Halloween Haunts 2013: Stoker Spotlight Interview with Greg Chapman
Greg Chapman is the artist of Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, written by Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, recipients of the Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel.
1. How would you describe Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times?
To me Witch Hunts is a chronicle of one of the darkest periods of history. It’s non-fiction in the sense that we are putting real-life events in graphic format. The people depicted in the graphic novel, being persecuted and tortured, were real people.
2. Tell us about what inspired you to draw Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times?
I was asked by co-author Rocky Wood to illustrate Witch Hunts, when he wanted to use an Australian artist. When Lisa came on board to co-write it, I knew this project was going to be well-received so I put my all into the illustrations. Rocky and Lisa’s scripts were the inspiration for me, but there were also many historical texts that I used to make the graphic novel as accurate as possible.
3. What most attracts you to drawing horror and writing dark fiction?
As a writer and artist, it’s natural for me to see my stories as a series of images. Drawing and writing are cathartic – a way for me to escape the arbitrariness of life. I guess I have a dark streak as well. As a child I was terrified of the dark and I think my creativity is a way of exploring that.
4. What are you drawing and/or writing now?
I just finished doing a series of drawings that will be used as corner artwork for Midnight Echo Magazine, the fiction magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association. As for writing, I’m also trying to finish a short Halloween story, which will also be illustrated (eventually).
5. What advice would you share with new horror writers? What do you think are the biggest challenges they face?
The biggest challenges writers face is themselves. Up until two years ago I’d never been published and sometimes I wonder if it was just a matter of luck. Every day I’m trying to better myself and prove that I deserve to be read amongst all the other brilliant and more experienced writers out there. I still have a long way to go, but the advice I offer myself each day is this – NEVER give up doing what you love.
6. Name three of your favorite horror stories?
“The Fall of the House of Usher” by E.A.Poe, The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, and Salem’s’ Lot by Stephen King.
7. What’s your favorite Halloween memory or tradition?
As an Aussie, my appreciation is of someone who is sort of looking from the outside in. I an very envious of the northern hemisphere autumn. As a parent I’m now trying to instill a love of Halloween with my kids, to make it fun by getting ready to decorate the house. As a creator, and horror addict, it’s just the perfect time of year.
8. Given a choice, trick? Or treat?
Greg Chapman is a horror author and artist from Australia. He has had four novellas published: Torment, The Noctuary (Damnation Books, 2011), Vaudeville (Dark Prints Press, 2012) and The Last Night of October (Bad Moon Books, 2013). His short fiction has also appeared in Midnight cho magazine, Eclecticism, Trembles, Morpheus Tales, Bete Noire and the anthologies A Killer Among Demons, Sex, Drugs & Horror and Frightmares. His most notable illustrative work is the Bram Stoker Award®-winning graphic novel, Witch-Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, written by Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, published by McFarland & Company in 2012. He also illustrates the comic series Allure of the Ancients, written by Mark Farrugia, for Midnight Echo magazine. You can find Greg on the web at htpp://darkscrybe.com