Q: Be honest! How familiar were you with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when you first pitched for Unfashioned Creatures?
A: Very. My roots in horror began with classic literature and Frankenstein is among them. While I started with Poe, Shelley wasn’t that far behind…
Q: What’s your favorite take on the Frankenstein mythos? Least favorite?
A: My personal preference in horror is to slightly humanize the “monster,” but retain what it is. I don’t like the B-movie iterations of grunting and groaning “patchwork men” for that reason because they’re a little two-dimensional for me. I feel that the creature is more powerful as a character when we sympathize with him and then realize that, quite possibly, he can never be redeemed. Sympathy turns to pity, which then turns to fear. Once we realize the “creature” is truly an abomination, only then do we know the horror he represents. A fact made even more terrifying when we understand what Frankenstein — one of us — had done.
Q: Major inspirations for your art/writing? What led you down the comics road to ruin?
A: I’ve always been a fan of comics and my tastes tend to stray into darker realms. Here, though, my inspiration was Vincent Price in The Last Man On Earth. There’s a few easter eggs (which is one of my absolutely favorite parts of being a writer, inserting little treasures for fans/readers) in the comic. If I could draw, I’d be publishing my own comics all the time. But alas… My stick figures can’t even stand up straight…
Q: What else are you working on now? Any long-term projects?
A: Two projects. I am the brand manager and lead writer for the Firefly RPG line from Margaret Weis Productions. And let’s just say I have Firefly on the brainpan. Second project is a big one for my own works.
An alternate history project that’s more than a little risky. Third and fourth on the list are graphic novel scripts that I hope to turn into a *real* book one day. Sigh. I never stop working, but I love, love, love doin’ whatever it is I do.
Q: If you could be any monster, who/what would you be?
A: Well, it’s quite possible I already am one. Last I checked, I could be a cylon? If it was any monster, I would say a shapeshifter. Because really, being able to transform shapes at will is extraordinarily useful with or without the “monster” attached.
Monica Valentinelli is a writer, game designer, and consultant. You can read more about her on her blog: MLVWrites.com
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!