Video game news, reviews, articles and more. Dead Space, Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, Castlevania and more!
Horror and monster toy news, reviews, articles and more. Action figures, bobble heads, model kits, statues and more!
Horror movies news, reviews, articles and more.
  • Horror T-Shirts
  • Asylum Press comics
  • Horror books from Grey Matter Press
  • MegaCon 2014
  • Ecclesiastes Mistress of Souls
 

Sponsors

Horror comic

MegaCon 2014

Grey Matter Press Horror Books

Asylum Press Zombie comic

Halloween Man

Horror toys and accessories

Road Rayge Metal Magazine

 

Horror t-shirts

 

Top Monsters

 

The Monsters of SCREAMLAND

0
Shares
Hector Casanova takes us through his monster creation process




The Monsters of SCREAMLAND

The main things that struck me about Screamland, indeed, the reason why I chose to work on this book, was Harold's treatment of the characters. It is unlike any other monster story I had ever read. Screamland assumes that the monsters are very real. And while they are monstrous and immortal, they have had a hell of a time making ends meet since the faded glory days of their monster movies in the 30s and 40s. When Screamland opens, it's the post-dot-com boom and bust of the late nineties. The Frankenstein monster is washed-up, bitter, drunk and broke after a failed dot-com investment. The Wolfman is (barely) working the Midwest doing third-rate comic cons and sci-fi conventions (and trying to drown himself in booze or score some tail)... and the Mummy... well, it's tough being Middle-Eastern and immortal in post 9-11 America.

Dracula, however... Dracula's doing fine.

What struck me most about Screamland is how real, how frail, messed up, and empathetic the monsters were. The story is really told from their point of view, and from where they stand, the humans around them are the real monsters. Now, I love drawing a creepy monster about as much as the next horror-fan more, probably. The challenge of Screamland was to make the monsters more empathetic, more real and more "human" than the humans around them. Because a lot of the humans in Screamland are real dicks. (Can we say "dicks" on the site? Is it PG13? Feel free to change that to "bastards" or "jerks" to fit your editorial policy.)

Another challenge was that the characters needed to look familiar and classical enough to be recognizable as the iconic monsters from yesteryear, but also fresh and unique enough to be... well... fresh and unique. After dozens upon dozens of character sketches, I finally figured out that the way to achieve the look I wanted was by taking a mixed-media approach. By sculpting the main monsters' heads out of clay, and collaging photographs of them into the art, I was able to make the monsters look more real than the humans.

This is what Frank's clay head looks like:

 

frankenstein mold

 

 

These are some early sketches of Frank, before I figured out that the mixed media with clay heads was the way to go:

frankenstein art

And here he is, more "realistic" in his final version:

old frankenstein

And the cover to Sreamland #1 (Frank's story):

frankenstein

 

 

The clay head for The Mummy:

mummy mold

(As a side note: doing research for this book meant watching the old monster movies from the 30s. Most people know that Boris Karloff played the Mummy in the 1932 original. But I was surprised to discover that Mummy was so pathetic and non-scary, at least by today's standards! I mean, that Mummy wasn't even covered in bandages! It was just a gaunt Boris Karloff in a fez and flowing robes skulking around.)

I wanted to keep that look for our Mummy. Kept the fez, and added some bandages. Here are some pics of him.

mummy

mummy monster

And the cover to Screamland #2:

mummy

 

 

The clay heads for Dracula and The Wolfman:

dracula mold

wolfman mold

 

Dracula was fun to draw. He is timeless and sexy and classy. Of all the monsters, he has fared the best. It's not hard seeing why.

Draculas face

screamland dracula

Andrea Silverman is the monsters' Hollywood agent. The story is as much about her as it is about them, as she struggles to get her clients paying work. Andrea's grandfather Maury Silverman founded the talent agency in the 30s, and he offered the then-hot movie monsters lifetime contracts. But the monsters are immortal, Maury's long dead, and the burden is on Andrea now.

classic monsters

And last but not least, is Carl, aka The Wolfman. I saved him for last because he really has been my favorite character. He is huge fun to draw, AND I just plain like him. Carl is pure id. The years haven't been kind on him and he has put on a few dozen pounds, but no one can raise hell like he can. He is generally gnarly, and sports a proud mullet in spite of his receding hairline. Yes, the Wolfman is balding. Buy him a drink, but don't mess with him. He WILL eat you.

the wolfman comic

Screamland wolfman

I should add that when I was halfway done drawing issue 3 (The Wolfman's story) when I had the great fortune to meet a fellow at a party whose resemblance to Carl was so striking it was uncanny. He is a local musician, and was a great sport who agreed to do a photo shoot for me. From that shoot I developed the art that became the cover for Screamland #3:

The Wolfman

And that's the short version of how I came up with the look for Screamland. I am leaving out the sweat and tears and mountains of scrapped sketches and false starts. This art creation method I came up with may not be conventional or even practical, and it sure as hell ain't time efficient... but I am really happy with how this book came out. I hope people like reading it and looking at it as much as I did making it.

Talk about the Monsters of SCREAMLAND.

















Copyright © by Horror Comic Book News - Comic Monsters All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2008-02-19 (18602 reads)

[ Go Back ]
 

USER COMMENTS


You must be a registered user to comment. Register for free

 
  • LarryDwyer
    Don't forget to check the Horror TV Guide! http://t.co/HpWGSFaO7B @AMC_TV @ChillerTV @PromoteHorror @SyfyTV @ENCOREChannels @IFC #horror #tv
     
    find articles by Larry Dwyer
  • Christine_HNN
    RT @archenemymetal: We won! :) Thanks to all the awesome fans in Germany that voted for us! #mhawards #germany #berlin http://t.co/6pab5KLQ…
     
    find articles by Christine Caprilozzi
  • Makasupa
    Horror Double feature at the Alamo Drafthouse from the @HudsonHorror team with @LarryDwyer #Horror
     
    find articles by Sean McLaughlin
  • UndeadStephanie
    Who's excited for the season premiere of "Sleepy Hollow?" Here's some flashback pics from SDCC. @HorrorNews http://t.co/Aqtqv8KZRL
     
    find articles by Stephanie Shamblin
  • BloodEBastard
    RT @UKHorrorScene: WE ARE BACK. After 2 weeks offline we have returned. Thanks to everyone for support & wishes now back to the horror http…
     
    find articles by Blood E. Bastard
  • CTbrthrhd
    RT @HorrorNews: This week's Horror TV Guide! http://t.co/FKxN2LIdQu @AMC_TV @ChillerTV @PromoteHorror @SyfyTV @ENCOREChannels @IFC #horror …
     
    find articles by Sean Brickley