Matt Bors
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Matt Bors

This is an email from Matt Bors, a newsletter by Matt Bors.

The long silence is over, the social media hiatus has come to an end, and I’m returning to your inboxes to announce my first ever monthly comic book series, JUSTICE WARRIORS, an action-packed dark satire where cops and mutants battle for order in the world’s first perfect city.

I’m co-writing the series with artist and animator Ben Clarkson, who is doing the line art with Felipe Sobreiro on colors. I’ll also be contributing backup strips and lettering the comic, which will debut June 8 as a six issue series from Ahoy Comics.

(I should take a moment to say this is arriving in your inbox via my long-dormant Medium publication. I wanted to see if there was anyone still over here following me and this post is a copy of my newsletter, which I’m resurrecting and say more about below.)

The world of Justice Warriors is where I’ve been throwing all my ideas since quitting political cartooning. Bubble City is perfect, prosperous, and completely safe. Outside its protective shell is the vast and sprawling Uninhabited Zone, where millions of mutants live, work, and do crime.

Our story focuses on two mutant cops, Swamp and Schitt, amid a hysterical society with a perpetual boom-and-bust economy where each quick fix creates a new bizarre crisis, and new permutations of crime that must be policed. It’s a violent genre comic that is unashamed of its influences and I’d bet you a Bubble Drink! it’s more over-the-top, grimly hilarious, and politically prescient than anything on the stands today.

Here’s my cover for issue #1.

You can read more about the comic from Gizmodo’s article breaking the story and Ahoy’s press release, both of which have different sets of quotes from me and Clarkson describing the series, but I’d like to highlight this one:

“JUSTICE WARRIORS is a mega-satire of the system we’re stuck kicking at the walls of,” said Clarkson. “Imagine, if you will, a mash-up of The Wire, Robocop, and The Simpsons’ ‘The Itchy and Scratchy Show.’ This is a comic where the weatherman reports on the day’s riot trajectory, the mayor uses a scheming cyborg rat advisor to juice his record sales, and the police chief is too busy posting memes to post the murder rate.”

So if you’ve liked my political cartoons, I think you will love Justice Warriors. Please don’t hesitate to call your comic shop and pre-order it! You can even request my variant cover if you like. There is a little more information about the series below, including a look at the main cover for the first issue by Ben Clarkson, but I wanted to take a second here to set my intention for this newsletter.

Most of you signed up to get my weekly political cartoons somewhere between one and ten years ago. That era has ended, but I’m moving into a new one, where I hope to continue writing and drawing comics of all kinds, from genre fiction to nonfiction to maybe even some mainstream gigs. And if you subscribe to The Nib magazine you know have at least done a few strips since my “retirement” that will go out here and online before too long.

This is going to be a space primarily to talk about my projects and interests, share art I’m creating and things I’m reading and thinking about. It’s loose, it’s self-promotional, yes, but I may write about anything under the sun the strikes me as worth writing about.

One newsletter will certainly explore the wonderfully collaborative process between Ben Clarkson and I on Justice Warriors and another might be a comic or novel I’ve read and feel compelled to recommend and expound on. I’ve been working in one lane for a long time, focused on one thing entirely, and I’m trying to stretch old muscles that haven’t been used in a while. I suppose my goal is to… be online better? Find more productive ways to exist as a creator while actually connecting with readers interested in my work rather than hollering into the void of social media? Something like that.

Justice Warriors №1 cover by Ben Clarkson with colors by Felipe Sobreiro.

For a little more on the plot of Justice Warriors, let me quote from Ahoy’s press release again:

In the series, the veteran Swamp Cop is paired with a rookie partner, Schitt, after Swamp’s partner is killed in the line of duty (when he was run over by a self-driving city bus). The increasingly cynical Swamp Cop becomes obsessed with arresting or killing the bus, as he begins to suffer PTSD. Haunted by hallucinations of his dead partner, Swamp Cop is determined to show the naive rookie Schitt that you can only police the UZ by bending every rule that’s left.

That’s the setup and you can only talk about so much in a press release, or this newsletter, before giving away the game. We cover a lot in these mere six issues and push the concepts we’re working with to some delightfully violent and strange places.

I told Gizmodo, “It’s exactly the kind of over-the-top genre work I have wanted to make for years and we’re painting a lot of targets,” adding, “I am really lucky to collaborate with Ben Clarkson on this. You won’t believe this is his first comic book. He’s bringing this weird world to life with jaw-dropping detail, strange mutants, and a sprawling, otherworldly city that is like its own character in the series.”

It’s hard not to drop more of Ben’s truly mind-blowing art or gush even more about the ambitions we have for the series, but I’ll hold myself back and save it for future newsletters.

I may continue to experiment with Medium posts and newsletters but to make sure you don’t miss anything, sign up to my proper newsletter here.

I hope you’re even a fraction as interested in this comic as I have been in making it. To get ahead of two questions I’ve been asked already, this will be available to buy digitally wherever comics are sold online (Comixology, etc) and will be collected in a trade paperback sometime after the initial six issue run is complete. For those who like single issue comics, please call your local shop and tell them you want Justice Warriors from Ahoy!

– Matt

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Political cartoonist and editor of The Nib.

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Matt Bors

Matt Bors

Cartoonist and editor of The Nib. Working on the comic Justice Warriors. Sign up for my newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/hpt7zve

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