PopCultHQ Creator Spotlight: Matt Hawkins of SAMARITAN

PopCultHQ is putting our Creator Spotlight on Matt Hawkins. Well-recognized in the comic book industry for his work with Image Comics and Top Cow Productions, the veteran creator has also produced feature films, television series, and video games. Matt has published well over 1,000 comic books in his 20 years at Image Comics and Top Cow. The creator/writer has been involved in projects such as Think Tank, Aphrodite IX, Eden’s Fall, The Tithe, Dante and Lady PendragonLater this month, Hawkins is releasing a new series entitled SAMARITAN that we are beyond excited about to read. So with its debut slated for a late May release, PopCultHQ wanted to talk to the creator about SAMARITAN, what inspires the creator, and how he enjoys taking certain aspects of today’s climate and incorporating them into his stories.

PopCultHQ Creator Spotlight:
Matt Hawkins

PopCultHQ: Where did the idea of SAMARITAN originate? What did it take for you to sit down and has out a script to bring this story to life?

Matt Hawkins: Samaritan is the character Samantha Copeland that first appeared in The Tithe V1. She was also in The Tithe V2 and Eden’s Fall. I know a few hackers, they’re interesting people. Some of them believe they’re in the right and everyone else is in the wrong. Samantha’s backstory is basically that she was raised in the foster care system and met some unsavory types that were also in that system. Despite that she tried to have a moral center. She was very smart and gifted at coding and gravitated toward the online world and hacking became her thing when she was a kid. She became increasingly disenfranchised with the “system” and decided to do something about it. In The Tithe she stole money from televangelists and megachurches and gave it to charity. Kind of a modern day Robin Hood. SPOILERS but she got caught eventually, was flipped and started working for the FBI. That’s Tithe V2 and Eden’s Fall. Her boyfriend is killed in Eden’s Fall and the Samaritan story is her revenge.  Figuring out her revenge was tough. I had to plan out a plausible way to bring down a multi-billion dollar company.

PCHQ: SAMARITAN sees you teaming again with your artist on EDEN’S FALL, Atilio Rojo, Though I’ve only seen what he’s done in the series from the advance previews so far, but it has a very sleek and sharp look! Prior to completing its script, was Rojo already in your mind to illustrate this new series?

Hawkins: Yeah I asked if he’d be into it before I even started writing it. When he agreed I was very happy. Big fan of his work.

PCHQ: Though it may be too early to disclose, I was curious as to how Samantha Copeland, and even the story of SAMARITAN, fit into either the Top Cow Universe or the Eden-verse? Or are we looking at a story and lead which is outside that shared world?

Hawkins: Samaritan is a central book to the Eden-verse. I’ll forward you a review copy after I send this which has the afterword stuff I do which shows how it fills in.
PCHQ: Are there aspects or components of SAMARITAN which have been taken right out of today’s climate, whether social, political, or corporate?
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Hawkins: Always! McKitrick is kind of a combination of a few different political figures. I steep everything in the climate of today. I comb the news for interesting stuff like fake news etc. I love reading stuff that’s just insane…and that there are people out there that believe it. Fake news amuses me.

PCHQ: With regards to the success you achieved in your writing across a number of titles, from whom or where do you get your motivation? Who or what inspires creativity in Matt Hawkins?

Hawkins: My family inspires me. My wife is my eternal champion who’s always cheering me along. I want to be financially stable for my children and for my long term self as well. I have no real desire to be rich, but I don’t ever want to be in a bad place financially. I think fear motivates me.
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PCHQ: From early looks at SAMARITAN, this looks like it will be non-stop action, suspense, perhaps some espionage, a deadly cat-n-mouse chase, and just a sweet stealthy story (if that makes sense). How much of the series has been created and what, if any, plans have you established as to the issue run of the title?
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Hawkins: I write books in three and four issue arcs. This first arc is three issues but they’re all 5 pages longer than normal issues so the arc is about the same as my other ones when it’ll be collected. All three issues of Samaritan have been written. They’ll need some script polishes when the art comes in, but this one’s done! More always depends on sales.
PCHQ: Who do you enjoy reading in the comic book industry right now? Who do you feel is a creator to watch in 2017?
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Hawkins: I like Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek and Jonathan Hickman. I love a lot of creators, but these [four] are very consistent. I like just about everything they do. I think Zack Kaplan and Byran Edward Hill are going to make big names for themselves in comics in the next year.
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PCHQ: What do you have coming up in 2017 that fans should know? (Releases, signing appearances, conventions, exclusives, etc.)
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Hawkins: I am heading to Fan Con in South Africa. I’ve got Golgotha, The Clock, Swing, Stairway and Sugar all in the works. Lots coming up!
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Matt’s confirmed appearances for 2017

5/6/2017 – FCBD Southern California Comics, San Diego
5/7/2017 – FCBD Comic Bug, Culver City
5/13/2017 – Comic Con Revolution, Ontario CA
5/19-5/21 – Cuba Comic Expo
6/24-6/25 – Id10t Festival, Mountain View
6/30-7/2 – Denver Comic Con
7/8/2017 – TennoCon, London Ontario
7/20-7/23- San Diego Comic Con
8/11-8/13 – Boston Comic Con
11/3-11/5 – Tucson Comic Con
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Special thanks goes out to Matt Hawkins
for taking time out of his busy schedule for this interview.

PopCultHQ’s Kickstarter Spotlight: GOLGOTHA by Matt Hawkins, Bryan Edward Hill, and Top Cow Productions

Be sure to watch for SAMARITAN on May 24th,
as well as PopCultHQ’s review of this exciting new series!

SAMARITAN #1
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Atilio Rojo
Cover Artist: Atilio Rojo

In Shops: May 24, 2017
SRP: $3.99
A woman with a vendetta decides she’s going to take down the largest military contractor in the world and has the means and a plan that just might work. How do you bankrupt one of the richest, most technologically advanced and successful companies in the world? You steal all their research and give it away to everyone. Can she survive long enough to pull it off with the entire U.S. government trying to kill her?
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SAMARITAN #1 (Diamond Code MAR170694) hits stores on Wednesday, May 24th.

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About Jason Bennett 2688 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett