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.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The book that is replacing Iron Fist in my schedule has been announced in Philadelphia, at a comics show. So, I guess I can mention it now.

I will be coloring the five issue mini series Magneto: Testament for Marvel Comics. It covers the early years of Magneto's life, between the years of 1935 and 1945, when he was living in Poland and dealing with Nazi persecution.

Greg Pak is writing this series and Carmine Di Giandomenico is drawing it. The editorial team is Warren Simons and Alejandro Arbona, who I do most of my work with.

This will be an interesting job, allowing me to color with more real world colors and explore the gritty nature of World War 2. On a personal note, one set of my great Grandparents went to the States from Poland in the late 1800s. And one of my grandfathers died fighting against the Germans during World War 2. His family was 100% German and had moved to the States sometime earlier. He was German by blood but fought for the Americans against the Germans. He was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans and died in a POW hospital only a few short weeks before the end of the war. It was another tragedy in a war filled with tragedies.

Anyway, I have some higher level of interest in this comic and will enjoy painting it. Check it out, won't you?

Here's a brief interview with the writer:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On Monday, I wrapped up work on my final issue of The Immortal Iron Fist for Marvel Comics, issue number 16.

When I started the book in 2006, I was returning to comics after leaving my job working on visual effects for films in Los Angeles. Warren Simons, the editor, had told me of an artist named David Aja who he wanted to pair me with. He sent me a link to David's website which had a lot of samples. Upon seeing his amazing art, I agreed. Warren didn't know which book he was going to put him on yet, but it didn't matter to me. I wanted to work with David.

Then, it turned out that the book he was being put on was Iron Fist, along with Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction doing the writing. I'd worked with Ed many, many times over the years and loved working with him. I love his writing and he's also a good guy to work with. I hadn't heard of Matt Fraction yet, but Warren told me to go check out a book called Cassanova, which I did. Wow. Matt's stuff was also great.

This was a great book to become involved with. The scripts handed in showed a deep understanding of the character and a ton of new ideas and directions to push him in, all with a large pinch of humor. They were great scripts to read. Some of that humor wasn't even in the actual book, just little asides to those of us working on the book. I always looked forward to getting those fun scripts.

And David's art was always top notch. His style fuses a realistic, photo referenced look with a heavily cartoony look. The result is a book with a lot of dynamic movement, a lot of gestural shapes, nice layout and design while retaining a touch of realism. Perfect for this kind of book. He shows an understanding of emotional nuance in the facial expressions rarely shown by comics artists.

Then I saw that Dave Lanphear was lettering it. He's great. He's got a nice design sense that fit well with the look of the book.

And to top it all off, the book was being edited by Warren Simons and Alejandro Arbona, the guys who I do 75% of my work with, if not more. We have a nice connection and ability to work together in tight deadline situations. I like working with them.

So, naturally, the book was a pleasure to work on. Sure, it had some tight deadlines that were a pain in the ass. But this is comics. This is what happens. We got through it and had some brilliant little gems that we put out.

But times change and books change and after #16 the entire creative team on the book will change. I don't know that much about the new team, but I'd say give them a chance. Meanwhile, David Aja and I are joined at the hip and will be doing some more work together again soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hahaha! This one's for Talaja! It's some DVD commentary for the film Conan, buy Arnold. He sounds like he's wasted. Funny shit.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Before I moved to Croatia, I had never heard of the Eurovision music contest. And I suspect most Americans have never heard of it.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, Eurovision is a music contest in Europe. Each country selects who they want to send to represent them. And then there's an overall contest between European countries. But, by saying "Europe", it's stretching the boundaries a bit as Israel, Turkey and some other questionable countries are included. Nothing wrong with those countries, but to say that Israel is part of Europe is a bit strange. Anyway, it's sort of like American Idol is for Americans I guess. When you watch, you can then vote for whatever country but cannot vote for your own, either by text message or phone call.

We missed most of Tuesday's runoff but saw maybe 5 acts. And ALL of them were fucking horrible. There were around 20 on Tuesday and 20 on Thursday. 10 are selected each day to go forward to the Saturday final. We watched all of Thursday when Croatia had their turn.

It's sort of sad to watch because so much of the music is really horrible crap. Really, really horrible. Most of the countries choose some extremely cheesy dance music. And most of them sing in English. What the fuck? Latvia had their guys dressed up like fucking pirates singing about being pirates and in English. They're the new Village People! I suspect they'll have a gay dance hit in northern Europe. Lithuania had, by far, the worst music of the night. It was one guy singing. He looked like some weird sort of heavy metal Michael Bolton, singing a ballad called "Nomads in the Night", while accompanied by weird Joe Satriani type guitar. Finland was on Tuesday and had their usual speed metal sort of act. They were funny but at least it wasn't someone trying to be fucking Whitney Houston or something.

The competition takes place in Serbia, which I think is good. Last year Serbia won, though I didn't watch. From what I've heard, and what I've read, the Balkans countries banded together in voting and people were happy that Serbia won, even here in Croatia. I think this is good. Serbia's having a rough time at the moment, so anything that can get spirits up can't be so bad, eh?

Strangely enough, I actually like Croatia's entry. It's genuinely representative of some music from this country. Most other entries seem really western and seem just like crappy dance music that doesn't really represent the culture of the country they come from. They seem more to be pandering to what they think people want to hear and what might increase their chances of winning. Well fuck all of that. The Croatian entry really sounds good and sounds genuine. I've seen the old guy in the video playing music on the streets in the center of Zagreb, accompanied by an accordion player (locally called a harmonica). And he's great. In the act they played on stage, he was funny too. He was like this ancient Balkan rapper. During the act they had an old record player with the giant funnel for the speaker, that sort of thing (phonograph?). And at the end he went up and was scratching on it.

They were great. I suspect that they could even have a chance in the long run because really, on this crappy show they're a breath of fresh air.

We couldn't vote for Croatia, though. So we voted for Turkey. They had a halfway decent rock act. It wasn't the usual crappy dance music either and they sang in Turkish and had some real Turkish flavor mixed into the rock. So there you go.

Croatia and Turkey both made it to the final round on Saturday.

Here's the video for the Croatian act:

And here's the actual video from the Eurovision contest with the old guy scratching at the end:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Back from Makarska and working like the dog I am. Some monday deadlines approach. Yes, 2 deadlines.

For those folks who may have seen me around some forums, notably the Bendis board or other forums, I will no longer be active on forums. Never say never, right? But for now, I'm done. The quantity of stupid motherfuckers I had to deal with on each and every forum I ever posted on was just getting to be too much. There were also some really great people on the boards. But I started to realize that the amount of time I was aggravated or angry on a forum was higher than the amount of time I was enjoying it. So, that's it. No more. I'd rather spend my time in front of the computer doing something I enjoy.

Like painting comics, for instance. So back to work now!

I'll post more pictures soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

So, to recap, these are pictures from last year's MAfest in Makarska.

At night, we hung out mostly at Rokatansky, a nice little beer cafe with an outdoor area to sit in. We wandered around a bit to check out other places too, but what we encountered was mostly crappy dance places where the younger folks were going to presumably get laid, blasting really loud, crappy techno. So, Rokatansky it was! And we enjoyed that place. It was filled with other strange creatures such as us so we found it to be a great fit for us.

You can see the usual group here hamming it up, notably with Talaja milking his own tit. The first pictures here are of me, Diego Garcia and Esad Ribić at Rokatansky. The view of the sea at the end, with the pool, is the view from our hotel room in Baška Voda. The view looking up at the mountains with the guy on the beach and the hotel there; that's our hotel. And that's Talaja, as always, dancing around and having fun.

The 2 pictures towards the end in the cavernous restaurant are of the final dinner we had. Our hosts treated us to this amazing feast in this little restaurant that we basically took over. It was utterly fantastic. The wine was a domestic red (black) wine that was really very strong and tasty as hell. I couldn't drink enough of it. Loved it! And the food was served up course after course, presenting us with a very wide range of dishes over the course of hours. We had all sorts of different kinds of food representing a wide range of choices and all at the highest level of quality. Really, it's one of the best meals I've had in Croatia and in the top ten meals I've ever had. So, thanks to our hosts for EVERYTHING. We had a fantastic time.

We're leaving today to go to the 2008 edition. Come say hello if you see us. Buy us a beer, wouldya? I'll be the white boy over in the corner.

The next set of pictures to go up, sometime next week, will show the trip we took after Makarska last year. Giulia, Nara, Esad and I went to Hvar for 3 days afterward and enjoyed more sun, swimming, eating fish and relaxing. Nice!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

And now, continuing with more pictures from MAfest 2007. You can see that we had a lot of fun. The same group is featured again, noticeably with Diego Garcia leaning back pretty fucking far in that first picture and Misch looking all Cuban, smoking a cigar while wearing the flag of the Netherlands.

Our routine was to sleep in a bit. Everyone would be lounging around the pool, so we'd meet up there, have some coffee and enjoy being outside by the sea. I'd usually manage to lure a few people into the sea, which was pretty cold at this point. We had Bura the first day, the cold wind from the north, so the sea was chilled down for a day or two. But we still went in. We'd then go grab some lunch at some place on the seafront in Baška Voda where we were staying, a little north of Makarska. Baška Voda is a little town and is quiet. Makarska is much louder and larger and bustling. Though it's nice, it's also nice to actually stay outside of town to have some quiet and enjoy the sea.

That said, we had a pretty hard time every night finding a way back to the hotel. Taxis were no longer running by our 3AM to 5AM returning home time. We lucked out each time, but it was a real struggle that was very lame.

The show itself was pretty nice, though it's the smallest comics show I've ever been to. It was a nice venue surrounded by plants and the occasional drunk guy wandering the streets. Part of the show was outside. People sat at tables out there having coffee and beer and artists did sketches and mingled with the fans. It's a good show to see the artists at as you can approach them easily. Giulia and I did a talk about our jobs as colorists, answering questions about what we do and generally laying out what our job entails.

One of the days when we were wandering around in Makarska we came across a Havaianas shop. They make sandals. And Nara had made some custom sandals and display stuff for a fashion show in Zagreb for that same company. They had Nara's stuff on display at this shop in Makarska! What a coincidence! You can see in the photos her various offerings. It was pretty cool to come across randomly like that.

Eventually we'd head over to the book store cafe near the church. It's just down from the show and has a nice little outdoor terrace to sit at. I drank a bunch of Laško pivo and we smoked some cigars that I brought.

More photos to follow soon...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

With MA Fest in Makarska quickly approaching, I think it's finally time for me to post pictures from last year's show.

Our friends Diego Garcia and Giulia Brusco flew in to Zagreb to hang a few days. Diego stayed at our apartment and was a great guest, very curteous and a pleasure to have at our place. We then went to the show, where our gracious hosts offered us hotel rooms right on the sea. Very nice! We stayed in nearby Baska Voda.

We spent most of our nights drinking at Rokatansky, a local cafe/bar where many of the people affiliated with the show hung out. Esad spend the time being crazy, as usual. The pictures where his face looks all distorted look like that because he was shaking his face back and forth as fast as he could, so his cheeks were swinging around. Funny shit. And we all took turns using Giulia's hair as our own. I like Misch's best myself.

The stars of this little drama, on this post at least, are: Esad "The Barbarian" Ribić, Kresimir "Misch, The Cuban Mouse" Certić, Diego "The Trappist" Garcia, Giulia "The Red" Brusco, Dalibor "Đugro" Talajić, Me-Matt "Žujo" Hollingsworth, Branka "Nara" Nikolić, Goran "Đuka" Sudžuka and Bob "Bad Taste" Solanović.