Mitchell Hallock: Hello Matt,
and thank you for taking the time away from the
drawing board to talk with me. Let’s start
off, where else, but at the beginning. How did
you get your start as an artist?
Matt Busch: I was kind of an outcast
as a kid. I was shy, and I spent a lot of time
drawing and creating stories. I wasn't into football,
so at recess, the teachers would have to kick
me outside, because I'd rather stay in and draw.
When you were a young were you
drawn to certain subjects like the other kids
dinosaurs, sports figures, cartoons, who did you
Indiana Jones illustrated by Matt Busch.
I was immediately drawn to things
that are larger than life. Sports- I'd say not
as much. I dug dinosaurs, Spider-Man,
and of course, STAR WARS
Were you a big movie fan and
did you draw characters from those films?
Absolutely. Movies and cool TV
shows like Battlestar
Galactica and Johnny
Sako and the Giant Robot. I drew everything.
I'd make my own comic books and even MAD magazines.
When Lucas and Spielberg created
Raiders of the Lost
Ark in 1981, you must have started drawing
Oh yeah. Before that, I was only
interested in things that were otherworldly or
larger than life- like sci-fi or super heroes.
Indiana Jones was great because it was the first
real-world hero that I became obsessed with. I
mean, of all things, Indy took a career as boring
as being an archeology professor and made it cool!
Turning a passion into a profession
is a great thing! Is having that fan connection
make what you’re doing extra special?
Absolutely. I'm as geek as they
get. I'd be doing exactly what I'm doing right
now, even if I wasn't getting paid for it- so
the fact that this stuff actually puts a roof
over my head is a dream come true.
Were you excited when you got
the call from Topps to do some of the new sketch
cards for the Heritage series?
Jones sketch cards by Matt Busch.
Oh yeah. Actually, I'd known for
about a year prior that the Indy cards were in
the pipeline. There were a bunch of other sets
I was turning down, like HALO
and a couple others I'm forgetting. But every
time I was like, "Please let me in on Indy,
I have to ask, how do you work
get so much comical expressions into your Topps
Indy cards working on such a tiny canvas?
It's extremely difficult. That's
the part I don't like. I'm in awe when I see the
crazy detail that guys like Randy Martinez or
Adam Hughes can get in their cards. I normally
draw much larger. The trick is- trying to get
a nice "unfinished" sketch that folks
will be really happy with upon opening the pack
How do you capture the “spirit
of Indy” when you are working on the sketch
cards? DVDs? Movie Stills? Listen to the John
Funny- I have tons of the books,
trading cards, and even both of the Indy Rolepaying
games from TSR and West End Games! So I did plow
through those, but also I went through the images
galleries right here on TheRaider.net
and found some killer stuff that I don't have.
Out of all the art you have
done for the Indy Topps cards do you have certain
Six sketch cards making one illustration.
Short Round is really fun to draw,
and I don't get a lot of chances to do so. I guess
he was the most fun this time around.
Is there a trick in getting
Harrison's famous scar right when you draw him
as Indy or Han Solo?
The trick actually isn't Harrison's
scar, but his nose. If you can get that, you've
nailed Indy and Han Solo. Haha!
Are you working on the Crystal
Skull or the next series of Indiana Jones
Masterpieces from Topps -- anything you can tell
us on about your Topps Indiana Jones project?
A couple things coming out that
I can't talk about yet, however there are some
sketches I can show. And yes- I'm on for the next
couple Indy sets from Topps. In fact, for the
Kingdom of the Crystal
Skull sketch cards, I did 106 size of them
and actually hand painted each and every one in
full color! Needless to say, I'm pretty excited
about the movie.
Pretend you are now playing
the academic and not the adventuring artist. What
would you say to your students who were looking
to follow in your footsteps, or rather pencil
Stay with it. Do what you need
to to survive- lord knows I spent years flipping
pizzas at Pizza Magic! Haha! But your passion
and determination will take you beyond your wildest
dreams if you pursue it to no end.
Jones artwork by Matt Busch.
Matt, it has been a pleasure
talking to you, and I know that Indy fans like
myself will be feverishly ripping open packs of
Indiana Jones cards to see if we can find one
of your sketch cards. If fans want to see more
of your art, where should they look?
By checking out the website at
Also I throw a lot of stuff on my MySpace page
which you can check out at www.MySpace.com/planetmatt.
Lastly, check out this new Indiana Jones parody
episode of How To Draw
STAR WARS right HERE.
It's the first in a series of episodes where I
combine Indy with the STAR
WARS mythos... Can you tell I'm having
fun with this?