouse comic and a, I think it was issue 24 of the Man called Nova, the Marvel comic. So I’m pretty sure it was issued 24, I don’t know what number. The Mighty Mouse comic I think was one of those gold key comics. And I vastly preferred the superhero comic to the Mighty Mouse comic, even though technically yes, mighty Mouse is a superhero. Don’t come at me. Mighty Mouse fans. That’s

Leigh Chalker (15:39):
All right. Shane will get those emails and vet them for you mate, and forward them on to you at a later date. Very good.

Matthew Schofield (15:47):
But yeah, so I never was really into the funny animal type comics. Always was more into superheroes. And I think that came from watching the Batman TV show when I was really little because that was on reruns when I was four or five. I still remember being in preschool and playing Batman with the kids in the school yard and watching that on TV every afternoon at four o’clock. And then also the Super Friends cartoon. That was another early thing that I was like, oh, superheroes. And so I just always have loved superheroes from an early age. Yeah, that’s cool.

Leigh Chalker (16:47):
Do you remember that? Awesome. Would’ve been a similar period that really, really cool Flash Gordon cartoon that used to get around on a B, c Man. How good was that show? That was awesome. I see you can find them on YouTube and stuff here and there now too. I like to have little flashbacks to my childhood every once in a while, Matt. I think we

Matthew Schofield (17:13):
All do.

Leigh Chalker (17:14):
Yeah. Yeah. Take me back to, because man, that was so cool, that cartoon. Yeah,

Matthew Schofield (17:20):
That it was a really well done cartoon just to have a Flash Gordon cartoon, but it was in the style of the original comic strip. It wasn’t like the Sam Sam Jones Queen soundtrack movie.

Leigh Chalker (17:40):
Yeah, I still love that movie. I still love that movie.

Matthew Schofield (17:43):
Movie. That movie is awesome.

Leigh Chalker (17:45):
I know know, I’ve watched that with people only in the last couple of years and there’s a couple of movies that I really enjoy from that era, and I’ve sat down and watched them and within about two or three minutes of the start of the film, you’re getting the hole. You can feel the stare at the side of your head. They’re like, what are we watching? You got to trust me, man. You got to trust me. I love this stuff when I was a kid. You’re like 45 now, man. I’m not picking up what you down you, you’re putting down just sheer enthusiasm that drives you through it, man. But no, I do like those sorts of things. But did you find that when you bought Annova and you’re talking about superheroes, did you find that it was the intergalactic, cosmic sort of superheroes that appeal to you more? Or did you like the grounded dudes like your Captain Americas and all that sort of stuff?

Matthew Schofield (18:56):
I think I was, well, I never really liked the cosmic stuff. Yeah, that’s something even to this day, I don’t really like the DC cosmic stuff I’m cool with because a lot of that came from Jack Kirby and the Fourth World stuff, but the Marvel cosmic stuff, I haven’t really developed an appreciation for it. But to be fair, I’ve never tried to dive in. I will say that as a kid, that stuff never reached out to me and grabbed me. I was more into, when I first started collecting, I was getting West Coast Avengers X-Men

Leigh Chalker (19:52):

Matthew Schofield (19:53):
Justice League, the Giffin deis, Kevin McGuire, justice League, those kind of books. And then, yeah, I lost my train of thought. Sorry,

Leigh Chalker (20:12):
Just you were talking about whether you’re interested in the cosmic side of comics, which you aren’t, but then you veered off into the more

Matthew Schofield (20:21):
Ground and then the street level Grounded characters. I did like Daredevil. I really liked Daredevil as a kid, but I was never really, wasn’t a fan of Captain America. Strangely enough. I was a big Batman fan where I was really little watching the TV show, but then wasn’t into the Batman comics at all except for those event ones like Dark Night Returns and Killing Joke and Batman year one. And I only kind of got those because I had a friend at school who looking back, had excellent taste in comics. He was the guy who was like, you got to read this Dark Night Returns. You got to read this, the Killing Joke. And I was like, oh, but I like West Coast Avengers, which was like, and I mean before John Byrne came on, this was when it was Al Milgram inked by Joe Sin and written by Steve Englehart. And so I look back on those really fondly, but I actually, I pulled some of those old issues out recently and was reading through them and was like, they aren’t very good.

Leigh Chalker (21:51):
I’ve done the same because I got into comics through my dad and then veered off into my own range of comics. But when I was going through school, my friends and I and stuff, we all loved the X-Men world. I mean, there were others I love, I have a huge love and affection for Daredevil during that period as well. I think that’s some of the most beautiful stuff you’ll ever find. And we used to get to school early, we used to raid news agents on our bikes. You know what I mean? Men don’t worry about eating at lunch. You know what I mean? Our lunch money, we’d pool it together to go and get the fall of the mutants together and pick all of these places, news agents and corner stores and petrol stations and stuff all used to have them, like spinner racks and that. And we used to raid them and we’d smell ’em out too. We didn’t get that issue of the new mutants like, oh, but it’s at the mobile service station on River Road. So you’d I’m sure here the clerk was probably absolutely terrified of these three or four young kids riding their bike in back in the early nineties where now they probably really are terrified.

And we used to pool ’em, but we cottoned onto the fact that other kids, their parents, because they come and sit with us, what is this you’re reading? And Oh, that’s so cool, man. Well, we were mildly business minded, I suspect back in the day. And we ended up cottoning on that, the library comic books back in the day, if we skip the ad side of the paper, it had cost us 5 cents for a page to photocopy. So we used to make bootleg copies. Wow. Of the common books. And we used to sell ’em to the kids in the school and we were making some good money back in the day, man, there was no homemade like peanut butter sandwiches for us, mate. You know what I mean? It was top shelf sausage rolls and things. But then the librarian, the librarian cottoned onto us and Oh no. Yeah, and librarians may work in a quiet place, but I think due to the quiet nature of the area in which they work, there’s a fire that burns in the man. So when they get that opportunity, the press the trigger, it comes out like extra.

Oh mate, I remember that scolding. Let me tell you, we got run out of that library. That’s hilarious. Yeah. But that’s just one of my little comic things. But no, I like the fact that you’re around during that time. I was too, man. I think that that was, looking back on it for me, often, I’ve spoken to people about that 85, 86, 87 period was really, really rich to me in terms of Absolutely. Yeah. My foundation of love for the medium and cottoned onto the fact too hand in hand with that part of it as well, is that my dad was a huge comic book Enthusia enthusiast and Oh wow. Yeah, yeah.

I’m lucky enough, man. I’ve got all of an awful lot of the original Marvel amazing and all that sort of stuff sitting. Yeah, yeah. They’re not in great niche because some people, there’s collectors getting around the place that if they were to listen to that they would’ve had the same reaction. But I’m, I guess to a certain extent, while I hold them with reverence, I’m a bit of an old school sort of guy, man, I actually like to read my comics. I don’t like to whack ’em in slabs and stuff like that. And those comic books were well read and well loved by me as I was growing up. And so, yeah, I don’t know, dad and I’d have swaps, man, he wasn’t a huge X-Men fan, but he loved Spider-Man, where I also gravitated towards 2000 ad. I loved that the Judge Warriors and you had your pop stuff, which was Marvel and dc, but then 2000 ad when I discovered ’em, had these artists hand painting stuff and black and white just blew my mind. So it was a nice little fertile period there for a long while.

Matthew Schofield (27:26):

Leigh Chalker (27:27):
Yeah. I’m glad you share a love of that lovely period. And

Matthew Schofield (27:31):
The other thing that, as you were talking about, your experience of riding round to hit all the news agents was that was also the culture of comic for me, and obviously you as well was because I didn’t even know comic shops were a thing back then. Neither

Leigh Chalker (27:56):
Did I.

Matthew Schofield (27:57):
Yeah. And at that time, there was one comic shop in Brisbane, I hadn’t discovered it yet. So yeah, I was getting my comics the same way, just sort of going to the news agency whenever you had a chance. But there was a certain sort of magical element of treasure hunting doing it that way, because it wasn’t like a comic shop where it’s like, yeah, yeah, we order everything Marvel does. Don’t worry, we’re going to have a copy of it. It was almost like, well, I don’t know what the news agent is going to have from week to week. I’m just going to go because I know they’re going to have some comics. And so I almost think that was a more fun and magical way to begin comic collecting was, I dunno what I’m going to get, but I hope I find something cool.

Leigh Chalker (29:09):
I’m 100% with you because you weren’t always sure if you were going to hit the money. So the effort that it took to go out there was the adventure and in itself. And then some news agents of varying outlets would only sell a certain range and wouldn’t sell titles. So you sort of in the end had to navigate your way around to these places. If you wanted that title, you had to go the other side of town to get it if you wanted this, oh, I don’t have to ride that far this week. And then other times, oh man, there was just manic weekends and mornings before school where, and obviously being an alcoholic obviously started with an obsessive nature as a young kid looking back on it. So yeah, there were times where I’d get home from a three hour mission to find all these comic books, man, and smack ’em all out, read ’em in three or four hours, and then mum would be like, where are you going?

I’m like, I’m going back in that day. I’m off out again trying to get more comics because you had to leave some soldiers behind mate. You know what I mean? I couldn’t carry them all. And he used to break my heart crying on your way home. Then even he had this beautiful swag, you still couldn’t take some of them home. So yeah, was, yeah, they were good memories, Matt. I’m glad we talked about that because I hadn’t thought about that side of things in a long time. While the local comic book shops are beautiful to go in and there’s such a plethora of range and things like that. There was a real, particularly in a small town like Townsville at that time, you know what I mean? Yeah. And Brisbane was the same back when I was a little boy going down to Brisbane. I mean, it was big, but it wasn’t where it’s at now. You know what I mean?

Matthew Schofield (31:31):
Yeah. Much smaller and sleepier back when we were kids. Yeah, for sure. Did you hit book exchanges? I imagine you would have.

Leigh Chalker (31:41):
Absolutely, mate. Oh, did I hit book exchanges? Oh my God, yeah. Yeah, I sure did. And that’s something that I genuinely, wholeheartedly miss Me too. Book exchanges, the first comic bookshop, well, it was the second, there was one they tried up in Townsville in the early nineties, and it was a bloke, it was called the Loony Bin, which was probably aptly named to be honest with you. And knowing all of us, like drawing and art and comics and stuff. And I can’t remember what his name was, but he decided to get in comic books. And it was pretty cool at that stage because he was getting in T-shirts and things like that, and T-shirts, remember back in the eighties and nineties, Marvel and DC used to put those checklists and stuff in the back and there’d be, there’s the famous wolverine diving out of the T-shirts or and those sorts of things.

And he used to look at him as a kid and go, oh man, I wish I’d get one of those. And this dude used to stock, so he was cool like that. That’s cool. He didn’t have a huge range of comic books, and then he just went out of business. So it was, oh, well, back to the news agents and stuff. And then a really old lady who look, to be honest with you, at that stage when I was young, she seemed old. But having said that, mate, she was probably our age, so I’m going to tone that back there. You know what I mean?

She was a lovely lady and she had a book exchange with her husband, and she cottoned onto the fact that no one in Townsville was selling comic books and anime and manga and all that. So while she was selling book exchange like books, et cetera, she decided to just throw it open to comic books and things. Man, that’s cool. Oh man. And honestly, she started off with no idea about what it is, but then as everyone’s collections were growing, her knowledge was growing. So she was pulling back issues from the wildest places, man. Oh wow. Wow, mate. And wow, she did an amazing job. And I think there’s a lot of people in Townsville that would be very thankful to her with their comic book collections. I certainly am. Yeah, that’s the book exchange that I’ve mentioned before where I discovered back issues that she’d got in of the crow and stuff like that. Oh, cool. Led me onto my infatuation with all things the crow and yeah, beautiful magical. That’s really cool. Yeah, I do miss those days. And I guess we’re lucky looking back and having the opportunity to talk about that magic everywhere, man. And I wonder, hopefully kids in this day and age get to have their own forms of magic made in whatever medium it is. Yes,

Matthew Schofield (35:21):
Hopefully. Yeah, the book exchanges are something that I really do miss because as I said, when I come back to Brisbane to visit every so often, and because visiting the local book exchange, because I think there were two in my neighbourhood when I was a kid and I could ride my bike to both of them. And so visiting those on a Saturday morning, I would just ride my bike to the news agent and the two book exchanges and like you were saying, you’re doing your comic run kind of thing. And yeah, that was how I built a lot of my early comic collection was finding just random back issues at the book exchange of just stuff that looked interesting. But like I was saying, you never knew what was going to be there. So again, it was like a treasure hunt. And so every time I would go back to visit Brisbane since living over here, I’d ask my sister, can we go to a book exchange?

Leigh Chalker (36:41):

Matthew Schofield (36:41):
Just for old times sake kind of thing, you never know what’s going to be there. But yeah, I’ve tried to do that at Christmas time and couldn’t find a book exchange in Brisbane. So I mean, I know there must be one there somewhere, but I couldn’t find one. So, alright,

Leigh Chalker (37:02):
Man. It’s sort of sad because one of the other book exchanges, because they were cool people that owned book exchanges, all they’d do is sit there and read. They just loved reading. So one memory now, because we’re still talking about the magic of it, there was this book exchange in a small arcade in the Townsville City Mall, and it was called Jim’s Book Exchange. And Jim himself was a cool dude, wouldn’t say much, but every day he was super well dressed in a polo shirt. Those, they’re a little bit half leg shorts a belt. The Schmidt runners you could ever see, man, you know what I mean? White ads, they never had a mark on him at all.

Matthew Schofield (38:06):

Leigh Chalker (38:07):
Big moustache, gold necklaces hanging down. You wouldn’t believe the band, I’m surprised, didn’t have a crooked neck, you know what I mean? And he’d sit there reading these books and you’d walk in and you’d walk in and you’d be going through things and he’d look you up and down making sure who you were. And then you’d ask him a question, the things you are bringing me back to him. And you’d ask him a question and he’d just look at you and this is what he’d do, man. And then he’d answer. And every time, man, I don’t know whether he had a sinus infection or whether it was a nervous tick or what it was like. And then so as you can imagine, there are a few people of my mates were a little bit uncomfortable going, I know. I was going to say that sounds somewhat terrifying.

And it was loud. I’m not even giving the decibel level just as here, man, it was loud man, and it was hilarious time. Heard it, I tell you, it was like that noise, it sounded like someone was being, I dunno, something was happening in the background of this shop, but it was just this dude, man, I dunno whether he was reading something funny or something struck him in this not fuck. Oh man, that’s kind of scary. Yeah, it was it. But I hadn’t thought about Jim in a long time, actually. I hope whatever happened to Jim, I don’t know, but I’m sure he was a lovely man. But that’s my whole lasting memory of Jim and Jim’s book exchange. But it’s what it’s, but the other beautiful thing about book exchanges were that comic books were cheap for kids and you wouldn’t pay much more than 50 cents, 75 cents for a comic book where get into the medium.

I know obviously printing the medium has changed itself in the last very recent future or past. But timespace interface, all that sort of job, where really are we living, man? 3D, four D or five D dimension. These are questions that someone else can answer, but we’ll just bring to the four so people know what I’m talking about. Pickles. And it was easy for kids to collect comic books and fall in love with them. Where now, even as someone that works and has partakes in the community and industry and stuff like that, you do have to be selective about what titles you want to follow. And sometimes the selectivity can even come into whether it could be the art, it could be the writing, it could be the characters, it could be the individuals that are creating the comic book as well that people gravitate towards. It seems that when we were younger, we just had the opportunity to go, wow, I want to try them. Here’s a stack, boom. And give them a shot. And if we didn’t like it, we wouldn’t go back or we continue on all things, I guess things adapt and develop and rainstorms become atmospheric. Like

Matthew Schofield (42:03):
Atmospheric rivers.

Leigh Chalker (42:05):
Rivers. That’s it. Hey, now you partake. For anyone that’s watching this show underneath Matthew’s name is steamroll the Now, this is also what we want to talk about is as well as your animation, because there’d be a lot of people out there that’d be looking at me going, Lee, shut up and let the man talk about, and the Simpsons into that, the trick, you keep them hanging, man. You know what I mean? Keep them hanging.

Matthew Schofield (42:46):
I’m just following your lead.

Leigh Chalker (42:48):
Pop in and go get out of here in 15 minutes. You know what I mean? But I shouldn’t give too many tricks away. But mate, let’s take you for a walk down your career and varying things and the experiences that you’ve had while being in the City of Angels and I guess the animation world and with Steamroller Man.

Matthew Schofield (43:15):
Sure. So you want to know about the Comic first or animation stuff?

Leigh Chalker (43:21):
Absolutely. Anything wherever you feel comfortable starting. Mate, the show is fluid, so I am going to let you just fire away where you feel comfortable.

Matthew Schofield (43:32):
Okay, well, I’ll talk about steamroller man first, I guess. So yeah, I’ve always wanted to draw comics. I started off wanting to draw comics for a living soon after I started full on collecting comics as a 13-year-old because around that time I realised, oh, there’s people who make these as their job. This is a job you can do. And you’d read in the back, in the letter column and stuff, oh, we’re going to San Diego Comic Convention and this next month, and artists, John Eda Jr. Will Beit ComicCon. And I’m like, what’s a comic convention? Well, that sounds cool. And so that’s when I first started thinking, I want to be a comic book artist as a job, but not knowing how to do that or what, I started drawing my own comics as I’m sure most kids who comics would try and draw their own.

So I was doing that at age 13 and 14 and just kept doing it. And of course wasn’t great artwork or anything at that point. And then it came time to, at the end of grade 12, you’ve got to choose, well, what university course are you going to apply to? And Queensland College of Art, which was in Brisbane, happened to offer a Bachelor of Arts majoring in animation. And that was the closest university course that I could find to drawing comics that would teach me how to do something close to comics. And so I applied, yeah, go ahead. Sorry

Leigh Chalker (45:59):
To interrupt, but back at that period, now that you mentioned that just for younger viewers that aren’t aware, I mean, because you’ve got online courses, you’ve got a lot of universities and that have thrown the doors open really to encourage this sort of thing. But back in the, I guess early to mid nineties and stuff like that, these sorts of courses were rare, man. They do. You know what I mean? Very hard to come by.

Matthew Schofield (46:26):
At that time, it was the only Bachelor of Arts programme in the Southern hemisphere that had an animation major.

Leigh Chalker (46:39):

Matthew Schofield (46:39):
The only other course in Australia that dealt with animation was at the, I think it was at the Melbourne Institute of Technology, but that was an associate degree in animation. So I was just lucky that the art college in my hometown happened to have that course. So I applied for it, got in and started learning how to animate. But still all the way through that course, I was like, I don’t want to work in animation. I just want to do comics, just want to do comics. And so all of my assignments, I would try and do superhero stuff and my final year film, which you have to do to graduate, I did a superhero parody film called Fabulous Man, and he was like a superman, but he was essentially the same as Steamroller man, like a bumbling type dummy, very influenced by the Tick, the tick to big influence on Steamroller Man too, just that style of humour.

That was also one of those comics that came out, I think that came out in 88. So my early years collecting, and also as I mentioned before, the Justice League, the Giffen DI Justice League, which was also humorous superheroes. So I’ve always liked humorous superheroes. And so anyway, eventually got into animation, didn’t do comics, but I always was saying in the back of my, I’d always tell myself, I want to do a comic one day. And since I’ve moved over here, I’ve gone to San Diego every year, you just drive three hours down the coast and you get to San Diego, and every time I’d go, I’d see the small press guys, just guys like you and I doing their own thing, making their own comics. And I always found that super inspiring and would always leave saying, I’m going to do it, this is the year I’m going to do it. But I just never got around to it. I would always be, you’d have the day job and be like, oh, I’m too exhausted. The creative juice was sort of depleted at the end of the day. And anyway, many, many years later, I think I was about 45, and I just sort of realised if I want to do a comic, I’ve just got to do it. I’ve just got to stop doing it.

And I’d had a couple of false starts of, I had these ideas, and I remember I wrote a full script out for the first issue of a comic idea that I had, and then I think I drew half of the first page and then never got back to that. That wasn’t steamroller, man. That was something else. And so by this time, I had two kids. I had my two kids, and being that both their parents were comic collectors and science fiction fans, they had no hope but to wind up as fellow geeks like their parents. So we would have conversations around the dinner table about geeky topics, what’s a good superhero name? The kids would make up these superhero names. And so my oldest son would say one, and I’d say one. And then my youngest son said, what about steamroll a man? And I was like, yeah, steamroll a man. I love it because the image of this guy with a huge roller as his head came into my imagination as soon as he said that. And I was like, yes, I love it. And I drew, yeah, he’d looked like this. See? And I held it up to my son, and my son was not like that.

He didn’t like it. He was like, I meant with steam rollers for hands, not his head. And so I said, all right, well, this will be my version of Steamroll Man then. And so then I took the kids to, there was a summer holiday workshop at the local public library of Make your own mini comic. And so something for the kids to do. So I took them to that and I thought, well, I’ve always wanted to make a comic, so I’m going to do the workshop too. It was open, it wasn’t just for kids, it was open to just the general public. And so in the workshop they hand out, they’re like, here’s pens and pencils and paper. Here’s how to do it. Okay, now go start making your own comic after an hour of instruction where the guy was telling everyone Here’s how comics work basically.

And so I was like, well, what am I going to do? Oh, I know. I’ll draw a comic with that steamroller man guy. And so I started drawing the first Steamroll Man story, which is on my website, steamroller, and I think I only got the first two pages done, and I started off with the cliched situation of the old lady with the cat stuck in the tree. And so yeah, I was basically just making it up as I went along, and I just kept doing that and I just drew it on pieces of photocopy paper. I was drawing it actual size, and so the pages were quick to, I could finish a page really quickly. It was only that big. And so I just kept drawing the comic every night after the kids went to sleep and just as sort of a relaxing kind of de-stress thing from the days job stress or whatever. So I was just making the story up as I went along and I got to about 12 pages of story, and then I was like, well, at that point I was sort of thinking, oh, I can photocopy this and make a little mini comic and then I can just sell that at a comic convention. Always been one of my dreams is to be the guy on the other side of the table at a comic convention, which I still haven’t done, but I’ll get there. I’ll get

Leigh Chalker (55:22):
There, mate, I’m telling you from what you’re telling me, you’re ticking those boxes the whole way along, man. So you’ve got intent, you’re going to get there.

Matthew Schofield (55:35):
So I had these 12 pages, but I didn’t know what to do with them. And we went to San Diego, and at that time, this was around the time of the new 52

Leigh Chalker (55:51):

Matthew Schofield (55:51):
DC and my sons were both now into comics, and I’m still into comics, as you know. And so my son was really into the Teen Titans comic at that time, which was being drawn by an artist called John Boy Myers. And John Boy Myers was at Comic-Con in Artist Alley. And so my son was like, oh, can we go see John Boy Myers? And we were like, yeah, sure, no worries. So we went to John Boy Myers’ table and my son wanted to buy a print from him, and his artwork’s amazing, and he has, his prints are fantastic. And so my son’s looking through Prince and my son takes a long time to make decisions. And so he was looking looking. And so just to pass the time, my wife and I start just chatting to John Boy Myers, and I said to him, Hey, can I just get your advice as a comic professional?

I’ve got 12 pages of this comic that I’ve drawn, and I’m just wondering should I print it or should I put it on the web? But I dunno anything about putting a website together or anything like that. So what should I do to get it out there? And he said, why don’t you just put it on Facebook, just set up a Facebook page for your comic and then just upload, you scan in the pages and upload the images. And I was like, oh, oh really? You can do that. How do you do it? And he said, you can go into the settings for your personal Facebook account, and then you set up a page. And I was like, huh, okay, because I’m not a tech person at all. I don’t know how to do websites or anything like that. And he actually said, yeah, once you get it set up, just send me a message on Facebook and then I’ll friend you, and then once you get it set up, I’ll shout it out to all my followers and maybe you’ll get some followers from it.

I was like, oh, really? You’d do that? And he was like, yeah, sure. I’m all about trying to help fellow creators get their stuff out there. And I was like, man, that’s so awesome. That’s so nice of you, so much. And so I did that, and he was true to his word, he did shout, sort of spread the word. And so that’s how I started with Steamroller Man online. And then I just kept doing it and eventually I did kind of get a website figure out, okay, how do I do a website and all that sort of stuff. So yeah, I put it on the web in 2018 and yeah, just been going ever since. So I’ve got that initial 12 page story up, and then I’ve got two issues, which are more actual comic book format, and then I’m sort of in the middle of the third issue. Yeah, so it’s basically a superhero parody. One person said it’s like seventies Marvel comics and eighties independent comics had a baby. That’s a cool

Leigh Chalker (59:48):
Comparison. You’ve got to be happy with

Matthew Schofield (59:50):
That. Yeah, I thought that was really cool actually. It’s like, I’m going to use that. That’s great. So yeah, it’s sort of a funny, hopefully funny superhero parody comic just about steamroll a man and having adventures. Yeah, so it’s just something I’m doing primarily for myself to amuse myself. And initially it was to amuse my kids. I would show them, what do you think of this? Do you think this is funny? And they’d be like, oh yeah, that’s awesome. So that’s when I would know, okay, that works. I’ll make that the joke or whatever. And I try to do a joke on each page or at least something that makes, if it doesn’t make you laugh, it’ll at least make you smile. So yeah, that’s the steamroller man story.

Leigh Chalker (01:00:49):
Yeah, I think that’s beautiful, man, from listening to that because I have had a look at some of the Steamroll Man stuff, just to get an idea. I hadn’t met you before today, and I like your Facebook page in particular. This is the one that I’ve been looking at. Not only do you put finished pages up and clean pages for people to read, but what I think is super valuable to people, and that’s why I like doing this show, and that’s one of the things that with Shane and myself with getting creators out there, is to see their techniques and how they do things and how you are comfortable working with things. And obviously from an animator’s perspective is what you’re bringing as well into steamroll a man that’s available to look on Facebook. I love the fact that you show even rough page layouts and then you’ll show the improved version of them all the way, because I’m pretty sure as your cycle from collecting seems to have been nudged by quite a bit of synchronicities, I guess to a certain extent, mate, to nudge you along the path to where you’re at now to the gentleman helping you.

And I would say that what you are doing with showing the makings of on your Facebook page is while serving to help others that we’re in the same position that you were when you were younger, you’re not quite sure, you’re a little bit tentative about what you’ve got to do, where you’re going, and you’ve sort of come full circle to an extent with all of that, man. Which is something that I personally think that’s a beautiful thing, man, because it’s just something I often talk about and speak about is the karmic effect of how people shouldn’t gatehouse keep, you know what I mean? You should pass on knowledge and keep the flow going and things. So I commend you for that. I also think it’s beautiful. My pleasure. I also think it’s beautiful because something that resonated with me and what you were just talking about is I’m 46 and I don’t have children, but I always wanted to have children.

And one of the reasons in your mind is in the theatres of your mind, you always have these perfect ideologies of life. Sometimes it doesn’t go that way. Other times it does. But one of the things that I always considered that I would love to have, if it was at all, it won’t be, but if it was possible at one point in some other parallel, was to be able to sit around with your kids and talk about them and fuel their imagination and at the same time fueling your own imagination and creating that beautiful bond and the chemistry between each other. So I think from what you’ve told me there, man, very envious. And I think that you’re on a good path, man with steamroll.

Matthew Schofield (01:04:27):
That’s really, really nice of you to say. Yeah, thanks very much. No,

Leigh Chalker (01:04:31):
That’s cool man. And I’d say you’re not far away from being on the other side of that table very soon, man, because motivated,

Matthew Schofield (01:04:41):
If I can get my act together to get the Kickstarter campaign like Launch launched,

Leigh Chalker (01:04:47):
Oh man, everything. I think I used to be someone that was always in a rush as well. This is just me. I mean, I don’t know what life outside of here is few other than what you explained to me. I imagine it’s quite hectic and busy, but you’re calm and you have your paths that you want to take. But I think the last couple of years of my life has taught me a lot of things that some things happen at the time they’re meant to. And you can push and push and push as much as you want, and it’s amazing how driven and pushing you are. But it’s like there’s walls just popping up all in front of you and you’re just like, and then suddenly it’s almost like you just give over control to what’s meant to be, and then suddenly the walls just start dropping down and you’re like, holy hell man, I’m fully in a flow here. You know what I mean? I’m going with, whoa,

Matthew Schofield (01:05:56):
I do know what you mean.

Leigh Chalker (01:05:58):
Yeah. And I think everything happens at the time it’s meant to, man. That’s the lesson that I’m in the middle of. So yeah, that was really nice to hear that side of the story, man of your life there. It’s really cool. That’s

Matthew Schofield (01:06:16):
Cool. Yeah, I mean because the whole experience has been a big, it’s just been one big learning curve for me. I never, I’m still not at a point where I feel like I completely know what I’m doing in terms of writing a story. I was making the story up as I went page by page until I was about halfway through that second story. And then people, because I had been putting the pages on the Facebook page by that time and people started asking me, oh, your comics looking really good, are you going to print it? And I thought, yeah, I do want to print it. But then I realised, well, hang on. If I’m going to print it, then I’ve got to know how many pages this story’s going to be, and I don’t even know what the story is. I was just making it up page by page.

And so it was only at that point when I was already halfway through the first story, well, after that 12 page one, I was already halfway through the second story and that’s when I sat down and was like, okay, I know basically where I want the story to end, but what has to happen to get from where it is now to that point? And so then I started doing my writing out my plot. And then the art has been a learning curve as well, because if you look at the early pages, there’s still the people are far more cartoony and they’re actually at Simpson’s proportions because we have a standard sort of construction for a Simpson’s character there. The foreheads high. And so I was kind of drawing the weird, not proper human proportions. And so then it wasn’t until people were saying to me, oh, you’re drawing in Simpson’s proportions. And I was like, what are you talking about? And they were like, yeah, see, it’s not like proper human proportions. Human proportions would be the torso is three heads tall and then the legs are four heads. And I was like, yeah, I’m drawing in Simpson’s proportions on purpose. Yeah, that’s right.

But then I was like, oh God, damnit, I got to fix this. I got to figure out what, because I hadn’t done any kind of model sheet or anything for Steamroller, man, I hadn’t actually worked out what his standard kind of construction proportions were going to be. And so it’s only been a step-by-step thing where I’ve gradually figured out like, oh, I should probably do this. Oh yeah, it would be better if I did that. And it’s just like that. Even to this day, I’m still, especially with the website stuff, I dunno what I’m doing with the website stuff. I’m just barely getting things to work. So I’m happy to share that knowledge with other people and if they get something out of it, that’s fantastic. And if all they get out of it is like, oh, it’s interesting to see your process, then that’s cool too. I think it’s interesting to see the process of artists that I admire. I like all that really, those issues of comics where they’ll put the behind the scenes page layouts or character design sketches in the back.

Leigh Chalker (01:10:44):
Yeah, yeah. Well those trades, that stuff too ages. I used to buy those trade paperbacks when they first came out because they used to have 10 or 12 pages in the back and you could actually see the pencil pages in comparison to the ink. Yeah, absolutely. You do learn things because when I was a kid I was pencilling. So I mean, everyone’s different style I guess, but things develop. But I was pencilling, like I was inking, if you know what I mean, do as opposed to learning the little crosses and the little hatches and the little wrist that you can save time to do the pencil so you can flash out the story, you get it solid and then comes in and puts Lays, brings it to life sort of thing. And I had no idea they were so valuable, those trade paperbacks. That’s why I think people share their knowledge now.

So valuable man. Because even being in Townsville, this isn’t, it’s a 200 odd thousand people city, but it’s isolated, you know what I mean? The next bit, I mean, Brisbane’s the closest capital city and that’s 14, 1500 kilometres away. Cairns is the next closest one and that’s 400 kilometres up the road. And in between all of these places, there are smaller towns and communities and I always think to myself, if I feel isolated here at certain points, my God, there must be some kids out there that love their comics and are sitting there drawing and stuff, you know what I mean? That are in far more isolated communities than what I am. And that is why I love hearing those sorts of stories. Hopefully these sorts of things can reach those kids, come across these things and go, oh, so they thought that too, or this is what they did.

That’s how they found out. And it’s good, man. It’s good. I like the fact you’ve admitted too that you’re still learning in the same boat. I know nothing, man. I just draw man. Anyone says to me, ah, can you show me here? Nah man, I just draw. I really dunno how I do it. I just sit down. I the drawing since I was a kid and I just try stuff and some of it’s wrong. Some of it’s right. Have a joke with my mates that the reason why Bustle is set in a smoky, atmospheric dystopian world is because all the smoke’s there to cover up all the mistakes I’ve made along the way, mate. It’s very smart. Yeah, I’ll be a traditional artist. I can’t sort of go back, go gloss over the page and shit and stuff. There you go. See, swear. We’re first one of the year. Boom, boom. Alright, I’ll put a dollar in the jar later on. But you do learn and you shouldn’t stop learning because another quote I read the other day, really weirdly that’s along the topic to paraphrase it, it was a Miyamoto Moi quote and it was something to the effect of when you first learn something, it’s always hard. You know what I mean? Yes. So I guess the trick is from that is just to, you got to start. You can’t expect it. Exactly.

Matthew Schofield (01:14:28):

Leigh Chalker (01:14:29):
Full knowledge. So encouragement all around. But did you find that all of your years working on The Simpsons and your varying animation technique, obviously you didn’t realise, had sort of influenced your artwork.

And I guess to a certain extent, when you’re doing steamroll a man, when you think about it, you said it before, come home from the day job, I like to relax. Your day job is animating, which essentially like his drawing and making images. And then you come home and you kick the shoes back, kick the shoes off, you chuck your feet up on the box of uncanny so you can relax while you’re watching the LA Rams or the Lakers or whatever, tickles your fancy over there and then you start drawing. So it it difficult to transition from the animator within you to coming into the steam roller man within you, if you know what

Matthew Schofield (01:15:44):
Yeah, I know what you’re getting at. And I think that my work experience or my career experience working in animation definitely informs things like my sense of composition would not be anywhere near what it is without my experience from animation and doing storyboards and layout, because that’s where I really learned how to compose images for maximum impact and how to direct the eye, how to direct the viewer’s eye with your composition and stuff like that. So I definitely use those skills for the comic. But when I first started the comic, it was, yeah, I mean, I get what you’re saying that I’ve been drawing all day and yet to relax. I’m still drawing. So that’s what I did think for years and years was I’ve been drawing all day. I don’t want to draw, I just want to watch TV to relax. But it was that sort of sense of, hey, you’re not getting any younger, so just do it.

And you always wanted to do this, so it’s now or never kind of thing. So then it became, once it became a habit, which was after I’d been doing it every day for about a month at the same time, it became a habit and then it felt weird not to do it. And so once it became a habit, it was more about I was getting satisfaction from drawing my own thing because I had spent not only the whole day, the whole week, but my whole career drawing somebody else’s characters. That’s what a job in animation is really is. You’re not drawing your own characters. Usually you’re drawing somebody else’s characters, and that’s what you’re being paid for, is to do that to the best of your ability. So the comic became, well, I’m doing this for me. I get to draw what I want now and I can do whatever I want with this comic.

And so that’s where I really started to kind of find the love for doing my own comic was because it was all mine and I could take the story wherever I wanted and I could put whatever jokes I wanted into it and I could draw whatever I felt like drawing. And so yeah, I think it’s a discipline that works both in tandem with the animation stuff, but also in opposition to the animation stuff in another way. And so yeah, it’s also because been on The Simpsons for 25 years, as I said, that’s a long time to be drawing one set of characters. Oh, absolutely. And so I’m frozen on the screen. I’m not sure if you can still hear me or not. I can hear you mate, so I’ll just keep talking then. But yeah, that’s a long time to be drawing one set of characters. So in my opinion, I feel like I’m pretty good at drawing those characters, but I had literally not drawn anything else for years besides the drawing that I was doing on The Simpsons. And so it’s also good to sort of stretch those artistic muscles to draw to something else.

And so that’s another thing that I get great satisfaction from doing Steamroller Man, is I’m having to really force myself to increase my skills at drawing anatomy and backgrounds and just all sorts of stuff, really.

Leigh Chalker (01:21:05):
Absolutely. So you sort of really, realistically, you have created two separate worlds. You work and then you’ve come home and you’ve created a routine because, and a space for you to take on and steamroll a man, which you sort of read about a lot of people that do that sort of stuff and routines and little things that they change, you know what I mean? And what is it? It takes 20, I think that’s why they do 28 day rehabs and stuff like that for particular times and detoxes because a 28 day thing for something to become a habit, you know what I mean? So over 20 a day, your body has sort of clicked into a notion of, okay, I’m in a new routine now. Then it just comes down to all of the self-esteem sort of side of things. And with what you’ve done, it seems that bang, you have clicked into that self, that new routine and essentially a meditation, because from what you’re talking about as you sound to me like you’ve come home, you’re relaxing with this, now you’re comfortable with it, you’re doing steamroll, man, you’re feeling good about yourself because you’re feeling progress in the thing you want to do.

Because when you mention, because that’s probably the second time now in our conversation that you’ve mentioned, you’ve been 25 years on The Simpsons. Now, I would imagine that spending 25 years working on the Simpsons would be an honour and a mind explosion in itself. Even to this day, you probably still get like, wow, I work on The Simpsons. And I can definitely tell you that close friends in the community who will watch this when it’s aired will be sitting down watching it and listening to it thinking, my God, Matt Scofield is like the luckiest man in the world, because that’s all we’ve ever wanted to do. But I would assume, and would assume, and I certainly, I’m trying to articulate this question, everything I would assume sometimes you do need a break and just a little, I need to decompress from, no matter how lucky or grateful I am for the opportunity and what I’m doing, I just need a little bit of me time just to step out of that zone there. And this is what Steamroller Man has given to you from the scenes of things. Yeah,

Matthew Schofield (01:24:03):
Yeah. Well, I think that any job, no matter how much fun you’re having at it, when you first start,

Leigh Chalker (01:24:15):

Matthew Schofield (01:24:16):
Becomes a job. At some point it becomes a job. It’s not, you go past that. When I first started on The Simpsons, I was like, oh my God, I’m working on The Simpsons. I was a huge fan. The Simpsons started on TV in Australia when I was in my first year of art college studying animation. So to eventually wind up working on, and we loved everyone in my first year animation class, I remember every Monday we would come in and discuss the Simpsons episode that had been on the night before,

And everybody was like, did you see that new show? The Simpsons? Oh my God, it’s so funny. It’s hilarious. And then so to then of a few years later, me working on the show, I could never have imagined back then I would wind up working on the show, let alone being lucky enough to have stayed on the show and worked in various different roles on the show, because I started off as a character layout artist, which is essentially the animators on the show. And then I became an assistant director, and then eventually got to direct some episodes, and now I’m the supervising storyboard director on the show. I’ve been doing that. This is the 10th year that I’ve been doing that job. So yeah, I mean, it’s an awesome job to have to work in animation and to be working on The Simpsons, which is a phenomenon in,

Leigh Chalker (01:26:19):
I was just going to say phenomenon would be the best word. It’s everyone anywhere in the world knows the

Matthew Schofield (01:26:29):
Sims, right in the history of animation, because animation is a relatively young art form. It is a 20th century art form, so it doesn’t even have that long of a history. So to be part of this history making show, which is the longest running animated sitcom, and the longest running this, and the longest running that, and yeah, it’s amazing. It’s amazing to just be part of it. And so yeah, I’m incredibly grateful and I feel really, really lucky to have the job that I have, especially coming from Brisbane. I never would’ve thought I was just some kid from Brisbane. I never would’ve thought I’d wind up on The Simpsons ever.

Leigh Chalker (01:27:33):
Some kid from Brisbane riding around on push bikes, riding, riding, like going on book exchanges, riding for the book

Matthew Schofield (01:27:39):
Exchange on Saturday morning,

Leigh Chalker (01:27:41):
Suddenly find yourself in a 25 year career on The Simpsons mate. You know what I mean? Man. Take me back to what was your feeling? What was the process of getting to the Simpsons? Did you just see a resume in the LA Times or something that just said, oh, animator wanted, and you thought I’ll have a crack at it? Or had, because you said previously that you’d worked on a few animated movies, most notably for me, the one that I know of is the Iron Giant. Did you find your way in that regard? What was the steps to Simpsons?

Matthew Schofield (01:28:30):
Yeah. When I first arrived in LA I didn’t really know anybody. And so I made friends with guys at work or whatever, and one of my friends who I worked with on Capstone dance,

He had moved out to LA with about six guys he went to college with. They all moved out at the same time to try and find work in the LA film and animation industry. And so he sort of had his own friendship group ready made. And so he was one of the first guys I got to know in la, and he sort of said, oh, hey, do you want to, my friends and I are going to see this movie on Friday night. Do you want to come with us? So I was like, yeah, I don’t have anything else to do. I don’t know anybody, so sure. So I sort of became part of that friendship group. One of the guys who was in, one of the other guys who was in that group worked on The Simpsons. And so I kind of became friends with that whole group. And then a couple of years later when I was working on the Iron Giant, it was when The Iron Giant, no, what was it When Quest for Camelot came out and it was a bomb because we were working on Quest for Camelot, and as we were working on that, we knew everybody who was working on it knew this film’s going to be terrible.

Leigh Chalker (01:30:27):
Why did you have that feeling? This is always, this is just, do you know, obviously you knew when you working, your intuition was a bit,

Matthew Schofield (01:30:38):
Well, I think some of it is just professional cynicism. People just are like, this’s terrible. I’m sick of working on this. This movie’s going to bomb. I’ve heard from friends who worked on Lion King, they thought Lion King was going to be a failure. And of course it was a huge success. So on the one hand, you never know. You never know whether it’s going to click and connect with the public or not. But with Quest for Camelot, I don’t know, there was just something about out the story, because you watch, they put together a rough cut of the movie with just storyboard panels edited together. So you can watch every new employee who starts on the movie your first day. They’re like, okay, we’re going to sit you in this room and we’re going to show you the film at the current stage that it’s at. And usually at that stage it’s like storyboard panels and they’ll have cut in rough animation of some of the scenes that they’ve already approved. But mostly it’s still in that real prototype form. But even when you’re watching it in that form, you can see this story is not good.

And so that came out and that was a bomb. And then we were working on Iron Giant, and it was the opposite. We all knew this is really good, this movie’s going to be really good. But it was already talk of towards the end of Iron Giant, there was already talk of Warner Brothers was not going to promote the film, and they were shifting around the release date. And so it was basically like I could see the writing on the wall. And then when Iron Giant came out and it failed at the box office because Warner Brothers didn’t promote it, so they didn’t really know what they had, and it failed at the box office. And so at that point, I had an offer to stay on at Warner Brothers to work on the next movie, which was Osmosis Jones. But I could see the writing on the wall because I was like, if this company can’t make Iron Giant a hit because it’s such a good film, and if they can’t make that a success, it’s almost like this was a no brainer. All you had to do was advertise it, and this would’ve been a huge success, and they couldn’t even do that. So at that point I was like, maybe it’s time to get out of feature animation and try and do tv. But TV seemed like such a different way of doing animation to me because all I’d done up to that point was feature animation. And it is a very different way of doing it.

So I didn’t even know at that stage, what jobs do you even have in TV animation? I knew that all the actual animation on TV shows was done in Korea. They only did up to the storyboards in the United States, and then they sent the rest of the work overseas. And not always Korea. I mean, some of the work was being done by studios in Sydney and Melbourne, but I had this friend, as I said, who was working on The Simpsons. And so I asked him, I’m thinking of trying to get into TV animation, what jobs are there that I could do with my feature animation experience? And he said, well, we kind of do animation on The Simpsons. It’s character layout, but we really pose it out. We do a lot of drawings and a lot of poses. So it’s almost like you’re doing character animation, would you want to do that?

And I said, yeah, that sounds cool. I’d love to do that. How do I get that job? And he said, oh, there’s a test. There’s a layout test. I can get you a copy. So he got me a copy of the test and I did the test and I showed it to him and he was like, okay, let me show you a few things. Here’s how we draw this. So the test that they gave us was, it was two scenes. One was Homer gets into bed, and so you have to show him lifting up the blanket, getting in bed, and then putting the blanket down over him. And then the other scene was in, I think it was in the Simpson’s living room. And Bart gets up on the couch and Homer says, woo-hoo, or something like that. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but so they designed the test to see whether you could draw the characters, but also turn them in space and draw them in poses that looked like they were doing anatomically correct movements to do what the actions that you were being asked to have them do. So yeah, I did the test and with my friend’s guidance, I would show him the test and he would say, okay, I want you to go back and take another crack at this and work on this and work on that. And it was like he was marking an exam sort of thing and say, we don’t draw Homer’s eyes like this. Here, let me show you. And so he would do a little post-it note and say, here’s how I construct Homer’s head. And so he basically taught me how to draw the characters.

And so I think I did the test three or four times over, and I showed it to him each time and he finally said, okay, this is good enough to submit now. So I turned it in and I got offered a job doing character layout, and it was actually like $250 a week, less than what I was getting paid to do feature animation. But I was like, well, I guess I’ve just got to start at the bottom again, and you got to do what you got to do. And plus it was the Simpsons, and I was a huge fan of The Simpsons, so I was like, I don’t really care. As long as I can pay my bills, I get to work on The Simpsons, and that’s cool. So yeah, I started as a character layout artist, and my first show that I worked on, I had to draw the episode, was Take My Wife Sleaze, and I think that was in season 11.

And it was about a motorcycle gang that comes to Springfield and Homer forms his own motorcycle gang. Oh, that’s what it was. Homer forms his own motorcycle gang, and he calls them the hell, but then there’s already a real motorcycle gang called the Hell. So they roll into town to have a rumble with Homer for the rights to the name of the hell. And so I had to draw, there’s this climactic fight between Homer and the leader of the motorcycle gang where they actually pick up their motorcycles and start clanging them against a sword fight. And so I was just like, I’ve got to draw what now? Yeah, animate motorcycles being turned like this. Wow. So that was a huge learning curve, and it was really felt like, oh, I’m dropped in the deep end. Now I better figure out how to draw motorcycles because in feature animation, you only draw one character. You’re assigned to one character for the length of the film. On The Simpsons, you are assigned a section of the show. It’s like, okay, you are going to get scenes 32 through 42, and then whatever is in those scenes, you draw it. You are responsible for drawing all of it, whether it’s a crowd rioting, whether it’s a guy riding a horse, whether it’s Homer fighting another dude with motorcycles. So you just have to, being on the Simpsons really expanded my drawing skills because

You are forced to draw whatever’s in the script, so many different things from day to day. And it’s not only the characters, but you would also have to draw a rough background. So I had to learn perspective and how to compose an image. And also if there were effects on, in those days, we didn’t have dedicated effects artists, which we do now since the Simpsons movie. We’ve had three effects artists on this TV show, but before that, we had to draw our own. So if there was fire or water or anything in the scene, we had to draw that too. So yeah, it really, really expanded my drawing skills being on The Simpsons.

Leigh Chalker (01:41:58):
Wow, man. So I just want to paint an emotional picture here. So you’re rocking in there, you’re feeling good. Yeah, Simpsons rock on, and they go like, Matt, here’s your script. And you’re like, don’t look at it. You go and sit down at your drawer and desk or whatever it is, and you’re like, man, you’re looking around soaking in the atmosphere and you’re like, oh, I’ve made it. I’m in the Simpsons. I love the Simpsons, man. Get my together and I’m calm. I’m ready to rock and roll. Let’s have a look at the script. Homer is fencing with a motorbike against the bike. What was that moment? I thought I’d be drawing them like a water bubbler or something like that person. Man,

Matthew Schofield (01:42:46):
It was definitely a Scooby do like rut row

Leigh Chalker (01:42:50):
Kind moment though, mate.

Matthew Schofield (01:42:58):
It was intimidating is the word for it. And I just was like, okay, so how am I going to do this? And I kind of just figured out that it’s just about breaking down in the same way that I would break down a character into the shapes of construction forms, like balls and cylinders type thing. It was the same thing with the motorcycle. I was like, okay, well, the wheels are going to be these circular prisms, and then the engine is sort like a cylinder, and then this is this shape. So yeah, it was just a matter of breaking it down into three dimensional sort of blocky, solid shapes that then you could animate turning those much more easily. And then once you get that rough pass done, then you go back in and add your details. And so I still sort of approach drawing that way now is you get the line of action.

I mean, it’s the way you’re supposed to draw. It’s the way that all the books tell you to draw. But I had never drawn backgrounds or props or vehicles or I hadn’t drawn anything but characters. And I find that I see online in a lot of, because in a lot of Facebook comic making groups, and I see a lot of people in those groups saying like, oh, I hate drawing backgrounds. How do I draw backgrounds? Does anyone have advice on how to draw backgrounds? And a few times I’ve sort of chimed in and said, look, you just, there’s no magic trick to it. You just have to start practising drawing backgrounds and you will eventually get good at drawing backgrounds and then you will get to a point where you actually enjoy drawing the backgrounds. That was what happened to me. I hated drawing backgrounds. I never wanted to draw backgrounds. When I was doing my own comics, my little, this was way, way back when I was a teenager, my comics, I don’t think I ever drew background ever. It was always just the characters in the panel.

So it wasn’t until The Simpsons where I was like, no, you will draw a background because that’s part of your job. And so then I was like, so I found, asked my workmates, how do you do perspective? And then one of them said, here, look in this book. And the book was, it was actually called Perspective for comic book artists by an artist called David Chelsea. And that book is actually written as a graphic novel. It’s like understanding comics. It’s that sort of format where it’s nonfiction in informative type stuff, but it’s in comic format. And that actually had, so I looked through that and I was like, oh, okay, okay. Yeah, okay, I get it. Okay. That’s how you do perspective. I mean, I still remembered a little bit of doing perspective. We had in grade eight, we did, I can’t even remember what it was basically orthographic type drawing class. I think we just called it graphics in school. When I was in high school,

Leigh Chalker (01:47:09):
I used to have graphics. It was just known as graphics, and that was where you’d go in with the cube paper and have to do all the symmetrical shapes and all that

Matthew Schofield (01:47:19):
Sort of stuff. So I think we learned perspective, just like basic, this is one point perspective, this is two point perspective, and this is three point perspective. Now draw a cube in each one of those. And that was,

So I sort of knew the principles, but I didn’t know how to apply it to, well, how do you place a figure in a background and make, make it look like their height is proportional to the door on the other side of the background? How do you work that out and make it all look correct? So yeah, it was just, again, it was just a learning curve, reading books and getting tips from my workmates who had been doing it longer than I had. Yeah. And now I’m sort of passing those tips on to younger work colleagues now that I’m in a supervisory position at work. So

Leigh Chalker (01:48:24):
Yeah, teaching full

Matthew Schofield (01:48:26):
Circle. Yeah, exactly.

Leigh Chalker (01:48:27):
Yeah, it is. I liked your explanation there too, because you covered, I mean, I know nothing about animation other than the little principles and stuff that I’ve picked up along the way and stuff, but you’ve given me a real clear cut description of how things are. I also love the fact that despite having different levels of drawing across the three mediums, whether it’s comics to the feature film, just drawing the figure to then coming to the Simpsons and okay, I’ve got to draw backgrounds and figures and stuff like that. There really is a very closely shared principle across all of it, isn’t there? You know what I mean?

And it’s interesting that you were talking about perspective and things, because I remember when I was learning to draw as a young kid, I was very much, and from my perspective, it came across as I just want to draw four grand figures. You know what I mean? I just want to draw those dudes in the front. You know what I mean? Yeah, man. Yeah. I don’t want to draw some dude having a coffee in the window, like six shots down and stuff like that. Exactly. And then the weird part is as I started drawing more, you sort of start picking up storytelling tropes, don’t you? And you start realising that person sitting in that background, having that coffee is telling a thousand words that don’t even need to be spoken.

You learn that that is essential. People may not see it, but you need to have it there. I think that’s an awesome, what you’ve shared there in that particular, with the animation and stuff, because sort of blown out, I keep thinking about the Iron Giant because I never saw it when it first came out, right? Neither did anybody else. Yes. From what you were telling me, yes. So thankfully I’m not in a small club maybe, I don’t know. But I have over the years seen it and it is a lovely film, and it’s one of those films that it’s picked up a cult status because wherever you go and there’s DVDs are sold or Blu-rays are sold, or you’re on your primes or all that sort of what they streaming services and things, you always come across it regularly. Do you know what I mean?

Oh, there’s the iron. There’s the iron Giant. That’s your thing, man. I would suggest that or think that, well, it may not have been successful at that time. I think it’s picked up a really, really positive cult following over the years, man. And I’ve caught it multiple times, and so have mates of mine. We’ve spoken about the Iron Giant before a heap of times, and it’s really, really, really weird that this is what I love about Chin Wags mat. I generally come in, I come in with sometimes knowledge of people and sometimes no knowledge of people. So I like to come in and I guess have no expectations on what conversations and stories are going to be about meeting people and stuff, because I sort of have this idea now that if you judge someone or you’re not sure on someone, or you show a bit of hesitance towards someone, you’re keeping yourself from that person and you’re keeping yourself from that person from you.

And you’ve got to share, you’ve got to talk. It’s the pleasure of meeting, communicating. And I have to say that, mate, what you’ve talked to me today about has really very, very happily surprised me, man, in terms of your career and what you’ve done, and I know you live it and it’s your life and things like that. But to think in my mind, well, I’ve been listening to you that on The Simpsons, you’ve done the Iron Giant, that sort of thing. And I think that I’ve partaking in watching episodes and been along the journey with these things, and you’ve been a part of its creation along the way, man, I reckon that’s really, really cool, man. And I think that’s pretty awesome. Plus the principles of drawing that we’ve been talking about today and stuff. Sometimes I think too, what you did, I think really well there, man, is you broke it down across three spectrums.

What I mean, the drawing the comic books to the film, to the animation side. And I think sometimes when people are learning stuff, they can get a little bit overwhelmed by a lot of details, you know what I mean? But you just did it so really nice, succinctly just boom, boom, boom. This is the difference between the three mediums and this is what it’s, and for someone like me who knows a little bit about everything, but I guess I’m a jack of all trades, master of none, and I wouldn’t call myself the sharpest. It takes me a few chops at the block, if you know what I’m saying. Sometimes that just made complete and utter sense and absolute clarity with what you spoke about there. Thanks,

Matthew Schofield (01:55:03):
Lee. I started laughing when you said, I put it succinctly because I have a reputation amongst my friends of being the most long-winded, the most person they know. I don’t think any of them would say I’m succinct in any way. So thank you, sir. I will take that.

Leigh Chalker (01:55:27):
That’s okay, mate. That’s okay, because I thought it was very well put, mate, so you can tell your friends that I think you’re succinct and maybe that goes to show you and I probably resonate more with each other than what we realise, because I don’t think too many of my mates would call me that either. Some of my mates, when I start, man, some of them go, oh, I’ve got to be somewhere in two hours, mate, you just answering the question. Yeah, just ask you if you wanted a coffee, not your life story. Sounds about the same. Sounds

Matthew Schofield (01:56:08):
About the same as my experience. Yeah,

Leigh Chalker (01:56:12):
That’s great. Beautiful. So what comics you been buying of late that’s caught your eye, man? Oh,

Matthew Schofield (01:56:19):
Let’s see. I have been buying, I’m really enjoying Chip Z’s run on Batman. I was reading Tom King’s Run, and then I sort of dropped Batman. I was like, oh, that was pretty long. And I didn’t really like the way Tom King’s run ended, so I was like, I think I’m just going to take a break from Batman. But then Jorge Jimenez was the artist on when Chip Sadowski came on, Jorge Jimenez came on, and I love Jimenez’s artwork, and so I was really just interested in the artwork, but then when I read the first issue and then the first storyline, I was like, oh man, this is really good stuff. I’d never read any of Chip’s work before this. So I was really impressed and I’ve continued to be impressed. So I’m really loving that. And also I’m reading a lot of DC stuff, not a lot of Marvel stuff. I’m reading The Gargoyle of Gotham by Raphael grandpa, which is another Batman one, which is amazing. Every issue of that, I mean, there’s only been two issues so far. So every issue, it’s two issues, but the way that Raphael grandpa constructs a page, when you really study his artwork, he leads the viewer’s eye, leads the reader’s eye down the page so perfectly, just because of where he’s spotting the blacks

And putting the areas of contrast. It’s amazing to just look at how well his page is flow, which is, that’s a bonus on top of just his style of drawing is so nice to look at as well. He draws a really cool looking. Bruce Wayne looks a little bit like Robert Pattinson did in the movie The Batman. But yeah, really enjoying that World’s Finest by Mark Wade and Dan Mora. Dan Mora is another artist who I’m like, I don’t know how he does it. He’s drawing two comics a month and his art looks so good and Mark Wade. I

Leigh Chalker (01:59:18):
Dunno how they do that either, man. I mean, mind you, I’m a bit more, I like painting, so I sort of treat my pages as painting, and I take my time and I think about things, and I’ve tried Russians and I sound like Jim from the Book Exchange made in the, it doesn’t work with me. So I dunno, anyone that look at deadlines and then not only take one deadline, but yeah, look, I’ll do two is like

Matthew Schofield (02:00:04):
I know. I know. It’s, it’s amazing. It’s amazing. But yeah, Mark Wade, I think is Mark Wade’s one of my favourite comic book writers just because he knows how to write a quote, good old fashioned superhero story. He’s got such a breadth of knowledge of Silver Age superhero kind of detail and trivia and continuity that he can just put all that stuff into a story, but also give it a modern feel to it. Yeah, so I’m really enjoying World’s Finest. I think that’s great. From Marvel, I’ve been reading amazing, but not super enjoying it. I’m enjoying it enough to keep buying it, but I’m just like, can we not do more of these wrap stories? It just seems a little directionless in terms of like, oh, now we’re doing this and we’re just going to do this for two issues, and now we’re doing something completely different. There’s no sort of through line, but then it jumps back, I dunno, it’s a bit weird. Incredible. Whole has been really great.

Leigh Chalker (02:01:43):
He might’ve given themselves a way out to do that with all that multiverse stuff too, because it seems like everyone’s got a multiverse now, you know what I mean?

Matthew Schofield (02:01:52):
Oh yeah.

Leigh Chalker (02:01:54):
It’s like you do. You have to Doctor Man over in the uk they’ve got, I was watching a Tolkien documentary once, and there was this dude that came on and he was young man, he’d probably be, I guess about 40 now at the time. He looked really young guy, and I was like, man, this dude must’ve read a lot of Tolkien books. And then underneath it, professor of Tolkien at some university in England, I was like, okay, he knows his stuff. So pretty soon we’ll be like Professor of multi universalism across Marvel and dc. It’s a,

Matthew Schofield (02:02:39):
I wouldn’t be surprised

Leigh Chalker (02:02:40):
Job. They your name badge, you’re the professor of, what the hell is that?

Matthew Schofield (02:02:47):
I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m sure that somebody will create a college level course to teach that stuff at some point just to study it, study the different fictional multiverses or whatever.

Leigh Chalker (02:03:01):
Oh man. Yeah. Could you imagine? This is class 9 1 6 and over there is class 8 1 8 things, and the Naughty Boys go to the Zach Schneider room, like whatever. Which I got to be honest with you, I dunno if you’re the same, but I didn’t mind the extended version of the Justice League. I’m just saying I just thought that was okay.

Matthew Schofield (02:03:27):
It was definitely a better film, but I think it didn’t need to be as long as it was.

Leigh Chalker (02:03:36):
You’re right there.

Matthew Schofield (02:03:39):
I liked all the extra stuff that he put in with Dark Side and The New Gods and Apocalypse and the story definitely made more sense, but at the same time, I sort of came away thinking, if you need three and a half hours to tell your story, then you’re doing something wrong. You got to do something to condense your story because

Leigh Chalker (02:04:09):
Well, what about the 15 Superman screaming and listening and watching it echo around the globe and affecting everyone,

Matthew Schofield (02:04:19):
Or the Norwegian, the Norwegian singers singing the whole song, that whole song when Aquaman came out of the water. It’s like, we don’t need to see this whole song.

Leigh Chalker (02:04:33):
Yeah, yeah. I suppose mean if you’ve got the opportunity to be self-indulgent to a certain extent, I That’s

Matthew Schofield (02:04:44):
Thing. Yeah, that’s the thing.

Leigh Chalker (02:04:46):
Yeah, one rip, I just remember sitting there and thinking you’d have, oh, and it go, it was cool. It was cool. Superman’s obviously Superhuman pout, he’s got big lungs, so it’s going to have to be a big dream. And then you’d feel the breath tapering off, you’d feel it dulled down and you’d think, okay, onto the next scene. And then it was like, start

Matthew Schofield (02:05:10):

Leigh Chalker (02:05:12):
Oh man, hello. We got here. I’m going to stop breathing in a minute and just pass out.

Matthew Schofield (02:05:22):
I do think that that movie would not have worked as well at that length in a theatre, but being able to watch it at home where you can take a break, especially because in the directors in the Snyder cut, they broke it up into chapters. And so that was a convenient point to be like, alright, pause, going to go have a bathroom break, make myself a little piece of toast or whatever, get a drink and then I’ll come back and let’s watch Act two or whatever. That’s perfect. Resume screaming, resume

Leigh Chalker (02:06:14):
Screaming, oh my God, like 40. But that

Matthew Schofield (02:06:17):
Was the perfect way to watch it. It’s like, well, if I can watch it at home and I can take breaks, then yeah, this works, but I don’t want to sit in a theatre for almost four hours watching that. So yeah, I think it was the right moment for that to be released because it was a result of the Pandemic and Warner Brothers being like, oh my God, well, what are we going to do? Oh, let’s do the Snyder cut and we’ll put it on streaming. At that point, theatres were all closed, so it was sort of the perfect movie for that moment, I think.

Leigh Chalker (02:07:05):
I agree. I enjoyed it for what it was, man, I look back on that quite fondly, to be honest with you. I thought it was pretty cool. So thumbs up to ’em. It incorporated all of those sort of cool elements of the heroes. But I don’t read a lot of modern comic books. I am a bit of a backhand singer, I’ve got to be honest with you. I do pick up a Batman comic here and there. I sort of tend to lean more towards trade paperbacks these days. Been reading a little bit of manga as it pops up here and there. Oh yeah.

Matthew Schofield (02:07:40):
What sort of manga are you reading

Leigh Chalker (02:07:44):
Pretty heavily into Berserk at the moment? I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, to be honest, but sometimes you just try things and just boom, like, whoa, okay, this is some rhythm with that. And one of the young fellas that I work with, he reads a lot of manga and I’d never heard of this thing called Chainsaw Man.

Matthew Schofield (02:08:14):
Oh yeah, I’ve heard of it.

Leigh Chalker (02:08:16):
And I was like, okay, what’s it about? And he was like, I’ve got a chainsaw for a head chainsaw for arms, and he chainsaws people up. And I’m like, yeah, right. Sounds deep, deep, deep. It’s thoughtful. And so he went and bought me the first volume Chainsaw Man, and he said, here, just have a go. And I was like, alright, sure. I got to be honest with you. I actually, man, there’s more to it than what it would initially suggest. So I quite like that. And recently read an image comic called Geer, which Oh

Matthew Schofield (02:09:10):

Leigh Chalker (02:09:11):
Yeah, which I think was worth the read, so I’d never heard of that before. So I try and keep up with modern comic books, I guess do a lot more reading of Australian comics though these days. Try and support the local industry as much as I can and things and that of my friends and people in the community. So I do what I can for that sort of stuff. But comics are beautiful medium men. So

Matthew Schofield (02:09:39):
The Australian Australian comic community slash industry seems to have really expanded since I was in Australia because I’m completely out of touch with what’s being published in Australia now. But I remember in the nineties there was like issue one and Zero Assassin and Platinum Grit,

And then Cyclone, we were talking earlier before we started recording about your Glen Lumsden interview, but I was loved Cyclone as a kid. When I discovered that there was Australian comics that was kind of a game changer. I wanted to draw comics and these were Australian guys actually doing it. So I started getting Cyclone as of issue five I think, and got every issue. And then when it became Southern Squadron, I bought that, and then I bought Dark Nebula and Southern Cross and all that sort of stuff. So yeah, it definitely seems like there’s a lot more comic making going on in Australia these days than there was back then.

Leigh Chalker (02:11:08):
Well, I collected a lot of those things that you are talking about now. Those comic books and stuff too, they’re in my collection. The creators of those characters from Cyclone and the other comic book characters that you mentioned will probably enjoy your commentary there because they do watch the show from time to time and pick it up. Oh, good. And stuff like that. And I’m thankful that you enjoyed them because a lot of those guys are friends and I’ve touched base with them and stuff as well of late. And they’re lovely people, man, and deserve their place because Australia’s gone through some quiet times with their comic books. They had the boom, and then as I can remember, just from talking to them with the history and the timeline, that mid nineties was really pumping. And then when all that period where image started and there was 1 million issue, one started because they call the prospector boom, and then they got flood.

Matthew Schofield (02:12:20):
Yeah, speculator, boom,

Leigh Chalker (02:12:22):
Boom. Then the news agents started slowing down on stocking ’em and they became more specialised comic shops and that sort of thing. And a lot of the industry changed there. And I think you’ll find varying ones went off to advertising and just wherever they could go. And there were a few comic books in Australia that plugged away through the two thousands, Kroo being one that I recall, and obviously the Phantom Chugged Away, and there are a couple of others that was going along. And then I guess with the advent of things like printing got cheaper, back in those days, you had to do three, 4,000 copies to print something where now you can do runs of 20, like 50 and a hundred, whatever. The printing game has changed now. So there’s a lot of advantages. You’ve got Kickstarters, which I mean if you essentially think about it a Kickstarter to a certain extent, I mean there’s your distribution, do you know what I mean? You’ve got people bought, so you’re pushing it out, you are centralised, you are pushing it out to your customers and things. It changes, man. You’d find with in the animation world, with technology leaps, you know what I mean? There’s this ad we’ll use and next year we’re going to upgrade to this and then there’s that. But you’d always be constantly adjusting, I would assume. Absolutely.

That’s one of those things, man, I guess you adapt or you die, don’t you? It’s some of those weird things. Well mate, we will wind down and I don’t really think I need to ask you a why because I can tell by your passion tonight and the fact that the fire still burns and you’ve set your little goals for yourself, and the universe seems to be nudging you along in directions for you to achieve those goals that you’ve had for me and meeting you today. I’m very grateful you’ve come onto the show and I have had the opportunity to meet you today, man, and definitely stay in touch and absolutely, I hope to see steamroll a man out and about and succeed and push on. And I certainly hope everyone watching like the show when it’s broadcast will check out steamroll a too and check out what Matt Scofield has done with himself with From What To Me Mate, sounds like a very successful, pretty amazing career from a young Brisbane fella who bought his Cyclone comics and his Mighty Mouse and his man called Nova back in the day and set his mind that he wanted to draw.

So I would say you have had every success. So Matt, on closing for the evening mate, what would you say if you were sitting behind the desk at the San Diego and you had steamroll a man there and you had a young fella going through your prints and his mom and dad came up to you and started talking to you about, oh, I’ve been wanting to do this comic book for a long time. What should I do? What would you, in that moment, if roles were swapped, what would be your advice to that individual?

Matthew Schofield (02:16:13):
I think my advice would probably be very similar to the advice that John Boy Myers gave me, which was essentially basically just do it. My advice would be if you want to make a comic, just start making a comic and you’ll learn how to do it by just doing it trial and error. Don’t wait, don’t wait until you’ve got the perfect story and just jump in. Just dive in and don’t do a lot of pre-production artwork. Just draw it as you’re making the comic design on the page and just start. And you’ll learn from that process whether you want to keep doing it. Comic making is a very, I’ve learned that. I think it’s one of the slowest ways to tell a story because first you’ve got to write it, then you’ve got to lay out the page, then you’ve got to pencil it, then you’ve got to ink it, then you’ve got to letter it, and then you’ve got one page.

Now do that 50 times and you’ll have a story. So it’s like if you’re doing it all yourself, it’s a very slow way to tell a story. And I think it’s a particular sensibility and mindset that you need to want to do that and want to keep doing it. I think some people think they want to do a comic, but then once they start they’re like, oh, this is too slow or whatever. And that’s cool. It’s not for everybody, but you’re never going to know unless you actually dive in and just do it. And yeah, that would be my advice is just learn by doing. And as far as how to get your work out there, you just do what I did. The Facebook page method is so easy. Or just put it on Instagram. Tonnes of people do Instagram comics where they just put, they make their panel the same size as the Instagram Square, and then they just do a panel each time. And that’s eventually when you make enough panels, you’ve got a whole story. And that’s a perfectly legitimate way to get your comic out there these days too. So there’s just so many more outlets to get your work out there, and a lot of them don’t cost you anything except your time and effort. So yeah, I would say basically just dive in and do it while you’ve still got the enthusiasm for it, the enthusiasm that’s going to carry you further than anything else. So yeah, that’d be my advice.

Leigh Chalker (02:19:22):
I think that’s lovely, Matt. I think that’s very nice indeed. I’ve really enjoyed our chat today, man. I

Matthew Schofield (02:19:31):
Have too. And I just want to say it’s been great to meet you and talk to you. I think you’re a very interesting soul and you’ve got a good energy about you, so it’s been good to spend time talking to you.

Leigh Chalker (02:19:48):
Thank you, Matt. Man, I really appreciate that. It’s much like my comic books. I have been a work in progress myself made over the last couple of years, so I really do appreciate that. Those kind of words, more than you realise, man. So thank you very much.

Matthew Schofield (02:20:04):

Leigh Chalker (02:20:06):
I wish you every success, man. I really do. I’m going to keep a very close eye on Steamroll Man. Oh, thanks. And I really do want people to check out Steamroll Man, so jump on the Facebook page, the website, do all the likes, the followings, all of those sorts of things show the love for a fellow creator and someone whose enthusiasm still burns. And I know there’s people out there will be running around trying to watch Bloody Simpsons cartoons in the Iron Giant over the next couple of weeks, mate, trying to see your name on there. That dude, I got to meet Matt. Yeah. And

Matthew Schofield (02:20:50):
Apologies if we didn’t talk enough about The Simpsons.

Leigh Chalker (02:20:55):
Well, where

Matthew Schofield (02:20:57):
The conversation went. So

Leigh Chalker (02:20:59):
This is the Chinwag man. This is the fluidity of the Chinwag, the flow. Just let go of the banks, man and just see where the conversation and the topics take. It’s like, I think that’s the best way Chin Waxs can go.

Matthew Schofield (02:21:20):
Yeah, no, I didn’t mind it at all. I’m just thinking about the audience, whether they would be watching going, he hardly talked about The Simpsons or something. Well,

Leigh Chalker (02:21:32):
Matt, I think what we’ve discovered is that there is far more to you mate than just The Simpsons. I think there’s a many layered individual in there. And if anyone has any letters of complaint that we didn’t touch on the Simpsons enough, you can just send your emails to Shane and I’ll be sure to check my file once they come through to me in the next 15 or 20 years and I’ll do my best to get back to you. Anyway, it’s all about fun and it’s been an excellent episode. Alright mate. Yeah, well

Matthew Schofield (02:22:14):
This was really fun. So thanks very much, Lee. It was awesome.

Leigh Chalker (02:22:17):
Alright. Alright. My little mate, Lloyd’s even popped in to say good day to you, Matt. Hello.

Matthew Schofield (02:22:21):
Oh nice.

Leigh Chalker (02:22:23):
Yeah, he’s me. A little offsider. Alright everyone, thank you for watching the prerecorded chinwag with Matt Scofield. I do hope that we gave you as much as you wanted for those people out there that are shedding tears into their pot plants. You know what I mean? Like that. We didn’t talk about the Simpsons enough. That’s just how it is. This is the chin lag, this is fluid. And who knows, Matt and I had such a good conversation that down the track somewhere, Matt is always welcome. So you may get your wish for more Simpsons somewhere down the track. The show is sponsored by the Comex Shop. Now the Comex shop has over 100 Australian independent comic book titles. Not all of them are produced by the Comex Studio wing of the Comex network. So everyone is welcome to stock their comic books in the shop.

It is a one stock online shop. The distribution is from the head office so you don’t have to worry about orders coming to you and you worrying about mail orders and stuff like that. Once your comic is ordered, it will get sent out from the office. Now, for anyone wishing to buy comic books from the shop, there is a $9 postage flat rate. Now that doesn’t just mean one comic, that means 10 20 comics as you want flat rate, $9 anywhere you want to go internationally, a slightly different postage rates. Just send an email, ask questions for that, and I’m sure Shane will get back to you with all the information that you need. The show is also broadcast, as I said earlier on across the Comex Network and Aussie verse. Now if you’re watching on Aussie verse and you have heard of Comex, the Comex addresses are across the bottom of the screen in the yellow ticker box.

So if you can go to those and like follow, subscribe, click the bell, et cetera, et cetera, to help the algorithms on any site you can find them, that would be wonderful. If you’re watching on the Comm X network and you’ve never heard of Aussie verse, Aussie verse and their addresses are across the yellow ticker box across the bottom as well. If you can go to subscribe the Bells, press any button you can that doesn’t set off an explosion would be handy because all of these things help the algorithms and with the algorithms assistance, they go higher up the list. We get more content into your face. It allows more people like Matt and all the other guests we’ve had on Chinwag, the other shows that are broadcast across both networks to get into your face and living room. And we share the stories of other creators and people associated and involved in the comic book community.

So I would like to thank you very much for this evening. On a passing note, don’t forget the kindness is the most important thing you can show another human being. It doesn’t hurt if you haven’t heard from someone, the family, a friend, one of your people, anyone and you haven’t heard from ’em for a long time, mate, just send them a text, give them a ring because you might make their day and you never know. It might make yours as well because a text message in a phone call can change someone’s life. Alright? It’s happened to me. I’m only here because of one of those things and I’m very thankful to be here moving forward, as I said last week, thank you very much. And community is unity and Chinwag will always be made with love. Thank you. See you next week.

Voice Over (02:26:04):
This show is sponsored by the Comex Shop. Check out for all things Comex and find out what Comex is all about. We hope you enjoy.


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