i>Official Press Release
“Imagine if you died in your sleep tonight and woke up tomorrow not even knowing you were dead,” said Matthew Shepherd, writer and co-creator of Dead Eyes Open, the graphic novel to be published by SLG Publishing in February 2008. “What would you do when you found out?” Shepherd continued. “And when other people discovered you were a living corpse? That’s the premise of the comic, from the perspective of a loving father who comes back and wishes he hadn’t.”
Psychologist John Requin isn’t your garden-variety undead, but there’s really no way to get on with your life when you’re technically dead. His patients are beginning to suspect something is wrong, his young daughter won’t let him near her, and now he and other “Returners” are being hunted down by vigilante groups. The world is in chaos, and the Returners need a spokesperson for their plight. Is John Requin that man? Or is the deal the U.S. government is offering him just an empty appeasement? The afterlife of millions depends on him.
Matthew Shepherd has teamed up with artist Roy Boney, Jr. to tell John Requin’s story in Dead Eyes Open. Both Shepherd and Boney got their start separately in web comics, Shepherd with a comic called Man-Man and Boney with Plug-In Boy. Dead Eyes Open is the first printed work of both writer and artist.
“I see Dead Eyes Open as 1960s civil rights meeting today’s right-wing paranoia, except it’s discrimination against the Undead,” said Boney, who employs a dark, heavily inked style that portrays the decay of both the Returners and the society in which they live. “I love blood and guts as much as the next guy, but sometimes it’s nice to have a ‘thinking person’s’ comic. At least I hope Dead Eyes Open makes people think about things a little more seriously.”
Shepherd and Boney explore the religious and political ramifications of the recently dead returning to life and plan to show how society changes as it comes to terms with Returners and the development of a Returner subculture. The result is the depiction of a complex and volatile society and the exploration of many of our culture’s prejudices and paranoia. Dr. John Requin’s story, however, also keeps the focus on the Returners on an individual level as it depicts how he copes with his own resurrection.
Dead Eyes Open, a 160-page graphic novel, previously published as a six-issue miniseries, will be published in February 2008. It is available for pre-order now at comic book stores with the Diamond code DEC073340.
For more information about Dead Eyes Open and SLG Publishing, visit www.slgcomic.com.