Matthew Myers Discusses his Upcoming Graphic Novel “Down By Kontact”

This modern homage to classic horror is set to take fans on a very dark ride!

       It’s always fun getting to see your friends and colleague’s moving up in the world, and my good buddy and fellow writer at The Blood Shed Matthew Myers is doing just that, with his upcoming graphic novel Down by Kontact. Having a contract already signed with Dr. Eff Designs, and a planned release date within the next year, Kontact is on track to forge its own place in horror history.

down by kontact

     Always a fun guy to talk to, Matt sat down with me to discuss his graphic novel, it’s influences, and how the medium is a boon to telling his story.

      The Blood Shed: Well hey man, thanks for joining us. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.

       Matthew Myers: It’s always great to talk to you Jeff! This is quite the switch, usually I am the one conducting the interview.

        Shed: So can you tell us a little about your graphic novel?

        Myers: Down by Kontact was a film script I wrote about three years ago. It was an idea I came up with that was very inspired by George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, and the Pre Code horror films which made me fall in love with the genre as a kid.

When I started writing the story, I didn’t know how to develop characters very well. I knew the story was strong enough to pull off the concept I had, so I created the characters with the personality traits my friends and I had when we were younger. This turned the story in the right direction, and pushed it forward because I was writing what I knew.

The idea of putting it the story in 1996 seemed fitting, and worked well for a couple of reasons. I wrote this script with the intention of it being filmed in black & white like a classic horror film, and also because even though it doesn’t seem that long ago, 1996 was a very different time. Down by Kontact is more that just a zombie attack, the story goes much deeper than that.

         Shed: It seems kind of weird that 1996 is now considered a period piece. It was only a year before I was born.

          Myers: (Laughs) Very true, and you can’t deny the fact that society, and the world we live in now, is nothing like it was in the 90s.

          Shed: So by setting your timeline in the mid-nineties, how do you hope to further develop your story?

           Myers: There’s going to be a lot of refrences to things that existed at the time that were prevalent to society. The style of clothing is going to be grunge inspired, and very punk rock. One of the characters who appears at the beginning is a five year old girl. She’s wearing jelly shoes if you remember those, and a scrunchy in her hair. So far my illustrator has done an amazing job capturing the time.

In the plot, the main characters are on their way to compete in a tournament at their local arcade. Us older gamers miss the arcade as it was the social setting of our youth. They used to have competitions all the time where you could win cash. They were organized in arcades, pizza shops, strip malls, and anywhere else you could stick a commercial arcade game. That’s basically the beginning of the story, of course there is a lot of chaos even before the Zombie Apocalypse breaks out.

            Shed: Wow, that all sounds interesting.

            Myers: It’s definitely different,  I don’t think anyone has done something like this before.

            Shed: So I know you originally wrote this story to be made as a film. How did you come about adapting it into a graphic novel?

           Myers: After I wrote the script, I registered it and locked it away because my plan was to hook up with a production crew and make the film myself. Then I started doing free lance work, copy editing, and blogging. I built social media platforms for small businesses, and helped them develop marketing plans to reach their target audience. Then I started writing for The Blood-Shed, and later joined the great team at Attack From Planet B. Once I concentrated on helping others in the indie horror film industry, my web presence started to really grow with an audience of readers.

About six months ago, I decided it was time to pull Down by Kontact out of the vault. At first the plan was to write a horror anthology novel, which would include this story, and three other stories I wrote. While I was searching out artists to do the cover, the samples people were giving me where blowing my mind. It just hit me that I needed to turn this story into a graphic novel.

I started talking to some comic book illustrators, and found that people in Hollywood want a whole lot of money to tell me how they were going to illustrate my story. That just wasn’t going to work with me.

I needed to find someone who was willing to be invested in this project. I wanted to outline the illustrations, and let their talents bring the story to life. This is the only way to present it the right way. I was about to give up on the plan because it wasn’t working out, and then I saw some of the t-shirt work from Dr. Eff Designs and decided to reach out to them. I am so glad I did, because who I found to do this is absolutely perfect for this project.

       Shed: Speaking about your Illustrator for a minute, I know she’s the daughter of a former animator on Ren and Stimpy. What is it like working with on a 90’s set story with someone so closely linked to one of the biggest cartoons of the 90s?

       Myers: It’s a trip man, very exciting! Everything has been going great, and we have been working very well together. She believes in the vision, what I’m trying to create, and is devoted to this as much as I am. The communication is outstanding, and I believe there’s going to be a bright future for us working together in the future. Her father has been offering advice, critiquing the work, and has been an amazing guide and source of information. Everything is falling into place like it should, I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made. Dixie is extremely talented, and I believe this project will get her noticed by many people in the horror industry.

        Shed: What are some of the benefits you’d say a graphic novel presents you, over a more conventional novel or even a movie?

         Myers: Good question. Well as a fan of graphic novels and comics in general, in particular The Walking Dead, I always thought the comic was a lot better than the show. I think the action and the plotline can be better serviced in this format.

One thing that Joe Hill talked about as a challenge for his Darkside comic was showing a lot of character development, and telling a story with character attachment in a very short space. Since this story was written as a film, it has actually been easier to break it down into story board panels, and illustrate the action. All of the challenges that go into making a film, and all of the challenges that go into making a comic, have worked to my advantage in creating this graphic novel. It’s also what is going to help it make an impact in the horror genre.

           Shed: Going back to what you said about The Walking Dead, the comic is a lot more violent than the show. Do you think you can push more boundaries in a comic medium in this story than you could in a film?

          Matthew Myers: It’s too early to say at this point. The Walking Dead comic is very graphic and violent, but one of the things that makes it great is how it tells the story. Down by Kontact actually revolves around violence, but it isn’t gore based which will catch the zombie fans of today off guard.

Alfred Hitchcock has had a huge influence in all of my writing, you will see a complex story and a unsettling sub plot develop in Down by Kontact. This story is methodical, creepy, and will take horror fans on a very dark ride.

           Shed: Well thank you for taking the time to talk with us man. It’s always a pleasure.

          Myers: Same here, and thank you Jeff. I will keep you updated on the project so you can share the news with our great readers here at TheBlood-Shed.

So there you have it guys- Matthew is a great writer and an even better friend, and I can’t wait to see where his future takes him. But for now, Down by Kontact is a hell of a next step.

Jeff is Head-Writer for The Blood Shed and eats, drinks, and bleeds horror. You can send him hurtful messages at Headoasp@gmail.com.

***Since this article was written, the crowd funding campaign for Down by Kontact has been launched, and has raised over $800 already. With great perks getting the horror community involved, and giving fans the opportunity to pre-order the work at a discount, there is no doubt this project is going to be successful. You can check it by clicking HERE.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Rick Myers
    19 April 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Matt is my son and it looks like he may have found a purpose in life, thanks for helping him, I wish both of you all the success at your new adventure…Rick Myers

    • Matthew Myers
      19 April 2016 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks dad!

  • Williamboth
    6 May 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    A big thank you for your forum topic.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

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