Jeff Zornow is a name you
will soon know very well. We spoke with up an coming horror talent, Jeff
Zornow about his love for horror comics, his projects, and the man who
torments him, Dr. Gore.
TheBigBadWolf: Did you
grow up enjoying monster and horror comics?
Zornow: Partially. I always liked funny comic strips when
I was little, I didn't actually become addicted to comic books proper
until I was 12 in the mid-80's.THAT was when I KNEW THIS IS WHAT I WANT
TO DO WITH THE REST OF MY USELESS LIFE! And Around that time it was pretty
much all about the super heroes. Not a whole lot of horror comics were
happening in the 80's as opposed to the 70's. There were some cool things
happening in the later 80's once the independent black and white comic
Although MOST of my love of monsters and horror came from Movies over
comics, They were on Tv every weekend afternoon, as well as late at night,
all over new shops called video stores, and of course the movie theatres
I have loved monsters and horror for as long as I can remember.
TheBigBadWolf: Which books did you collect?
I remember loving the Steven Bissette Dark horse
comics, GODZILLA one-shot ('cuz Godzilla RULES ALL!) Mort Todd's monster/comic
magazine MONSTER'S ATTACK! BUT the ONE and ONLY horror comic that made
a searing impact on my mind for as long as I will live, was a horror comic
that completely encompasses the 80's horror frenzy the almighty issue
of GORE SHRIEK #1 from Fantaco!! THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT HORROR COMIC
OF THE 80'S! And I was one of the lucky ones who got to experience it
when it debuted. My 2 best friends and I would just read it over and over
and GAWK and GAG at what we were seeing! It was a perfect companion piece
to my copies of Fangoria magazine, video's of Evil Dead 1 and 2, My Scary
Stories to Tell in the Dark books, (with those truly horrifying Illustrations
by Stephen Gammell).
Back then I was also heavily into the first wave of Manga starting to
appear on comic racks, like AREA 88, GREY, even untranslated stuff at
my comic shop , (which was RARE in the 80's).
You see, I lived near a comic shop in Michigan called READER'S (also known
as READER'S EXCHANGE) which had a major
impact in my life, I mean the store itself has some interesting history
which made waves that affected the industry itself.
You see the Place originally was HUGE, with lots of back issues, Shirts,
Standing Video Games, A Graphic Novel section as well as a regular paperback
novel section. But the AMAZING thing about Reader's was the fact that
in 1987 I had access to a comic shop that RENTED BOOTLEG ANIME! I mean
they had a WHOLE WALL of anime Most of it un translated, and scratchy,
but my friends and I didn't care! We rented as much as we could, the more
action and violence the better! ALSO Reader's had a Japanese import section
which had Japanese magazines, manga, and toys ! Totally cool, I once got
a Godzilla 1985 cine-manga from there!
BUT the even MORE amazing thing about Reader's was that Caliber press
started there, somewhere in the back of the shop! So my friends and I
would be there and sometimes see these Punk looking dudes going in and
out of the back of the store, and the owner at the time told us that they
were making comics in the back. Guys like J. O'Barr and Guy Davis. Caliber
soon moved to a real office in my neighborhood of Plymouth. And suddenly
things came out of my area like, THE CROW, BAKER STREET, and DEAD WORLD!
Need I say any more about how that was an influence to a wannabe comic
artist in his early teens? With that kind of stuff around me, at that
time, many of my first ideas of what can be done, and what comics can
be were set in stone.
TheBigBadWolf: Who were your influences
in the art field?
The earliest influences on my vision of art was the anime BATTLE OF THE
PLANETS (Kugaku Ninjatai Gatchaman.. for my fellow Japanese nerds).But
in comics my first wave of Influences became, Haruhiko Mikimoto, J. O
'Barr, Guy Davis, Vince Locke, Norm Breyfogle, Steve Bissette, Todd McFarlane.
Later on, once I attended Art School, I was taught
and Mentored by Masters like Joe Orlando, Klaus Janson, Carmine Infantino,
Sal Amendola, Walt Simonson, and that one underground deviant known as
Mort Todd managed to slip in there and show me some tricks! Good Times!
Joe Orlando and Klaus became my most major mentors there, they were giant
tanks of knowledge and wisdom I couldn't siphon enough from! Genius artists!
I was part of Joe's last class before his untimely passing (R.I.P a true
mentor and master to me).
Of artists whom I worship and try to learn from
also include, Junji Ito, Jack Davis , Wally Wood, Johnny Craig, Ghastly,
Milt Caniff, Mike Mignola, Guy Davis, Hideshi Hino,Duncan Fegredo, Ed
Repka, Berni Wrightson, Michael Golden, Jordi Bernet, Tony Moore, Eric
Powell, Adam Geyer, Jake, Jose Angeles, and my pal in pus, PUTRID!
And SPECIAL GET WELL WISHES TO THE GRANDMASTER CHAS BALUN!!
Let's move up to present day. Tell us about Dr. Gore.
Jeff Zornow: I seriously am almost
all talked out about Dr. Gore.....
I mean I have been WARNING, AND RANTING, AND RAVEING like some pathetic
lunatic for over a year that Dr. Gore was slowly drawing up his nefarious,
horrid plans against all of the human race, and very few people listened
or believed me!
He waited until the propaganda comic story I was forced to create for
Cryptic magazine issue #4 was on stands, and then made his move to unleash
hell upon us all. His plan is to destroy all of humanity with flesh-eating
GOREMONSTERS, either join his legion, and be turned into a hideous goremonster
creature, or deny them and BE THIER FOOD!
He has also apparently been in contact with one known as the Goregnome,
a fiend who has another invasion force of creatures coming in waves to
earth from outer space and un-natural realms. The Goregnome sends waves
of creature invaders to kill humans with every subliminally messaged release
of his death metal band Fondlecorpse.
I'm telling you this is currently happening RIGHT NOW all around us. The
fate of Humanity is slowly being sealed!
TheBigBadWolf: How did you come up with the idea for Dr. Gore?
He wasn't an idea...
Yeah I know you all think I'm crazy! BUT IT"S TRUE! He's using creatures
that have mind altering powers to make you all think I'm insane!
I discovered the fiend last summer in '06! It was night and I was wandering
around after a long night at my local bar in Brooklyn, DUFF'S. The abandoned
Domino Sugar Plant is not far from there, right by the Willamsburg Bridge.
I got curious about the magnificent building and found myself sneaking
inside. I was then assaulted by a legion of Horrid GOREMONSTERS, and the
Madman himself Dr. Gore was going to do away with me, until he learned
of my comic ventures, seeing an opportunity to start to influence the
minds of the messes, he essentially forced me to become sort of a biographer.
It's not like I have any choice in this matter.
I AM HIS SLAVE!
TheBigBadWolf: Do you
have any plans in the future of getting an on going or mini series of
Dr. Gore put out by a comic publisher?
Well, Dr. Gore's plan is to have me do as many stories about him as he
has time to make me, ( the destruction of all humans on earth takes up
a LOT of his time thankfully, he causes me lots of physical and mental
pain!). I'm positive his influence will be seen in almost everything I
I can tell you all, that so far, He has dictated at least 3 other stories
to me, for eventual creation and publication. How and when I don't yet
know. But like I have stated He isn't giving me much choice in the matter
I have to do what must be done.
In those periods when he is too busy to pay attention to me, I get to
work on other comic projects, and my Album art and T-shirt designs.
TheBigBadWolf: Let's talk
about one of your other horror comics, Long Night of the Full Moon. Can
you give our readers a run down of what the book is about?
YES! This is quite simply a clas-sick monster
battle story. Not a very thought provoking piece, but more of my need
and desire to see some great old school monster vs monster action!
I've posted several blogs about it on myspace, and my website.
Basically it's a werewolf story but in the Universal monster -rally vein,
but with the over the top "MORE IS BETTER" attitude of the Paul
Naschy Werewolf series of films. The Werewolf Character ( simply known
as the Nameless Werewolf , as he has no name he can remember) is one I
created over 5 years ago, but was unable to do much with at the time.
I created a five page sampler with the character titled NIGHTMARE OF THE
VAMPIRE WITCHES back then, (which is available for public view on my myspace
album. The sampler is now owned by Killjoy , well known horror fiend and
corpseshreiker from the old-school Death metal band Necrophagia. (GORE
Anyway I had written many stories for the Nameless Werewolf, and one was
LONG NIGHT OF THE FULL MOON. About THe Werewolf having to fight through
a giant ruined tower filled with monsters. If you can imagine Bruce Lees'
GAME OF DEATH, but for monsters, there you go.
There is a little bit more to the story ..but I don't want to give it
ALL away! heh!
Essentially I was getting tired of not getting
enough of this type of Monster comics from what is offered week in and
week out from the comic racks. So I wanted to take matters into my own
hands and just do and all out book of MONSTER MAULING MADNESS!
The opportunity came to me through Chazz Demoss
and Cryptic Magazine, to package the book two fold.
One version would be designed for release as a hardcover book for Elementary
school libraries! (YESSS I am influencing the minds of your young!) And
There will be a MONSTERGORE version designed for the direct comic market,
which will be longer with
more... well...monstergore! And who doesn't like seeing monsters rip each
other apart?? I mean to ME it's simply the highest form of entertainment
TheBigBadWolf: What is
the status of this book? Is it being published or shopped around?
As far as I know at this very moment the hardcover school library version
is being printed as we speak. That version has been submitted to Eric
Larsen , King of the monsters at Image, for review. As has my adaptation
of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I DO have to go and add the scenes for
the final Monstergore version. I'm not promising that this book will come
out through the Image/Cryptic joint , BUT they did already publish '68,
and Creature From the Depths (ROT ON!! Smoking Devil, Jay Fotos, and Nat!!)
So I am hopeful that they will dig on LONG NIGHT and my Sleepy Hollow
TheBigBadWolf: Can you
give fans a run down of your published horror comic artwork?
Sure, I'm listing these in the order I made them, not in the order they
THE LOST TRIBE : W, Ben Raab, P Allen Gladfelter (serial for the Comiculture
magazine I was an inker on the first half)
AGNES QUILL : AN ANTHOLOGY OF MYSTERY, W. Dave Roman ( Artist for the
full-length story "Zombie Lovetrap and Buried Homes and Gardens")
From Slave Labour Graphics.
BLOOD SWAMP: ( a short story I wrote and illustrated for Cryptic magazine
#1 colored by Joe Allard)
VAMPIRELLA :"A Day at the Beach" W . Dan Jolley ( I was an artist
for this short story which appeared in Vampirella magazine #10) Harris
WIERD SISTER: ( "I Love Watching You Die" W. Elizabeth Genco
, I illustrated this short. Available through Streetfables press)
HALLOWEEN 25 YEARS OF TERROR: Art Director/Illustrator ( no it's NOT a
comic BUT a dvd documentary about the series of Halloween Films from John
Carpenter, I essentially made some Illustrations to be used in the film.
And Hey!! Michael Myers IS COOOL! So I Had to mention this!) From Anchor
Bay home entertainment.
MUERGOTH: ( Short I wrote and Illustrated for Cryptic #2 colored by ..."Marvelous"
DAY OF THE DEAD: THE RISING OF BUB: W Mark Kidwell, C. Joe Allard, art
(YES, YES. I KNOW YOUR ALL WONDERING ABOUT THIS YES YES IT IS STILL HAPPENING!!
I PROMISE!! You all know how indie comics can get though, sometimes complications
arise! Though I hope to have a major update to tell you all about this
soon! And It's closer to being completed than most people realize.)
THE BLOODREAPING OF DR. GORE: ( The horrid propaganda story created by
me for that monstrous fiend for Cryptic #4)
THE DOG LADY: W. Elizabeth Genco ( Illustrated by me, This is a short
story to be in the upcoming issue #6 of Cryptic magazine)
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW : (An adaptation I wrote and illustrated,
For Elementary schools and for release to the direct market.)
GENE SIMMONS HOUSE OF HORRORS #1 : " Into the Woods" W. Leah
Moore and John Reppion ( this was the first time I Illustrated and COLORED
my own comic pages!) From Gene Simmons Comics Group and IDW.
LONG NIGHT OF THE FULL MOON : ( My Monster-mash book, Same deal as Sleepy
GENE SIMMONS HOUSE OF HORRORS #2 : " Last Meal" W. Ivan Brandon,(
And once again I got to illustrate and COLOR this story! YAY!) And I guess
technically this one isn't published yet, BUT the Solicitation appeared
in Previews today!
...And In between the comics are a bunch of various album art pieces for
bands such as FONDLECORPSE, BLOOD FREAK , PROFANATICA, TJOLGTJAR, BLOOD
CULT , EX DEMENTIA, SACRIFICIAL BLOOD, CULT OF CADAVERS, THE GOREGON MASSACRE
FESTIVAL II, , And MANY others!
There were also many Horror movie Shirts designed for FRIGHT-RAGS.com
As well as shirts for THE HOUSE OF MYSTERIOUS SECRETS.com, and CLC graphics!
TheBigBadWolf: How can
fans find out more about you? Do you have a website or myspace account?
Yes! My website is Your Midnight Reader.com!!! www.yourmidnightreader.com.
I have a myspace account, www.myspace.com/zornow
I'm also On Comicspace!
Dr. Gore is YELLING at me to mention HIS myspace
TheBigBadWolf: What is your convention schedule
like for the rest of 2007?
WELL! That's a very interesting story!
About two weeks ago I didn't think I was going to do ANY convention appearances
except for CRYPTICON: Circus of Terror!
I JUST returned from the FLASHBACK WEEKEND OF HORRORS convention in Chicago.
Appearing with Cryptic Magazine! AND IT WAS A WEEKEND OF MADNESS!! The
whole thing was sudden and VERY LAST MINUTE!
But it just so happened that the Central Illinois
Death Metal Festival was going on that same weekend several hours away.
Several of my cohorts and fiends associated with Razorback Record's horror-hive
happened to be here and there. And there is good reason that not too many
of us are ever in one place at one time. Because as groups of these fiends
converged upon each other....GORE ERUPTED AND HORROR FLOWED! Apparently
The madness of the IMPETIGO reunion show has already become a night of
legendary horror on it's own! (GOD I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE GUYS!)
But this event as well as my appearance at the Horror con attracted the
Goregnome from Fondlecorpse to fly in on his Krite chauffeured spaceship.
He had business with those at the Death Metal Fest, and with me at the
The Flashback Horror con, was AWESOME! I met fans,
made new fiends, and got to root for Adam Green and his upcoming uber-slasher
movie HATCHET (out in theatres NATIONWIDE in Sept, from Anchor Bay. I'VE
SEEN THIS MOVIE AT THE TRIBECCA FILM FEST AND IT RULES!)
While at the Horror con I also came across one audio horror-fiend of mine
known as Slasher Dave! He surprised me with a machete move to my throat
from behind! And together we awaited the arrival of the Creature Commander
himself ....THE GOREGNOME!
was a meeting that was never expected to happen...EVER!
The Goregnome handed me some secret info which I was to deliver to Dr.
Gore, and now that I know even MORE of the evils to come, I decided that
night to travel as much as I can for now! To spread the madness, monsters,
mutants, macabre, and murder!
Which has resulted in my ...
ZORNOW'S ON THE RUN FROM DR.GORE U.S TOUR 2007!
(and I thank Mrs. Gnome for naming this tour for me!!!)
Flashback Weekend of Horrors July 20-22 Chicago,
WIZARD WORLD Aug 9-12 Chicago, IL
Baltimore Comic Con Sept 8-9 Baltimore, MD
CRYPTICON : Circus of Terror Sept 14-16 Minneapolis,
Cinema Wasteland Oct 5-7 Strongsville , OH
(And now Possibly) The Big Apple Con Nov 16-18,
you do commissioned artwork for fans?
I was just recently picked up by CADENCE COMIC ART. Who will be selling
almost ALL of my original comic art pages as well as Illustrations. There
will be a commission section on their website, www.cadencecomicart.com.
PLEASE go and buy some of the great art they have there! And remember
if you buy mine you can help support the anti- human coalition!
Is there anything else you are currently working on?
Well , total destruction of the human race by unholy creatures is the
#1 priority. WE ARE GOING TO EAT YOU!
Currently Working on a plethora of odds and ends...
More shirts for FRIGHT-RAGS And THE HOUSE OF MYSTERIOUS SECRETS.
More band related art. Including a cover for GRUESOME STUFF RELISH's next
full-length album "HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB" To be released
on Razorback Records!
FINISHING DAY OF THE DEAD: THE RISING OF BUB!!! Because Mark Kidwell and
I have crafted the zombie comic that will eat all the others!
Adding some Monstergore scenes for LONG NIGHT OF THE FULL MOON.
A cover or Two for Cryptic Magazine!
Doing my tour, and awaiting whatever the next monstrosity will be.
There is much planning going on with MANY different
fiends of mine from different realms of media.
All you need to know now is...
YOU ARE ALL DOOMED!
ZORNOW MUST BE DESTROYED!!
for taking the time Jeff and uh, Dr. Gore. Good luck with world domination!
Talk about the Jeff