Matt Jacobs is a friend of the site and an accomplished artist who has worked as a freelance illustrator/Storyboard artist for publications by Image Comics, Arcana Studio, DC Comics among others. Matt is also a huge Faith No More fan so it is no surprise that he – along with writer Mike Wellman – is the grains behind the brilliant Rock & Roll Biographies #2 Faith No More and Mr Bungle comic book which comes out on 24 June. We caught up with Matt in the latest article in our Expert interviews series.

1) What inspired you to create the FNM/Bungle comic book?

2) Did you approach the publishers or was it commissioned?

1 & 2 kinda go together so I’ll answer at once: I was approached to take on this project and was initially inspired by Mike’s script. He and I both being HUGE FNM fans, I didn’t have to guess at what he was talking about… We’ve both been following these guys and all the side projects involved, we practically knew what tee-shirts they were wearin’ in each particular era! Hah! But alas, I was bogged down and couldn’t take it at the time. A bit of time had passed, my slate was a little more clean, and the artist they had on at the time had no idea what Mike was talking about in all these detailed references he was making. Just so happened, this took place at San Diego Comic Con, Mike and I crossed paths shortly after, in the con, and the rest is history! I was on board drawing a book on my favorite group of musicians of all time.
3) Mike Wellman wrote the text – how much research did he do into the bands’ stories and how long did process take?
Mike’s “research” was essentially a backlog in his brain. If I had to guess, I’d say he looked NOTHING up and had this all down in memory, as did I for the MOST part… I read the thing and got all his references, and had a blast just reading it! Like I said, we’ve both been following the circles of all these guys so closely over the years, there wasn’t much research to do on his end….I had a hell of a time doing my research by watching the shows and listening to the albums of each era as I went and it took me down memory lane to say the least. A total blast.

Exclusive image from Matt Jacobs of Mike Patton in action for Faith No More in 2015 (c) Matt Jacobs

4) Does the text come first and you follow or is process more co-operative than that?
I get basically a description of what Mike is envisioning for each particular page or panel, as well as the captions and dialogue that goes with it, so it’s more of a mind meld of Mike and I. I do my best to get in his head for what he was thinking, and in some cases, particular moment(s) stick out to me personally, and if I feel like those were images that would stick in other die-hards’ heads such as ourselves, I went for it in the hope that we could all kinda go “Ohhhh, yeah! I remember THAT!”
5) You answered this more from a Bungle perspective in Bleeding Cool interview but what makes FNM such good subjects for comic art?
To me I think it’s a mix of a lot of things with Faith No More that make this really stand out in comic form…obvious things being the versatility of the music and different approach stylistically they take on their music. That sort of allows me to follow suit with the art (the best I can! Hah!). But there’s a lot more to it than that. I think there’s a few things here that make this more interesting as a comic because of a LOT of insane antics onstage and off, that either got them into trouble, or just straight confused the hell out of even the most hardcore fans. There was one particular event in the script that I wasn’t even aware had happened when reading it, and really had me cracking up… Some of these guys’ songs create their own characters and makes you feel like you’re inside a different 3 1/2 minute film or cartoon which really lends itself to the art and makes for an interesting comic book in my opinion…I only wish we had MORE pages!
6) Did you know that Bill Gould was a comic book geek back in the day before you started and before you showed him your work?
I did NOT! And to even have the praise and be in the good graces of Bill Gould the way we have been in the way of this, to have his “approval” basically, means the world to me. And to hear his reactions, to see Patton’s reactions as Mike (Wellman) showed him stuff…it really floored me. These are guys I’ve literally been a fan of since I was a 10 year-old kid! I can’t even begin to express it. Truly amazing.

7) What is your opinion of the FNM tie-up with Marvel. Could you based your own comic book series on the characters from Superhero and Sol Invictus in general?
I really don’t know what to make of that to be honest… I mean I think it’s GREAT! I’d love to hear “RV” playing in the background when Tony Stark locks all the doors goes on a drinking bender! Haha.. But, no, like I said earlier; to me ALL of FNM’s stuff feel like their own “world” or “movie”….I’d love to a panel to panel comic book tale of the guy from “Crack Hitler”, or any of the stuff Sol Invictus holds for us…I can only speak for what I’ve seen live, and that’s 6 shows on Sol Invictus so far, and it’s ALL very deep, layered, inspiring stuff.
8) Outside of the eBay pre-order how can international fans pick up a copy of the book?
Well, all the order info is in the trailer (http://youtu.be/T_1d8tUksxc), so aside from finding a comic shop in America that would deliver, I’d say at this point, online comic shops like www.mycomicshop.com and Diamonds website as they’re the distributor(http://www.previewsworld.com). Any updates I get on alternate methods of international ordering I will keep everyone posted on my social medias(@mattjacobsart on Twitter and Instagram, and Mike can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mike.wellman.52 and on Twitter at @macafro), as well as the rest of the gang. We’re truly flattered that so many people from all over the world have expressed such an interest in getting their hands on this, and we really will do everything we can to make that happen.
9) You are hitting 6 shows on this tour. How many times have you seen the band now? What’s been your impressions of these shows? 
I’ve seen Faith No More … 9 times now, I think? Unless I’m missing one…(let me throw a Baba Booey out there and just say that’s “NOINE” times, and for people that have seen ‘Ferris Bueller’ more then thrice that’s “NIIINE TIMES.”) I can’t count how many times I’ve seen Patton live…30 something times maybe? Maybe more…but I know Wellman beats my high score there, and I’ll never top it, damn it!
As far as my impressions of these 6 shows on the Sol Invictus Tour…. In one word: PHENOMENAL. They seemed to get better each night, you can pretty much always expect a new setlist each night, and you never know what kinda antics you’ll see on stage. These are shows that are SO much fun to just WATCH what the hell is happening on stage as there is genius at work. The 6th night they opened with basically the whole new album in its entirety, and then proceeded to play a whole different set from the previous night in top of that. Just plain awesome! I love when they play a town or venue more than once in a row, because you always leave wishing you were still there. In this case we got to go back. 5 more times.

(c) Matt Jacobs

10) What are your thoughts on songs from Sol Invictus you have heard?
Amazing. What I’ve heard is like a blend of everything from their first album all the way to their last, but in no way repeating themselves…which is something they’ve managed to do on ALL their albums in my opinion. But this feels like their roots, with aaaall the new tricks and greatness each band member has picked up over the years. Some very soulful, deep stuff, some heavy piano, then you get slammed with Pattons screaming, and heavy rock tunes all fall in place together. The new stuff sounds so amazing from what I’ve gotten to hear/see live, and I’ve waited for this time to come since 1997.
 11) FNM say they write scenes for movies that don’t exist. Ever tempted to draw images for their songs – especially the new ones?
God, I didn’t even see this question coming, I’ve already answered it like twice in this piece! Haha! Definitely!! I said earlier, these songs paint pictures in our heads, and I’d love to draw scenes from Jizzlobber, Malpractice, Sol Invictus, Ugly In The Morning, Separation Anxiety, Underwater Love, Black Friday, I could probably just sit here and name every song, so I’ll stop there. That was a very long winded “YES”!
12) After the book launch and the FNM gigs, what’s next for you?
Really looking forward to the book launch, and seeing what the general consensus of everybody is… I can only hope fellow FNM fans appreciate the homage Mike and I have tried so hard to pay to a band that has influenced us so heavily throughout our years within the confines of the allotted page count of a traditional comic book! These guys deserve an issue an album at least! Hah! As for me, I’m hip deep in commissions and storyboards, with a couple of comic books coming right up on the horizon. On the forefront I’m really looking forward to the Atlantic City Boardwalk Comic Con (www.doacbc.com), where I’ve got my artwork splattered all over a one of a kind Carrom (www.carrom.com) foosball table.
The exterior art is all specialized as well as the players an field. I’ve gone and hidden a fare share of cameos, for fans of horror, comics, sci-fi, and, yes, even FNM in there! This will be the only table of its kind and will be on display at the convention for attending special guests of the con to sign along the weekend, and then auctioned off at the convention. All proceeds from the auction will be going to the Wounded Warrior Organization (www.woundedwarriorproject.org). I’m excited to be able to be a part of something that goes toward a great cause like Wounded Warrior, and I think ACBC is gonna be an amazing con. Lotta cool celebrities, special guests, and all of that sort of thing…. I personally am REALLY looking forward to the Kevin Smith Q&A with Stan Lee! VERY cool.