Hi! it’s meeeee, damehelsing from The Drunk Duck Community with another interview!! And for today’s Sunday article I will be interviewing the mighty and fierce PIT_FACE!!!
PIT_FACE, go ahead and introduce yourself!
PIT_FACE: Thank you! Well, I've been working on various comic projects since time immemorial. Putrid Meat has been my most popular so far but I've also worked on things like Brave Resistance, which I co-author/illustrate with Tantz Aerine, I've also worked on The Dead, World Without Flesh, and The Epic of Blitzov which is on hold for the moment. but my current project/ burden of love is Inhabitants. I'm 35 years old, I live in Wisconsin and I am indeed an Opossum.
Here's my link: Inhabitants on The Duck! and you can follow me on Twitter @PIT_FACE1
Wow, PIT! Those are a lot of titles under your belt!! And you’re 35??? You don’t look a day over 27! Actually now I can’t tell if you’ve told me before that you’re 35… Must be the Opossum in you.
PIT_FACE: It’s true! Intense internal rage keeps us young.
Well, I hope that works for me. I’ve got a lot of rage in me. Or so I’m told. By many.
ANYWAY, haha, for this interview, I really want to talk about you and your work with Inhabitants, mainly because it’s my favorite spooky comic with possible dead things, so, I desperately need to know the mastermind behind this, what went through your mind when you were creating Inhabitants?
PIT_FACE: Oh, coming up with Inhabitants has been an absolute thrill! I've pretty much been Frankensteining together a bunch of ideas and concepts that have struck my fancy.
Helmut is inspired by the likes of Rob Halford of Judas priest. This is still the beginning of his story yet. I basically wanted to make something that feeds the urge in me to just see really incredibly cool shit. I often tell people, “think Gwar meets Sailor Moon”.
Gwar meets Sailor Moon is actually a really cool short description to give. Also I'm assuming Helmut's leather outfits are inspired by Rob Halford? Because I will say Helmut looks like a soft cutie compared to him.
PIT_FACE: lol! bingo! Well I like gimp masks and what not. I'm not really into S&M as a sexual thing but at the same time, I think it's really cool. So Helmut (when he's full grown, thank god. don't worry!) is going to have this outfit that's heavily inspired by that while at the same time, actually being functional against the monsters and what not he'll have to fight. But along with the get up, he's also not straight, which is another thing I was inspired by from Halford. He's bad ass but also gay which is something I also want for Helmut. Though Helmut is also a bit of a cinnamon roll in a weird way. He always wants to do the right thing.
S&M outfits are honestly great, I love them a lot, if I could I would own some myself because they just look so damn cool. I don't blame you or anyone wanting to incorporate such a thing into their story. And Helmut is such a cute cinnamon roll, from the drawings you've shared online, he's a cutie pie, it's kind of hard to imagine him in an S&M outfit (we're still talking about adult Helmut btw) because he just looks so… bubbly haha
PIT_FACE: lol, exactly! I think his personality will shine through, even with the suit. The mask is going to change subtly with his expressions and what not. I really like the idea of taking weird character concepts and finding ways for them to mesh in with this. Speaking of which, there is going to be a very very tall lady, as inspired by Resident Evil Village. Think of her as a sort of giant Janine from Ghost Busters. She's going to be Helmut's boss.
Oooo yes! Give us tall ladies!!! We need more of them in media! Which speaking of tall ladies, weird character concepts and interesting suits, something I want to ask about is your art style! Your art style is honestly truly unique, it almost reminds me of some horror manga (mixed with a bit of a semi-realism art style) I would come across, do you have any inspirations or is this just something you’ve always done?
PIT_FACE: Well thank you! I've been trying to polish it up at tad more lately because I really want to put 110% into this. but I've been influenced by people like Away from Voivod, Vince Locke, Carlos Ezquerra, Druillet and Moebius.
PIT_FACE:Kind of a weird mix to throw together if you think about it. Couldn't help but come out a little unique! I'm especially starting to like line-work that gets the feeling of texture or mass across with as little inking as possible. I like flesh to look fleshy and little details to come through. I'm pretty good with people, I'm a little less practiced with clothing. I'm going to need to tighten that up, soon. Like when Prince Florian is going to be introduced. He's going to wear very stylish, ornate clothing. It's scaring me a little, lol.
That's amazing, you can really see your inspirations shine through in your artwork, especially the uniqueness that it holds, I'm really glad you want to put so much effort and love into Inhabitants because I am hooked, so if one day you stop working on it… well. I know where you live (: jkjk I wouldn't do that!! OR WOULD I >:) haha
The writing for Inhabitants is also great! Sure, we’re still early in the story but the pacing is absolutely beautiful, did you take any writing classes or is this just experience from your previous works?
PIT_FACE: I haven't taken any writing classes, but I do love good horror and like many fans, I've spent way too much time parsing out what things I love in particular about good horror and after you do that enough, sometimes you want to see what you can make out of it.
Like for instance with this whole back story that inhabitants is starting with. I love horror that takes its time. That lets you just sit in an uncomfortable situation. Even if you don't yet know what's wrong exactly. But the narrative just lets the character and vicariously you stew in it. Helmut's all alone with this “turnip man” that is lurking about. He doesn't know who it is, WHAT it is, or what it wants, but it feels “like it wants to hurt something”. And he may or may not ever know more than that. But the best is yet to come. ;)
Ah yes, the “turnip man” - I absolutely hate that you've put baby Helmut in this situation. I think about it almost daily. But in all seriousness, you've definitely got the slow burn horror down! The situations are just perfect for it and leaves a very unsettling feeling that just grows greater the longer something is unknown.
PIT_FACE: oh thank you! it's definitely super slow burn when a page takes 20 years to make on top of it, lol
Now, you started Inhabitants during the pandemic, how has it been to work on the comic during quarantine?
PIT_FACE: to be honest, I think it's really helped keep me more level than I otherwise would be. The pandemic has been a challenge in itself but like a lot of people, I've also had a number of other issues that aren't Covid related but still exacerbated by it. I think that's why it was time for me to make something like Inhabitants. I think I was really yearning to have this massively cool thing that I could control. A lot of times when things start to feel a bit too much, thinking about what I have planned for Inhabitants helps a lot.
This pandemic was and is still tough on a lot of people. A ton of fellow comic creators actually lost their interest or have been blocked because of the horrible effects that the pandemic caused and of course, 2020 was in general a horrible year, that year was full of tragedy. But I'm really glad Inhabitants helped you out. It's like that one blanket or pillow you hold tightly when things are tough and you're not sure what to do, almost like the one safe edge you KNOW you can grasp when hanging off of a cliff.
PIT_FACE: exactly right! This is my little corner of the universe! The law of Pit-face rules all!
But yeah, I’ve been pretty fortunate.
Since Inhabitants is a pretty new comic, not even reaching its first birthday yet, is it a story that you’ve had in your mind for awhile or was it something that came to you and you decided you just wanted to bring it to life?
PIT_FACE: It's kind of been brewing for a while now. Like Putrid Meat, it had earlier versions that were totally different. Like Helmut first started as a video game character I used to play on different free MMO sites. Then I incorporated him into some writing exercises that Tantz and I write in our free time and he was this romantic sort of save the princess templar type, holy roller, which was a pretty different thing for me to write after writing Bones for over 10 years. But also like with Putrid Meat, it had that “epiphany” moment where I realized what I wanted to do with it.
Having Helmut become an exterminator for an infinite apartment building built on the outskirts of the world of the dead but for mortal people was just too good to pass up. It's been so ripe for all sorts of things. It made me pretty much instantly throw out all of the old ideas I only felt half right about and start from scratch. but before that, it had been slowing cooking in primordial thought soup for a few years.
Okay, I'm gonna have to stop you right there, Helmut becoming an exterminator for an INFINITE apartment building that is built on the outskirts of the world of the dead but for mortal people - sounds like an awesome game if I'm being honest. Kind of like an S&M DOOM.
Now this is kind of funny, because I was actually curious about your webtoon format and now that we mention infinite apartment buildings, I kind of want to ask, is there a reason for the webtoon format of your comic? Is the “infinite apartment building” tied into it being a scroll-format comic? It’s rare but not impossible to find a scrolling format on The Duck so I was really intrigued when I saw that Inhabitants is part of the webtoon group.
PIT_FACE: Well now it definitely is, lol! I really like the long scroll format because i feel like it helps convey the passage of time in a better way than if I would have stuck with the print size comic pages, which sort of sucks because if I do ever print any of this, it will have to be one of zines or something like that, which still could be cool.
But take those spooky scenes that we'd talked about earlier, where Helmut is being menaced by the Turnip Man. Instead of compressing scenes to fit the more compact format, the longer format gives those scenes more room to breath, if that makes sense. Since I only post one page at a time, I dont want the long scenes to feel disjointed. I really like working with it so far, though!
and also, it seems my crush on Doom Guy has shown through, lol. Meaty thighs <3
I do truly feel the scroll format works amazing with Inhabitants. Not a lot of people really understand how to utilize the magic that is the scroll format, but you do it amazingly well!
PIT_FACE: Thank you! Yes, our lovely friend, Mal, told me how much the misuse of it bugs them a little while ago and now I cant help but notice that when it happens, too. lol!
Yesssssss, the scroll format I believe is really because of how many people now use their phones for everything, so ideally the scroll format would make viewing a comic a far more pleasant experience than a traditional print-ready sized comic, but there are a ton of good things you can do with the perks of a scroll.
Since we're still on the topic of scroll formats, how long does it take on average to finish one page? Do you think the scroll format helps or hinders the amount of time it takes?
PIT_FACE: Oh, it definitely hinders it, lol. Especially since I'm working full time now, sometimes a full page might take 3 weeks from sketching to being fully inked and colored. even though there's more breathing room, each page still has about 20-30 panels most of the time. In addition to the time it takes to actually make it, since it is a longer format, I have to plan the whole thing out before i actually get started on it to make sure it'll flow okay. I didn't really do that before with Putrid Meat or Blitzov. Blitzov could have really benefited from that kind of planning, though. Maybe one day. I'd still like to finish that story one day.
Yeah, that's what I thought, I feel almost almost every panel or 2 panels is actually basically it's own page since the format is so long, which actually brings me to my next question, if you decide you want to do a print run of Inhabitants, how do you think you're going to handle converting it from a scroll-format to a good old regular comic book look?
PIT_FACE: I have no idea, unfortunately. With some pages it might be able to work, but others would have to be heavily edited. I think that would be the only way. I'm thinking what I might do is make some one-off zines with short Inhabitants stories in them. Things that I might not necessarily upload online. I would really like to get some merchandise rolling, like pins and other little fun things to have that I could sell at conventions. Zines would be really good for that. And of course, the web addy to the comic would have to be plastered all over everything.
I would LOVE to see some Inhabitants merch, I know you've been working on some recently because you showed me a piece you were working on and let's just say… when the merch is ready and I've got cash to splurge, I know what I'm buying!!
PIT_FACE: oh, thank you! well seeing all the amazing things YOU'VE been working hard on has really inspired me to make merch. You really have an eye for design! i can only hope my stuff is half as awesome.
Aw thank you, that's too sweet!! I'm sure your merch will be outstanding though!!
Now… For my final question, what is some advice you’d give to new creators and possible future Ducklings that would like to create a horror comic or even utilize a webtoon format?
PIT_FACE: I think I'd just say, start with something that you'll love. It sound schlocky but things tend to come easier when you're excited about them. You can conceptualize them a little more and make all of those other elements like long format or whatever you chose, work for you and the story you want to tell.
That is excellent advice, a lot of creators agree to create what you love and what you want because it'll probably just come more natural to you than if you tried to force something. Often readers can tell when it's not a project made with love.
PIT_FACE: all too true!
Thank you so much PIT_FACE for agreeing to do this interview! I had so much fun diving deep into the madness of your brain about Inhabitants and how you work!!
PIT_FACE: Haha, thank you! It's always a lot of fun to talk to you. To the future!
What is it you always say? Huzzah? HUZZAH!
PIT_FACE: lol, i really do. I have no idea how that started.
Hello again Ducklings!! If you’re interested in seeing some slow burn horror with cuties and S&M outfits in the future, make sure to click below and get scared! ;)
damehelsing at 12:00AM, May 16, 2021
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