While attending this year’s Emerald City Comicon I was able to sit down with scribe and Top Cow President / COO, Matt Hawkins. You know him best for the latest volume of Aphrodite IX and of course the awesome franchise, Think Tank.

UTF: The end of Aphrodite IX is coming around the corner. Can you speak to the future of the franchise?

Matt Hawkins: Yeah, Aphrodite IX #11 is the last issue for this initial run. After that Stjepan [Sejic] and I are doing an Aphrodite IX and Cyber Force crossover which I’m writing and he’s drawing. It’s an over-sized one-shot which sort of reveals a lot of the connections between them. They’ve been hinted at, obviously there was an Aphrodite V in the Cyber Force book and there was Aphrodite IV in Artifacts.

And then out of that we were planning on continuing Aphrodite, and then Stjepan [Sejic] and I started talking about how it really is not a book about Aphrodite anymore. The easiest way I can explain it is like a sci-fi version of Game of Thrones and you’ve got these sort of city-states that have been built up, and these different people have been set up to sort of war with each other for domination. That’s really what it is. And so that new series becomes about that.

We’ll start a new title called Ninth Generation,. And I’m writing, Stjepan [Sejic]’s drawing. And I think that book comes out sometime in the Fall. He’s fast, I’m fast, we’ll put that book out pretty quick. The initial arc will be about the nine IX’s when they were younger, and the second arc sort of flashes past Aphrodite IX in the story line, I think it’s actually 20 years past. We’ll fill in some of the background, keep it kind of fresh with people guessing.

Aphrodite IX-Cyber Force 1_Widescreen

UTF: That sounds awesome. I’ve also got to ask you about Think Tank, because it’s easily one of my favorite comics to cover for the site. I actually talked to the illustrator, Rahsan Ekedal, and he told me that the next volume might be in color. Can you speak to that?

Matt Hawkins: Yeah, we’re doing a one-shot called, Think Tank: Fun With PTSD, which was originally going to be issue #13, but we ended with #12. And then he and I are developing a couple of other concepts together, but the idea is to do the second season in color. We’re not sure exactly when we’ll launch it, I think because we saw that it takes about six weeks to draw a book. That doesn’t make it monthly, so I think we’ll probably do a few, kind of get them done and in the can. And I would guess, end of this year, beginning of next year, depending on how quickly we get through some stuff.

Think Tank 6_Widescreen

UTF: My next question is going to be about this year’s Talent Hunt . Any news and updates?

Matt Hawkins: Yeah, the Talent Hunt will be from the end of 2014 to the beginning of 2015 and will actually be stories and art about Aphrodite IX and Cyber Force. The first season was about present-day Artifact bearers. The second season of was about past Artifact bearers. Now Aphrodite and Cyber Force. I think people need to realize that we sort of have our own ongoing stories that we’re doing, and I say so in the rules, don’t write something that has massive ramifications on anything. If you write it as a self-contained character story, I could slot it in. If  you read the Artifacts #33, 34 and 35, they were all one-shots that worked.

Artifacts 33_Widescreen

UTF: One last question. We have lots of fanboys and fangirls that frequent out site. Do you have any words of advice on how writers can get into the industry?

Matt Hawkins: The best thing you can do is find an artist and start publishing something, anything, online. That’s harder than it sounds, but I don’t know a single writer in this business that’s ever been hired on a blind submission. There probably are some, but it’s a rare. The best thing you can do if you want to be a writer is, write.

My advice: “Write what you want to know.” not “what you know about.” To me, if you write about what you want to know, the research is interesting and fun. I’m writing this project called Wildfire with the subject being genetically modified food and a possible disaster story. So find a topic you’re interested in, and do the research and have some fun with it.

I want to take the time to thank Mr. Matt Hawkins for chatting with me. It was a pleasure, and if you’re not following his work or reading all that Top Cow has to offer then you’re missing out!

So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?

Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!