Downtown Kid


(Click to enlarge)

Downtown Kid
by Matt Grant

Who are you?
I’m a professional Meteorologist so I often wear jackets with elbow patches. I go on tangential rants. I have a Math degree. That’s where I got my sense of humour and most of my social skills. I sometimes have a giant curly moustache, though I’ve yet to tie a woman to railroad tracks. I’m just waiting for the right girl, you know? That and railroad tracks are tricky to find in town. There’s too much traffic in front of the ones near Queen St.

I guess that about sums me up.

What is Downtown Kid?
Downtown Kid is an observational/satirical humour-based newspaper comic that pokes fun at the peculiarities of the people and places of Downtown St. John’s. The reason I specify that it’s a newspaper comic, as opposed to, for instance, a webcomic, is that newspaper comics are legally obliged to not be too funny. Few peple know this. The law was passed at the House of Commons in 1928 under the Canadian Comic Act. It’s unfortunate, really, since I had some real killer jokes about Mark Bragg’s moustache and the tightness of Luke Major’s pants. They’ll never be printed.

What was your inspiration for the strip?
I think that one’s rather obvious: Rube Goldberg.

Was there a moment in your history when you knew you wanted to draw comics? What was it?
I read that Nicholas Gurewitch was cutting down on doing comics so I wondered where that left The Scope’s comic section… Sure enough you guys pop out a comics contest. Well played. I thought about entering a comic I had made with Jessica Butler, Mark Callanan and a few other people one rainy day in Gros Morne a few years back. We cut out pictures from a First Aid manual and added captions and speech balloons. Needless to say, it was awesome but I didn’t want to get sued for copyright infrigement, so I figured I’d make a new one. The next day, in the shower, I realized how easy it is to make fun of St. John’s. I thought it might work as a comic for two reasons: people who read The Scope would get the jokes about things downtownish, and its being easy appealed to my incredible laziness.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID:

Zach: The landscapes are the best part of this strip, simple and easy to recognize. I like the one-panel strips the best: clever observations on local landmarks…

Jonathan: I also actually really like looking at these negative carcass stickmen. It’s a fresh approach to character design if nothing else. …NUMBER ONE!

Lesley: The scenes are great. The stick people are thick lined and not particularly evocative, i.e. faceless. It’s really the text that does the work. And some of it’s funny and spot on.

Jennifer: I see potential with this one.