It's time for our third instalment of Pig Pal People, the series of posts where I chat to those pig pals who not only grew up with Oink!, but were inspired by it. Already we've spoken with a freelance writer and a comics creator who shared their memories of the comic and how it did more than simply make them laugh, it formed an important part of their life.
This time, it's the turn of Carol-Kay, a pig pal who I can always remember being part of the Oink! scene on social media going back many years now. I should say at this point the pun in the title of this post isn't a reference to how terrifying a person Carol is (she isn't, honest), it's to do with a regular, yearly comic she's been contributing to for ten years now; a wonderful tribute to a classic British weekly. Working in the small press and on individual commissions, Carol's work is on display at the DeviantArt website and her page is a treasure trove of art that crosses many different styles and genres.
|I'm certainly getting some wonderful pictures from pig pals|
for their profile "photo" in these posts. This one is just delightful
I was eager to ask Carol all about her illustrations, comics work and commissions. I find her eclectic range fascinating and couldn't wait to find out more. Included here are some samples but I highly recommend you check her work out for yourself, after you've read the following interview, naturally.
The Oink! Blog and Beyond: You've been part of the Oink! community online for a long time now, what's your memory of Oink! as a kid?
Carol: It was just delightfully rude and gleefully absurd. You never knew what to expect and that was a big part of its appeal. The collection of different artists and writers, many of whom came from a non-comics background, gave us this wonderful variety of art styles and ideas. We 80s kids were pretty lucky to get such a forward-thinking comic.
TOBaB: I see on your DeviantArt page you're now based in Australia, have you always lived there or were you a resident of the UK when you were a child? Just curious about your feelings on how the comic scenes compare, especially the small press with you contributing to Hallowscream.
Carol: As a child I lived in Inverness, Scotland until I was 13, then the family moved to Australia. I've only been involved with two publications so far, Hallowscream and SF Commentary (an Australian science fiction magazine), so I can't really compare yet. But there is a thriving local comics scene, if you look at, say, Dark Oz and Sticky Institute.
|"Be Careful What You Wish For"|
TOBaB: You've previously told me you also would've read Eagle and Scream as a kid, so given you've gone on to develop your own style, selling some of your work and commissions, what kind of impact did these comics have on you back then?
Carol: At the time, I realised how much storytelling enjoyment comics and magazines (like Story Teller) could provide.
I used to read a bit of Tricky Dicky and Commando too. I think that this wide variety of art styles helped me develop my own style over the years, but I didn't really think about doing them myself until the whole graphic novel movement came along. Like Lorenzo Mattotti's books Fires and Murmur.
I also came across Viz at that time, despite being way too young for it. But as soon as my parents saw it, it went straight back to the shop! Bah.
TOBaB: How would you describe your art style to anyone not yet familiar with your work?
Carol: Well, I've been influenced by German Expressionism with its dark contrasts, and Surrealism for its way of turning concepts on their head and examining the world around us in a new way. So I'm not sure what to call it, except modern gothic?
TOBaB: What kind of commissions do you draw? Do you have a particular type or genre you like to stick to, or do you decide on each one individually?
Carol: Basically I decide on each one individually. My style depends on what's best for the story, although I've done a fair variety of different illustrations, from a children's book to SF magazines to comics. The different styles and genres are great practice, too.
|World Con art|
TOBaB: I hadn't previously heard of Hallowscream until you told me about it, so I'm now catching up on all the previous issues. You've been with it from the beginning, how did that come about?
Carol: About ten years ago I came across a great tribute site to Scream, called Back From The Depths. I joined their forum and we all started talking about how cool it would be to do a tribute issue, which we ended up calling Hallowscream. Well, we're now working on #10 and it's been a lot of fun.
TOBaB: It's now a well established yearly event, available for download and on Issuu, but what was it like putting that first issue together?
Carol: Well, it was a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. Seeing the finished issue finally come together out of all the bits and pieces of our contributions was so satisfying. "Look! It's a real comic now!" Props to the writers/editors and the other artists for all their amazing work.
TOBaB: Obviously the next issue is shrouded in mystery so far, but I'll be cheeky here and ask if there's anything you can tell us about your contribution to this year's issue?
Carol: Let's see, it's a variation on a classic Edgar Allan Poe horror story. It involves hearts and it's wonderfully odd.
I also like to keep up with new stuff that the Oink! crew are doing, like Charlie Brooker and his fantastic show Black Mirror. How good is that show?!
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I completely agree Carol! Thanks so much for taking part and I'm probably not the only one who is eagerly awaiting this year's Hallowscream, which I'm sure will pop up right here on the blog too.
It's always a thrill to read how Oink! helped inspire the young minds of its readers and to see the quality being produced by pig pals not only across the UK, but now across the globe!
So to check out Carol's work, click right here to visit her DeviantArt profile.
If you'd like to read previous issues of Hallowscream you can do so right here.
The comic's team at Back from the Depths are always on the lookout for quality script and art submissions, so go have a read of their website if you'd like to contribute yourself.