Fanboy Comics Interviews Jody Houser and Cliff Green of ‘Skin Crawling Comics’

Skin Crawling ComicsThe following is an interview with the comic book writer/artist team of Jody Houser (Womanthology: Space) and Cliff Green, who will be contributing their short story, "A Zombie Walks into a Bar," to the upcoming horror-themed anthology Skin Crawling Comics.  In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Houser and Green about the inspiration behind their horror short, what the horror genre means to them, and where readers can find other examples of their work in advance of the anthology's release.

This interview was conducted on January 29, 2013.

 

 

 



 

 


Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: You are both currently working on the horror short story “A Zombie Walks into a Bar,” which will be included in the upcoming horror anthology Skin Crawling Comics. What drew each of you to work on the anthology?

Jody Houser:  I met Rachel Pandich through Womanthology: Heroic. We were both writers on the anthology, and she was the social events coordinator for about a year. We spoke at New York Comic-Con, and she told me about the anthology. I said I'd love to be a part of it.


Cliff Green: Well, I liked the idea of drawing something other than superhero ideas and challenge myself to create something with a general mood and feel. I truly jumped on this anthology because it is something I have never been a part of before and it sounded like fun.

BD: How did you come to work together on this project? Were the artist/writer pairs for the anthology assigned by an editor or did you choose to work with one another?

JH: Rachel was actually the one who found Cliff. She was already familiar with the story and thought he'd be perfect for it.


CG: I was in an James Green’s art class at UNF when Rachel Pandich was a guest, invited to teach us about writing and about being in the “comic book” scene in Jacksonville, FL. She really liked my work and suggested I become a part of this process. Rachel had already told me who my writer was and I liked the script. Short, sweet, moody, a little bit funny, dark tones. And, did I mention short. Dealing with classes is very hard to schedule drawing with school work on top of that. I think Rachel had already determined the pairs, I guess. I had told her of my intensive class schedule, and I think this story fit well not just with drawing purposes but time, as well. 

BD: Jody, as the writer, what inspired you to tell this story and what can you tell us about the premise?

JH:  "A Zombie Walks Into a Bar" was actually a story I'd pitched to a zombie comic anthology that was turned down for being too dark. I think the issue was less the content and more the balance of the stories in the anthology overall, but I'm still a bit proud. The story is about a bartender dealing with the zombie apocalypse. It's far less humorous than the title implies.


page 1BD: Cliff, did you have an idea in mind for the art style when you first read the comic, or has the artwork developed as you have worked on the project?


CG: I did have an initial idea about the story. I wanted it to look dark yet readable. Detailed in the right places, you know, but with simplistic contrasts. I looked at the artwork for The Walking Dead and thought about playing with the darkness a little more. Also, I began thinking about different angles to make the story really “pop.” I wanted it to be a mix of realism yet still have graphic novel appeal.

BD: Will “A Zombie Walks into a Bar” be appropriate for readers of all ages, and would you recommend the story for both casual and hard-core horror fans?


JH:  It's a pretty twisted story. I'm not sure it's appropriate for anyone! I'm more of a casual horror fan myself, but I hope it would appeal to anyone who likes disturbing, character-based stories.


CG: It’s a real good story. Short but very interesting in understanding the situation. I recommend it to anyone who loves funny, yet gory, stuff. As far as what age, I really do not know.

BD: What are your feelings on the horror genre as a whole, and what do you hope that this story will bring to the genre?


JH:  For me, horror has always fallen under the umbrella of speculative fiction along with sci-fi and fantasy. It's kind of a stuffy literary term, but I love stories that explore how people would react/deal if the world was a certain way. That's what I tried to do with this story, I suppose.


CG: I haven’t even thought about the horror genre until now. I was previously a superhero buff. I hope this anthology will give different perspectives on what “horror” is. Ranging from psychological, to cute, funny, dark etc.

BD: Are there any specific horror genre creators or projects (movies, books, comics, etc.) that have inspired your work?


JH:  Nothing specific recently. I think a lot of the horror I read as a teenager is still floating around in there.


CG: I actually answered it without realizing it. I always jump the gun. But I looked at anything with zombies (i.e. The Walking Dead). Olivier Coipel and Stuart Immonen were big inspirations on lighting issues and perspective choices. The way they capture light and display on a figure amazes and fascinates me. I also just scrolled a little friend of mine called Google and a new addition called, Tumblr.

page 2BD: Skin Crawling Comics is an independently produced project that features creators of all experience levels. As readers await the finished anthology, are there any other projects on which you have previously worked that you would recommend to our readers?


JH:  I've written stories for both Womanthology: Heroic and Womanthology: Space from IDW. I have a weekly webcomic called Cupcake POW! and another webcomic on hiatus called Brickgirl & Oscar. I also have several horror stories upcoming in the quarterly anthology Dead Roots.


CG: I actually am an “average joe." What I mean to say is that nope, I do not. This is my first time doing anything related to comic books while getting recognition. I have created little page comics for myself, but they must not see the day of light (I’m very picky over my artwork.)

BD: What impact do you hope that Skin Crawling Comics will have on today’s comic book industry and its readers?


JH:  I hope it will give some indie creators more exposure (Hello, editors everywhere!) and really showcase the diversity of stories that can be told through comics.


CG: I hope it opens people’s eyes to the vast amount of talented people have that do not center around superheroes. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I think it is good to break the norm and be original and creative. Being the norm is overdone, but thinking outside the box takes skill.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for readers to find out more about your work?


JH:  There are links to all of my work on my website, MindEclipse.com. I'm also on Twitter at @Jody_Houser, which is the best place to contact me.


CG: I do not have a Twitter account, but I do have a deviant account; eclecticartshyt03. I am in the slow process of trying to create a website for people to view my art and thoughts.  

 

 

 

Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: You are both currently working on the horror short story “A Zombie Walks into a Bar,” which will be included in the upcoming horror anthology Skin Crawling Comics. What drew each of you to work on the anthology?

Jody Houser:  I met Rachel Pandich through Womanthology: Heroic. We were both writers on the anthology and she was the social events coordinator for about a year. We spoke at New York Comic Con and she told me about the anthology. I said I'd love to be a part of it.

 

Cliff Green: Well, I liked the idea of drawing something other than superhero ideas and challenge myself to create something with a general mood and feel. I truly jumped on this anthology because it is something I have never been a part of before and it sounded like fun.



BD: How did you come to work together on this project? Were the artist/writer pairs for the anthology assigned by an editor or did you choose to work with one another?

JH: Rachel was actually the one who found Cliff. She was already familiar with the story and thought he'd be perfect for it.

CG: I was in an James Green’s art class at UNF when Rachel Pandich was a guest invited to teach us about writing and about being in the “comic book” scene in Jacksonville, FL. She really liked my work and suggested I become apart of this process. Rachel had already told me who my writer was and I liked the script. Short, sweet, moody, a little bit funny, dark tones. And did I mention short. Dealing with classes is very hard to schedule drawing with school work on top of that lol. I think Rachel already determined the pairs I guess. I had told her of my intensive class schedule and I think this story fit well not just with drawing purposes but time as well.   

BD: Jody, as the writer, what inspired you to tell this story and what can you tell us about the premise?

JH:  "A Zombie Walks Into a Bar" was actually a story I'd pitched to a zombie comic anthology that was turned down for being too dark. I think the issue was less the content and more the balance of the stories in the anthology overall, but I'm still a bit proud. The story is about a bartender dealing with the zombie apocalypse. It's far less humorous than the title implies.

BD: Cliff, did you have an idea in mind for the art style when you first read the comic, or has the artwork developed as you have worked on the project?

 

CG: I did have an initial idea about the story. I wanted it to look dark yet readable. Detailed in the right places, you know but with simplistic contrasts. I looked at the artwork for “The Walking Dead” and thought about playing with the darkness a little more. Also I began thinking about different angles to make the story really “pop”. I wanted it to be a mix of realism yet still have graphic novel appeal.




BD: Will “A Zombie Walks into a Bar” be appropriate for readers of all ages, and would you recommend the story for both casual and hard-core horror fans?

JH:  It's a pretty twisted story. I'm not sure it's appropriate for anyone! I'm more of a casual horror fan myself, but I hope it would appeal to anyone who likes disturbing character-based stories.

 

CG: It’s a real good story. Short but very interesting in understanding the situation. I recommend it to anyone who loves funny yet gory stuff. As far as what age, I really do not know lol. 




BD: What are your feelings on the horror genre as a whole, and what do you hope that this story will bring to the genre?

JH:  For me, horror has always fallen under the umbrella of speculative fiction along with sci-fi and fantasy. It's kind of a stuffy literary term, but I love stories that explore how people would react/deal if the world was a certain way. That's what I tried to do with this story, I suppose.

 

CG: I haven’t even thought about the horror genre until now. I was previously a superhero buff. I hope this anthology will give different perspectives on what “horror” is. Ranging from psychological, to cute, funny, dark etc.


BD: Are there any specific horror genre creators or projects (movies, books, comics, etc.) that have inspired your work?

JH:  Nothing specific recently. I think a lot of the horror I read as a teenager is still floating around in there.

CG: I actually answered it without realizing it. I always jump the gun. But I looked at anything with zombies ( i.e.The Walking Dead). Olivier Coipel and Stuart Immonen were big inspirations on lighting issues and perspective choices. The way they capture light and display on a figure amazes and fascinates me. I also just scrolled a little friend of mine called google and new addition called, tumblr. 


BD: Skin Crawling Comics is an independently produced project that features creators of all experience levels. As readers await the finished anthology, are there any other projects on which you have previously worked that you would recommend to our readers?

JH:  I've written stories for both Womanthology: Heroic and Womanthology: Space from IDW. I have a weekly webcomic called Cupcake POW! and another webcomic on hiatus called Brickgirl & Oscar. I also have several horror stories upcoming in the quarterly anthology Dead Roots.

 

CG: I actually am an “average joe” lol. What I mean to say is that nope, I do not. This is my first time doing anything related to comic books while getting recognition. I have created little page comics for myself but they must not see the day of light (I’m very picky over my artwork). 

BD: What impact do you hope that Skin Crawling Comics will have on today’s comic book industry and its readers?

JH:  I hope it will give some indie creators more exposure (hello editors everywhere!) and really showcase the diversity of stories that can be told through comics.

 

CG: I hope it opens people’s eyes to the vast amount of talent people have that do not center around superheroes. Not that that’s a bad thing but I think it is good to break the norm and be original and creative. Being the norm is overdone, but thinking outside the box takes skill. 



BD: Lastly, what is the best way for readers to find out more about your work?

JH:  There are links to all of my work on my website, MindEclipse.com. I'm also on Twitter at @Jody_Houser, which is the best place to contact me.

 

CG: Here we go again lol. I do not have a twitter but I do have a deviant account; eclecticartshyt03. Yea theres that. I am in the slow process of trying to create a website for people to view my art and thoughts.  

Last modified on Monday, 29 July 2013 16:28

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief

Favorite BookMockingjay
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:  In-N-Out Burger
Favorite Heroine
:  Katniss Everdeen

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