Get Graphic: The Badlands Never Looked So Good

Troy-Jeffrey Allen
4 min readDec 13, 2023

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

For this week’s Get Graphic, introduces readers to Crusader from Mad Cave Studios, a bloody sword-and-sorcery epic featuring a hot-tempered Templar knight Our knight gets transported to an unholy realm called The Badlands, where no one is safe and nothing is sacred.

In the following interview, artist-writer Matt Emmons (Those Who Inherit the Earth, Gardner) takes you into the nether realm that is his artistic process. Keep reading…

Firstly, who are you and where do you hail from?

I’m Matt Emmons, a Philadelphia-based cartoonist!

How did you get into comic books as a fan?

I didn’t really get into comics until I was nearly out of college. After that, it was a pretty short window of time between when I was just reading them to when I started making them.

Crusader looks to be both epic and bloody! Can you set the stage for new readers?

Crusader is a story about a particularly zealous Templar Knight, who finds himself separated from the Crusaders — and our whole world — when he is transported to The Beastlands. A land full of magic and creatures, he has no choice but to follow the questionable advice of a friendly creature if he has any hope of surviving.

What can you tell us about the Templar Knight? Why do we follow him through this story?

I wanted a faceless lead because it was always something I loved that was only on the periphery of stories. His armor makes him stick out compared to the rest of the setting and becomes just as much a part of his character once he’s separated from any other Templars. Plus, it’s a fun helmet to draw!

What else can you tell us about the Beastlands?

I like to keep the worldbuilding very natural, so readers won’t see too much outside of where the story takes them, but the Beastlands themselves are a very sparsely populated mountainous land. Full of giant trees and foggy mountains, there’s lots of places for all kinds of creatures to hide. And not too many places for humans to live safely…

You’re the artist and writer on this project What tools do you use to draw?

Nothing high tech, just plain old pencil and ink with a brush.

Looking forward, what can readers expect from Crusader?

Crusader is meant to be a fun, pulpy fantasy adventure. Readers will get glimpses into the world, and get to see Pilgrim show what makes him such a valuable henchman.

In terms of audience, who is Crusader for?

Any fans of pulpy fantasy and sword and sorcery should enjoy this one! Especially fans of 80’s fantasy, like The Dark Crystal, Willow, and D&D.

Crusader drops monthly from Mad Cave Studios. It’s available now at your local comic shop. Reserve your copy with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox.

You can find more of Matt Emmons' work on his website or at his Instagram.

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