image by Banes, based on a story narrated by Lazy Masquerade
Making Horror Comics - a chat with Genejoke
I spoke to Genejoke about making horror comics. GJ makes a lot of comics here on the Duck. He has an anthology series here called Lite Bites, and multiple other series on the go. He's also leading The Dream Anthology, the second Anthology special to fund improvements to The Duck Website! Here's our chat:
Banes: Hi Genejoke, what're you up to lately?
Genejoke: I'm doing the fright bites month of horror in lite bites. Although I ended up doing way more than a month's worth. Got a bunch of horror scripts done as well, and working on a long form horror script.
Banes: Well I guess I'll start by asking how you go about getting a horror idea together - I mean, do you deliberately set out to write something scary, or is it just
a matter of following an idea, regardless of the tone or genre?
Genejoke: Yeah it usually starts with an idea or feeling, not always with intent to make a horror.
The pot noodle horror story that features in lite bites came from thinking of an animals view on humans as horrific hunter killers while eating a pot noodle. I have a larger story in the works inspired by some strange recurring dreams.
Of course other times it's a case of wanting to make a horror, usually of a specific type such as a creature feature or ghost story and then set about finding the story. For example I have an unfinished script about a pet gerbil that mutates after being fed and energy drink.
The gerbil idea sounds like it could be a horror, or a comedy, or drama or satire, or any combination. It probably makes sense to let some ideas just turn into whatever they're going to be, and
not get bogged down in genre and put limitations on it. Also, you've made a lot of short stories for your anthology series “Lite Bites” as well as several longer comics. What have been some of your favorites, or standouts?
That can include collaborations as well as submissions from others if you want
Haha yeah the gerbil story is definitely intended as a horror comedy. Maybe I can get it sponsored by monster energy drink🤣
When I'm writing I tend to write with a visual style in mind.
The collaboration between us an Davidxolukoga for the upcoming anthology is a good example, I definitely had Tim Burton films in mind.
The finished artwork doesn't always match what I had in mind, be it due to me not being able to pull it off, or if a collaboration I rarely tell the artist what I had in mind so they interpret it their own way.
I like to try different styles, sometimes with more success than others. One up coming story was loosely inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and I sought to make visuals that fit that.
image by Genejoke
I've definitely got a few stand outs from lite bites for various reasons.
The aforementioned Poe inspired story, “the manuscript” is one.
As is the collaboration for the anthology.
Black shuck, drawn by Skreem is one I think came out brilliantly.
“Girls night out” drawn by Ramlama also.
The recent “Fleating adventure” drawn by Skyangel was a treat. It was quite different
There's various ones I had no hand in which are great as well. Burying Sarah by Gunwallace and Ramlama springs to mind.
Is there anything else you want to say about creating horror comics, what works and what doesn't,
or anything else?
Yeah about horror in comic form, naturally you can't rely on jump scares or music to add tension. No idea how well my work does in getting the horror vibe across. Sometimes it's in your face moody visuals, others luring the reader into a false sense of security and switching things up. With short stories like in Lite Bites I often rely on tropes or fairly stock characters to establish things quickly.
Thanks again to Genejoke for this! Like I said, he's very prolific and talented, including his very entertaining presentations over on the Drunk Duck Awards. Check that out!
You can learn more about the Dream Anthology, and contribute a story, to help fund The Duck Website updates and improvements!
You can find more details in the Drunkduck discord, under anthology 2 and in the Drunkduck forums.
Contribute to Lite Bites by contacting Genejoke
This is Lite Bites
Thanks again, and see you all next week!
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Banes at 12:00AM, Oct. 12, 2023
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