Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Triple Threat!

THOIA returns with another installment of "Werewolf Wednesday" and today we have something a bit (or is that bite?) different for you this time around! Our frightening friend and long time commenter chum, Trevor "Morbid" Markwart has concocted a hairy lycanthropy tale all on his own, written and drawn (and starring Aleister Crowley no less!), loaded to its furry gills with thrills, chills, and plenty of bloody spills! Give Trevor some feedback, fiends-- let him know what you think!

And check out Trevor's website HERE for more info on all things "Morbid!"













15 comments:

Mestiere said...

How interesting! Somebody here is actually willing to put himself through the gauntlet of producing a whole horror story. It's not easy, right? One can appreciate all those people who had to perform under pressure facing a deadline. It's hard!

So many questions! Did you do everything alone? Did any part of it resemble classical comics drawing (breakdowns, penciling, inking, etc.) or was it all done in the computer? Did you use reference photos of celebrities for your character design or random pictures from the internet? Where you basing this story on something specific you read or saw? How long did it take?

I admit that the Aleister Crowley character confused me a little. At the beginning it looks like a douchey Michael Shermer-type professional skeptic was going to get his comeuppance, but when I saw the watch he was wearing I thought "maybe Geoff being a werewolf is unrelated to Crowley's curse". Maybe Crowley is a fraud and werewolves are real. But I guess Geoff just liked weird watches.

Lisa's mom and sister look kind of alike, don't they? Maybe there is a potential story there where you never see them at the same time because they are the same person!

Lisa was no dummy. She might have thought she and her sister were hallucinating the werewolf (like she and the wife of her murdered guest back at her house) but she still shot Geoff with real bullets!

No silver bullets were needed to kill Geoff the second time. That silver thing might be just hype. Score one for the skeptic!

So the three curses were: getting turned into a werewolf, being resurrected (which implies Crowley knew Geoff would be killed) and then being turned into a demon. Yet, all of it was happening out of the public's eye. He would not be publicly vindicated. He did it all just to be evil! Sounds like what you would expect from the real Crowley.

In the last page we are promised more Crowley stories. So he survived being burned alive? What a badass!

I enjoyed your story, keep them coming!

Morbid said...

Thanks for your comments, Mestiere! And thanks to Karswell! I'm a little nervous, now...

I don't want to bore anybody with a long, long post, but I will answer your questions.

Yes, I did it all alone. To be brief: Originating on paper, pencils, then inks. Then I scanned it. I had tried computer colouring, but it tended to look dead to me. I love the old 4 colour comics on here, but didn't know how to get that "texture", so I coloured the originals with watercolour and coloured pencils. Scanned the coloured pages, and overlaid them with the black-lines of the original. Then touched it all up, embellished it a little digitally and cleaned it up, adding the balloons, lettering, et al.

Well, references were Crowley (obviously), some Lon Chaney Sr. for the host (I'm a huge fan), Lonesome Charlie, and only one for Lisa which was during her dream sequence. I used a close-up reference of Jaime King from the poster for THEY WAIT. But that was only a self-indulgent in-joke to myself, as I wrote the original spec for that movie.

The story is all mine. It all took a couple of months, because I was so rusty with my drawing that it was painfully hard and I kept throwing pages out. Things are going a lot easier, now.

I wondered: how do you kill a werewolf zombie? Werewolves, silver, zombies, destroy their brains. I had thought a silver bullet to the brain -- but that was hard to justify for Lisa -- so I treated him like a zombie in werewolf form.

For the purposes of this graphic novel, I view Crowley much like the Hammer Horror Dracula movies -- there will always be a way to bring him back. One way is for most of the stories to be set during Crowley's actual lifetime, so I'm going to jump around a lot, time-wise. He's such an interesting character, very 3-D: evil, smart, ridiculous, well-intentioned at times, giant ego that could fill a room, goes on amazing adventures, and funny on occasion. I have read that Alan Moore is a serious Crowley magick practitioner, which I find highly interesting.

Although I fantasize how awesome it would be for Alan Moore to write a Crowley short story for the collection (yeah, right!), I've embarked on the adaptation of one of Crowley's own short stories for the next one. It's going to be pretty grim and not as humorous. Disturbing in its implications, to say the least.

Again, thanks for your encouragement!

Mestiere said...

Hi, Morbid!

Two months, wow, you are not afraid of hard work! And you did it all alone. I was impressed before, but I'm even more impressed now. Well done!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Hi, I'm not really into "splatter" comics but on the other hand I appreciate your grim irony, almost in the Mr. Monster's (jugular) vein.
My two cents: I don't think you'll take umbrage (wow, what a word!) if I say your artwork is still a little discontinuous: there are great panels, you worked a lot on the wolf, paying great attention to details and construction of the pages, you were less careful in other parts. Nothing that can't be cured with practice, I guess. You draw nice gals, too.
Matter of fact, your art makes me think about the first Mr. Monster story, "The case of the reluctant Werewolf" (where you can learn an effective way to kill a zombie werewolf).
Now on Crowley the Third (I immediately thought of Lupin)... The satyrical touch is fine, loved the funny spells he casts in pseudo latin. Very clever. Somehow Crowley reminds me of an horror Daffy Duck... We had some characters like him, who did similar awful things, in 70's italian adult horror comics (even the "precious piss" thing reminds me of the seventies). A properly explored evil charachter can be a lot more interesting than a more or less average "good guy" (Marvel's Dracula docet). Chapeau for pages 3, 5, 9.
Noticeable quotes: "The only pussy I want to see around here is you"; "Geoff Snow. Scientist, skeptic, werewolf".
Bravo, I wish you the best of luck!

Eric said...

Nicely done, Morbid! (Just wanted to post my kudos to you.)

Morbid said...

Thanks, J_D_La_Rue_67! I was completely unfamiliar with Mr. Monster and when you wrote "The Reluctant Werewolf" I thought: "Does he mean Scooby Do?". I didn't recall a 1950's horror comic by that name, but Mr. Monster sounded familiar, so I looked around for Mr. Monster and see that there's a whole comic universe it seems that I somehow missed and never knew existed! So I will look into it more! It looks pretty fun.

And, yes, consistency comes with practice. But there are also tricks to creating consistency and avoiding things you don't feel like drawing really detailed that I see many Old Masters of horror comics use, that I didn't (yet). Heavy blacks comes to mind as one.

Thanks, Eric!

Karswell said...

I am a fan of splatter comics, and you nailed a few superbly painful, highly memorable panels with some really impressive gore, like the face ripping at the bottom of page 4. And man I love pretty much everything on page 9-- very vicious and still very eerie too! Any minor stumbles along the way in the writing and illustration will work itself out as you keep chugging down this path. I think this piece shows an incredible amount of promise of bigger and better things to come!

Thanks again, Trevor, for sharing it with all of us here at THOIA!

Brian Barnes said...

Morbid,

First, major kudos for seeing a project of this size to completion. While it's only 12 pages, that's 12 pages more than most people ever get, and content is king. You need to show you can complete work before anybody takes you seriously.

Second, a couple things on the art. Your grasps of shadows is very good, and you've got some good paneling, we could use more of the clever stuff like on page 2. Your coloring is superb, and your art needs a small bit of work in proportions. Your camera work is also pretty good. Over all, I think you're good, and with a little more work and a couple years under your belt, can be great.

There's a good bit of Corben and Wrightson in there, nothing wrong with that!

The story, probably a bit too many things going on, but it never gets boring or outstays it's welcome. I appreciate a non-dumb woman who's not just a victim.

So, Trevor, keep it up! You've got a lot of skill, just some rough edges. I await further stuff from you, hopefully here.

And Karswell, thanks for publishing this. You're blog is an invaluable resource and it's nice that you can help push the new artists/writers that the medium needs.

Mr. Cavin said...

Man this must have been a lot of work. Thanks for sharing it with us. I really like the post-Kitchen Sink underground Comix feel to the art here, and those psychedelic Corben-esque colors, too. The look is raw enough that I think you could loosen the reins on this very conventional storytelling and just go ape with it. Gorey, pornographic ape. Like Tim Vigil and David Quinn's Faust, maybe--an absolute milestone of my own childhood.

Morbid said...

Thanks for more comments! My drawing is the victim of neglect, sometimes years without drawing anything out of despair. I've been inspired by this blog to, finally, try my hand again. I'm going to try and really make something out of being one of a tiny few odd man out horror comic artists in an unchanging sea of 45 to 80 year old costumed, teeth-gritted superheroes, and modern manga factories. The old skills started sputtering to life after about a month of hard struggling through TRIPLE THREAT! and now they're rapidly getting back on track. Things have changed with the maturation of the net -- so maybe it could all lead somewhere.

Thank you again, Karswell. I do owe you.

Grant said...

I'm normally NEVER good at spotting a resemblance like this, but the transformed character on Page 10 has a kind of Basil Wolverton look, especially the version of him on the left. There's a famous comical ad by Wolverton for a fictitious beauty pageant, that has a face something like that one.

I don't always like stories about the paranormal figure vs. the debunker, but I especially like the ones where NO ONE exactly comes out the winner - because that kind seems especially rare - so that's one of the interesting things about this story. Was the occult figure inspired by anyone other than Crowley himself, and was the debunker inspired by anyone in particular? One pair of people this story can immediately make you think of is Uri Geller and "The Amazing Randi."

Morbid said...

Although the skeptic isn't based on anybody, I am a fan of The Amazing Randi and have been since he appeared on one of the greatest moments in the history of TV. If anybody hasn't seen this clip, it is legendary funny. Likely it provided some inspiration. http://youtu.be/QlfMsZwr8rc

JMR777 said...

It is a good chilling tale, Morbid. It plays out like a horror movie, much better than a grade B horror, more like a minor horror gem, just enough horror and gore without going over the top and overdoing it.


A bit off topic, just a little, the great thing about the internet is it gives us not only the chance to see some of the fifties horror tales courtesy of Karswell, but we get to see the horror works of fans of this blog and other horror artists worldwide. It gives a chance for creative types to display their work and those who appreciate the work to express their appreciation and encouragement to the creators to keep doing good work. The net bridges the gap of distance between artists and fans, a benefit for both.
Thank you for the story, Morbid, and thank you Karswell for posting this tale.

Karswell said...

Hey, if anyone else out there has something good, send it my way! We could do a spotlight once a month on new artists or something... I'm definitely into helping launch the career of the next Jack Kirby or Junji Ito-- BRING IT ON!

Scout Paget said...

Most excellent - truly absorbing and...fun. I look forward to the graphic novel.