This is the blog for Matt Hollingsworth. I'm from Ojai, California. I've worked in comics for 22 years as a color artist.

This blog will largely be used to show my daily life as I live in Samobor, Croatia and as I travel around the region. Lots and lots of photos! Leave me a comment, will you?

All content on this blog is copyright 2013 Matthew Dale Hollingsworth and cannot be copied or used for any purpose without my consent.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

After a hellraising process that took 10 full months, I finally have my second visa.

Long time readers of this blog may remember the process I had to go through for this. To get my first visa, I had to start a company here and have myself as the director, which meant I received a business visa. When I put in my papers to renew the visa in mid January, the amount of paperwork they required from me regarding my company was just ridiculous. I ended up having to go from one ministry to the next and back and forth constantly. Every time we'd think we were done, they would ask us for a new paper. Really. We'd visit them and they'd tell us that we only needed one more paper, then when we delivered that, they'd tell us we actually needed yet another. And that part of the process went on for a few months.

I had that company for a year before that and paid all of my taxes and filed all necessary papers. But sometime before summer they actually denied my visa. The ministry of finance had denied it to my company basically. And they offered NO explanation. The people at MUP, the police station (who deal with visas) said they didn't know why I was denied, but they had a huge stack of applications for people who had the same thing happen to them.

My girl and I got engaged in December, though, of last year. And so we put in a new application for a visa based on this. But it's not as simple as that. That whole part of the process is also ridiculous. And every paper we supplied them with last year had to have new copies given to them. It's just crazy. A paper that is literally exactly the same must be given to them with a new date on it. Even stuff that is not dated requires a new copy. The file for me is something like 3 inches thick with papers. And that's just for this year.

But finally, today, they gave me my visa. And of course, they couldn't just give me the new visa. They also want more paperwork. I now have to give them a new birth certificate. In Croatia, their birth certificates are not actually birth certificates. They're more like life certificates. They record stuff in them over time. For instance, if you are married, your "rodni list" is updated with this information. We don't do that in the States. A birth certificate is just that; a birth certificate. It lists only facts about the birth itself, not about the person later in their life. I already had to go to the American Embassy and have them certify that I am not married which is also stupid because they actually can't possibly know if I am married. Anyway, because I did *that* they basically said okay. But I still have to supply them with a new copy of my birth certificate. The date on mine is 1988. But the certificate itself is from 1968, when I was born. They were already supplied with a fresh translation dated now, but they need that purple ink with the notary public stamp to have a date within the last six months.

And, I have to supply them with a paper that proves that my landlord actually owns the apartment I am living in. This despite the fact that we already went to a notary here to certify this and they already have that.

Ah well. At least I have the damned thing now. Now I have to take the application for the birth certificate to the American Embassy and have their notary certify that I am in fact me and send the application off and hope that it actually arrives in the mail.

And I am closing my company. For anyone who is considering opening a company here I recommend you avoid it at all costs. For me it was a pain in the ass and keeping it going is totally a waste of effort and a cause of stress as well as a good way to pay higher taxes. Fuck that.

And we head to Thailand in January and today I read about bombs going off in the Bangkok airport.

America doesn't look too bad sometimes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I recently started collecting foreign currency. There's an antique market here on Sundays and I go there once in a while and buy stuff from a guy there who has tons of money from all over. No, I have not visited all of these places. I like the art on them and the view into the culture of where they come from. It's fascinating to me.

Click the image below to view money from Russia, Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Iran, India and Montenegro.

Foreign Currency

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I ask all of my fellow Obama supporters today to not gloat. I ask that you not kick the Republicans while they are down. Extend a warm hand in their direction and draw them into the process of governance that will follow. Their party will have a lot of soul searching to do in these next 2 years at least. And by extending our friendship to them we can not only have a more unified country filled with far less vitriol and hatred, but we can help draw some of them to the Democrat party. And we can also help them shape the new foundation of their party that will have to be built. Engage any of your Republican or conservative friends in conversation.

Our long national nightmare is over. But don't use this as a chance for revenge. We're above that. Use this as a chance to reshape the dialog in our country. In doing so maybe we can get rid of all the spite and hatred that has rocked our political world since 1992.

A man can hope. And as we've seen, sometimes that hope is fulfilled.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What to watch on Election night as the polls close.

We should be watching a lot of these states that are close or that have gone Republican in the past and are leaning Democrat this time around.

Below are some of the closing times, what states to watch and what my predictions for those states are.

But overall, I predict that Obama will win. I predict he will take 338 electoral college votes while McCain will claim 200. I also predict that the popular vote will have Obama winning 51% to 46% over McCain with 3% of voters choosing third party candidates such as Bob Barr and Ralph Nader.

6PM: Indiana.

Prediction: McCain wins by 1%.

7PM: Florida and Virginia.

Watch Virginia and Florida. Even if McCain wins Florida, Virginia could go to Obama and make it very difficult for McCain.

Prediction: Obama wins Florida, but only by 1%. It's so close that they don't call it right away and counting goes late into the night.

Obama wins Virginia by 2% or less.

7:30PM: North Carolina and Ohio.

Prediction: McCain wins North Carolina by about 4%.

Obama wins Ohio by less than 1%.

8PM: Missouri and Pennsylvania.

Chances are, if Obama wins ONLY Pennsylvania and Virginia, and McCain wins the rest of these, Obama will still win.

Prediction: Obama wins Pennsylvania by around 5%.

McCain wins Missouri by about 2%.

I think the single most important state to watch is Pennsylvania. If McCain loses Pennsylvania it will be nearly impossible for him to win. But earlier in the night if Obama racks up a win in any one of these close states, the odds are very difficult for McCain.

Happy election day everyone! And remember, whoever wins, in January Bush will be out of office. We will be better off next year without Bush one way or the other.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More videos, kids!

Sure, they're not exciting or anything. But this is what the market near my apartment looks like. This is about 100 meters from my place. Nice!

First video's a bit shaky as I'm walking. Second one's steadier as it's just a pan across the market.

Monday, October 20, 2008

In March of 2007, my girl Nara and I went to Berlin for a 6 day vacation. We loved it and had a fabulous time. Never got around to posting photos until now.

It's easier to post them on Facebook than here, so that's what I've done. Click the link below to view the photos.

Photos of our Berlin trip

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I came upon some new music today. Great stuff too!

I found them by way of a band called Paris Combo, who I like very much. They were listed as a band that people who liked Paris Combo would like also. And it's true. If you like Paris Combo, you will like them.

The band is named after the singer-songwriter, Amelie-les-Crayons.

It's very light and airy feeling. I can't recommend it enough.

This is the album I was listening to earlier today.

And this is the band, pictured above, and a link to their site below.

Enjoy! Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Now it's time to finally post some of those pictures from the Makarska show, MaFest, from this year. There are a lot of pictures, of course. But I'll make my way through them here. MaFest is a comic show that we attend every May in Makarska.

The faces of Esad, Goran and Dejan are all deformed from violent shaking back and forth. See the video in an earlier post.

Talaja likes to get close when he's sketching.

Talaja, thinking about Israel.

Everybody did sketches except for Jamie Delano and me. We're not drawrers.

Jamie Delano gives good interview.

Talaja came out of the closet as a gay wrestler who plays basketball on this trip. Thinking about Israel too much finally made him snap.

I think he's ready for wrestling, basketball or maybe even tennis.

Esad, Tico, me and Talaja at lunch in Makarska.

Esad attacks his dessert.

Everybody loves Donkeys. So here you go, back to the Donkey race in Tribunj. The jockeys dress in traditional clothes and race them around the island three times if I remember correctly. Funny shit.

So yeah, it's a crazy blogging day today.

Nara and I went and bought her engagement ring earlier in the year. We took a day and walked around Zagreb a bit looking for a shop we'd like. And we happened upon this really small shop with this jeweler named Štef. We liked him immediately. We talked to him a bit and he was a very friendly guy who we got a warm feeling from. We still continued looking at other shops because we felt like we shouldn't just immediately settle with him. But we didn't like the other shops. So we returned to Štef and ordered a ring with him.

When we went to pick up the ring, he closed down his shop and took us to coffee. This struck me as amazingly "European". I really cannot imagine someone in the States doing this. He's had his same shop there on Ilica in Zagreb for something like 35 years. And it's just him and one guy that helps him with some things. He's a very nice guy with a great sense of humor. We'll return to him when the time comes to get the wedding bands sometime next year.

The ring is a classic Croatian style of ring. It's very different from what I'm used to in the States, but I like it.

Yes. Going through videos. So here are some more.

This first one is in Makarska in Croatia. There's a comic show there that we go to every May. Makarska is on the sea and is a nice place to visit that time of year, as the tourist season has not yet started but the sea is also warm enough for a swim.

This is Esad Ribić, Goran Sudžuka and Dejan Kraljačić making fools of themselves upon my request. Nice! Dejan was our host at the show in Belgrade.

Here is one still image from that same time, when they were doing the shaking head. Makes for nice still images.

And here's Esad's infamous snoring, also at the Makarska show.

And some more videos!

This first one is towards the end of the Donkey race in Tribunj. This is a big event there. There were seemingly thousands of people there. It was totally packed. They have some donkeys race around the island. At one point, one donkey didn't want to have anything to do with it and ran into an alleyway. Funny shit.

But here's some video of a few of the donkeys racing past.

And here's Krka National Park with it's waterfalls. This doesn't really capture the scope of how big the amount of water is or how large those falls are. There's a series of them and there really is a huge amount of water moving through that area.

This is during the summer, in very early August. And it was totally crowded with people, which was annoying. I've been there before, as pictured early on in this blog. When we went before, we went in very early June and it was pretty empty. Which is better for me. Viewing nature's beauty is something best done without the massive crowds, thank you very much.

Aha! Yes yes. I know. It's been awhile yet again. I suck. Yes I know this.

But things are still a bit busy. Things are starting to slow down just a touch, though. I finished up the Angel comic I was coloring for Marvel. I also just last weekend finished up the book that I was coloring for Vertigo, that Chas one from the Hellblazer universe. So instead of 5 books I now have three, which is much more tolerable. But those are sometimes running a touch late too. So I get into this cycle of late books throwing my schedule into disarray. And that's what's been up with me.

We went to Belgrade for the comics show there. And I will post a few pics of that later on.

Now we're back in Zagreb for a month or so and then we head to Dublin for a show there.

Went out drinking with a lot of the comics people here last night in the center, so today I am totally hung over and don't feel like working. Which means that I will post a few things on ye olde blog.

First up there are a few movies from our trip to Tribunj. We spent most of our summer there. And it was just fantastic. We rented a little one bedroom apartment with a kitchen and basically lived there for over 6 weeks. Much of that time was spent on the beach. We would often spend an entire day there from 11AM or so until sunset around 8:30 or something. Great! I spent a huge chunk of this time reading and read 8 books while we were there. 7 of them were great too! So that's a good ratio. I also spent a ton of time swimming, sleeping and relaxing. What a great way to spend the summer.

This first video is a basic pan across the water. This is where we spent almost every day while we were there. This is what the Croatian sea, the Adriatic, looks like when the water is calm. Even when it's not calm it doesn't have waves like in California. Ain't no surfers here!

And this second video is a pan across the area surrounding the apartment we stayed in. This is the view from the terrace. You can hear the Croatian crickets in the background, which reminded me of Southern California.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What have I been up to, you may be wondering? Where has Matt gone? We miss him so!

Uh, yeah.

I have mostly been working like a dog. Well, dogs don't work. I've been working like an American, then, I guess. We returned from the sea nearly 6 weeks ago now. And I have been working the entire time, with no days off. The cosmic balance of the universe is evened out, yin and yang restore order after my six weeks at the sea. We leave town on Tuesday for a little break in Belgrade, Serbia, and by that time I will have colored 7 books in 6 weeks. Them's a lotta books!

We're heading to Serbia to attend a comics show put on by my pal Dejan. I am a special guest and will have an exhibition of my work there, which is a first. And I will be giving a talk too. Wanna come join us?

The site is here:

In my talk I will go over my workflow in Photoshop for painting comics. I'll cover a lot of different aspects of this workflow, though have no notes planned out. I generally just wing it and it works out well. I hate notes. And the exhibition will feature something like more than 40 digital pages, a number of original blue lines from Grendel Tales and a few prints from the Fantastic Four films, which I worked on as an effects artist.

I have also been giving away a little of the money I am earning. Some has gone to Barack Obama. I loathe the Republicans and cannot stand the thought of McCain winning. It's against everything I believe in. And Obama is a great candidate and I have liked what I've heard from him for the last year.

And on that note, I have also voted already. I received my absentee ballot and voted via fax. Yes, the future has arrived. Let's hope Obama wins.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


This is DEAD ON. Thought it was worth sharing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Heh heh. Of course, as soon as I returned home, I became antsy. These things were already in the works, but I'm in the middle of confirming upcoming trips to Belgrade, Dublin and Thailand. Nice. While I have to work like a DOG for the next few months, I can squeeze in a little travel. Then the big Thailand trip will come early next year after I wrap up all of my current jobs except for Daredevil. Of course I will stay on Daredevil, but all of the other gigs are short series and they end. Which frees me up for a full month in Thailand just when winter here is at its worst.


Meanwhile, it really IS good to be home. Just wish I had a little less work at the moment. Still, that money will pay for the traveling and much will also be saved. Retirement account, baby!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We returned home from our extended vacation about eleven days ago now. We immediately settled back into life. The cats are happy we're back, though they got a bit fat while we were gone. They've calmed down and are very content now.

And of course, work is fucked. Too much of it and too much of it is late. Late artists. Oh well. Such is the nature of life. I won't have any days off for a while, I guess. I'll take part of Saturday off at least. I have to go buy a new bike. Mine was stolen while we were on the coast.

Anyway, vacation was good. Nice and relaxing. TONS of time spent on the beach, swimming, reading and relaxing. Read 8 books!

But we're glad to be home in Gajnice.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Today I found out I'm nominated for a Harvey Award for best colorist. The Harveys are big, maybe the second biggest awards in American comics, behind the Eisners. Unlike the Eisners, though, voting on the Harveys is strictly limited to people who work on comics as part of the professional team that produces the comics. Editors, writers, artists, letterers, color artists and others can vote. It's not open to voting by fans or retailers like some other awards. So I guess it's sort of the Golden Globes of comics.

Anyway, it's a big honor. This is my 6th nomination for a Harvey Award, but I have never won this particular award. So wish me luck! And if you're a pro, vote for me if you're so inclined!

The Harvey Awards

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'll be away for a while. Early next week my lovely fiancee Nara and I will be heading to a small town called Tribunj on the Croatian Adriatic Coast for a nice, six week vacation.

It's here, if you're curious:

Tribunj on Google Maps

I will be doing some work while there, but not very much. It will be a chance for us to relax away from the city and enjoy the sea. We'll be swimming a lot. I'll be eating a ton of fish, though Nara tells me she won't be eating much at all. She's a girl, you know, and they say these things sometimes. Usually after the boy orders pizza late at night one too many times. Anyway, we'll be there. We'll relax. We'll read a lot. We'll get sweaty and salty. We'll pick figs off the tree and eat those for sure. We'll ride our bikes around. We'll visit the local islands and hang out with the natives. And their spears. Sharp, pointy spears.

I suspect that I may drink some beers too.

But one thing we won't be doing much of is replying to e-mail or surfing the internet. The blog will likely go quiet. As will MySpace and my e-mail account.

We checked on an internet card for the laptops, but it was a rip off. T Mobile and VIP can suck my ass. I'm not paying what they want. Which leaves us with an internet cafe in neighboring Vodice. But I'm not likely to go there very often. And when I do, it'll be mostly to check in with work. And really, this is actually okay. Because if I have internet there, I will have a harder time breaking from routine. This will force me to relax and go outside.

Anyway, the point is to give you all a heads up. I'm alive. But I will be inactive until sometime in the middle of August starting early next week. And this is being posted and sent out early so that I can reply to replies of replies before I leave.

I hope you all have a great summer and that the cannibals don't catch up with you.


Friday, June 13, 2008

My hangover has faded a bit. If you live in Croatia, then I'm guessing you were out partying last night too.

I went to the center to meet some friends for a drink up. While I had not really planned it that way, it so happens that we were meeting up after a UEFA EURO 2008 game between Germany and Croatia. I've been rabid about watching all of these games and have really been enjoying it. I watched the game, which was a great game. Croatia beat Germany 2-1. And not only that, but they beat Germany solidly. Croatia played extremely well. It was an exciting game to watch too. Very lively and a lot of fun. And for those of us in Croatia, very satisfying. The coach, Slaven Bilić is very popular here. I like him. And it's nice to see the team, as lead by him, doing well in these games. To me, it's an indication that he should be sticking around as coach as we head into the World Cup qualifying season, for the 2010 World Cup. And it's also nice to see Croatia playing well considering that some English player broke the leg of one of the lead players, Eduardo Da Silva. Da Silva is a goal scorer, so when he was injured, it was a major concern for this tournament. It's nice to see the other players stepping up and doing so well.

Of course, Zagreb was crazy last night. Everyone was decked out in the Croatian red and white checkers. And it seemed like the entire town was out partying. We sat outside near Bulldog and groups were wandering around singing and happy. It was a nice environment.

Now let's hope they keep it up. If they win first place in their group, which is very possible, then whoever is second will have to face Portugal next. Let's hope that's not Croatia.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Just saw the teaser poster for Oliver Stone's film about George W. Bush.

Click the image below for a larger version that you can hopefully read. All of those quotes are direct quotes from Dubya, without any distortion of any kind. How sad is that?

Friday, June 06, 2008

The "gypsy Ikea" is back! It's time once again for people in the local neighborhood to dump their larger garbage. Which, of course, means the Gypsies show up to grab it!

I laughed when I saw this today, though, as they set up almost their own little cafe while they guard the dump area. They usually watch it and claim it. I suppose they're competitive and are making sure nobody else tries to claim what's theirs. It seems like maybe the older folks stay and watch it and the younger ones come and go with trucks to take as much as they can carry. You can see here they set up an umbrella and what looks like a little cafe area. That's not normally there, it's just their area to hang out in while watching the goodies. It's raining today, so I guess it's there to stay dry. But it's funny. It looks like a full little cafe they have there. And those are their three trucks that will cart stuff off.