So Denver Comic Con is coming up in just about two months and I for one am pretty excited about the people that are going to be there. I wanted to make a connection with some of the people that will be there that make the kind of comics that I love. So I reached out to the makers of horror comic books that will be at Denver Comic Con, got a few to reply and so there should be a few more of these coming. The best part though has been discovering all sorts of new comics and creators that I would have never heard of if it weren’t for the con. So I caught up with Will and Kevin over e-mail to ask them a few questions about their Creephouse Comics, and just horror and comics in general. They are great guys and have some awesome stuff to say about horror comics and the industry!
Haunt of Horror Comics: First off, to anyone that isn’t familiar with what you guys do, tell us a little bit about Creephouse Comics:
William Tooker: Creephouse was formed because Kevin and I both have a love of classic horror and have weird senses of humor. We love the characters over the gore and the creepy aftertaste of a good monster movie. Working together for someone else Kevin read my story “Never Send a Monster” and the seeds were planted there. After we left a dark place we started to collaborate seriously.
Kevin Gentilcore: Will pretty much summed it up there. We are trying to make fun, classic horror comics while embracing new outlets for comics.
HHC: What was the genesis of Teenage Love Zombies?
Will: TLZ is all Kevin’s baby.
Kevin: it actually started when I was in college for animation. It was originally intended to be 3 animated musical movies if you can believe that. Some progress was made on that front. Years later when I discovered webcomics it seemed like a perfect vehicle for TLZ so I reformatted it to fit that medium.
HHC: What are some of the things that you like about publishing one page of the comic every week?
Kevin: Actually I wish I could publish more a week but given my time restraints one is the most I can do for now. I really like the webcomic format, it is reminiscent of daily comic strips and old pulp stories. I like that I can put my story out there instantaneously without much cost and that fans know that every Tuesday night a new page will be waiting. I have never missed an update day which is something I am very proud of.
HHC: When plotting out the story how far ahead do you write the pages? Or do you just wing them week to week?
Kevin: TLZ has been written through its completion. When I changed it to a webcomic I had to rewrite a lot of the story and break it down to comic format. Although while I do have a script I take liberties with it every week. If I feel that a certain page might work better differently I will change it.
HHC: Nerd technicality question, how does Fausto’s body work if the head is detached?
The same way the Headless Horseman stays atop that horse. (HHC NOTE: I feel like this means magic or something, and that gives me a chuckle.)
HHC: Do you guys like working in black and white or full color better? Is there any advantage visually for either way specifically in relation with horror comics?
Will:Some things lend themselves more to black and white, for sure. Grandfather Bones and Spirits in the well would not have gained anything from color IMO. But The Never Send a Monster trilogy is a much more emotionally connected story and I think Kevin’s colors really bring that out.
Kevin: I like working in both although I do love working in color. Like Will said it depends on the story and I think horror can lend itself easy to both formats.
HHC: The standard for comics is changing with the continued rise in digital comics. A lot of people really love to have the physical thing to flip through and read, but the I assume the ease of publishing digitally has its advantages. Which do you prefer at this point?
Will: I love the hard copy comic book but I download as well. For really examining detail the digital is amazing. I have my flatscreen TV networked with my laptop and I can look at a panel 2 feet high. But I love to get a stack of new comics and just work my way through the pile. I think digital is better for travel because it doesn’t result in crimped corners or warped pages.
Kevin: As far as being a creator goes, digital is amazing. It is still in its infancy and I have been fascinated with how it is progress and can’t wait to see the innovations people make with it. I think now it is almost necessary to have your work available digitally in some capacity because people view media in so many different ways on so many different devices. I love services like Comixology and rarely if ever step foot in brick and mortar comic stores anymore. I still collect trades and collections but for single issues, Comixology for the win.
HHC: You guys have a kind of campy horror thing going, have you ever though of doing a very serious story?
Will: I have 2 books I’m working on available in sections on Kindle right now; Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The Invisible Society. They will both be available hard copy later this year. But for Creephouse I am working on a story that has a strong dramatic thread that we have in the queue I want to do as a full sized Graphic Novel.
Kevin: I could definitely see us doing something more adult oriented. Will has tons of projects ready to go. The thing about Creephouse is since we are fans of classic horror, the blood and guts are kept to a minimum and we rely on the readers to make some of their own horror so I think it keeps the work very all ages friendly. The Never Send a Monster series is very fun and campy but also touches on some very mature themes like love, loss, obligation etc.
HHC: What are some of the influences on your style of art?
Kevin: This answer changes all the time: Constants are Bernie Wrightson, Mike Mignola, Eric Powell, Guy Davis, Jeff Smith and The Venture Bros. Recently I have really been into Dave Stewart, Sean Murphy and James Stokoe.
HHC: What really got you into comics, and was it always horror, or was there a point in time when you just couldn’t wait to get your hands on the next issue of Amazing Spiderman?
Will: I loved mythology as a kid and what are comics but our own contemporary myths? I have always been attracted to the theme of the person who puts themselves between danger and people incapable of defending themselves. Just like the theme of the guy who takes his beating but won’t stay down. Adam Warlock was coming out when I was just starting to read comics and Jim Starlin uses such great themes and symbols in his work that it was that level of meaningful storytelling that won me over. I always wanted to find the next secret bit of brilliance in comics so I have read fairly widely.
Kevin: Oh for sure superheroes got me into comics. I still love superheroes and the superhero story style. When i was a kid it was all Marvel and DC. I don’t read much of those companies anymore but I love the characters.
HHC: So what is next for the Creephouse?
Will: After we wrap up Never Send a Monster as the mainstream project and Krush McNulty and maybe another web comic with Kevin’s requested Vikings the more dramatic “The October Watch” will be coming down the pike. It will be about the town of Silver Cross where every October the veil between life and death part completely so the dead walk the earth. Most of the dead are peaceful but the ones who are not deal with Brick Hellsmith and his October Watch.
Kevin: I am working on the second part of Never Send a Monster called Never Make a Monster. We have a pulpy space adventure in the hopper we want to try and do as a digital format and the third part of Never Send a Monster, Monsters Never Prosper. I am also working on my next comic series which I plan to release near the end of Teenage Love Zombies run next July called The Haunter. I am not sure yet if it will be a webcomic but it is a mashup of all the things I love, horror, pulp, superheroes, monsters and humor. For all ages.
HHC: Any final words?
Check out Kevin’s webcomics every week on the CreephouseComics.com
website and join us on facebook as well. To find my horror work on Amazon just look for Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The Invisible Society or the William Tooker Amazon page.
Kevin: Con season is about to get underway and we will be popping up here and there so if we happen to be at a show you are at stop by and say hello. Other than that, comics are awesome.
HHC: Thanks again for your time guys, and thanks for being the first interview on Haunt of Horror Comics. I can’t wait for then next panel of TLZ and all of your new projects. Great work!