Today, writer and artist Ansis Purins is spending a little time at the Hellbound blog to discuss horror and his story, Zombre.
Hello Ansis, what frightens you most (if at all): thunderstorms, roller coasters, or clowns?
I guess clowns are scarier because I feel they are more unpredictable than thunderstorms or roller coasters.
Do you have a favorite type of horror?
My favorite type of horror is horror comedy seen in movies like Return of The Living Dead, Evil Dead II, or even Nightmare Before Christmas. I have always enjoyed exploring the strange, fine line between horror and humor.
What inspired you to write this story?
Comics take me a long time to make. In an effort to streamline my comics making, I'm working on telling small stories that fit within a larger story. Having a short piece within a bigger story is a great way to do some simple character development and have a nice, punchy scene.
This technique is also great for submitting my short scenes from bigger stories into various comic anthologies.
Since you also the artist, tell us about your thought process while you drew this story?
Slappy (the character) was inspired by Allan Trautman's brilliant portrayal of the Tarman zombie from Return of The Living Dead. I have an autographed photo of him in my studio.
That movie permanently scarred me as a kid. Punks and zombies were just the coolest thing I had ever seen when I was 7 years old. Deciding I didn't want to completely rip off the coolest zombie in cinema history, I put a pair of plaid grandpa pants on him when designing him. The Hellbound story I submitted is a short scene with Slappy from my comic series Magic Forest which can be read at www.ansis.tv. I update it with a new page every week. Sorry, had to do that somewhere in this interview.
Not a problem, Ansis, we’re all about supporting comic creators and their endeavors.
What storytelling medium do you think serves horror best?
I think movies make the best horror. I do think comics and movies are almost identical. A cartoonist can be good movie director I feel. It's essentially the same thing, but comics don't have rumbling 5 channel sound coming out of 50 ft tall pages. So movies are just more immerse to me.
What is your favorite horror story and why?
My favorite horror story might be Stephen King's Pet Semetary. I love the description of the Wendigo and it's my favorite moment from all his work. I did a quick Google search and found someone loves that scene as much as I do:
What was your first exposure to horror?
Return of The Living Dead when I was 7 years old watching it on Erik Volkert's cable TV. I didn't have cable and my parents generally didn't like me watching anything horror or monster related.
What do you like best and least about the horror genre?
I love 80's era practical effects. I love monster sculptures done with gobs of latex and paints. CGI usually stops a movie in its tracks for me. Anything with animatronics and I've probably seen it. I hate when horror movies have teens in them. It's so tired and overdone. CGI monsters and blood usually look awful. I like horror to have a lot of mystery in it. Creepy castles are great for that. I'm still waiting for Stuart Gordon's Castle Freak to hit Netflix.
What’s your horror guilty pleasure?
I used to go to Latvian School in Boston every Saturday from k-6. I'm really glad I went now as an adult, but then I hated it as a kid. I used to get sick on the way there in the car. I would miss all the Saturday morning cartoons usually but sometimes, if I got home from school on Saturdays quickly enough, I could catch the tail end of Creature Double Feature on channel 56. Godzilla, Mothra, The Wolfman, I was in heaven. My mom would often come in and shut it off and make me go outside. For years I kind of hid the fact that I loved horror movies and giant monster costumes. I realized as I got older not to be ashamed of what I like. So I don't really have guilty pleasures regarding the horror medium. I own over 150+ Godzilla toys that I’ve been collecting since I was seven.
Who do you consider a master of horror?
I guess I should say Poe. But I honestly believe Stephen King will be taught in high school English classes in 50 years. It's kind of cool to rag on King unfortunately, but I think he's a writer that can really make you care about characters in ridiculously fantastic situations. His book "on writing" is something I re-read at least once a year. George Romero, John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon and David Lynch are my favorite horror film directors. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is a horror movie.
Is there anything you want the readers to know about your story?
Not really. If I didn't get across what I wanted in the comic, then in my mind, I failed.
Are clowns ever funny?
Sure! I've seen many funny clowns. Those poor guys get such a bad rap. Even Killer Klowns from Outer Space is pretty funny. Dickies soundtrack, latex monster masks, and a hound dog named Poobear? I love that movie.
Poor guys? I don’t know about that but thanks Ansis for your story, Zombre, and taking the time to meet with the Hellbound 2 blog.