Q: So Blake, how familiar were you with Frankenstein when you hopped on the project.
A: My familiarity with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein comes primarily from the Robert de Niro film, however I do own a copy of the book and proceeded to read the story soon after I learned about this project. Before reading the book, I was familiar with the events of the story but not the literary themes. When I think Frankenstein, I think Boris Karloff, even when reading Mary Shelley’s, I couldn’t help but put Karloff as the monster in my head.
Q: What’s your favorite take on the Frankentstein mythos? Least favorite?
A: We’d be in a different world without the classic 1931 Universal Boris Karloff Frankenstein, but my pick for favorite Frankie would be Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Although the film had Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr., it did lack Karloff as the monster, but I still love how much fun it was. I love monster movies and would hesitate that any iteration of Frankenstein was bad or not worth watching. There are those “so bad its good” movies like War of the Gargantuas, but my pick for least favorite would be the Hammer film Frankenstein series. The Hammer Frankensteins weren’t as strong as it’s Draculas and not very memorable. I adore how ingrained the Frankenstein monster has become in pop culture, so many works can clearly be derived from Frankenstein.
Q: Major inspirations for your art/writing? What led you down the comics road to ruin?
A: I am constantly being exposed to all kinds of new art, artists, and new ideas. When I see the vast and diverse works of illustration, design, and painting it makes me feel that I have only just begun to learn how to be part of it all. If I had to say what artists in particular inspire my work, first I would say John Kricfalusi and the Ren and Stimpy Show. I love classic cartoons, and all the better to see someone be inspired by those great cartoons to make one even better. I hate to sound typical, but Frank Frazetta is my other major influence. He really shows what it means to have raw talent.
Q: What else are you working on now? Any long-term projects?
A: Currently, I am working on personal drawings and paintings. I keep myself busy each day with sketchbooks and new painting ideas. Most of my time is devoted to my day job as a designer and developer.
Q: If you could be any monster, who/what would you be?
A: What monster would I be? I certainly wouldn’t be the Creeping Terror. I would enjoy being Count Dracula. Despite being held up in a mansion all the time and not getting any sun, it seems like a monster that has more control over himself. He’s suave, sophisticated, he gets all the ladies, is “immortal”, and gets to wear a cape without being laughed at. Unlike today’s modern vampire, Dracula is the real deal. He can be ruthless and brutal, yet charming. He’ like a psychotic James Bond.
Dracula meets James Bond? Sounds like a winning combo to me! Thanks to Blake for his time, and to Matthew Erman for compiling the initial interview. We will continue to talk to the creators behind Unfashioned Creatures in the coming weeks.
Blake Packard is an illustration graduate from Northern Illinois University and is currently a product development manager designing sculpture and decorative art.
UNFASHIONED CREATURES is a collection of over twenty monstrous, moving and mirthful tributes to Mary Shelley and her legendary tale, Frankenstein. An eclectic body of comic shorts, short-series and original art, sure to inspire equal parts terror and lols.
Matthew Erman compiled questions for this interview. Check back in the coming weeks for the next Q&A with more Fashioners!