I met Matt on Twitter via independent comic shop Page 45, and was enthralled to discover his areas of expertise. Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Nottingham Faculty of Arts, Matt has a thing for graphic novels, narrative poetry, drama and the combination of text and image in different media. And with HOAX being a poem-to-graphic-short-story-to-musical-stage-performance-to-graphic-novel kind of project, I was pretty sure it would be right up his street.
A speculative enquiry ended in a delightful trip to Nottingham for the Beau and me, to meet Matt in person. We met him at Nottingham Contemporary, enjoyed the wonderful Kafou Art and Vodou exhibition showing there, and spoke at length about HOAX. In particular the potential for research opportunities and associated funding: such strands as multimodal language, graphic medicine, responsibility to audience... in fact a whole host of things due to the deep subject matter and far reaching nature of HOAX.
Before heading back to Manchester there was just time to visit Page 45, certainly one of the top comic/graphic novel/sequential art shops in the country. It was my first visit to the store and lovely to meet its inhabitants in person.
As you can imagine, we didn't leave empty handed.