Showing posts with label Glenn Smith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glenn Smith. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr Interview Part Two of Two

Read part one of James Andre's interview with Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr here.

Find Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr online here.
Find Milk Shadow Books here.

A lot of your horror work seems to either be set in the prehistoric times or in the future. Your visions of the future and past seem unlike those of the Flintstones or Jetsons. What interests you in these time periods?

  The very fact that these time periods are not in the here and now allows the imagination far greater freedom to explore the kind of concepts and images that we do. Stories set in the present, with a basis in firm reality, make this more difficult to achieve. The more unreal, surreal or bizarre the setting or scenario, the more creative your imagination becomes, resulting in uniqueness and originality. Also, issues such as social politics, et al, can then be addressed in a far more lateral way and remain in the subtext without crowding the story and action. When working within genres such as SF, horror and fantasy, as a general rule, the further from reality the story, the more diverse the interpretation of the readers. We feel that this is ultimately a positive thing. We have found that settings in other realities, in the far past or distant future, or on other worlds, work best for us when dealing with pure “fantasy”

You have released several works with titles such as Gorgasm etc, what do you think of the new trend in mainstream filmmaking, and possibly mass media in general of the pornography or torture porn style of entertainment? Recent works such as Hostel etc?

For a start, it’s not exactly a “new trend”. Do not forget the Video Nasties and the Pre-Code horror comics of the 1950s, or the “Penny Dreadfuls”, the pulps of the 1930s and just as infamous, the Grand Guignol, which featured staged rapes, torture and mutilations such as eye gouging – as do films like Hostel and Saw.

There is far less censorship now than there was in the hideously politically correct 1990s. Back then; it was just too fashionable to be offended by just about anything at all. There is more freedom now, and that can only be a good thing for artists who enjoy pushing the “boundaries”.

We feel that films such as Hostel 1 & 2, Dawn of the Dead remake, Devil’s Rejects, Hills have Eyes remake, and such, are bonafide modern horror films that do not pull their punches. There are many interesting themes and good performances in these films, along with genuinely threatening and confronting images of terrifying violence. These elements make these films much more powerful than your average lightweight thriller.

One thing these films are not, and that’s pornography. While the violence and elements of sadism may well be intense, they contain no porn. Nudity, naked breasts and simulated sex does not constitute pornography. Nor do bucket-loads of SFX blood and guts. Pornographic films have real people indulging in real sex for the camera. These “new trend” horror films are not real. They are created through the use of special effects. No one is ever “really” tortured, raped, mutilated or murdered.
On the other hand, there are women who are involved in the porn industry that clearly would rather be doing something else. In effect, they are trapped. That kind of scenario is pretty depressing. This is simply not the case with films like Hostel, no matter how “offensive” the themes and imagery.

Horror is visual and visceral as well as psychological. In a thriller or suspense story it is the notion of implication and an atmosphere of fear that drives the story and characters. It is not until “that which is truly unacceptable” actually transpires and is shown rather than implied that a story can really become a “horror story”. This is what puts horror apart from other forms, such as suspense and fantasy, etc.

All good stories, horror or otherwise, have a combination of elements– a good premise, strong concepts, suspense, drama, action, interesting characters, a cohesive plot, and in some cases, even moments of impactful violence. But if you intend to do horror, then it’s a good idea to make it horrific – conceptually and visually. Matters of “taste” or theories of what does or does not constitute “porn” and “torture porn” don’t enter into it.

Splash page from Phantastique #4

Can you talk about the relaunch of Phantastique?

Yes, Phantastique has re-emerged as Fantastique. The first two issues are in circulation throughout the underground and a third one is due to be released soon. It includes The Well of Souls - scripted and pencilled by us and inked by Glenn Smith, and Ocean Born, a script of ours that has been illustrated by Tanya Nicholls (of Storm Publishing).

Fantastique is more overtly oriented towards fantasy and science fantasy, but it also contains obvious elements of horror and gore. On the other hand, Charnel House is a hard-core horror comic that is extreme and very explicit.

Ever thought of doing something with some fluffy bears and a nice little romance?

Not likely. Not our thing.

So, what’s up next?
More art, stories, experimental music and comics.

Thank you both for your time.
Thanks very much for your interest in us, and our work.
All images copyright 2012 Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr. Interview copyright 2012 James Andre.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The first edition of a new comics anthology, Dailies, was recently produced by the Silent Army publishing concern. Contained within the pages of the striking 32 page tabloid newspaper format are sixty artists from Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia producing their takes on 'newspaper strips'. Established cartoonist's such as Tim Molloy, Tim Danko, Mandy Ord, Glenn Smith, Ben Hutchings and more feature alongside emerging young talent. Cartoons are presented in a variety of forms from abstract art comics to riffs on popular newspaper strips as well as dense multi-panel narratives.

Excerpt of Mandy Ord's Desperate Times

Each release will feature different versions of contemporary views of the comic art strips presented in black and white, two colour, and full colour spreads.

I asked Dailies Editor M P Fikaris a few questions via email about his latest project.

What was the impetus to publish Dailies?

There were a few really. But mostly, as with all anthologies I have published, to show the fine talents of my friends. Also, with dailies it is a little bit of an idea on doing things quickly and without too much pre design and study as most comics tend to be). I asked the artists to submit something in a short time frame, hoping not only to get us doing something without too much thought but also to get something that could be repeated and continued like the daily comics of old newspaper cartoonists.

 Excerpt from The Pox Girls Plan 9 From Outer Space

Some of the material in Dailies seems far removed from the concept of  'the comic art strip', some perhaps more in the realm of art comics, were there editorial guidelines for Dailies? Were you involved in editorial guidance with any of the contributors?

I asked a lot of friends, some with a more traditional comic strip making background and others who I thought were doing things that are very similar in nature to the comic strip. My mind is very open to comics in many mediums and I certainly don’t restrict a comic to squares on a page with characters talking.

 Excerpt from Leigh Rigozzi

 What was the print run of Dailies? Are you satisfied with the finished product?

The print run was 3000 copies. I am satisfied that it is complete, but there are certainly a lot of pips in it. It is the first time I have laid something out for newsprint and I have learnt a bunch of things. My budget was pretty low (but very gratefully it was covered by a fellow artist who wants to remain unknown) so I did it with a printer that was possibly less helpful than I could have hoped. The first issue is not about perfect layout for me but more about getting it complete and making it a progressive thing. The next issue is due in May this year and the following to come out in August, then again in November.

Were there any difficulties in assembling an anthology with this many creators spread out over the globe?

Yeah, a little frustrating – but that was the challenge.


Excerpt from 'Megg's Coven' by Simon Hanselman

Where is Dailies available from?

With this collection I plan to take it to the streets and sell it  like a paper – but with a twist. Combining my background as an artist on the streets and doing work with local theatre companies I am very excited to try something a little different … to have unadvertised ‘happenings’ each month in a Melbourne laneway… each will be plastered with the papers contents on the walls(done the night before) and myself and another dressed to impress with paper in tow ‘performing’ a selling technique I hope will make the paper a more interesting and mysterious collection of stories and artworks for all sorts interested in ‘culture’.

I have plans to do this next week and will be recording it for future reference.

Currently I am also selling it on the silent army website - and successfully at various art fairs/stalls and markets. The plan with this has always been to glue into laneways of the city and distribute through other less traditional comic outlets. Flexing creative flare instead of bending to the needs of the stores.
 All cartoons copyright 2012 their respective creators.