QUESTIONS from folks on FORMSPRING
There’s a fun website called Formspring.me where you set up your page, and then literally anyone online can ask you random, anonymous questions. I know, I know, sounds like the most egotistical, presumptuous thing in the world, to set up such a page, because it assumes that other people are interested in your thoughts on anything. But because I write and draw a small comic book that has garnered a small fan following, I thought it would be fun to set up the page and just see what happened. As it turned out I have received a wide range of questions from people who know my artwork and read my comic book series. Here is the first batch of questions that have appeared on my Formspring page, since I joined two months ago, along with my answers. Again, I have no idea who sent me any of these questions, so I can’t credit the sources. But here they are, for anyone who is interested…
Q: What was the best job you've ever had?
A: Fun-wise: Writing and Drawing my comic book series, "Wulf and Batsy".
Money-wise: Working as a storyboard artist in the Television animation industry.
Q: What's the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
A: I guess my wife agreeing to marry me. That required a lot of kindness on her part.
Q: Do you believe in life after death?
A: Hell yes. There's a part in the Book of Revelations where God calls all the dead believers up from their graves and takes them to Heaven. I can't wait for that part. I hope I'll rise up looking like a rotted corpse, and I hope I'll have plenty of time to scare some atheists before God calls me home. That will be awesome.
Q: What horror story do you feel is just dying to be translated to the silver screen that hasn't yet been attempted?
A: I wish somebody would make a big-budget movie series that faithfully adapted all the Cthulhu Mythos stories by H.P. Lovecraft. I know there have been a handful of little movies that have touched on it... But I'm talking about ALL the Cthulhu Mythos stories, as a series of films. Nobody has attempted that. If they did - you'd have an ultimate epic horror series with as much breadth and depth as Lord of the Rings. That would be amazing.
Q: I'm a 3-D animator who's been having no luck getting into the industry. Some of my best work is for an 'adult' crowd. Is it alright to display this kind of work in a portfolio in the hopes of landing a job?
A: An old rule of thumb: Gear your portfolio toward whatever client/job you are trying to get.
Q: What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?
A: That's a tough one because I love so many different horror movies for so many different reasons. But the three I keep coming back to whenever I try to nail down "my favorites" are:
1.)Return of the Living Dead (1985, directed by Dan O'Bannon);
2.) Creepshow (1982, directed by George Romero);
3.)The Howling (1981, directed by Joe Dante).
I'd say it's a three-way tie.
Q: You have to pick one scene in all of moviedom as the perfect example of the embodiment of awesome. Which is it, and why?
A: I can't pick one. Let me give you my top 5:
1.) The scene in "The Howling" where the Eddie Quist Werewolf appears for the first time. When he rises up from behind that file cabinet, towering over Belinda Belaski, and she looks up at him in total awe and disbelief. And then he promptly swings out with one paw and WHOPS her on the head.
2.) The scene in "Return of the Living Dead", where The Tarman appears for the first time and chases Tina through that filthy basement.
3.) The ending of "An American Werewolf in London", with the quadrupedal werewolf running through Picadelly Circus killing people, snapping his jaws, and creating chaos left and right.
4.) The Battle of Hoth from "The Empire Strikes Back"
5.) The Truck Chase sequence from "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
All these scenes blew my mind as a kid and their impact has never faded.
Q: What was the first film (or comic, if that's the case) that made you think, "You know what, I love this horror stuff!"
A: My love of horror entertainment goes so far back into my personal history that I can't pinpoint a single moment that "did it" for me. But I can cite 2 important landmarks:
Watching classic 1930's,40's,50's, and 60's era Monster Movies (everything from The Wolf Man to Frankenstein, to Dracula to King Kong to Creature From the Black Lagoon to Godzilla) on the Saturday afternoon "Shock Theater" TV show with my dad as early as kindergarten.
Also, discovering the movie "Creepshow" and the "Creepshow" comic book adaptation by Bernie Wrightson in 1982, when I was 10 years old. That was a hugely influential event.
Q: What do you think is the most underrated film? Perhaps one that takes constant critical beating, but was pure genius in your eyes.
A: Geez you just described half the movies in my collection. Here's the 3 I think of first.
1.) SPIDERBABY (by Jack Hill). One of my all-time favorite movies. I've never seen another movie that so closely encapsulates the feel I'm always trying to create in my comic books. A wonderful classic, and most horror fans don't even seem to know about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3qzhIvoPuc&feature=related
2.) FRANKENSTEIN'S BLOODY TERROR (by Paul Naschy). No filmmaker has ever spent more time and energy pouring so much love for classic monsters and good old fashioned horror onto the screen. Paul Naschy is a genius. And this is his best film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGwF3bGYmuQ
3.) NIGHT BEAST (by Don Dohler) - Great looking monster, awkward human characters, nonstop sci-fi action. How can anyone not love this movie? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLpTUp9LIw0
Q: are you planning on doing any more horror movie fanart, in your freetime....and if so what movies do you have in mind?
A: Yes I have a VERY long list of movies I want to do tribute illustrations of. The past 6 months or so have just been very busy with other projects and I haven't had time. But my schedule seems to be getting more regular now, so rest assured, I have every intention of getting back to doing those!
Q: If you had to sum yourself up with a single song, which would you choose, and why?
A: "Riverz End" by Skinny Puppy. Because... I know this sounds like such an "artisty" thing to say, but I really live in my imagination most of the time... I'm constantly thinking about whatever stories, artwork, or comics I am currently working on... That song is the perfect ambient soundtrack for the little imaginary world that is always rotating inside my skull. Every time I hear it, I get really vivid ideas for stories and/or images.
Q: their are alot of mixed feelings as far as horror remakes are concerned, in your opion what horror remake in the last couple of years was "most tolarable for you" ? -texas chainsaw -hallowen -friday the 13th (feel free to choose one not on here)
A: Recent horror movie remakes released over the past few years that I have most liked:
1.) The Wolf Man
2.) My Bloody Valentine
3.) Friday the 13th
Q: Apart from Horror and Pooh, what is something you draw that you would like to share with us?
A: The new animated TV series I am now working on. But I am not allowed to talk about it till the company starts promoting it. It is not anything for Disney. Something totally different, a revival of an old 1980's animated series. Sorry I can't say more.
Q: Is there a movie (horror or not) that you think is just begging for a follow-up/sequel?
A: Yes - I would love to see a sequel to "District-9".
Q: wich all-time iconic-"slasher" do you admire most?
That's a toss up between:
Freddy Krueger (in the context of the first 3 Nightmare on Elm Street movies, before they turned him into a joke) -
And Jason Voorhees (in the context of the first 4 Friday the 13th movies, before they turned him into a gimmick).
Q: do you think you might film yourself drawing and post it on youtube to show the process?
A: That might be cool if I owned a video camera. Maybe someday.
Q: Have you ever dropped acid?
A: Yes, dropped a whole jar of it once. It melted my right leg from the knee down. I now have a wooden leg.
Q: have you ever wanted to be or pictured your self in a horror movie, if so which movie would it be, and what charecter would you protray in the whole horror movie chiche.
A: The Wolf Man of course but that Del Toro guy beat me to it! Haha.
Q: What would be the greatest monster match-up that has yet to happen?
A: It would be awesome to see The Wolf Man fight the Creature From the Black Lagoon. Just imagine them in a swamp, up to their knees in water, thrashing and splashing around, roaring and clawing the hell out of each other. That would be incredible.
Q: What are the chances of you doing ScreamFest in orlando??? Spookyempire.com
A: Zero, unfortunately. No time for travel with my new job. Beverly Hartly, who played Tina in Return of the Living Dead has become a friend of mine and keeps encouraging me to attend Monsterpalooza in Burbank, California. Since I live so close by I am going to try and attend that one as soon as it becomes possible.
Q: In recent years, specifically 2000-09, which horror movie, (in your opinion) was the most well made?
Here's a few of my favorites from the last 10 years that spring instantly to mind:
1.) The Ring
2.) Dog Soldiers
3.) The Descent
5.) Grindhouse: Planet Terror
6.) My Bloody Valentine 3-D
7.) The Wolf Man (2010)
Q: which iconic monster would you most likely make out with? (I have costumes and do couples) ;)
A: Yikes! Well I'm married now and very content. But in my younger days I definitely had a thing for female vampires.
Q: Would you rather work at a large company or a small one?
A: I have worked for both large and small companies and they both have their pros and cons. Mainly:
Large Companies: You get paid very well and always on time, plus benefits. Your quality of life increases. You can afford to eat at better restaurants, and buy more nice things. Your income can out-distance your expenses, allowing you to save and enjoy a sense of financial security. But when it comes to your work - the expectations put upon you are higher and there's less room to "do things your own way". You will sometimes feel like a small cog in a big machine.
Small Companies: You have more freedom, creative and otherwise. Which is a huge deal to most creative people, myself included. But small companies tend to be totally disorganized and sloppy. It is considered normal for a small company to pay very low and/or very late. Some small companies rely on "a small budget" as an excuse not to pay talent at all, or to only pay in "contributor's copies". Some small companies are downright dishonest. Some will rip you off and assume they'll get away with it because their employees don't make enough money to fight back. You can be more creative and have more freedom at a small company but there is more risk involved, and higher probability of disappointment. The creative freedom an artist enjoys at a small company is a breath of fresh air, but the deplorable business practices at (most) small companies will leave an artist tearing his hair out.
Q: Would you rather be a famous musician or a famous actor?
A: I think it would be awesome (in some alternate reality) to be one of those experimental, electronic goth/industrial weirdo geniuses who creates the most underground/abstract/surreal music ever but whose albums actually sell well enough for him to do that, and only that, for a career. In other words I would rather be cEvin Key than any famous actor in history.
Q: What is the best way to contact you?
A: Through my regular email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: When are we going to go get a beer together???
A: Normally I'd say, whenever you are ready. But in this case I'd have to say: Soon as you tell me who sent this question so I know who I am meeting, and then, as soon as I get a break from work.
Q: If time and money were no object, where would you most like to visit?
A: I'd love to go to London and do the Jack the Ripper walking tour. I've read so much about that case I'd love to see the real places in person. I'd also like to visit the real Castle Dracula in Transylvania, and (swinging back to England) visit Whitby where Bram Stoker lived while writing the novel, Dracula. Actually time and money are not the issues holding me back from these trips. It's the idea of being cooped up on an airplane for so long. That makes me cringe. I can barely stand the 5 hour flight from California to Ohio to visit my family. I can't imagine how I'd survive a flight to Europe without losing my mind.
Q: You've got one movie to watch before you die. Which is it?
A: Return of the Jedi.
Q: would you ever consider, drawing fanart for theese following horror movies? -childs play -sorority row -jeepers creepers -the exorcist -it
A: Sorry but none of those are likely choices for me. I never liked Child's Play. I've never seen Sorority Row. I thought Jeepers Creepers was well-made but then somebody put a damper on it by telling me the guy who made it was in some kind of trouble for crimes involving underage partners. So I have trouble bringing myself to support that film. The Exorcist is a classic of course but almost too serious for my taste, not the sort of movie I would feel compelled to draw fan art of.
You mention It. Okay, that requires some explanation. "It" by Stephen King is one of my all-time favorite novels ever written. I love that book inside and out. I've probably read it 2 dozen times since it came out in 1985 when I was in junior high school. It is a classic horror novel that I return to over and over again. And for this exact reason, I have never let myself watch the "Made-For-Televison" movie based on it. Stephen King is a great writer but almost all of the movies based on his books are terrible disappointments. There is no way you could possibly compress all the wonderful parts of that novel into a made-for-TV movie. It just can't be done. I tried watching a clip of it once and it looked and felt as phony as I'd imagined. I had no interest in seeing any more. As with most Stephen King stories, when I want to experience "It" I will just go back and re-read the book. So who knows, maybe someday I'll do fan art based on the book, but never based on the diluted made-for-TV movie version.
Q: If you could have been the author of any book, what would it have been?
A: Whenever I go back and re-read any of the following stories/novels/graphic novels I always find myself wishing I coulda been the guy who came up with them:
1.) "It" by Stephen King
2.) "Christine" by Stephen King
3.) "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler
4.) "The Lady In The Lake" by Raymond Chandler
5.) "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" by H.P. Lovecraft
6.) "The Black Dahlia" by James Ellroy
7.) "American Tabloid" by James Ellroy
8.) "Hell House" by Richard Matheson
9.) "The Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
10.) "Sin City" (first graphic novel in this series only) by Frank Miller
Q: If you could become any fictional character, who would you be?
A: Dracula. For all sorts of reasons.
Q: What was the last book you read?
A: "Blood's A Rover" by James Ellroy.
Q: Star Trek or Star Wars?
A: Star Wars.
Q: If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?
A: Bernie Wrightson, Stephen King, and cEvin Key.
Q: In Wulf and Batsy volume 2 was Kershy's transformation successful? And if so, is their any chance we will see her in comic form again?
A: Yes it was successful, but overlooked by all in the immediate vicinity. I do have a couple of different stories in mind that would explain what happened to Kershy after the end of the Wulf and Batsy Volume2 trade paperback, but I probably won't get to them for a while. There are some other, more important stories that must come first.
Q: If Wulf and Batsy were to be made into a movie, who would play your leads? Your villains?
A: HA! Oh, dare to dream. Well the best person who ever lived, who could possibly play Batsy in a movie would be Jill Banner, when she was in her late teens/ early twenties. But that was in the mid-1960's and she died in 1982. So no luck there. But if troublesome issues of time, life, and death were not a factor, she would be my first and only choice. I think Giovanni Ribisi would make a good Cevin Orlock. And then you get Rob Bottin to create his wolf-transformation. I'd love to see either Sid Haig or Jeffrey Combs (in heavy makeup) play Professor Von Zag Zog. Like I said, dare to dream! haha. Thanks for the Wulf and Batsy questions!
UPDATE: Since I answered this question I have become aware of an actress who bears such a striking physical resemblance to the way I draw Batsy, that it is almost scary. Her name is Krysten Ritter, and if I had the power to hand pick the actress to play Batsy in a movie, she would now be my one and only choice.
Q: What is the ideal working environment for drawing your comics?
A: In the art room at my home, with headphones on, listening to loud, scary music or a good audio book. Drawing with real ink brushes on real paper (no digital trickery at the drawing stage), with some good comics or art books lying around that I can easily grab and look at for a quick burst of inspiration. Low temperatures, I draw most comfortably when the room is very cool. A freezing cold glass of iced tea at my side. Nobody interrupting me so I can draw for several hours at a stretch. Then when the comic page is drawn and the ink is dry, I turn around, scan the page into the computer, tidy it up and add lettering with Photoshop. That's about it!
Q: If you could choose, how would you want to die?
A: I hope I die while using a chainsaw to battle a giant, man-eating shark. Yes I will get eaten but I'll live just long enough to saw the bastard all the way down his throat as he swallows me. Then we die together, sinking to the bottom of the ocean in bloody glory. That would be awesome.
Q: What is the coolest or most awesome creature in the animal kingdom?
A: Alligators of course.
Q: Will you ever make any of your original Wulf and Batsy pages available to buy? I'd love to own one!
A: Not the actual story pages but pin-ups or illustrations of the characters, sure!
Q: Have you written any other stories besides "The Drawing Book Monsters"? Were they ever published?
A: Yes I've been writing short stories pretty regularly since 1995. Of course, I am ultra picky about them and have only tried to get a handful of them published, without success. Around 1999 I started trying to write longer fiction. "The Drawing Book Monsters" was the 3rd novel I wrote. The first one was a nice try but only a struggling first attempt, immature and not worthy of publication. The second gave me a lot more confidence and I still think, if heavily reworked, could be made into a decent book. "Drawing Book Monsters" was my third try writing a novel but the first one I was actually proud of, and it has been published in a serialized format from Strider Nolan Books. I am currently making progress wrapping up a fourth novel, which is about 3 times longer than "DBM" and probably the best writing I've ever done. Will that one ever see print? Who knows, but I'll certainly try to get it out there. I'm very proud of Novel #4.
Q: Best or most gruesome (one and the same?) death scene in a movie?
A: The death of Captain Rhodes in George Romero's "Day of the Dead" (1985). The zombies surround Rhodes and literally pull him apart. He hangs on long enough to see the zombies start eating his guts. Rhodes then yells, "Choke on 'em!! Choke on 'em!!" with his very last breath before he finally expires. Amazing sequence.
Q: You said that Return of the Jedi is the movie you'd most like to watch before you die. Most Star Wars fans say The Empire Strikes Back is the best (I disagree btw), Why would you pick Return of the Jedi?
A: Actually I would agree with most Star Wars fans that "The Empire Strikes Back" is probably the best Star Wars movie, if you are talking purely about quality - how well-written/directed/acted/overall crafted the film is. But "the best" and "your personal favorite" are not always the same thing. For me, the first half of Return of the Jedi satisfies so many of my personal interests. You know I love monsters. Jabba the Hutt is fascinating to watch and he lives in a huge house full of other great looking alien monsters. I love the Rancor. I love Gamorrean Guards. I love Luke in his cool black Jedi Knight costume. I love Leia in her cute slave girl outfit. I love the fight on the sail barge and the explosion. The middle portion is a little slow but I am fascinated with the dialogue from Yoda and Obi Wan, touching on their history. I looove watching those speeder bikes. And then, okay, the Ewoks are lame, I admit, but the Ewok Village stuff doesn't go on very long before Vader whisks Luke away to meet the Emperor, the Rebel fleet launches their assault on the Death Star, and Han Solo and his team start fighting Stormtroopers on Endor. And from there on you have one of the longest, most chaotic battles in movie history. I love the frenetic craziness of the final space battle. I love those Scout Walkers. And most of all I love the final showdown between Luke, Vader, and the Emperor. Beautiful stuff that defines what Star Wars is about for me. I fully admit there are some corny/ klunky bits in there which keep ROTJ stunted slightly below the quality of ESB... But if you are just talking about watching a good Star Wars movie for fun? I'll grab ROTJ off the shelf every time.
Q: What's the weirdest thing you've ever been commissioned to draw? Was it something completely out of your realm of interest, like "Care Bears" or something?
A: One time an established comic book writer asked me to draw a long graphic novel he'd written about the adventures of a group of totally normal people who were park rangers. But the "adventures" didn't have anything to do with anything exciting like fighting grizzly bears or anything cool like that... No, this story was more about the subtle comedy of the day-to-day lives of these park rangers. There was a fat guy park ranger who was a bumbler and a cute female park ranger who was a ditz. This writer found great humor in stories of average, nerdy people with average, nerdy jobs. But from an artist's perspective, it sounded like the most boring thing in the world to draw. I turned it down.
A few times when I was younger I accepted boring art jobs (just because they were "art jobs"), and tried to "fake" enthusiasm for subjects I didn't want to draw, and it always showed, resulting in lackluster art. So finally I just made a rule for myself: Whenever I get a job offer or a commission request for subject matter that holds no interest for me, I turn it down. Accepting those gigs is just never worthwhile, because nothing good can possibly come out of them. I will be miserable the whole time and probably do a bad job because my boredom will show through the art. And even if by some miracle I did a good job, it would be bad for me in the long run, because then I would get offered more jobs I was not interested in.
Q: Who would you say is your biggest fan?
A: I hate to use the word "fan" because it is hard to imagine how anybody could be a "fan" of my work. I guess my self esteem is too low to think such things. But certainly nobody has contributed more of their personal time and energy to help promote my "Wulf and Batsy" comics than John Walsh. He re-built my website to make it more "user friendly", along with retooling the Wulf and Batsy Myspace page and creating the Wulf and Batsy Facebook page, both of which he now hosts and maintains. John has also devoted hours of his personal time (and technical expertise) to make Wulf and Batsy comics available in the digital format. All of this has been invaluable to me, and would never have gotten done otherwise, without John, because I am almost computer-illiterate. So I have to say John is probably the most dedicated Wulf and Batsy fan.
Q: what are your top ten favorite comics? which ones in particular helped inspire wulf and batsy?
1. "Tales From the Crypt" by the E.C. Comics Group
2. "The Haunt of Fear" by the E.C. Comics Group
3. "The Vault of Horror" by the E.C. Comics Group
4. "Peculia" by Richard Sala
5. "Swamp Thing" (Original Series only) by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson
6. "Torpedo 1936" by Sanchez Abuli and Jordi Bernet
7. All those great Marvel and DC Monster comic books from the 1970's - like "Tomb of Dracula"; "Werewolf By Night"; "House of Secrets"; "House of Mystery"; "Ghosts"; and "Weird War Tales".
8. Lots of pre-code horror comics from the 1950's that ripped off E.C. Comics but were still great in their own right. Too many of those to name, but I look at those all the time and get lots of ideas from them.
9. The black and white "Creepy" and "Eerie" comic magazines published by the Warren group in the 1970's.
10. Lots of ultra-cheesy (but wonderful) Marvel and DC superhero comics from the 1980's, when I was a teenager. "The Fury of Firestorm"; "The Uncanny X-Men" before it was popular; Dick Dillon drawing "Justice League of America"; Rick Leonardi drawing "Cloak and Dagger"; Frank Miller when he was doing "Batman" and "Daredevil"; Also: "The Watchmen"... I love reprints of the old "Spider Man" comics when Stan Lee was still writing it. To tell the truth I've got a soft spot for MOST superhero comics made before 1990. they weren't horror - but they were (usually) well-written and beautifully drawn, and therefore inspiring. After 1990 the industry changed superheroes for the worse and I mostly lost interest in superheroes.
Q: Do you ever get sick of answering questions???
A: Not at all. I am actually surprised by how many questions I get. You see I was raised to believe that nobody wanted to hear anything I had to say. haha.
Q: If you could collaborate on any project with any other person, what would be your choices?
A: Man I would love to do some album cover art for any of my favorite musicians.
Q: Who would you want to direct a Wulf and Batsy movie?
A: Oh geez... Let's cross that bridge when we come to it!! Haha. But preferably someone who had a genuine love for the source material and wanted to make a movie that really captured the spirit of the source material. Whether you are talking comics or novels, those always end up being the best adaptations.
Q: any development to the corpse eater comic?
A: I want to work that one into a Wulf and Batsy short story collection trade paperback but I'm not sure how soon.
Q: have you started work on a third wulf and batsy tpb?
A: Yes I have. I began writing the story for Wulf and Batsy Volume 3 almost a year ago. I made a rule that this time around I wouldn't let myself draw a single page until I had the whole story all figured out. You see back when I was working on Volume 2 I had allowed myself to draw and write at the same time, thinking this would be a fun way to grow the story organically... but it only made the job a lot harder than it needed to be. So on Volume 3 I decided to get more organized. During the Summer of 2009, I had to put my writing of Wulf and Batsy Volume 3 on the shelf, because I was busy working as a guest artist on the Hack/Slash comic book series. But I finished that job in August and was able to get back to writing Wulf and Batsy. I finally finished writing the story for Volume 3 in October 2009. I then started drawing it and completed about 35 pages but in February 2010 I got interrupted again, this time by a new day job in the animation industry. Since then I have been almost too busy to spend much time on my own projects. But I am determined to do another graphic novel about these characters so whenever spare time allows (usually only a few scant hours on weekends) I try to put in time on it. As I get further into this animation project I am sure it will smooth out and more free time will become available (animation gigs are always crazy at the beginning but eventually calm down), and then - hopefully - my progress will increase. It might take me a couple years but I really want to finish Wulf and Batsy Volume 3... It's the best comic book story I've ever written.
Q: is there a planned ending to w & b? Do you have any other story ideas that you'd like to do besides them?
A: Eventually I would like to do the story where Wulf and Batsy are destroyed forever but I haven't put any serious work or thought into that one yet. Yes I have other story ideas besides Wulf and Batsy. I have 2 graphic novel concepts written that I hope very much to draw some day but I feel like the Wulf and Batsy material is front and center right now, and there's just not enough time to do everything. Those other projects will just have to wait their turn.
Q: what is 'mature' about wulf and batsy vol. 2?
A: Mature is probably the wrong word for it. But Volume 2 contains more gore and boobs than Volume 1 did... So I thought I'd better put a fair warning on the cover.
Q: When are you going to join facebook like the rest of us mindless zombies??? Come on, even Wulf and Batsy are on there!!!
A: I have a Facebook page but I never look at it. Can't even remember the last time I looked at it. I only set it up on the urging of friends who told me it would be good for "networking". But I always forget it's there and always forget to check it.
Q: If your style could be captured in animation, would you prefer that to a live action film adaptation of Wulf and Batsy?
A: No way, horror works better in real movies. But I have worked in the animation business a lot so if there was a possibility to make a Wulf and Batsy animated project, I would feel comfortable with that. But I would personally rather see a real movie, made by a director who had a genuine love for the book.
Q: What is your all-time favorite video game?
A: It's a tie between "Resident Evil 4" and "Grand Theft Auto 4".
Q: What is the single best piece of advice you've ever been given?
A: "Quitters Never Win". Three words to live by. My dad told me that over and over again my whole life.
Q: Greatest Ray Harryhausen creation?
A: Ooooh... That's a very tough one. I have several favorite Harryhausen creations. Let me just list them, I can't pick a favorite. And these are not in any specific order.
1. Medusa from "Clash of the Titans"
2. Ymir from "Twenty Million Miles to Earth"
3. Gwangi the Allosaurus from "The Valley of Gwangi".
4. The Saber Toothed Tiger from "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger".
5. The Ceratosaurus from "One Million Years B.C."
6. The Cyclops from "Seventh Voyage of Sinbad"
7. The skeletons from "Jason and the Argonauts"
8. Those crazy purple demons from "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger"
9. The dragon from "Seventh Voyage of Sinbad"
10. The destruction of Washington D.C. in "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers"
These spring to mind first when I think of Harryhausen's "Greatest" creations. Of them all, I think my personal "favorite" Harryhausen creation would be Ymir from "Twenty Million Miles to Earth".
Q: What song do you want played at your funeral?
A: I've thought about this often and got it all figured out. It would have to be 3 songs in this order:
"The Centre Bullet" by Skinny Puppy
"One Day" by Skinny Puppy
"Were" by Download
And on the fadeout of the last song, please slowly close my casket lid and slowly lower me into the grave.
Q: Where would you like to spend your retirement?
A: Somewhere in rural Ohio.
Q: so, how many graphic novels is wulf and batsy going to be, roughly?
A: That all depends on how much time I have left to write and draw them before I die. But assuming I live long enough I'd like to do ten Wulf and Batsy books - 8 graphic novel length stories and 2 thick short story collections. I think that would make a nice little set.
To give you a progress report:
I've of course finished and published Volumes 1 and 2.
I am currently working on Volume 3 and have a long list of short stories in various stages of completion.
Beyond this I have concepts/stories/pages of notes written/ for 2 other long graphic novels. And I like to think if I make it that far I will come up with 2 more to give the whole thing a good ending.
But who knows how many of these I will actually finish. Real life tends to be very time consuming and constantly gets in the way of comics projects. So it is entirely possible that my future plans for Wulf and Batsy are totally unrealistic. But I hope not.
Q: favorite thing about drawing?
A: I just love to tell stories with pictures, and I love to make really cool images.
Q: what do you use to draw with, specifically?
A: "Calli" brand, black india ink. This ink is really made for calligraphy writing but I find it is excellent for drawing.
I mainly draw with brushes. I only use 2 sizes of brush really. A little skinny one for lines: Cotman 3 Windsor-Newton. And a big fat one for filling in large areas of black: 6 White Sable Robert Simmons.
I also use dip pens for fine details and fine-line texturing. My favorite pen nib is a 107 Hawk Quill. I also use a B-5 calligraphy pen with a rounded point for drawing my panel borders.
Q: favorite film?
A: Here are 30 movies that spring instantly to mind whenever I try to think of my favorites. Not necessarily in any order. I just wrote them down as they occurred to me. Here they are:
1. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
2. Creepshow (1982)
3. The Howling (1981)
4. The Thing (1982)
5. Spider Baby (1964)
6. The Wolf Man (1941)
7. Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954)
8. House of Frankenstein (1944)
9. Fright Night (1985)
10. Day of the Dead (1985)
11. Nosferatu (1922)
12. Suspiria (1977)
13. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
14. Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
15. An American Werewolf In London (1981)
16. The Evil Dead (1982)
17. El Retorno Del Hombre Lobo (The Return of the Wolf Man) (1985)
18. I Tre Volti Della Paura (The Three Faces of Fear) (1963)
19. Zombie (1979)
20. The Big Sleep (1946)
21. Miller's Crossing (1991)
22. Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
23. Heat (1995)
24. Night of the Hunter (1955)
25. Zodiac (2007)
26. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
27. Watchmen (2009)
28. District-9 (2009)
29. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
30. The Star Wars Saga (1977-2005)
There are plenty more that I would call "favorites" but I thought the list would be most honest if I wrote it fast, and just threw out all the titles that occurred to me, right off the top of my head. There ya go.
Q: best television show?
A: My favorite TV show is - and always has been - Leave It To Beaver.
Q: favorite monster? why?
A: The WolfMan, for several reasons. Because he looks awesome. Because he's ferocious and deadly and savage. Because he (like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde) is a perfect representation of the dual aspects of good and evil in man. Because he is a sympathetic monster. I saw an interview with John Landis once where he described the Wolf Man this way: "He has cancer. But instead of killing him, this cancer is making him kill everybody else!"
Q: So, say you finish wulf and batsy, the entire thing. Is there another long running series you'd like to work on?
A: I've got a concept for an adventure series that I would very much like to write and draw. I have been tempted to start it several times, but have resisted temptation. One thing at a time or none of them get finished.
Q: advice to young artists? what are things you wish you did more when you were learning your craft?
A: Only advice I'd give is, you should definitely go to a good art college instead of a normal college. A good art college will put you through the ringer, teach you discipline yourself & train you to meet tough deadlines, and they will force you to try new mediums and techniques, things you might not have tried otherwise. That kind of exposure can only help. I wish when I was an art student I had worked harder at learning structural drawing. That is still my greatest weakness to this day. I also wish I'd had more patience with art history. It's helpful to know that stuff but in college all my interest was in my actual art classes and I tended to blow off art history like it was just a boring academic thing. I regret that attitude now.
Q: What single work are you most proud of?
A: Probably Wulf and Batsy Volume 2: Lustmord Nightmares, because it was pretty ambitious for me, in terms of length, and subject matter, and considering how well it hangs together. But I have two other projects in the works that I believe, when finished, may out-shine that book.
Q: what tv show are you working on currently?
A: I am not allowed to talk about that. I signed a Non-Disclosure-Agreement which makes me contractually obligated to keep secret any info about the show. But I am told the company I am working for plans to start promoting this show in the summer.
Q: where does your inspiration come from?
A: Watching lots of trashy exploitation horror movies and reading old crime novels and old horror comic books. Not to mention the weird bursts of ideas that pop into my imagination at random.
Q: what's the best single piece of art you've drawn?
A: I don't think any artist can answer that question. I could more easily pinpoint the ones that were the biggest failures but when it comes to the good ones I am just sort of equally proud of them all for different reasons.
Q: Could you go through your writing process?
It's very simple.
1.) I get one of my kooky ideas. Sometimes these initial ideas are simple story premises, or just a strong feeling that I want to draw a certain subject matter and I need to come up with a story that gives me a justifiable excuse to draw that subject.
2.) That basic premise or concept slow-cooks in my brain for months while I struggle to finish the other projects already on my plate.
3.) Every once in a while I will tinker with that basic concept, adding new cool ideas to it that have occurred to me since I originally thought of it. This part of the job is more like "found sculpture" than writing. What I mean is, I spend a long time gathering pieces of junk (ideas) and sticking them onto this basic framework, building something new and interesting from all these little parts.
4.) Eventually I get to the point where my previous project is finished and out of the way, and I can start actually drawing the new story I've been thinking about for the past few months.
5.) I start doing page sketches. I come up with a lot of my best ideas spontaneously while drawing page sketches. But I'm always keeping in mind the original point.
6.) At some point about halfway through, I think if some other, major story angle that makes the whole thing ten times cooler than the original concept and forces me to make some drastic change in the middle of the project. Suddenly, the original premise is still there but far less important than the new dimension that has opened up and the story has become something much bigger and more interesting to me than I ever predicted.
7.) I draw and draw and draw my comic pages, working my way through the story. Usually when I am very far from being finished some brand new premise for... "My NEXT Story" occurs to me and suddenly I am just trying to finish this project so I can move on to the next one, which now seems so much more interesting... And the whole process starts over.
Q: why did you not draw the expendable one volume two? or is it too sensitive of a matter?
A: It's a long story. But it was offered to me and I turned it down.
Q: what is the third volume of wulf and batsy called?
A: I've got the title nailed down but I'm not giving it away till the book is ready to come out!
Q: What's an action figure that *needs* to be made?
A: The Werewolf from "The Howling". I would love to see Amok Time Toys take a stab at that one. I've bought some of their 12 inch monsters and they are obviously made with a lot of love.
Q: Why Are you so AWESOME!!!!
A: To quote that nerdy hotel clerk in Spinal Tap: "I'm Just as God Made Me, Sir!"
Q: If a toy company would make figures of wulf and batsy and villians, would you have them made?
A: Hell yes.
Q: are you at liberty to say which studio you are working for in the animation business?
A: I better not. It's a new studio being put together by a company that did not have its own animation studio before this. But they've got a few different shows already in production - all properties you've heard of. So when they are ready to air, this company will be starting out strong.
Q: I enjoyed your review of the new Wolf Man movie (on the Deviant Art website). I was wondering if you were excited for the 16 minute longer unrated director's cut coming out in June?
A: Yes absolutely. One thing I thought was a little problematic about the theatrical version was that it seemed a little "rushed". I am looking forward to a slightly, slower-paced, more patient version with a little bit more methodical build-up and character development to balance the madness.
Q: I've noticed your pal Dave Hartman has done some work for Rob Zombie, such as music videos, and posters, etc. Do you think you might also ever work with Mr. Zombie on such endeavors?
A: If Rob ever asks me to I would.
Q: Are you attending any comic conventions in the near future?
A: Hopefully San Diego Con this summer.
Q: Do you like any the new horror films that have been created in the last decade, such as "hostel" or the "saw" franchise?
A: I like lots of the new horror films that have been created over the last decade but I'm not a huge fan of either "Hostel" or "Saw". I think the makers of those films had their hearts in the right place, but that's not my preferred style of horror movie, that's all. I have high hopes for Eli Roth though, and keep waiting for him to make a horror movie that I will be gagga for. I think it's only a matter of time.