When Matt Daigle was a kid, he loved cartoons. Now he is a professional cartoonist himself, and he shows people the funny side of his own world. Matt was born deaf, and his comic strip That Deaf Guy is drawn from things that happen in his everyday life.
Matt started drawing cartoons after his father took him to see an exhibit of Gary Larson’s cartoons at the Smithsonian Museum. After seeing the famous Far Side comic strip in person, he realized that was what he wanted to do with his life. Later, Matt’s wife—who can hear—gave him the idea for That Deaf Guy. Their goal was to create a comic that could cross over into both worlds, the hearing and deaf, and be funny to all readers.
Their idea worked, and That Deaf Guy has become a huge success! The stories are based on the experiences of his family—him and his hearing wife and son. Matt’s wife, Kay, writes most of the words for the comic strip, and Matt draws the pictures. To come up with ideas, they both keep a notebook with them all the time so they can write down any funny and unique things that happen to them as a deaf/hearing/CODA family.
Matt and Kay work together to make sure the comic is funny and will make sense to everyone—both hearing and deaf. Kay writes the script, and Matt makes sketches and decides how the comic will look. He draws in pencil first, and then goes over it again in ink. Finally, he scans the comic into the computer and digitally colors it before posting it on his website and Facebook page.
Matt has always wanted to be an artist, and says that being deaf gives him an advantage because he is always observing the world around him. He has a new book, That Guy, A Wild Ride!, that includes some of the best of his cartoons, and he helped create Handsay, a line of shirts that celebrate Deaf culture. To see more of Matt’s cartoons, click here!