HALLOWEEN has always been very special to me. Even when I was really young, I had a connection to the dead. Ok, I know that sounds like the opening narration to Ghost Whisperer but it’s just how it is. I find death fascinating (she says like Spock). I find the difference in rituals an interesting study. I think most intriguing is the Dio de los Muertas, the Mexican Day of the Dead.
The truth is that when I was little, I didn’t understand Trick-or-Treating. I had an unexplainable feeling of confusion and stress when I was between 3-6 years old. Somehow, even then, I had an understanding of Halloween’s roots and felt that it should be a solemn day. Every year I wanted to be dressed as Witch so you can see I had that inside me from a young age too. But I cried when I was supposed to knock on doors asking for candy. It’s hard to believe now, but I was so shy as a kid. I wouldn’t leave my mum’s side and hated talking to people! Look at me now – Miss Wants To Be On Camera To Entertain.
When I was much older, I learned about the Mexican Day of the Dead and saw people in parades wearing bright clothing, faces painted as skulls, and revelry! They were honoring their dead but they created a fascinating way to do it with fun, music, joy and love. Halloween and my mum’s talent for sewing are also responsible for my current costume addiction. (Yes, Dr. Freud, we will blame our mothers).
In the past 10 years, I have also met some wonderful people that inspire me to try new outlets for creativity. Folks like my friends in the special effects industry, for example, make me want to create more costumes. Halloween is also prime for trying out “novelty food” creations. During the winter holidays there’s a lot of cooking and baking but it always has to be perfect and formal. Halloween is fun cooking. The most formal I get is when creating soups (pumpkin peanut soup = Yum!); otherwise I like to make silly things like a dirt cake decorated with tombstones and gummy worms. I don’t even eat gummy worms.
Other wonderfully wild people that I have the need to visit during Halloween are Ken Haeser and Buz Hasson, the creators of the Living Corpse comic book — soon to be an animated feature!! These badass boys are actually total sweethearts and their comic has creepy subject matter but it’s presented in a whimsical tone. A couple of other artist pals that have unique approaches to Monsters are Dave Wachter and Jay Fife. Dave gives you monsters in realistic horror style where you’ll swear you can smell the rotting flesh just by looking at his work. Jay, on the other hand, manages to make the terrifying imagery sexy. Should werewolves be this attractive or should you want to run and hide from them? In fact, you can meet me, Jay and Dave at the Great Allentown Comic Con this Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010.
Over the years, I have learned some tricks about modifying images into suitable pumpkin carving designs. There are things to keep in mind such as making sure the dark spaces (the flesh part of the pumpkin) don’t have any floating sections; they need to be anchored either to each other or to thinner shaded areas which you do by only removing some of the flesh, but don’t go all the way through. I also switched from using real pumpkins to fake foam pumpkins when doing complicated designs or carvings for gifts. You don’t want to put 12 hours of carving into a pumpkin that’s just going to rot. I find a carved foam pumpkin works really well as gifts. It’s unusual and can be customized just for that person in a way a gift card can’t.
|2004 Elektra inspired by Greg Horn's art||2004 Elektra inspired by Greg Horn's art||2006 Feedback, Comic Fusion, Black Cat|
|2006 Feedback (from Feedback #1), Comic Fusion, Black Cat||2006 Black Cat, original art by Terry Dodson||2006 Black Cat stencil|
|2006 Neal Adams' Julie Newmar Catwoman||2006 Catwoman stencil||2007 Superman stencil, original art by Mauricio Melo|
|2007 Jim Lee Batman||2007 Superman w.i.p.||2007 Superman|
|2008 Captain America w.i.p. (from my favorite page in CIVIL WAR)||2008 Captain America w.i.p.||2008 Captain America|
|2008 Virginia Tech logos||2010 Batman, orig art by Scott Cohn. (Notes)
|2011 Wonder Woman (Reis)||2011 Batwoman (Timm)||2011 Harley Quinn (Dodson)
|2011 Harley Quinn (Timm)||2011 Celtic Raven (WildSpirit)||2014 Rat Queens logo (Image Comics)
|2015 Legion of Super Villains logo||2015 Gotham's Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor)||2016 Darwyn Cooke's Catwoman