ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Artist of the Month – October 2017: Gabe Warfield

Artist of the Month – October 2017: Gabe Warfield

This month we are showcasing our youngest ever AotM. A whole 13 years old!! If you are around teenagers much, you quickly learn that the only thing they are interested in is rolling their eyes!! So Gabriel is a rare gem indeed!!
A brief bio of our special artist:
  • Name: Gabe Warfield
  • Born: Akron, OH, USA
  • Age: 13
  • School: Home schooled
And here is our Q&A:
House of Tortured Souls: Your art is very unique. Were you inspired more by Toy Story or The Purge? 😉
Gabe Warfield: I’ve never seen The Purge, so I’ll say Sid from Toy Story for sure, but I was the most inspired by the work of Tim Burton.
HoTS: How old were you when you started dabbling into your beautiful creations?
GW: All my life basically. I used to take my toys apart and add or subtract things even when I was very young.
HoTS: Who is your favorite artist?
GW: Salvador Dali. I really love his painting called “The Persistence of Memory.”
HoTS: Who is your favorite monster, villain, or immortal creep?
GW: Jigsaw from the Saw movies is my favorite.
HoTS: Do you have an Etsy shop, or do you sell any pieces or do commissions?
GW: Not currently, but I am working on getting an Etsy shop online, and I’ve got plans for commission pieces where people can send me their broken toys so I can “fix” them.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, Twitter, or Instragram so fans can keep up with your projects?
GW: Yes, I have a Facebook page called FrankenCreatures
Gabe Warfield’s FrankenCreatures
HoTS: Peanut butter or Nutella? 😛
GW: Nutella, fo sho!
HoTS: Are you working on a project right now?
GW: Yes. I’m working on several. Pictures will be uploaded on my Facebook artist page as soon as they are done. My mom and I just moved from North Carolina to Ohio last week, so I haven’t had a lot of time to work on them but hopefully they’ll be done soon!
HoTS: Do or did you go to art school or have any training in this?
GW: No, all of my art is self-driven.
HoTS: What do you like to do when you are not creating masterpieces?
GW: I play the bass guitar, and I like to work on writing music and song lyrics.
KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK, GABE!!!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED ARTIST, Homepage picture, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – September 2017: Ryan Case

Artist of the Month – September 2017: Ryan Case

Ryan Case is an artist and co-owns Sink or Swim Art Gallery in Louisville, KY, with his wife, writer/artist/poet Bridget. In their own words:
I am Ryan. It took me many years to feel comfortable enough to call myself an artist, but that is what I am. I create mainly with ink and acrylic paints, but I’ll use whatever is laying around the studio from time to time. My subjects are an entire spectrum of the adorable and abominable. I am a homeschooling dad of 2 girls by day, and creative monster machine by night.
Bridget is a writer, poet, abstract painter, and jewelry designer/maker. She is known for her fierce attack in your face poetry. She is active in the animal rights, LGBT and Women’s equal rights movements, and her passion is reflected in her works and words.
AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-01House of Tortured Souls: When did you know you were meant to be an artist?
Ryan Case: I’ve always been drawn to art. it was always my escape and my friend.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-08
HoTS: And why do you still do it?
RC: It’s a passion/obsession. I can’t not paint. I’m drawn to it, and it makes me feel better. It’s my own private therapy. I’ll always create.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-03
HoTS: Where do you pull your inspiration from?
RC: I absorb movies and music. though not all my paintings are of monsters, horror movies have been a huge influence on my work since day one.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-04
HoTS: Do you have a piece you have done that you are the proudest of?
RC: I think I am most proud of my pet portraits.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-02
HoTS: Why is that?
RC: They are usually commissioned after a pet has passed away, so I want to give them the life they once beamed out.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-05
HoTS: Who is your favorite artist?
RC: My favorite living artist is Chet Zar, and my favorite dead artist is Salvador Dali.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-07
HoTS: What advice would you give to young artists out there?
RC: Never ever ever give up. Every piece you do is another step closer to where you want to be. Fuck rejections. Fuck toxic people. Kick all that out of your life and mind. Focus on your work and what you want to accomplish.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-10
Check out this gallery opening video to see a little bit more of what you can expect at Sink or Swim Art Gallery.

Stop by their Facebook page and give it a like.
And don’t forget to visit their Sink or Swim Art Gallery to see more awesome horror art – some of which is available for purchase. And Halloween is just around the corner.
Posted by ZombieGurl in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, Homepage picture, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – August 2017: RF Pangborn

Artist of the Month – August 2017: RF Pangborn

It’s hard to believe this Mad Genius works retail by day. I cannot imagine him in any other uniform than an apron or lab coat!
Here is a brief bio: Born in Plainfield, NJ,now residing in Tampa Bay, FL, with his wife, dog and cat. 🙂 He paints in his home studio.
It took a long time for me to get an interview out of him, but I am stubborn like that. 😉 Here is our Q&A:
House of Tortured Souls: Did you go to art school or have any special training?
RF Pangborn: I’ve been a doodler my whole life. Drawing was a great form of escapism for me when I was a child. During my troubled adolescent years, one of my grade school teachers insisted my parents find an art school. I had the good fortune of living in the town next to impressionist painter Charles R. Nevad who taught privately. Huge mentor to me. After about five years of teaching me, he confides in me that my dad hasn’t paid him since the first two months. He didnt care. After his death, I swore to make art my life no matter the cost.
HoTS: Who is your favorite creep, beast, immortal bad guy?
RFP: Being raised on horror, I have so many favorites. It’s hard to pick one or the other. My first obsession as a kid was with The Wolfman.
horror-aotm-rfpangborn-leatherfaceHoTS: Do you sketch your pieces out first in lead or go straight to painting?
RFP: I do a lot of requests, which is just basically copying what you see in a photo. But for my own personal pieces, I do like to fool around with ideas and sketches beforehand. I’m also partial to throwing abstract random brush marks on the board and waiting for the images to emerge. I think Jackson Pollack referred to this sort of thing as psychoanalytical painting, and I find it to be awesome therapy.
HoTS: Do you do any art shows or set up at conventions?
RFP: I’m currently featured at Hamilton Gallerie D’art in Illinois. I’ve done a few odd shows. Most everyone is on my case about the convention scene, and I want to get into it, but time just isn’t permitting at the moment.
HoTS: What or who inspired you to do horror art?
RFP: I think the horror angle was just a natural progression since I love it. There’s a lot of drama and imaginative freedom.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube?
RFP: I have had a Facebook page up since I started painting again after a 25 year hiatus. I tried branching out to a .com, but it was a year of wasted effort. Social media is where it’s at. Unfortunately, I only have enough time to really pay attention to one format right now. As you well know, it’s all I can do to remember I have an interview waiting for months in my in box… 🙂
HoTS: Are you currently working on something?
RFP: I’ve been slowly trying to wean myself into full time art, so I’m working on multiple pieces around the clock. Always busy with something over here, thank God!
horror-aotm-rfpangborn-mummyHoTS: Do you do commission pieces?
RFP: Right now, it’s the commissioned pieces that are keeping me afloat, so, yeah, I’m doing those constantly. I’m hoping that sometime soon this will open up more free time to work on some more original pieces, which is kind of why one gets into art in the first place. But request pieces help pay the bills around here so they get priority.
HoTS: I’m digging the cover piece to your album. 🙂 Where can we buy the album?
RFP: My album??? LOL, if you mean my ridiculous experimental noisecore, well here if you’ve got the stomach for it.
HoTS: What do you love to do when you are not creating horror?
RFP: I’d really love to get my hands back into filmmaking though it’s time consuming to the extreme and pisses off everyone you know to no end. I can also see myself doing more “music” in the future, but right now I’m putting everything I have into the painting.

I dug this one up, hopes he appreciates my hard work. 😉

I will leave you folks with my favorite piece Vincent Flipping Price!!!!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – July 2017:  Aya Jade

Artist of the Month – July 2017: Aya Jade

I could not have picked a better AotM for July then Miss Aya. Because she is a firecracker!!! Special effects makeup has been popular for years now. Especially for cosplay and with shows like Face/Off. And this female artist certainly has skill in that department! I mean to go from this TO THIS will certainly blow a few minds and drop some jaws!!! I have some face paint left over that I WAS going to dabble with one of these days. But well SHIT!
Here is a brief bio of our lovely monster, followed by our Q&A:horror-artistofthemonth-ayajade-nun
My name is Aya, I’m a fashion and special effects artist from Wellington, New Zealand.
I’m 22 years of age and have been doing beauty makeup professionally since the age of 17 but I’m very new to the special effects community!
House of Tortured Souls: This extent of face special effects painting is pretty new and mind blowing! How many years have you been in it to get these awesome?
Aya Jade: I’ve only been doing it for a year now, but I dabbled in body painting before becoming qualified!
HoTS: Do you go to an Art School? Or have a special teacher?
AJ: I went to the Special Effects Makeup Course in Wellington last year, it is a ‘Full-on’ for a few months, learning the basics of what we need to know to be in this career path. I would love to go on to learn sculpting and molding.
HoTS: Why horror?
AJ: Horror movies and games are a favorite genre of mine and I’ve always been fascinated by the creations and transformations in them. Seeing something so grotesque in a real world is setting is intriguing but terrifying.
HoTS: What is your favorite monster?
AJ: Silent Hill creatures, they’re all so insane looking.
HoTS: Is there a special makeup or body paint you use?
AJ: I use a lot of Kryolan, Ben Nye and Mehron! They’re amazing professional SFX brands. I also Paint with Fab paint and Snazaroo.
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or any art shows?
AJ: Unfortunately we don’t have much in New Zealand but I do go to our biggest event which is Armageddon. I’m either cosplaying or doing the zombie makeup!
HoTS: Do you do ‘How to’ videos?
AJ: Yes! I’m very amateur, though, haha.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page? Instagram? Twitter? Facebook? YouTube?
AJ: All of my social medias are under the name Aya Jade. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and YouIube.
HoTS: Are you for hire? You would total rock a wedding!
AJ: Yes, I am actually!
HoTS: What do you like to do when you are not creeping people out?
AJ: I play video games, watch my favorite TV series and movies, I’m also super passionate about animals and love hanging out at my local shelters and sanctuaries if I’m not at home with my own!
I MEAN, WHO IS NOT IN LOVE WITH AYA NOW?!?!?
Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MAKE UP AND EFFECTS, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – June 2017:  Matthew Zip

Artist of the Month – June 2017: Matthew Zip

Once again, this artist was introduced to me by a previous AoTM. I am thrilled to wear the Artist Interview pin! This guy has amazing talent, and the detailing will blow you away. It does take hella skill to create these sketches, but also passion and drive. And boy, does he have all of that!Creature From the Black Lagoon / Artist: Matthew Zip

A Brief Biography

Matthew Zip was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. He now lives in Houston Texas and is a tattoo and fine art artist. He has been with his lovely wife Amanda for over ten years, and they have been married for four of those. They have one son, Jacob.
Be sure to check out his website.

The Interview

Let’s begin the interrogation!
Otis from The Devil's Rejects and House of 1,000 Corpses Otis from The Devil's Rejects and House of 1,000 Corpses / Artist: Matthew ZipHouse of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Matthew Zip: I have been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil or a crayon.
HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?
MZ: Myself, mostly, until I got into high school and got into a good art class there with a very supportive teacher. After high school, I continued my education and got an associates degree in fine arts. That’s where I really started to learn a lot, in college.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
Matthew Zip: I’ve always been in love with the horror genre. Ever since I was a kid in the 80s, my dad would take me to video stores, and I would just stand there in the horror section and look at all the different covers. They were so beautiful and horrible at the same time, and they really captured my imagination.
HoTS: Do you draw in lead, charcoal, or the blood of innocent souls?
MZ: 😉 All of the above!
Image: Matthew Zip
My dear friend Jamie Dietz will melt when she sees this one!
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster?
MZ: If I did it would probably be Nathan Grantham from Creepshow (“Father’s Day” story) or Chop Top from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
HoTS: Do you post in galleries anywhere or do a booth at comic cons or art shows?
MZ: I have done comic cons and art shows, no galleries as of now.
Freddy Kruger smiles in A Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Kruger sneers in A Nightmare on Elm Street
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
MZ: A few different ways, either through my Instagram or Facebook or you could go to my Etsy store.
Alfred Hitchcock / Artist: Matthew ZipHoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
Skeleton Moth from The Silence of the Lambs / Artist: Matthew ZipMZ: A few different ways, either through my Instagram or Facebook.

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
MZ: Yes!
My Instagram is @zip_tattooist
My Facebook is Matthew Zip Howard
Batman's The JokerHoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
MZ: I just finished up seven pieces for one person, all of them sketches and all of them classic Universal monsters.
HoTS: What are some of your past-times outside of drawing?
Regan from The Exorcist / Artist: Matthew ZipMZ: I have no real hobbies outside of art, unless you count more art is being a hobby! Haha, I do painting, sculpting, tattooing, and I’m trying to get into special-effects make up more.
Star Wars isn’t actually scary, but I am still a nerd after all and these are frocking amazing!
Yoda from Star Wars
Darth Vader from Star Wars
Boba Fett from Star Wars
Darth Maul from Star Wars
And this tribute to Snape has me in my feels!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, COLLECTIBLE REVIEWS, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – May 2017: Maxwell H. Blackheart

Artist of the Month – May 2017: Maxwell H. Blackheart

Mother’s Day is coming up. Get your mom and your baby’s momma something special this year.
No? She’s more of an ‘I Love Lucy’ kinda gal? Okay!
Or maybe clowns?
Giggles 😀 I, personally, would be thrilled to own any of those pieces. Then again, I am one twisted bitch!
Once again, a previous AotM sent me to this one. And BOY have I hit the MOTHERLOAD!!! Maxwell is flipping amazing!! There be a lot of talent in them fingers – and a lot of demented thoughts in that there brain! I love it!! Maxwell does have amazing skills and you will be thrilled to have been introduced to his work!
I’m in need of a Hall of Blackheart now!!
I was obnoxious enough to get some answers out of him! No really he was kind enough to take the time out to answer some questions and is a real down to earth fellow.
Firing away with the questions.
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Maxwell H. Blackheart: I can remember watching my dad draw quick sketches of faces when I was about six or seven. I didn’t know how he did this so I would just watch him draw these random faces. After awhile I got motivated to try it myself. I copied what he did and liked doing it. After many more drawings I started drawing Peanuts characters and just a few years later around eight years old I was drawing Kiss band members, snakes, spiders, and severed heads. It had begun.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
MHB: My first piece that I consider worth calling it a piece of art would have been a portrait of Gene Simmons from Kiss. I was starting to use colored pencils which I love to use to this day. It’s really my favorite medium because it’s quick and enjoyable for me.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
MHB: I’m not exactly sure when I did. It was just kind of the path I took. It was the road that felt right and looked interesting to explore. I guess I’d say around eight years old. Godzilla, Frankenstein, and severed heads were always a fun subject for me.
HoTS: Do you draw in lead, charcoal, or the blood of innocent souls? 😉
MHB: I draw mostly with Prismacolor pencils and ink. I also like graphite. I’ve only produced about 9 or 10 acrylic paintings but I hope to do more in the future.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
MHB: My favorite Immortal creep is a hard question. For some reason Rawhead Rex comes to mind. Nothing like a heavy metal looking head chomping boogie man to torture your soul with fear.
HoTS: Do you do comic cons, art shows or anything?
MHB: I would love to. I wanna meet all the nice people I hear from every single day on social media. It’s hard for me to travel at this time. For now you will have to come to me here in Spokane Washington or you can just visit my Instagram.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
MHB: If you want to see what I have up or make a purchase, I sell originals and prints here http://www.maxblackheart.com and Etsy as well https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaxBlackHeart. T-shirts are a new item I have been selling also.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
MHB: I mostly post my latest pieces on Instagram @maxblackheart. You can find me on Facebook and Etsy also.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
MHB: I am currently working on a painting that is Alice Cooper themed, ‘Cold Ethyl’ from his song with the same title. If you love corpses or “love” corpses you’ll love this piece. Also take a listen to this song if you haven’t heard it. It’s a real toe tapper.
HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
MHB: I have lots of things I do outside of my art like spending time with my family. Riding motorcycles music and photography. I also like thinking and doing things my own way. Also really good at eating steak. Medium rare please.
Y’all be sure to go follow, like, poke, pinch, share, love, put your right foot in, put your right foot out… Oh no, wait, that’s something else! Seriously go support as much as you can!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, IMAGES, STAFF PICKS, 2 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – APR 2017: Mélanie Khoth

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – APR 2017: Mélanie Khoth

I spotted our next AotM on Instagram. It was right around the time the new Ring movie was out , so her 3D art really caught my attention! And the fact that this artist is a young female, even better!!! My favorite piece and what made me really go after her was her Samora piece. OMG it is flipping AWESOME!
Image: Melanie Khoth
Mélanie Khoth is 22, lives in Paris, France, and is a Graphic Designer at BeautEastSphere.com. She was kind enough to answer a little Q&A, so let’s dive right in.
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you sgot into art?
Mélanie Khoth: I started drawing at a very early age, like every kid. Stickman family and my childhood heroes.
HoTS: Your talent at 3D is phenomenal! Did it take you years to get to this point?
MK: Oh merci! Less than 3 years ago (I was a physics student at this time), I first saw somewhere on Internet a post on 3D drawings, and I was like super impressed, I didn’t know that kind of drawing was possible. And of course, I wanted to try. My first 3D drawing was an Eiffel Tower. (You can see it on my Instagram page, first post I think.) I really started drawing at this time, and posted my drawings on Instagram to see my progress.
HoTS: Who is your favorite monster?
MK: Hard to choose. I’m a big horror movie fan, I watched them all. But I will choose Chucky, cute and funny (I’m 3D drawing him, so don’t miss it), or the Gremlins. Haha.
HoTS: Did you go to art school?
MK: Nope, self taught. Drawing is natural for me, I just take a pen and know what to do.
Image: Melanie Khoth
HoTS: Do you do art shows, comic cons, or sell your art anywhere?
MK: No, no, and no, but I would love to.
HoTS: Do you use pencil, charcoal, or graphite, or ink from nightmares?
MK: Colored pencils are my favorite. I also use markers and paint pens. I love colored drawings.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, maybe on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram?
MK: You can stalk me on my Instagram page or Facebook, or Twitter, or YouTube. Just look for my name.
HoTS: Is there somewhere fans can go to purchase your art?
MK: No, sorry, not at the moment! But I’m planning to, so many people ask me for a portrait. I didn’t stop my physics studies for nothing, haha.
HoTS: How many jars of peanut butter are in your kitchen?
MK: Zero! Peanut butter is not very popular in France. I’m a Nutella person.
HoTS: What do you love to do in your spare time other than drawing?
MK: I’m a yoga girl, I like to be in weird yoga pose. Reading and watching series or movies. I also love watching movie trailers, that’s my thing. I think I watched more trailers than movie.
I will leave you guys with this cute 3D of a sweet clown. 🙂
Image: Melanie Khoth
Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – MAR 2017: Don England

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – MAR 2017: Don England

I found out our next AotM by a previous AotM Cory Newman (you remember the badass tattooist) He actually pointed the finger to a few horror artists, many will be AotM in months to come. Don England does most of his sketches only with pencil and ink alone, and they turn out incredible! He has a truly amazing skill and horror is perfect for black and white sketches.
Here is our Q&A:
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Don England: I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. My mother was an artist and taught me many techniques in drawing when I was a little kid. Spider-Man was my favorite thing to draw when I was younger.
HoTS: Did you take art courses?
DE: I took basic art classes in school and then in my late 20s I took a few classes at a local art store to learn watercolor and a few other things. But that’s about it.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
DE: Well, I’ve loved horror films since I was a little kid. Back in grade school I would watch Sir Graves on the local station. He would play a variety of horror films ranging from the Universal monsters to the Hammer films. Eventually we got cable and then a VCR and they opened me up to an entirely new world of horror I had never seen. So for whatever reason horror became a passion for me either watching or talking about it. So it just became natural for me to start drawing what I would see on the screen.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
DE: Werewolves were always my favorite. Curse of the Werewolf was the first werewolf movie I had seen but An American Werewolf in London is the movie that blew my mind. l watched it when I was in 6th grade and I’ve never been the same since! I like the idea of the inner beast coming out.
HoTS: Tell us about your featured pieces.
DE: Nosferatu, a piece that took me awhile to finish because I didn’t think it was looking correct. By the time I finished it I personally think it’s one of the best I’ve done.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Nosferatu
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Horror Collage
DE: Horror Montage, was a piece I worked on for a long time, a lot of erasing and rearranging. It’s the piece that got me noticed.
DE: The Night Pieces cover is one of my personal favorites. Gary Reed, who was putting out the book, gave me a brief idea of what he wanted and this is what came of it. It’s different for my usual stuff and I think that’s why I like it.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Night Pieces
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Pan's Labyrinth
DE: The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth is such a great looking character. I was really pleased with the way it come out.
DE: An American Werewolf In London, I had this piece planned for a long time.. I wanted to do something more that just a couple images from the movie. Once I finally got moving on it I was very happy with the final results.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, An American Werewolf in London
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows anywhere?
DE: I’ve been setting up all comic and horror cons for nearly 25 years. When I started, it was to promote Lethal Lita, the comic I was working on at the time. After a few years of local comic cons I started setting up at horror cons and now I’m at 12-15 conventions a year, mostly in the mid-west. Cinema Wasteland, Monsterpalooza, Horror Hound, and Motor City Comic Con are a few of my regular shows.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
DE: You can see me at the conventions but you can also go to donaldengland.com for prints, original art and shirts. I also post on Facebook and Instagram almost daily with sketches and finished pieces that are for sale. If interested in commissions you can message me with your request.
HoTS: Do you have a fanpage or twitter etc where we can keep up with your work?
DE: I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I post the most on Facebook where I have a personal page and a fan page. Both pages are open to anyone wanting to see my work.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
DE: Hmmm, I’m going to guess Batman or Spider-Man.
HoTS: What is your favorite pastime outside of drawing?
DE: Hanging out with the wife and kids!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, FEATURED ARTIST, IMAGES, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, STAFF PICKS, 1 comment
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – FEB 2017: Kevin Merck

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – FEB 2017: Kevin Merck

Turkey Merck Mugs have my heart for so many reasons! For one, they are crafted with unbelievable attention to detail. Every mug is incredibly life-like – even to the point where you can hear them scream. Another reason I love Terkey Merck Mugs is, duh!, Kevin is a true horror craftsman, an exceptionally talented horror artist. This art is sure to creep out or flip out any house guests you may have and is a sure fire way to get your mother out of your house. 😉
We float in the same social circle, so it wasn’t long before I stumbled across Terk via another Artist of the Month, Steve Turner, who has drawn ‘The Screamer’ and ‘Joe’ several times. (And I want each piece!) Then, one of the Walkers I have the pleasure of chatting with on Facebook posed with one of the cups for a shot. I MELTED! There was so much good stuff in the photo!
Check out the glossy, bloodshot eye. And look at how wet that blood appears! And all those wrinkles! What did I tell you about detail?
I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Kevin Merck, the man behind these creations. Here is our Q+A.
House of Tortured Souls: What got you into designing coffee mugs?
Kevin Merk: Since 2001, my main focus has been to create interesting sculpts on traditional utilitarian ceramic ware. Sculpted character coffee mugs have always been a popular item, but they have become a really hot item over the past couple of years. I probably made my first mug around 2003.
HoTS: How long have you been a fan of horror?
KM: For as long as I can remember. I think the first horror/action movie that I watched was Predator… I was 5.
HoTS: Favorite monster?
KM: The Wolfman… or the Xenomorph… or the Predator… It’s a toss up.
HoTS: Do you mold each mug by hand, or have you created a mold for your different types?
KM: I create many original pieces, and then I choose which design I want to produce on a larger scale. From there I sculpt another model based on my original design and then make the molds and then begin castings. Even though my production pieces come from a mold, I actually sculpt certain areas on each cast while the clay is still damp. My goal is to make each piece look like it did not come from a ceramic mold. Each cast is also custom painted using ceramic glazes and fired in my kiln. I fire each piece at least three times and I apply a different layer of glaze before each firing. I only began casting my designs in 2016 so every piece up until 2016 was a one-off original.
HoTS: Do you own a kiln? And how many incidents have there been?
KM: I own two Olympic Kilns. Olympic makes a really dependable kiln, and they are located just 15 minutes from my house. If you mean exploding pottery when you say incidents, then, yes… but only once… and that was my fault because I rushed the firing. I had a two very good teachers, Wayne Hewell and Jeff Standridge, when I first starting firing my work so I have been able to avoid many possible mishaps due to their instruction.
HoTS: Do you do conventions or art shows?
KM: I have done local pottery shows in the past, but I had to give those up in 2016 due to my busy schedule. I would like to set up at the Atlanta Walker Stalker Con at some point. Having a booth at Monsterpalooza would also be pretty cool.
HoTS: Are you working on any new ones, or have plans down the road?
KM: I work on new designs quite often. Some of the designs make the cut for production and some of them remain on my shelf or are purchased by collectors. I have a couple of designs I would like to release next year. A Batman mug is pretty high on the list and I also have some designs based on The Walking Dead walkers that I would like to produce. I also have an original design, Mad Mike, that is due out in March or April.
HoTS: Did you take some courses or classes on how to create mugs?
KM: On the pottery side of things I studied under Master Potter Wayne Hewell and he taught me how to work with the clay, firing, glazing, etc. As far as sculpting goes, I supposed I would be considered a self-taught sculptor since I have never taken a class on sculpting…I just kind of wing it until it looks right. I have watched a ton of online demo videos by some of the world’s best sculptors.
HoTS: What activities do you do outside of creepy mug creations?
KM: I try to spend as much time with my lovely wife, Kayla, and my two awesome kids, Mara (2) and Grey (1). I am big into the outdoors…I love kayak fishing on the river and hunting…but that has been put on the back burner since I have been so busy this year with fulfilling orders. I am also active in my church, and I am very thankful that the Good Lord has allowed me to make a living doing something that I am very passionate about!
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, website, Twitter account, etc?
KM: You can find my work on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. My website is primarily used for mug sales so to see most of my sculpts you will need to visit my social media accounts.
Thanks for the wonderful interview, Kevin Merck!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, INTERVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 1 comment
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JAN 2017: Jonathan Patrick Hughes

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JAN 2017: Jonathan Patrick Hughes

We start 2017 with one of our own – Jonathan Patrick Hughes.
If the title was not a big enough hint, it is a Christmas horror. Which we certainly do not have enough of 🙂
Here is our interview:
House of Tortured Souls: How long have you been a horror fan?
Jonathan Patrick Hughes: I have been a fan since I was quite young. I guess you can say that my mother got me involved starting with Friday The 13th Part 2 and from then on, my love for horror just escalated as time moved forward.
HoTS: What led to you deciding to write and direct a scary movie?
JPH: When I was 4 years old, my mother brought home with her a VHS copy of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I watched that thing 1,000 times and after seeing how the short film was made, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do. Back then, it was very rare that an audience got to see a making of something and at the age of 4 no one knows what they want to be when they grow up. I was different, bc I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up.
HoTS: How long have you worked on (S)Aint Nick?
JPH: The idea popped in my head 3 years ago. We just got done shooting my very first horror short film, APARTMENT 1109 and when it was time to wrap up everything I just wanted to keep going. I was so excited to say that I made my first film and within a week later, the idea for (S)AINT NICK was born. I started writing the script while I was still in film school and once I graduated in January of 2015, I put all my focus on preparing what was going to be my first film after film school. Pre production ran about 7 months, we shot the film last December through the beginning of January and then spent about 7 months on post production.
HoTS: What inspired you to do this particular movie?
JPH: Being a fan of all types of Horror films, I was always a fan of holiday-themed horror films. Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, Silent Night, Deadly Night, and Trick ‘r Treat just to name a few. Christmas horror seems to be my favorite type of holiday-themed horror films. It’s the time of giving and spending time with the family in front of a fully lit tree, dinners, and just smiles all around. Everyone is just so perky around that time of year. So, I wanted to crash that party with a very bleak, disturbing tale of sadness and discomfort, making an audience feel like they desperately need to rush home and take a shower after what they just witnessed. To make a long story short, my biggest influence upon making this film was ROB ZOMBIE. If anybody knows the kind of films he makes and loves them as well as his style of filmmaking and storytelling, then they should also find themselves loving (S)AINT NICK as well.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
JPH: MICHAEL MYERS is my ultimate idol. John Carpenter’s Halloween is my all time favorite film and has been for over 25 years. I’ve seen the film way over 300 times and every time I view the film, I always get excited as if it’s the very first time I’m viewing it.
HoTS: Coke or Pepsi?
JPH: If I had to choose, I’d say Pepsi. I would much rather enjoy a half gallon of iced tea, though.
HoTS: Are you working on any more movies or have plans for others?
JPH: We are in the very early stages of writing my debut feature. I have asked Braden Bixler to come on board as my co-writer. Braden was responsible for the sound and score on (S)AINT NICK. The only thing that I will say at this giving time is imagine if John Hughes (Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, and Uncle Buck) was alive today and decided to make a slasher film, taking it back to the old school days. That is the current project we are working on. I have also developed an Easter horror short film, as well, but we will see if that takes off sometime in the future.
HoTS: Where can fans view/purchase (S)Aint Nick?
JPH: (S)AINT NICK has just been picked up by Body Bag Films. Tony Newton is the producer of an anthology titled The 12 Slays of Christmas and (S)AINT NICK will be one of the tales told in the anthology. No official release date as of yet, but I am told that the film will be available On Demand as well as DVD. As soon as I find out all the goodies, I will gladly inform everyone. Click here to check them out on IMDb.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page or twitter acct where we can keep up with the latest?
JPH: I just use Facebook. It’s user friendly and everybody seems to have one. I have a Twitter, I just don’t use it.
HoTS: What are some of your other hobbies?
JPH: Hobbies include spending time with my son, Liam, who is 5 years old, and trying to be a better father as well as a better coach. Other hobbies include writing, directing, creating, watching movies – old and new, listening to music, and setting up future goals for myself. You only live once, go big or go home, but always have fun!!!
We are looking forward to more of his work.
Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, COMING SOON, FEATURED ARTIST, FEATURED CONTENT, INTERVIEWS, 4 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DEC 2016: Jaquan Robinson

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DEC 2016: Jaquan Robinson

By Tammie Parker
Back in October I introduced you to the other half of this artistic couple. I thought it only fitting to showcase her sensei and partner. 🙂
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-navyuniform
Jaquan is in the Navy. Come January he will be in for 5 years. It is an honor times two that I have this opportunity to interview him. I have such mad respect for those willing to serve this country and help out those that cannot defend themselves.
Now if that were not impressive enough for ya, get a load of Ernie Hudson (yes the Ghostbuster :O ) with a pair of Jaquan’s shoes
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-ghostbusters_crop
Jaquan says they (he and Artist of the Month of October, Nicole) met Ernie at a convention, and two years later when they returned Ernie remembered who they were. I would just die right there on the spot!! He wouldn’t even need to use his Proton Pack.
Or how about Sugartits himself Merle Dixon?
Holy Shoe Batman!! That is Michael Flipping Rooker! :O :O Can you even? I can’t even right now, and I wasn’t even there!
Speaking of Batman 😉
horror-art-shoes-batman
horror-art-shoes-joker
No matter which side you are on, they have you covered!
Jaquan and Nicole run a business called Eclectic Goods. They will do custom jobs by the way. And their arts isn’t just on shoes, they do horror-art-shoes-excorsist caps, and bags, and have even painted tiny coffins (great for Halloween or ‘Over the Hill’ gifts). They do specialize in horror (all genres) well of course otherwise they would be no friends of mine LOL. However they’re talents do not stop there. What about your video game hero, your favorite cartoon, or favorite comic character? I promise you this guy is the one to hit up for the job!

But they also have my heart with their classic horror icons like Freddy and Jason
horror-art-freddy
horror-shoe-friday13th
The couple travel around to many conventions, perhaps you have already seen them and are kicking yourself for not buying those Daryl Dixon pumps. Well I’m about to share their shop on etsy, and their Facebook page.
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-conbooth
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-conbooth2
Firing away with the questions.
House of Tortured Souls: Are you self-taught or did you take courses somewhere?
JR: A little of both actually, I have been drawing and doing art things all my life. I also went to an art school for a while, that’s where I gained a bit more painting experience.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
JR: I painted a The Nightmare Before Christmas piece for my wife Nicole on a modest sized canvas.
horror-art-shoes-nightmarebeforechristmas
 The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of their favorites to do. 🙂
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
JR: I think I started to really get into it a few years ago. Nicole is a huge horror person, so it definitely helped me embrace it more. She’s huge into Stephen King’s It. We watched a lot back in the day. And growing up I LOVED scary games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil (the first 3).
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
JR: I think it’s safe to say the Crypt Keeper.
HoTS: In many photos I see you bent over the shoe, seriously concentrating. Do you draw the pic on first in ink? Or do you screen print some sort of way? Or dive right into painting?
JR: I dive right in and just see what happens, probably not always the best approach. Nicole and I usually discuss how it will turn out first, but I rarely draw it out first. Usually I’m just looking at my phone or tablet and painting from the image there. Sometimes adding something different it think is missing.
HoTS: What’s the next con or art show you guys can be found at?
JR: We have nothing planned yet. We are moving in January and how smooth that works out will dictate the next con, not to mention the holidays are fast approaching! We will be busy from here on out until the move.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
JR: You can find our work on etsy, search eclecticgoodsva.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
JR: Yes, we have an Instagram, Egcustomkicks, and a Facebook page, Eclectic Goods: Hand Painted Shoes, where we regularly post new works.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
JR: Oh, yes, always! There just isn’t enough time in the day lol, you would be surprised at some of the custom things we have been working on. We just finished working on The Shining, Scarlet Spiderman, and some Deadpool/Wolverine designs. All fun challenging stuff.
HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
JR: Spending time with family, catching up on some good TV shows, playing some PC games on my rig, and (don’t laugh) yo-yoing. Haha.
Keep an eye out for this couple, they are blowing up!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, CONVENTIONS AND EVENTS, INTERVIEWS, 2 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – NOV 2016: Cory Newman

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – NOV 2016: Cory Newman

By Tammie Parker

A Few Minutes With
Cory Newman

Boy, do I have a way of stumble across different, unique, and original artists! Once again, I found an artist through a mutual Walker (zombie for TWD) friend, that was showcasing his work of her as a Walker. My original comment was ‘WOW! That is one helluva nice tat!’ However, I came to find out it wasn’t a tattoo at all; that’s just the style and the fact that Cory Newman uses parchment paper so it looks like it’s on skin. His highlighting and shading is on point, and these portraits jump off that paper. You really have to stand back to make sure you do not get bit.
Then, when I struck up a conversation with him, I found out that not only is he a real tattoo artist (and a kick-ass one – click here to check out his tat Facebook page), but he’s also a horror fan and does other monsters besides zombies. So there’s something for everyone. 😉
Cory is 45-years-old and a professional tattoo artist from Wisconsin. He owns Black Lotus Custom Tattoos in Onalaska, Wisconsin.
I harassed Cory, and got these Q&As out of him.
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Cory Newman: I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I remember growing up with people always saying how good my art was.
HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?
CN: I’m a self-taught artist. I did take an art course once, but it didn’t last long. I didn’t like being told what’s the right and wrong way to draw.
HoTS: When/why did you fall in love with horror or zombie art?
CN: I fell in love with horror when I was 8. I remember being home alone and watching the Exorcist through the holes of a blanket. It was fun being scared.
HoTS: Do you draw on paper (in lead?) then paint in? Or on a computer with a program?
CN: I draw it graphite, white charcoal, and red food coloring.
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster or walker?
CN: It’s hard to choose a favorite horror movie monster but if I have to answer I would say I’m partial to Michael Myers and Ash and the Deadites from the Evil Dead. I’m also I big zombie fan. I love The Walking Dead. My favorite character is Rick Grimes and my favorite walker is the ‘Bicycle Girl’ played by Melissa Cowen. Also, I love Hellraiser and all the Cenobites.
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows?
CN: I don’t do comic or horror cons. but that is one of my long term goals. I would love to travel to like-minded people to sell my art.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
CN: As of right now, the only way to purchase prints of my work is to contact me on Facebook. I very rarely sell my originals. Only two people own my original work. I don’t really do commissions. I feel like I’ll be stuck drawing a bunch of stuff that’s extremely boring to me. I don’t want to get burnt out on my drawing.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
CN: No real fan pages. I have most of my work on my Facebook profile under the album Horror and Fan Art. And I also have a page called The Devils Sketchbook. The best way to keep up on my drawing is through my Facebook profile.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
CN: Right now I’m working on a drawing of Negan from The Walking Dead. Next I’m planning two Hellraiser drawings.
HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
CN: Outside of drawing and tattooing I spend a lot of time with my wife and my boxer Boondox. I also collect horror and walking dead collectibles. Other than that I’m a pretty boring person.
HA! Yep, he’s a pretty boring person! Right?
I am the proud owner of two of his pieces.
I am completely in love and now planning a road trip to Wisconsin to find a bush to hide in (or in this case a bookshelf!) to watch him work.
Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, FEATURED ARTIST, Homepage picture, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – OCT 2016: Nicole Robinson

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – OCT 2016: Nicole Robinson

By Tammie Parker

I came across a pair of TWD themed Eclectic Goods shoes on a page on fb. And it was like I found the love of my life!! LOL seriously I was shouting, ‘WHY. am I just finding these??’ Eclectic Goods is actually a power couple of KICK-ASS comic nerds, gamers, comic-conners, and cartoon lovers! I swear I’m going to move in with them!!! Now they are doing caps and totes. #LOVE

Nicole Robinson, owner and artist, agreed to answer a few questions.

twd-shoes-michonne

House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started drawing and painting?
Nicole Robinson: To be honest it wasn’t until I was an adult in my 20s that I tried to paint anything. I used to doodle and draw here and there growing up but never anything serious. My husband has been my biggest teacher and whatever talent I do have I learned from him.

horror-movies-fridaythe13th-shoes2

HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?
NR: I took art classes in high school and one in college. Also I have had some amazing people throughout my life with various talents that taught me many things. Jack, my partner and husband has had some training at an Art Institute in Florida which he was kind enough to share with me. Before him I had no idea about mixing colors, shading, or a lot of technique skills that are really valuable. I would just grab a brush and start painting. He taught about what size brush and what type of brush I needed. He has really been my mentor in all this.

horror-movies-suicidesquad-shoes

HoTS: When did you fall in love with horror art? (TWD, Pennywise, etc) Why?

horror-movies-it-shoesNR: Growing up, my father was a huge influence on how my interest were formed. Halloween was always a big deal in our house. He had a love for the Stephen King Universe and my first horror movie was IT. Pennywise scared me to the core. It has always been a lot of fun for me and I enjoy creating the same type of memories with my kids. Watching horror movies and shows like The Walking Dead is just good old fashioned fun for me. Horror art is an expression of that and gives me an outlet. It always the most fun when it something I really enjoy.

twd-shoes-carlHoTS: Do you first draw in ink, or the blood of innocent souls? Then paint in?

NR: A little of both. Just depends on what we are painting that day.

horror-movies-texaschainsaw-shoes
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster?

NR: Pennywise the Clown will always hold a special place in my heart. I find Regan from The Exorcist really scary. There is something really frightening about innocence gone wrong.

horror-movies-it-shoes2

HoTS: Do you do comic cons? Or art shows? (I know the answer to a lot of these, so don’t think I’m senile.)

NR: We do comic con type events for the most part. This past summer we had booths at Scares That Care in Williamsburg, Va and Walker Stalker Con New Jersey. Both of which were beyond amazing to us and we can’t wait to return. We have also done a few others like Wizard World and Tidewater Comic Con. We don’t have anything coming up except for attending Scares That Care in July 2017.

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HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?

NR: We are on Etsy! Our shop is: Ecletic Goods.
horror-movies-nightmarebeforechristmas-shoes

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter acct, so we can keep up with your work?

NR: Yes, check us out here:

FB Follow / Free.
Instagram Follow / Free.
Twitter Follow / Free.

horror-movies-silenceofthelambs-shoesHoTS: Are you working on anything right now?

NR: Right now we are getting some new designs together for Halloween and preparing for the holidays. We have a new Hellraiser design and The Exorcist coming as well as a Walking Dead Rick and Daryl high top in the works.

HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?

NR: I play The Sims 3. Most of my free time is spent with my family. I have two amazing girls that keep me pretty busy. I do yoga and enjoy crafting.

Alright since this is the end of our Q&A with Nicole Robinson, let me just throw in another pair of TWD shoes.

twd-shoes-rick-graveyard

Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, CONVENTIONS AND EVENTS, 1 comment
ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Steve Turner

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Steve Turner

A Few Minutes With Steve Turner

By Tammie Parker

BRAINSI discovered Steve though a mutual Walker (The Walking Dead zombie) friend. Steve drew him as a Walker and it was the first time I thought to myself, ‘Well I would certainly hang that on my wall!’ Absolutely DISGUSTING and absolutely AWESOME!! He is very detailed, and many of his work is life-like. He definitely has a way of showcasing your creepy side.

Steve agreed to a Q&A, so let’s get to it!
 

House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?

Steve Turner: I don’t really know. I’ve been drawing for a while now, but I’ve been drawing digitally for around four or five years.

 

HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?

ST: I’m self taught, like everything it’s just practice. I’m still learning new things

 

HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art like The Walking Dead, Alien, etc.?

ST: I’ve always been into the horror genre, but The Walking Dead really grabbed me, Walkers are my favorite to draw.

 

HoTS: Do you draw in lead, charcoal, or the blood of innocent souls? Then paint over? Or is it all done on the computer?

ST: It’s all hand drawn on the computer using a Wacom Digital Pen and different pieces of software for line work and textures.

 

HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster? Do you have a favorite walker?

ST: I like the classics, Freddy, Jason, etc. Favorite walker? That’s a tough one. They are all fantastic, and I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with the actors and they are great guys.

 

"Eleven' Stranger Things

Eleven from Stranger Things

HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows?

ST: No, I don’t, but some of the Walker actors show my work at the cons.

 

HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?

ST: I don’t actually sell my work it’s purely a hobby for me, I usually give the image to whoever it’s for and leave it up to them what they want to do with it.

 

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account, so we can keep up with your work?

ST: Yes. I have a Facebook page, an Instagram account. I’m also on DeviantArt [Berzerk Artwerk], I need to update with my latest work!

 

HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?

ST: Mainly pet portraits! They are very popular at the moment.

 

HoTS: What are some of your past-times outside of drawing?

ST: I like walking Zakk my Border Terrier every morning, gaming, and watching movies.

 

Here are two of his TWD pieces. I’m telling ya this man in flipping awesome!

'It's an emotional moment' Negan on TWD

It’s an emotional moment.’ Negan on The Walking Dead

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Chris Harrelson, a Walker on The Walking Dead

Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: Remembering Wes Craven

TRIBUTE: Remembering Wes Craven

We Honor Genre Legend
Wes Craven

2 August 1939 – 30 August 2015

Wes Craven
When we here at House of Tortured Souls heard the tragic news about Wes Craven losing his battle with brain cancer, we were stunned and instantly saddened. It made us all realize what an indelible mark he has made in the film industry and with his fans and ourselves. And like many other sites, we decided to honor this revered master of horror and suspense and all say a little something about what the man and his films meant to us…

JOHN ROISLAND: When I was very young, I remember hearing adults talking of this horrific film called The Last House on the Left. I recall pieces of TV and newspaper ads for it and still more and more discussion about how disturbing and gross the film was, yet these ads and talks never seemed to have gone away. The funny thing was that the film came out the same year I was born, so that should give you some idea as to how long the impact of this film was. This was my first introduction to Mr. Wes Craven.

Moving forward a few years, I was in the 6th grade and had a few friends of mine staying the night. We had stayed up late watching this new horror movie on VHS called A Nightmare on Elm Street. To this day I remember how vivid my dreams were that night. This guy with knives for fingers chased me through this huge maze. This guy became one of the horror genre’s most popular horror icons, as well as Wes Craven’s most notorious character – Freddy Krueger.

For years to follow, Craven’s films became the blood that flowed through my veins. The Hills Have Eyes, Shocker, The People Under the Stairs, and let us not forget one film that I thought was absolute genius: Scream. Who else would have used a story about horror films, to create a horror film?

Many years later, I caught up with my past and finally watched The Last House On The Left. The movie was, by this time outdated, and the special FX that one has grown to expect in movies weren’t there, and ya know what? It didn’t matter. The film stands on its own and is one of a kind. I can honestly say that all the things I had heard all those adult voices saying when I was just a little kid were true. Love it or hate it, it is one of the most powerful and disturbing films I have seen to this day!

I’m not going to lie and tell you the Wes Craven was/is my favorite writer/director, because he isn’t. What I will say is that this master of horror deserves a huge amount of credit for his hand in shaping the horror film genre into what it is today. He was an inspiration and set filmmaking standards that will take many, many years for anyone else to match.

Thank you, Mr. Craven, for the beautiful nightmares.

 

AMY LYNES: I was in the seventh grade when I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street in the theater, and I was beyond terrified. I had truly never been that scared in my life. There were parts of the film where I couldn’t even breathe, and I think I jumped out of my seat at least five times. And the terror didn’t end when the credits rolled either. I was unable to sleep right for WEEKS. All these years later, I can honestly say that I have never had a film scare me the way ANOES did. The only other horror film that came even remotely close was also one of his films – Scream.

At the time, I had no idea that the director for ANOES and one of my childhood favorites, Swamp Thing, were one and the same. Swamp Thing showed me that appearances aren’t everything, and it made me the type of kid who always rooted for the underdog and stick up for the kids who were bullied. That is something that has stuck with me my entire life, and it’s huge part with who I am today.

While Scream isn’t one of my favorite films, it did genuinely scare me the first time I saw it. It was the kind of thing every girl who has ever been home alone or has been a babysitter in someone else’s home fears. Not since ANOES had a film given me nightmares and Scream did just that.

In the late 80s/early 90s, horror got boring for me. Everything seemed to lack originality or a formula that worked, and everything seemed SO predictable. Sadly, I kinda gave up on the genre for a while. Then in ’94, Wes Craven gave us New Nightmare and he gave Freddy back to the fans. He got rid of all the cheesy lines and he made Freddy scary again. He instantly reignited my love of horror with one film.

Wes Craven seemed to have a way of honing in on what scared me the most, and his films have had a huge impact on me becoming the horror fan that I am today. His passing was truly a loss to the horror community and its fans. He will be missed – by myself and countless others – for decades to come.

RIP Mr. Craven. You will live on through your countless masterpieces and in the hearts of your fans. Thank you for all the screams.

 

STEPHANIE ROISLAND: I was very young the first time I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street. My family was not into horror at all with the exception of my older brother. I always knew I was different. I wasn’t afraid of Freddy, he made me giggle. I was scared of the The Wizard of Oz, but The Hills Have Eyes intrigued me.

Wes Craven helped open my eyes to a world where everything twisted was acceptable and nightmares can be made into a reality on film. I loved the independent thoughts and freedom of his writing and movies. He, along with a handful of other directors/writers, gave me insight into a world where I fit in.

When I heard of Mr. Craven’s passing this is what I blogged and it is still how I feel: “The goal of life is not to live forever, but to create something that will”. And he accomplished just that. He will be immortal, not in the flesh but in his works. He has created a legacy that will live on and on with each generation. We will show our grandchildren his cult classics just as we did our children and show them how true horror really should be.

Rest In Peace, my friend, and here is to the immorality of Gods and Monsters.

 

DIXIELORD: Like so many horror fans, I first discovered Wes Craven with A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. Freddy Krueger was no hulking, silent stalker, no shambling zombie, and no Gothic Victorian creature of the night. Freddy was something entirely new, a laughing, wise cracking demon from hell, and he was always waiting in your dreams. With him, Wes Craven had made my nightmares something to really fear. Those harmless nightmares might not really be so harmless. Over the years, Freddy became a pop culture icon as the films got more campy, and people knew that Freddy was really Robert Englund. Then, when Freddy was posing with babies, and riding on parade floats, Wes took him back, and made him scary again. In New Nightmare, Wes Craven crashed through the fourth wall at full speed, making Freddy more real and more terrifying than ever.

Thank you, Wes, for making my youth more fun and more exciting. Thank you for giving me nightmares and for inspiring my imagination, while reminding me it’s all just a nightmare, and I can always wake up.

 

NICK DURHAM: Other than maybe John Carpenter, no other horror maestro’s films have had the effect on me the way Wes Craven’s had. Granted my feelings on The Last House on the Left are one thing, but that has its place in history and it set the stage for the greatness that would come. There was a time when nearly everything Craven touched turned to gold. Well…almost everything. Despite that though, a majority of his films have had quite an impact on me personally.

The Hills Have Eyes and, of course, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street are two of my all time favorite horror films in the history of ever. Not to mention the fact that he somehow managed to reinvigorate life into Freddy with New Nightmare and an extremely original and interesting premise that no other slasher franchise would dare take on. As much as I love John Carpenter to death, he’s never gone down that road. That, in itself, really made me believe that anything could be possible in the horror genre besides the typical and tired tropes we see again and again.

Wes Craven breathed life and fresh air into so many different elements of the horror genre with his films. Granted his later work didn’t do a whole lot to twist my knickers, but there’s no denying the effect a majority of his work has had on me personally and how I view the horror genre in general. There’s damn few other people in the genre that spoke to me like Wes Craven did, and all of us are worse off without his presence.

 

KIM RICKETTS: Early on in my journey into horror I was introduced to A Nightmare on Elm Street. I was young, probably first grade or so, and I remember sitting near my mom watching that gloved hand breach the water and get closer and closer to a dozing Nancy. I was terrified and captivated at the same time. I so badly wanted to look away but I couldn’t. I was hooked.

The actual killings didn’t scare me half as much as the psychological scares that Wes Craven put into his work. My whole life I’ve never been so much afraid of what I could see but what was lurking out there unseen and ready to get you at your most vulnerable time. The fact that you were less safe sound asleep and dreaming than when you were wide awake was a complete mind screw. I came to love the campy wit and pure genius that was Freddy Krueger. He became one of the bad guys that I wanted to win over and over.

The concept of New Nightmare was brilliant to me. To take Freddy from the screen and bring him into “real life” was frightening. Having Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund as themselves rather than Nancy and Freddy and then interact with a much darker, scarier Freddy made it seem like it really could happen.

With the Scream series, Craven hooked me again. I was in high school when the first film came out. I could relate. Sidney and her friends weren’t all that different from my friends and me. We felt invincible and didn’t follow rules for nothing. The fact that these kids were following horror movie rules that were basically every typical horror cliché was genius. This could happen in my town, and to my friends and me, and that just wasn’t cool. We were indestructible, after all, and too young to die. It made it even scarier.

And that’s what Wes Craven did so well. He scared you with what was in your mind. Whether it was Scream or The Last House on the Left, it could happen.

His scares will transcend time and his works will continue to frighten people for generations.

 

Dyametric 13: Wes Craven will be missed so much, by me and many others. As a director he wowed me. The second horror film I saw was A Nightmare on Elm Street. This film sparked something big in my heart for horror. It kept me wanting more. The first horror film I ended up seeing in the theater was Freddy’s Dead. I actually talked my mother into buying tickets for me and a friend, and it was amazing.

The People Under the Stairs was another big film for me. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched it. “Fool” was a true hero in this film and the way he got the name, always makes me smile. The reason is a past story of my own.

A little known movie by the name The Fear (1995) was a film Wes didn’t direct, but acted in. My name (Dyametric 13) comes from that film. I already knew what diametric meant, but watching this film made me love the word more. Dyametric 13 (with a slight spelling change) just stuck with me from that point on.

Even the Scream franchise has had some impact on me as a horror fan. It’s not one of my favorites, but every now and then, I will still give it a watch.

The Serpent and the Rainbow truly terrified me. This film still gives me chills. I imagine waking up in a coffin, buried alive, now a living zombie, and it freaks me out. Knowing that this kind of stuff happens in real life? It makes the whole film just a bit more terrifying.

In my eyes, this man will never truly die. He has earned his place in horror history, and he is a true legend.

R.I.P. Wes Craven, you will be missed.

 

MACHETE VON KILL: I thought it would be easy to sit down and write about what Wes Craven and his movies meant to me. I thought it would be easy to put his impact on my life into words. I was wrong on both accounts, but I’m trying…

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Wes Craven is Freddy Krueger! I was 10 years old and at a slumber party the first time I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy scared the shit out of me! I had nightmares for weeks! I had a rounded plastic bird cage in my bedroom window, and at night it cast a shadow on my ceiling. That shadow looked just like Freddy’s famous fedora. I was positive that Freddy was going to come out of that shadow and get me in my sleep! I don’t scare easily (other than a few embarrassing phobias). I never have. Freddy got me good and, in the long run, I liked it.

Over the years I’ve watched many of Craven’s films. The Serpent and The Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, and the original The Hills Have Eyes are among my favorites.

I have to admit, by the mid 1990s I was bored with the horror genre. I didn’t have access to much in my small town, and what I did have access to was mostly CRAP. It was played out, lame, and had no story. I gave up on my beloved genre until Craven gave us the gift of Scream. That movie brought me back to the genre. Wes was able to remind me why I fell in love with horror movies in the first place. He brought back masterful storytelling, enhanced with gore, rather than gore just for the sake of gore. It was a love letter to the fans, and for that I can never thank him enough.

 

WOOFER McWOOFERSON: When I started this piece, I thought I would talk about the two Wes Craven movies that I like most. The more I think about it, though, the harder that has been. His impact on the horror industry is undeniable, so I decided the best course was to discuss 10 things Wes Craven taught us.

1) The Last House on the Left (1972) taught us that revenge isn’t always a dish best served cold.

2) The Hills Have Eyes (1977) taught us that being on guard is never overrated.

3) Swamp Thing (1982) taught us that even plant monster men can love.

4) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) taught us that sleep really can be a bad thing.

5) Invitation to Hell (1984) taught us that Susan Lucci plays evil like nobody else.

6) Deadly Friend (1986) taught us to fear basketballs.

7) The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) taught us that Bill Pullman was more than a one trick pony.

8) Shocker (1989) taught us that the electric chair is not our friend.

9) The People Under the Stairs (1991) taught us that a lovely exterior can hide a hideous interior.

10) Scream (1996) taught us that there are rules to horror, and if you want to survive, you’d better know those rules and follow them.

Thank you, Mr. Craven. RIP.

 

KEV B.: We recently lost one of the brightest and most original minds in horror… Wes Craven who (among his other accomplishments) gave us Freddy Krueger and Ghostface. This is my posthumous praise for Mr Craven and his legacy. I was born in 1971 and raised in what I consider the greatest era of the horror genre. A time (in my opinion) of unparalleled awesomeness and the best time to be a young horror fan.

When I was about 12 years old my mom and I went to see A Nightmare on Elm Street on opening day, and I would venture to say it changed modern horror movies forever. I remember vividly, after the credits rolled, a man running out of the theater and projectile vomiting as Mom and I laughed.

It was unlike any other slasher of its time and gave us a new horror icon for the 80s… Freddy Krueger. Armed with a glove of knives for fingers and a killer wit, he slashed his way into our dreams and our hearts and established Wes Craven as a formidable force in the genre. After a few sequels, Freddy’s one liners became increasingly corny and he lost his initial menace, but the original is a true horror classic.

In the years to follow, Craven released The Serpent and the Rainbow and The People Under the Stairs, both of which are among my all time favorite movies and a departure from traditional horror. The Scream franchise was his big return to form, and he created a new icon for a new generation. Ghostface was a new kind of slasher with a whole new take on an old theme.

Wes Craven changed horror in my eyes, and with his passing horror will never quite be the same… Mr. Craven, you will be missed.

Wes Craven

Gone but never forgotten.

Posted by Amy Mead in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, EDITORIALS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments