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AMA I'M THE COMIC BOOK CREATOR/WRITER/ARTIST MICHAEL METTLEN- Horror/mature content/graphic dialog. Not being afraid to push the envelope.

Michael Mettlen
Oct 10, 2017

KICKSTARTER LINK- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1771228484/michael-mettlens-butch-the-butcher-part-1

FACEBOOK (MICHAEL METTLEN) https://www.facebook.com/myke.metts

FACEBOOK FAN PAGE (BUTCH THE BUTCHER)

https://www.facebook.com/ButchTheButchercomicbook/?ref=br_rs

FACEBOOK FAN PAGE (KANE)

https://www.facebook.com/KaneTheComicBook/

I'm Michael Mettlen. I'm the creator, writer and artist behind BUTCH THE BUTCHER (LIVE on Kickstarter now!) I'm a fan of classic horror movies as well as mob movies and obviously comic books. B.T.B. is a HORROR comic unlike any other. And heres why... I gathered inspiration for Butch The Butcher from classic thrasher movies, One for certain is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and for mob films I went with the cult classic The Godfather. Picture a story in 1950's Bronx New York where a ordinary butcher and his pregnant wife take a loan from the mob to try and get a fresh start and open a deli/butcher shop. The mob doesnt collect the debts as fast as they wanted so they shot the pregnant wife of the butcher (butch) and then burned down there shop with her inside. This is what drives a ordinary man off the deep end. Butch becomes deranged and homicidal becoming BUTCH THE BUTCHER. This is a highly detailed and graphic 4 part mini issue horror story. In part 1 alone you see Butch's desend into madness, excessive alcohol abuse, drug abuse, attempted suicide. He snaps and decides to go after the MOB! Starting with The Don's KIDS and his wife! This is only part 1 of a 4 issue story. The detail, the gore. Its like best of both worlds. Classic cars, mobsters in zoot suits, women in polka dot dresses, old school revolvers, machine guns, the clever mobster nicknames that we all love and adore from all our favorite classics and of course the HORROR side tied into it. Its truly UNIQUE. And the KICKSTARTER is for people to pledge and invest to see it come to life in print to read and collect. 

CREDITS-

Creator,writer,artist- Michael Mettlen

Letters- Mike Montalvo

Colors- Federico Sioc Jr.

Cover art- Bryan SilverBax

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Conversation (63)

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Do you have a team you work with on this?

Oct 11, 2:59PM EDT0

Yes. I'm the creator, writer and artist. Mike Montalvo is the letterer, Federico Sioc Jr. is the colorist and on the cover art is Bryan SilverBax

Oct 12, 10:32AM EDT0

Are you going to use a traditional publisher at some point?

Oct 11, 5:51AM EDT0

I would do it right now and cancel the Kickstarter if the terms of the agreement are good and the publisher has a good fan-base and can bring the proper distribution for the comic. My first comic Michael Mettlen's KANE #1 was published (Its not published anymore. I had my contract terminated and KANE #1 taken down for sale. I am going to do a KANE reboot though) B.T.B. was rejected by the publishers I contacted because of it being too graphic apparently, and not fitting what they are currently marketing. To me it was a polite way of saying "You are pushing the envolope and we are scared to have our brand on something like this". Haha. But yeah I'd definitely go with a publisher if the publisher was established with a large fan-base and has great distribution.

Oct 11, 8:07AM EDT0

Do you prefer "comic book" or "graphic novel" to describe your work?

Oct 10, 10:10PM EDT0

Comic book because its broken up into 4 seperate comics instead of 1 big book like a graphic novel but I actually am thinking after all 4 issues are released of making Butch The Butcher a graphic novel with all 4 issues in 1.

Oct 11, 7:56AM EDT0

You are very talented, I really enjoyed reading through your AMA :) I thought you might like to take a look at this ComicsAMA - what do you think? 

Oct 10, 7:08PM EDT0

Thank you. I really appreciate it. I just checked it out. It looks very cool. Something my kids might enjoy. I left a couple questions. Good luck =)

Oct 10, 7:20PM EDT66

How difficult is it to self-publish?

Oct 10, 5:31PM EDT0

I'm not sure yet. This is my first time self-publishing. My other comic was published by Advent Comics. (I'm nolonger published, I had my contract terminated- personal decision. No bad blood. Didnt want you to get the wrong idea. ) But yeah so this is my first time. I've heard its not easy but if you work hard at something almost anything is possible. If my Kickstarter fails I'll more than likely pitch it to publishers.

Oct 10, 7:16PM EDT0

This is so cool. W00T W00T!!! I love your work! Please make a purple penguin as a wall decoration in one of the panels. It would mean a ton. Love you lots.

Oct 10, 5:08PM EDT0

I definitely will! I love adding in fun hidden messages/symbals and stuff in my artwork. I'll definitely add a purple penguin in issue #2 of B.T.B. since I'm currently working on it. Love you too Karen. =)

Oct 10, 7:10PM EDT0

Amazing work! Is it safe to say you are a horror movie fan? And if so do you have any favorites? 

Oct 10, 3:59PM EDT0

Definitely a horror movie fan. my wife ;) likes more modern horror movies and remakes but I'm more of a old school classic horror movie fan. I love Halloween, especially the original first one. I'm also a fan of IT (Havent seen the reboot but definitely want to) I like a lot of the 1980s-1990s franchise slasher films like Halloween, Childs Play, Friday The 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street and many more. I'm not a fan of the modern craze of demonic horror movies. I dont do the whole ghost shit. Even though I've seen all the original Exorist, Omen, ext... They are classics but I wont watch them again probably. Haha! Whats great is that even though my wife and I have different tastes in horror movies she still comes up with amazing ideas that sometimes helps add to my work. Shes very supportive.

Oct 10, 7:08PM EDT0

What made you choose to do such a gory comic?

Oct 10, 2:39PM EDT0

It all hapened by accident. Les than 2 years ago I decided since comics were a passion I was going to make being a comic artist and writer a career choice. I wrote my first comic and drew it (Titled Michael Mettlen's KANE #1) My artwork was sloppy but it did get me a publishing deal with Advent Comics. I did a store signing and my comic saw print as well as digital sales but even though my artwork needed work what I got complimented on the most was my violent scenes and the way I drew blood as well as the story. KANE wasnt originally intended to be horror. KANE was intended to be a dark superhero comic for adults with off beat sense of humor. The storyline was dark and my more violent scenes made it into a sort of Horror sub-genre. I noticed this and continued to get a lot of feedback. I evently had my contract terminated and KANE #1 isnt for sale anymore (I'm doing a reboot by the way) but when I got the idea for Butch The Butcher after watching clasic thrasher / horror movies and a few of my favorite Mob movies- it just clicked. Apparently people really like my eye for drawing violence. Haha it just clicked. I never intended to build a name from horror or very dark superhero comics it all happened by accident. But if life throws you lemons you make lemonaide apparently. Haha. B.T.B. is on Kickstarter right now. The link is up above. If you would be interested in investing even just $1 I'd really appreciate it. =)

Oct 10, 3:34PM EDT0

How long does it usually take you to finish an entire comic?

Oct 10, 1:34PM EDT0

That depends on how many pages the comic is. I've been told I work very fast. I'm capable of finishing 2 pages in a day. It typically takes me just 1 day to finish a page (pencils and inks) I dont color or add the letters/word bubbles and narration and such. I've trained myself and am still training myself to produce highly detailed artwork but at a faster pace. The comic industry is full of very fast pace deadlines and if you cant keep up then time is your worst enemy. So since the beggining of me deciding this career choice (Les than 2 years ago) I decided to learn quality and kep it fast pace. And I'm still learning and still reaching for knowledge.

Oct 10, 3:26PM EDT0

What comics or authors most inspire you?

Oct 10, 1:23PM EDT0

Great question! Definitely darker comics. I love Spawn and Batman. Dark storylines like the 1980s "A Death In The Family" where Jason Todd is killed by The Joker is a wonderful read. I also really like the graphic novel The Killing Joke. As far as Spawn goes, I cant pick up a Spawn comic where I'm not inspired. But thats just 2 among many. If its dark, well written and the artwork is amazing I'm all over it. And I dont mean dark as in horror all the time. Just more mature comics catch my eye more so than kid-friendly comics most the time.

Oct 10, 3:21PM EDT1

Where did the idea for the character stem from?

Oct 10, 1:14PM EDT0

For Butch the Butcher the idea sparked when I started thinking about mob movies I liked and classic thrasher movies from the late 70s, to the 90s. I drew inspiration from that. The concept of a horror comic taking place in 1950s Bronx New York and fusing it with the Mob in the storyline really sounded original and different to me so after the idea sparked I instantly went to work writing. Part 1 of a 4 part mini series is now on Kickstarter. The link is up above if you are interested in investing even just a $1 I'd apreciate it. =)

Oct 10, 3:18PM EDT1

Do you do all the artistry and storyline yourself?

Oct 10, 12:57PM EDT0

I'm the creator, writer and artist. So yes I created the characters, storyline, dialog ext.. and also drew the pencils and inked each page. Letters (Word bubbles and narration) are done by Mike Montalvo and colors are done by Federico Sioc Jr. The cover art is done by Bryan SilverBax.

Oct 10, 1:02PM EDT0

Is it all based on your imagination or are you also inspired by lifestyle?

Oct 10, 11:40AM EDT0

Well Butch The Butch is a 4 part mini series so the story is 4 comics long. In issue #2 the story gets deeper into Butch The Butcher's psych. I want to make this series unlike anything that has been done yet- at least like this and to this extent and to my knowledge I'm doing that. The story is definitely all built from imagination but the original concept was inspired by different movies/tv shows and I just ran with the sparked idea and wrote and drew a complete story out of it.

Oct 10, 12:17PM EDT0

If you had not pursued a career in making comics, what would you have chosen instead?

Oct 10, 6:54AM EDT0

Definitely something artist.

Oct 10, 12:08PM EDT0

Are comics just for kids or are adults also interested in comics?

Oct 10, 5:51AM EDT0

Both. I'm sure Butch The Butcher will be rated a T+ rating if not maybe a M rating. I have KANE #2 in the works even though #KANE #1 isnt for sale anymore (I'll be doing a reboot for it) but I'm sure KANE #2 will get a M rating for sure. Haha. I dont write or draw comics for the kid audiance (Well, I havent yet at least). There is definitely comic books out there for everyone of all ages and interests.

Oct 10, 11:59AM EDT0

How long have you been working in this field and why the fascination with horror and gore?

Oct 10, 2:28AM EDT0

Under 2 years. I've always liked horror movie classics but this wasnt planned honestly. The horror came on its own. It all started with drawing graphic superhero art which landed me a publishing deal. My first attempt at writing and drawing comics was Michael Mettlen's KANE #1 which was a Superhero comic aimed at adults and teens. It was filled with insane violence, bad ass super powers and a insane origin story. My artwork since it was my first attempt was truly crappy  but it did land me a publishing deal. I saw online digital sales as well as print sales. I even did a successful book store signing. I asked for my contract to be terminated (I still own all rights to KANE and am planning on publishing more soon) So KANE #1 is nolonger for sale but it was my grusome/violent scenes that people loved. I got great feedback for my story telling and especially my bloody scenes. So I studied very hard, and I mean VERY hard at drawing and now I'm working on a Marvel project with Upper Deck trading cards and for my first time trying to self-publish a comic with Kickstarter. Motivation, determination and positivity is key. Sometimes things happen by accident. Granted I've always liked horror movies it was never planned for me to start building a name from drawing and writing gore/horror comics or dark/gore superhero comics. If life throws you lemons, make lemonaide I guess. Haha.

Oct 10, 3:12AM EDT0

Do you ever use family or friends as inspiration for your artwork?

Oct 9, 11:06PM EDT1

All the time! What's the point of working towards succes if you dont have a awesome family and friends to eventually share it all with? =) I got this pretty bad ass father-in-law and mother-in-law who support my dreams a lot and I work very hard to make them proud. Every page I do, every concept story I write my thoughts are I want this to be successful so my kids and family and friends have someone to be proud of, a good example for the kids to show you can be what you want to be if you work hard at it. My family and friends are the root to my motivation and determination and I love them for that.

Oct 9, 11:23PM EDT0

Is there a certain type of persona who loves to read comics?

Oct 9, 10:08PM EDT0

I dont think so. I mean comic books have come such a long way over the years. There it comics about all genres. I think they got a bad rep from people saying like "only nerds read comics" or something along those lines, ya know like kids back in middle-school / high school more so. But I mean these days its so much more accepted, its become bigger than its ever been. From blockbuster movies, to headling TV shows, to clothing and merchandise everywhere. Someone doesnt like Superheros? Cool theirs horror comic books, someone doesnt like horror comics? Cool theirs Sci-Fi comics- and so on.  So I dont think there is a certain type of person who loves to read comic books but ya know everybody has there own interests and maybe traditional reading without artwork in a sequential artform and comic dialog isnt for them. However I'd still encourage others to still give it a shot. =) haha

Oct 9, 10:17PM EDT0

I like your comic. Keep up the great work!!!

Oct 9, 9:42PM EDT0

Thank you, very much!! =)

Oct 9, 10:01PM EDT0

W

Oct 9, 9:35PM EDT0

What advice would you give to anyone else looking to create their first crowdfunding project?

Oct 9, 9:33PM EDT0

Well, this is also my first time doing Kickstarter or any other crowd funding project. My advice would be go for it. You never know until you try and worse case scenario is that it isnt succesful so use that and learn from it. Although I will say you should definitely promote your campaign, videos for YouTube. Post in groups, heck maybe some "Shameless promo posts" like posting it on highly followed Facebook pages if you have to. Tell friends and family. Contact bloggers by social media, ask them if they would be interested in your project and see if they will post something about it on their blog. I hope this was helpful.

Oct 9, 10:10PM EDT0

How long does it take you to draw a comic book panel?

Last edited @ Oct 9, 10:16PM EDT.
Oct 9, 9:22PM EDT0

It depends on the layout. If the script calls for something highly detailed (Which I love =) haha ) I may spend anywhere between 1 hour penciling/rough drafting to maybe 2 hours. Once I start my inking process since I work traditional (not digitally) I will take anywhere betweeen 4 hours to a full day. The inking process takes a long time because theres no backspace when choosing to work traditional and white out only helps so much. Plus when I take my time I do my best work. That and a smoke break every hour or so to clear my mind and give my eyes a rest.

Oct 9, 10:06PM EDT0

What advice would you give someone who wants to make a comic?

Oct 9, 5:23PM EDT0

My advice would be if you are passionate about your work then dont let any negativity stop you. It's very expensive, very hard to break into the business but if your doing it for the love of the craft then by all means do it up. Also, if your looking to be a artist, studying is important. The more you draw the better you will become. Also, I'd say dont be afraid to push the status quo. Write what YOU want to read, draw what YOU want to see.

Oct 9, 6:03PM EDT0

Could you theoretically create an animated feature film from animated GIF?

Oct 9, 5:02PM EDT0

Possibly? I'm not sure. Sorry. I'm not familiar in the cartoon/animation medium. I pencil/ink comic books. That's a good question though.

Oct 9, 6:04PM EDT0

Have you networked with some of the other AMA hosts on here who are doing comics to exchange ideas or tips?

Oct 9, 4:18PM EDT0

No I havent, I'm new to AMA. Jesa contacted me about this and I'm happy I'm here. Definitely like the site.

Oct 9, 6:06PM EDT0

Can you describe your daily routine?

Oct 9, 3:01PM EDT0

As far as an artist/writer? Well I'm a comic book colector as well so if I'm searching for inspiration I often read or even just flip threw some of my comics or graphic novels. I sit down at my art desk and begin reading my script for the pages I'm doing. I work traditional so I use 11x17 comic book standard art boards to draw on. I then decide how I want the page to be layed out. I pencil in the panels then I pencil in rough sketches of whats in each panel. After I got something I like I grab my sharpies and my micron ink pens and go to town. I like to listen to music while I draw or write also. After I'm done inking I erase the page to get any pencils left on it and then I re-ink the page. Afterwards I get a sharpie and a ruler and draw in the panel lines. I scan the page in hi-res, send it off to my colorist who colors it digitally and from there it is sent to my letterer along with my script to add the word bubbles, narration ext...

Oct 9, 6:13PM EDT0

Has the style of comics changed over the years and how?

Oct 9, 2:49PM EDT0

I would certainly say so. I think overall a lot has changed. Comics used to have a funny bone then in the mid 1970s to especially the 1980s comic's have gotten darker. The stories went from goofy things to entertain kids to stories about problems in society and pop culture, from drugs, to racism, to the wars and also abuse. Writers like Alan Moore and Frank Miller are just 2 of many who have brought a entirely different world to comic books from their writing. Also artwork has definitely played a big part in it too. I'n the 50's comics were drawn much like newspaper funnies (The origin source of comics) until the later artists like Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, and many others starting changing suit and making the artwork far more realistic and dynamic compared to a decade or 2 before. Then in the mid 1980s/90s with Tod McFarlane and Jim Lee- the game is changing and will continue to as long as people stay creative and continue to be bold.

Oct 9, 6:20PM EDT0

Do you have any help or is this a one man operation?

Oct 9, 12:43PM EDT0

I have a colorist and a letterer. I'm the creator, writer and artist. I created it as well as wrote the script and dialog script and penciled and inked each page. Afterwards I have the pages scanned in hi-res and sent to my colorist to color in the pages digitally. After I get the colored pages back I send them to the letterer who then letters the pages (Naration and word bubles ext..) digitally. As far as printing goes I'm relying on Kickstarter for that. The link is at the top if you feel like you would be interested in pledging. =)

Oct 9, 6:25PM EDT0

What type of comics are the most successful or promising in your view?

Oct 9, 12:43PM EDT0

Ahhhh, thats a tough question. Honestly I have no idea. Maybe more dark, realistic stuff. Maybe more kid friendly comics because of the broader audiance? I honestly dont know? That could depend on what success means to you? Sorry I couldnt answer your question better.

Oct 9, 6:29PM EDT0

What are your back-up plans if your crowdfunding campaign fails?

Oct 9, 12:27PM EDT0

Continue to pitch it to publishers. Failer is not an option. I have several comics written and I have already began some pages on them as well. If the Kickstarter fails it's not a step back, its a step forward- a learning experience. My first ever attempt at writing and drawing a comic got published (my art sucked in my opinion. Haha) but it did land me a publishging deal thankfully. This is my first time trying Kickstarter. So whatever happens, happens- cant think negative. Thank you for your question.

Oct 9, 6:32PM EDT0

Is this your first crowdfunding project? What lessons have you learnt so far?

Oct 9, 12:04PM EDT0

Yes this is my very first Kickstarter. Its only been 3 days now I think but so far I've learned I miss having a publisher. Haha. But no seriously, I have learned that making a Kickstarter is not as easy as I thought. I've been told a lot to make one and so I am. I'm staying positive about its outcome. The link is above if your interested in pledging. Thank you.

Oct 9, 6:35PM EDT0

What is the most difficult part of making a comic and why?

Oct 9, 11:00AM EDT0

I'd say cost. It could easily cost $1,000 to see your comic in print, not to mention the costs for a colorist if you want your comic in color plus the cost of the letterer and pencil and inker. I'm the creator, pencil and inker and writer so fortunately I dont need to pay someone to draw the artwork. This is why most self-published comic books are funded by Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, ext... Outside of cost. I'd say the other difficult parts of making a comic really depends on what your trying to do. All in all it can all be pretty difficult if your trying to self-publish a comic book of high quality to compete with others. I hope I answered your question as well as you expected. It's a bit hard to say because depending what you want to do there can be few or many.

Oct 9, 11:34AM EDT0
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