Monday, May 24, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Gabe Rodriguez

Welcome back kiddies. This time I have lured Gabe Rodriguez back into the depths to pick his brain about everything he is working on. I personally have to suggest that everyone reads Locke & Key and The Great and Secret Show, of which Gabe was the artist on. So sit back and relax as we learn all about the man, the myth and the soon to be legendary artist, Gabriel Rodriguez.

Decapitated Dan: Hey Gabe thanks for taking the time to talk to me about Locke & Key.
Alright so lets start out simple. Who are you?

Gabe Rodriguez: I’m a Chilean architect, born in 1974, that always loved to draw and to read comics, and whom by a miraculous turn of fate, ended up working in my dream job….

Decapitated Dan: Comic wise what have you already done?

Gabe Rodriguez: I started working professionally in comics back in 2002, drawing IDW’s early CSI: Crime Scene Investigation comics. I did 5 miniseries published right now as graphic novels, written by Max Alan Collins, Kris Oprisko and Steven Grant, and a 48 page special issue named CSI: Thicker Than Blood with Jeff Mariotte. After CSI, came the comic adaptation of George Romero’s Land Of The Dead, with Chris Ryall, which was also my first collaboration with Jay Fotos in colors, with whom I keep collaborating until today. After that, with the same team, we did the graphic novel adaptation of Clive Barker’s The Great And Secret Show, which was for me the first opportunity to design and develop with total freedom the visuals of a story. It was a 12 issues run that ended as a graphic novel. After that, I did another movie adaptation, Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf, again adapted by Chris Ryall from the script by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, and while I was starting that book, I was contacted by IDW with a guy named Joe Hill, that has this idea for a dark fantasy epic called Locke & Key….

Decapitated Dan: Alright so what do I need to know about Locke & Ke
y up to this point?

Gabe Rodriguez: That you should be reading it!…..haha. Well, seriously, you should know that all started when the Locke family was torn apart by the vicious murder of the father, Rendell Locke, by the hands of a vicious couple of teenagers from the school in which he worked as a student counselor. The widow, Nina, and her three children, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, crossed the country from San Francisco to Lovecraft, Massachusetts, to live in Keyhouse, an ancient property of the Locke family. While trying to mend their broken lives, the Locke children found out that they have not just deal with their trauma, but also with magic powers that wait for them, hidden in the old house, waiting to be “unlocked” with mysterious magic keys….

And that’s not all, since there’s also the presence of a mysterious boy that seems to be the mastermind behind the murder of Rendell Locke, Zack Wells, also known as Dodge. He approaches to the kids as their best friend, while plotting and manipulating people and events to find where is a specific key, the Omega Key, which was hidden by Rendell decades ago….

In a couple months, simultaneously with the launch of the fourth part of the Locke & Key saga, Keys To The Kingdom, IDW will be publishing a special edition of Locke & Key: Welcome To Lovecraft #1, as a 40 page book that will include the 32 pages of the first issue, plus an 8-page recap of where the series has gone before… and all this for just $1.00! Can you believe it?

Decapitated Dan: How did you come on board to draw this series?

Gabe Rodriguez: It was a curious process...It all started when, Ted Adams and Chris Ryall contacted Joe Hill after reading his famous short stories collection, 20th Century Ghost. The original plan was to do comic adaptations of some of this stories, but guess what… Joe Hill was a hardcore comic book fan, and has already conceived an idea for an original comic book series, about a family facing their tragedy while dealing with magic events in their old Victorian mansion in New England….

They loved the idea, and with Joe they checked samples of several artist to find someone for this project, and Joe saw some potential for the story in what I did in the adaptation of Clive Barker’s the Great And Secret Show. So, Chris Ryall set up the team, and we started working with Joe in the first design stages, based on his notes and ideas, and there started an incredibly fluid creative relationship that let us create the Locke & Key universe as a vehicle for this amazing and charming story….

Decapitated Dan: Was there any inspiration to the character designs?

Gabe Rodriguez: In this case, just an attitude inspiration for Nina and Bode Locke, from my wife and my first son, but all the other characters just popped out from my head while reading the scripts. Which is weird, considering for example that for The Great And Secret Show we defined a complete reference cast to design the characters.

In this one, they were all so vividly written in Joe’s scripts, that just appeared in my mind as I read the first chapters.

Decapitated Dan: How much fun are you having creating this universe?

Gabe Rodriguez: I can’t have more…This really is a dream project, a fantastic world to explore with visual creativity, and also with the tremendous luck of having the chance to work with such a talented writer as Joe. It really is a one in a million opportunity to be involved in an original project with whom I think it’s one of the best comic writers right now.

Decapitated Dan: What is it like when you get the script from Joe? Can you walk us through your process?

Gabe Rodriguez: I receive the script one or two months before I would start drawing. So that gives me the chance to read it 3 or 4 times, just to start shaping images in my head, trying to imagine alternatives for the different scenes before drawing a single line. If necessary, I use that time to research references, or to develop new designs for characters, objects or locations. So then, when I finally face the white page, I’m pretty much decided of how to start, always aware that sometimes it’s just when you’re drawing that you discover unexpected alternatives that worked better than planned.
I also use to discuss scenes and ideas with Joe, to solve doubts or explore new ways to deliver a better story. I must admit also that he is absolutely generous as a creative counterpart, always insisting that I must consider the script as a guide, giving me room to change sequences or panels if I think we should do it to benefit the story. And he’s also a compulsive detail freak, that’s constantly revising the script and dialogues. I use to receive the 4th or 5th draft of the script to start working with, and the final version of the dialogues comes up over the drawn page…

Decapitated Dan: Seeing how you get to read the issues before the rest of us, are you often shocked at what Joe can come up with?

Gabe Rodriguez: Not often,…. ALWAYS! And not always surprised with the turn of events in the story, but also amazed by how aware is Joe about the potential of comics as a narrative tool and as a reading experience. His use of the medium is as amazing as his skill to develop the story.

Decapitated Dan: Do you find it difficult at times to depict what the story might call for?

Gabe Rodriguez: Just check every single issue of Crown Of Shadows, especially the last three…. Or wait ‘til the first one from the next arc!
Joe is constantly challenging my storytelling and drawing abilities, and though hard at times, it really helps to tell this story as it deserves to.

Decapitated Dan: Can we expect you to stay on board until the end of Locke & Key?

Gabe Rodriguez: That’s the plan, so help us God….

Decapitated Dan: Do you have any other projects in the works?

Gabe Rodriguez: Just Locke & Key so far… I’m completely devoted to the series. Maybe just some covers here and there from time to time, and the chance for any other project should wait until we finish this epic.

Decapitated Dan: In general how have fans responded to the Locke & Key so far?

Gabe Rodriguez: Much better than we expected at the beginning… we don’t have a huge fan base yet, but the people following the series is EXTREMELY loyal and enthusiast about it. And also we’re having the pleasing experience that being constantly contacted by people telling us that they didn’t use to read comic books, but they started loving them with Locke & Key.

Decapitated Dan: Any moment from a convention or show in particular since you started that just stands out to you?

Gabe Rodriguez:  My only convention so far was the San Diego ComicCon in 2008 (not easy to attend living so far), in which I had the chance to depart with the awesome IDW and also finally meet in person with Joe Hill.

Decapitated Dan: Can we expect you to be at any upcoming shows? 

Gabe Rodriguez: Hope to be there in the next New York Comic Con in October, I think… Fingers crossed!

Decapitated Dan: So what are you reading these days?

Gabe Rodriguez: In comics, just ended Y The last Man (finally!), which I loved, and just purchased the Ultimates Omnibus by Millar-Hitch, and the first volumes of Planetary, by Ellis - Cassaday. But I must admit that since I started working in comics, I have such few moments to read. I’m also reading a freaky science-fiction novel named Ygdrasil, by Chilean author Jorge Baradit.

Decapitated Dan: So lets sum it all up, why should people go out and get Locke & Key?

Gabe Rodriguez: Because the story is SO good, that even if they hate the art, they will love it….
Decapitated Dan: Thanks so much for your time Gabe.

If you want to learn more about Gabe and how awesome his work is go to

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Remembering Bill DuBay 1/11/1948 – 4/15/2010

Sometimes in the comic world we can overlook those who came before and made an impact in our beloved industry. Especially when in a short amount of time we lose a few of them. William Bryan "Bill" DuBay was a comic editor, writer and artist whose work was seen in the Warren publications of Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella.
His comic book love began when he was a child. Reading Mickey Mouse comics and later on Brave and the Bold issues. From there his love spiraled into being a fan artist for Komix Illustrated. His earliest credited work can be found in Charlton Comics Go-Go #4 (1966) in a story titled “Bound in the Badcave.”
Getting his start with Warren came after sometime though. In 1966 he did have a piece of fan art published in the "Creepy Fan Club" section of Creepy #12, but it was not until 1970 that his art was put into a story. Working with R. Michael Rosen (writer) DuBay penciled “Movie Dissector” in Creepy #32. In an interview James Warren recalled his first encounter with DuBay, “You are too young to work for this company, too young to work for anybody. You are a callow youth. You don't even shave yet. Let me see your work'. I took one look and said, 'You're hired'". Just like that his career at Warren began.
When DuBay was officially listed as the Editor for Warren in 1973, he started to make some changes. The magazines were given a new redesign, by dropping the fan pages and implementing newer features to add to the overall look and feel. It wasn’t until 1976 that DuBay, was replaced as editor on the magazine lines, when he took on more of a contributing editor role, but that did not last long, as he went back and forth with the Editor title and stuck with the magazines almost until the end.
After leaving Warren DuBay did some work for the magazine Heavy Metal and eventually became the Editor of the Archie Comic superhero line. It did not last very long. In 1984 he headed into animation work. Working for Marvel Productions and later Fox Kids.
DuBay had his hand in the horror comic pot from his early days as a fan contributor to the editor on the famous Warren titles. Hopefully we can all take a moment to realize the impact he had on some of our favorite works, whether they were scary stories, hero comics or even cartoons we thank  you Bill for what you gave us over the years.
 - Decapitated Dan & Frank Forte
What follows are some excerpts from two interviews. One tha Bill DuBay did with Jon B. Cooke and one Jim Warren did with Jon B. Cooke.
Jon: How did you break into comics?
William: As I said, I worked hard at my studies. By the time I was sixteen, I was convinced I was the best comics writer/artist who’d ever lived. I started submitting my work to DC, Marvel, Charlton and Gold Key then, and it would come back to me with the standard form rejection. After two or three months, I couldn’t understand why I was having such a hard time breaking into the field. Jack, who’d become a friend by that point, explained that comics was an “old boys’ network” in those days, and not just anyone could walk through the door. That’s when I hit on the idea of sending my art and story samples to an editor using his name, coupled with a note saying, “I’d like to get back into it.” Sure enough [laughs], it worked. The first assignment was from Dick Giordano at Charlton—for Go-Go Comics, one of those really hot, cool sassy ’60s titles. [laughs] I completed the assignment, a simple fourpager, and turned it in with a note from “Jack”: “Didn’t have time to finish this, so I gave it to my assistant—Bill DuBay. Did a wonderful job, didn’t he?” Dick wrote back when he sent the first script intended for me. “Boy, he sure did!” [laughs] From there, I was off and running.
Jon: How did you begin working with Warren Publishing?
William: I was in the Army and had been stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina for about two years—editing the newspaper there, The Ft. Bragg Paraglide—when I took a trip to New York, walked into Jim’s office and introduced myself. Jim was always pretty confrontational, so the first words out of his mouth were, “So, what makes you think you’re good enough to work for me?” I shot back, “‘Cause I’m the best who ever was!” I then whipped a couple of pages from my portfolio and threw them on his desk. “That’s why I think I’m good enough.” [laughs] We struck up an instant adversarial friendship—and I walked out with a script. That was in ’69—and it was that regrettably forgettable story that appeared in Neal’s “Rock God” issue of Creepy. [#31]
Jon: Which leads to how you became Warren’s go-to guy.
William: He was Jim Warren. He needed someone good. Did anyone have a better suggestion? Writer. Artist. Chameleon. Boy Wonder who knew he was the best of the best!
I was out of the Army, going to college, 12 units from my B.A., doing cartoon art for everybody under the sun and publishing a laughable little rag called The Bay Area Entertainer. People liked it because it was free and told them where to party—and it got me in everywhere. I was having a time and still doing the occasional story for Warren. Jim knew I was the guy. He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Jon: Did you have strict standards as an editor? Were you tough?
William: I felt I had to be. I was representing Jim with every decision I made. I had to constantly ask myself, “What would Jim want? What would Jim do? Does this meet Jim’s standards?” With that mindset, you have to constantly strive to make sure your contributors— both writers and artists—are among the best in the business.
Jon: How did Warren’s writers feel about you?
William: I think most knew what I expected and attempted to meet those expectations. Still, there were very few scripts that got though intact. As a matter of fact, there was only one writer whose scripts I’d pretty much leave alone: Jim Stenstrum. When he brought in a story, he’d been working on it a minimum of three months—and it was ready to go. He never made much money, but he was the most brilliant comics writer (if you can use that adjective with that noun) with whom I ever had the pleasure of working. He became a close friend and, towards the end, around ’81, ’82, when I was burned out, I wanted him to come in as editor. He lived with me for a while—in my studio, actually—but, the job turned out to be a lot more than he bargained for, so he moved to California to work in animation.
Jon: Any memorable staffers?
William: All of them were memorable. We were in the trenches together, so they all pretty much became family.
Bill Mohalley was my first assistant and first hire. I took him out of The School of Visual Arts and ran him through the same sort of near-sadistic basic training Jim had given me. He produced virtually every page of every issue of Famous Monsters and stayed with the company till the very end. After that, he went up the street to Starlog and has been their Creative Director for the past 15 years. Louise Jones came in as my assistant around ’75. I met her when Jim threw a party at the Plaza Hotel to welcome Will Eisner and Rich Corben to the company. She walked in with then-husband Jeff Jones and, when the party carried over to my apartment, I learned of her interest in comics. I didn’t bother to take her number, but called Archie a day or so later to set up an interview. She was working as an editorial assistant for McFadden Publications at the time, but apparently found Warren more interesting.
Then there was Sherry Berne, our Captain Company advertising designer, sweet, pretty, and talented—someone who just filled the offices with her contagious good spirit. Michele Brand, Roger’s widow, came aboard to produce our color comic separations. Suzin Furst, another wonderful production artist, was a lot of fun. As were Ray Gailardo, Kim McQuaite, Tim Moriarity and Nick Cuti. We had some great people—and some great times!

CBA: When did Bill DuBay come on board?
Jim: I remember the first time I saw him. I said, "You are too young to work for this company, too young to work for anybody. You are a callow youth. You don't even shave yet. Let me see your work." I took one look and said, "You're hired." [laughter] Bill had a habit of never doing the job I gave him. He would do the job plus 25% more.
CBA: He brought in a very strong design element into those books.
Jim: We agonized over the graphics. We needed to give the books a total Warren look, something different and instantly recognizable—and that design was classic. He was able to take my sketches, ideas and concepts and translate them into reality—and if you think that's easy, it isn't. You can say the same thing to three other art directors and they won't get it—they'll do their version and ignore the concept you're trying to establish.
CBA: On and off, he spent 13 years with you.
Jim: He didn't spend 13 years. Let me clarify that: He spent 20 years because Bill DuBay didn't come in at nine and leave at five; Bill DuBay usually came in at 10:30 and left at 10:00 at night—not eight hours a day, but 12.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Posted 12 New Reviews this past month! Daffodil #3, Wire Hangers #1, Clive Barkers Complete Great and Secret Show TPB, The Killing Jar: Dirty White Boys, The Bald Avenger Vol. 1, Random act of Violence OGN, Crossed: Family Values #1, Little Shivers #1, Macabre Massachusetts #1, Careful… #1, Blokes Tomb of Horror #2 and Celebrity Zombie Killers OGN. Come check them out!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Asylum Press releases the first preview to a new horror anthology entitled EEEK! From Australian creator Jason Paulos.

Asylum Press announces the release of an all-new horror anthology entitled EEEK! by creator Jason Paulos.  Shipping in Sept. 2010 it’s just in time to shake your bones for the Halloween season.

EEEK! is a homage from artist/writer Jason Paulos to the classic horror comics of his youth. Taking a pinch of black humour from EC comics and mixing it with the art stylings of House of Mystery and Warren comics, Paulos blends a heady broth that hits you like a burning incense stick to the retina.

'EEEK!' is my love letter to cheesy 'retro' horror comics” say creator Jason Paulos,”... in particular Charlton, House of Mystery, Warren, and to a lesser extent 80's stuff like Death Rattle and Twisted Tales. If you made a movie of 'EEEK!' it would be described as the bastard child of Evil Dead and Austin Powers. One of the story titles is 'Death Wears Hotpants', so you can draw your own conclusions from that.”

“We’re very excited to have EEEK! Join the ranks of the horror titles we have brewing at Asylum Press,” explains publisher Frank Forte, “ Jason Paulos has a knack for bringing bringing back those morbid feelings I got when I read the old Eerie and Creepys, but he does it with a new twist.”

EEEK! VOL. 1  will be a soft cover TPB annual anthology.  Standard comic book dimensions. 152 pgs, B&W with COLOR s
ection , perfect bound. Retail Price: $14.95. Ship Date: Sept 2010. Intended Audience: General Readers. ISBN13: 978-1-61724-010-2

Writers:Jason Paulos, Bodine Amerikah, Daren White
Artist: Jason Paulos
Cover Artist: Aly Fell
Back Cover Artists: Jason Paulos and Daniel Cox

This retro-style comic book anthology of all-new horror tales is guaranteed to give you the eeries and the creepies!  Taking a pinch of black humour from EC comics and mixing it with the art stylings of House of Mystery and Warren comics, EEEK! blends a heady broth that hits you like a burning incense stick to the retina. Jason Paulos delivers the goods with over 15 tales of revenge, zombies, vampires, ghouls and monsters. Each tale drawn in a different style reminiscent of the B&W horror mags of the 70's and 80's. In '
Deadline of Death' we witness rival comic artists dabbling with malevolent forces that arrive in the form of a chain smoking goatee wearing Satan. In Lights! Camera! Murder!, A lovesick starlet and a ruthless film director embark on a doomed love affair that ends in pieces! 
In "Easy Prey" A helpless girl, lost in the wilderness ... but is she all that she seems? In "Head Trip" a hippie's love for music goes horribly wrong.  Other titles include "Confessions of a Thrill Killer", "Like Son, Like Father" , "In Too Deep" and many more.  Includes full color section, cover gallery and sketchbook section.

Official website

EEEK! Preview can be seen on the web here:
Asylum Press can be found on the web at

Founded in 1999 by Frank Forte, Asylum Press is a unique publishing house specializing in high profile projects from some of the industry's biggest rising stars. Steve Mannion’s Fearless Dawn is the company’s newest title and has been a great fan favorite.  Publishing superhero comics with Warlash: Zombie Mutant Genesis, continuing their tradition of horror with Undead Evil, Satan’s 3-Ring Circus of Hell, the upcoming Asylum of Horrors and Beyond Lovecraft, venturing into dark humor with Billy Boy The Sick Little Fat Kid and The Cletus and Floyd Show, Asylum Press continues to be on the cutting edge of comic and graphic novel publishing. Asylum Press is distributed by Diamond Comics Distributors, Haven Distributors and Tony Shenton and to the Booktrade by Partners Book Distributing, Paterners/West, Ingram and Baker and Taylor.

Jason Paulos exploded onto the Australian comics scene in 1989 with the first self published issue of 'Hairbutt The Hippo', the story of a hard boiled anthropomorphic private eye roaming the seedy underbelly of a future city. Over the years Jason has regularly contributed to Australian MAD magazine (over 100 pages of Hairbutt strips), DC comics (5 page Green Lantern story for Bizarro Comics book 2), Judge Dredd Megazine (wrote and drew 16 page horror story called 'Easy Prey') and published a dozen Hairbutt comics. He's now busy writing, drawing and publishing the second series of 'EEEK!' books.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Ian Edginton

Welcome back kiddies. I have lured Ian Edginton into the depths this week to pick his brain about life and everything in between. So sit back and relax as he tells us about who he is, what he does, and what we can expect from him in the future. Trust me, you will like what you read!

Alright lets start out with a short answer section and get the usual out of the way.

Ian John Edginton, which is slightly odd because Ian and John are the same name in English and Scots. So I’m either Ian Ian Edginton or John John Edginton. It could have been worse, I was going to be called Julian. I figure I dodged a bullet there, that and having the crap kicked out of me at school. No offense to other Julian’s out there!

Slipping slowly towards 50. I feel like Quint at the end of Jaws.

To a wonderful woman who has the patience of a saint and can some how make me feel guilty and adored at the same time.

Two cats. Ben – a cool, slick James Bond, John Shaft kind of feline. Tom, his brother – fat and flatulent. A rug slug. There’s a cartoon show in there somewhere.

Highest Education Level:
Leasowes High School where I flunked most of my exams. I went to night school, took the whole lot again and passed with flying colors. Back in the ‘70’s my old school was a zoo. A boy in my year was dangled from his ankles from a third floor window and another was found to have been locked in his locker all day! Ah, happy days!

High School Mascot:
We never had such things back then.

First Job:
I ran my own retro clothes business, mostly fifties and sixties stuff.

Favorite Food:
Classic Sunday Lunch/roast dinner – beef, pork or chicken with heaps of veggies and gravy.

Favorite Ice Cream topping:
Grated, dried Puffin.

Staying with short answers lets talk about what you do:
Comic(s) you created Before 1929:
Not much, I had a bad case of writer’s block which probably had something do with my folks not being born yet.

May 19, 1930 - May 19, 2030:
Various lots of Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Star Trek, Star Wars, Planet of the Apes. Warhammer & Warhammer 40k, Blade, Wolverine, X-Force, Batman, Vampirella, Witchblade, The Establishment, Stormwatch, Days Missing, Kingdom of the Wicked, War of the Worlds, Scarlet Traces, Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, Victorian Undead, Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost.
I’ve also written a number of series for 2000AD over here, as well as some Dr Who and Torchwood. I’m also adapting the Sherlock Holmes canon into a series of graphic novels. I’ve just finished the last of the four Holmes novels and then it’s on to the short stories.

2030 and Beyond!:
I’ll let you know when I get there.

Alright all that stuff aside lets get to the meat of the interview:

What do you do when not making comics?
Sleeping. We have a small child who could give the Duracell Bunny a run for it’s money. A good nights, uninterrupted sleep is rarer than a signed copy of Amazing Fantasy #15.

All time best comic movie you ever saw and why?
Close tie between the first Sam Rami Spider-Man movie and Iron Man. They both catch the flavor of their respective characters perfectly. Watching the Spider-Man movie took me right back to when I was a kid and read those first Steve Ditko and John Romita stories. Also, you can have the slickest CGI in the world but it’s the characters that make those pretty pictures work.

All time worst comic movie you ever saw and why?
The Spirit – dear God in Heaven! You want to know why, it’s because it’s a huge piece of anal extrusion from start to finish. That humming sound you hear is poor Will Eisner spinning in his grave at warp speed.

When you were 9 and 11 what were you for Halloween?
When I was young we never did that heathen Halloween stuff over here, although it’s big now. We had (and still have) Bonfire night instead, where we ritually burn the effigy of a 15th century Catholic assassin who tried blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the Government of the time. So you know, it’s for the kids!

Any TV shows grabbing your attention these days?
Being the father of a small child, I usually end up watching what she wants which is Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and Humf. Which, I have to admit can be pretty entertaining at times. The first two were made by many of the same people who made the adult, animated series Crapston Villas, so include a few sly nods to the adults in the audience. Humf, is odd in that it’s set in a world populated by monsters, where humans are fictional characters.

Having just read that back, I can see I really need to get out more.

Other than toddler TV, I watch, 30 Rock. BSG, Boston Legal, Being Human, Caprica, Big Bang Theory, City of Vice (Law and Order in 17th century London). I’ve also been re-watching the 1960’s The Avengers, Farscape and Babylon 5. I forgot how good B5 was. It’s infinitely superior to Star Trek:Next Gen’ and Star Trek:Voyager.

Favorite music to listen to, right now?
A mix of stuff, depending on my mood and time of day. Just lately it’s been a lot of PiL, Stiff Little Fingers, Kraftwerk, Bauhaus. The Specials, The Jam, The Action and The Kinks. Sundry bits of Ska, Northern Soul and 80’s synth’ stuff.

What could you do with a meat ball, a copy of Futurama Vol.1 and a big box of hair extensions?
Make a time machine and I’ve already done it. You should have seen what the alternative 2010 looked like.

If you got kidnapped by ghost pirates how would you free yourself?
Threaten to set Disney’s lawyers on them for copyright infringement.

Back to comic stuff for now.

Knowing that Iceman is the greatest hero of all time, why do you think he is so underused?
I’m a little out of the loop with the X-books so you’ll have to bare with me. I think he has a cool power (sorry) but I always thought Bobby Drake was pretty flat as a character.

Favorite comic character when you were 5, 10 and 15?
5 – Would be Dennis the Menace, the proper UK one, not that Aryan blonde moppet you have over there. The UK Dennis, was a vicious, spiky haired, stripy jumper-wearing thug – a junior school Johnny Rotten and he has a dog called Gnasher – what’s not to love.

10 – The Black Max, set in World War One. Evil air ace Baron Maximillian Von Klorr uses giant, bi-plane sized bat-creatures against the allies and Lieutenant Tim Wilson of the RFC n particular..

15 – Judge Dredd. The future of law enforcement. The strip was a revelation, brutal, bloody and bloody funny. Still going strong.

You find a genie lamp, but he only offers you 3 comic related wishes what are they?
1: A complete, mint set of everything Marvel and DC put out in their first twenty years and the number of a good auction house.
2: A pair of bolt cutters and the thumbs of a former editor at a major comic publisher…oh, and a water-tight alibi.
3: That my mom had lived long enough to see her grandchildren. Actually, make this the top one. I know it’s not comic related but let’s get a little perspective shall we.

Alright your making a comic about an a construction crew who build doughnuts and eat buildings. What’s the name of the book and sell me on a quick pitch, Go!
The Building Eating Doughnut Guys. For every $3.99 issue you get a coupon for a years worth of free medical insurance. Just watch those babies fly off the shelves.

We all know you can write a good comic or two, but what do you really want to be when you grow up?
Honestly. A ‘Right Stuff’ era astronaut. The one’s from the Mercury and early Apollo programs. I was six when Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon and I remember watching it on a little TV set in grainy black and white and being told they were pictures from another world. That kind of thing stays with you. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I feel sorry for kids today in that they seem to have lost a sense of wonder in things. They’re carrying around in their pockets technology that has more computing power than any one of those rockets back in the day. Yet it’s all treated with blithe indifference. The launch of the space shuttle barely makes the news these days unless their an accident.

Where is the real money at in comic creating?
Breaking into Mark Millar’s house and holding an acetylene torch to his balls until he signs all his royalty checks over to you. Other than that, go sell a kidney, you’ll make more and it’ll hurt less.

When your making comics what’s going on around you? Music, what kind? Silence? TV on?
I like peace and quiet which is a rare thing given we currently live in one of the roughest parts of the city right now. Nice house, good neighbors. shitty area. The nightly (and sometimes daily) chorus of police and ambulance sirens are wryly called the Erdington Lullaby.

Favorite character you ever created/worked on and why?
It changes frequently but the top two would be Robert Autumn, the dashing English spy and adventurer from Scarlet Traces, my steampunk sequel to War of the Worlds. I’m also v. fond of Link from Stormwatch , mainly because he’s a grumpy SOB like me and faced down Midnighter without batting an eye.

10 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
Still trying to think up an answer to this question.

Alright we can finish up with a quick word association game. I will say a word, you give me a quick one sentence response.

You’ve got the cash to buy all those silver stakes and you think the IRS won’t notice!

Arabian Niiiighhttts!

Radical Publishing?

Horror Comics?
Hard to do right, or good.

Harry Potter?
The kind of thing that usually irritates the Hell out of me but I’ve found the books a guilty pleasure. Also, big admirer of Jo’ Rowling. Check out her Harvard commencement speech on

Kathisophobia- Fear of sitting down?
Jerry Lee Lewis

Mr. Magoo?
Laser eye surgery. If he can’t afford it, tell him to buy a copy of The Building Eating Doughnut Guys.

The NRA?
Cold dead hands? Happy to oblige. Until then, buy some mittens ladies.

Decapitated Dan?
The son I never had.

Ian Edginton?
Does not exist.

Thanks so much Ian.

To find out more about Ian and his products please go ... He has no page! You can check his Wikipedia entry though

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Christopher Yost

Welcome back kiddies. I have lured Christopher Yost into the depths this week to pick his brain about life and everything in between. So sit back and relax as he tells us about who he is, what he does, and what we can expect from him in the future. Trust me, you will like what you read!

Alright lets start out with a short answer section and get the usual out of the way.

Christopher Yost



Highest Education Level:
MFA, University of Southern California

High School Mascot: A Highlander. :)

First Job:
Video Store Clerk.

Favorite Food:

Favorite Hostess Snack Cake:
Twinkie! Its been awhile
Staying with short answers lets talk about what you do (if you want to ad descriptions I guess it would be okay):

Comic(s) you created Before 2000:

October 19, 2000 - October 19, 2003: NONE!

Ocotber 20, 2003 - Today:

Alright all that stuff aside lets get to the meat of the interview:

What do you do when not making comics?
I actually write annimation and occassionaly see my family. I'm the story editor/head writer for the upcoming 'Avengers' animated series, and I've worked on shows like X-Men: Evolution, The Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, and a couple of direct to DVD animated features, Next Avengers and Hulk Vs.

All time best comic movie you ever saw and why?
I loved X-Men 2. I thought it really realized the spirit of the comic book, that it handled the universe and a large cast of characters, and did it with style.

All time worst comic movie you ever saw and why?
Dark Knight. Ha ha, just kidding.
When you were 9 and 12 what were you for Halloween?
I have no idea. I was a Jawa one year.

Any TV shows grabbing your attention these days?
I'm watching Caprica. It's been kind of fascinating. Lost, Venture Brothers, and I try and keep up with 24. And a ton of reality shows that will go unmentioned.

Favorite music to listen to, right now? I've been on a Beatles kick. Coldplay, Moby... usually just put iTunes on shuffle.

What could you do with a tiki torch, a fish fossil and a big box of Stretch Armstrong action figures?
I have no idea. Play? In torchlight?

Back to comic stuff for now.

Knowing that Iceman is the greatest hero of all time, why do you think he is so underused?
Because he's too awesome. Writers are afraid of him.

Favorite comic character when you were 5, 10 and 15?
Spider-Man, Spider-Man and Spider-Man.

You find a genie lamp, but he only offers you 3 comic related wishes what are they?
This will sound kind of lame, but every thing that I've been lucky enough to work on has been a dream come true. Honestly, I'm living the dream.

Alright your making a comic about a short man who gets 3 feet taller when he puts on his magical underwear. Whats the name of the book and sell me on a quick pitch, Go!
WONDERWEAR, tagline: What's inside his pants will AMAZE you.

We all know your a great writer but what do you really want to be when you grow up?
Artist. I can't draw to save my life.

Where is the real money at in comic creating?

When your making comics whats going on around you? Music, what kind? Silence? TV on?
Usually the TV is on something mindless as I work, I usually do comics at night and animation during the day. Right now, American Idol.

Favorite character you ever created/worked on and why?
Spider-Man. Because he's FUN. I like to laugh, and even in the most horrible situations (like everything I write) there's always an opportunity for a good laugh.

10 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
Wow. I generally don't think that far ahead. It's too scary.

Alright we can finish up with a quick word association game. I will say a word, you give me a quick one sentence response.

Killer of Demons?
First creator owned book, my action comedy... love.

X-Men stories, MAX style.

Horror Comics?
Eh. I've never been scared by a comic.

Peter Pan?
Robin WIlliams was too hairy.

Pteronophobia- Fear of being tickled by feathers?
This interview is getting disturbing.

Coldplay album.

Mr. T?
Awesome, and more influential on me than I realized just the other day.

Decapitated Dan?
I worry about people who know about things like Pteronophobia.

Chris Yost?

Thanks Chris.

To find out more about Chris please go to

Monday, May 3, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Nathan Fox

Welcome back kiddies. This time I have lured Nathan Fox into the depths to pick his brain about everything he is working on. I personally have to suggest everyone reading Pigeons From Hell and Fluorescent Black. So sit back and relax as we learn all about the man, the myth and the soon to be legendary artist, Nathan Fox.

Decapitated Dan: Hey Nathan thanks for taking the time to talk to me about your amazing work.

Nathan Fox: My pleasure.

DD: Alright so lets start out simple. Who are you?

NF: Im a freelance illustrator / comic book artist guy

DD: Comic wise what have you already done?

NF: Some fill-in's on DMZ for Vertigo, Pigeons from Hell for Dark Horse, Dark Reign: Zodiac at Marvel and Currently wrapping up FLUORESCENT BLACK thru heavy metal which has come out at SDCC the last two years as the con issue and ends this year with the third and last installment along with the collected Graphic Novel with a bunch of extra's & so forth. Oh, and a few covers and a Creepy short just came out recently and I did a few small things back in the day at DC.

DD: I was a BIG fan of Pigeons from Hell and your art on it was superior. How did you come on board to draw this series?

NF: Matt Dryer was the original editor on that project and it kind of just came out of the blue. Originally it was pitched and then killed. Then there was some other pitch materials I tried out for and missed. And then six months later PFH was back as a more focused revamp/adaptation and we just got rolling. I had little knowledge of Howard's work and no clue who Lansdale was at the time. I started reading the script and was sold. Started catching up on Howard and Lansdale's works and collecting reference and we were off and running.

DD: What was it like working on PFH?

NF: It was a dream come true for the most part. I was totally into the writing and finally got a chance to sink or swim with my first sole creator gig - creating characters and designing the entire books content from floor to ceiling. I was lucky enough to get to add to the TPB as well. Philip Simon came onboard as editor around the ending if not just after issue 1 was inked and we hit it off well and hopefully put out a book that will stand the test of time. Not sure that I sank and sot so sure I swam so well through out the whole book but hopefully as a whole it does the writing and the reader justice. I got this just after the DMZ stuff and right when FLUORESCENT BLACK was getting started so cutting my teeth and breaking in most definitely apply. But Dark Horse was and still is one of my dream publishers so I was more than excited for the opportunity.

DD: Was there any inspiration to the character designs?

NF: The book takes place in east Texas/Louisiana area. Growing up in Houston and traveling as a kid I remember what it was like there and tried to put some of that and the people I had grown up with into the characters I designed. Joe was influenced by Howard's work and characters along with the Thriller episode of PFH as a leaping point for inspiration so I tried to add as much of that in there as I could as well. Especially the Thriller episode house. It wasn't so much a character in the TV version but in Howard's original piece and most definitely in Joe's adaptation it felt like a character unto itself and I really wanted to depict it as one. Almost like it was a living, shifting thing. So the plans and layouts for the house as a leading character meant as much to the characters and the characters themselves.

DD: Let's jump books to the spectacular Fluorescent Black. How did you come on board this project?

NF: Total cold call. Matt had googled some kind of search for comic book artists and landed on my site. I had posted a few pitch projects and previous works. As an editorial illustrator you put your name and number on everything and my cell number is at the top of my site. Advertising at its cheapest! Anyway, he said he just picked up the phone and I answered. I thought it was my first artist ego moment of flattery and independent comic book pitch from a fan who was also a writer but once I got ahold of the script it was almost the same thing as in PIGEONS, about page 4 I was already drawing it in my head. After talking before I even finished the whole thing I called him back and asked if such and such was where it was going and so and so was really guiding such and such and it turned out we were both on the same page. Felt like a good fit and much like working with Casey, it all just clicked. I got to finally do a piece of beauty and violence that actually meant something. And to be in Heavy Metal was a child hood secret fantasy come to life. I would have the chance to be one of the guys in the naughty issues that other kids would sneak under their mattresses. It was great.

DD: How much fun are you having creating this universe?

NF: Man. If I had the time I wouldn't stop. There are so many creatures and bugs and side narratives, character arcs and back stories to fill countless bookshelves with. These 3 installments are merely the middle ground for the entire world Matt has written and hopefully just the tip of the iceberg for the series and characters. I've really gotten into the characters I've created and it'll be a real pisser to see them go. Over 3 years its been going. I really hope FB will be around if not continue in one medium or another at some point.

DD: When the series is finished can we expect it to be collected into a trade?

NF: Trade floppy and Special limited edition Hard Cover as the plans stand to date. There should be a great conclusion in this years SDCC edition of Heavy Metal for all who might be following it or want to pick it up. And for the TPB in either version, floppy or Hard Cover, there will be a lot more content and additional pages, sketchbook and pinup type stuff added to the collection. We all knew when we finally had to put it to bed we wanted to do it right. So there will be a lot of what we had to nix from the original screen play Matt wrote before this version came of it came along. If we had had our way the book would have easily exceeded 144 pages and got to as far as 240 if not beyond. Originally it was a single chunk of 96 pages. But to do it as close to right and solid as we could make it we were lucky enough to extend it and give the characters the room they needed to breath and tell the story as efficiently as possible in that extension. Hopefully the additional pages did it justice. Looking forward to wrapping up the extra content on my end for the Trade though. Should be some fun additions for all who have been following it.

DD: Can we expect more of you work to grace the pages of Heavy Metal?

NF: Now that would be killer. Big fan of the magazine and Kevin. He is an amazing guy and patron. Owe him a huge nod for everything he's done for us and this opportunity. If I ever get the chance again I will be more than happy to step up the plate.

DD: Do you have a preference working on something that is set in the present compared to creating your own future?

NF: To be honest I haven't really given it much thought. It's all been a huge learning curve and roller coaster of a ride so far. If anything I am at least getting an idea of what I would be interested in working on in the future and some things I'm not so keen on pursuing as well. So far, if the story is truly solid and the characters are compelling I can usually find a way to get into the work with ambition and honesty. Ha. I am working on a historical piece of sorts for Scholastic books after FB and really excited to get into something that isn't just sex and violence for a change. So stay tuned!

DD: What is it like when you get the script from Matt Wilson? Can you walk us through your process?

NF: Aside from character designs it's usually a good time to collab on the phone about pace and panels. Talk through it all with where he's coming from and where I want to take it and then its on to layouts and thumbnails. Pencils and feedback from Matt. Then on to inks and so forth. I am a huge fan of Jeromy's work since DMZ so it was killer to have him onboard for the series. So when we get to color the collab just keeps going till its done.

DD: Horror wise, I see your still working with Dark Horse, what was it like contributing to Creepy #2?

NF: It was a blast, man. I finally got to draw Uncle Creepy and play around with black and white. I would kill to keep working in B&W in some kind of capacity. Just really into the possibilities of it all and trying to develop my work further. Never knew it existed but I seem to be more into HORROR than I ever thought I was. We'll see how it goes.

DD: Can we expect to see more of you work in future issues?

NF: Hopefully Joe and I are teaming up again to do something and hoping it all continues. The suspense and design of the genre and series on paper is really challenging and creatively I have had a blast so as long as Shawna will have me, I'll be honored to contribute.

DD: As an artist do you find it difficult at times to depict what the story might call for?

NF: Ha. Yeah. I think or at least hope my peers run into the same issues. My version of the inky specters in PFH were much different than what Joe had in mind or the editors and we revised them a lot till we got it right. But then those designs lead to the wolf character in that series and its design out of all of them like a lego specter set so you never know what will happen once you get started. It's all a learning curve. Structural and Panel layouts along with page count have been the most difficult and challenging aspects so far. Still trying to figure out how I tell stories and ever trying to improve where I'm leading the viewer and so forth.

DD: Do you have any other projects in the works?

NF: Currently wrapping up FLUORESCENT BLACK and as mentioned before for Scholastic I'll be starting a Graphic Novel called DOGS OF WAR that traverses WW1, WW2 and VIETNAM and the camaraderie between the military dogs and their handlers in each respective war. The test pages and preliminary design are really getting me excited about the narrative shirt so should be a blast. Other than that I'm still juggling editorial and ad work as an illustrator when I can and there are a few pitches still floating around so we'll just have to see where it all goes from here.

DD: In general how have fans responded to the your work?

NF: Ha. Well, fans seem to dig it and critics, otherwise. But I welcome both and enjoy hearing from anyone. I practice and teach the benefits of both so I'm happy just to get some response. Still getting a feel for where I stand on my own in all of this so I have questions of my own as the work continues along. As long as I keep developing and improving I'm cool with it all. Biggest wish is to finally sit down and crack out my own narrative at some point. As soon as I've got something to say, that is.

DD: Any moment from a convention or show in particular since you started that just stands out to you?

NF: Meeting peers in person or people I've been influenced by, that's always amazing. Just being at the con as a professional, doing signings and all that - it's just rad. Hope I get a table this year again in artists alley but almost as excited if I don't so I finally have a chance to take my time and go around and see it all for a change. Especially last year, those hours away from holding down your fort on the floor were the most fun. Ah. And finally having a drink with Joe Casey was a blast. HA! never really knew of his work wither till Zodiac but it would be a creative dream come true to keep working with him in the future.

DD: Can we expect you to be at any upcoming shows?

NF: Still figuring out where things might go this summer but so far I'll be at Harley Con, ECCC, Planet Comic Con, SDCC, C2E2 and NYCC. Hopefully this is the year I'll get to finally go to Heroes Con and a few others but we can all dream of that bottomless travel budget... will have to wait and see.

DD: So what are you reading these days?

NF: Doing a lot of research and art history for lack of a better phrase or vocabulary, so collecting imports and artist's works. Around the desk at the moment is Samura, Urasawa, Font, Bernet, Joong-Ki, my playboy mini collection of Blonds, Brunettes & Red Heads, a fresh copy of TIME BANDITS and a collection of John Ford films. - Forever the student...and hopefully the teacher..... some day.

DD: So lets sum it all up, why should people go out and get books that include your unique look?

Ha. Not too sure how to respond to that one. I'd feed you a line of ego and fluff my feathers but I'm handsomely balding and married with children. So those days are a bit behind me. So, I guess I'll just say if you like a good story and comics, then I'm ALL your kind of "Sex, Drugs & Rock n' Roll" with a splash of beauty, a dash of violence and a shit-load of sarcasm on the side.

DD: Thanks so much for your time Nathan.

NF: My pleasure Dan. Thanks for having me.

If you would like to learn more about or see what Nathan is up to please go to