Recently, Dan from GoCollect had the opportunity to sit down with Wicked Monkey Co-Founder, Matt Shively. He got the inside scoop on Wicked Monkey and what sets them apart from other online comic shops. Passion, Dedication, Art, and a touch of Wickedness.
Wicked Monkey was founded in 2020 by Matt Shively and Matt Martin. During the pandemic, their mutual love of comics and extra time on their hands led them down the yellow brick road. They stole Toto, kicked Dorothy to the curb, and began building a collection worthy of the Wicked Monkey.
Hey, Collectors! This is Dan from GoCollect, and I’m here today with Matt from Wicked Monkey. Matt, welcome! Glad to have you here.
Please, tell us a little bit about Wicked Monkey.
“At the moment, we are a multifaceted online retailer focusing strictly on graded comics. Our customers range from long-term investors to new collectors looking for new artists to follow. We hope to bridge the gaps between contemporary art, comic book illustrations, and cover art. I could see us going in a lot of different directions in the future. Right now, however, we’re solidifying our foundation of collectors and getting excited about helping them collect their favorite books.”
You mentioned a focus on art. Do you have a particular passion for a certain type of comic art or a certain artist that you feature?
“There are several…”
Lay it on me, tell me your passions!
“Over the past six months, I’ve found real fondness for the watercolors of Peach Momoko, plus Zu Orzu and David Mack. I can’t get enough. Every cover, every original piece has been absolutely stunning. I have to mention the work by Rose Besch or Jenny Frison, as well. There are just so many wonderful artists; it’s hard to keep track anymore. The way they can portray the characters so differently but yet so vividly through their individual styles is amazing. I find it fascinating. It’s what drew me in, initially, to collecting.”
That makes sense. It seems like a lot of the newer stuff is inspired by anime. It’s kind of gone its own way, though. You can see a slight influence, which is kind of cool.
“Absolutely, I agree. You saw it a lot even with the graffiti artists from Europe. Everyone has their own, unique style. Then, people would borrow bits and parts of this and that and build upon it to create a style of their own. Each creator gets to add a little bit. Everyone builds upon the illustrations and the storytelling from before… it’s beautiful.”
Your mention of the graffiti reminds me of hip hop culture, which graffiti is part of, and how a lot of that is taking relics from the past and mashing them up into something new. This is kind of what I feel a lot of these artists are doing.
“Right now, we’re focusing on graded 9.8 slabs. We’re diving into the premier publishers like Marvel and DC, as well as some smaller ones like BOOM, IDW, and Image. We’re also focusing on getting into more independent publishers such as Stranger Comics. At Wicked Monkey, we really enjoy getting to see newer artists exploring and building worlds. I always find it fascinating. how they’re able to create these whole worlds and then collaborate with an illustrator. Then, to see how the storyteller and the illustrator bring this new world to life.
We’re really focusing on fresh, exciting art as a way to get new investors excited and involved in collecting comics as graded slabs. From there, we’ll work on showing people how much fun collecting can be. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll become the blue chip?”
That’s the thing, you never know what’s going to happen in the future. The market just continues to astound in that way. It’s hard to keep track of the new covers that come out every month and I think several pieces get lost in the shuffle. I had a look through the collection you have cultivated on your website and I found a lot of interesting covers that I didn’t even know about. It was a pretty cool experience.
Do you have any upcoming events you want to tell us about?
“We definitely have a lot of things in the works, and not only with the graded comics that are coming out. We’re looking forward to exploring oddities in collectibles. That’s where I want to really build that relationship with the individual writers and artists. We can bring another medium and form of expression for them to continue their story arcs through Wicked Monkey or alongside us as a partner.
We want to build up and help facilitate creators’ careers. They’re the ones the make us excited every day. That’s what gets me going, when I get to see their covers and their stories. Working with them closely is definitely a passion of all of ours. We’ll be building on that in the future. I think we have some pretty cool things in the works coming out soon.”
That’s exciting. Thank you for sharing your passion with me. I love to talk to people about their passions and I’m glad we share a similar passion for comic artwork. Very cool.
I encourage everyone to hop over to their website and give it a look. It’s cool! While you’re down there, you can sign up for their email. Be the first to hear about news and events and never miss a listing.
Thanks to Matt and Wicked Monkey for talking with us today! Happy collecting, collectors! If you’re interested in watching the full interview, check it out here!
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*This blog is sponsored by Wicked Monkey.