MATT FRACTION sums up his award-winning work as a comic book writer with a wink: "I dumbassed my way into an amazing career." After passing on his independently published efforts to some editors at Marvel in 2005, he has since gone on an impressive run, nabbing an Eisner Award in '09 for his Invincible Iron Man series and getting tons of critical accolades for Hawkeye, his offbeat take on the everyman Avenger. Along the way, he's kept up his indie efforts, including the soon-to-be resurrected super-spy homage Casanova, and Sex Criminals, his best-selling Image Comics series about a bank-robbing couple whose orgasms stop time, which picked up an Eisner earlier this year for Best New Series.
AGENDA: Were you surprised at how successful Sex Criminals turned out to be?
MATT FRACTION: Without a doubt. I thought we were going to do three issues, then Image was going to call us and say, "We are now negative $80,000," and we'd have to pay for a fourth issue ourselves. Turns out that this wasn't just a hit, it became, "Wow, we could do this forever."
The series got a lot of attention last year when Apple banned issues from their iOS store. What was their problem with it?
We think it's the semen they disapprove of, because the issue they were fine with didn't have any at all. So, you can expect lots more cum jokes in the future. If you want the secret to success, I absolutely recommend being banned by Apple. It's the best thing that could have happened for us.
This year, you're also bringing back Casanova. Was it always the plan to resurrect that series?
I've always wanted to do seven parts, but have had to work backward. I knew the story I wanted to get to, but I had to write the prequel trilogy first. The book we have coming out in the fall is the standalone one that re-calibrates the whole thing for me. Books five, six, and seven are what I really wanted to do from jump street.
You have Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon helping out with this new Casanova book. How did that come about?
We were on a podcast together and I was trying to convince him to do more comic stuff, and he said, "I just want to write Casanova fan-fiction." Off the air, it became the world's most awkward three-way: "Were you serious?" "I don't know. Were you serious?" He came up with this cool standalone thing that slides right into the mix. Our main story will keep happening while Michael barks up these weird trees.
Matt Fraction is a special guest at Rose City Comic Con at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK, $25-25 per day, $40 for a weekend pass, rosecitycomiccon.com.