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...


Blogger Steven Finch, Attorney At Law said...

Fascinating stuff!

They actually started putting out a new Tales from the Crypt comic book a year or so ago, but the artwork and stories on the whole seem pretty godawful. Too bad!

I would love nothing more than to see more Bill Wray horror in the future!

1:34 AM  
Blogger DrSpecter said...

More than EC, this stuff actually reminds me of what I love about the early Warrens. I actually collected all the Goodwin titles, as they've never been reprinted. I could definitely see them being done Sin City-style, with green screen, etc. I'd also love to see something like that animated.

Your spot blacks look like Toth's in the thumbnails, but the characters are cartoonier. Very, very cool!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Drake Brodahl (pumml) said...

So cool to see some of this older comic work, Bill!

10:28 AM  
Blogger Urban Barbarian said...

These rock! Love the Wood girl from the top set!

10:33 AM  
Blogger Mike Hawthorne said...

This stuff is amazing, Bill!!


8:05 PM  
Blogger Eric Talbot said...

Lookit those BLACKS!!! Good luck with the project.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Vincent Waller said...

Nice, very nice.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Urban Barbarian said...

BTW, remember that DC kiddie project? Check this out:

11:43 AM  
Blogger BoneDaddy said...

Christ Bill, where do I start? You must have had steady hands to draw the cars so solid. The naked chick has real boobs (sorry, but 99.9% comics artists opt for fakes and it bugs the shit outta me). And I love your creepy elongated features on grandma.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Mirella said...

Good job!!!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Robiscus said...

Bill, didn't you also do that one in the back of a Pacific Comics collection("weird stories" or something) where the guy is locked up in the tower screaming as he's being beaten - and he surprises his tormentor by summoning demons or some such?

i've got that in a box somewhere. love it.

12:05 AM  
Blogger J. C. said...

wow this is absolutely great, I ma a big comics addict and I was impressed with this one.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Eric Noble said...

I'd love to see an animated version of the EC Comics, or the early Warrens, especially in the Jack Davis style. These are great comics.

11:28 AM  
Blogger semola souto said...

great work, interesting choice of colors

6:24 PM  
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