Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FEEDING GROUND - The Comics-Related Interview

Hey Everyone, Michael here:

I'm looking to post some of our pitch book art on this blog in the coming weeks but for now I thought I would share an interview I did about the project at the 2009 NYC Comic Con for the comic podcast Comic Related.

You can find it HERE.

Our pitch book was met with a lot of positive feedback and I felt extremely fortunate to be sharing it with comic creators that I have immense respect for.

I was showing it to writer Matt Fraction when one of the Comics-Related reporters saw it and asked me to do an interview as well.

Very cool to verbalize what we were developing in relationship to other horror myths and graphic styles and it gave me the confidence that it was an idea and creation that could potentially sit on a bookshelf next to other comic works.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Logo- Shining the Light

SWIFTY here:

Blacklight is the outgrowth of the collision of ideas and talents, of a passion for smart horror, and a way to examine contmeporary issues through the lens of 'fringe genres'

As much as anything, our flashlight represents not only the way we view the world, but harkens back to a kid reading the latest issue of Creepy underneath his/her blanket past his/her bedtime.

Horror is the playground where the uncosnscious and the repressed are allowed to stretch their legs. With so much true horror occuring along the actual Devil's Highway, we understand our greatest challenge is not only shinning the light on the issue, but making sure that the shadows of the werewolf do not obscure the truth.

Feeding Ground Origin Story

SWIFTY here:

Firstly, welcome all to the world of Blacklight. I wanted to let you in on our history and how collaboration on Feeding Ground has lead to the best work possible.

Our Origin Story: In the summer of 2007, a friend of mine, Thomas Peyton, an incredible documentary filmmaker recently completed a film on the harrowing journey of a man crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona. His story was riveting and I could not shake it. We also had a conversation on the least represented monster during the Oughts Horror Renaissance. We agreed on the werewolf. He had a great idea for a werewolf story at the time, and again, his words were indelible. The origin of this story is without a doubt based on our conversations.

My background is in film and and my first thought is that this story could be represented best through this medium. I presented this story originally to my friend Chris Mangun and he wanted to help me get this off the ground. For me, telling the story to friends and parsing their reactions is paramount to whether or not an idea is worth pursuing. If you can't hold a friend's attention you will never be able to interest an audience.

As Chris and I began the script writing process, it became clear to me that the mythology of the story would not be best represented through film. There was a certain aesthetic I knew that I simply could not communicate. For me, the Mexican Day of the Dead color palette was essential in rooting this story in a very particular landscape and imbuing it with the sense of horror it needed.

Also, the EC Horror Comics aesthetic I believed could best be expressed through print (although films such as Creepshow, a huge influence, were able to do this successfully). Luckily, Michael Lapinski and I had been friends for a decade.

Michael has been my mentor in the world of comics as I did not become an avid reader until my mid-twenties. I am still constantly exposed to new, great work, and awed at the ability of this medium to create such emotional and visceral moments with such visual economy. I am always open to suggestions for reading so please send them my way.

A couple of years back I had given Michael Posada's book on Mexican Folk art for his birthday. I was floored by the seeming simplicity of the design, the content (fascination with the dead), and the color palette itself. Little did I know how significant the connection would be.

On forming Blacklight: I recognized immediately that what was needed in order to bring this to life was a partnership of all of our talents. Chris and I had talked shop on writing for years (he and I both write ficiton) so our working together was a logical equation. Whether Mike was as taken by the story as we were was the question.

I think what we all recognized was the importance of this story and furthermore, how universal the crossing narrative is. Leaving one's homeland for a new world of opportunity is a universal story as much as anything. I also personally was teaching ESL at the time and was reminded essentially, everyone's family has sacrificed to come to this country. That simple truth is obscured by a lot of xenophobia these days, but that is another discussion entirely.

Each of us brought a unique set of skills and perspectives to this project. So, much like the robot at the top, I knew it was time to 'Voltron'; form something greater with the sum of the parts.