Advance Comics catches up with Writer/Artist Matt Kyme and attempts to wrestle with a Demon.
AC: Hi Matt thanks for speaking with Advance Comics about your new comic, The Demon.
AC: How did you come to be a comic creator?
MK: I couldn’t resist the pull any longer. I always loved the medium but never had any aspirations of working in that field in any capacity until I was in my mid-twenties. Ironically this was almost a decade after I had stopped collecting comics.
Comics kind of pulled me back. I started dreaming up some stories and found great enjoyment in writing them. I’d not written anything since High School and didn’t really know what I was doing, but it was a fun ride. I became interested in seeing if there were any local publishers about and started checking out what they produced.
I went to Cat’s Cradle Comics (now Evil Empire) where Phil put me onto some local stuff.
He showed me Local Act comics, Killeroo and some Ninja Turtles comics written by Australian Writer/Artist Tristan Jones who by some miracle was IN THE STORE at that very moment.
Phil introduced us and Tristan encouraged me to come along to a monthly comic creators meet up, where I met a whole bunch of amazing, talented comic creators.
Investigating the local scene encouraged me to persist with the stories I was writing and try to find a way to get them in front of people.
AC: Who are your artistic heroes and how have they influenced your style?
MK: I’ve been a massive fan of Lee Falk’s The Phantom since I was nine. The earliest stories written by Falk and illustrated my Ray Moore remain my favourite comics of all time. Falk and Moore have, by far, had the biggest influence on my work. Just read a copy of The Demon. The influence there is obvious.
In my teens I enjoyed Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle’s work on Batman, Peter David’s writing on both Hulk and Spiderman 2099. Through Spiderman 2099 I became aware of the amazing artist Rick Leonardi who remains a favourite. I loved David Michelinie’s work on Amazing Spiderman.
Years later, when I started to get back into comics, I discovered a whole world I had missed in my first dip into the comics pool. I started to read the ‘Essential’ comics that every self-professed comic snob is mandated to study and found that Frank Miller and Alan Moore lived up to the hype.
I really like Empowered by Adam Warren, almost everything I’ve read by Grant Morrison, and have come to admire Robert Kirkman for his output and his commitment to his goals.
I have a long list of big inspirations from comics and from the wider literature world but I can’t say how they have influenced my style.
Every time I read a novel or a book I think about how the ideas and themes could seep into my work, but there just isn’t enough time to pursue every idea and work them into stories.
Interiors from The Demon #2
AC: So what is your new comic The Demon about?
MK: The Demon is all about good old-fashioned ‘white hat’ heroics. I wanted to do a comic that captured the essence of those old 1930’s Phantom comics. More about this in the next answer!
AC: The Demon wears its heart on its sleeve as a homage to The Ghost Who Walks (The Phantom). How did the idea for this book come about?
MK: Ok. So remember when I was beginning to explore the world of local comics? The first thing I did was inquire about Australian Phantom stories. I knew that during the 90’s, the Publisher at Frew (who print the Australian Phantom comics) had written and published several of his own stories.
I had always wondered why there hadn’t been other Australian stories published. I decided that I would have a crack at a story about my favourite character and submit it to Frew.
I made contact with some Phantom enthusiasts online and kept hearing the same thing; Frew would NOT be interested in receiving unsolicited submissions. They ONLY publish American and European stories. I was advised that if I wanted to sell a Phantom story I’d have more luck with Moonstone or another foreign publisher.
My interest in the whole thing waned when I read a few Moonstone stories. The Phantom they were publishing wasn’t the Phantom I knew and loved. I put the Phantom stories on the backburner and started on my comic That Bulletproof Kid, which was more of a 1960s and 70’s Marvel type story about a teen-aged superhero.
That Bullet Proof Kid
In the back my mind, ideas about the Ghost Who Walks continued bouncing around. One day, on a whim, I went through my pile of Phantoms and re-read all of his earliest Falk/Moore stories in chronological order. Shortly afterward I was brain-storming with a friend, Simon Wright, on a new concept for a collaboration.
With the Phantom stories fresh in my mind, I suggested we do a homage, based in the 1930s that had the same writing and art style as the early Falk/Moore stories. From there, the Demon arose…
Early Concept Inspiration
AC: Who has helped you as part of the art team and what is your role in the production of this comic?
MK: Initially, I wanted Simon Wright to do the art on the series, and for a few weeks it seemed like it was all systems go.
Circumstances changed and Simon could no longer commit. Gareth Colliton sprang to mind as the perfect artist to get on board but he had just committed to do a series called Onna Bugeisha with Andrez Bergen.
I had a few other artists in mind but bit the bullet and did it myself. I was reluctant to do the art because I was already the artist on That Bulletproof Kid, and I didn’t even want to do that. I just want to write! Aren’t there any artists out there who will do sequential pages exactly how I want for free?
Now, it’s my honour to announce that the magnificent Graeme Jackson is my artistic partner in crime on The Demon. Graeme adds the authentic looking 1930s inspired tonal work over my hack art. He also produces some of the most astonishing cover art you are ever likely to see on a local comic.
The Demon #1 Graeme Jackson Cover
He did a Drew Struzan inspired cover for #1 and a Sy Barry inspired cover for #2. He has also recently provided covers for BulletGal, Billie, Trail and Exilium. The guy is a Master. If he’s not doing covers for Dark Horse before the year is out, the world is beyond saving.
AC: Issue #1 came out last year, how can people get a copy of the comic and hear about where to get the next issue?
MK: The best place for such info and updates is the Facebook Page. Check out
Interior art from The Demon #2
AC: What is your advice to a budding comic writer or artist who wants to self-publish?
MK: I get a few emails every now and then from aspiring comic creators and I always have a chuckle because I feel that I’m still at the very beginning myself. I am still frequently asking for advice myself.
I guess my advice is read widely and draw inspiration from numerous sources. Look at the standard of the work on the shelves and be critical of your work. Gosh, I don’t know… ask someone else! Ha ha!
Here’s some advice: use Jefferies Printing Service.
AC: Finally, what would happen if The Demon and The Phantom ever met up? Would they fight or would they go share a glass of milk and shake down some rough-necks?
MK: It really depends on WHICH Demon that Phantom met. If they ever did meet I’d probably die.