From Invisible Foxes to The Fly Trap: Eddie Mumford’s Journey as a Writer
As a trained prose writer, Eddie Mumford never imagined that he would begin making comics with Jonathan Kociuba, one of the creators of The Flytrap. However, his journey as a student and writer has led to him not only branching into a new world of writing but also becoming an inspiration for thousands of other writers in the industry around the world today.
Growing Up in the Suburbs of Toronto
Eddie Mumford was born and raised in the Etobicoke area, spending much of his time between Etobicoke and Mississauga. As a child, he was “obsessed with the Wizard of Oz and Super Mario World.” These images were the first inspiration for Mumford, who would spend his childhood pursuing creative projects.
With friends of his, Eddie spent time making picture books, but his interests eventually transformed into more sophisticated topics, mainly involving characters’ backstories and characterizations.
“As we got a little bit older and more sophisticated,” Eddie told us, “we got into things like Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and I really liked Super Metroid. That’s when I really started to enjoy backstories and characters.”
In much of Eddie’s writing, readers share their love for his characters and the depth of his stories. His upbringing, fascination with comics and manga, and character depth were not accidental but perhaps purposeful. As he transitioned from student to published writer, his work became even more refined, as he found his niche as a writer.
Transition from Student to Published Writer
As a student in his primary education, Eddie Mumford’s love for character depth continued as he continually found more inspirational stories that showed him how expansive the world of writing could be.
“I started with poetry and short stories. I was mostly inspired by this one short story. It’s pretty popular. It’s called The Yellow Wallpaper,” Eddie told us, speaking on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s famous feminist piece. His love for this story, among others, is what began to inspire him to create his own stories to present to his peers.
“I wrote a short story that I presented to my class in grade six when I came back from either March break or summer holidays,” Eddie shared, fondly remembering this moment. “I spent like a good three weeks or so just dedicated to building this one story and I ended up, for whatever reason, reading it to my whole class.”
A Journey Into the Experiential at York University
His love for sharing his writing and reading fascinating stories by some of the world’s most famous writers largely inspired Mumford to study literature rather than creative writing. While attending York University, Mumford was inspired by writers like Toni Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut, two of the world’s most prolific writers. These authors inspired Mumford to take a unique, distinct direction with his writing during his university years.
“I was writing a lot of horror and psychedelic stuff,” Mumford explained. “I liked stuff that was mind expanding. I love characters that go insane or lose their grip on reality, because then that gives me an excuse to have them hallucinate or slip into a dream.” His love of characters grappling with sanity is why Mumford is also well known for his experimental style that keeps readers on their toes.
One of his first works, Invisible Foxes, dives deep into an experimental style readers rarely see on the shelves. “It would bounce back and forth between these short stories and the main narrative, which ultimately connected them all together,” Eddie told us.
The jumps between the side and main narratives enticed readers and showcased Eddie’s unique talent as a writer. However, his most exciting project was The Flytrap, a comic book that pushed Eddie to think beyond prose and into the pages of comic books and episodic writing.
The Experience of Collaborative Work on The Flytrap
Mumford’s latest work, The Flytrap, is his first collaborative work with another artist in the industry. Meeting artist Jonathan Kociuba happened naturally but would solidify the idea that Mumford had stumbled upon an accidental but transformative opportunity for his career.
After meeting Jonathan through his roommate, Kamilla Hakimova, another notable graphic designer, Eddie saw their growing friendship transform into a unique opportunity for collaboration. “Jonathan would share stuff with me. I was lucky to be a test reader for one of his other comic books,” Eddie explains, remembering how they eventually began to talk about writing and working together. Yet, it would happen in the middle of quarantine.
“During quarantine, Jonathan reached out to me, and he had been drawing since New Year’s. He drew 13 pages, and he didn’t know exactly where he wanted it to go, but he wanted something Lovecraftian,” Eddie told us, sharing the first impressions he had of their collaborative comic, The Flytrap.
Since then, they have released three comic issues under their moniker, Grotesk Comics. As for the future, Eddie sees their collaboration as the beginning of even more comics that they can create together to showcase their shared imaginative vision.
Eddie’s Message to Aspiring Writers
For all of the aspiring writers out there, Eddie shares advice that helped him when he was first starting in the industry as an aspiring writer himself. “Get a writer’s group, get a workshop going. If you can’t find one, start one,” Eddie told us.
As for writers who are concerned about the potential of people stealing their work, Eddie Mumford has a very distinct—but essential—message: “If people are stealing, that’s awesome. The controversy will make you famous. And then you get to reap all of the credit.”
To check out The Flytrap, visit the Grotesk Comics website to pick up a copy for yourself to read the collaborative work of Eddie Mumford and Jonathan Kociuba.