Blog > Poppy Inspires a Thesis – Animation Alumni’s Comic Strip Goes Global

Poppy Inspires a Thesis – Animation Alumni’s Comic Strip Goes Global

Alumni Feature, News

Poppy Goes Global

In the vibrant realm where creativity converges with technology, remarkable stories of inspiration unfold. Meet Matthew Senn, an exceptional alumni of the 2D Animation & Digital Art program whose imaginative prowess has transcended the confines of traditional storytelling. Matthew’s comic book character, Poppy, a whimsical creation brimming with personality and charm, has become more than just a visual delight—she has become a catalyst for academic exploration. Journey with us as we delve into the tale of how Poppy, the brainchild of a passionate animator, sparked the imagination of an Italian college student, becoming the focal point of an inspiring thesis that intertwines the worlds of art, animation, and academia.

Matthew was recently interviewed by CBC’s Daybreak, and through this interview, we learned that Matthew’s most famous character, Poppy, had become the focal point of a university thesis on the other side of the globe. We caught up with Matthew to get the inside scoop, read on to find out more! 

Q: You were recently interviewed on CBC Daybreak by Chris Walker, can you tell us a bit about that experience?

A: It started when a reporter for infonews.ca did an article on me and my friends while we were selling books at the Comic Con. I told him I had another story as well, and he did a follow-up about Poppy and the translations. That got the attention of CBC, who asked me to come in and do a radio interview. The actual interview was very good. They prepped me by phoning me the day before and just letting me talk about everything, so when they asked me live on air, I already had good answers. Lots of friends and family heard it even before I shared it with them, so that’s been very cool.

Q: We learned in the interview that your comic strip has been the center of an Italian student’s university thesis, how cool! How did that come to be and what has that experience been like?

A: The Thesis about Poppy came about when Martina, an Italian student at the University of Venice, messaged me through Instagram. She explained she was doing her Bachelor’s in Language and wanted to do a proposal for how to translate a comic such as Poppy. It was an honour that not only did she read it and like it, she wanted to do her final thesis on it! She interviewed me as well, asking a lot of questions about 20’s language, my sources, notable slang, and the reception of it. Her thesis provides insight as to the level of faithfulness vs clarity a translation would require and shows a high level of understanding with the comic, since her proposal was almost exactly the route we followed to translate it into French and Brazilian Portuguese. I’m happy to say she got full marks (110/110), and graduated Cum Laude (with honours).

(Also fun fact: when we did the Kickstarter for Volume One in the summer, Martina backed us at the highest tier, meaning she got to be drawn in the books’ bonus comics. So when you read Volume One, be sure to look for the orange-haired barista. That’s Martina!)

Q: What’s next for Poppy?

A: Right now, we’re taking a break from Poppy for the rest of the year. We’ve just put out our biggest chapter, Chapter 8, which has been incredibly well received. However, Poppy is also coming up on 10,000 subs on Webtoon pretty soon, so I am currently working on a special project to celebrate before the end of the year. Beyond that, there are lots more chapters in the works, so look out for more Poppy strips in the New Year.

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