22nd, 1972, Matthew Stuart Busch was born to Frederick and Peggy
Busch in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The family would soon relocate
to the metro Detroit area, where Matt would spend the rest of
his adolescent years, soon joined by siblings Delena, Ian, and
it was with most kids of his generation, STAR WARS expanded
Matt's creative horizons. Matt's interest in playing with Matchbox
cars and airplanes was replaced with landspeeders and X-Wing Fighters.
Little did the starry-eyed tike know how involved his life would
become with that Galaxy far, far away...
fact, with the help of STAR WARS, Matt's first lesson
in making his dreams come true happened at an early age...
Kindergarten, Matt was excited to see that the STAR WARS
pop-up-book was being offered through his school's Scholastic
book order program. He rushed home after school that day to show
his mother. However, Matt was disappointed to find that she would
not order the book for him since he hadn't read any of the previous
books she had ordered.
instead of holding his breath until turning blue, Matt marched
up to his room and pulled out some magic markers and construction
paper. He began to create his own STAR WARS pop-up-book! While
the drawing wasn't particularly special for a four-year-old, the
construction of the book was quite impressive.
fact, Matt's mother was so impressed, that she secretly ordered
the real pop-up-book for Matt. You can imagine how surprised and
ecstatic he was to get the book in school when the orders came
experience taught Matt the magic of working hard and believing
in yourself to make your dreams happen.
his grade school years, Matt continued to create his own books,
magazines, comics, and even a school STAR WARS fan club.
He would make his own versions of MAD magazine, STAR
WARS comics, and even PLAYBOY magazine. He also
designed, wrote, and illustrated several of his own INDIANA
JONES 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books!
also began his foray into creator-owned concepts, as he made his
own books such as Captain Stargo and Zany Zappies.
junior high school, Matt began to venture into self-publishing,
creating parodies of PLAYBOY and PENTHOUSE,
titled PLAYBIRD and PENTMOUSE, respectively. He would
xerox the pages to create multiple copies of the zines and sell
them at school to make a small profit. They became such a hit
that even his teachers were buying them!
was then that Matt began to pursue his interest in music. He had
been classically trained on the piano since the age of four, but
hadn't taken it seriously until now. He also studied drums and
percussion, and eventually taught himself how to play the guitar.
began to compete internationally in both piano and keyboards,
and at 14, won the American Guild of Music's Age Championship
for North America. Matt had also joined a band in high school
that would eventually evolve into one of Detroit's hottest bands,
As a teen, Matt
took on yet another hobby: film making. Tinkering with his folk's
video camera, he would call upon his buddies to help him make
ninja movies, like Silent Assassins of the Night, and its sequel...
in the summer of 1988, while visiting relatives in New Mexico,
Matt was almost killed in a freak accident. Trying to sneak onto
a movie set where TWINS (starring Arnold Shwartzenneger
and Danny Devito) was filming, Matt fell 30 feet into Bayo Canyon
(which branches off of the Grand Canyon). He was hospitalized
several times for various surgeries, but it was a miracle that
he survived at all...
unlike episodes of The Brady Bunch and Different
Strokes, the future California Governor did not visit Matt
in the hospital.
year later, Matt embarked on what would be his biggest project
to date: writing, directing, and co-starring in his own 25 minute
action film, QUICK SAND.
a leap from the ninja movies he had made before, QUICK SAND
would be filmed 'on location' at sand dunes in Silver Lake, Michigan,
and incorporate numerous off-road vehicles. The film featured
the band members of PASSION as the main characters, and
they even did their own stunts! (Of course, the film would feature
a soundtrack from the band!) With intense editing, post-production
on the film lasted a whole year! (This short film will be a special
feature on the upcoming FANTASTIC VISIONS: The Art of Matt
Busch DVD - Volume Two.)
school, Matt pursued his love for art, writing, film making, and
music, but could not pin down which he would want to choose as
a career. Dipping his hands into almost every creative outlet
there is, he considered himself the 'Jack of all trades, master
graduating high school, Matt attended Macomb Community College,
taking simple art classes. He considered this a back-up, however,
as PASSION began to gain success, therefore focusing
the release of PASSION'S EP, "Passion Statement",
Matt incorporated his love of film making by editing
several videos for the band. This led to directing a one hour
special on the band that would by syndicated in heavy rotation
on a local cable station. (An edited version of this will be available
on the new FV DVD- Volume Two.) While primarily popular in Detroit,
a live, acoustic version of a song Matt had written, "Face
the Night Alone", was played on the radio nationally.
any band, the breakup was inevitable. And Matt found the music
business to be discouraging as a whole. A year later, he switched
his focus back to visual art, and entered Macomb's Graphic and
Commercial Art program.
graphic design and illustration, Matt began to draw creator-owned
comics again, such as ZARK, ACROMAN, and DEATH
GATE. He would make xeroxed copies of his books and sell
them to a dozen local comic book stores. Matt's schedule was hectic:
going to school full-time, working at Pizza Magic full-time, and
then illustrating his comic books into the wee hours of the night.
to get a new issue out every month, the time Matt was putting
into his art began to pay off. At the very least, he was making
enough money to print the next issue and keep circulation going.
Busch felt he was getting good at black and white illustration,
though color was a nightmare for him. This all would change when
learning a valuable lesson from one of his teachers, George Hriczik.
had given out a new assignment for his rendering class: to illustrate
a gold object, painting it in gouache. While Matt knew he couldn't
paint, he was somewhat excited, as he chose See-Threepio as his
gold object, and drew it out very nicely on the board.
it came time to paint, Matt had ventured to several stores, trying
to find 'gold' gouache paint. Unsuccessful, he came to class and
explained his situation to George. It was then that George pulled
Matt aside to show him how to use color. Examining the reference
photo of Threepio, he pointed out that gold was just a combination
of colors and values, placed accordingly to give the reflective
illusion. For example, George pointed out specifically that the
highlights were pure white, and the shadows were burnt sienna,
Matt's understanding of color had finally opened.
did it open... Matt's hand painted Threepio has gone on to be
one of his most impressive pieces among fans, and is a favorite
of Anthony Daniels, the actor who plays See Threepio in the STAR
photorealistic painting quickly, Matt soon found himself searching
for a style, something that would bring more life to his work
than just making it look 'photographic'.
It was at this
time that Matt became intrigued with the 'Mysteries of the Unknown'.
Ghosts... Witchcraft... E.S.P.... Psychokenesis... While not specifically
immersing himself in any particular paranormal field, he was interested
in the unexplained as a whole.
began to host gatherings that he called "Mysteries of the
Unknown parties". He would invite guests from all walks of
unexplained phenomenon, like psychics, witches, fortune tellers.
The experiments had very interesting results, and the creepy experiences
would lay the ground work for future projects: a comic book he
would later write and illustrate, called ALIZARIN'S JOURNAL,
and an independent film he would write, direct, and star in titled
was lucky enough to live in an eclectic household that embraced
his ambitions and projects, even though they kept changing. Matt's
parents encouraged him to explore and express his creativity with
every avenue he wanted to pursue.
1993, Matt Busch won an award from the Library of Congress for
his copyright achievements and had graduated from Macomb with
an Associate of Arts degree in Graphic and Commercial Art.
of industrial Detroit, Busch was in need of a new atmosphere.
Having been accepted to the Art Center College of Design in Los
Angeles, he decided to pack up his belongings and head for the
West coast to pursue his dreams.
Art Center and the Los Angeles Art Academy, Matt studied Illustration,
Film, and Entertainment Design.
Matt loved the creative environment in California, finding inspiration
in the mountains and Pacific shores. While he also enjoyed the
creative energy of the 'entertainment capital of the world', he
found Hollywood egos and attitudes less than inspiring.
a month of moving to Los Angeles, Busch was commissioned for his
first major professional jobs: illustrating two film posters and
video box covers for the B-Movies CALIFORNIA FEVER and
The WHITE MONK.
after, Matt began work on his first official STAR WARS
project, illustrating a short story for the STAR WARS ADVENTURE
JOURNAL for West End Games. This would evolve into dozens
of STAR WARS projects for West End, illustrating books, trading cards, and other
supplements for the STAR WARS Role-playing Game. He even
ended up a contributing writer on the book STAR WARS: Heroes
during his enrollment at Art Center, Busch began to build his
career as a freelance illustrator. He served as a regular illustrator
and cartoonist for HOCKEY PLAYER MAGAZINE, and illustrated
many cards for the LEGENDS of the FIVE RINGS collectable
card game series. He also illustrated the book covers for Deadly
Nightshade and Illegal Justice paperbacks.
Graduating from Art Center in 1996, Busch began to work on production
designs and advetising campaigns for many major motion pictures,
such as CON AIR, The DEVIL'S OWN, and HARD
RAIN. His versatility let him work on all aspects of film
illustration, from character designs, to production paintings,
to storyboards, to movie poster design...
also worked with L.L. Cool J to design the opening credits for
the television sitcom IN THE HOUSE. Other television
shows Busch has worked on include COSBY, The KEENAN
IVORY WAYANS SHOW, MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN, MARTIN,
MELROSE PLACE, MILLENNIUM, MURPHY BROWN, NASH BRIDGES, and
NEW YORK UNDERCOVER, among others.
At this point,
Matt had been discussing a collaboration with Rikki Rockett, the
drummer of the multi-platinum rock band POISON. Rikki had already
founded NO MERCY Comics and OLD GHOSTS designer
two finally began putting together what would be Matt's first
official comic book project, COVEN 13. The book, which
was written and created by Rikki, was fully-painted by Matt. The
book also featured ESPN Fitness Beach Host / PLAYBOY
Supermodel LeeAnn Tweeden, now known as the host of THE BEST
DAMN SPORTS SHOW on FOX.
COVEN 13 is in development for a major motion picture.
Also, Matt's professional circle with Rikki Rockett has connected
again, as he's designed and illustrated several concert T-Shirts
this time, Busch designed early production paintings for STAR
WARS: EPISODE I toys for Mattel, including the 12" young
Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure. Unfortunately, soon after, Mattel
lost the license to Hasbro.
continued to work on many films in 1997, including poster designs
for HOME ALONE 3 and production / character design for
The MATRIX and SORCERER.
on an earlier movie proposal of Busch's, he began his comic serial
DARIA JONTAK, which was featured as an ongoing series in
several major magazines. The adventures were set in the ZARK
universe he had created so many years before.
hand into another passion, writing, Matt wrote his first screenplay,
a romantic comedy titled DIAMOND JOE'S. The script has
received rave reviews and is currently circulating Hollywood.
himself an 'entertainment illustrator', Busch continued to expand
the avenues of his field. He designed concepts for a new ride
at Disneyland, and created the K-SWISS KIDS for K-Swiss
career of doing official STAR WARS work began to leapfrog,
as he illustrated the cover of the book STAR WARS: Tales from the
Empire for Bantam Doubleday Dell.
highlight of the year was when the book was released. Cardboard
standees featuring Busch's cover art of Boba Fett were in bookstores
everywhere, and the book hit the New York Times bestseller list!
the success, Matt was getting restless. He wanted to continue
his involvement in Hollywood, without having to actually live
1998, Busch made the decision to move back across the country,
setting up his new company, Planetmatt Entertainment, in his home
town of Sterling Heights, Michigan. Having most of his contacts
from living in Los Angeles, current technology let Busch stay
on the 'inside' through fax, Fed Ex and Email.
set up on the East side, Matt began to write and illustrate his
fully-painted graphic novel, ALIZARIN'S JOURNAL. Inspired
from the mysterious gatherings he hosted years before, the book
was originally called The SENTINEL. The book also features
model Melissa Leshan as the book's main character, Alizarin McKinnely.
acclaimed, a deluxe version of the mini-series will be released
through a new publisher next year.
returned to Macomb Community College, this time on the other side
of the desk, giving a guest lecture to over one hundred students.
The response was amazing, and the rewarding feeling of making
a difference with students encouraged Matt to pursue teaching
at the college level. (Little did Busch know he would later become
a professor of the Media and Communication Arts Department at
later, he began teaching Advanced Illustration Techniques
at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio.
also began to work on his most personally involved project to
date, an illustrated screenplay entitled CRISIS. Intense research
for the project has included reading several books, visiting police
departments, sheriff departments, touring jail facilities, and
even spending two weeks in a wheelchair!
published through Busch's own Planetmatt Entertainment, the book
circulated Hollywood in hopes of becoming a feature film. Currently,
CRISIS is in development as a major motion picture with a studio
and actor attached- however, details are tight-lipped...
Ted Nugent's 50th Birthday Bash, held at the State Theater in
Detroit, Busch presented Nugent with a painting on stage, and
delivered a speech. Busch was among several celebrities, including
the Governor, who got to roast the "whack 'em and stack 'em"
motor city madman.
January of this 1999, Busch's teaching credentials tripled. He
began to teach Image Making at the Center for Creative Studies
- College of Art and Design as well as continuing on instructing
at the Columbus College of Art and Design.
He also taught
Sequential Art Storytelling and Book Production classes, and did
several Advanced Airbrush Illustration seminars for the Du All
continued to work on major motion pictures from his studio in
Detroit. He is currently working on the films G-MEN, DEAD
SPY GUY and NATHAN NEVER.
of 2000, the first official web site for Matt Busch was released,
MattBusch.com. Busch had met designer Paul Michael Kane years
before though fandom circles and industry conventions. Together,
they produced a 5-Star Rated web site, quite possibly the most
comprehensive on ever for an artist.
Lucasfilm has proclaimed him an "official STAR WARS artist",
Busch has recently done loads of STAR WARS material. He designed
three triptych one-sheet movie poster concepts for the Canadian
theatrical release of STAR WARS -EPISODE I: The Phantom Menace,
provided numerous illustrations for books and magazines for EPISODE
II: Attack of the Clones, and is already illustrating pieces
in conjunction with EPISODE III: Revenge of the Sith.
his work becomes more demanding in the industry, Busch has found
that many Hollywood celebrities collect his work. Recently at
Bucknell University, Danny Glover was overjoyed to have an original
Matt Busch illustration of his likeness presented to him.
Busch has also found a new nitch to cover in the entertainment
industry... Music art! In the last year alone, Matt has provided
art for such mainstream musical artists as ALICE COOPER, BEASTIE
BOYS, BECK, GARBAGE, JESSICA SIMPSON, KID ROCK, POISON and
the FOO FIGHTERS, as well as local Detroit acts such
as INNERCORSE, MINDCANDY and 60 SECOND CRUSH.
recent labor of love for Matt has been taking his critically acclaimed
comic book, ALIZARIN'S JOURNAL, and developing it as
a syndicated television series. While not immersed in painting,
this encourages Matt's passion for writing, as he drafts potential
been working with digital animator Shawn Sheehan for two years
on a top secret project, and prepartions are already underway
for Matt's first independent feature film.
it all, Matt's work load is always consistent, as his artwork
can be regularly found in the STAR WARS INSIDER. One
of the more recent projects for the magazine was to put together
and illustrate the official STAR WARS ROAD MAP, which
details over 30 STAR WARS landmarks and locations where
the films were shot in the United States.
33, Matt Busch has come a long way from creating STAR WARS Pop-Up-Books
in Kindergarten. His career has come full circle as he teaches
children all over the world how to draw those wild characters
from the galaxy far, far away by writing and illustrating the
on going series 'HOW TO DRAW STAR WARS' for STAR
WARS Kids Magazine.
accomplishing so much with pop culture in the visual arts, what
can we expect to see from Matt in the coming years? Aside from
more writing, and creator-owned projects, he's getting behind
the camera and pursuing his love for moving pictures.
2003, Busch released his first feature length DVD full of animations
and video shorts, FANTASTIC VISIONS. Some of these mini-movies
have made their way Online, making Busch on of the Top 75 Most-Viewed
Directors on YouTube.
2006, Busch produced his first independent movie, CONJURE,
a film he wrote, directed, starred in, and even composed music
for. The movie was distributed in North America through every
chain and source imaginable- from BLOCKBUSTER to NETFLIX to TARGET.
Not bad for a movie that started off as an experimental film Busch
figured he'd release only here at MattBusch.com.
the entire movie himself, the unique film was met with critical
acclaim and shattered records- becoming "The Highest PreSelling
Movie of All Time" according to HorrorMovies.com. The movie
was later released world-wide under the title DARK MANIFESTATION.
that year, Busch's first full color art book, "PUCKER:
The Seductive Art of Matt Busch" was published by SQP
Publishing. It was a follow up to the first hardcover collection
of his work, "FANTASTIC VISIONS: The Art of Matt Busch"
was Published by Avatar Press, and included an Introduction by
POISON's Rikki Rockett.
new hardcover collection titled, PUCKER, showcased Busch's expertise
with the female form, collecting his glamour, good girl, and pin-up
art throughout his career. The book also featured an Introduction
by another hard rock drummer and friend of Busch's- SYSTEM OF
A DOWN's John Dolmayan.
In 2007, the book YOU CAN DRAW STAR WARS was released
by DK Publishing, which Busch illustrated nearly 400 drawings
and paintings for. Acclaimed by fans, pros, and students the world
over, the book went on to become a New York Times BestSeller.
promoting the book, this gave Busch the opportunity to create
a series of entertaining tutorials, HOW TO DRAW STAR WARS.
These cutting edge videos let Busch use his humor and unique storytelling
skills to educate aspiring artists everywhere, with material not
cover in the book.
released as a series on both DK.com and StarWars.com, all seven
episodes chronicled the creation of a 30th Anniversary STAR
WARS poster. From the initial idea and concept sketch, to
the final brush stroke, no step was left unturned.
episodes were also a great learning curve in Busch's experience
as a filmmaker. Not only did each episode cover a different aspect
of creating the illustration, but each episode also had a unique
theme, and a story within the overall tutorial arc. There was
even an episode where Busch parodied (and payed homage to) the
legendary Bob Ross, complete with a "Happy little interrogation
the first series of HOW TO DRAW STAR WARS was collected
on a limited edition DVD, and premiered at the STAR WARS CELEBRATION
IV show in Los Angeles. They were also distributed as a rare
giveaway at many of the book signings and drawing workshops Busch
these videos topped the charts at MySpace.com, for a time making
these the NUMBER ONE MOST VIEWED VIDEO ON MYSPACE.COM,
twice! Each of the seven videos also went to number one in at
least one category during the first day of it's release.
a result, MySpace.com has since partnered with Busch, making him
one of the featured channels on MySpaceTV. Busch is currently
releasing SEASON 2 of the STAR WARS tutorials, exclusively
for MySpace and continuing to shatter records.
was a busy STAR WARS year for Busch in general, as he
illustrated 5 different official posters, including the REVENGE
OF THE SITH Style D One Sheet movie poster. This piece was
designed as a bookend to the original 1978 poster for STAR
WARS, which has become a favorite among fans and even George
Busch found success as a published writer early on, writing articles
for such magazines as ART SCENE INTERNATIONAL, STAR WARS KIDS,
ACTION FIGURE DIGEST, FIRE AND ICE, HUSTLER COMIX, and AIR-BRUSH
ACTION. Busch has also been a contributing writer on such
books as REVENGE: The Real Life Story of STAR WARS, HOW TO
WRITE AND ILLUSTRATE THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, HOW TO DRAW + SELL COMIC
STRIPS, LEGENDS: The Art of Painted Comics, and STAR WARS:
Heroes and Rogues.
Continuing his love of the written word, Busch is actively working
on new graphic novels and screenplays. One script in particular,
THE TAURUS FACTOR, is currently in development with Producer
Don Murphy (TRANSFORMERS, NATURAL BORN KILLERS).
one to stay too far away from illustration, Busch also continued
to work on properties like LOST, 24, LORD OF THE RINGS, HEROES,
and INDIANA JONES. He also worked kept to his comic book
roots by adding his touch on titles such at NIGHT OF THE LIVING
DEAD, SPIKE, Gene Simmon's HOUSE OF HORRORS, and AFTERBURN.
to the filmmaking front, Busch is planning his magnum opus film,
a huge sci-fi epic entitled KLEPTOMODE. Busch is in also
in the editing stages of his next DVD, an as-of-yet untitled documentary-
a follow up of sorts to the 2003 DVD, Fantastic Visions. Busch
toted a film crew for an entire year to record his adventures
traveling the world to do shows, as well as his adventures at
home working as the notorious "Rock Star of Illustration."
2008, Hermes Press released the quintessential art book of Busch's
work. Twice as big as PUCKER, this new lavish collection
titled THE WORLDS OF MATT BUSCH featured all his genre
art from STAR WARS to MOTLEY CRUE and everything
2009, Busch made waves recreating all 6 STAR WARS movie
posters with the zombie treatment- a clever viral marketing campaign
for Lucasfilm releasing the first STAR WARS horror novel,
Death Troopers. The posters became a huge hit, with exposure reaching
as far as G4TV and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
also recently became the official spokesperson for a product called
KONXARI CARDS, a card divination process that enables
one to communicate with those on the other side. While Busch is
not one to preach any kind of beliefs on anyone, his interest
in the supernatural and experience with professional ghost hunting
led him to working with the IRM Foundation to create several videos
for them. Described as a cross between Tarot Cards and a Ouija
Board, the Konxari cards are easy to use and you'll find more
on them at Konxari.com.
latest chapter in Busch's career has been an expansion of the
STAR WARS zombie posters to now include dozens of cinema properties.
Under the banner HOLLYWOOD IS DEAD, Busch now creates parody posters
for all of the Box Office Cadavers of yesteryear, including Indiana
Jones, Harry Potter, and James Bond. See all the undead fun at
Busch... "Providing Junk Food to the Art World since 1972."