Q: What’s this comic strip about?

A: Animals have jobs. Animals have very important jobs in fact! Many are trained to work along side people in the military, law enforcement, security,  education, research, health, transportation and more. In this comic, animals, both wild and domestic, are walking, talking, equally intelligent to man inhabitants, and are involved in the same daily 9 to 5 rat race with humans.

Murphy the Sea Lion wants to become a proud member of the Military Marine Mammal Harbor Patrol ( Based off of our real U.S Navy Marine Mammal Program or NMMP) He learns that this job won’t be so easy to get,  and he’ll have to deal with the difficult and unfair challenges of adulthood. However, he’s not alone. Murphy makes a number of friends and rivals while on his path to happiness.

Q: Why are you drawing this comic?

A: I took a year off from applying to animation studios and started drawing this comic in 2013. What started as a weekly exercise to keep creating art turned into a passion to draw for myself. This comic has some crazy stories, but they are all inspired and based off of real experiences in my life.

Q: What’s the deal with the seals?

A:  Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, walruses) are really fascinating to me, and sea lions are one of my favorite animals. They’re intelligent, social, playful, curious creatures full of personality. Name any species, and they’ll be funny, stoic, cute, scary, ugly, etc. They’re ripe for public appeal.

Q: How do I follow?

A:  Please follow @MattDownsDraws on Instagram and follow the hashtag #TheFlipSideComic on Instagram.

Q: What artists influence you?

A: Jim Davis’ Garfield helped teach me the basics when I was around 5, but a lot of cartoonists and animators helped me figure out many simplified yet dynamic styles for character design.

Ed Benedict (Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear), Walt Kelly (Pogo), Jeff Smith (Bone), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Eric Goldberg (Aladdin, Fantasia 2000), Mark O’ Hare (Rocko’s Modern Life, Camp Lazlo, Citizen Dog) Bob Scott (Cat’s Don’t Dance, Bear with Me) Sean Galloway (Spectacular Spider-Man, Table Taffy), Craig Kellman (Madagascar, Hotel Transylvania) have all been big influences for me for many years.

Other than Garfield, my favorite comic strips have been U.S.Acres, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, FoxTrot, Citizen Dog, and Zits.