Valiant: What does the Vice President of Sales and Marketing do?
Matthew Klein: I’m the leader of the Sales and Marketing departments. I work with our phenomenal teams to come up and execute with consumer and retailer messaging around all of our series and characters. I make sure everyone is in position to communicate with retailers, fans, press, across all mediums. They go out there and kick ass, making sure retailers and fans can get the books in a way that’s best for the industry and the fans, and to have a lot of fun while they do it. And I’m proud to say I’ve been involved with Valiant in some way for over five years consecutively now.
Valiant: How did you get your start at Valiant?
MK: I worked at a comic shop in New York City. I was aware of Valiant and had been checking out some of the books after Valiant relaunched in 2012. A good friend of mine at the shop, Matthew Rosenberg was being interviewed and recommended me. From there I went through interview after interview (it felt like I was being brought into G.A.T.E.!) and then they offered me a spot as a Sales Manager.
Valiant: What was your first job in comics?
MK: Working retail at Forbidden Planet. I started there in May 2011. I was a hand seller there helping folks find the stuff they were looking for and recommending new series for them to discover. I worked the register, I would work the lines at live events, and I wrote for the weekly printed newsletter and online blog.
MK: Oh boy…I didn’t read single issue comics until pretty late. I got into comics in college because I had a crush on the girl down the hall and she was into comics so I started picking up DC. I think the first book I remember loving was Batman: Year One.
Valiant: What are your top three comics of all time?
MK: Damn you! That’s a hard question. Um, okay, these are in no particular order but Batman: Long Halloween, Sleeper, and Daytripper. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll give you a different three.
Valiant: Where do you buy your comics?
MK: I still shop at Forbidden Planet. That was my local store ever since I came to New York City for college. I was buying and learning about comics from the folks I ended up working with which was really cool to me.
Valiant: What comics have you been reading lately?
MK: I always keep up with Batman. Strange Adventures #1. I just finished up Desolation Jones by Warren Ellis and J.H. Williams III. And I’m about to go through Faithless Vol. 1.
Valiant: What would you say sets Valiant apart from other publishers?
MK: Consequences. We’re a shared universe with consequences. Valiant protagonists aren’t always the smartest, most brilliant, they aren’t extraordinary, they’re relatable and then are thrust into extraordinary circumstances with extraordinary responsibilities that they don’t know if they can handle. You don’t know if they’ll make the right decision right off the bat, they’re as capable of greatness or failure as you or me. And that’s cool. It’s special. It’s human. Valiant tells human stories through the lens of the extraordinary and what happens counts.
Valiant: Who is your favorite Valiant character and why?
MK: Capshaw. She’s an absolute badass. I want a solo series for her so badly. There’s nothing that woman cannot handle and at the same time she’s a complete wreck and I love that. Someone who is so capable is so human and flawed but has a lot of authority.
Valiant: What upcoming Valiant project (that you can talk about) are you most excited about and why?