Darkeva: You’re one of the most noted Stephen King artists, particularly for Secretary of Dreams, and your work has frequently appeared in Cemetery Dance. What do you find the most challenging or the most rewarding aspects about being an illustrator working in the horror genre?
GC: As for challenges, every new gig is a challenge. I always try to nail down the atmosphere or flavor of a new story I’ve been asked to illustrate, and the challenge is conveying the right sort of mood or impact in the art that represents what the author is “up to” in the given story. In other words, real dark serious stories would suggest dark art. Stories with a funny or comical tone would require something completely different. So it’s always a challenge to accommodate different tones to projects. Hopefully I’ve pulled off this trick over the years. As for the rewards…hell, if people like what I’ve dredged up that’s the greatest reward. I love what I do and hopefully it comes across to the reader.
Darkeva: Although you’re primarily an illustrator, you’re also a huge horror fan. What were some of your favorite books and films growing up?
GC: I chewed through just about every genre vehicle offered as a kid. Movies, TV, books and comics.
I grew up in a wonderful time when a lot of groundbreaking fiction hit the bookshelves and movie screens. The Exorcist, The Omen…a slew of paperbacks came out that pushed the envelope of horror–and there was that King fella who seemed to have a new kind of knack for scaring the shit out of people. I read all the genre comics of the day—Tales from the Crypt, etc, and loved all the old Warren mags: Creepy, Eerie, Famous Monsters and so on. And the Hammer flicks absolutely ruled in my book—I’m a big Hammerhead. So it was a great time to be alive with all this scary energy going on in every aspect of the genre and I was influenced by it all.