How was your Spring Break Horror Addicts? Are you dying for your dose the macabre? Well your dark dreams have come to life; we’re back and we’ve got some tales waiting just for you. For episode 88 we have author and artist Rick Kitagawa who was excited to join the other great names featured on HA. “I’m definitely honored and excited to be Horror Addicts’ featured author for June. The staff has been great and I really hope the excerpt disturbs you in all the right ways (and of course, makes you want to finish the story).”
Rick’s story he’ll be sharing is titled The White Mask. “My piece The White Mask, was already written, and can be found in my self-published zine “Short Stories of Horror and Darkness” (really original title, right?). It is a twist on the Snow White fairy tale, and I think it expands the mythos of Snow’s world a bit. Unfortunately, due to the time limit you won’t be able to hear how Snow exacts her revenge, but you’ll definitely hear how she gets into the mess that becomes her life.
On the non-plot side of things, this story is probably one of my favorite that I’ve written, but also one that probably disturbs me the most, which I suppose is a good thing for a horror author. Hopefully it’ll haunt you as much as it haunts me.”
Like I mentioned earlier Rick is not just an author but an artist as well. On his website http://www.rickkitagawa.com you can find his screen prints, paintings and short stories. “Right now, I just currently have my flash fiction Heritage up there right now, which is really inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s obsession with bloodlines and the Dark Mirror painting series by Marci Washington (which are super fantastic, check ’em out). I also have up some of the introductory pages to the upcoming comic project The Siren’s Call that I’m trying to get out by October for the Alternative Press Expo. I also have a one-page, watercolored comic that was just sort of done on a whim in which my totally juvenile sense of humor came out.”
“[Also] by the time you read this, there should be some new silkscreen prints and small originals in the shop, and hopefully a new blog post or two. Really, for exciting new updates on what I’m up to, I’d recommend liking my facebook page: www.facebook.com/rickkitagawa.art as I post some micro fiction and an illustration that goes with it three times a week as part of my Noon-thirty Creepshow.”
Though, Rick’s stories are on available in print he informed me that he is looking to get a digital version of his short story zine in the near future.
Having so much on his plate artistically wise, I was curious if Kitagawa had a “day job” that affected his work in any way. “Actually, writing is complementary to my (various) day job(s), as I primarily identify as a visual artist, but I often incorporate writing/text/stories into my paintings and prints. Additionally, I also do some event planning and t-shirt printing to pay the bills, and I’m also the San Francisco Bay Area Artist Ambassador for Crescent (the company that makes mat boards, illustration boards…lots of board-like things). If you can’t tell, I need to sleep more. Little Known Fact – I’m actually model and actor on the side, and have been in print for Apple, HP, AT&T, and have done commercials for Heald Business College and Sprite. Weird where life takes you.”
Now what brought this jack of all trades to the Horror side of things, you ask? Well, I’ll let Rick explain that for himself. “I love the horror genre simply because it really makes us examine the worst part of ourselves and humanity, and forces us to draw a line in the sand on where we stand. Would we leave our loved ones in a zombie attack to save ourselves? Would we make that deal with the devil? Horror shows us the darkest parts of the human mind, and hopefully inspires us to be better people.”
“Hands down, my favorite monster is probably the Creature from the Black Lagoon and other aquatic-based creatures. While the Gill Man is not the strongest or most terrifying of the bunch, he just looks so frickin’ awesome. Actually, I’m working on (yet) another comic project that focuses on the Creature and other monsters, but puts them in day jobs and awkward social situations with each other. It’s actually completely not scary at all (much more slice of life/emo stuff), but that just goes to show how much I like the Gill Man. I’m even willing to do a comic that’s not even remotely creepy because I like him so much.”
Rick has several more projects in the works: “I’m hoping to finish up the other three major short stories that I’m slowly writing/editing/rewriting, and I hope to always find a story that I can take all the way to becoming a full-blown novel. I also want to finish up my comic project and come up with an interactive puzzle/storytelling gallery show that weaves my passion for art, writing, and puzzles together in a big old festering ball of horrific awesomeness. And, definitely keep an eye out for The Dark Wizard’s One Stop Shop, which is going to be a themed online bazaar of madness which will take physical form at the San Francisco Zine Fest this Fall. Also, be on the lookout for my next self-published, yet-untitled book, which will have the full text of The White Mask plus at least two new stories along with some comics, illustrated short stories, and tons and tons of monster/creepy art.”
For more information on Rick Kitagawa, be sure to check out these sites: