VIVA THE HUNTER: Werewolves, Undead, Swords, and More!

Do you like Evil Dead or Kill Bill? How about a a nunchuck-slinging werewolf? Or the main character being a training swordswoman tricked into killing her undead ex-boyfriend by a manipulative witch? Then follow Viva on her adventures for vengeance and blood-hungry madness in VIVA THE HUNTER!

GenderTerror was able to interview filmmaker and scriptwriter, Forrest DePoy, about his adventure in comics and with Viva and co.

GenderTerror: Kill Bill meets Evil Dead. Where did the inspiration for VIVA THE HUNTER come from? 

Forrest DePoy: It all started with a bathtub! Before VIVA THE HUNTER there was Some Place Safe, which is my 2018 student short film that served as my senior capstone project. That short film’s script was then adapted into the first issue of VIVA THE HUNTER, and from there the project expanded into a series! I first began writing the short film’s script in July of 2018 based off the idea of something I saw – the blood-filled tub in Joji’s “Will He” music video. A lot of what I create comes from visuals or cool phrases. I loved the blood bath look in the music video and just kind of ran with it, developing characters and a location based around it. I really wanted to work on a horror film at the time, and since I was planning to keep the main action in one location for budgetary reasons, I think the Evil Dead inspiration came naturally as most of that film took place in the infamous cabin. During the development of this short film, I used the script as an exercise for my character development skills at the time. As a student, one of my weakest skills were (and maybe still are) well-written protagonists. I wanted Viva, the lead character, to be entirely different from anything I have tried before. I wanted her to be a badass in the making, so I really took notes from Beatrix in Kill Bill, so much so that Viva even took up kung-fu and sword training. In the end she kind of ended up being a huge nerd, which was awesome! This made the film really become a horror-action flick with a big grindhouse aesthetic, especially so once Panos Cosmatos’ 2018 film Mandy came out later that year. That seriously had a huge impact on the final script for Some Place Safe. The character dialogue was compartmentalized and redesigned in a way that the actors could really define them as they saw fit, something of which I really admired in Mandy. Each of these serve as key elements in the way I approach the expanded comic series now!  Continue reading “VIVA THE HUNTER: Werewolves, Undead, Swords, and More!”

Taking A Look Through The Q Files

Back in 2017, we interviewed Shane and Kai of the fabulous Queer Ghost Hunters to follow-up on how their first year on YouTube went. When we first got wind of this wonderful team, we interviewed Shane, Kai, and Scott on their origins and how they all came together to go after the mysteries of the supernatural.

Now Shane is back! This time with fellow Queer Ghost Hunter, Lori, to talk about their podcast, The Q Files. Unfortunately, ghost hunting is not a cheap endeavor to do regularly. So due to their love for podcasts and the paranormal, Shane and Lori decided to start one.

The Q Files does something a bit different than other podcasts in its vein. The Q Files not only uses conversations and interviews, but also audio from the field on Shane and Lori’s ghost hunting expeditions. This can get tricky as often ghost hunting is used as a way to “show” that ghosts are real.

According to Shane, The Q Files is, “…is a clear play on The X Files, and those who know our prior work rightly assume the Q stands for queer. And it does. But we use it in the classic sense – odd, peculiar, strange”. Unlike prior engagements, the Q Files does not focus solely on ghosts! This is a podcast for all things outlandish, mysterious, and well, what you may call queer.

Continue reading “Taking A Look Through The Q Files”

Welcome to Recondite Hill

Welcome to the town of Recondite Hill. This small town is home to the bizarre and monstrous things that lurk at the edge of the darkness. The weird and strange that creep into local legend and folklore, warping a location into a mysterious hot spot of ‘what ifs’ and camp fire stories.

GenderTerror had the pleasure of meeting the founders of Recondite Hill and asking them about their project to try and capture the strange happenstance that occur here.

Continue reading “Welcome to Recondite Hill”

Monsters Out of the Closet: An Interview with the Producers Shriya and Nicole

Monsters Out of the Closet is a horror podcast that focuses on fiction by LGBTQ+ creators. Songs, poems, stories, Monsters covers it all. A wide variety of voice actors and some creative effects add that atmosphere and tension that written word alone may not be able to add.

Executive producers Nicole Calande (who’s over audio production) and Shriya Venkatesh, (who’s over content production) talked to GenderTerror about their trials, tribulations, inspirations, and overall goals with the podcast during its first year.

GenderTerror: How did the team all get to know each other?

Shriya: Nicole and I met as first-year counselors at a summer science and tech camp in the San Francisco Bay Area. We became really good friends that first year, and we clicked even more once we both figured out the other was not-straight the year after.

Nicole: After getting to know each other at camp, our friendship deepened by sharing and exchanging books, movies, and even fanfiction. In one of our first ever collaborations a few years back, Shriya actually beta-read some of my fanfic.

Continue reading “Monsters Out of the Closet: An Interview with the Producers Shriya and Nicole”

The Curious Interview Involving Natasha and the Ali

Originally starting with Ophiuchus, Natasha Tara Petrović and Ali Leriger de la Plante (as Dream Cake) are bringing their writing and art together for another project. The Curious Mystery Involving Dracula and the Wolfman follows the named characters as they attempt to find Frankenstein’s birthday gift that was stolen during an attempted murder on the Count himself! GenderTerror was able to talk to both Natasha and Ali about the project which is currently on Kickstarter.

GenderTerror: Can you describe The Curious Mystery Involving Dracula and the Wolfman a bit?

Natasha & Ali: The Curious Mystery Involving Dracula and the Wolfman is a short comic based on a short story written by Ali, and adapted to visual format by Natasha. It follows the story of Dracula, who has been stabbed and burgled by an unknown assailant. He, along with Wolfman, must track down the thief, who has stolen the gift for Frakenstein’s birthday the following day. It’s a mystery/comedy with your favourite bloodthirsty monsters.

Continue reading “The Curious Interview Involving Natasha and the Ali”

Interview with Time’s Fool, Wilfred Earl

“No-one believes in ghosts,” said Steven, and leaned back against the booth, “that was my point.”

Described by the author, Time’s Fool is a novel about monstrosity, about desire and communication. It’s about the self we present to the world and the needs we whisper to ourselves in the darkness. It is about honesty and the fear of honesty. It is about the things we refuse – refuse to say, refuse to seek, refuse to believe – because sometimes, ignoring those things is all that keeps us sane.

GenderTerror had the fortunate ability to interview Wilfred Earl about their novel, their experience marketing the novel as an out trans person to a non-LGBTQ crowd, and about crowdfunding their novel.

GenderTerror: Tell us a bit about Time’s Fool.

Wilfred: Time’s Fool is a contemporary Gothic novel in the Victorian tradition – so it is about repressed desires, the need for change, and the terror that change brings with it – but it brings those concerns and fears in to our pragmatic and postmodern world.

It is also, essentially, a dark, gripping story about what happens when a bunch of students who break into a vampire’s house and – not knowing his secret – wind up starting a friendship with him. I’ve been calling it my love song to the gothic, a queer homage to Dracula – but really its a smart, sexy, and darkly comic book for everyone who ever has wanted something more, without quite knowing what that thing might be. It’s about why we love the night, and why we fear it.

GT: What were your experiences crowdfunding the novel, especially marketing something that may not appeal to non-LGBTQ people?

W: Crowdfunding was a very interesting experience, and I’m aware that might be taken as a reference to the curse – may you live in interesting times. It was at once very frustrating, and incredibly rewarding. People were so generous, and keen to read this book, and it felt awful constantly dogging people who you knew had a lot of stuff going on in their lives.

Talking of stuff going on in people’s lives – during the crowdfunding process I also transitioned, socially and made the first steps towards medical transition. I’d come out as non-binary about 6 months before signing to Unbound, and the two things happened very much simultaneously. I absolutely would recommend no-one try to replicate this.  Ever. It was a very foolish move. Just from a logistical perspective – it’s difficult if you’re simultaneously trying to persuade people to buy a book a written by Alys Earl, while getting them to call the person who’s written it Wilfred.

Continue reading “Interview with Time’s Fool, Wilfred Earl”

Two Dead Queers Presents: GUILLOZINE the Interview

Shock. Gore. Sacrilege. And more! GUILLOZINE contains art and stories that dare to push the boundaries. Available both for free online and for physical purchase on Amazon, GUILLOZINE is really a no boundaries zine.

GenderTerror had the good fortune of being able to interview both parts of Two Dead Queers, K.M. Claude and R.E. Hellinger, about not only the zine and the future, but also about their creative process.

GenderTerror: Let’s start off with the obvious, what is Two Dead Queers?

K. M. Claude: You’ve got Two Dead Queers the brand or institution or whatever you want to call this overarching beast and then the zine series Two Dead Queers Present which’re two separate but interrelated, symbiotic entities. Two Dead Queers as a whole is about creating art and stories without shame, without silence, and without censorship, and strives to deliver works by queer horror creatives for anyone and everyone who’s interested — or at least who dares.

R.E. Hellinger: With Two Dead Queers Present, we wanted to be able to offer something we made and enjoyed making for free. It’s a sort of love letter to those who already love Claude’s art and to those who love weird horror. We want people to find our zine and go “hey! This is neat!” and not only get excited for our next zine release or other projects we may be separately working on, but also encourage them to put their own wonderful weirdness out into the world.

Continue reading “Two Dead Queers Presents: GUILLOZINE the Interview”

Scary and Strange Kids: Interview with Surreality artist and creator, Ashes.

Surreality is a web-comic about Jackie. It’s about more than just Jackie and her world though, it’s about dealing with identity on top of mental illness, on top of finding yourself. It’s about figuring out just where you belong (or don’t belong) in a world that doesn’t quite seem to want you.

GenderTerror was lucky enough to interview Surreality artist and creator, Ashes, about the comic, what it means, and its place in the world of webcomics.

Continue reading “Scary and Strange Kids: Interview with Surreality artist and creator, Ashes.”

Beauty in the Beast: On Lucille

Werewolves are a centuries old monster, representing everything from change to the animalistic tendencies of humans. Werewolves of some sort are seen in almost every culture across the globe. Shape changers are something that has captivated and horrified for years, so how does one create a spin on the time old story?

Coey Kuhn, an artist stationed out of Columbus, Ohio, has managed to not only change a key part of the werewolf lore, but also created a rather loveable monster in the process. Lucille is a short-form comic (available for sale in physical copies or through his Patreon) that follows the titular through the consequences of her attack and subsequent first transformation.

GenderTerror was lucky enough to interview the artist about not only Lucille‘s creation, but the deeper meanings to the work and Lucille’s special attributes.

Continue reading “Beauty in the Beast: On Lucille”

When You Walk By Night: An Interview with Paul Bridgeman

Take a walk with me to the end of your street, where the lampposts end and the darkness hides dancing, skipping horrors. Waiting for us are a Copy-cat killer who picks the wrong guy to copy. A strange epidemic that is not quite what it seems and has consequences for us all. An ancient Djiin who trades in souls and loves a twist in his deals. A girl plagued by nymphomania who is going through some deep changes. An exclusive, high class brothel with an interesting charging policy. Inter-dimensional horror on a human farm. A collector of cursed books and Objet D’Art, with a very nosey wife. A group of flatmates terrorised by a possessing spirit with murderous intentions and a sweet girl who would do anything for love. Oh! And Vampires. I can see them now. Come on, take my hand they are getting impatient…

When You Walk By Night is the newest book by horror writer and artist, Paul Bridgeman. The book features nine different stories, all with their own twists and turns. GenderTerror was lucky enough to interview Paul about not only his book, but his influences, his art, and why he feels queer horror is important.

Continue reading “When You Walk By Night: An Interview with Paul Bridgeman”

Queer Ghost Hunters: Staying Spookgay!

Last year was the debut of the Queer Ghost Hunters, a rag-tag group of queer people from Ohio, who seek to find fellow LGBTQ spirits and tell their stories. We interviewed several of the team members around their season one premiere and decided to do a season two check-in!

With their busy schedules we were only able to get a hold of two of the team members (both who were previously interviewed as well), but that doesn’t mean these two don’t have a lot to say about how the past year has gone for them and the team!

Continue reading “Queer Ghost Hunters: Staying Spookgay!”

How to Be A Werewolf: Interview with Shawn Lenore

Shawn Lenore is the creator of the webcomic, How to Be A Werewolf, a full color comic that is currently on its seventh chapter and over 250 pages. How to be a Werewolf (abbreviated HTBAW) is the story of Malaya Walters, who, after being bitten as a child, has been managing her werewolf-related issues along with her human family. Because she’s never met another werewolf, Malaya has developed a lot of anxiety about potentially hurting other people. HTBAW primarily focuses on her growth in accepting who she is and her personal power, as well as Malaya confronting her fears over time. One of the other main themes HTBAW explores is family, and how family can help, hurt, or straight up destroy you. Most of the characters are dealing with the realities of early adult life and what it means to have those family dynamics change as life takes you in new directions.

GenderTerror had a chance to interview Shawn and talk about her, her webcomic, her inspiration, as well as her choice of medium to tell such an interesting story with extremely diverse characters.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Okay! I’m 32, a Cancer, and I enjoy long walks on the beach. I also graduated in 2008 with a degree in Animation from the University of Southern California. I lived in Los Angeles for five years total, but I’m originally from Indiana just outside Chicago, and that’s where I live now. Before starting How to be a Werewolf, I mostly did freelance graphic and web design and worked retail. Just like I always planned! (Ugh.)

How To Be A Werewolf is a relatively ‘newish’ webcomic, having started in 2015. What made you decide to write a webcomic?

It feels so weird to think of HTBAW as new because it seems like forever to me! I think making a comic has always been one of my main life goals as far back as I remember, though the timeline on when I thought I’d get around to it has always shifted. Growing up, I always enjoyed coming up with elaborate stories, but I’ve never been much for writing prose, so I started drifting towards more visual mediums like animation and comics. I grew up watching whatever weird stuff my dad and I could find on late night TV, but in the early 90s, my anime phase kicked in. Anime and manga really exposed me to diverse stories and visual styles, which just fed my determination to make my own stuff one day.

I would have started my own comic sooner, but a combination of anxiety and feeling defeated from having to leave behind my hopes of getting a job in animation kind of got in the way. Finally, three years ago, my friend Neil challenged me to make twenty small comics in twenty weeks, just to see if I could get something off the ground and because he likes challenging people to stuff as a form of motivation. HTBAW was born out of one of the more popular weird scribbly comics I made, and a few long, thoughtful dog walks later, the story started to solidify in my mind and I decided to run with it.

While not horror per say, How To Be A Werewolf has one of our favorite horror monsters in it, werewolves! Why did you pick werewolves over a different medium to tell this story?

So, I  mostly write in my head while I’m walking the dog. I had come up with my short werewolf comic that people on tumblr liked, and I thought it might lead into a larger story if I messed around with the idea long enough. The longer I walked the dog, the more I started thinking of how being a werewolf related to how I felt about being a woman, which is kind of an odd comparison, but I realized how well it worked. There’s a body horror aspect to werewolves, which I think is one of the reasons the genre survives. As a werewolf, your body literally gets hijacked once a month and you turn into this terrifying wolf-beast. You’re extremely powerful (physically), but you have to learn how to control that power and embrace it, or you could really do damage to the people around you. I can definitely relate to my body being hijacked once a month, and I can’t really explain why specifically, but I draw a lot of my personal power from womanhood.

At the time of all this dog walking, I was 29 and thinking a lot about turning 30 and what I’d done up til then. I had shed a few really toxic relationships from my life and for the first time, really started to realize how proud of myself I was and how much power I really had as an individual. I felt like a very complete person and a real bad ass, and that sort of combined into all my werewolf narrative ideas at the time. I realized I wanted to write a story about a woman really realizing her personal power, while overcoming her anxiety and fear of what she’s really capable of, and it just so happens that werewolves are a great vehicle for that metaphor!

I’d love to say that I’ve always been a huge fan of werewolves, but I think I’ve always been pretty neutral on them? It just so happens that my brain grabbed on to werewolves and blended them up with a coming-of-age story, and I couldn’t shake it loose if I tried.

Your cast is extremely diverse with the main character being a woman of color, as well as several supporting characters being people of color and LGBTQ people. Why is this representation so important to you?

So, I grew up in a small midwestern city that for the longest time…wasn’t very diverse. We’re still pretty white around here to say the least. My dad is probably to blame for why HTBAW turned out as diverse as it did. When I was growing up, he’d take me with him to meet his construction clients. Somehow, despite how homogeneous my area is, he had clients that were from every walk of life, every income bracket, and every age. He had clients who didn’t speak English, and he’d gesture and draw pictures to work through issues and pricing. My dad never talked down about anyone who was different from him, and that’s always stuck with me. We’d go into Chicago all the time when I was a kid, and we both found a lot of joy in experiencing all the different cultures, foods and religions together.

That’s a really long way of saying that after my dad passed away, I honored his spirit by trying to treat everyone kindly and with respect as an adult, and to seek out new opportunities and perspectives as often as possible. That’s landed me a pretty diverse friend group over the years, and I think I’d have done those friends a disservice if I had just written HTBAW as a bunch of white people, as well as hurting my own growth as a writer. Obviously, I still have a lot of limitations. My main character is Filipino and so is her family, and even drawing from some of the experiences of friends of mine, there’s only so much I can do as a white person to make their characterization authentic. I try to focus on telling stories that make the characters feel like real, whole people, even if I don’t really have the authority to dive into their specific experiences as people of color. I’ve gotten some great feedback from Filipino readers who are really excited to see themselves represented, and that makes me feel like I made the right choice to take the scarier route and write about characters from a culture I’m not a part of :).

I ended up with so many LGBTQ characters because I’m queer, and I kind of had my blinders on when I was starting to come up with characters. By the time I got underway, I realized…hey, like…half my cast is queer. Oops? Then I figured I should just run with it, because sometimes the only thing that will keep you stuck on a project without burning out is if it’s hopelessly indulgent. I have a trans woman werewolf planned for the second story arc, but it’ll take me forever to get there at my current pace. SIGH. Webcomics aren’t a quick process.

Are there any comics, writers, movies you draw inspiration from?

I’m generally bad at identifying my influences, because they’re all over the place. My anime phase started in elementary school and lasted through college, and I know that influenced how I view storytelling a lot. I love the pacing in most anime. I rewatched Gundam Wing after graduating college, and I was stunned at how good the pacing is. It’s such a long, bizarre story, but there’s a great balance of action, character development, locations, political intrigue, more giant robot battles…I think anime made me less afraid to take my time and do the required work to really lead the audience into the emotional state I’m aiming for. Given the breadth of topics anime has covered, I think it proves that any story can totally gut punch your audience if you give them enough context. Otherwise, we wouldn’t all have been so traumatized by that episode of Futurama with Fry’s dog waiting for him.

On top of all that anime, I also really enjoy books with dry humor. Slaughterhouse Five, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Discworld, etc. That shows through in my writing style, I think. My last big influence is watching way too many movies from the 80s and 90s, when we still had feelings and the explosions were smaller. I maintain that Die Hard has an almost perfect narrative structure.

How do you get your butt in gear to consistently work on a web comic?

So, part of what helps with making HTBAW so consistently is that I’m naturally a really high strung, get-shit-done kind of person and always have been. I was the kid that came home and did all their homework directly after school without my parents intervention, so I’ve always been naturally very good at accomplishing whatever I’ve got on my plate. The thing that always helps me is to set reasonable expectations with periodic rewards, though. I only do two pages a week because I know that’s the limit of my focus. I avoid creating situations that stress me out, so finding my limitations and only pushing them a little bit at a time goes a long way to avoiding burnout. I also try and set specific tasks per day, so some days I work longer than others. On Thursdays, I write and do thumbnails, Fridays I sketch my pages, I ink over the weekend, and color on Monday. If I finish anything early, great! Then I’m done for the day. If a little work spills into the next day, then I have the space in my schedule to allow that if need be. I use Tuesdays and Wednesdays to post pages, do social media stuff, catch up on commissions, and run errands.

Who is your favorite character? Who is the most fun one to write?

Damn, that’s a hard question. I think they’re all kind of me, so I like all my characters. Malaya and Marin might be my favorites, though, because they’re the most closely based on myself. Marin’s story arc comes up in the current chapter I’m working on, and I’m really looking forward to having the audience know more about her, because it means I can give her a larger role in the story. There hasn’t really been space for that up until now, so she’s remained a bit of a mystery.

Elias and Vincent are the most fun to write! Elias gets all the best lines, and Vincent gets the best deadpan reactions. Weirdly, for a dude whose face barely ever changes, Vincent is hilarious to me.

Anything you want to tell/include about your characters?

Hm, probably nothing specific. I think one thing that helped me write my characters more smoothly is to just give in and accept that each of them would be like me in some small way, or like other people I’m very close to. I think when you hear the advice “write what you know,” it really means to invest your own experiences into finding commonality with your subjects. I know what it’s like to be in unhealthy, abusive relationships with other people, so that’s something I can explore in Aubrey and Connie’s relationship. I know what it’s like to have to manage anxiety, so that’s something I can bring to Malaya’s character. I know what it’s like to have your safety net go askew, and that’s something I can explore when writing Elias. Little aspects of me work themselves into the story, and I think that helps make things feel grounded, even though a story about werewolves is automatically fantasy. Writing characters in a real way requires being very honest with yourself and who you are, but it pays off.

Shawn can be found on Twitter, Tumblr, as well as on Patreon and Society 6. How to Be a Werewolf updates on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and you can see early WIPs and extra content by becoming a Patron!