Tag Archives: Matt Feazell

98 Mudslinger

Slinging Mud with Matt and Matt

By Ian Shires

DSC_0023I was first introduced to Matt Feazell’s work in 1985, when he replied to a letter of mine they’d printed in Comic Buyer’s Guide. My simple thought that “Someday I’d like to write comics” had led Matt to send me one of his minicomics, saying, “Well why wait!?”.  Matt has, in that way, introduced probably thousands of people to making small press comics, and I have had the pleasure of being his acquaintance at countless shows over the last 30 years. At the SPACE show in Columbus, Ohio this year, he showed me Mudslinger, the game he has been developing with Matt Dawson. I knew instantly we had to cover this—and thankfully, they agreed, and we’re now able to get this into the spotlight at the height of the political season.

IM: So, hello Matt and Matt…Let’s start off with ‘How did you two meet?’

MF: Matt Dawson emailed me to inquire about the possibility of hiring me to illustrate some sample cards for a Kickstarter campaign. Said he was a fan of my work from way back. We didn’t actually meet ‘til he drove up to Hamtramck from Ohio to deliver a box of finished decks!

mud1IM: Matt Dawson, this game was in development long before you two met; how did it get started?

MD: I actually was first introduced to Feazell’s work in the late ’80s at The Atlanta Fantasy Fair (I think that may now be DragonCon). He certainly left an impression on young-teen me and I loved the wit in his work.

Many years later, I became a bit of a political junkie and, during the run-up to the 2004 election, the idea for a game where players campaign against each other for the presidency came to mind. More specifically, a game where the more terribly one behaves, the better odds they have of winning. It’s one of the few games where you can straight-up lie to others at the table, make empty promises, and do everything possible to weaken and confound your opponents. 

Designing the game was easier said than done and it took two years to develop, but I, and the many folks who helped along the way, were very pleased with the final result.

IM: What led you to doing it as an independently published game?

MD: I sent out inquiries in 2006 to some publishers and no one seemed interested in even glancing at it. My wife at the time insisted we take it to some publishers personally, so we self-published and rented a booth at the Origins 2007 convention with the hope of meeting publishers, while introducing it to the public. After the first day of people passing by and ignoring us, we began rounding up strangers to play at our booth. Mudslinger can get somewhat volatile with competitive players and our area got kind of rowdy as more and more people came to play and watch others. We sold out of every copy we brought by the end of that day. It was crazy. We even earned a “Best New Card Game” award from a group of hobbyists who attended the convention every year at the time. 

We ended up having a major publisher take a very close look at us following Origins, but ultimately, that deal fell through as they didn’t feel Mudslinger was family-friendly enough for their brand. I haven’t yet resubmitted Mudslinger to publishers since the fresh update, but it’s on my radar.

mud2IM: Matt Feazell, you have some experience in politics; can you give our readers a bit of your background there?

MF: My wife Karen Majewski is Mayor of Hamtramck. That’s as close to politics as I get. Mostly I stay out of it and try not to make her job any harder than it is. What I have learned over the years, though, is that back-stabbing and double-crossing happen all the time. Doing somebody a favor doesn’t mean they will vote your way down the road. Political capital isn’t worth Monopoly money.

Also politicians are usually not corrupt, just stupid. They don’t follow the rules ‘cause they don’t bother to read the rule book. It’s up to the smarter ones to yell at them every now and then to keep things in line.

IM: Were you able to put any of your experience into the game?

MF: Yes! I put as much stupid stuff as I could into the illustrations!

IM: This has been a wild political year. I have to think that has helped your marketing efforts. What happens AFTER the election?

MD: I think it’s wild every election cycle. Mudslinger is capable of being updated with the current events and zaniness of the day. We sold over 200 copies of the original version and we’re on track to repeating that. With the right publisher, I’m convinced (of course I’m biased) it would be it a hit.

IM: What is the strangest thing that has happened in the process of promoting this game?


MF: I sent a deck in the mail and the post office clerk asked me if there was anything dangerous in the package so I said, “It’s so funny you might die laughing,” and he stamped it “Hazardous.”

Not really. I made that up.

IM: At this point, if Hasbro came to you tomorrow and said, “Let us market your game”, would you “sell out”?

MD: Of course. This is politics, after all.

IM: Both of you, what is next on your project lists? Where do you go from here?

MF: Children’s book!

MD: I’ll probably send some inquiries to publishers in the near future, but unfortunately, I have to work in the real world, so I haven’t had as much free time to promote this as I would like.

IM: Take a moment to promote anything else you are currently involved with or have available. What’s your favorite work?

MF: I’m pretty excited about the new Cynicalman “Have A Day!” coffee mugs!

IM: Ok, last chance, if you have anything else you want our readers to know, let them have it!

MF: Go out and vote! It only encourages them!

I want to thank both Matts for taking the time to speak with Indyfest about this truly unique game. We hope everyone will check it out and look forward to hearing from both of them in the future.

Follow Through: Go get a copy of the game at: http://www.mudslingerthegame.com/


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95 Hall of Fame Update


May 2016 Update by Ian Shires

HOF-1     And so, the April SPACE show came and went and it was a good time for all. I spent my time promoting Indyfest, talking to people about what they want, need, and would like to see in the industry. It’s hard to gauge how much of an impact I made, but we got a good number of new people to fill out the HOF form, and we’ll be developing our longterm relationships with everyone.

     This issue, I’ve already talked about my main observation from the show itself, but the other side of the coin is the general drift away from feeling like we’re all in it together. I’ll sound like an old fuddy duddy here, but Facebook and Twitter are major reasons. Crowdfunding is another (and while Indyfest still intends to start our own version of it, I recognize the law of diminishing returns at play; it was something more HOF-2than one publisher mentioned as we discussed things.) Basically, getting started with a crowdfunding event can work. Relying on it for continued success… not so much. Nothing beats having an actual following who crave new work from you, and that’s the core of what Indyfest is seeking to create. Anyway, that’s for another day.

     Sunday was all about the Tim Corrigan memorial event. I’m hoping the video of the event— from our friends at the Underground Video Network (www.undergroundvideonetwork.com/)—will make it online soon. We will make sure everyone gets a chance to see it, as soon as they have it available.

HOF-3     We had on-panel, Bob Corby, Michael Neno, Matt Feazell, and Pam Bliss, while I played host. In the audience were Carol Corrigan and her sons Nathan and Mathew (whose band and art we will be featuring soon), as well as an array of Tim’s fans, and other interested passersby. All in all, it was a decent turnout and it made the event very special for everyone.

     Panelists each spoke of their memories and feelings, about what Tim Corrigan meant to the development of the small press network from the mid 80s into the 90s, and his comic work from before then to well after, as well as his music.

HOF-4     When it came  to my turn, I began the Hall of Fame presentation part of the event. I spoke of Tim’s mentorship to me over the years, how we didn’t always agree, but how he was always right in the end. Nobody ever did more than Tim to turn a mishmash of people making their own photocopied comics into a network of lifelong friends. And so, it was only fitting that we made him the first official honoree of the Self Publisher Hall of Fame. It was Tim himself who challenged me, back around 1987, to create the first directory of who was actually in the network, which led to the Indyfest Network we see today. And it was an honor to present the plaque to his family in eternal memory of what he meant to us all.

HOF-5     One copy of the framed certificate, signed by myself and Bob Corby, was given to the Corrigans; the other will remain with the Hall of Fame records to be shown at future shows.

     Our attention now turns to the future of the Hall of Fame. My goal by next issue is to be able to present the people for whom the public will be eligible to vote for the 2017 presentation. It will be based off the Hall of Fame Starting Point Book presentation, but will be online and give clearer instructions on how  people can submit their info quickly and easily, and set forth what the voting procedure will be.

HOF-6     History means nothing unless it is preserved and shown in a way that people can check out and learn from it in fun and interesting ways. A permanent record of who did what and when, with meaning and feeling. And you, yes you, will be able to vote on who we induct into the Hall, very soon. See you next month folks!


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