I’m a big man of anthology comics like Creepy and Eerie, and I grew up loving the late 80s/early 90s Tales From The Crypt tv show (not to mention the Twilight Zone, as well). It can be a lot of fun watching writers, actors and artists play around in short form storytelling. It means the creators have to deliver and deliver well in a relative short space. It can be tough, and I speak from experience, as one of the contributors to Biff Bam Pop’s digital comic series, Biff Bam Boo.
Artist Matthew Therrien also knows of the trials, tribulations and ultimate success of putting together a horror anthology. That work that began with a successful Kickstarter campaign with some incredible collaborators has finally led to the publication of the first issue of Gates of Misery. Working with a variety of names familiar to horror fans, Therrien’s ambition has delivered and then some.
Over email, we discussed the genesis of Gates of Misery, how Brandon Cronenberg, Steve Kostanski, Jon Knautz, and Dave Alexander wound up contributing, the crowdfunding experience and much more.
Andy Burns: Congrats on the Gates of Misery! I love horror anthologies and I thought you did a solid job with the first issue. Where did the inspiration come from to make this happen?
Matthew Therrien: Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the first issue. Just like you, I’ve always shared a love of anthologies; in particular, horror shorts. They’re just a great way to feature a variety of different styles and stories, and keep the whole thing within a manageable and easily-enjoyed length. The tough part is finding a way to make them all somewhat cohesive and feel that they belong together. I’ve always had a love of cemeteries, and one day the idea just sort of struck me: what if I create a universe in which the cemetery itself has a sort of consciousness, and learns about the person’s life when they’re buried within it. After that, the Mount Misery Cemetery was born. It allowed writers to tell whatever tale they wanted, provided that one of their characters died by the end and found themselves in their final resting place at Mount Misery. At this point the character of the cemetery is still developing, so I couldn’t tell you exactly why, but the Mount Misery Cemetery seems to derive some sort of joy in recounting the particularly tragic and gruesome deaths of those bodies that inhabit its grounds.
As far as the writers, I thought it would be absolutely fantastic if the majority of those involved were filmmakers, many of whom had never written for comics before. This would be a new way of storytelling, and would provide them with a chance to create whatever tale they desired with no budgetary restrictions at all (the great benefit of telling stories with comics instead of on film). Read the rest of this entry