Five for Creating with Joseph Schmalke
Welcome to Five for Creating! An interview series here at ComixCentral where we focus on getting to know Indie Creators and what they are working on through a series of five questions. This week we chat with Comic Creator Joseph Schmalke who is currently Kickstarting his new art book CARPE NOCTEM.
1. Tell us about your love for horror and how its inspired your work including the upcoming art book Carpe Noctem.
My love of horror stated way early on. I remember being a kid watching Phantom of the Opera (the silent one) and the classic universal monster movies with my Dad. My mom was into the slasher horror that was coming out in the early 80’s and exposed me to Nightmare on Elm street and Friday the 13th. So, for me its just from what I know. I loved those movies then and I love them now. Every October I binge watch horror and love drawing my favorite monsters and maniacs. This year I touched on several themes that I have wanted to draw like monsters of rock, classic monsters, slashers, and Kaiju monsters.
2. This is more than just your run of the mill art book right?
It’s going to be a large format book (11×17″) and will have a prominent look just from its size alone, but it’s also a labor of love and I wanted to offer people something with more of a prestige format. I see a lot of people walking around at shows buying prints for their walls and then the following year saying to me that they love the prints they are seeing but have no more wall space. I’m remedying that with this book. You get the large format art but you also get your wall back…this is an art print book you are meant to hold in your hand. Outside the campaign I doubt I will sell any of these pieces as wall prints though many of them are frame worthy.
3. Tell us about your Graphic Novels Cherry Blackbird and The Infernal Pact, Which will be available as ad-on rewards during the Kickstarter.
The Infernal Pact is about three friends that jokingly sell their souls for drugs and find themselves actually cursed. Transformed into monsters they find themselves being hunted down by Devil worshiping bikers and brain eating zombies on a cross country road trip to hell. Cherry Blackbird is about a rock and roll star that has to send seven demons to hell in order to save her own damned soul. Both the Infernal Pact and Cherry Blackbird exist in the same universe. Both are horror/grindhouse books with over-the-top violence, insane characters, salty language, sexual situations, nudity, drugs, and a dose of dark humor. They are my independently published horror graphic novels and both have a hard “R” rating.
4. Do you have anything else on the table for this year that you would like readers to know about?
The biggest thing will probably be something that people will be bringing to my table. The Electric Black is coming out in April from Scout comics and it’s the story of an antique shop filled with cursed objects that’s run by a demonic proprietor and his psychopathic employees. It’s Tales from the Crypt meets Needful Things/Friday the 13th the series and as such works like an anthology with a larger story binding all the smaller stories togther.
5. Here at ComixCentral we are all about promoting all things Indie. With that being said, besides yourself and projects, what is one Indie property or creator you think people need to go check out right now?
Some of these are coming soon and some are available now. Ben Bishop has THE AGGREGATE which is the worlds first Split Decision comic. Dylan Andrews continues work on his Archive: the Warhood odyssey series. Ryan Wing is coming out with his newest project the October Ghost , Rich Woodall is releasing both Space Force and Sgt. Werewolf this year (he’s also my partner on the Electric Black) and finally Walter Ostlie is releasing Metal Shark Bro also in April from Scout comics.
Joseph Schmalke is a comics creator, writer, and illustrator residing in Westbrook, Maine. Joe is the author/artist on THE CALAMITOUS BLACK DEVILS (Broken Icon Comics), THE INFERNAL PACT (self published), and CHERRY BLACKBIRD (self published) and the upcoming THE ELECTRIC BLACK. A classically-trained painter, Joe got his start doing tattoos in the back of New Orleans barbershops. A lifelong lover of comic books and horror movies, he has worked behind the scenes in film and tv, but has always focused on making the type of books that he loves to read— full of dark humor and dark themes. You can find his work featured on Exclusive FYE t-shirts, Portland Maine’s comics zine ONE-PAGE STINKERS, Killer Bootlegs’ and Super 7 figure box art, and A Sound of Thunder’s IT WAS METAL graphic novel anthology.