Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Shane Oakley

Welcome back kiddies. I have lured Shane Oakley 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.

Shane Oakley

Old enough know better, young enough not care.

Living with partner, Suzanne. 12 years and still going strong!

A doberman called Satan, well, that's an exaggeration, actually a complete and utter lie. We've a shiatsu called Mojo, but he thinks he's a doberman.

Highest Education Level:
Pass in Foundation Art and Design at the North Staffordshire Polytechnic, equivalent of an A-level. Not that it made ANY difference whatsoever in helping me get a job in Stoke-on-Trent or in the comic book biz - DROP OUT NOW!!.

High School Mascot:
We didn't have one, that's more an American thing.

First Job:
Delivering newspapers or shoplifting, not sure.

Childhood Hero:
Kwai Chang Caine

Favorite Type of Fish:
One that's still alive.

Staying with short answers lets talk about what you do:

Comic(s) you created/worked on Before 1990:
Short strips: Growing out of it, written by Jamie Delano, and The Great Cool Challenge by Neil Gaiman.
Gags for satirical humour magazine, The Truth. 6 issue run on the retro-futurist detective mystery Mr.X, published by the long gone Vortex Comics

January 1, 1991 - October 1, 2005:
Covers, illustrations, writing and inks for horror anthology, Killing Stroke. Layouts, inks and covers on Stratosfear. Script and art on action comedy serial, Fatal Charm, with co-creator Matt D'israeli Brooker, for Deadline magazine. Illustrations for kids book, Zool. 3 issues of Rock and Roll High School with Bob Fingerman. Strips for Dark Horse Presents, various indy publishers and porno mags, which i've mostly forgotten about or would very much like to.
And contrary to online information I NEVER drew an issue of Sandman, just one single measly pin-up.

October 2, 2005 - the day after tomorrow:
Co-instigated and pencilled 6 issues of Albion with writers Alan Moore, Leah Moore and John Reppion for DC/Wlidstorm. Drew an updated version of The Fall of the House of Usher, adapted by Dan Whitehead for the Poe anthology, Nevermore. Did many covers for Zombie Tales and Cthulhu Tales, along with a strip written by Steve Niles called The Hiding Place, and wrote a tale for each book, art by Paul Harrison Davies and David Hitchcock.
Squeeze in spot art and covers for small press giants Accent UK, From The Tomb and Little Shoppe of Horrors. Recently completed two covers for Sam Costello's Split Lip book.

And right now I'm just putting some inks down on Channel Evil #3; a contemporary, hard-edged horror mini-series, about demonic gods and possession, written by comics legend Alan Grant.

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

What do you do when not making comics?

All time best comic movie you ever saw and why?
The Chris Reeves Superman still gives me tingles of joy. It's bright, grand, mythical, and unashamedly old-fashioned. A film full of romance, clean cut heroes, gentle humour and enormous charm, unlike the cynical, cocky, leather-clad ultra violence that they spit out today. Yes, I do sound like an old fart.

All time worst comic movie you ever saw and why?
I haven't seen that many, but i endured 25 minutes or so of Catwoman, that was like someone sucking out my brain with a vacuum cleaner. Batman and Robin sucked even more.

Any TV shows grabbing your attention these days?
Don't really watch TV anymore, I sit thru piles of movies and shows on DVD instead. But we do keep up with Supernatural, Dr.Who and Spongebob, but mostly it's old classics like Twilight Zone, Magnum PI, Sapphire and Steel, The Avengers and Jeeves and Wooster. Currently enjoying Rent-a-Ghost, Space 1999 and the Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes box set.

Favorite music to listen to, right now?
The Horrors, Buzzcocks, Count Basie, Tangerine Dream, and many soundtrack albums from the 60's.

What could you do with an soccer ball, a torch and a big box of Pez dispensers?
Entertain brain-damaged children at birthday parties with a captivating mix of of slalom and shadow puppetry.

Back to comic stuff for now.

Knowing that Iceman is the greatest hero of all time, why do you think he is so underused?
Come on, Dan. Nobody other than Eminem makes a convincing white rapper.

Favorite comic character when you were 5, 10 and 15?
Parsley the Lion, Brassneck and Sam Slade;Robo-hunter

You find a genie lamp, but he only offers you 3 comic related wishes what are they?
1.To own one of those astounding two-page spreads from any Jack Kirby comic, but preferably Captain America or Kamandi.
2. I'd take a trip back in time to 1950 and feed Dr. Wertham arsenic-laced bratwurst.
3. And finally, I'd alter the minds of all adolescents and emotionally-stunted adults(those with minds) and make each and every one of them seek diversity outside the pages of superhero books which in turn would reinvigorate a stagnant medium and shake up a monopolized industry and make life more interesting and reading more rewarding and our racks would be adorned with comic books that represent all genres all ages and all tastes like movies and books do and not just cater for obsessive virgin fanboys with bad ass power fantasies...same goes for the artists and writers that make them.

Alright your making a comic about a headless man who sees the world through his belly button. Whats the name of the book and sell me on a quick pitch, Go!
From The Tum; A man in the middle of a waist-land, fights prejudice and seeks the legendary monocle of the gods.

We all know your a great artist but what do you really want to be when you grow up?
Someone rich and successful or Kwai Chang Caine.

Where is the real money at in comic creating?
Movies, computer games and obsessive virgin fanboys with bad ass power fantasies .

When your making comics whats going on around you? Music, what kind? Silence? TV on?
Always, always music, or at the least talking books or radio shows. I like to choose bands/composers specifically for the mood of whatever I'm working on. And it helps to mask the voices in my head and the sound of the rats scratching inside the walls.

Favorite character you ever created/worked on and why?
All my favourite characters I've yet to work on. But when I was six or seven, I was pretty damned proud of Marvo the Mystic Budgie, and still am!

5 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
5 years from now? I'm not even sure about 5 days from now. Though, to be terribly serious for a moment, I would love to be drawing a creator owned book that would indulge my love for dark fantasy adventure and/or Gothic horror. Have many projects with writers that would tick all the right boxes, but progress is frustratingly slow. So, in five years, i just hope I'm still not waiting...

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

Zombie Tales?
Underrated and overlooked

Channel Evil?
Doom. Agony. Terror. Chocolate biscuits.

Horror Comics?
Chocolate biscuits.

Fish & Chips?
The most frustrating smell possible for a vegetarian.

Chionophobia — Fear of snow?
Living in the desert.

Pink Elephants?
My next door neighbours in their tracksuits.

Brides for Frankenstein.

Decapitated Dan?
Crack whores, armed robbery and tragic early death in a Nazi cos-play bondage mishap.

Shane Oakley?
Trapped in a world he never made - same as his bed.

Thanks so much Shane.
Pleasure, Dan.

To know more about Shane and see what he is up to please go to

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