Q: What’s this comic strip about?

A: The “Flip Side” is a comic about the other side of things or situations that we often think of but never really engage in? Kind of an “alternate reality”, “what if in another world…” vibe. In this comic, service animals (ex. Police Horses, Seeing Eye Dogs, Carrier Pigeons) are civilized and are involved in the daily 9 to 5 rat race with humans. Murphy the sea lion is still having trouble getting into the unique and specific job he is biologically meant for: a US Military Navy Marine Mammal.  It’s a comic about trying to find your place in the world and what struggles some folks have to do to get there.

Q: What inspired you to do this comic?

A: I drew all the time as a kid and I loved it. When I started looking for work, I made portfolios for years. I would submit them to studios, call, and follow up, but was always met with rejection. It was at this point were I really getting tired of drawing for other people, and simply decided that I wanted to draw for myself again. That’s what made me happy to begin with. I took the year off from submitting work and started this comic in 2013. I stuck with it, and here we are today! The passion to draw is back!

Q: How do I follow?

A:  I do have multiple blogs of my character designs, storyboards and other comics. Please follow @MattDownsDraws on various social media apps. You can also follow the hashtag #TheFlipSideComic on Instagram.

Q: What artists influence you?

A: Jim Davis’ Garfield comics helped teach me the basics when I was 5. As I grew, Ed Benedict (Flintstones), Jeff Smith (Bone), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Eric Goldberg (Aladdin, Fantasia 2000), Sean Galloway (Spectacular Spider-Man, Table Taffy), Craig Kellman (Madagascar) helped get me to draw more dynamic.

My favorite comic strips have been Garfield, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, FoxTrot, Citizen Dog, and Zits. There’s been a few webcomic artists like Litter Box Comics, Pet Foolery and Siberian Lizard that have gotten my attention for a couple years!

Q: What’s your ultimate goal(s)?

A: I’ve always wanted to be a work-from-home artist that created and self published their own on-going comic strip or book saga, and if it led to anything bigger I wouldn’t complain!