Kelly and Nichole Matthews on Their Monstrously Erotic ‘Creature Feature’ [Back Pages]
Sisters Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews, known online by their collective pen name Kickingshoes, have created a series of erotic stories over the past two years for the subscription-based webcomic publisher Slipshine. Their webcomics focus on, as they put it, "monsters... and the people who love them" --- and they've certainly found an audience of people who love them!
The pair have now set up a Kickstarter campaign to bring the stories to print under the title Creature Feature. They've already met their target of $7,000, and are now setting their sights on a series of stretch goals. Back Pages caught up with the artists to learn how they first came up with Creature Feature, how the webcomics format has aided them with their stories, and what readers can expect from the print edition.
Note: Kelly and Nichole opted to answer the questions as a unit, so are referred to as such in the interview.
ComicsAlliance: What’s the basic premise of the collection?
Kelly and Nichole Matthews: Creature Feature is a collection of adult short stories we’ve created for Slipshine. The content of the stories vary from modern day to pure fantasy, but the core element are good stories about guys (and girls) and their non-human significant others!
While all the short stories featured in Creature Feature Vol 1 act as stand-alone comics, we do revisit characters and stories with each month’s 14 page update (this is not to say that there are unfinished stories in the book, just that we continue on with people in the same worlds in new stories). There’s almost as much material on Slipshine right now as there is in Vol 1! People can sign up to read those stories (and hundreds more by many other talented artists) here.
CA: What interests you most about working in this genre?
K&NM: Working in adult comics isn’t any different then working in other comic fields, really. It’s like kids comics or superheroes; what you draw depends on your audience. We had always wanted to create original fantasy comics; taking typical tropes (magic, dragons, mermen) and putting our own spin on them.
Working for Slipshine was a great way to realize that.
CA: How did you first get involved in putting the comics on Slipshine? Was it always a goal to join up with them?
K&NM: We’d never done a lot of adult content before Slipshine. A few years ago, shortly after we had started doing freelance full time, Slipshine opened up submissions for artists. It was serendipitous that, at a time when we were looking for work, they were looking for something we could provide. We gave it a shot and submitted what ended up being our very first comic for them, Maneater.
Having worked for them for a few years now, we’re still grateful that they picked us up; I don’t think we’d be in the position now --- making the comics that we do --- if it wasn’t for them.
CA: How have you found the routine of making and serializing comics online? Do you find it's changed the way you approach telling a narrative, given the slow-burn serialized format it offers you?
K&NM: The serialized format Slipshine uses was something we took to very easily. It allows us to be very free with the content we create. In the beginning it was a little rough trying to force what we wanted to happen in 14 pages, but it taught us better pacing and how to arrange a story to get the most out of the narrative in the quickest way.
Lately we’ve been extending the stories to over 28 pages (two months of updates on the site), and are returning to some older shorts and continuing them rather than just doing a new short every single month. It allows us to jump around in what we want to do, and we have a large enough library of shorts and characters that we never run into the issue of not knowing what the next update will be about.
CA: What's your creative process like together? Are you a writer and an artist, or are your creative roles more intertwined than that?
K&NM: When it comes to the story, we both think of ideas and write them down (having monthly updates means we have to have a queue of options to draw well in advance). When we get to drawing it, Kelly handles the inks and letters, and Nichole, colors and special effects. But we’re always asking the other for input on what we’re doing.
CA: Why take Creature Feature to Kickstarter?
K&NM: It’s been a little over two years to the day since we first started creating comics for Slipshine, so in a sense it was like celebrating the anniversary of the comic. We also felt that we finally had enough content to make a book worth it.
Initially we were going to just do a pre-order and cover the remaining cost out of pocket if we didn’t get enough, but the cost of printing the book in the quality we want quickly became a figure that we could only achieve through Kickstarter.
CA: What stage are you at with the project? How much have you already completed?
K&NM: We’re delighted to say that in less than a week we’re already fully funded! Now we’re focusing on hitting as many stretch goals as we can.
As far as the book and the rewards, everything except for the Kickstarter-exclusive short has been completed, formatted, and is ready to send to the printer. We wanted to make sure we had as much done beforehand as possible, so in the event we reached the stretch goals for extra comics, we could work on them quickly and not the delay the book.
CA: What’s your estimated delivery on the final anthology?
K&NM: Our goal is to get the books in by March of next year (hopefully before Emerald City Comic-Con) and start shipping them out in late March or early April.
Creature Feature will run on Kickstarter until 30 December 2016, having already met the funding target of $7,000. To find out more, check out the Kickstarter page here!