I first met the dashing Mr. Edwards years back at Wizard World Dallas. The well-dressed, well spoken, word smith stood out in a room full of virginal nerds. We recently caught up with his famous gal pal Jamie Bahr, making me think that it might be time to sit down with the “godfather of horrorpunk comics”
First off, tell us about yourself and your history?
My history is long and storied. So long and storied in fact, that I’m not going to bore your readers with every single detail. All kidding aside, I’m pretty sure you’re asking about my writing career. I’m best known as the writer of “Halloween Man.” Which is a web comic I started when I was 19. It’s your average love story between a zombie superhero and his sexy, mad scientist girlfriend.
The title character was initially inspired by the Misfits song “Halloween.” But beyond the name, I was wanting to tell a story where the monster finally got the girl. You look at almost all of those old monster movies and the poor beastie just wants a girlfriend.
Naturally it’s grown well beyond that basic core idea over the course of a decade. The comic has grown up with me. Although Solomon never ages and while I’m a little worn around the edges these days. But to quote Dr. Jones, it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.
You’ve described “Halloween Man” as a “psychobilly comic” in the past. What do you mean by that?
Psychobilly, at its core is a hybrid of punk and rockabilly. Past meets present in one furious rock fusion to become something new. Now, a lot of people call “Halloween Man” a retro comic because it evokes the silver age. But I feel that’s too simple. While I try to take that free wheeling spirit that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought to their comics…I crank it up to 100 and rip off the knobs. Then I add in all the monster movie references for extra spice. So while I’m inspired by the past and respect those creators, it’s still its own thing.
What psychobilly bands are you a fan of?
Like everyone I love the Cramps and the Meteors. Of they’re so old school it’s almost unfair to call them “psychobilly.” I also like the Flame Trick Subs, the Koffin Kats, Nekromantix, and Tiger Army. Horrorpops and the Creepshow are fun too, but they’re more like psychobilly inspired pop-punk.
Would you say music is a big influence on your writing?
Certainly, as a self-publisher, I took a lot from the “DIY” ethos of the original punk scene. But more than that, I hope my comics have that same “one-two” crunch that the Ramones brought to their music.
In a more general sense, I tend to listen to music while writing. It really helps set the mood and take me to that “other place.” And I often borrow song titles to use as story titles.
“Halloween Man” hasn’t been on a regular schedule for a long time. Any chance you’ll fix that soon?
We’re working on a total re-launch of the site for this fall. We’re stock piling web comics and we’re close to having over a year and a half worth of work completed. If that pans out, we should be on a monthly schedule.
What can we expect from future Halloween Man stories?
We’re moving into a territory that is probably a little more serious and a little more gothic. I won’t say the tone of the comic is going to change, but the stakes are higher. Now that we have ten years of this universe behind us, we can really flex our muscles.
Lucy Chaplin is clearly a bit of a pin-up girl. Which classic sirens inspired her? Who are some of your favorite bygone sex bombs?
Well, Lucy’s name was borrowed from Lucille Ball. This is why she has the red hair. Of course the white streaks are taken from the Bride of Frankenstein. Her high glamour style evokes Marilyn Monroe but the snappy dialogue is probably more suited to Myrna Loy from the “Thin Man” movies.
Her physical appearance depends on the artist I guess. But when I describe her in the scripts, I always depict her as a zaftig beauty. And these days I tend to try to push my artists a little more about capturing that full-figured look. The sort of “if Jessica Rabbit put on a few pounds” kind of thing.
And of course she gets her genius from very male fictional characters like Reed Richards or Doc Savage.
As far as my favorite “sex bombs.” I love Marilyn Monroe. “Some Like it Hot” is one of my favorite movies. I also enjoy Mae West movies a lot. Tempest Storm is a classic burlesque dancer that I admire. And who doesn’t love the buxom ladies of the classic “Hammer Horror” movies?
You love classic horror movies, what are your favorites?
I adore the Universal horror films and their sexually charged counterparts from Hammer studios. My favorites being the films of James Whale and Terence Fisher. Although I’d single out the Wolf Man as my “monster icon.” I even purposed to my fiancé at the Austin opening of the remake.
I also love 80’s horror films, because that’s my era. Of those, I’m a huge fan of the “Friday the 13th” series.
You’re a snappy dresser, how would you describe your style?
This is probably the first time I’ve ever been asked about my style in an interview.
For big social events and conventions I have what I call “the full Gomez.” Meaning, I consider Gomez Addams to be my style icon. For that kind of thing I favor pin striped suits or loudly colored zoot suits.
On more casual days, I guess I look sort of “gothic cowboy” or a “greaser” kind of thing. I wear either button down shirts or horror movie t-shirts. Wranglers are my preferred brand of jeans.
Now, we interviewed your gal Friday, Jamie Bahr a while back. Tell us about that relationship?
There’s a lot to say. I could fill a book really. A few stray thoughts for you. North meets south for a cross cultural romance. The kind of love story that could only happen in the information age. I love her like Nick loves Nora.
I met Jamie at her first PBR show in Austin. It was at a club called “Headhunters.” She stood out in the room, because in a crowd of greasy punks and punkettes, she was so elegant. But I being the somewhat shy, socially awkward, nerd that I am didn’t work up the nerve to talk to her. I just kept peeking at her. She finally was the one to talk to me.
According to her she has dreamt about a man who looks like me her whole adult life. So that makes me literally the man of her dreams. How many people can say that? I mean wow. Needless to say, sparks flew.
After that, she returned to New York and we had a real whirl wind phone romance. At one point we talked on the at least six hours. While geographically we were far apart, our hearts were already joined. Within months I was helping her move down to Texas. She says for her music career, but I like to think it’s because of me.
Jamie is my best friend, the perfect little housewife and my toughest critic all in one. One of the things I love about her is that she pushes me into new creative directions. Even getting me writing prose fiction for the first time in years.
Our relationship has been one big adventure. We’re always introducing each other to new things. And discovering our home of Austin Texas together. She’s very supportive of me and I think she’s unstoppable.
Do you guys think of yourselves as a scene “power couple?”
I think creative people attract other creative people. When I first met Jamie, naturally I was drawn in by her voice, beauty, style, and dynamic personality. Anyone would be. I think she would probably make a similar statement about me. Well, without the singing part.
The idea of a “power couple” in a largely underground movement seems a little odd to me. As your sphere of influence is limited to other like minded people. However, it is nice that people seem to think we’re a interesting pairing. In terms of personal power, I can say we’re very good for each other creatively.
What projects do you have down the pipeline?
I’m working on a book of short horror stories at the moment. That’s going to be a huge undertaking though. I’m also writing a young adult fantasy comic. Both of those projects are in their infancy though. I’m also writing for Pin-Up Perfection magazine at the moment.