Lindsay Moore is a long-time fan of the horror genre. This is her sixth published comic. When she isn't writing scary stories, she enjoys long walks on the beach, watching scary movies, and dreaming up new ways to terrify people. She is currently writing a superhero comic that will debut in March, 2013.
Lindsay also decoupages boxes with comic book and cartoon characters. They can be purchased here: etsy.com/shop/boxybrown
Donna Martinez is a cartoonist and artist originally from Gallup, New Mexico.
See more of Donna’s art here: donnamartinez.net
Joey Peters is a writer, cartoonist, and beauty contest champion from Boston.
More of his work can be found here: superwizard.net. Buy some of it!
What inspired “Garbage”?
Lindsay: There were two things that inspired "Garbage." One of them was Amy Chua's book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a memoir about raising her two daughters. In it, she's very open and unapologetic about her methods; she browbeats these two little girls, forces them to practice piano for hours on end, and calls them "garbage" when they displease her. For me, the fact that she would just call her own kids "garbage" really stuck out. Garbage is a gross, inanimate thing that you hate and want to get rid of; calling a person "garbage" is tantamount to telling them that they repulse you and that you want to get rid of them. For me, that seemed far worse than anything else she admitted to doing. Shortly after this book came out, there was a huge uproar, and an older article about a girl named Esmie Tseng resurfaced. Esmie Tseng had a domineering mother who would routinely force her to practice piano for hours on end and would punish her for minor things like getting an A- on a test by making her stand naked in a corner. In 2005, Esmie Tseng snapped and stabbed her mother to death. The intense pressure and constant criticism had just destroyed her; to her, there was no other way to escape. "Garbage" is very much inspired by that, but it's not told from the point of view of the killer or the victim; it's told from the point of view of an outsider watching this event unfold who is powerless to stop it.
Donna: For me I’ve worked with Lindsay on other stories and she’s been really great to work with. Because of that, when I read the story, I knew I’d want to draw for her again.
Are all of you fans of horror? If so, what are some of your favorite stories? (And they don’t have to be limited to comic books.)
Lindsay: I am a huge fan of the horror genre. As I kid, I practically devoured R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series, and those launched me straight into Stephen King territory. I think my all-time favorite horror stories come from the TV show, Tales from the Crypt. The show often revolved around bad people getting what they deserved, and I really latched onto that as a teenager. There was something about karma always catching up to you that really excited and terrified me, like it was this unstoppable force that you just couldn't outrun.
Donna: Even though I myself am fascinated by real-life macabre places and things and also with the occult, horror movies are still too scary for me. That’s probably because my mom watched a lot of horror films when I was young and I just got too freaked out by it all. It’s silly I know, but give me a crypt full of mummies or a traveling sideshow of freaky natural phenomena over a Friday the 13th film any day!
Explain to Hellbound readers the creative process. Was the story written independently and before the art or did both develop together?
Lindsay: The script/story came before the art. I wrote "Garbage" and then asked Donna if she wanted to illustrate it. She illustrated another script for me a while back, and I've always loved her art style.
Donna: Lindsay wrote the story first, I then did character sketches for the two girls, followed by thumbnails of the story itself. I showed both to Lindsay and she gave me whatever feedback I needed to solidify things. Doris was the first I came up with and she didn’t change at all from the initial sketch. I drew a teenage blond girl with a neat, preppy look to her and that was pretty much it. With Brenda I tried out different punky hairdos, different types of piercings and clothing. I knew I wanted to go for a later 70’s ska/punk kind of look rather than something obvious like a giant Mohawk or anything plaid. I didn’t want her to look like a mall punk; I wanted her to have her own thing going.
What did each of you find most challenging about this story?
Lindsay: For me, it was writing from Brenda's point of view instead of Doris's. We miss out on a lot of details when we see the story from Brenda's point of view because she's an outsider, she doesn't know the full extent of Doris's situation or what has led her to this point. I wanted to tell the story from Brenda's point of view because she's the character we can relate to. She's an average girl who's just trying to figure out what is going on and do the right thing. I think that Donna's art helps tell the story and fill in the details; she's added a lot of small things, like musical notes on Doris's notebook, that tip the reader off as to what's going on.
Donna: The challenge for me was to make sure I could convey in the art the sense of tension, fear, and horror at the very end. Right up until Brenda gets to the house, the story could be just another teen drama. Then you find out what’s going on in the house and it turns everything upside down.
On page six when Doris and her actions are revealed, I wanted her to look very calm, as though she wasn’t really doing anything wrong. That she was just dealing with a problem, albeit by murdering her own mother. There’s a classic scene in the Sandman story ‘A Game of You’ where the witch Thessaly is peeling the face off a dead man. She’s being very exact about it because if she’s not, her spell might not work. Neil Gaiman and artist Colleen Doran decided that the more calm and steady Thessaly appeared in doing such gruesome work, the scarier it would be. And it does work really well so that was definitely my aim. It’s really in the last panel of that page that there’s the tiniest break in her calm demeanor as she goes to finish the job.
Donna, artistically, was there anything you were hoping to achieve?
Donna: With any project I do, my aim is to give the writer what they’re asking for. Lindsay can probably tell you that I more or less achieved that. Again, I just wanted to build up to the main action of the story and make it as tense as possible so that when the big reveal happens, the audience is just knocked over by what they’re seeing. The theme for this Hellbound is darkness so I really wanted to drive home the internal darkness that existed in Doris despite her neat appearance and shy demeanor. Once the book is in the hands of the readers I’ll find out for sure whether or not I succeeded!
Where you happy with the results?
Lindsay: I am thrilled with the result. I can't thank Donna and Joey enough for their hard work.
Donna: I think so. There are a few things I’d do over again but there are also some fantastic facial expressions that I’m very proud of. Also, Lindsay seems pretty pleased and that means a lot to me.
Lindsay, how does it feel to be the only creator to have a story published in each of the three Hellbound comics?
Lindsay: Honestly, it feels a little weird. I didn't realize that I was the only recurring creator until you pointed it out. I'm just excited to be a part of Hellbound, and I appreciate Roho and the rest of the editorial staff for giving me a creative outlet.
Have you begun working on your story for Hellbound IV?
Lindsay: I've got a bunch of ideas floating around. I'm in the process of fleshing them out.
Donna: Not yet, but if I start now I think I can be on time with this one!
Thank you, Lindsay and Donna.