In Matt Furie’s glorious debut, a nocturnal frog and rat awake at midnight, share a salad of lettuce and bugs, and strike out on an epic dirtbike adventure toward the sunrise. As the friends make their way from forest to bat cave to ghost town to ocean to shore and beyond, new friends are discovered, a huge crab is narrowly avoided, and a world is revealed. Packed with colorful characters and surprising details on every hand-drawn page, The Night Riders is the ideal book for anyone who has ever wanted to surf to the mountains on the back of a dolphin.
Today, Matt offers a glimpse at some of his inspirations for the book. To purchase The Night Riders, please visit our store.
This is the pattern for the endpages of the book. It represents the interior walls of the frog and rat’s house. As a kid I can remember staring at the walls and ceiling as I tried to fall asleep and things would start to get wavy.
There is something magical about being able to open a large door with the push of a button. It almost looks like the house is slowly and loudly opening its mouth. Check out this link for more information.
In the story a frog and a rat go for a bike ride and encounter a dragon-like creature. Dragons are done to death but I had to include one because I wanted to make a book that appealed to the 5-year-old version of myself. I have always enjoyed drawing dragons but I took a break from them after high school. Doing this book gave me the perfect chance to start drawing a dragon again.
In this scene our friends encounter a bat-like creature that is holed-up in his cave playing video games. I remember turning off all of the lights and playing weird video games with my friend for hours and hours in my basement. For a period of time I had a bedroom in the basement and I loved it. I could just go down there and be in my own little world. I liked to play a lot of games including DOOM on the computer. This is an interesting video that I find humorous that features some really cool music and a kid describing DOOM as he plays it. Watch the whole thing and you may experience “tuber’s high,” which is similar to “jogger’s high.”
So here the frog and bat are escaping a ghost crab with the help of a couple of dolphins. Note that the frog’s pants are slipping off and you can see his butt. The bat is able to surf like a champ but later in the book he is afraid of heights.
My girlfriend and I have had pet rats for a few years now. They are actually really smart—they remind me of small dogs. They know their names, respond to calls, have individual personalities, and are really sweet. I would recommend having a pet rat to anyone interested. Here is a photo: