I’m a cartoonist and teacher best known for my book 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style (Penguin), a comics adaptation of Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style. Thanks to that project I was made a member of Oubapo, Workshop for Potential Comics, and later a French knight in the Order of Arts and Letters. In addition to my personal work I have written two textbooks with my wife, Jessica Abel, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Mastering Comics, (First Second). We were also series editors of The Best American Comics (Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt) for six years.
I speak French and Spanish fluently (and muddle my way through a few other languages). This interest in foreign languages has allowed me to travel and meet artists outside the English-speaking scene. It has also lead to an important sideline to my personal work as a translator from French and Spanish to English. My translation from the French of Aristophane’s The Zabîme Sisters (First Second) was a YALSA book of the year in 2011. I have translated several short stories and excerpts of longer works for Words Without Borders and I have several interesting projects brewing for the future.
I was born in New York City and lived in Paris for five years when I was young (perhaps it’s the root of my interest in France and in foreign language and culture generally). I’ve lived in Michigan, Texas, Mexico City and Brooklyn, picking up friends, recipes, languages and influences along the way. From 2012 to 2016 I did an extended residency at La Maison des auteurs in Angoulême, France. Since the end of 2016 I’ve been living in Philadelphia where I’m working as a part-time cartoonist and full-time dad.
(featuring original contributions to “Oubapo: Histoire en Expansion” and French translations by Madden and Jean-Pierre Mercier of “Prisoner of Zembla,” “Walker,” “The Bad Boys of Tinubu Square,” Tic Tac Toe comics, “F**k Freely and Without Fear!”) Ed. Étienne Lécroart with Matt Madden, Paris: L’Association, June 2015.
Ed. Derek Beaulieu, Calgary: No Press, May 2015.
Philadelphia: Retrofit/Big Planet, February 2015.
New York: Ink Brick, November 2014.
FLASHED: Sudden Stories in Prose and Comics, Eds. Josh Neufeld and Sari Wilson, Indianapolis: Pressgang, 2016.
“Le Cœur du roi”
Journal Directeur (OuPus 5), Ed. Lewis Trondheim, Paris: L’Association, January 2014.
with Jessica Abel and Lewis Trondheim, collection Patte de Mouche, Paris: L’Association, winter 2014.
Mon Lapin #4, Ed. Etienne Lécroart, Paris: L’Association, winter 2014.
“Pantoum for Hiram”
Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, #51, Ed. Laura Thomas, New York; Columbia University, February 2013
In French as “Pantoum pour Hugo” (trans. Madden with Jean-Pierre Mercier): Oulipo: Abécédaire Provisoirement Definitive, Eds. Audin, Michèle & Fournel, Paul, Paris: Larousse, October 2014.
In Spanish as “Una Madeja para Hugo” (trans. Madden with Daniel Jimenez Quiroz): Revista Larva, Ed. Daniel Jiménez Quiroz, Colombia: Revista Larva, 2012.
Textbook on making comics, with co-author Jessica Abel, New York NY: First Second Books, 2012.
Textbook on making comics, with co-author Jessica Abel, New York NY: First Second Books, 2008.
“F**k Freely and Without Fear!”
Hotwire #1, Ed. Glenn Head, Seattle WA: Fantagraphics Books, 2006.
Chamberlain Brothers (PenguinGroup USA), 2005.Foreign editions: UK (Jonathan Cape), France (L’Association), Italy (Black Velvet Editrice), Spain (Sins Entido), Japan (Kokusho Kankokkai), Belgium (STRIP Turnhout) 2006-7.
“U.S. Post Modern Office Homes Inc.”
Rosetta #2, Ed. Ng Suat Tong, Gainseville FL: Alternative Comics, 2004.
24 Hour Comics, Ed. Scott McCloud, About Comics, 2004.
A Fine Mess #1/A Fine Mess #2
Ed. Jeff Mason, Gainseville FL: Alternative Comics, 2002-4.
“The Bad Boys of Tinubu Square,”
Rosetta #1, Ed. Ng Suat Tong, Gainseville FL: Alternative Comics, 2002.
Odds Off (or, L’Amour Foutu)
Ed. Tom Devlin. Somerville, MA: Highwater Books, 2001; Italian language edition, Ed. Omar Martini, Black Velvet, Italy: Bologna, May 2004.
La Notte del Porkineitor
Italian language edition of “Night of the Grossinator” and “Aranda’s Coat,” Ed. Andrea Fenti, Centro Fumetto Andrea Pazienza, Cremona, Italy, 2001.
“La Corneta” series, Ed. Sayri Karp. Mexico City: Ediciones del Castor, 1999; [“Burlesquita” series], Ed. Ernán Cirriani. Buenos Aires: Burlesque Editorial, 2012.
Ed. Michel Vrána. Montreal: Black Eye Books, 1998.
“Friends and Family” (plus wraparound cover)
Top Shelf #6, Top Shelf Productions, USA, February 1998.
Dirty Stories, Ed. Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics Books, USA, Summer 1997; Moho #13 Producciones Moho, Mexico, fall 1998.
“Essentially a Large Variety”
Based on text by Editor David Greenberger, Duplex Planet Illustrated #15, Fantagraphics Books.
“House Music”/”This Place Sucks”/“Salida”
Pulse! magazine, Ed. Marc Weidenbaum, May 1995-99.
Five O’Clock Shadow
Minicomic anthology, USA 1989-1995. Miscellaneous short comics. Also co-editor with Sean Bieri and Matt Feazell.