Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia


Dan Matheson

The Smith and Miya Collection


Join long time friends Smith and Miya, as they are thrust into solving an unexpected mystery.  Their adventure only gets more complicated when the local Sheriff, and his son Billy, start sticking their noses in where they don't belong. It's the most intriguing thing to ever happen to Smith, Miya, and the small town of Steele Valley.  Are they ready to handle the astonishing truth when the mystery finally unravels?




Dan Matheson is a budding author who has a life long love of Comics and Graphic Novels, with professional experience in CG content creation and 3D animation. Dan drew on this knowledge in order to write and release his first children’s Graphic Novel, which is part of a series of three. He is aiming to push his creativity through learning and bettering his knowledge to fast track the release of the next books in the series as soon as possible.


Before completing a Bachelor’s Degree in 3D Animation at the end of 2004, Dan Matheson had a story idea for his final project - an idea which he decided to be too grand to complete in the short space of time in order to meet assessment. He decided to focus on something else and shelved his original idea, always with the ambition to get it finished in due course.

Well life got in the way, as it does, and after only working at a few odd jobs in his chosen field (including a stint at a Movieworld production company), his focus on his individual project blurred. 10 years went past and he was now entrenched in a sales role - therefore periodically his creative mind would always be drawn back to his story, aiming to perfect certain elements of the characters and plot. There came a time approximately 2 years ago when his children were at a certain age, old enough to not need/want him around anymore. A point every parent gets to. With this spare time and a conscious determined drive, Dan decided to evolve his original idea of a 3D animation and turn it into a graphic novel. Feeding the artistic side of his brain, whilst learning how to hone his writing skills. He then decided to break up his story into three parts, in order to release them one edition at a time - each an individual story in their own right. He hunkered down night after night, weekend after weekend, until approximately one and a half years later he completed the first “chapter” in his story.

After many reviews and edits, it came to a finished graphic novel as it is today at the end of 2016, almost 12 years to the day after he graduated. Self-funding it’s publication he now hopes it finds an audience who will enjoy it. After a few positive reviews, he is now hard at work to complete the second novel in the series. Stay tuned...



I absolutely enjoyed reading this first instalment and made me miss and reminisce of my very own childhood. I’m currently eyeing and interested with Youth Adult or kiddie books because I want to introduce the world of reading to my children as well; hoping that they might love it the same way that I’m enjoying every part of it. The story is brilliant, fun, and simple. It has heartbreaking and surprising scenarios, but I’m pretty sure that any young reader can handle it well. I just find the last part of it somewhat odd and confusing because from the contemporary set up it immidiately switched to fantasy and I was kind of surprised. Not that I didn’t like it or something, but I got really confused with the flow. I find the characters cute, it is a cliche’ because they are childhood best friends and etc. but I still find the best friend-ish thing interesting and exciting for teens. The story also contains plenty of life lessons which are suitable for young readers which made this book highly recommendable. I just hope that the book was in colored illustrations from the start to make it more appealing to the readers. Will I recommend this book? Yes. And I’ll wait for the succeeding books to find out what will happen to the duo and how they will unravel the town’s secrets including their own skeletons in their closets.

– Janna Aguilar.


Some books take you to your beautiful memories of childhood. You laugh, you cry, sometimes you feel bad for characters, sometimes you feel proud of them and you get so attached that you keep the book with you to read it again. My experience with this book was like the same. This book took me down the memory lane and I actually felt connected with these two lovely characters : Smith and Miya.

After a long time I saw such lovely illustrations. I can see the efforts made by the illustrator in expressing the whole content in a very unique way. The story was like a roller coaster ride for me. I liked the way Author kept the mystery alive till the end.

Storyline and Characterisation was quite good which you rarely find in a graphic novel. I liked that blueprint presented in the beginning of the book to explain the Steele Valley’s residents. This book was full of humour, drama, mystery and little bit of love story. This is the first book in the series and now I am eagerly waiting for the next book.

I would like to give 4 out of 5 stars to this book and I recommend this book to you and specially to your kids.

– Sonali Agarwal.






Before by Dan Matheson
ISBN: 9781925590111
Format: Paperback A5 210mm x148mm
Extent: 136 pages (colour)
RRP: $29.99
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Children's Graphic Novel
Distribution: OUT OF PRINT


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