Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 is dead!

Best wishes to you all in 2007!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Click on the zombie's head to view all the detail!

Me & Blaine of The Accused!

Monday, December 11, 2006


Welcome to the second installment of Gross Anatomy!

This time we'll take a look at the evolution of my recent drawing for notorious Northwest grindcrüe Bung! This image will soon appear as the cover of their brilliantly titled full-length debut cd, Nervegas and Masturbation, on Mainstay Recordings. Great album title aside, these guys were a pleasure to work with! They paid in advance, turned me loose to come up with something sick, and didn't bust my balls when I fell behind schedule. In return, I nearly melted my eyes off to give them something really special for their new recording. Without further ado...

Whoa! What the fuck?? If you look closely, you'll see that this autistic hieroglyphic contains all the compositional elements that will unfold in the final drawing. This visual short-hand will orient me later so I don't get lost in the vortex of the ballpoint. I did some research into nervegas and discovered what nasty effects it has on the central nervous system. I could've gone the accurate route and depicted the violent nausea, diarrhea, and respiratory collapse that characterizes actual phosphoric acid poisoning. But I decided on a more disturbing "venereal horror" assault...

Now I've transfered the basic concept onto illustration board and begun to flesh out the details with pencil. My working title for this drawing is 'Castration Ritual'. I threw the wavy lettering at the bottom just to indicate the psychedelic freak-out vibe I'm going for...

Many hours later and I've really worked over the details and texture. This is a raw scan of the finished art, drawn entirely with ballpoint pen. The original is about 15" X 15" so you can probably imagine how much time went into this. I like the way the monster bursting out of the vaginal chest wound turned out. It's a meticulous and tricky task to keep this kind of detail from turning into a muddy puddle of ballpoint ink, but I think I pulled it off. I ended up using this awesome font from a popular 60's concert poster. The darker color red & black around the edges is watercolor. That is "bleed" that will likely be cropped from the final image once we format it and add the logo. I've found over the years that cheap ballpoint ink tends to turn yellow around the edges of the paper. I suspect it has something to do with the naturally occuring oils on your fingertips. Since this drawing went right to the edges of the paper, I used paint around the border to prevent discoloration. In the end, I'm very pleased with this one! Nervegas & masturbation is the new sodomy & lust!

Click on the images above to get a closer look at the detail!
Until next time...careful with that gun and don't eat the brown acid!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Prayer


(For John Dillinger, in the hope that he is still alive.
Thanksgiving Day, November 28th 1986)

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons, destined to be
shit-out through wholesome American guts.
Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.
Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.
Thanks for vast herds of Bison to kill and skin, leaving the carcasses to rot.
Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.
Thanks for the American Dream - to vulgarise and falsify until the bare lies shine through.
Thanks for the K.K.K.
For nigger-killing lawmen feeling their notches.
For decent, church-going women with their mean, pinched, bitter evil faces.
Thanks for 'Kill A Queer For Christ' stickers.
Thanks for laboratory AIDS.
Thanks for prohibition, and the war on drugs.
Thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind their own business.
Thanks for a nation of finks.
Yes, thanks for the memories - "Alright, let's see your arms."
You always were a headache and you always were a bore.
Thanks, for the last and greatest betrayal, of the last and greatest of human dreams...

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Devoted fans of early hardcore will inevitably hate this new documentary. It's snotty and opinionated and paints some broad and ugly strokes. Hey, just like the music it sets out to document! The Misfits aren't even mentioned in the film and hugely influential bands like Negative Approach, Big Boys, and Agnostic Front get mere seconds of screen time. Who the fuck cares about Phil Anselmo's retarded opinion? Those precious minutes could've been filled with more live Cro Mags footage! Still, I enjoyed American Hardcore (the book and the movie) for what it is. And I hope everybody who complains about the film will go out and make their own documentary so that eventually a more comprehensive perspective will emerge of this powerful music. A highlight of the film for me was NYHC artist Sean Taggart getting his 15 seconds of fame and using it to make some intelligent observations. Here's a photo of Sean Taggart and me moshing silly for the camera at his home in New York a few years ago. Apparently I never got the memo that hardcore ended in 1984. Whoops. I'm always the last person to know everything...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Roll Call!

Reporting from the trenches of Stumptown Comics Fest 2006!

Once again, I alienated the comic-buying public and didn't sell much merchandise. Apparently comic fans don't like to be called "wimps" and can't be goaded into buying zines with skulls on the cover. Anyway, I nearly broke even and met a bunch of nice people in the process. Thanks to everyone who came up to the table and bought a Destroying Angels shirt and copies of the zine (or traded for other cool stuff). In the spirit of supporting fellow artists, I've hand selected my favorites from the throngs of talent repesented at this year's fest. My picks might surprise you, but these people really shine for doing their own thing. Roll call!

First of all, here are the fine gentlemen who represented the tagteam Destroying Angels/Smith Brothers table. On the left is Ryan "Suffer No Fools" Sorensen who provided much needed moral support. He also held down the table for two hours while I over slept on Saturday. "Time is money!" On the right is the talented Ian Smith who wisely advised me to attend the Stumptown Comics Fest last year. Two good men in a sea of smelly fandom.

We had the good fortune of being placed beside these two sexy mofo's. Hannah Stouffer is the design queen behind Grand Array and was hands down one of the most talented and original artists in the hall. She does these stunning prints that caught me off guard with their provocative colors and almost subliminal design. She also happens to be painfully gorgeous. But that dude on the left is her boyfriend and he's incredibly nice and talented to boot. They were so friendly I wanted to invite myself back to their hotel room to party, but I know how creepy that would've seemed.

This mop-topped Jack Kirby fanatic was all smiles. Honestly, I was more fascinated by the gaping sphincter-faced monster on his backdrop than his comics. We decided his art was like a good Carcass worship band. It's fun because it imitates so well. At least he's a monster advocate. Check his stuff out here.

Joshua Ellingson rules! This guy was at last year's Stumptown Fest and won me over with his awesome earthtone Godzilla print. This year was no exception and he unveiled his new pinstriped Cthulhu drawing. This thing looks like H.P. Lovecraft being conjured from the grave by the ghost of Von Dutch! Joshua is a real nice guy and someday my house will be plastered in his prints.

These guys seemed a little nervous when I asked them to hold up their favorite prints for a photo. They probably figured I would post their photo with nasty comments like that dude on Rotten Cotton. Nah. The guy on the left is Kevin Dart and he does these great stylized prints inspired by early 60's commercial illustration and exploitation movie posters. If Ennio Morricone were a cartoonist it might look like this. The other dude is Chris Turnham. He works with slighly more traditional and mainstream subject matter but the effect is no less exciting. Really great stuff! These guys share a site called Fleet Street Scandal and I'm a sucker for a good Sweeney Todd reference!

Here's Robin Bougie, mad creator of Cinema Sewer! This is one of the best reads out there today and when it comes to obscure grindhouse culture, this guy knows what he's talking about. Cinema Sewer is one fun & sleazy ride! He was selling a small zine about incest that supposedly features interviews with people that actually and openly indulge in incest! That's gross even by my standards. The remarkable part is that this guy appeared to actually sell stuff at the fest. Hmm, maybe I need slick color covers.

Last but not least...the real treat of the fest. I got to meet prolific (and sorely underrated) underground artist Jim Blanchard! Jim's art is as synonymous with the Northwest as porn shops and bigfoot. He's been drawing insane shit since I was a kid and published an art zine in the 80's called Blatch that was a direct influence on Destroying Angels. I told him so when we met. Poor guy. I stalked him for most of the two day fest. Yeah, the interview will be featured in the next issue of Destroying Angels! Until then, instead of asking when the new issue is coming a Destroying Angels shirt!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Happy Halloween from Charlie and Family!

Friday, October 20, 2006


Here are a few photos of Destroyer 666 in Seattle October 3, 2006! My good friend Tim Parasitic was lucky enough to snap these shots amidst all the banging! Hail the Australian Antichrist!


After an amazing set they came back out and ripped through Bathory's 'Call From the Grave' as an encore! Beware! Aware! War!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Underground Economy

I received a package from Singapore today containing the new WTN cd 'Black Hearse'. I had just been commenting to a friend that this was a slightly frustrating project to work on and I expected to never see the finished product. Underground art, for all its sick & sleazy glory, is not entirely without its frustrations. Artists often trade total artistic freedom and integrity for grinding poverty and self-destruction. You see, the qualifying term "underground" generally implies "underpaid" and "underrated". I'm not complaining. That's just the way it is. That's also why those of us who devote ourselves to this bastard artform have such righteous bonds with one another. During the 70's, Greg Irons was cranking out amazing radical comix at a rate of $15-$20 per page. If he was lucky. Anyone who has ever sat under a lamp long into the night knows that this amounts to pennies-to-the-hour labor. But it's a labor of love and you get the job done.

I drew the cover art for 'Black Hearse' for $100 and 5 copies of the cd. I never keep track of how many hours I spend on each piece, but I devoted at least 40 hours to 'Black Hearse'. I generally charge much more than that, but this was a tiny D.I.Y. label in an underdeveloped nation that asked very nicely. And I have a total fucking weakness for asian zombies. The frustrating part of this project wasn't the pay. It was the poor communication, probably due to the language barrier, and the label owner insisting on getting more and more for his meager payment. I was asked if I would do the layout. No. Then I was asked if the label could keep the original. NO! Then, after what seemed like daily e-mails about the drawing's progress (I'm pretty slow...there are probably people reading this right now who are wondering why I'm not working on their art), I sent the art and didn't hear back for weeks. Nothing. No feedback on the drawing, no thanks, no time-line for the finished product. I also never got my 5 cd's even though I had heard recently that they were readily available in the States. That's the underground.

There's a lot to be frustrated about these days. I'm not talking about the Middle East and no-touch policies in strip bars. I'm talking about the seemingly endless glut of worthless bands and tired formulaic trends. Rip-off distros and labels. Crazy postage rates. Low show turn-out. Unenthusiastic crowds of hipster fucks sporting eye liner and mop-top haircuts. Myspace losers who start bands just to see how many "friends" they can get but never think about how they could use this networking tool to support worthy projects and artists. Old school dicks constantly raving about how great "the scene" was "back in the day." But perhaps here's some small modicum of hope...

After several months of anticipation, I'm finally holding the 'Black Hearse' cd in my hand. I am acutely aware of all the mistakes of my drawing. I see what could've been done better if I only had more time. I make mental notes of what WILL be better next time around. I see typos and broken english. And then it dawns on me. This gory grind band, whose crusty acronym stands for "War Torn Nation", hails from Singapore. Their pal contacts me in Portland, Oregon and asks if I would kindly draw something for the band's final cd. I spend hours alone in a dark basement. The art is sent to Singapore. It is approved and forwarded to our mutual friend in Holland who slaves over the computer for hours, designing an appropriate layout. He is not compensated for his time and much of his work will appear altered on the final product. The layout returns to Singapore and the finished product hits the streets of America several weeks later. What a labor of love! This thing has been around the world and back! It has been scrutinized by a crazy bunch of totally obsessed maniacs before even the first smug review can hit message boards. That's the underground I love! And, for the record, they sent me 10 copies of the cd. I was only owed 5.
I won't get paid a cent more if this thing sells 10,000,000 copies. But I urge you to pick this fucker up. Someday it will be a relic that reminds us that the underground was alive and well in 2006.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Be the first fat slob to come up to my table wearing an Alice Cooper shirt and then tell me you've never heard Love It To Death and win an authentic poser donut.

Be the first pizza-faced swine to say, "I don't like horror comics" and win a steeltoe boot in the crotch.

Be the first party-fouler to point out that Dennis Dread is at a comic fest but he doesn't even draw comics and win a punch in the mouth by my bouncer in the Green Lantern shirt.
See you at the Fest and good luck!

Stumptown Comic Fest 2006

I'll be at the Stumptown Comic Fest again this year! This is a really fun event that has literally exploded since its humble D.I.Y. beginnings in an old church just two years ago. The secret to Stumptown's success is that it tends to focus on creativity and networking instead of smelly collectors panting over boxes of Silver Surfer comics (no offense to Jack Kirby or Silver Surfer). Once again I'll be holding down a table with my very talented pals Ian Smith and Ryan Engorged. And we're right across from the Darkhorse table so if we get bored we can read those Conan re-issues. Crom!
Check out these nerds at last year's Stumptown Comic Fest!
Oh wait, that's us...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mommy, Can I Go Out & Kill Tonight?

My mom just looked at this blog and said I should probably be arrested.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Greg Irons R.I.P.

Here I am nerding out & having my copy of You Call This Art?!! signed by editor/writer Patrick Rosenkranz at his recent book release party at Counter Media in Portland. Apparently I'm a bit distracted by the shelves of pornography hanging above his head (and that Betty Page lunch box that looks like it's about to nail him). Destroying Angels t-shirt sales are expected to explode with the publication of this photo.

More geekery! The walls were covered in Greg Irons artwork, including this amazing framed original. When I stood this close to the art at the Frazetta Museum I set off the motion-sensor alarms.

Photos courtesy of Crisp N. Credible & Pippa Possible.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Welcome to the first installment of Gross Anatomy!

Don't worry. I don't think I'm some precious Bob Ross of Bic and this isn't a "tutorial". I just thought it would be fun to share the stages of development that go into a finished drawing. I'll try to dig up some old sketches and post these every few months. This first installment of Gross Anatomy features a t-shirt design I did recently for my favorite Creepsylvanian thrashers, Ghoul. This was actually drawn with micron pens (.005 & .05) instead of my usual ballpoints, but the process is basically the same. Without further ado...

I start out with a barely recognizable sketch, usually scribbled while I'm talking on the phone or listening to music. Many of these are scrawled on the envelopes of unpaid utility bills or whatever else is close at hand. Even though this looks like shit, it will be an important reference later to remind me of the basic form and action I'm trying to convey (in this case, a zombie thrasher holding a bloody spinal cord).

From the scribble sheet I move to illustration board. Now I'm working very loosely with pencil to figure out the composition and dimensions. Lots of erasing and experimenting typically happen in this stage. This is also when I really start to have fun and think of ways I can embellish the detail (in this case, puke gags and a crystal skull)...

Here comes the ink test. When I work with ballpoints I skip the ink test and go straight for the kill. But this drawing is for a shirt so I wanted to get a sense of how to ink things so it will (hopefully) translate well as a screen print. I make a copy of the pencil sketch and block off the black & white areas to get a sense of the overall design.

Here's the final image! I've tightened things up and fine-tuned the detail. After this stage I generally crawl out of the basement and sleep for a long time. Sleep is often followed by beer and a phone call to the water bureau to convince them not to disconnect my service for non-payment. This is followed by phone calls to the band demanding money. And so the cycle begins anew.

Don't forget to click on these images to get a better view.
Until next time...GO FORTH & KILL!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Black Hearse

I'm showing my drawing 'Black Hearse' at New York City's MF Gallery this weekend! This is the gallery's 4th Annual Halloween Show and they will be selling prints of my drawing that I signed just for the occasion. The show will be on display through Halloween but New York horror hordes should not miss the opening reception this Saturday night, September 16th (7pm). I'm unfortunately unable to attend so if anyone makes it, please take photos that I can post up here.

MF Gallery
157 Rivington St.

"I remember Halloween..."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Creepy Crawls

Today marks the official release of my pal Leon Marcelo's great travel book Creepy Crawls! To celebrate the occasion I'm posting a slightly abridged version of our sprawling interview which will appear in its entirety in the upcoming issue of Destroying Angels!! Enjoy this interview and don't forget to order your copy of Creepy Crawls here!

Dennis Dread:
Welcome to Destroying Angels #9, Leon! I thought I should point out before we begin that I have compiled these ghastly questions on July 7th which, according to your new book Creepy Crawls, is the very same date back in 1967 that George Romero began filming Night of The Living Dead!

Leon Marcelo:
Ha! Eeek-cellent! And thanks - or should I say, "Fangs!" - for the interview, Dennis.

Now, the first thing I noticed about your book is the cover. You originally commissioned monster cartoonist Eric Pigors to illustrate the cover. Did the publishers intervene and suggest a photo? What is your opinion of the final cover?

I like the cover a lot, but it took me a little while to "warm up" to it. The biggest response I got from those I showed it to early on, yourself included, was that it was very "classy" and I feel that that was actually my biggest reservation about it. It's not that I wanted something garish or "vulgar"! No. A HUGE influence upon the book’s narrative "voice" is horror TV hosts like Zacherley, Doctor Morgus, and Elvira, horror comic book icons like the Crypt Keeper and Uncle Creepy, and horror culture gods like Vincent Price and Forrest J. Ackerman. Creepy Crawls is oozing with puns, alliteration, "horror" words, "gross" words, "medical" words, and so on. Because of this, the cover that I had in mind when I was putting together the book proposal (which was about July of 2005) was something along the lines of an old Creepy or Eerie cover, replete with corner box, lurid slogans running across the top or bottom - "Shocking!" - and, of corpse, some sort of “ghastly one” who would host the reader to all the horrors within. Basically, it was a cover that would be a visual manifestation of the book's narrative: something that just oozed ... "HORROR!" Well, after I was contacted by Santa Monica Press with an offer for publication (which was only about two weeks after I sent out the proposal, which still is a shock), the cover was the first thing on the chopping block. I have known Eric Pigors for a few years now and have been - and AM! - a BIG fan of his art. Being the super NICE fiend that he is, he illustrated a "host" for Creepy Crawls who we came to call "Eee-Gore." He put Eee-Gore in a few cemetery photos I had sent him earlier and made some mock-up covers for me to include with the proposal - ALL for free. Well, the publisher dug the art but didn't want to use it for two reasons. First, he wasn't sure how big of a "draw" Eric's name would be - especially if he was going to lay out, say, a thousand dollars to commission a cover from him. Second, he didn't want to take Creepy Crawls in the "all out HORROR!" territory for fear of losing potential readers with "weaker stomachs" (i.e. luke warm horror aficionados). So, unfortunately those plans of mine for the cover, in particular Eric’s art, were out. While it was all a relatively painless experience, it was a good lesson for me early on not only about how MY expectations might depart from those of my publisher, but also how to pick my fights, so to speak. So, yes, I do now dig Creepy Crawls’ cover a lot. Eric actually likes it a lot himself! What do you think of it, Mr. Mad-Mad-Mad-Monster-Artist?!?

Eric Pigors has a fun style and I like the character he created for Creepy Crawls, but I'm sticking to my guns and actually prefer the final cover. After reading the book I'm more convinced than before that the photo is more appropriate for your material. I really like the art on the Creepy Crawls website homepage. Did Lou Rusconi draw that?

I'm happy you dig Creepy Crawls’ website! Yes, that main page art is Lou Rusconi's. He did a GREAT job with that.

Ok, I want to set the record straight. Many readers may be familiar with the basic premise of your book through Rue-Morgue magazine's popular column, 'Travelogue of Terror', in which writers visit locales of horrific significance. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you were the very first writer to contribute to this column and was it not your own submissions to the editor of Rue-Morgue that prompted this idea?

That is indeed the way it happened. If you ask Rue Morgue, I don't know what they would say, BUT I had submitted travel articles to the editors of Rue Morgue as early as spring of 2001. My ‘Poe's Baltimore’ article comes to mind. I thought that would be PERFECT for their magazine, given its very own very “Poe-etic” name. They had no content of this nature amidst their pages. Nothing. After almost a year - or so it SEEMED! - I finally heard back from the head honcho over there at the time, Rod Gudino. He really dug what he read and wanted to use them but didn't know exactly HOW they could use them because, again, they didn't really have a column in which to publish "travelogues." Then MORE time passed. FINALLY, around the spring of '03, I was asked by Gudino if I wanted to take bits and pieces of some of my other film-related travel articles (many, if not most, of which had been published before in the pages of Chiller Theatre's very own magazine) and contribute the resulting "hack-and-slash" job as the debut installment of their "Travelogue of Terror" column. I was thrilled, as I had never written for a magazine the size of Rue Morgue before. I had written two pieces for Fangoria, but they only appeared on Fango's website. But at the same, I was a little pissed off! My travel articles had been on Rue Morgue's desks - and creeping through their heads – for almost TWO years and - lo and behold! - they are going to do a "horror travels" feature in their newly expanded issues. But what could I do about it? Nothing. So I took Rue Morgue up on their offer and the debut was VERY popular. I was hoping that Rue Morgue would feature more and more of my travel writing but ... no. To date, I've only done the "Travelogue of Terror" column one other time and that was with a piece on Dario Argento's "Profondo Rosso" shoppe in Rome. You can actually eyeball an unabridged and re-written specimen in Creepy Crawls. After a few headaches thereafter, I gave up trying to be featured in Rue Morgue, let alone "Travelogue of Terror." But I do DIG Rue Morgue a LOT and read it every month…

The Profondo Rosso Shop in Italy sounds awesome! It seems surreal to me that Luigi Cozzi was just hanging around working the counter when you visited! I love Alien Contamination (the movie AND the Engorged song)! Speaking of Dario Argento “fandemonium”, I first read your travel writing in Chas Balun’s acclaimed zine Deep Red back in 2002 and a revised version of that piece on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre appears in your book. When did you start visiting locations and how many years of travel does your book cover?

Let me first just say that being published in Deep Red- DEEP FUCKING RED! - was a TRUE honor for me. I had met Chas Balun at a Chiller Theatre convention a few years ago and always sent him my latest travel articles, along with dirt my "black bride" and I had dug up from the Chainsaw locations, Friday the 13th's "Camp Blood,” and so on. Well, in the spring of 2002, Chas called me on the phone one morning and asked me if I wanted to write something for the 15th anniversary issue of Deep Red that Blackest Heart Media (R.I.P.) was going to be publishing. For someone like Chas Balun - a horror writer and artist whose work has had a HUGE influence upon me – to personally invite me to contribute to a legendary underground horror magazine like Deep Red was -and still is- a BIG thing. If only Chas had written a foreword for Creepy Crawls like I begged him to do...Ha! To get to your actual question though, the book covers, roughly, eight years of "creepy crawling": from the earliest with Poe's Baltimore to the most recent with London. My wife and I began doing our "creepy crawls" with our honeymoon to New Orleans in June of 1998. The chapter on New Orleans would have been the "oldest" in the book if it hadn't been cut out. It would have been in the first part of Creepy Crawls that features the "historical/cultural horrors" but, because of Hurricane Katrina, a lot of the attractions (such as walking tours or stores) were no longer in business. Besides that, because we hadn't been there in almost SEVEN YEARS, the "stuff" of that potential chapter was by no means "up to date," so I simply did not feel comfortable including that chapter. "We gruesome twosome" DO want to visit New Orleans again very soon so you can very possibly look for something about "The Crescent City" in Creepy Crawls: The Return! Again, I've been doing the "horror travel writing" thing for almost EIGHT YEARS now. I can't say that the "genre" was born with yours cruelly (I actually first read something of the sort in Chiller Theatre's magazine a year or two before I mailed Kevin Clement my VERY first travelogue in the fall of 1998) but I can - and WILL! - say that I not only "popularized" the form, publishing LOTS of this "species" of article in LOTS of different magazines, but also ... "perfected" it? My gray matter PULSATES ... Ha!

Did you ever visit Forrest Ackerman's museum? I heard he started selling off his collection on ebay a few years ago to pay the bills.

No, I never have but wanted to SO badly when we were in Los Angeles a few years ago. But, alas, we didn't have the time for it. And now that I too have heard that he has started selling his famous - FAMOUS! - sci-fi/horror collection, I wonder if I EVER will! I read that he has been VERY sick lately so perhaps he had to begin selling his treasures off to pay for his medical bills? As a rabid collector myself, I can't believe how HEARTBREAKING that must be for poor "Uncle Forry" to do that! The way Forrest Ackerman wrote in ‘Famous Monsters’ all those years ago was a HUGE influence on Creepy Crawls’ narrative. His use of puns and alliteration might sound "corny" to "hardcore" horror hounds for whom "humour" has no place, but it's the same reason why I LOVE The Munsters or The Addams Family: it's FUN! I love it ALL. I love extremely nasty Horror such as Last House on Dead End Street or Cannibal Holocaust or, more recently, Hostel, but I also love Zacherley, THE COMEDY OF TERRORS, or "The Monster Mash." If it's "HORROR!" I LOVE it!

All fun alliteration aside, it is your tireless research that makes Creepy Crawls such a remarkable achievement. The opening section detailing your exploits in England, for instance, is downright educational in its distillation of such a broad range of European history. Bodysnatchers, bubonic plague, bare-knuckle fighters, bedlam! If I had a history book like this in grade school I may have paid more attention! How much research went into each section of your book?

A LOT! Ha! Creepy Crawls took a lot of time to write not only because of the construction of all those puns and all that alliteration (which was almost like a MANIA that possessed me at times!), but because of all the RESEARCH that I had to stitch together like Frankenstein's Monster: "facts," history, popular myths, cultural "artifacts" like films and literature, and so on. So I'm VERY happy you appreciated that fact. Before my wife and I undertake a "creepy crawl," we do a LOT of research on our proposed destination. This takes the form of sifting through piles of guide books for all the "charnel" that makes we two "horror fiends" drool, but also doing some hunting on the internet as well. With the latter, however, you have to do as much "judging" as you do "digging" because of simply how much FALSE information there is out there on the "netherworld wide web." For instance, when we were in London last March, I wanted to see the home Dracula was said to have bought upon Piccadilly in Bram Stoker's novel. From a review of a London "walking tour," I read that it could be found at 138 Piccadilly, which was, in fact, but next to London's "Hard Rock Cafe." We visited the location at the end of a VERY long day, so the walk there from the Tube stop was GRUELLING. But when we arrived before the Count's supposed dwelling, we took our photos and yours cruelly even posed for a few, doing my best "Vampyr" impression. Well, at the time, I was actually also reading Stoker's novel for the very first time. The following night - lo and behold! – I came to the very passage whose events chilled that very same stretch of Piccadilly - or so I thought! Because, according to Stoker himself, Dracula's home was at "347 Piccadilly," which was almost at the OTHER end of that VERY long road. It made me want to scream, mostly at myself for not looking to the primary source FIRST! But after a "creepy crawl," perhaps even more research is done when I sit down to write about it. I want an article (or, in the case of Creepy Crawls, a "chapter") to not only be well-researched but, simply, FUN to read, so there is a lot of "weighing" that must go into the whole process. How much "research" is TOO much to include? When does the research for some given location I'm writing about need to be "beefed up"? It all depends upon exactly WHAT is being written about actually. With the first part of the book that deals with horrors from history, of corpse, more "historical" research went into those chapters. With the third part of the book that features "creepy crawls" to film locations, however, there still is a good deal of "historical" research, but it is much more about the history of the films' production and reception, which always seems "easier" to write about for some unknown reason. In the end, though, I can thank my "academic" background for helping me not only with the actual research I did for Creepy Crawls but my digesting and "puking forth" of it as well. But unless you want to have it read like an "encyclopedia," that's where the Crypt Keeper/Zacherley/Uncle Forry-esque "flavouring" comes in!

I really enjoyed your section about Sweeney Todd! I still remember the television commercials that aired when the "Demon Barber of Fleet Street" musical opened in New York City! I was very young and those ads were TERRIFYING! I finally had a chance to see the play performed at the Circle in the Square Theater (off Broadway) when I was in 8th grade and it was amazing! A total gore fest with blood spewing all over the place during the throat slitting scenes! They even made this great set with Sweeney Todd's chair fixed with a trap door. I imagine it's as close as I'll ever come to the old Grand Guignol.

"The Demon Barber"! Yes. Seeing his reputed "barber shoppe" (as well as Mrs. Lovett's Bell Yard pie shoppe) was at the VERY top of my list when we were making our list of what we wanted to see whilst in London. However, the only way I have seen Steven Sondheim's "penny dreadful opera" is, alas, on video: the Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou version that used to air on PBS all the time. I also saw, on television, a "stripped down" version that was performed in San Francisco not all that long ago. "Doogie Howser" was actually there in the part of the "young suitor" of Sweeney's long lost daughter. I believe this was the beginnings of the version that is now playing on Broadway? It was REALLY good though! I would probably love ALL versions of " ... Todd." There was even news not that long ago that Tim Burton was going to direct a film adaptation. I would LOVE that like it was my very own baby! Have you ever read the first chapter of Neil Gaiman's "The String of Pearls" serial that was in TABOO back in the '90s?

Nah, I don’t remember that one…

I am lucky enough to have a copy of the "penny dreadful" promo that Steve Bissette published through SpiderBaby for it. For those out of the "know," it would have been Gaiman's answer to Alan Moore's From Hell - but using Sweeney Todd rather than "Saucy Jack" as the ghastly zeitgeist of down-and-dirty Victorian England. However, it never saw more than that first chapter.

I don't recall from my initial reading any mention in your travelogues of the werewolves of "London Town". Did you discover anything about the British roots of lycanthropy or explore any locales connected to this popular folklore while in England?

A VERY interesting thing about London was, indeed, the distinction between "London" and "London Town." There were actually the remnants of the Roman wall, which used to separate the two. This is what made the Jack the Ripper slaughters even MORE heinous: his "invasion" of London Town, which was then the home of London's "old blood" (with WHICH murder I cannot recall off the top of my head - you'll have to read Creepy Crawls I suppose!) But did I discover London’s "werewolves"? Unfortunately, NO. The closest we came to lycanthropes whilst in London was traipsing through the Tottenham Court Road Tube stop, which was featured in An American Werewolf In London! But the thing about London is that there is an ENDLESS slew of "Horror!"-ed locations you could feast upon whilst there. You could spend whole tours dedicated exclusively to London's "black magick" past, London's "vampire" past, and, apparently, London's "werewolf" past. But, yes, I would LOVE to have unearthed London's links to lycanthropy. Actually, I remember from a History Channel special one October that a lot of the "werewolf" mania in Medieval Europe took place in Germany or France, as with the case of Peter Stubbe.

There are certainly references as far back as the Norse sagas to Germanic “wolf shirts” or berserkers, but I was actually wondering if there might be any historical basis for songs like Warren Zevon’s hilarious 70’s oddity ‘Werewolves of London’ and Ian Read’s ‘Werewolves of London Town’. Probably not…

Despite my lack of werewolf "creepy crawling" in London (the SHAME!), I AM fascinated with werewolves. ‘The Howl’ just so happens to be my favorite Samhain song and I actually bought Montague Summers' The Werewolf after hearing Glenn Danzig refer to it in Danzig's first home video. I'd have to say my favorite werewolf film is The Howling, although I LOVE Paul Naschy's "Waldemar Daninsky" wolf-outs! And EVERYONE should read Neil Gaiman's "Only the End of the World Again," which is the best Lovecraftian werewolf short story EVER written. Do you have a favorite, Dennis?

I LOVE 'The Howl'! Who could not worship that opening drum beat and eerie bass line (no pun intended!)? Those are also some of Danzig’s best lyrics! Favorite werewolf film? I love the original Wolf Man with Lon Chaney Jr. and Curse of the Werewolf with Oliver Reed! I also love American Werewolf In London and, most recently, Dog Soldiers. What did you think of The Hills Have Eyes remake ? I've tried to ignore most of the recent remakes but I REALLY enjoyed The Hills Have Eyes! In fact, I've watched it three times and I like it better than the original (gasp)!

It is almost like confessing to a "dirty little secret" that I admit that I REALLY dug some - some! - of the much vilified "remakes" that I have seen within the last few years, specifically Dawn of the Dead, Chainsaw, and, yes, The Hills Have Eyes. I sat down wanting to HATE these three but was surprised at how much I enjoyed each of them. I can't say if I dug Alexandre Aja's remake MORE than Wes Craven's original, but I WOULD say that it is definitely a much more vicious and violent film and I believe that is the "key" that defines the "effectiveness" of some of these remakes for me. The same goes for the Chainsaw remake. It's just utterly GRISLY in parts, you know? Perhaps knowing that they have a LOT to prove, the directors of these remakes, in particular Aja, intensifies the sheer gruesomeness, the grotesqueness, of what they put before an audience. When you compare the original to the remake, Aja's film is simply so much more brutal and bestial, you know?!? Like when Michael Bailey Smith's "Pluto" is sucking the milk from that young mother's teats ... EGADS! It was just such an utter grotesquerie - I LOVED it! But does that mean that I DON'T love Craven's original? Of corpse not. They are almost DIFFERENT films. The original seemed to want to focus upon the "inner-workings" of the mutant family (setting up a more direct contrast to the "American Pie"-ness of the all-too-unfortunate "normal" vacationers), while the remake wanted to focus upon that post-Sawney Bean family's MONSTROSITY. But all that said, as much as I must admit that I have indeed enjoyed some of these remakes, I STILL do not see the purpose for them. WHY not simply make a NEW film? The Dawn of the Dead remake was SO different from the original (despite the basic "human survivors living in the zombie-surrounded mall" trope) that it could have been just another zombie flick. Had they done that, the film-makers could have saved themselves from the vitriol of a LOT of "hardcore" horror fiends. But, in the end, it's about the NAME of the original. THAT is what's important. They seem to need that MORE than the original story or characters. But some horror aficionados are SO caught up in this "I HATE REMAKES!" drama. Simply put, there is NOTHING you can do about it so, if you don't want to see them, DON'T. And, in the end, as John Landis said at last October's Chiller Theatre convention, the "remake" is NOT a new thing! And to tell you the truth, I am REALLY looking forward to Rob Zombie's "prequel"/"sequel"/"remake" of Halloween. I dug his first two films a lot and want to see what he can do with John Carpenter's "boogeyman."

Will Santa Monica Press be sending you out on any promotional tours for the book? It would be great if you could arrange some readings and book signings!

Indeed! That would be a LOT of fun - at least the signings! Given the Crypt Keeper-ish way Creepy Crawls was written, it would probably be VERY embarrassing to have to read it out loud! I'd have to PAY a Vincent Price-impersonator to read it for me! But about the signings, I don't know what kind of money Santa Monica Press has to do that sort of thing. They have been a GREAT company to work with and were definitely the perfect "home" for Creepy Crawls, given their eclectic/weird catalogue of previous titles, especially of the "travel" variety. However, in truth, they are NOT Simon and Schuster or Penguin or some other book publisher who has a million-upon-million dollar budget to work with. But we'll see! I would LOVE to sell and sign copies of Creepy Crawls at conventions here on the East Coast, such as HorrorFind, Monster-Mania, Fango, and, of corpse, Chiller Theatre. But with table costs beginning at $300, I would have to sell a LOT of books simply to come away "even," you know?!? I WILL be selling signed copies of Creepy Crawls myself. I already have a coffin-full of little Halloween trick-or-treats that I want to mail out with them. I also want to put together some kind of "barf bag" to toss it all in. I believe I have more "FUN!" obsessing over those sorts of details, promotion and "goodies" and such, more than I do with the writing of the actual WORK it's all meant to accompany!

I love your list of "13 Rules" for the would-be Creepy Crawler. Rule #8 admonishes, "If you are bringing a fiend...along with sure they won't be a drag...If they don't have ANY interest in where you're going and what you're going there for...they'll become dead weight VERY fast!" I get the feeling you are referring to a personal experience. Do you have any horror stories about friends joining you on your creepy crawls?

UGHHH! Well, that rule is VERY true, Dennis. And I know all-too-well from "personal experience." That "rule" was basically the product of my experiences with one former "traveling companion" - who is a "friend" NO more and was finally seen as the untermensch that he always was, and NOT because he was simply "dead weight"! -who whined about how cold it was when we walked through the Evans City Cemetery from the beginning of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. After belly-aching without end about the subzero Pittsburgh temperatures, he begged me to let him sit in our "butchermobile" with the motor, and heater, running while we finished our tour of that legendary- LEGENDARY! - tomb yard. This experience and, unfortunately, MORE made me want to poke my thumbs through his eyeballs while bellowing in his blood-dripping face, "WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HERE?!?" More than that, though, it made me yell at MYSELF for choosing my "traveling companions" so unwisely. It was a good lesson to learn. So yes, Destroying Angels Reader, should you want to undertake a "creepy crawl" of your very own, when deciding who to go with - or NOT go with! - answer two questions VERY honestly: first, "Will I PUKE if I have to stare into the face of this potential traveling partner for hours, if not days, on end?" and second - and this is VERY important! - "Will this potential traveling partner HELP me to celebrate my LOVE of Horror?" If not ... BEWARE!
You have been warned...

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Ok, no one has been able to solve the riddle of the mysterious demon. Consider yourselves losers. But at least I've learned that a few people actually read this thing. And the answer?

The artist is underground legend RICK GRIFFIN
and the album is STEPPENWOLF'S 'MONSTER' (1970)

The Mutilation Graphics demon was slightly modified from the back cover of this gatefold where it originally appeared on either side of Griffin's amazing dystopian cartoon chaos. I'll post another contest at some point in the future. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Up The Irons!

Greg Irons Book Release Party!

Patrick Rosenkranz's new book You Call This Art?!! is now available through Fantagraphics Books. You Call This Art?!! celebrates the life of Greg Irons, one of the greatest artists to emerge from the late 60's underground art movement. Greg Irons was a prodigiously talented and energetic artist who mastered many mediums including psychedelic posters (Chuck Berry, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother, etc), record covers (Jerry Garcia, Blue Cheer, Jefferson Starship, etc.), underground comix (Slow Death, Legions of Charlies, Deviant Slice, etc.), children's books (Dungeons & Dragons, Last of the Dinosaurs, Pirates, etc.), and tattoo art before his life was cut tragically short in 1984. Rosenkranz's highly anticipated retrospective has been lovingly assembled with the full cooperation of Irons' surviving family and friends and features an AMAZING collection of work spanning Irons' entire career, including no less than 17 comix reproduced in their entirety. To celebrate this beautiful labor of love, Counter Media Bookstore, Portland's finest purveyors of perversion, has announced a very special book signing with author Patrick Rosenkranz featuring a rare display of original Greg Irons art! Greg Irons was a big influence on my own emerging style and astute Destroying Angels readers will recall the Irons article I asked Patrick Rosenkranz to write for issue #7. At my recent art opening Mr. Rosenkranz explained that the interest generated by that issue of Destroying Angels had a direct impact on the publication of his book. It is an honor to feel as though I have contributed in some very small way to the memory of this legend and his re-discovery by younger artists and fans of art around the world. Up the Irons, indeed!
Don't miss this event!

September 11th
Counter Media
927 SW Oak St.
Portland, Oregon
(503) 226-8141
YOU CALL THIS ART?! A Greg Irons Retrospective
By Greg Irons; Edited by Patrick Rosenkranz
240 pages, color and black-and-white,
8” x 10” paperback • $24.95

Sunday, July 30, 2006


While on vacation this past week at an undisclosed location in southern Oregon, I had the pleasure of visiting the set of Bruce Campbell's latest film, My Name Is Bruce! I can't tell you how exciting it was to roam around the set watching Ash from The Evil Dead direct himself in this new ultra low-budget monster comedy! Apparently making a movie requires a lot of people and entails a lot of sitting around and waiting. Luckily, I wasn't thrown off the set for being a creepy fanboy and did my sitting around in the producer's chair. We even got to watch the scene play-back with Bruce. Anyway, I promised I wouldn't ruin any surprises by posting a bunch of photos on the internet but I doubt this one shot of a car will be much of a spoiler. Best one-liner overheard during the shoot? "So long suckers!"

Thursday, July 13, 2006


In a thinly veiled ploy to discover if anyone actually reads this blog, I am announcing a contest! Below is the cover of an old Mutilation Graphics catalog, circa 1991. The first person to correctly identify the legendary UNDERGROUND ARTIST who created this demon logo and the ALBUM COVER it was stolen from for this catalog wins a Destroying Angels t-shirt (black XL only) and a copy of the soon-to-be-released Destroying Angels #9! Remember, you must identify the artist and the album on which the art originally appeared to win. Good luck!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Return Of The Undead Leg!

A few months back I received some amazing photos from a guy on the eastcoast who has devoted his entire lower leg to a tattoo collage of my drawings. Today the tattoo artist himself sent some updated shots of the complete leg. It turned out great and I am flattered speechless. Thanks to Bryan and Shlak for sharing these photos!

Monday, June 26, 2006

In Grind We Crust!

Here are some photos of a guy in Missouri getting my drawing for Phobia permanently etched into his back! I hope to someday be able to tattoo my art onto people myself. In the meantime, its pretty cool to watch this tattoo progress...

"If you want blood, you got it!"

Thanks for finding these photos, Susan!