Mad About Cartoons

Bill Wray is trying to make the transition fine art but is known as a cartoonist, a background painter/ Art director and sometimes animation director. This will be the place he post his ocasional animation and cartooning work and also be a place to bitch or wax sentimentally about cartoons in general. It’s been a love and hate relationship for many years and the long journey may not be quite over.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Horror, I did Horror

Back in the eighties one of the many things I wanted to do was to draw comics in the tradition of EC horror comics. I'm going to post a big selection of that work over the next few days as kind of a floating portfolio for a director I'm trying to interest in letting me work for him on a dream "horror" project. I've never tried to get much work in live action, closet to that was art directing Space Jam for a few months, but that's another story. If Frankenstein built an artist to work on movies he would have made me for this project. I'm used to dreams going down in flames, but send a prayer on this one for me.

First up is a story I never finished for no other reason I can rationalize other than I lost momentum due to the length plus a series of delays on my and the original publishers part. It's a fantastic story by Charles Beaumont adapted by Mark Burbey and myself. I disappointed myself by not finishing it, but I imagine it about killed Mark. As it was an amazing coup to get the permission to get this story and he was trying to get into comics writing. Sorry Mark.

Bruce Jones did Horror Comics in an EC twist style in the eighties and I was a dream working for him. I was young and raw but he saw something in me, I was a real honor to work for him alongside Corben, Wrightson, Ploog and many other Horror greats. Sadly my work for him was still formative I was just hitting a groove when Bruce sold his titles to Eclipse comics and where my work was improving, the working conditions were fucked.
The editor Cat Ironwood had a big problem with the objectifying of the female form and clamped down hard on the nudity Bruce encouraged. All the nudity you see here was censored. ( but not Corben's in a previous issue) She called me an encourager of rapists as I had a clothed man and a nude woman in the story and so we had a big fight on this job on every level. I re- wrote the story to make it more cinematically interesting (including adding the guns) and that was a tussle with her and the writer. She even got mad with the panel open the last page of the big guy in the empty street. She wanted to know who he was, convinced I was getting something over on her. All my changes were used by John Carpenter in the movie They Live that was based on this story, including the panel of the girl fucking the alien as the end shot. (Another fight with Cat, she caved on cuting it thank God.) Great choice on his part as the writers original ending was flat. Here are a few pages...