Artist Glenn Chadbourne
Glenn Chadbourne first gained recognition for his work as an artist when he won an art contest for the Stephen King related, newsletter Castle Rock. Since then he has created book covers and illustrations for books and magazines like Subterranean Press, Cemetery Dance Publications, and Earthling Publications. He wrote and illustrated his two self published comic series, ChillVille and Farmer Fiend’s Horror Harvest. Glenn has since went on to contribute his works to some of the best names in horror.
Q: As a child were you always interested in art? Do you remember what the very first thing you learned to draw was?
A: Well, as a little kid and an only child with no kiddies to play with around my house I drew pretty much the normal range of interests most boys have. G.I. Joe stuff. War, carnage, things blowing up, rockets and tanks, etc. But as I got a little older–say, comic book age–I discovered the world of horror through the old EC titles and my lot was cast. Bombs and grenades gave way to the creeping dead and Frankenstein’s monster.
Q: Did you always an attraction to the darker works art?
A: Once I got my hands on a copy of Vault Of Horror around the age of nine things changed, I became Pugsly Adams with a pen.
Q: When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
A: I had no choice in the matter, it was just within me. A part of me like breathing.
Q: Who do you consider to be the best living artists?
A: Oh man, you’re putting me out on a limb here . . . there are so many. Too many to list. But as far as those artists who’ve inspired me the most personally I’d have to say R Crumb (he of the wonderful underground comics of the sixties) and Bernie Wrightson. I was highly influenced by Richard Corbe as well. Those folks were the inspiration for my young mind, I really admired their styles.
Q: What did it feel like to win the contest for Castle Rock back at the beginning of your career?
A: It was orgasmic. Beyond words.
Q: You have worked with Stephen King a lot since then. Do you enjoy that? Did you ever think you would be designing his annual Christmas cards?
A: Well, I was lucky enough–honored really–to be able to draw both volumes of Secretary Of Dreams and lately some pieces for the Cemetery Dance version of Full dark No Stars. Secretary lead me to design a lot of stuff for SK’s radio station up here as well, and all along the way I was very thankful so I wanted to whip something nice up as a little gift for Stephen and the folks at the office so I drew a Christmas card for them and it became a yearly thing.
Q: You have worked with alot of the top names in the Genre, including King, Joe R. Lansdale and Rick Hautala to name just a few. Do you feel honored to have your work ran alongside theirs? What have you learned from working with some of the tops names in the business?
A: That they’re all a swell bunch of folks who share a love of this wacky business we’re in. People involved in this genre do it because they love it, as do I.
Q: When you first started your career did you ever imagine it would have lead to your working alongside all the people that you have?
A: Not in my wildest dreams.
Q: Who would you most like to work with next?
A: Whoever a publisher may toss my way. I try and pull off my best work for whoever I’m working for. It’s always a pleasant surprise when I get to read new stories by writers and put my imagination to work.
Q: You also have your own line of T-Shirts called I Love You To Death. Can you tell us a little about that?
A: Ha! Those came out of nowhere! A local clothing company up here–they do a lot of uniforms for grocery chains and fast food places–called me with the idea. Zombies are quite hot this year and one of their marketting guys was familiar with my stuff and so he called and asked if I’d be up for designing some shirts. Sure thing, I said. We’ve had a ball with those.
Q: What led you to create ChillVille and Farmer Fiend’s Horror Harvest? Can you tell us a little more about those?
A: As I mentioned, I love horror comics, and I had always drawn my own stories for fun. So one day back in the eighties I sad what-the-hell I’ll publish a comic myself and see what happens. In those days there were a slew of small distrbutors who would advertise your stuff and market it; taking a few bucks for their end. It cost me around a grand to get the thing/things published and I think I made about a grand back at the end. No great success but a lot of fun. And it was cool and astounding to get fanmail from faraway places like Indiana!
Q: Do you think you might ever pursue your own series again?
A: Nah. Unfortunately since then I’ve become a grown up with grown up bills and the stress of a world leader to pay them monthly. I’m beside myself with joy to get any paying gigs with laid out directions that tell me what to draw/paint.
Q: What advice would you offer the artists of tomorrow?
A: Follow your dreams, submit stuff you’ve created to any and all markets and never give up.
Q: Is there on subject you have yet to cover that you would most like to bring your fans next?
A: I think I’ve covered all the creepy bases, and I’m up for whatever comes my way. The fun thing in designing art for stories, is you constantly get fresh material to work with from talented writers. New stories are always a delight to check out and work up art ideas for.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A: I just finished a project called Screamplays for Cemetery Dance. It’s a great book featuring screenplays written for the flicks by monster authors. A lot of fun, and I did a slew of art for it. That’s my latest gig.