Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Character Challenge part 2

So here are some more from the 30 character challenge...

Audrey the Water Breathing Shark Taming Cat from Milwaukee!

Training sharks like a motherf***er since 1997.

After a commenter asked for more info about why a cat from Milwaukee would training sharks, I added more of a back story...

It’s a good point but old Audrey there is only from Milwaukee. She discovered her talent after a field trip to Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin. As it turns out she can train all sharks except whale sharks, but it’s nothing personal, they just do their own thing you know? Anyways she currently lives in Miami FL during the winter and Chatham MA in the summer (which is why there is always a great white siting every summer).

Boris McDermont the Samantha Murderer

In 1990 Boris bought his first Walkman. He would listen to all his favorite grunge bands on the contraption wherever he went. Then in 1994 after listening to Pearl Jam’s “Hey Foxymophandlemama, that’s me” it occurred to Boris that he must murder someone named Samantha Arlington. Now in 2011 he has never found the one Samantha Arlington, but has decided to play it safe and murder any Samantha or Sam or any name that begins with S that happens to come across his path. So if that be your name dear reader, beware any man listening to a Walkman, he is most likely after you!

Little Head

Little Head has always hated sci-fi fantasy revenge stories. Then he became one, and has never looked back.

Jennifer Stewert

Jennifer Stewert sold her soul.

Biff “The Skull” Kingsly

Local Champion Surfer Biff Kingsly may have had acid dumped on his head by the local crime boss Ted Grammar, but he still know how to party!

The Bottomless Pit

Amy Bourque has a hole in her stomach that she can pull anything she imagines out of it. It all started in 1998 for really no reason. The hole just started growing out of her belly button and stopped widening a week after it began. No real reason or explanation was ever concluded. She currently lives in Hawaii and gives money to the Jimmy Fund and the MSPCA.

The Matrade that just can’t handle the Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Going in he believed it was a true story. He was fine until the scene where the hippie opens up the freezer and the girl is in there, still alive. It just really got to him, that this really happened and all, that he jumps at every other thing.

Mr. Nerd

On a personal note, Mr. Nerd is the first character I ever made up back in grade school. He was a mix of Jon Arbuckle and every Far Side character ever. He is still on the move and always on the look out for Mrs. Nerd.

Randy Ratowski

As a hit-man, Randy had a hard time murdering those who his bosses told him to take out. He would always want to give them a second chance and forgive them. This obviously made Randy run into problems, and was told to either get rid of his conscious or he would be fired. So he went out and got himself a ridiculous hair cut and since then whenever anyone gives him a funny look, the urge to kill comes naturally. Randy has always been good about thinking outside the box.

Ms. Roberta Telunga

There was a reason for murder, she thinks?


Brett had a lot of prospects to be the next nick-toon. He already looked like a mix of Heffer and Mr. Big Head from Rocko’s Modern Life. But when he was caught with Transexual hooker who used to be a nun, things went down hill from there. He is currently a alcoholic living in Baltimore working on a come back.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Boom Stick Comics Poe Twisted Review

I totally forgot to post this a while ago, but better late then never. Boom Stick Comics talk highly of me in this review of Poe Twisted so they're okay in my book! Here is the review...

I only have one complaint about The Poe Twisted Anthology. It was a great read, done by groups of terrific artists and writers who really had a handle on the works of Edgar Allen Poe. But (possibly because they have such a good handle) it is not much more twisted than Poe himself, who wrote such macabre works as The Black Cat and The Pit and the Pendulum (which I was surprised to find was not in the anthology.) I think I was sort of expecting to find stories beyond Mr. Poe, and simply found some that were at his level. Not that he didn’t set the bar pretty dratted high.

But there is only one complaint, because the rest of it is pretty amazing.

The anthology is made up of fifteen graphic works: some comics, some imitation grindhouse posters. It’s set up in a good order, starting every story with a quote from the tale or poem it’s based on. This is a good way for the reader to keep up with what would otherwise be a bit of a mish-mash.

The best story is a mixture of The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart, two of Poe’s creepier tales. There’s even a little bit of Masque of the Red Death thrown in for giggles. It’s called The Tell-Tale Cat, and it features a pair of policemen who solve the case in the original Black Cat case and are forced to keep the title character. It’s a splendid fusion of humor, macabre, and noir that genuinely makes you wonder…what they’re going to name the kitty. And for some strange reason, that’s all you feel like you need to wonder.

I enjoyed all of the stories, though I thought it was interesting to see that several of the tales involved zombies. I am of the opinion that zombie comics are drawn solely for the “ick” factor, and these are no exception. However, one in particular (El Dorado, based on the poem of the same name) manages to get past the “ick” and genuinely sadden what was before a gleeful romp through Poe’s works. The reader is promptly taken on to stories less serious, but there is a light feeling of haunt. Frankly, this is good, as Poe was not renowned so much for his humor as the blood and shadows lacing it.

If you are a fan of the King of Macabre, I highly recommend a read-through of The Poe Twisted Anthology.

Pick up a copy here! or my books here (Tell Tale Cat) (Eldorado)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Interview with me and Lindsay Moore for HellBound 2

A little while ago Lindsay Moore and myself were interviewed in promotion for the Hellbound 2 Anthology (which you can purchase their limited edition hand made copy here) for our story Dolly. Anyways here is the interview...

Today writer Lindsay Moore and artist Alex Cormack discuss their story Dolly and their thoughts about the fear and horror.

What are scarier, thunderstorms, roller coasters, or clowns?

Being on a roller coaster next to a clown during a thunderstorm.

Alex: I used to work at Disney World so roller coasters don’t scare me too much (I still won’t go on the Superman ride at Six Flags, but that’s more about how I don’t want my feet cut off like that kid a few years ago then a fear of roller coasters). Clowns, well since I’m one of the few of my generation that didn’t watch “It” as a kid, I have no problem with clowns. So I guess that leaves out thunderstorms. Lighting will sure make a mess of you.

What is your favorite type of horror?

Lindsay: It's a toss-up between psychological thrillers and supernatural horror (ghosts). Both can be really scary when done correctly.

I would probably go with zombies on this. They used to scare me the most as a kid and now I love them. I like zombie movies (Dead Alive as of right now is my favorite), zombie comics (almost everything EC did in the 50’s), zombie books (World War Z, which they are making a movie about which will either be great or garbage), and even zombie songs (“Shoot the Head Kill the Ghoul” by Jeffery Lewis and “Run Barbara Run” by the Venom Lords). But serial killers are great too (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Psycho, etc.) and well, all and all I like enjoy most types of horror.

Lindsay what inspired you to write this story?

I've done lots and lots of babysitting. The minute I turned thirteen, the entire neighborhood was knocking on my door, asking if I could babysit. Overall, it wasn't a bad experience, but there's something unsettling about being in alone in another person's house late at night. And one time I found a nanny cam. It was hidden in a teddy bear on top of the TV set; the little boy I was watching was reaching for it, so I picked it up to hand it to him, and realized that it was incredibly heavy. Upon closer examination, I noticed that one of the eyes was a lens. It really freaked me out. I continued to babysit for that family, but I never saw the teddy bear/nanny cam again.

Alex, what drew you to this story?

Alex: Before everything stared up for Hellbound I had done up some sketches for a short story Lindsay had written. I liked her writing style and enjoyed working with her story. As Hellbound came up she put the word out that she was looking for an artist so I volunteered and luckily got the job.

What storytelling median do you think serves horror best?

I think film works best, as it combines sight and sound. Depending on the film subject (and the viewer's imagination), it can trigger other senses, such as taste, smell, or even touch. When seeing and hearing a character react to finding a mutilated body, you can almost smell the blood and taste the vomit rising up in your throat. Although, that all depends on how the film portrays the scene and your own imagination.

Alex: Film is probably the best, it’s the only one where you can tell the story and have sound and visuals. Comics are great for horror because you can see what is happening, and books are great as well (along with prose), allowing you to imagine the monster or whatever the bad guy is, but if you’re reading these while listening to the beach boys you won’t have the full experience. You can say that TV is good, but you get breaks throughout taking you away from what is going on. Video games, well I can’t say about that, the last video game I played was Sonic and Knuckles back in ’96. But all and all I say film is the best. If you don’t believe me, go on youtube and look up the original trailer for The Shining ( here is the link ). Watch it once on mute and once with sound and you’ll know what I mean. That is a fantastic trailer.

What is your favorite horror story and why?

Lindsay: The Raft by Stephen King. It's a very basic premise: four college kids head out to a lake, which has a raft floating in the middle. Once they get to the raft, they discover that there is a monster in the lake that wants to eat them. They're trapped with no way off the raft and no way to get help. King doesn't explain what the monster is or why it's in the lake, which further adds to the horror. Not knowing why the monster is here or why it's singled out these kids makes the story scarier.

Alex: Hmmm. This is one of those that I will have a new answer for every ten minutes. So for this particular ten minutes I will go with this story my girlfriend Ashley Cook told me. It was part of a book that wasn’t a horror story at all; I guess Opera Winfrey even later turned it into a movie. But there is one part of the book that she told me about that I wish I thought up, maybe I’ll steal the idea later on down the road, but for now what happened was there was a married couple stuck on a mountain with no escape and the husband was bitten by a rabid animal and there was no chance to get him to a doctor. The line that Ashley told me that I thought was so cool was, well I can’t remember the exact line but it was along the lines of this… “Between an animal with rabies and a man with rabies, there is still the same paranoia, the same anger, and the same fear, but the difference between the two is that a man still knows how to use a gun.” Dun dun duuuuuun!

What was your first exposure to horror?

Lindsay: When I was in elementary school, those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books were popular. The stories themselves were basically just urban legends and old folk tales, but the illustrations were downright terrifying. Those illustrations gave me nightmares.

Alex: The first real memory I have of something specifically scaring me was an old episode of Punky Brewster. My sister and I would watch the show when we were little, and there was this one episode where Punky and the gang were stuck in a cave, and at the end of episode # 1 (it was a cliff hanger episode) the gang look over this ledge and the camera cuts to this neon spider monster thing scaring the crap out of us (thanks to the 21st century I was able to find the clip online, fast forward to the 9 minute mark to see what I’m talking about ). Along with that the Michael Jackson video Thriller was always on causing me to be scared of zombies (which is probably why I love them today) and the poster for the remake of the blob used to freak me out too. But all of that aside I didn’t really get into horror until either late middle school or early high school. Around Halloween my brother, his girlfriend at the time (now my sister in law), and my sister sat down one night and watched Carrie. Before this I think the scariest movie I had seen was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. At the end of the movie (and especially the end of this one, not to give anything away to people who haven't seen it) I turned white. From then on I have been a fan whereas now my brother and I have our own “Horror-Fest” every October where we have a horror movie double feature every week at his place.

What do you like best and least about the horror genre?

Lindsay: The thing I dislike about the horror genre is how every new horror film becomes a franchise. Saw had a great premise, but turning it into a franchise made the whole thing feel cheap, as if the directors were just looking for ways to hock the audience instead of tell a story. That said, what I like about the horror genre is how original it can be. A good horror film (or novel or comic or TV show) puts a fresh spin on a tired concept and gives the audience something to think about instead of just throwing blood and guts up at them.

Alex: For me it’s fun to draw monsters and psychos and zombies. It’s just fun to think up different creatures and how they can mess someone up. What I hate about horror which is kind of odd is that in general I don’t like to see people get hurt emotionally. Apparently physical harm is fine, but all and all I have a harder time getting through romantic comedies then I ever have with the goriest thing out there. Also in horror movies when it’s quiet for far too long and you’re just waiting for a loud crash or something to jump out at you. That’s just annoying and cheap I think. When it is done legitimately like when the raptor pops out when Ellie Stalter is saying “Mr. Hammond I think we’re back in business!” That’s great! But when it’s silent and a character is walking slowly down a hall and you now just have to wait for it to get the story going again, then BAAAANG!!!! A loud noise that has nothing to do with anything, thanks for wasting my time jerks.

What’s your horror guilty pleasure?

Lindsay: Tales from the Crypt. The SyFy channel (back when it was the Sci-Fi channel) used to rerun it late at night when I was in high school, and if I couldn't sleep, I'd watch it. The stories were always so simple, yet effective, and they were funny in a really dark way. The show had a sort of modern noire vibe to it that I liked a lot; it had all the seedy elements of classic 40's film noire, but in an 80's setting. Also the Crypt Keeper had the best evil laugh ever. The only thing better than his laugh are his puns. I think Tales from the Crypt is being remade. Or rebooted. I'm not sure which. HBO probably doesn't either.

Alex: Gore probably, maybe being a zombie fan. They are going through a backlash right now I think. Not sure if these qualify though because I love talking about this stuff.

Who do you consider a master of horror?

Lindsay: It's a tie between Stephen King and whoever illustrated those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books.

Alex: Right now I think Garth Ennis is mighty good for the genre. I haven’t read his new horror comic Crossed yet, but Preacher has just about everything horrible that could happen to a person (cannibalism, being buried alive, torture, incest, murder, having your genitals bit off, and a whole boat load of blasphemy) and his story Just a Pilgrim has it’s hero a born again Christian cannibal.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your story?

Lindsay: No matter what Tobe Hooper says, this was not based on a true story.

Alex: The character she sees behind her in the TV may not be Gene, or the doll. Also the shot of the kids sleeping, the boy is wearing Hamburglar pajamas.

Are clowns ever funny?

Lindsay: Hell no.

Alex: Always.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Character Challenge!

For the month of November I am partaking in the 30 character challenge brought to you by my buddy Tyler James and Comix Tribe.

The plan is to create a new character everyday and have 30 by the end of the month. You can miss a couple of days which is why I currently only have 5 and today is the... 7th? Anyways, as long you have 30 by the end of the month it's all gravy.

So that being said, I figured I would post my guys on my own blog as well as the 30 Characters Challenge website, which can be seen here

So Starting from the current character moving down, here is

#5 Timothy Andrew Herbert Attorney at Law:

Mr. Herbert was born in 1957 in northern Montana. His parents Marsha and Daniel Herbert were both teachers at the Jerz High School and pushed young Timothy in his education. He graduated in 1975 3rd in his class and went on to Boston University to study law. He joined the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and was president in 1978. He stayed at BU through Law school and has lived in Boston since. Timothy married Kiera Knightley (no relation to the actress) in early 1991 and they currently have three children. He is the president of his own Law firm in Brighton Massachusetts and you can catch his commercials during the day on channel 5. He gives regularly to the

Next up is #4 The Great Regurgitator!

Yes dear reader, beware The Great Regurgitator!
Since 1996, Barbara Hendrix was just your average bulimic, until one day, out of revenge she ate her boyfriend after he stepped on her toe when she was wearing sandals! That night going through the motions of having the perfect body/bad breath and screwed up teeth, her boyfriend came out whole and is now her zombie slave! So watch your back dear reader because The Great Regurgitator may be right behind and she is most likely hungry! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! (Thunderclap)

Here is #3 Chip Sudofthqui

He has no story.

Moving on, this guy I drew up at Larry's Comic's Drink and Draw (hence the shirt). A lot of the guys from there have illustrations up to, links to come...

#2 Comic Fan

And here is the first character I made up for this...

#1 Mo Larome

If my mother or sister ask, that is ketchup. If anyone else asks, its catsup.