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Books & Magazines December, 24 2010

Curated Q&A | Chris Walker, Director of “Anti-Matter”

Anti-Matter, a web-based comedy based in a comic book shop, brings the comedic experiences of former comic book colorist Chris Walker to life. Under his direction, the show has garnered attention from the likes of Wired and been nominated for a Clicker award.

I chatted briefly with Walker about the program and his experiences in the comic book industry. Above is episode one of Anti-Matter. Our Q&A follows after the leap.

CR: What is the genesis of Anti-Matter?

CW: wanted to create a series that was a big comedic send up to the funny experiences I’ve had over the years as a comic fan and professional comic artist.  I it would be the perfect way to showcase my sensibilities as a writer and director.

CR: If the show was a superhero, who would it be?

CW: Deadpool. He’s zany, a little left center, and often witty.

CR: Nerd shows are becoming more common… what are your thoughts on current perceptions of the “geek”?

CW: “Geek” is changing. Everyone is a geek these days which is a good thing. We all have things we are passionate about and that’s what being a geek is all about. I encourage everyone to let out their inner geek.

CR: Tell me a little about being a web-based sitcom… artistically what does this allow? And, do you think there are limitations to being confined to the “small” screen?

CW: Creatively it’s pretty open. The major limitation is can pull it of based on time and budget. You have to be creative when it comes to not having a Hollywood budget but you also have time to do what you want. The only deadlines are the ones you impose.

The small screen is limited in terms of attention spans. With the web, you have to grab people quick or they are on to something else.

CR: What have you brought from your own background as a comic book colorist? How did you get into that occupation and what were some of the highlights?

CW: From a personal side, it gives me insight into the industry and fandom. I spent many years around the comics scene on my way to becoming a pro. From a technical side, I use it to color grade the footage I’m editing. The series has a slight yellow hue, to give it a vintage comic book feel. I also play with the contrast and values to give it a distinct feel.

I broke into comics after art school. I wanted to be a penciler but discovered painting in school. Coloring was a natural extension of painting.

Career highlights would definitely be coloring Spider-Man. He’s my all time favorite character with a close second being Batman. I got a chance to color him on a Batman/Superman promo piece. I also colored Thundercats which was a dream come true. I was a huge Thundercats fan growing up.

CR: You film in a rather famous location… does this play a role in popularity or is it just happenstance?

CW: Shooting at Jim Hanley’s Universe certainly gives the show some serious cred. Hanley’s is a NY comic book mainstay, so we get buzz just from people figuring out that is the store we are shooting in. We actually had someone subscribe to our YouTube channel just because it was shot there.

CR: Finally, what is your favorite comic?

CW: Wow. That is so hard. I can’t pick just one, but I will say Mike Mignla’s Cosmic Odyssey is one of the best comics I have ever seen and I spent many a day staring at those pages.

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