Matt Miner Gets the Spotlight He Deserves for His Animal Rights Comics

miner1The comic book universe is a whole lot more awesome thanks to Matt Miner.

The New York City-based writer uses his talent to help animals. Miner’s Liberator/Critical Hit book series features two bad-ass vigilantes whose mission is to rescue animals and give animal abusers the justice they deserve. Miner contributed the story, while Javier Aranda did the pencils and inks, Joaquin Pereyra did the colors and Vito Delsante was in charge of edits and letters. The first issue in the series was released in 2013.

In the four-issue series, Miner applies typical comic books themes, like crime fighting and justice, to animal rights. Instead of super power-fueled heroes and villains, the characters in Liberator/Critical Hit are people you would find in the real world: animal abusers and the people who want to eradicate them.

Liberator and Miner are getting more attention, thanks to a recent New York Times profile that takes a closer look into Miner’s life as a writer and animal activist of more than a decade. He is passionate about animal rescue and is heavily involved in Redemption Rescues, Inc., a nonprofit organization that specializes in pit bull rescue. Miner and his wife, Sloane, are Redemptions’ creative director and vice president, respectfully.

“One tragic and unfortunate pit bull attack makes hundreds of headlines while stories of heroic pit bulls who save lives and put themselves in harm’s way to help people are largely ignored,” Miner told The New York Times.

Miner and Sloane are vegans and have rescued two pit bulls of their own. They also aid in rescue efforts by taking in foster dogs and using social media to help pit bulls find good homes.

Liberator is truly a passion project for Miner and his fans. The series was funded through Kickstarter and is still creating headlines two years later, if the New York Times piece is any indication. Miner’s story has also created fans in Neko Case and Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz.

In the story, Miner’s protagonists – Damon and Jeanette – mirror the same passion for animals as Miner and Sloane. The heroes – or, “antiheroes,” as many outlets describe them – in the books are two young outcasts who take it upon themselves to make sure something is done about animal abuse. Also, like Miner, they come from the politically driven underground punk and hardcore scenes. Unlike typical comic-book heroines, the female protagonist skips the spandex and dons a practical ski masks, dark clothing and tactical gear in order to rescue animals – pushing Miner’s point even further that anyone can be a hero for animals.

With his series, Miner goes the extra mile to make sure animals truly benefit from his work. He’s not just using activist as his superheroes, but 30 percent of the book’s profits go toward animal rescue work. Similarly, Hot Topic recently sold Liberator shirts where 30 percent of the purchase goes toward the same rescue efforts.

Photo Credit: MattMinerComics