Interview With Steamroller Man Creator Matthew Schofield

Ryan Howatt

ByRyan Howatt

June 10, 2024

So, Steamroller Man is an attention-grabbing concept, what originally gave you the idea?

About seven years ago, my kids and I were coming up with “cool superhero names” during a dinner-time conversation. My youngest son said “what about… STEAMROLLER MAN!!” A light bulb of inspiration went off in my brain! I got a mental image of a guy with a huge steel roller for a head, and I sketched him out on a napkin. Over the following days, I couldn’t stop thinking about this character! The ideas for gags and stories I could do with him just kept coming. When I finally decided I was going to do a comic, I thought Steamroller Man would make a great subject!

I see you have a background in animation production, why did you decide to make a comic book?

I always wanted to grow up to become a comic book artist, and that desire is what led me to pursue a career in the arts, that eventually led to my career in animation. I’ve wanted to create my own comic book since I was about 13 or 14 years old, and it’s only now that I’ve found the time, energy and motivation to do so. For a long time I procrastinated. I would tell myself  “I really should get around to doing a comic”, but then find reasons not to do it. I had a few false starts, where I would start a story, but the scale of what I wanted to do seemed so huge that it was ultimately discouraging. Just prior to starting Steamroller Man, I had some experiences that reminded me that life is short and fragile, and I realized that if making my own comic was ever going to happen, I just had to dive in and start doing it.

Self publishing is quite the ambitious endeavor and it looks like you’re off to a fantastic start, why did you choose to self publish as opposed to soliciting other publishers?

Thanks! The Comics category on Kickstarter seems to just be growing and growing, and I’m really happy to be part of the community there! I actually think some of the most interesting stuff in independent comics is happening in crowdfunding these days. My primary reason for self-publishing is to retain creative control over my ideas, stories and characters. When I first started to consider transitioning Steamroller Man from a webcomic to print, I researched some independent publishers, and apart from Image, a lot of the smaller publishers will want to claim the rights to any ancillary products based on your idea – meaning you own the book itself, but the company owns the rights (and reaps the profits) from any deals made for toys, merchandise, film or TV adaptations, etc. That didn’t seem like such a great deal to me. I guess I’m just too much of a control freak!

How do you find your day job has helped or hindered bringing this project to life?

I think my experience in animation, specifically drawing every day as part of my job, has improved my artistic abilities immeasurably. My time on The Simpsons, especially, has informed my sense of humor and taught me how to stage gags for maximum comedic effect. I actually don’t think I could have effectively made Steamroller Man at any point in my artistic development other than right now. Of course, having a demanding day job does mean that it has to take priority, so that limits the time I can work on Steamroller Man to no more than a couple of hours before work, each day. But I’ve made it part of my daily schedule, so it works out pretty well. It actually feels weird if I’m not working on the comic each day!

What are your future plans for Steamroller Man?

Steamroller Man is an ongoing series! The current Kickstarter campaign is going to fund the initial print run of the first issue, and the success of this campaign (my first) has shown me that I can use this model to continue publishing more issues! I already have the second issue completed, and am currently about halfway through writing and drawing the third issue. I have a ton of ideas for future stories, and I want to keep making Steamroller Man comics for as long as I can!

Matthew Schofield is a Layout Artist, Character Designer, Storyboard Artist, Director and Supervising Storyboard Director on The Simpsons and now also a Comic Book Creator/Publisher… What a fantastic resume from a very busy guy.

Steamroller Man is a Kickstarter exclusive and can be found right here:

Views: 38
Ryan Howatt

ByRyan Howatt

Linktree Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comics Illustrated