The Halfling and the Spaceman

Matt Jones, Comic Book Writer, Publisher, and Convention Organizer

July 02, 2023 Janet & Roger Carden Season 2 Episode 26
Matt Jones, Comic Book Writer, Publisher, and Convention Organizer
The Halfling and the Spaceman
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The Halfling and the Spaceman
Matt Jones, Comic Book Writer, Publisher, and Convention Organizer
Jul 02, 2023 Season 2 Episode 26
Janet & Roger Carden

Today we’re talking with Matt Jones, creator of the comic Void Beast , owner of Akachi Comics, and organizer of SableCon!

References and Links:

Note:  You can see our coverage of SableCon at

Show Notes Transcript

Today we’re talking with Matt Jones, creator of the comic Void Beast , owner of Akachi Comics, and organizer of SableCon!

References and Links:

Note:  You can see our coverage of SableCon at

Matt Jones, Comic Book Writer, Publisher, and Convention Organizer

[00:00:00] Halfling: Thanks for tuning in to the Halfling and the Spaceman: Journeys in Active Fandom. We're having great conversations with people that have turned their love of fandom into something creative. We're fans talking to fans, and today we're talking with Matt Jones, creator of the comic Void Beast, owner of Akachi Comics, an organizer of SableCon.

[00:00:25] Halfling: Welcome to the show, Matt.

[00:00:28] Matt Jones: Thank you for having me. Thank you for having me.

[00:00:30] Halfling: Oh, we're excited to talk to you. Uh, we got a chance to meet at Scon and, uh, so we were looking forward to actually getting you on the show. So happy to have you here. Well, let's just get started with you telling us a little bit about yourself and your background.

[00:00:45] Matt Jones: Well, I started doing comics back in, I believe it was 2015. I always get a little confused because I started doing short eBooks. Void Beast started off as a short ebook on Amazon. I don't even think it, it probably had five chapters or something. It was a short ebook. I started off with that because I always liked, horror movies and everything.

[00:01:10] Matt Jones: So the Werewolf was my favorite. Void Beast came out of that. I did the ebook, and the reason why I went into that manga anime style of, comic is because people saw the cover of the ebook and they thought it was a anime or a comic book. They thought it was a man stuff. And so I was like, no, no, no. It's not that.

[00:01:30] Matt Jones: It's just, it's just a regular ebook. There's no pictures, and people would keep saying graphic, novel, manga, all that type of stuff. So I was like, let me go ahead and get this together. So I started. And I started back in, like I said, 2015, 2016. And then the first Void Beast actually came out in 2018. So that's why I started with that.

[00:01:52] Matt Jones: And then just me personally, I grew up in Southern California. I was born in Paramount, moved to Compton, then moved to Riverside, and then was just back and forth after that between North Carolina and California. So I've been a little bit, I've been all over the place, but California is where I grew up at, and I'm currently in Milwaukee now.

[00:02:11] Halfling: Okay. Okay. Little bit of a globe trotter then, huh? So what, actually, okay, getting back into your background a little bit. I. Are you an artist by trade? And what I mean is do you have practical, you know, knowledge of, did you study that in school? I guess what I'm trying, trying to say,

[00:02:36] Matt Jones: Oh, no, no, no. I didn't. I didn't study well in college. I was always good at the writing since I do, since, that's my main thing is doing the writing. I was always good at writing in like English classes and stuff and in sociology classes in college, and I never, I didn't really put 'em together.

[00:02:56] Matt Jones: Like it was just like I would do certain stories or issues and projects and I could put it together well, and then I would just turn it in and get my A's and stuff and then keep it moving. I never thought about really writing it. In comics, but then I started, and when I first started, I actually, when I first started the writing, I had help.

[00:03:19] Matt Jones: And that's, that's who you see on my, , first Void Beast book is, is my, was my co-writer named Stephanie. And it was a thing where I was wasn't sure because I didn't connect it, I didn't connect it to where it's like you wrote, well in college and in high school and stuff for your English, sociology history classes you wrote, well, with that, transfer it to here.

[00:03:41] Matt Jones: And I, I didn't do it at first with Void Beast, so I got, I had some help and she helped me and then, I started doing it more with the Extraordinary Aside and everything. But to answer your question, no. There, there was no type of training or anything.

[00:03:54] Halfling: Okay. Okay, so you didn't actually have the mindset, I mean, that wasn't sort of a goal for you initially to start your own comic. It just sort of organically happened.

[00:04:09] Matt Jones: Yep. That's basically it. I was working at, I was working at GameStop at the time. I had worked there for about 10 years, I believe. And it was just getting old. It was getting old stores were getting robbed. I'm

[00:04:24] Halfling: Oh, no.

[00:04:26] Matt Jones: stuff. So I was like, I gotta start transitioning into something else that I'm interested in comics, anime, manga, that type of stuff was always one of my things.

[00:04:36] Matt Jones: And I was in one of the groups on Facebook and I, I like to complain a lot as far as like, What I see on TV and stuff I, a complainant brings me joy. It just does. I'm not one of those happy people where it's like, Hey, I like to complain. I like to talk, mess, all that stuff. So I was talking about a particular comic book or something and somebody said, well, why don't you do it yourself then?

[00:04:58] Matt Jones: And I was like, and I thought to myself, I was like, I should do it myself. I should. And then that's where I started going in that direction. So GameStop and then that one conversation inside of a Facebook group, and that's where I started going into comics and everything.

[00:05:13] Halfling: Okay.

[00:05:14] Spaceman: All right, Matt, why don't you tell our listeners a little bit about how you started your business and how you rolled your content into that? Because it takes it, it's quite a lift to go from an indie pub, an indie author, to a full blown publishing company 

[00:05:32] Matt Jones: see, the thing about it is like it was something when I. Like, when you ask me and I think about it, I'm like, okay, I know what I did. But then sometimes I'm like, I don't know what I did. But the truth of the matter is I do. And when I started, I put out the books on, Amazon.

[00:05:46] Matt Jones: Like I said, it was on Amazon and Kindle and everything paid more a couple of years ago, and you could really make stuff happen on there. But then they changed everything since 2016. So it was a, it's a little bit harder and they added a lot more ads and stuff now. So I started with the eBooks and then when I put 'em online, people would buy 'em and everything.

[00:06:07] Matt Jones: And then I started going to conventions. So what I would do before I started, I would go to conventions, meet people, look at everything they had, look at the setups and everything, and figure out how I was gonna do mine when I went. And then the first one I went to was, it was called Supercon at the time, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

[00:06:23] Matt Jones: But now it's Galaxy Con, the one that saw all over the place. But, I went there. And I just sold my eBooks, the little books that I had on Amazon. I sold them no pictures at all at the, uh comic convention. And, I took 'em from Amazon and then I just sold 'em there. So I bought 'em from Amazon when they were with Ingram Spark, I believe it was.

[00:06:45] Matt Jones: And, I took it from there, got a bunch of 'em, sold 'em at conventions, and then I went from there. Then after that I started the comic books and the manga. So I, I put 'em out, put 'em online. I did a Kickstarter for Void Beast, the first one, and that went well. And I'm doing, and I'm also doing one for five now.

[00:07:03] Matt Jones: But I did that and then I just kept going. That's basically how I did it. So I just started publishing my own books. Sitting. Then, you know, the backend is doing all the business stuff, setting up the licensing, the EIAN number, all that stuff. But for the most part it was just me putting out stories that I wanted to see, and then I just kept putting 'em out.

[00:07:26] Matt Jones: And now I just have a I catalogs of book of books that I can just put out whenever I want to and take 'em wherever I go.

[00:07:33] Spaceman: So Matt, what do you think your percentage of cool stuff versus the uncool stuff you have to do to support the cool stuff?

[00:07:43] Matt Jones: Oh my God, that's a good question. I was, I was just, I was just thinking about that. It's a lot of uncool stuff. It's a lot. And we all know that. I was, like I said, I was just finishing a demo job and I had to pull up a kitchen floor and stuff, and the plywood was stuck to the floor with nails, but a lot more nails than it should have been.

[00:08:06] Matt Jones: I was like, I should be able to pull this up easier. And the whole time I kept thinking to myself, there's, there's an easier way to do this. There's an easier way, and there wasn't, There was no easier way to do it. There was, I have to get down there, pull it up, and then take it, and then cut it piece by piece to take it out.

[00:08:24] Matt Jones: And the whole time, one, I tried to do one. The whole piece of plywood didn't work, try to cut it in half. That didn't work. So then I finally had to cut 'em into quarters and it wasn't easier. It just made it make more sense. And it made it to, it made it, I would say it made it easier to get through it, but it wasn't an easier job.

[00:08:42] Matt Jones: And I'm saying that to say that I was thinking about it while I was on the ground a couple days ago. Even, going to my comics and stuff, it was like, sometimes there's no easier way. You have to go through that hard part and you have to do it. And transferring it to what you were talking about, like with the comics and the art and stuff.

[00:08:59] Matt Jones: One of the things that I have to do is be in front of people. Like I have to meet a bunch of people and I have to go to different areas and meet different people. There's no way that, at least not for me, I don't have, being at the bottom. I don't have the money to really focus in on like a bunch of ads online and all that other stuff.

[00:09:20] Matt Jones: And then I don't really like doing a bunch of videos and stuff and everything unless it's something I wanna do. So what I do like doing and even what I do like doing is meeting people in person. I hate the traveling and stuff sometimes, but I like meeting people in person. So that's where you gotta kind of make a decision on what you want to do and doing the stuff that, the uncool stuff, like you said, that come along with something that you want to do.

[00:09:49] Matt Jones: Cause there's a bunch of uncool stuff that goes along with everything that you want to do, and you have to do that to get to where you want to go. So there's a lot of uncool stuff, finding artists, finding venues, Sometimes the traveling and stuff, it's a lot of uncool stuff to get this, to get it going.

[00:10:06] Matt Jones: So my main thing is do it, do do the uncool stuff for something that I care about, for the cool stuff that I care about. Do all that uncool stuff cuz it's bad doing the uncool part for something I don't care about, or it is just uncool altogether and it's like, oh, I don't wanna do that. So I do my best to try to do it and get it done.

[00:10:27] Halfling: Yeah,

[00:10:28] Spaceman: Absolutely. I can honestly say we've been there and done well. I can't say we've done that because we're currently. Doing that.

[00:10:34] Halfling: Yeah,

[00:10:35] Spaceman: there there's a lot of that. There's a lot of that backroom work for doing pretty much anything creative.

[00:10:41] Halfling: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we, we love talk, we love talking to people and that's one of the, one of the joys for me of doing this podcast is getting to meet so many different people and talk with, with so many people, with different backgrounds, different stories.

[00:10:57] Halfling: And that's, that's the fun part of it. That's, that's the part that I really enjoy. But, you know, all the emails back and forth and trying to schedule people and not hearing from people and, you know, trying to come up with, you know, it's, that's, that's a lot of work. And then of course, you know, Spaceman over, there's got all the editing to do, which I can testify is not the easiest thing to do.

[00:11:19] Halfling: So, yeah, you're exactly right. You gotta, you gotta do the hard part to do the part you love. 

[00:11:25] Spaceman: Well, I'm gonna use that as a segue to talk about something else's hard Brazilian jujitsu. Now on your website, you said you were inspired by that, and so have you been to Brazil or have you studied, uh, Brazilian jujitsu?

[00:11:41] Matt Jones: Uh, nope. No, I haven't been to Brazil yet. I plan on getting out there. One of these days. I did jujitsu and MMA for about how old is my son. I still do, I still do Juujitsu now, just not as much as I used to. But I've did it for about 17, doing 17 years. So s yeah, 17 years. And I've been doing jiujitsu.

[00:12:07] Matt Jones: I started doing MMA first and then I moved to North Carolina and I went with more of a jiujitsu base, which helped me a lot. Fighting Jiu-jitsu is where I get a lot of. Who I am from. Because I always understood, even growing up in, in Southern California, fighting was always a thing, even in the streets for me, it was always a thing where I understood how it worked.

[00:12:31] Matt Jones: I understood that. And even situations that lead up to it. Cause like I understand that if I do this, this will lead to this. If I, if I say or do something that leads to violence, it's going to lead to that. So I'm going to conduct myself with respect, with everybody. I'm gonna start with respect, with everybody and keep it that way.

[00:12:52] Matt Jones: As long as it, as long as we can. And let's keep it that way. So Juujitsu, I started doing that and it helped me understand more about who I was, about my body type, my temperament, how I handle things in life. For instance, I'm not, one of the things that really helped me learn is. I'm tall. Like I always know, I always knew that I was tall.

[00:13:14] Matt Jones: Even in, uh, middle school, people were like, oh, you gonna play basketball? And I would try it and I was terrible. It was just horrible at basketball. But then when I got into jujitsu and stuff, it was like I was tall, but then my instructor Jake was like, okay, you did MMA, but they obviously, you didn't learn some of the stuff you needed to learn.

[00:13:31] Matt Jones: So in Juujitsu, I learned the value of my arms and the distance that I can keep in, um, sparring and kickboxing and all of that. And I never knew that before even doing MMA, I would do things that smaller people would do and it wouldn't work. So once I learned that I'm a big, slow person when it, when it comes to moving, I'm big, I'm tall and I'm slow, but I can, I can burst when I need to.

[00:13:55] Matt Jones: And even in on the mat with Juujitsu, I learned that, , I'm slow, I'm methodical and I can make things happen, but I can burst when I need to. And so I figured that. I started turning that into, going back when you're talking about like with the business, I even, I even do it there. It's like I take my time, I do it when I want to, and then I strike.

[00:14:15] Matt Jones: And so Juujitsu was really helpful, that way. And my instructor, he, I was a, I actually did it out there in North Carolina with Jake Whitfield at, Goldsboro Juujitsu. And he, we, he was a, well now he was, he is a, uh Royce Gracie black belt. And I learned that style of Juujitsu, more of the Royce Gracie self-defense style of juujitsu.

[00:14:36] Halfling: Wow. , I understand from taking a little bit of martial arts myself, I, I actually did cake boxing for a while and I mean, you've seen me, so you can just imagine how funny that looked. But, but, um, uh, I, I did it anyway and not only was it, was it fun and it was a stress outlet, but it did teach me a little bit about, even though I'm small, I can handle myself.

[00:15:02] Halfling: I, you know, I, it, so it taught me how to be a little bit more competent in myself. So I, I think that there's a lot of value in, in learning, different styles in martial arts, so that, that's great. Well, let's switch gears just a little bit and talk about you in fandom in general.

[00:15:20] Halfling: You've obviously had some, you know, some anime influence. Is that something that started in your childhood or, or what was your earliest fandom?

[00:15:31] Matt Jones: When I was a kid, the earliest one I remember was, uh, was Thundercats, transformers, silver Hawks, and Cops. Those were the ones I remember when I was young. Young. And then, around middle school, I was in, what was it, six, seven. Sixth, seventh grade, maybe even eighth. I, it was a blur at that time. But what I do remember is I would get up in the morning and they would have the show Ronin Warriors and their original Dragon Ball was on there, uh, when Goku was a little Stu Stumpy kid.

[00:16:06] Matt Jones: And, and I remember watching that as well as playing all kind of video games, the Final Fantasy games, the Mega man games, the legend, a Zelda, all of those games. I was doing all of that growing up the whole time. So it was always where that was with me. It was always with me. So yeah, the, the, those were the cartoons, especially, like I said, Thundercats and Transformers were the main, like a American ish style ones that I was really on top of.

[00:16:34] Matt Jones: And then there was other stuff too, but those were the ones that I really remember.

[00:16:38] Halfling: When, when did you first start? Or maybe I'm making an assumption here, but when did you first start getting into anime?

[00:16:45] Matt Jones: Like really getting into it. I would say, eighth, eighth grade. I know for sure it was eighth grade. It was because sixth, like I said, I was watching Dragon Ball in like sixth and seventh, but when I really got into it was, was eighth grade. I remember watching, Evangelion, Fist of the North Star. It was a few other ones. Then back in the day, sci-fi used to show a lot of anime on Saturday mornings. So I watched, uh, area, area, Zem, Armitage, uh, eight Man after. It was just a bunch of that Tenchi Muyo! Series that they had a bunch of movies for. So it was just a bunch of 'em that were on wherever I could find them at and I would just watch and watch and watch and watch and watch.

[00:17:31] Matt Jones: And so, but that was still alongside with the American stuff. It was still alongside Spider-Man, the X-Men. Oh yeah, the X-Men cartoon too. I was really watching that when I was younger. And then I would go to bookstores cause there were a lot more comics back then. And in California, my par, my, well it was me and it was my mom and me and my sisters at the time.

[00:17:52] Matt Jones: We, it was just us. So she would walk and it would be this thing where it's like in California, it would get really hot by 10, 12 in the evening. So we would have to get up at like eight, nine, when it's still like 70 degrees and walk. And then it was like, okay, we gotta get back home before one. So she would go to the store and I would go into the comic book store and I would read X-Men books.

[00:18:15] Matt Jones: I would read Captain America, spider-Man, some Spawn stuff. And then I'd go find her and go back. So it was always, it was always something, I was always either reading or watching something Nick had to do with comic books or something at the time.

[00:18:30] Spaceman: So Matt, when you finally decided to make a go of it as a publisher, how long did it get you, uh, how long did it take you to ramp up your business, get it from being off the ground into, producing a regular product 

[00:18:43] Matt Jones: so probably about, probably about th about I'd say about four years, I'd say about four years, because when I put the, when I put the first Void piece book out in 2018, the actual co the actual manga that you see, the black and white one that I have, when I put that out, I didn't, after that I just started putting out books.

[00:19:07] Matt Jones: And it was because I had finished doing my mechatronics engineers, schooling, and then I had got a job and I was traveling. So I worked at a company and I was doing the controls and robotics and industrial system stuff. So they would send me all over the place. So I'd be, I was first in North Carolina, then they'd send me to Indiana, then they in Illinois, Mexico, Georgia, Tennessee, just all over the place.

[00:19:33] Matt Jones: And so when I was by myself, I would just do a lot of writing. So I would do a lot of writing and then the artists I was with, I would pay them because I had not only the regular money, but I had overtime money. Then they gave me per diem money for being out on the road. So I would save that per diem money and I didn't need to eat a lot, so I'm like, eh, I can eat.

[00:19:54] Matt Jones: I'm gonna be at this factory most of the day and I can eat before and after and I don't need to spend a bunch of money on that. So I would keep the per diem money to pay my artists and everything. And so I was able to put out a bunch of books and stores and get Void Beast books completed, the Extraordinary Messiah and the other ones you see that I have, I was able to get a bunch of those done and that's how I was able to fund a lot of the, business side of what I was doing.

[00:20:19] Matt Jones: So it, it basically to really get started it, after I got that first Void Beast Kickstarter going and that went well, I just kept going. And the thing about it, even with Kickstarter, I never really needed the money for Kickstarter. It was just a way for me to get everybody in one location and pre-order the books.

[00:20:38] Matt Jones: I don't use Kickstarter as a way since we're talking about the business. I don't use Kickstarter as a way to fund my book and then I go do it. I have everything done. I have my art done, I've paid my artists, I've paid for coloring, I've paid for everything already. Kickstarter just a way for me to get everybody in one location and then get some new people from Kickstarter that'll follow my book and they can jump on.

[00:21:04] Matt Jones: Even with my Kickstarter right now, I don't need the money at all. It's just for, it's just easier for me to get everybody in that one spot cuz sometimes Kickstarter, cuz sometimes when I do pre-orders on my website, it doesn't work. But on Kickstarter. It'll bring a little bit, it'll bring a couple more fans and everything, so it's easier to congregate people there.

[00:21:24] Matt Jones: On my website, it's a little bit harder, it's easier for me, in my mind. It's easier to do it on my website. The Kickstarter gets, more traction.

[00:21:33] Spaceman: Okay. And tied back into that question, when did you start Akachi comics formally? When did it go from just being Matt doing his thing to, I guess a formal company? I don't know a good way of saying it. When do you consider yourself to have, become

[00:21:49] Spaceman: more than just a self publisher?

[00:21:52] Matt Jones: Again, probably that 2018 with Void Beasts, that first book, that Kickstarter and everything. That was the time that I really started focusing in, and like I said, after that, I just kept going after that. It was a bunch of books. It was 2, 3, 4, and then I I just kept going. And even some books that I forgot about or I didn't, I didn't need to put out or I did too much with or do too little with.

[00:22:18] Matt Jones: I, I learned a lot over this. Over the course of this business, I've learned a lot about me and, and where I fit in because, with the business side of things, people tell you a lot of stuff about, well, you should this and you do that and you do this, and I'm not really good at that because for me, for some reason I can hear it and then sometimes I just go and fire off and I'll get overly excited about certain things.

[00:22:41] Matt Jones: Cause so even with the business now, like I have Boyd Beats chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, and five coming out. But now I see where I may have tried to do too much by making a big, giant epic story. So I'm focusing it down into doing more one shots so people can learn who the characters are, what the world is about and everything.

[00:23:01] Matt Jones: And then I can give you that one book and then you can read that and you can come back and get the Chaptered books because I get that a lot. I get a lot of people ask me, is this, is this just one book? And I'm like, well, uh, no, you gotta go this. I got chapter 1, 2, 3, and four. And they'll be like, oh, okay, well I'll just get one.

[00:23:17] Matt Jones: But if it's, if anytime I say, well it's just one book, or if I show 'em that one book, they'll buy that one book cuz they're willing to invest and start with that one book, see if they like the character in the world and then they'll come back to it instead of having to buy it. And then don't know if they really like it.

[00:23:35] Matt Jones: Or even since we, since we are in the indie side of things, even if I can continue with what I'm doing, cuz you know how I go, there's a bunch of variables like we were talking about, like contacting people, getting up with people, and then the biggest variable of all is life. And that just happens to anybody.

[00:23:52] Matt Jones: So. Um, it's a lot easier for people to jump in with that one. So, yeah. 2018 and then I just kept going with that.

[00:24:00] Halfling: Yeah. You talk about life happening, that's, uh, no truer words been spoken. Uh,

[00:24:06] Spaceman: the, the older you get, the more it happens to you.

[00:24:09] Halfling: you.

[00:24:10] Matt Jones: Yeah. I'm learning too.

[00:24:14] Halfling: Well, let's talk a little bit about SableCon, um, because, you know, we were, we were there and had a, had a great time talking with the different creators that were there, and of course talking with you. So tell us a little bit about how that actually came about. What made you decide to organize it? You know, and as, especially given that you're living in Wisconsin now, how did you come about, getting it in North Carolina, in Knightdale?

[00:24:42] Matt Jones: Mm-hmm. Well, uh, SableCon came from, my experience, at conventions to where there were everybody is fine, everybody's good. Everybody, everybody loves everybody. That's, that's what we're told and, and everything. And so but I noticed that there were small different treatments. So what I do, I've, I've always cared, I always tell people, I've always cared about the plight of black people, not just because I'm a black person, but because of knowing that there's things that have happened and they continue to happen.

[00:25:13] Matt Jones: Two of my, my favorite people in history are like Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Elio Gracie, people like that, Ida B. Wells, these are my favorite people in history. And so I've always, I've always watched and seen how things went. And so SableCon was something where I was in that industry and I wanted to help other artists, especially black artists, be in a, in a.

[00:25:39] Matt Jones: In an event where we know we can come together and act like everything is good, and if not, not, I was gonna say, act like we got some sense, um, every well, um, where everything is fine and we can see that we can, converse with each other. We can do business with each other and other people without it being some type of weird, crazy situation where it's a bunch of wild stuff going on.

[00:26:04] Matt Jones: And so I, what really got me going with it was, I went to Black Comics Day in California where Keith and Jones, and he does a great event out there. It's, it's, it's, it's, he has people from all over the country who come to San Diego, California and he puts on Black Comics Day in February for Black History Month and stuff.

[00:26:24] Matt Jones: And it was a, it's a, it's always a good event, always. And so I'm like, okay. There, there's this stigma to where we get told that black people don't spend money on this type of stuff, but I've seen it over and over again. And then the other flip side, the other side of that is down in Texas, the RDC one, guys that do like the internet sketches and stuff, they got a convention called dreamcon.

[00:26:47] Matt Jones: And that one is like this big huge event in what's gonna be in Austin this year. And they have video games, anime, manga, all that type of stuff. And they bring out all kind of people in looking at their sponsorship details and stuff like that. Their attendees are 70% black. And so when you go in there, there's a bunch of young black kids.

[00:27:09] Matt Jones: And I've never, like, I've never seen that in my life. Like I've never seen so many in one spot like that. And so I was like, okay, I, I, I know that it can be done, so I need to do that. And the last thing before we could get into how I get into North Carolina when I'm in, when I was in the Midwest, there's a lot of, out here, there's a lot.

[00:27:29] Matt Jones: It's not the same as North Carolina out here. There's events and I'll be like the only black person, like I'll be the only black person. There's nobody that really looks at anything that I have going on. And so I'm like, okay, this is not, this is not normal. This is, this isn't, this isn't right. It was like this, this, this, I, I don't understand this.

[00:27:48] Matt Jones: In North Carolina it's different, especially on that western end of North Carolina, like Raleigh and everything and stuff. Like everybody's just coming looking at everything. And then same thing in Greenville. People go, everybody's looking at everything. So different areas, different things happen. And so I wanted to put together an event, that would focus on black culture and bring it to everybody.

[00:28:11] Matt Jones: I always say I make black stories, not just for black people, but for the world, so everybody can see what my perspective is on things and that. So you can understand where I'm coming from as I, I've never say that this is just for black people, but it, but you will, when you come to me, you will get black culture one way or another.

[00:28:29] Matt Jones: And I'm not talking about the culture that you see on TV. I'm talking about black culture of excellence, of people doing the right thing, people treating people right, that sort of thing. And so I ended up, since I had did Juujitsu and everything in North Carolina, I had a friend, well I don't have, I have, oh, I have a friend named Deju and he's out there and he told me about the Ace Event Center.

[00:28:50] Matt Jones: So he told me about that and then we worked together to get that space out there at Knightdale. Cause I was talking about doing the convention and he was like, yeah, are you willing to do it out here? And I was like, yeah, I'll do it out there. So we put it together and ended up out there in North Carolina.

[00:29:08] Matt Jones: And so I'll be doing that one again next year. Hopefully I can get it in Milwaukee too. So that's kind of what I'm working on as well.

[00:29:16] Halfling: Oh, okay. So, so you've got aspirations for, two conventions

[00:29:21] Matt Jones: Yeah. Yeah. At least.

[00:29:22] Halfling: at least. Awesome. That, that's great.

[00:29:25] Spaceman: Holding a convention's a lot of fun, but it's a lot of 

[00:29:29] Spaceman: work.

[00:29:30] Matt Jones: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And that's the, that, that goes back to, what you were talking about doing the, doing the uncool stuff or the stuff that's, that's like, uh, I, like, I, I found that I do like putting on the events and I, I don't like some of the headache that come along that comes along with it. But again, for me, I always think that I've been through worse.

[00:29:51] Matt Jones: I've been beat up in front of people. I've lost matches in front of people. I've broken my arm in front of people. I've done jobs I don't like. So I can do the hard stuff with this that. Extent I may not like here because it's like, eh, I've been through worse. I'm not gonna break my arm doing any of this.

[00:30:06] Matt Jones: Or, or get beat up in front of a couple hundred people and then don't get paid for it. So there's always this whole 

[00:30:13] Halfling: Let's hope not.

[00:30:15] Matt Jones: Yeah, I know. I know.

[00:30:18] Spaceman: Well, honestly, we want you to come back.

[00:30:21] Halfling: Yeah, yeah. We, we do. I think, I think that the area definitely, you know, greatly benefits from having an event like that. 

[00:30:29] Spaceman: Yeah, but our attitude is the more people they get to play, the better.

[00:30:33] Matt Jones: Yeah. Yep. And, and that's my thing. It's like, I want, I want. To get as many people. Well, that's still the goal. It's always gonna be the goal to have everybody in there. And like I said, I, I want to be a positive representation of what the black community is. It is. When I say like a black convention, people would be like, well, can white people come?

[00:30:53] Matt Jones: Or kids like, yes, yes. This isn't where, this is not, this is not an exclusionary thing. It's just more of a thing that this is what you're going to get when you come here. That's I'm going to present black culture in a positive way so that, so that everybody can experience it in a positive way, not the way that you see it being presented in all these other areas of entertainment and, and news and stuff like that.

[00:31:17] Halfling: Right, right. I think about, you know, that, that there are things like Greek festivals, you know, and Greek festivals are for everyone to come and enjoy. It doesn't mean you have to be Greek. So come to the Greek festival, you know, so it's the same.

[00:31:34] Spaceman: Oh, 

[00:31:34] Spaceman: and, and I, I show up whenever I can because I eat, as you know, much baklava as I can, and grape leaves as I can stuff down my throats.

[00:31:43] Matt Jones: I love, I loved I man. Oh, like growing up in Southern California, that, that taught me to really resp respect and, honor like different cultures and people because it, out there, it was, I was growing up around Asians, around Mexicans, people from, the Philippines, people from Europe, and it was just so much going on and that's almost one of my requirements.

[00:32:09] Matt Jones: Now, wherever I'm at, there has to be a concentration of different cultures to where I can go. And they have their events, they have sections that they're in that I can go to. And, um, that's, that's one of my personal things. Cause I love experiencing these different cultures and being, being among different people and seeing how everything works.

[00:32:28] Matt Jones: So when I see it, and like you said, if I see like a Greek festival out here in Milwaukee, me and my family are like, oh wait, well we need to go to that because it's like, we know it's gonna be a certain type of food, certain type of music, certain type of entertainment that I may not get to see all the time in my house.

[00:32:44] Matt Jones: And I want to see it and experience it and I wanna see how everybody interacts. But that just might be the whole sociologist thing in me too. So, but, um, I agree. I like, I like all of that.

[00:32:56] Spaceman: You know, I think there's a certain curiosity that comes with being a nerd of any kind, that you just hunger for information and anytime you get a chance to try something new or do something new or meet someone new, it's just, it's a great opportunity. And we don't try to, we don't generally pass it up.

[00:33:15] Spaceman: You know, the sad part about it though, is a lot of nerds, people who get into the geeky stuff aren't necessarily always the most, outgoing people. So sometimes you're a little, you're a little, you want to do these things. You want to meet all these cool people, but you're afraid that you'll be the only one.

[00:33:30] Spaceman: And I think that's one of the great things about SableCon is because you're showing, uh, part of, uh, the black community that hey, you're not the only one. You're not the only nerd.

[00:33:40] Matt Jones: Yeah. That, that's what happened. Like a lot of people came and told me that, like they didn't think that it, that there were other people like that, or there were events like that. And this is people that were coming to attend the event, especially Saturday. Like after, like before and after we had, we had spoke, cause we, yeah, it was Saturday, Saturday I believe,

[00:33:59] Halfling: No, we, we, we didn't come till Sunday, unfortunately.

[00:34:03] Matt Jones: Sunday, Saturday was, I was running, I was doing a lot of running around Saturday and then I got a lot of that, what you, had just said. It was just people were like, I didn't know it was like this, or I didn't know that they had events like this. Or there was one, this is the first one here and stuff like that. And I was like, oh wow. That's, that's, that's strange to me. And the reason why it, for me, it's strange because I go over to the country and it's like, I'll go to California to go to Black Comics Day, then I'll go to Dreamcon in, in, um, Texas, then I'll go to Motor City ComicCon or uh, motor Motor City, black Asian Comics in Detroit.

[00:34:38] Matt Jones: So I'm at these events and I'm seeing them, but it's just that they don't happen all the time in certain areas. And so I believe it's important to have as well.

[00:34:48] Spaceman: Can you tell us a little bit about the other folks that helped you get Scon together?

[00:34:53] Matt Jones: One of the, like I said, my friend Dewan, he helped me out and he, he couldn't attend because he's, he does like some security work and stuff out there for some high profile people in North Carolina and everything. And I'm proud of him and I was glad that he helped with the way he could. And then he even sent out a couple other people and I greatly appreciate all the work he did in helping with that.

[00:35:15] Matt Jones: And then the other one that helped me out was, Vince, the owner of the ACE Event Center. Vince was super helpful. Me and him went back and forth about a lot of things. He, was helping out with like the sponsorships, putting the event together, the space. Me and him talked about how to set up all of that.

[00:35:32] Matt Jones: He helped out a lot with that. And then the other people that helped, like upfront where my family, it was my, my, my daughters, my, my, my ladies, all. They were the ones that really helped me. My son, he was even helping and he had, he has autism, so he was even helping out where he can. So it was my family that out the gate, those were the, Vince, my family, and, Dewan.

[00:35:57] Matt Jones: Those were the people up front that did the helping. Then there were people like the cosplay group, Charlie Rockets, cosplay, silver Hard, Ebony, all of them. Um, the Rise Jones, the, everybody was at that cosplay booth when you guys came in. They were. Super helpful before I'm like, I didn't think that they were going to be that helpful as well.

[00:36:21] Matt Jones: They, they were helping with like, putting the word out for it and everything. So I have nothing but respect for them as well. And then during the convention is when a lot of other people popped up and were just helping with things. And so one of my, one of my longtime friends who even worked with me at GameStop, her name is the High Hill Gamer, but her, her given name is Ca, is Catherine.

[00:36:43] Matt Jones: And she uh, and she was super helpful during the whole event cuz she came out, she was there the whole weekend. She helped out with some of everything. She was talking to people, she was taking videos for me. She helped me with the cosplay contest. And, and I didn't know that she was going to do that much.

[00:37:03] Matt Jones: So that was the thing where, well, once again, it was people coming out and just helping. And then even you guys, it came out, help did the interviews with everybody and a lot of the people appreciated all of the, interviews from you guys and then a couple other people. There's one guy named, Kada that does work with me.

[00:37:21] Matt Jones: We've done work. So it was a lot of people. I didn't think so many people were going to help after. I didn't think it was going to be like that before. It was just like me and a couple other people. But now I know that people are, help out some more. And then, a, uh, one of my online friends, a guy named Michael Young, he has Nerd Soul.

[00:37:40] Matt Jones: He came through and he helped out as well. So it was so many people that really just came and helped out and, put a little something to the event that made it special.

[00:37:52] Halfling: And, and that's what, that's what being part of a community is. You know, once, once people get the idea that, okay, this is something that's happening, a lot of times people will just, like you said, just show up and start, you know, and start randomly offering assistance for what, for whatever, you know how they can, they can't, I mean that because it's something that they care about, some of them that they, you know, they wanna be involved in, in some way.

[00:38:19] Halfling: So that's, that's awesome. That is absolutely awesome.

[00:38:24] Matt Jones: Yeah, Yeah, that was good. And, and like I said, even with you guys coming out and doing the videos and speaking with people, all of that matters for ev, for all of these, for all of the creators because no matter how big or small, I've had people that I've never thought that looked at certain, listen to certain podcasts that I was on or looked at certain videos, and you can, and I can go and look at the videos and it's like, Eh, a hundred views or something like that.

[00:38:51] Matt Jones: And then somebody will come to me at a convention and be like, I seen you on so-and-so's, YouTube video or Instagram feed or whatever. And and I'm like, what? That only had like to, today it already got 105 views. Like you'll those people and then they'll buy from me and then they'll tell everybody and then they'll share my stuff.

[00:39:10] Matt Jones: And it's like, all of that matters because everybody going back to that culture thing and, and stuff everybody has and brings a certain specialness to the table. So even you guys audience come is, is, would be different from mine. But you guys interviewing the people, it's good that, that you guys did that cause you introduced everybody else to these yo you ba you introduced your audience to all these new creators and stuff and vice versa.

[00:39:39] Matt Jones: So I always appreciate it and it's always welcome with sableCon, I need all of those attendees to get as much attention from any and everybody that they can and turn it into something for themselves.

[00:39:52] Spaceman: Well, don't forget to drop us a line next year when you get SableCon 2 scheduled.

[00:39:57] Matt Jones: Most definitely. That's, that, that's gonna happen. I, I, I wanna do some more with that one. Uh, I have some big, big ideas with that one. It's just mainly looking for, right now I'm going through the process of figuring out, other things that I'm gonna put along with it and then finding sponsors and everything that go along with it.

[00:40:14] Matt Jones: So that's what I'm looking at currently.

[00:40:16] Spaceman: Okay. That sounds cool. That sounds cool. . So, Matt, we want our listeners to hear about a guest journey into becoming creative and, uh, becoming a force in fandom. With that in mind, what was the process that you followed for getting where you are now? What was the road you took?

[00:40:38] Matt Jones: One of the main things that I keep in my head is that I worked for so many other people as far as like GameStop, dominoes, car washes, working construction with my uncle when I was younger, all kind of stuff. I've been working since, was like 14 years old or something. Like I think my first job was a car wash, and then I'm like, Ugh.

[00:41:02] Matt Jones: But one of the, one of the main things that helps me is that I want to own all of my stuff for as long and as much of it as I can because there's this idea that. You have to be big and you have to go do all this big stuff. You gotta go do all these movies, you gotta do all this other stuff.

[00:41:21] Matt Jones: But then when I started studying businesses and watching people, and even little like mom and pop businesses, there's a lot of people that are smaller that can live off of the things that they love to do. And, and it's like, you're, you're not, you're not this big giant that everybody sees you and you're getting all this attention.

[00:41:39] Matt Jones: There's everyday people that live off of what they love to do and they're fine and they're, they make couple hundred thousand a year stuff like that. And that's kind of my goal. My goal was isn't really to be the biggest person in the world, but it is to make enough money to have events and to help other people get to where they want to be at and to get them the exposure.

[00:42:00] Matt Jones: And in turn I'll get what I want. Cause if I'm helping these other people, it'll get me to where I want to be. And so even with the business is just make sure that I own as much as I can. And do things in a way that makes sense for me. Because again, when it comes to business, you'll look at all these templates.

[00:42:18] Matt Jones: People say, you gotta do this, and you gotta do that, and you gotta do it this way. And it gotta be this, and it may not work for you. It may, doing it that way may not work for you. No matter how much they say it's the right way to do it. It's not, it's not fitting you. So I, I try my best to do things the way I do.

[00:42:35] Matt Jones: So again, with the books and stuff, I'll write 'em, I'll take my time with it, and then I'll work for my artist. And I don't ever really have deadlines like it. Sometimes it'll be, Hey, let's put it, let's have it. I will have certain deadlines, like, let's get it around this time. Like if I need it by, if I want it to come out the beginning of next year, I say I might need it around.

[00:43:00] Matt Jones: November, December. But I don't ever put like hard deadlines for certain things because that's just the way I like to work. And it works for me because sometimes there's a lot of stuff going on that prohibits having things done. But I also work with a lot of great artists from the Philippines to where they can knock out stuff a lot faster than some other people.

[00:43:21] Matt Jones: So I make sure that I own my stuff. I do it in a way that's comfortable for me. I do the business in a way that makes sense for me and works for my family and the people that are helping me around. So that's, I would think that's my main like process. So create the books, keep engaging people online, talk to people online.

[00:43:42] Matt Jones: Go to events, that's a big thing. Going to events has is what has helped me out a lot in just being able to meet people so that they can see who I am. They know who I am, they know what I do. And then I get a lot of people to where it's like, because I do the ads and stuff online or they'll, I'm constantly consistently sharing Void Beast stuff or any of my Akachi books online.

[00:44:03] Matt Jones: People will be like, oh, I seen that online. And I'm like, where did you see that at? And then they'll say, Facebook or Instagram or something. And I've never met these people, so, and this is in different states. I can go to Detroit and it'll happen. I can be in Texas. It'll happen so people know what's, what's happening.

[00:44:18] Matt Jones: And just staying on that process of making sure that you are charging right for your books. Uh, it's, it is a lot of stuff that goes into it, but just my main thing for me personally is keeping control of what I do so that I can live off of it. And what I'm doing is helping other people at the same time.

[00:44:38] Halfling: Well, I, think that it's, a wonderful thing that you incorporate that idea of trying to help other people, you know, get a leg up and get the exposure. I think that's one of the great things about fandom community in general is that, a lot of fans are. Open to helping other, people.

[00:44:57] Halfling: You know, you got cosplayers for instance, that, they see somebody who's brand new to the idea of cosplaying, but , they wanna give it a try and they may not have any clue as to how to put something together. You know, you got, cosplayers who are gonna step in and give them either materials or give them advice on how to put something together.

[00:45:17] Halfling: Things like that. It's ju so it's, that, entire sense of community, which is, which is great. Um, well, what, what have been some of the challenges that you have faced along the way and, how were you able to overcome them? 

[00:45:36] Matt Jones: One of the first challenges was finding artists to work with. Like I said, since I do the writing, it was hard to find artists. I seen that first couple of pages. It got old after a while. I seen the first, per, the first like, 20 pages of Void Beast from like five or six, maybe more.

[00:45:55] Matt Jones: And then, well, the first 20 from about five or six different artists, the first five from about 10 different artists. And I just got 'em thrown all over, just all over the place. And I'm just like, It was hard because I couldn't find anybody that would do it, or it cost too much for the, within the budget that I was willing to pay or that I could pay, not even willing to pay, that I could pay at the time.

[00:46:22] Matt Jones: And it was just like, this isn't, this isn't going to work. And it was hard because it was like, I'll talked to an artist and then you'll hear from 'em, they'll start and then they disappear or they'll start something. They'll send you one thing and then three months later they'll send you something else.

[00:46:39] Matt Jones: I'm like, yo, I may not have deadlines, but I'm not trying to do this. This doesn't make sense. And so there was this balance to where I was never getting it until, I got introduced to my main artist on Void Beast. His name is Francis. He's my main artist. And me and him still work together and he's always gonna be my main person on Void Beast.

[00:46:58] Matt Jones: Even though I'll do, I'm stepping into doing some other stuff. But he's always going to be the main person on Void Beast. And it's because me and him worked together well and we were both kind of learning, like he was still, he had stuff under his belt, but he was still kind of new to it. I was new to it.

[00:47:15] Matt Jones: And you can tell within the journey of Void Beast, even if you're looking at the pages, that, he had gotten better and better along the way with his art. And then the storytelling had started getting better and better along the way as well. so that was hard. And then coming up with the money was hard, but then when I started working more, in the controls engineering stuff, it was a lot easier.

[00:47:37] Matt Jones: So I didn't have to worry about that. But, one of the biggest things is just that constant nagging in your head where. You're not where you want to be like I, I want to be here. I want more people to know about it. I want people to buy and tell me about my stories and all of that other stuff.

[00:47:56] Matt Jones: And going back to what I was talking about in earlier about the plywood floor. And you start too much. You start trying to do and cut quarters and it's like, oh, this, there's an easier way. There's, there's not an easier way unless you just got a whole bunch of the easier ways. If you have a whole bunch of money and you can just throw it at it.

[00:48:16] Matt Jones: And even then you still gotta sort out who are the people that really want what you have and everything. So that was, that was hard. And then it was like, I, I wanted to be further ahead and then just watching other people do certain things. It's like, you know how I go, you'll see everybody else doing certain stuff and you're like, man, I should be there.

[00:48:37] Matt Jones: Or I should, but that's not, Where I'm supposed to be at because if it was, I would be there or I would be able to get there at my own time. So I think when it comes to business, a lot of it is mental. A lot of it is mental and emotional. Cause the work is just like you would do for anybody else. You go in, you figure out what you gotta do, you find a i, I write the story, I find the artist, I figure out where I gotta go to put the books together.

[00:49:05] Matt Jones: Um, I take the books I sell, I say, I say I'm selling it online, and then I send it to people or I go to a convention, I set up my table and everything is fine. Like that's how it works. But that mental side is where it gets a lot of us. Even me, I think the only thing that helps me is going through such.

[00:49:26] Matt Jones: Going through other stuff cuz because it was like, okay, I wanted to do this, I wanted to do the GameStop stuff. I wanted to be managers here. I wanted, I did the engineering stuff, I did the juujitsu, I've, I wanted to do more of that. And then just going through those losses, like, and actual losses, like in matches.

[00:49:45] Matt Jones: Breaking arms, losing fights, losing MMA fights in front of people. All of that kind of got it to where in this industry and doing this with comics and stuff, it's like, man, that's not, that's not that bad. It it, that's literally how I feel. It was like on the business side, it's like, okay, I can figure this out.

[00:50:07] Matt Jones: Just keep yourself in check. You've been in worse situations. You've been, you've had people's arms around your neck. What. Put you to sleep, literally. And sometimes I have been choked unconscious and it's like I've, those type of things, it's like, if, if it's not that, I can make it through that. So I think when it comes to the, business side of things is what really messes up a lot of us when it comes to things that we love.

[00:50:33] Matt Jones: Because no matter what there is, even the, things that we love, there's some business to it always. There's some type of way that there's, there's always a business to it. And you have to get over those struggles, even if you're just doing it for fun. You have to get through those struggles that come along with what you're doing.

[00:50:51] Matt Jones: So my main thing is it's not any work. This is, this is easy. This isn't anything that I can't do my, I can have my kids do it, and it's just making sure that I keep that emotional side of myself in check when I see something that I want that I can't have at the moment. I, I want to write a book, but I.

[00:51:11] Matt Jones: Can't put it out at the moment. Make sure I keep myself in control and everything else will be, it'll be good. I hope that makes sense though, when it comes to the business side of things.

[00:51:21] Spaceman: No, it makes perfect sense.

[00:51:25] Halfling: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:51:26] Spaceman: That transitions us to the next question that was I was gonna ask is do you have any advice for any of our listeners that might be wanting to start their own convention or publish their own comic, anything, any, any hard lessons you've learned on the way that you want to keep other people from having to deal with?

[00:51:43] Matt Jones: Yep. Yeah. Um, on the comic side, I would say, and, and I've read, and the funny thing is, I've read this before, I did what I did and then I still went the other way. So if, if, if people hear it and they, and they do the same thing, I am not mad at you. It's just the, it's just how wire and, and we have, and some of us go through it and then, We'll come back around, but one of the things that I would say to anybody when it comes to comics and manga or any of it, any of that stuff, don't try to do something, some big, long, drawn out story.

[00:52:20] Matt Jones: Don't do that. Cause Void Beast. I started and then it was like, okay, I'm gonna do this and I'm gonna do this. And I just wrote a bunch of stuff and we wrote a bunch of stuff and it, and, and it became long. And so I would say start off with something, a short story. , even if it's a comic, it can be 10 pages.

[00:52:40] Matt Jones: I would, it can be five pages, put 'em out, next, do 10 pages, put 'em out or just do five pages, put 'em online or whatever the case may be. And see how people react to your characters, the world and everything. And that'll also help you save money to where it's like, I don't have to do a big, long, epic.

[00:53:00] Matt Jones: Where I got some, I have an artist doing this for the next two or three, four, y, 2, 3, 4 years. And they can't even, and on the Indy side, some artists can't stay that long because life happens. They get hired on, they go somewhere else. It just so many, there's so many variables at the level that we're at.

[00:53:19] Matt Jones: Cause we don't have the resources to keep a person in place to do certain things. So I would say start off with a short book. Do something, maybe find an artist that you can afford, is you just need to understand that, the quality is going to go with that price, the whatever, whatever you're paying, understand that that's what a quality is going to be at.

[00:53:42] Matt Jones: And then either upgrade with that artist and you keep doing work and they get better and you got, and you guys help each other to get better or you. That one, one shot, like I said about it could be anywhere between five to 25 pages and it's that one story and it's over and introduce everybody to your character in your world.

[00:54:04] Matt Jones: You do that and then you go on and go to another artist when you have more money to work with somebody. That's, a little bit better. But I would say that main thing, I would say focus on that one story. I know you got this big world in your head and all this stuff is going to happen, and then it's gonna go over here and then they gonna go get on this boat and they gonna go fight these aliens on the boat and then they gonna come back and go down into the underworld and fight Hades and all of them.

[00:54:33] Matt Jones: It's like, I understand you have all of that, the focus, especially if you are in the position that a lot of us are in the, in our indie, nerd comics, anime circles. A lot of us, we don't have a bunch of money. So start off small, start getting that to a bunch of peoples with that one book and then build on that, build on that.

[00:54:52] Matt Jones: And that's something that I'm starting to do to where I'm doing one shots with Void Beats, but I have three different artists in it. And it's, they're all about, it's no more than, it'll be about 30, well, 40 something pages, but each artist had about 10 pages to work with. So that's easier for the artist because they're like, yo, I can't do no long stories and I can't do continuations.

[00:55:15] Matt Jones: If you, if you need me to do 10, maybe 15 pages, I can knock that out for you real quick. And I noticed that, that coming to artists with that is a lot easier. Cuz before when I did Void Beast, it was like, Hey, you wanna do this? And it got, they were like, how many, what's, what is like, well it's just long story.

[00:55:34] Matt Jones: And it, they're like, nah, I'm okay. I don't wanna do that. I can draw a couple of. Pages or pinups for you, but that's about it. Now I'm like, it's only gonna be 10 pages. They're like 10 pages. Okay, well I can knock that out real quick. I give 'em the 10 pages. They, they'll say, it might be 15. They might say, well, I have to extend this to about 15 pages.

[00:55:54] Matt Jones: That's fine. All of us get it. We keep going and it makes it easier to where I can put 'em out in a quality way. And then I learn more about myself and the character by doing these shorter stories that I can just kind of put out real quick. So on that side, start with where, start with where you are, what you can do for free.

[00:56:15] Matt Jones: If you're trying to do this, if you're a writer, you can write for free. Start doing that. Get a couple of dollars and find an artist to work with. Or even if you can't do that part, start doing like little short paragraphs and telling the stories and using pictures where you can. Start small and start with the things that you can do for free and then start.

[00:56:35] Matt Jones: And once you wanna put the book out, start with something short that you can get the fans Keep going. On the SableCon side, I'm gonna be honest, everything hasn't quite hit me yet on that. I know the process. The process is you think of an idea of what you want your event to be. No matter what it may be, I went with SableCon, like a black comics and anime, convention.

[00:57:00] Matt Jones: Know what the conventions are about. Know the layouts of conventions because that matters because you don't want it to be all crazy and people running into each other. And then find a space that you can work with and again, that you can afford, that can fit the amount of people that you need. Now there's some other things that I learned.

[00:57:19] Matt Jones: Oh, that I am putting into play now. So next time we talk I'll probably be able to tell to say more about that because I have a better understanding of it. But right now that was the main thing, just figuring out the event I wanted and then finding an event space and making sure the event space, fit what you are doing.

[00:57:38] Matt Jones: Also, getting the word out to people, you going have to, if it's not in the area you're in, you're gonna have to do, which I did radio ads, Facebook ads, , reaching out to people in the areas that you know. And the good thing is I knew a bunch of artists in that area from online and doing conventions out there before, so I kind of reached out to some of them was like, Hey, can you guys come, can you guys spread the word?

[00:58:00] Matt Jones: That sort of thing. And then again, some people reached out to me, And they were like, you're having this in this area, I can help, or I can do, or I can. The cosplay group, Charlie Rocket, she was the one that reached out and then they all helped out, as well. Like I said, so the main thing on that side is just for me is like finding, finding the bit space and getting the word out.

[00:58:23] Matt Jones: But that's all I got for that. But I'm learning that one, I'm learning more about that as we go. And hopefully, like I said, we talk again next year or something after the next one or something. I hope I can have more information and I can really break that down to help people out with that one.

[00:58:40] Matt Jones: So these questions that you're asking me, they're, they're in my head. I'm like, okay, I need to sit down and really write all this stuff out. I need to write all this stuff out on how I did what I did so that I can have a comprehensive, explanation for people and it can help, other artists and creators out as well.

[00:58:59] Halfling: Yeah, that, that sounds like a, that sounds like a great idea because I'm sure that, you know, everybody can benefit from the voice of experience, so. Yeah. So there, there you go. Talking a little bit more about the convention, you've already mentioned that you are, planning a SableCon 2, and that you're possibly going to do one in Wisconsin as well.

[00:59:24] Matt Jones: Mm-hmm. 

[00:59:25] Halfling: Where are you at as far as the planning status for that? Or is it still too early to even really talk about it?

[00:59:32] Matt Jones: No. As far as, in North Carolina, the ACE Event Center is probably where it's going to be. And we've already talked about either sometime in, May, June. Again, around that, around that same time. So right now I'm just looking for sponsors and looking into people that can help more so we can make it bigger.

[00:59:52] Matt Jones: As far as on the end of Milwaukee, I'm, cuz that's, I'm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Just to be clear, I'm looking for more connections in the area because I don't know everybody here. I know more people in North Carolina out here. I don't know as many people. So now I'm just making connections with, businesses, organizers and stuff in the area, trying to get everything out so that I can start doing my runs out here.

[01:00:19] Matt Jones: Whether that's going to conventions and having a SableCon table that I can talk about the event and stuff. Doing little smaller events that I can still market the event. So those are the things I'm trying to do out here to make everything happen. And then I'm gonna do the same thing in North Carolina as well.

[01:00:37] Matt Jones: So the process is basically just trying to find, for Milwaukee the process is trying to find an event space. That makes sense. And then the overall process for both of them, just SableCon as a business, is finding sponsors and stuff like that and more people to help

[01:00:55] Halfling: We certainly wish you all the best with it. And we're here for it. We're, we're here for your success. That's awesome. And, uh, as they say, we are here for it.

[01:01:06] Matt Jones: Yep.

[01:01:07] Spaceman: All right. Well, it's about time for us to wrap up. So why don't you tell our listeners where they can find your comics and how people can make sure they get information about your next convention when it's available? I.

[01:01:19] Matt Jones: Yes. Yes. You can find all of my information right now on That's where I have. Everything for SableCon as well. We'll be updating all of that since things are gonna be different in a few months. So we'll be updating that. And then the other place you can find me is on Instagram at Akachi Comics or SableCon on Instagram.

[01:01:40] Matt Jones: Those are the two that I do most of the business from. Facebook is more of my, is more of me just doing what I do and then not necessarily the comic stuff, but I will share everything with everybody on the website and the Instagram pages and Akachi comics and SableCon.

[01:02:00] Spaceman: Great. Great. We'll make sure that we put that in the show notes. 

[01:02:04] Halfling: Matt, we really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today. We have had a really good time talking with you and getting to know you a little bit better and, and to hear, you know about your, personal journey and, fandom and making the convention happen and, and making your comics happen.

[01:02:20] Halfling: So again, we really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us.

[01:02:24] Matt Jones: Oh, most definitely. I'm glad you guys had me. I was glad you guys came through like you said you were gonna do at SableCon, so I was happy to see you guys that Sunday and everything. So I'm glad that I've got to work with you guys and that you guys have kept your word with everything on the end that you said you were going to do. That means a lot to me, so I appreciate it and thank you for having me

[01:02:44] Spaceman: Just nerds helping 

[01:02:45] Halfling: nerds, 

[01:02:45] Halfling: man. 

[01:02:45] Spaceman: Just nerds 

[01:02:46] Spaceman: helping 

[01:02:46] Halfling: nerds.

[01:02:49] Matt Jones: completely understand.

[01:02:50] Spaceman: All

[01:02:50] Spaceman: right, so we wanna thank you, our listeners for tuning in today, and we hope that you've enjoyed and perhaps become inspired by today's guest, Matt Jones. Thank you listeners for tuning in today. We hope that you've enjoyed and perhaps become inspired by today's guest, Matt Jones. And we wanna thank Matt for having us at SableCon and this is the Spaceman signing out.

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