Posted by Decapitated Dan |

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Monstrosity II

I recently had a chance to talk to Phil McClorey and Brian Evinou about their new anthology Monstrosity II. Check it out: 

Decapitated Dan: Hey Phil and Brian thanks for taking time to talk  with me about the Monstrosity 2. First of all let’s talk about you. Who are you and what do you do?

Phil McClorey: Thanks for having us, Dan! My name is Phil McClorey and I’m the co-editor and contributing writer and letterer of the graphic novel anthology, MONSTROSITY. Besides that I was the editor, contributing writer and letterer of Horror in the West.

Brian Evinou: Hey Dan, cheers. My name is Brian Evinou, I am the other editor of Monstrosity. I have been making comics now for about 7 years. I generally write and draw my own works including Don River, Sassy Mavericks and Tuff Stuff.

DD: How did you find yourself getting into making comics?

PM: Like a lot of people my age I dropped out of comics in the mid-nineties. Probably a decade later
I was hanging out at a buddy’s house and he had a bunch of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman trades and I essentially discovered DC’s vertigo line.  I was hooked again and just devoured stuff like Preacher, The Invisibles, Hellblazer, and Transmetropolitan. I haven’t looked back since.

I’ve always been interested in writing and telling stories. After attending a couple of local Toronto cons and sitting in on the writer panels I just got inspired to start producing my own comic scripts and I’ve been doing that ever since ’07 I think.

BE: I was always that kid that drew comics in class. I figured out about half way through high school though that I could not draw like Jim Lee so I figured I probably wasn’t going to make it in comics. I ended up getting into animation, I still read comics but never really considered making my own.

One day a friend showed me Scott Pilgrim and I realized you didn’t have to draw like Jim Lee to make comics. So since then I started making my own little comics until finally I started producing finished works and hitting some shows.

DD: So what can you tell me about Monstrosity 2. What’s it all about?

PM: MONSTROSITY II is the follow up anthology to the first volume which we published last year through Alterna Press. Basically, we’ve collected over 20 stand alone short stories from over 40 of some of comics best indie talents. We kept the monster theme that fans loved from the first volume but with this edition the twist is that all the stories have a distinct sci-fi theme to them.

BE: Yeah, volume one was kind of figuring out how to do a big anthology, this one is all about refining that formula and making a stronger book. I am confident we accomplished that.

DD: Where did this idea come from?

PM: The first large scale anthology I put together was Horror in the West back in 2012. It did really well. Brian really chipped in extensively with that book. So we got to talking about doing a follow up together. One of the things we wanted to do was open up the scope of stories in the book so we just decided that every story would need to have a monster in it. The rest we left up to the creators.

BE: Yeah, I think another thing is we both love horror and monsters in comics. The medium lends itself to those topics really well. We wanted to create a book that would allow us to see some of our favorite creators doing work in those fields. MONSTROSITY is how we are making that happen.

DD: What can readers  expect in terms of Horror?

PM: There are some really creepy stories in the book. Toma Feizo-Gas’ comes to mind, he’s created a really dark atmosphere in his short. The book has some really cool ghost stories with a sci-fi spin, psychotic robot killers, alien diseases, it’s a lot of fun!

BE: Yeah, we have a lot of really great stories and artists, so you can really expect a great synthesis on these stories. It is not all over whelming darkness though, there is a little comedy sprinkled in with all the decapitations and immolations.

DD: So why come back and do a second book?

PM: The response after MONSTROSITY came out was really exciting. It debuted at Fan Expo and a lot of fans and fellow creators asked if we’d be doing a follow up. I don’t think at that point doing another book was something that Brian and I had consciously thought of. I think the sheer number of people who asked if they could pitch and be included in the follow up was really humbling. So Brian and I took all of about sixty seconds to decide that we had to do another volume!

BE: Yeah, seeing all the interest we knew we would be in a position to add guys like James Stokoe, Nimit Malavia and Jordyn Bochon. Once we saw the possibilities we knew this book would be bigger and better. That was all we needed to hear.

DD: If you were to give this book a movie style rating (G, PG,  PG-13, R,  X) what would it get, and why would you say  that?

PM: I think the book would probably receive an R-rating. There’s one scene in the book with sexual content in it. Otherwise it would probably be PG-13. That would be my guess. Some of the violence is pretty intense but I don’t know that it would warrant an R rating.

BE: Censorship blows. Fight it at all avenues.

We don`t want to stop anyone from doing anything in their stories that they think will make them better.

DD: What are you hoping readers can take away from this story?

PM: I think there’s something for everyone in the book. That’s the beauty of anthologies. They can have such a great mix of storytelling in them. But for fans of monster flicks and comics I think they’ll find the book to be really specially. It was a lot of fun, reading the pitches and scripts and seeing the pages come in. Hopefully that translates into the reading experience, that fans find the book to be a lot of fun.

BE: I hope they look at our murderers` row of talent assembled and see a book they have to own.
Stokoe, Copland, Walsh, Bochon, Kim, Bone, McClachlan, Gorham, Ferrier, McCreary, Del Col, Tauzon, Turner. I could go on and on. There are forty to fifty of the best creators on this book murdering it. You’ve got to check it out.

DD: Were you into any horror titles growing up that lead you to want to create a book like this?

PM: Nothing comic related, I don’t really remember there being any horror comics at my LCS. I devoured most of Stephen King’s books growing up and anything monster related on film. It wasn’t until I got older that I discovered horror comics, with DC’s vertigo line and the Walking Dead. Nowadays there are a lot of really great horror comics available which is awesome to see. I have high hopes for Outcast. For me, to this day, Exorcism is still probably the scariest movie I’ve ever seen so if that book can capture even a fraction of that it’ll be scary as hell.

BE: Horror was mainly novels and film for me. There were scary ass runs in comics I liked though. I was into the Alien comics which could be pretty suspenseful. I was definitely aware of the EC horror aesthetic and loved seeing that reflected in old metal album covers. I see myself drawing from that more and more now a days.

Film for me, I was all over the board. Godzilla, Friday the 13th, Shining, Amnityville, Evil Dead etc.

DD: What was the most horrific thing that happened to you when you were working on this book?

BE: I am going to give the floor to Phil on this one.

PM: Have you ever seen a placenta up close? Its structure reminds me of something from a Lovecraft short story. It’s just the nastiest, goriest thing to look at. I got to see one again up close while we were putting the book together. That would have to be it for me.

DD: Can we expect a possible Vol. 3 or 4 from you in the future?

PM: I’m not sure if we’re going to be doing a follow up to volume 2 anytime soon. I’ve been putting these books together for the last three years. From start to finish each takes a little over a year to do. I think Brian and I are probably going to be taking a break for a little bit to focus on some personal projects and pitches. Saying that if MONSTROSITY II is a massive success I could probably be convinced to start on another volume right away!

BE: This is always the time in the process where you are just exhausted on the process. So right now, it’s pessimistic. Once the book is out though, and in our hands? Who knows, we got pretty excited this time last year and here we are today. The big thing is we would have to know we could do a better book. Looking at this one, that is hard to imagine.

DD: So where can readers find out more about this book?

PM: Readers can find more info on MONSTROSITY II on our kickstarter page here:

BE: Phil and I are tireless promoters, so a twitter follow will fill your ears with this stuff.  @Brian_Evinou     @PhilMcclorey

DD: So in summary give me a quick recap on Monstrosity  2 and why fans  should give it a try.

PM: MONSTROSITY II is a monster lover’s dream come true. Genetic abominations, robot gladiators, alien experimentation, intergalactic STD’s and a whole lot more can be found in MONSTROSITY!

BE: Of course the horror is there, what should sell you is the talent in this book that will be scaring the shit out of you. I won’t list ‘em all here, but check out the kickstarter page. It is the best Horror Anthology of this year or any year. They are going to have to give us all of the Ghastly’s this year and every year for this thing.

DD: Thanks so much for your time.