I wasn’t sure what to expect from this interview. After all, it was going to be about zombies (the walking dead) and some guys doing a comic book. After spending about an hour and a half with Patrick, I walked away totally surprised at how interesting our conversation had been and how passionate Patrick Boggs, Norbert Yates and Michael Moore are about becoming storytellers…this is part of their story.
Brian: The Children of the Dead…What’s up with that? And by the way, I was told not to mention the word “zombie.”
Patrick: That’s right, we don’t call them zombies. I have had this story in my head for years. In 2005, we (Patrick, Norbert and Michael) were going to shoot it as a live-action. Previously, we had done some projects together, just fun stuff. You know, frustrated videographers wanting to do something else. We were going to start shooting it over the summer of 2005, but it just never materialized.
I really liked the story though. I talked to Norbert more about it, and he thought it could happen anywhere because of the face value of it being about the walking dead. But, when you dig deeper into it, it is symbolic of children and family relationships. How children are raised without having a chance to be children anymore. How parents sometimes use their children as other things like being a friend, but not the role as a parent.
Brian: So why the walking dead theme?
Patrick: We exploited that relationship. The backdrop is a disaster, like a hurricane or typhoon would create. We chose to use the walking dead because I’ve been a fan of it all of my life. (Patrick noted neither Norbert nor Michael cared much about zombies or the undead.) I have always been a fan of George Romero and his Dawn Of The Dead and Day Of The Dead movies.
Brian: You stated that you started out to make a movie, but decided to do it as a graphic sequence to tell your story. Why did you make that change?
Patrick: It was natural. Michael and I argue constantly about the movies King Kong and Star Wars and which was the best film. Norbert for fun drew a picture of King Kong holding Princess Leia with the Millennium Falcon flying by. One day, I looked at that drawing and thought, “We should tell our story graphically. Norbert, Michael and I are big on storyboarding. We try to be very cinematic about it. We talk constantly about camera angles and how the camera should pan the scene. We talk in the language of video or film when we set up our storyboards. We thought it would be more interesting to take this approach opposed to presenting in the style of a live-action or rather dead-action (we both laugh at this).
Brian: What contribution do you each make?
Patrick: I develop the story, Norbert does the sketches and inks the drawings, and Michael paints the light and color to embellish the mood.
Brian: What happens after this book is complete?
Patrick: This one is Children of the Dead – Tree House. The next one will be Children of the Dead – High Rise. Currently, we have four chapters completed in the Tree House book. High Rise, when completed will be taking place at the same time as Tree House.
Brian: Will High Rise have the same characters?
Patrick: We have one character, the son Damien, who intermingles, but other than that there won’t be any others. High Rise will take place more in an urban setting, but it will be taking place at the same time as Tree House.
Brian: I understand that you are developing this as a digital book.
Patrick: The goal is to do a digital book until this series is over. There will be anywhere from 8 to 11 chapters of this one. These are chapters of a graphic novel. It is a series. In the basic sense, it is a comic book model and is an ongoing story. We will also sell them as print versions.
Brian: Why worry about print versions?
Patrick: Some people hate digital books. So we want to be accessible to all audiences.
Brian: Where are they available?
Patrick: Through Amazon, iTunes, the Nook and a couple of other online sources.
Brian: This looks like it has been both a lot of fun and a lot of work.
Patrick: Yes, it’s been a lot of work and a real labor of love.