Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kimball Anderson

Kimball Anderson does comics that sometimes have poetry in them and sometimes have experimentation in them. But never are these tools used just to use tools. The intent is always an earnest interest in communicating ideas and feelings as best as they can be communicated.

More of Kimball's work can found here:

What inspired “No, He Can Come”? Is it autobiographical?

It is not autobiographical! It was inspired by conversations in the dark, where you are trying to grasp at what is on the face of the person you are talking to, but all you really see are shifting shapes and static. You don't know the person's emotions, but it almost seems like you could, so maybe you try...and you see monster faces, or emotions that just aren't accurate.

Is this your first horror story?

This is my second horror story! I made a story for last year's Hellbound but was maybe too ambitious with it, and it didn't get in. This time I tried to remember that simple is good for horror.

Are you a fan of horror? If so, what are some of your favorite stories? (And they don’t have to be limited to comic books.)

I like some horror, but I guess I generally do not seek it out. I remember the old "Ted's Caving Page" fondly. I think horror is very much helped by the slight possibility that it is true, and the internet is a good way to do that. That said, I am not too interested in other "creepypasta", but sometimes an Alternate Reality Game will have an effective bit of horror in it. Junji Ito can be pretty good, too. And, though I wouldn't label them as my favorites, I enjoy lots of television shows with horror elements! Like The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf. They have obvious flaws, but the way they are structured and produced is interesting, when viewed in the wider context of television structuring.

Explain to Hellbound readers your creative process. Was the story written independently and before the art or did both develop together?

I came up with the art style first, as a way to evoke night. I wrote a script for this style, which was not horror themed, but played on many of the same emotions as my Hellbound story. And when the theme for Hellbound 3 was decided, I immediately knew that the style I had previously conceived of would work for the anthology. So I came up with a new story, and started drawing! I drew pencil shaded figures on white paper, scanned, and put it on a digital black, which was then given a static-y texture.

What did you find most challenging about “No, He Can Come”?

The comic flowed more naturally out than some do, in terms of art. But in terms of story, I had a lot of trouble coming up with something that felt meaningful and was simple. Because I hadn't originally conceived of it as horror, it was hard to change gears, mentally.

Did you experiment with this story?

I experimented in terms of art style, as I had never done anything that looked like this comic before. And in more subtle ways I experimented in writing. Most of my stories are very deliberately about themes and ideas, and with this I went at it in a very straightforward way. I think short form horror necessitates this. You have to attempt to play the beats of a horror story, and you don't have much space for anything else. You just have to tell the story.

Artistically, was there anything you were hoping to achieve? Where you happy with the results?

While I wasn't trying to communicate any themes or ideas, I was trying to evoke what it feels like to be in that place. I was trying to be very authentic to the sensation of the dark and to the emotions of the characters. My aim was to create a feeling that is taken as familiar and true.

Thank you, Kimball.

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