Screenwriter Mathew Klickstein, who penned the 2009 vampire zombie flick Against the Dark (from Sony Pictures, starring Steven Seagal), has a new comic project coming in September called You Are Obsolete.
Drawn by Evgeniy (Descendent) with Lauren Affe colors, the new book follows a disgraced journalist covering a mysterious story on an isolated island in Europe. As the plot progresses, it becomes clear that the island is controlled by children who are killing off adults before they turn 40. The hero must then investigate the truth without running afoul of the murderous children herself. It is, of course, a thriller.
In the official PR for the project, Klickstein bills it as “…children of the corn…but with cell phones instead of religion.” An enticing hook, to be sure.
The book is yet another new title being published by AfterShock Comics, which has very publicly stated its intentions to launch its 100th title within the next two years. In fact, The Beat’s AfterShock links page has essentially turned into a steady stream for new comic announcements. And if they’re going to get to that 100, there are likely to be many more coming soon.
Official PR (along with preview art) about You Are Obsolete can be found below:
YOU ARE OBSOLETE #1 / $3.99 / 32 pages / Full Color / ON SALE 9.18.2019
Writer: Mathew Klickstein
Artist: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Colorist: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Cover: Andy Clarke
Incentive Cover: Francesco Francavilla
A disgraced journalist is called to cover a mysterious story on an isolated European island. As she investigates, she discovers the children have taken control and are somehow killing off all adults by their 40th birthdays. Now, she must discover the truth behind the killings while staying on the good side of the children’s harsh leader…or she’s next.
YOU ARE OBSOLETE is an spine-tingling thriller that evokes the eerie naturalism of 1970s horror films with a modern deadly digital twist. Written by Mathew Klickstein (Sony Pictures’ Against the Dark, Slimed!, Springfield Confidential, Selling Nostalgia) and drawn by Evgeniy Bornyakov (DESCENDENT).
MATHEW KLICKSTEIN ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE IS EXCITED FOR IT TO BE RELEASED:
“The series can best be described as CHILDREN OF THE CORN…but with cell phones instead of religion. A contemporary, technological twist on the classic “scary children taking power over the adults” story that we’ve seen in CORN, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, Cronenberg’s THE BROOD and the classic TWILIGHT ZONE episode, “It’s A Good Life.” Lyla Wilton is a young, disgraced journalist who takes on a strange assignment that she hopes will get her back into the limelight. She arrives in a quaint and fairy-tale like village on an isolated Eastern European island and discovers there a peculiar cast of characters not unlike the kind seen in the original WICKER MAN. Lyla quickly discovers that the children of the town have an eerie power over the adults of the community who are frightened of said kids, particularly their murderous “killer app” that, yes, kills off anyone over 40 when used in their direct vicinity. Lyla, who clearly reveals herself as having a bevy of personal problems — including alcoholism and substance abuse — has trouble getting out of her own way and figuring out whether what she’s witnessing is an important story she can be the reporter of to get her career back on track or a true danger zone that she needs to flee from immediately. If I’ve done my job, at least some readers after going through the series will stomp on their cell phones and deactivate their social media accounts.”
MATHEW KLICKSTEIN ON THE FIRST TIME HE HEARD ABOUT AFTERSHOCK:
“A few of my friends have worked with AfterShock in the past, such as Tim Seeley and they all had extremely good experiences with the company. I had originally thought of YOU ARE OBSOLETE as a film concept, and after passing it around to said acquaintances, friends and colleagues, they suggested the treatment might make for a good comic book series. Of course, AfterShock was one of the first companies I went to both due to the aforementioned word of mouth and because I liked what I saw when I investigated further into their astonishing cache of talent and eclectic projects. I had some good conversations with executive editor Mike Marts, we seemed to gel, I decided to give it a try, he loved the concept of YOU ARE OBSOLETE, I wrote issue one on spec, he loved that too, and now here we are! Funnily enough, I’ve never been much of a comic book reader aside from some of the underground comix of the likes of R. Crumb and Aline Crumb, Daniel Clowes, Shannon Wheeler, Johnny Ryan, Ivan Brunetti et al. So, I’m still a newbie just learning about all of this. I’ve long enjoyed learning about the history of comics and reading interviews with and watching documentaries etc. about people like Alan Moore, but this is the first time I’m really engaging in the scene in an active way. I feel extremely grateful and that maybe there’s something special going on here that I’ve already gotten involved with one of the top indie publishers on my first try without having had much experience previously. I really enjoy writing comics thus far and believe it will be a new avenue for me to continue pursuing creatively, hopefully continuing with AfterShock! I also hope and believe that my being so green in this realm has allowed me to create a book that will be a unique product in the marketplace and that might give avid readers something fresh and new to experience since I’m going into this as an outsider who doesn’t yet really know the “rules” and “proper” means of putting together a book. Sometimes, that’s how innovation can really take off. But, I AM still learning, and can’t wait to see where the future brings me and this series. My dad has always been really into the comic book world, having taken me to cons and the like when I was a kid. I think of everything I’ve done as a writer in the past — books, films, documentaries, articles for high-profile publications, etc. — this is the thing he’s most proud of: So, I guess in some ways, a lot of this is for my comic book-loving dad, too!”
MATHEW KLICKSTEIN ON WHO HE’D LIKE TO STAR IF THIS BOOK WAS MADE INTO A FILM OR TV SHOW:
“As we continued developing the book, we realized quickly YOU ARE OBSOLETE would make an ideal story for a BLACK MIRROR episode, which makes sense both because of the great influence TWILIGHT ZONE and classic sci-fi stories have had on the book but also because of the technological aspect that plays such an important part in the story. I believe their episode “Fifteen Million Merits” to be one of the finest episodes of television of the past decade. It’s compelling, engaging, frightening in a very real here-and-now way, endlessly thought-provoking, and unique in its perspective. Everything I’m hoping we’ve done with YOU ARE OBSOLETE. As for a straight-up film adaptation, as mentioned, the original idea of YOU ARE OBSOLETE was as a kind of contemporary horror film of the likes of what Blumhouse has been doing as of late. What I like about those films is the kind of late 70s aesthetic they have where many are much more brutal, real and eerie or odd more than flat-out “horror” films. Less monsters, more psychological and emotional horror. That’s the kind of sci-fi horror I love and grew up on, and what I was trying to achieve with this series. I sent our illustrator references to films like WICKER MAN and Cronenberg’s VIDEODROME and the original VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (as well as the new one). But also TWILIGHT ZONE episodes, CARNIVAL OF SOULS, JACOB’S LADDER, and John Carpenter’s IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS. I see Margot Robbie as the main character Lyla Wilton: strong, independent, smart, stunning. A perfect actress who has such a wide range of abilities, be it her role in Suicide Squad, I Tanya or Wolf on Wall Street. I see Chris Pratt as love interest Kadunud. He’s similarly smart, funny, ruggedly handsome and playful even in more serious parts, just like Robbie. Martina, the leader of the villainous children, is a little more difficult since I’m not as familiar with child stars these days, but likely someone along the lines of Alyvia Alyn Lind, Dalila Bela or Chloe Csengery. Someone with a very strong personality, a lot of personal confidence and the ability to give that cold, harsh Steve Jobs death-stare is a must for the character.”