Author Archive

Fanboy Comics presents: A Night Of Fearworms

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on February 20, 2015 by David Watson

Fanboy Comics invites you to attend A Night of Fearworms to celebrate the release of its latest book, Fearworms: Selected Poems, on Friday, February 20, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. at the ACME Comedy Theatre in North Hollywood, CA.

 

shapeimage_7Join us as incredibly talented performers, including Fred Stoller (Everybody Loves Raymond, Maybe We’ll Have You Back), recite hauntingly horrifying and humorous poems from the poetry collection. Following the performances, Fanboy Comics invites you to stay for a release party and signing, where Fearworms author/illustrator Robert Payne Cabeen will be on hand to sign copies of the book.

 

Written and illustrated by Robert Payne Cabeen (Tainted Treats, Heavy Metal 2000, A Monkey’s Tale, Walking with Buddha), Fearworms is a collection of horror poems and full-color artwork that is guaranteed to have readers squirming.  Cutting close to the bone, these manically crafted word machines are visceral, psychological, haunting, and terrifyingly humorous. The book also features cover art by Eisner-winning, Emmy-nominated artist Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin, Stray Toasters, The New Mutants).

 

Admission for A Night of Fearworms is FREE, so be sure to mark your calendars for this night of fantastically frightful fun!

 

For more information on Fearworms: Selected Poems, please visit these sites:

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/Fearworms   (@Fearworms)

 

 

 

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About Fanboy Comics

Fanboy Comics (FBC) is a comic book publisher and online conglomerate of geek media, providing its readers with daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts that span the pop culture spectrum.  FBC seeks to provide an outlet for up-and-coming artists and writers with a desire to create new works and media.  By facilitating in-house collaborations and providing support and empowerment, FBC hopes to enable the production of professional and marketable creator-owned works.  Fanboy Comics’ graphic novels, Something Animal, Identity Thief, The Arcs, and Penguins vs. Possums: Volume One, are available online at www.fanboycomics.net.

 

Book Review: Jagannath by Kerry Alan Denney

Posted in News with tags , , , on February 15, 2015 by David Watson

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Jagannath by Kerry Alan Denney is about an evil unstoppable monster that is destroying civilization and bringing on the apocalypse, one city at a time. The name describes a Hindu god and means lord and master of the universe. Jaggernath is also the origin for the word Juggernaut and this creature is unstoppable, it absorbs humans and assimilates their intelligence growing stronger as it moves along.

Once it is done with the human race it will move on to the next planet and start all over again. There is hope though, a small band of soldiers is fighting back and one little girl named Lilly seems to be immune to the creature’s powers. Things may look bleak for the human race but as long as there is a few survivors there is hope.

My favorite character in this book is Lily. She is a fascinating character, this is a 13-year-old trying to make it on her own in the apocalypse. The Jagannath has wiped out over half of earth’s population including her family, she has raised herself and has learned about life through reading books. Lily constantly compares herself to the heroes that she reads about and sees herself as a coward, but its obvious that she is no coward.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when Lily is being held captive by a group of five abusive survivors. Lily gets tired of how they abuse their dog, her and each other. She even goes as far as saying she would prefer being with the monster over their company. As the situation escalates and Lily gets tired  of the abuse, she thinks to herself: “Fraidy-cats could only be pushed so far before they hissed and bared their claws.” At this point I found myself wanting to yell out loud: “Go get ’em, Lily.” I loved the idea that despite seeing herself as a fraidy cat, she is the toughest character in the book.

The people in Jagannath go through hell and back, but never give up. Another part of this book I enjoyed was when a soldier and a scientist speak with the monster and find out what the creature thinks of itself and uses the knowledge against it. This book got off to a slow start, I found myself wondering how the creature could be everywhere at once and I also liked the character of Lily so much that I didn’t like when the focus switched to other characters. The other characters did grow on me though and all my answers about the monster did get answered. I liked the fact that by the end I was feeling some sympathy for the creature as it gets revealed what it is and where it came from. I’m hoping  Kerry does a sequel to this story because I’m curious to see what comes next.

By the time I got to the middle of the book I was thinking this was an amazing read. It mixes mythology, philosophy, horror, science fiction and lots of action. There is also a theme of redemption with one of the characters that I liked.  You could teach a class from the deeper meanings that come through in this book. Jagannath is a book that works on several different levels and is a must read for Horror and Science Fiction fans.

A Conversation with Horror Artist, Bill Rude

Posted in News with tags , , , on January 30, 2015 by David Watson
HatboxGhost
When did you start drawing? 
Probably like most people, I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid. High school helped me focus my interest in pursuing art and helped me land a scholarship to the Minneapolis College of Art + Design. The twist here was that I was a film major and all my classes were film and photography! The drawing I did in art school was mostly on my own time when I would draw pictures depicting the Dungeons and Dragons games my friends and I would play.

Who inspired you to start drawing? 

That’s a big question. In the real world, mostly my parents. They really reinforced the idea that pursuing creative work was something that could become a reality. In the ‘art’ world, it was a lot of fantasy and horror illustrators. Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson, Larry Elmore…. and let’s not forget Derek Riggs and all his Iron Maiden album covers!

What is the best and worst thing about being a horror artist? 

7Hells_Vampira01
 I believe any successful artist is one who is simply creating whatever they want to create, regardless of popularity or profit. That being said, the best thing about being a horror artist is that it is not just a genre, but a community of people who have a built-in interest in the subject matter. There is a level of support in the horror community that truly facilitates being able to do whatever I want in the genre, because it just so happens to jive with what people are interested in seeing.
The worst thing about being a horror artist is the unavoidable envy of so many other artists that rock the genre. So many different styles. So many different takes. So inspirational and so intimidating at the same time.

How long does it take for you to finish a project? 

AShadow09It really depends on the project, but it can range anywhere from just a few hours to maybe a full week of non-stop work. If I’m creating one of my fake movie posters or pulp novel covers, the painting normally takes about three days. Then probably another two or three days to layout the design work. Those particular pieces are all created as 24×36 shadowboxes, where the design work is printed directly onto acrylic glass and floated over the top of the original painting. That will then take another week or two to have that stuff fabricated and put together. Of course that’s a part of the process I have done by other people, but it still contributes to the time line I’ve got to consider if I’m creating something for a show or commission. Then none of this takes into account the research! Before I start any project there is usually a minimum full-day of researching the subject matter and figuring out styles and concepts.

What inspires you the most when you take on a project? 

 

7Ink-02LittleRedThere are probably two facets to my inspiration. First is trying to depict the concept of character. At my core I’m a story-teller, so when I create something visual, it is intended to depict the subject matter in a very particular way. Could be the expression on the face of a monster, or freezing a particular moment of action. Bottom line though, is that there is always a character implying motivation, wether they be good or bad.
The second facet is the actual process. For example, If I’m inspired to do another illustration in my fairy tale series, a lot of it has to do with me wanting to recreate some texture with only pen and ink — like ‘Little Miss Muffet’ has shiny, glassy eyes on the spider with coarse hair on it’s legs, and a clean beautiful face on Miss Muffet herself. Another example is in a piece I recently did for a tribute show to the film ‘The Iron Giant’. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, and I knew I could identify the scariest scene in the movie to jive with my horror work, but it wasn’t until I became interested in working with only black and white ink washes to create ocean waves in a hurricane that I committed to the show. I’d only done one other ink wash drawing before, and never worked with white ink, so that is what drew me in.

What makes you want to make horrific art? 

 

7Ink-01VampyreTo me the worlds of horror represent outsiders. In the same way that Goth culture embraces dark themes as an appealing concept, I want to weave together worlds where scary situations are commonplace, but they are also beautiful, inspirational, or funny. If I’m able to connect with a viewer on that additional, emotionally positive hook, then they know this is actually a welcoming place for an outsider exactly like themselves. The nightmares I create are intended to be friendly, but it may take the right kind of person to recognize that.
 What is your concept of horror? 

At the root I believe horror to be anything unfamiliar that exists with confidence. It is intended to be a relatively broad definition that I can fit all of my different series of work under, but really the only thing that changes from theme to theme is the perspective of who finds it horrifying. The idea that the monster from the lab is walking through town, trying to find help, is horrifying to the peasants. Tiki idols of long forgotten gods still standing on the volcano slopes of a deserted island are horrifying to the western explorers. A beautiful woman confidently wearing a bikini is horrifying to puritans. Using that sliding scale, it’s then easy to apply to real world outsiders like goths, burlesque dancers, teen agers racing cars… from someone’s perspective all of those things are horrifying, and mostly because they are unfamiliar.

 

A lot of your art has a retro feel to it, why do you like to make art that has a 
nostalgic feel to it? 
7Ink-02WerewulfI’m a rockabilly boy at heart, and have always been obsessed with the concept of nostalgia and the perception of historical life. At the time, no one creating low-budget monster movies or magazine art thought of it as anything more than contemporary culture. But when we look back at it now, we are only using hind-sight, and what only really represented four or five years of a certain cultural style is perceived to be it’s own separate world that lasted decades and never evolved into anything else stylistically.
For that reason, I want to essentially weave a world where that culture is still going on. It’s intended to start at a baseline of an idealized past, and then draw people’s personal experiences into it. An example of a piece of mine that is well received in that fashion is “Fright 36”. It’s a large print, on very expensive paper, and replicates an advertisement page (page 36) from a 1960s horror magazine that never existed (Fright Magazine). It’s the standard collection of creepy t-shirts and mail order gags. But when some people see it, blown up and framed, hanging in a gallery, a flood of memories and stories come back to them as kids. They remember the mystery of just what the hell were you going to actually get if your parents let you order something from that magazine? And it only really works because it is implied to be of that time, and you’re forcing them to look through that nostalgic lens that is emotionally enhancing what they are looking at.
MadameLeotaOf course nostalgia and authenticity is only the polish on the world I’m creating. In the example of “Fright 36”, that print actually ties other work of mine together. Connecting to some fake pulp novel covers I’ve painted, which then connect to more. Then across the top of the ‘Fright’ print is an ad for “Horrifying Monster T-Shirts”, one of which I have had made as a real t-shirt and make for sale. And on the hang tag of the physical shirt is a made up history of that t-shirt design and why they aren’t around anymore. When people connect those dots and see all of that work in one place, the reaction can be incredible. I’ve literally had people have to recompose themselves before leaving my booth at a trade show. Grown men, with just a look, will be like, ‘You did it. You actually created the world we all wanted to be real when we were kids.”

 

7HKrampusFrontWhat are some of the other projects you worked on? 
A couple of years ago my buddy Chris ‘Doc’ Wyatt and myself, developed an animated TV show that was turned into a Graphic Novel, called ‘Creepsville’, and was essentially a horror version of ‘Futurama’: Four high school kids, each an outcast for different reasons,  are forced to work on the school newspaper together. It turns out that their high school is in a town, in a world, where all B-Movies are real. The outcasts are a cow girl, a zombie, a child genius, and an amphibious foreign exchange student.
I’m also currently working on a couple of art-books, one of which is a coffee table book of horrific Christmas legends from around the world. The second is an expanded collection of my fake b-movie poster paintings in the guise of a fake 1960s Horror magazine, called ‘Fright’.
My day job is working in the film industry as a designer and animator. That brings a lot of crossover with horror and general retro design. Everything from doing on-set special effects on ‘Ghost Whisperer’ to designing t-shirts for characters on ‘True Blood’. Lots of low-budget horror and sci-fi projects. And of course I designed and animated the titles for the last four ‘American Girl’ movies, based off of the dolls. This is a true story.

How did you get involved in dressing up as Krampus? 

 

 One of my series of work are classically drawn fairy tale illustrations. All horrific, of course. Depicting the most frightening moments in stories like ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ or ‘Hansel and Gretel’. As a part of that, I did an illustration of Krampus, the Alpine Christmas Demon and created holiday cards for the season. One day I was delivering an order of cards to Meltdown Comics, in Hollywood, and we were like, ‘wouldn’t it be great if someone would appear as Krampus around the holidays so people didn’t have to take their kids for photos with Santa at the mall every year?’. Cut to two weeks later and I had put together a costume and had appearances booked all over the area.
That was about three years ago. Now it’s essentially a full-time job around the holidays. There is now a Los Angeles Krampus Troupe I’m also a part of, but they are pretty legit and organize their own events and are really good at keeping the authenticity of the Austrian Krampus traditions alive. I’m sort of recognized as LA’s original Krampus who does the whole Micky Mouse thing to move merchandise.
  What do you like about Krampus? 
1502502_633771773330598_870595410_nTo me Krampus is that necessary naughty side to the nice that is promoted through the holidays. traditionally, Krampus is never without St. Nicholas, so it was never intended to be an overwhelmingly dark and scary addition to the holiday. Sure, the Austrian Krampus runs can get pretty intense, but St. Nick is leading it all and people are having fun.
What I like about Krampus, which reflects on how I portray him, is that he represents an opportunity for people to confront their fears. For kids they are confronting the monster under the bed. Krampus is only going to warn them not to be naughty, and they will have nothing to fear. Krampus is about not being scared.
My Krampus appearances are almost always public in nature, with a lot of strangers just stumbling upon me being there, and it is remarkable how kids really are not afraid of Krampus. When it comes down to it, kids are only afraid of what their parents tell them to be afraid of. People may have various reasons not to let their kids participate in a Krampus appearance, but when they say ‘Oh, no, my kids would be too scared to visit Krampus’, I only hear the words ‘Because I’m a disconnected parent who does not have a responsible relationship with my children’. Parents: be responsible. Let your kids get a free photo with Krampus.
  Did you make the Krampus suit yourself? 
I assembled the Krampus costume myself, but didn’t actually make anything. Everything is off the shelf, but I do feel there is a level of originality and character I breathe into it by how I put the various elements together and portray him. A lot of thought was put into incorporating the giant basket on my back, and the few fabric/clothing elements of the costume. It also helps that in costume, my Krampus comes out to almost 7 feet tall. You want a character who’s mere presence can fill a room.
For more information on Bill Rude check out these sites:
http://www.7hells.com/
https://www.facebook.com/7hells

 

Book Review: Insurgent Z

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by David Watson

23929492Botte Louisiana is just a little fly spec on the map. The weather is almost always hot and life is pretty laid back in this small town. Things are changing quickly though, the military has its eyes on Botte and they want to do some experiments on prisoners at the local prison which is referred  to as Paradis (French for Paradise). The hope was to create an army of super soldiers but not surprisingly, things don’t work out.

Sheriff Mason Guillot is used to work being easy in his town but now he is in the middle of a zombie outbreak and forced to confront his dark past. Eight years ago he was a soldier and his superior officer Jonathan Hart led him into a trap that caused two people to die. Hart is in charge of the experiments at the prison and Mason must face the man he never wanted to see again. Mason must defeat his personal demons and let go of the past in order to help the people in his town survive the zombie uprising.

Insurgent Z  by Mark C. Scioneaux and Dane Hatchell starts off as a military thriller and then turns into a horror novel. The beginning of this book led me to believe it was going to be a very different kind of novel. It starts in the middle east and gives us some background on two of the main characters before it gets into the zombie story line. The opening of this book was fantastic and I loved the dialogue between the soldiers who are being held prisoner in an enemy camp and their torturer, a man they call scarface. This book starts off with a dose of real life horror and then you see how this real life horror shaped Mason before the zombie outbreak 8 years later.

Mason is a man who has gone through hell  and you root for him because he still tries to do the right thing even after he has suffered. I liked how this book gets deep into what makes all the characters tick. Even  the supporting characters are given back stories, two people in the book, a young couple named Ryn and Deb have had a rough life. They are married and nothing turned out how they planned. Ryn became a drug dealer and Deb works with hospice patients. You see that their relationship is strained but as zombies stumble on to their property, you see them work together to survive. I loved their story and it was one of the scariest parts of the book when they have to fight to survive.

Insurgent Z is everything you would expect in a zombie book. You have interesting characters, flesh-eating monsters, science experiments gone wrong, old school zombies(read it, if you know about the history of zombies you’ll know what I mean.) and lots of action. The characters are what really makes this book worth reading though. Even people who aren’t in the story very long get a back story and the authors make you care about them. This is what makes this book horrifying, you care about the people and you want them to get a happy ending. Insurgent Z is a simple story with complex characters and is a good example of how zombie fiction never gets old.

Zombie Author Profile: Jessica Robinson

Posted in News with tags , , , , on January 28, 2015 by David Watson

What was the inspiration behind Undead Obsessed?

Undead Obsessed CoverI’ve always wanted to write about zombies, but I was never sure what I wanted to say. After watching World War Z, it hit me: science in zombie films. From there, the journey started, and I looked for ways in which science had failed society and how it could be the cause of zombies taking over the world.

What was the most important thing you learned from writing this book?

People were so nice and willing to talk to me about their professions—even if they thought what I was doing was slightly insane. Most of the people I interviewed weren’t zombie fans, but they were incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, and had great ideas of what could possibly create zombies. They were amazing to talk to, and I couldn’t have finished the book without them.

What would you do to survive the zombie apocalypse?

I’m pretty lucky in that I live in Wyoming. Our population is fairly low, and we have terrain that most zombies would find difficult to navigate. We also get really cold winters. So, to survive, I would fortify my house, wait for winter to roll around, then pick off the zombie popsicles at will.

If you had to battle a horde of zombies who would be a part of your zombie fighting dream team?

Since you said “dream team,” I’m going to assume they can be fictional characters. I would have: the Predator because of his cloaking ability; some Terminators because zombies wouldn’t go after them; some Jaegers from Pacific Rim because they can just step on the rotting corpses; and Ripley because if she can fight an Alien Queen, zombies will be no problem for her.

What other zombie books have you written?

I’ve written some young adult zombie novels—Life After the Undead and Death to the Undead—and a religious zombie novella, Finding Eden. I also have plans to write more in the future.

What are you working on now?

At the moment, I am finished up the third book in my young adult series called The Road to Salvation, which includes The Appeal of Evil and Dealing with Devils. When that is finished, that’s when I plan on working on my next zombie novel.

http://pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com/

Review: The Dark Times

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2015 by David Watson

23797186In the opening of The Dark Times by Dane Hatchell and P.A. Douglas there is an author’s note saying that some people think the apocalypse is a chance to start over and be part of a new utopia. The sad truth is that people don’t always change and a disaster can bring you closer to who you really are and for some that’s a scary thing. This note sold me on the book and it gives you a great idea of what to expect while reading it. People have an idea of how they would change when society collapses, but what they think they will become is not reality.

The main character in The Dark Times is an overweight cop named Rico who is down on his luck and drowning his sorrows in whiskey when the first wave of zombies arrive. Rico handles himself well, he kills some zombies and manages to save people and decides to turn his life around. He leaves his old life behind and hops on his Harley in search of a new beginning. He ends up in a small town in Texas and meets a junkie named Angie. Rico fights the urge to help her but when things go bad, Angie may be the only one that can help him.

Everyone thought that the first wave of zombies was a one time thing caused by a mysterious illness but six months later it starts again and this time its the end. Civilization collapses quickly and Rico and Angie have to work together to survive. Being a heroin addict, Angie is not the most reliable person but Rico has demons of his own and the only way they can both survive the zombies is to put their past lives in the past.

The Dark Times is a very dark book and not just because it’s the zombie apocalypse and the end of civilization as we know it. This book is dark because it takes a look at human nature and asks the question: can a person get past their personal demons in order to survive? Every character in The Dark Times has a dark side and they have to confront that dark side to survive in the zombie apocalypse. The characters are what makes this book good, they are all complex and it was interesting to see how they change during the apocalypse. What really distinguishes this book from other zombie books is the depth to the characters, I found myself rooting for even the bad guys in this story.

There were some things that I didn’t like about this book, for instance there were a few scenes with a group of soldiers that seemed random and took away from the story. There was also an African-American character named Quinn that was so stereotypical it annoyed me. All in all though this is a good book and worth your time, it was interesting how some of the characters didn’t change at all as their world collapses. The Dark Times is a good look at how people change or don’t change when faced with the end of the world. There are a lot of books out there on the zombie apocalypse but few of them have as good  of characters as this one.

Book Review: Time Of Death Book 2: Asylum

Posted in News with tags , , , on January 24, 2015 by David Watson

22711078Time Of Death Book 2: Asylum by Shana Festa continues the story of Emma, Jake and Daphne as they try to survive the zombie apocalypse. Its been two months since the collapse of society and they’ve been through a lot. The three of them are currently living on a house boat with Jake’s brother and sister. As of now they are in the safest place possible, but it can’t last long as their food and water supplies start to dwindle. One thing they have learned is that even a safe place can fall to the undead and they have to always be on guard.

Knowing that they can’t stay on the boat forever, they go on land and head up the coast and find a new place called Asylum. Things seem safe in Asylum but more may be going on then meets the eye. With the U.S. government gone, Asylum has started its own government and presents a new way of life. Emma has to adjust to a new world and her and Jake don’t see eye to eye and the loss of several people they know has put a strain on their relationship. Asylum may be safe but things are far from perfect and is life there really better than dealing with the zombies outside?

Like in book one, Asylum has a good mix of action and humor but it also adds some new characters that I liked. We are introduced to a man names Stryker who is a complete mystery. His story unfolds throughout the book and where he starts off as one-dimensional he shows a lot of depth by the end. I liked how Emma’s attitude changes towards him as you see what causes him to be the way he is.

Another new character I like was Jasper. Jasper is a character that is shown as not being to bright but he shows he is an important part of Asylum even though he doesn’t fit in the social groups in asylum, he still does his job well but doesn’t get the respect he deserves. I loved when he is telling Emma how he is not stupid and Emma is thinking she really likes this man but at the same time she gets upset over how slow he is.  I also liked how we get to see Emma’s nursing skills put to good use.

The best part of this book was watching Emma and Jake’s relationship change. In the first book there was conflict between them but that is heightened in this one. The apocalypse would put a strain on any relationship and this one is no exception as Emma and Jake fight over their tasks in Asylum. Some interesting points about government are brought up in Asylum and where Emma starts to think of it as a bad place, Jake doesn’t necessarily think that and I found myself supporting Jake.

Asylum is a book that takes what happened in Time Of Death Book One: Induction and builds on it. This book does not repeat stuff that happens in the first one, it takes things in a completely different direction. While book one has a lot of non stop action, this book has action but gets deeper into character development. I had my issues with book one and all those issues were solved with book 2. This is a much better book then Induction and Shana shows that she is getting better as an author. The only issue I had with this one is that I wanted a book 3. Luckily for fans of Books 1 and 2, book 3 is coming.

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