Exclusive: Alan Robert on The Beauty of Horror II: Ghouliana's Creepatorium - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Alan Robert on The Beauty of Horror II: Ghouliana’s Creepatorium

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Just under two weeks ago, we posted a story about Alan Robert’s new adult coloring book The Beauty of Horror II: Ghouliana’s Creepatorium, the sequel to last year’s original. Today, we’re going to dive into the mind of Robert to see what it is about adult coloring books that holds such a strong appeal as well as creating something delightfully macabre and sinister. Head on down below for our interview with Robert!

Previously, Robert stated, “This one depicts Ghouliana chowing down on an ice cream cone that actually bites back. Believe it or not, my 9-year-old daughter came up with this concept; and needless to say, she’s very excited to see how everyone’s colors turn out. So please post them online when you’re done!

The Beauty of Horror II: Ghoulia’s Creepatorium comes out on September 12th via IDW Publishing. You can pre-order your copy via Amazon.

Synopsis:
Ghouliana’s Creepatorium continues the journey of everyone’s favorite undead girl, Ghouliana, as she mischievously attempts to trick budding colorists into unleashing her deadly spell. Ghouliana has secretly sprinkled her haunted ingredients throughout over 80 pages of Robert’s intricate drawings. The Beauty of Horror II features a beautifully chilling red-foiled cover and high-quality paper that will ensure the pools of blood you color don’t leak through the pages. Robert and IDW have once again come together to present a deluxe coloring experience.

Dread Central: The first Beauty of Horror was incredibly well received and really opened the doors to the idea of adult coloring books, especially in the horror world. What is something the sequel brings new to the table?

Alan Robert: The success of the first book really allowed the freedom for me to dig deeper on this concept and push the boundaries of Ghouliana’s universe on book two. Last year, when I originally pitched the idea of a horror-themed adult coloring book to IDW, it was instantly green-lit by them and they believed in it right away. But let’s be honest… they were taking a big chance on this bizarre idea. Keep in mind, up until that point, the big sellers in the adult coloring book market were very pretty, whimsical, nature-based books, which were targeting a female audience. The Beauty of Horror was the first of its kind to introduce gore into the genre with original art specifically illustrated for a high-end coloring experience. I didn’t really know for sure if there would be interest from colorists to embrace this type of material. However, once book 1 was released, it instantly became a #1 best seller on Amazon and I was blown away by the response!

Colorists from all around the world continue to flood my social media feeds with amazing, colored-in creations. I love the whole interactivity aspect of it. When I sit for hours drawing these intricate pages, I never picture them in color. So, to see them come to life, with so many different palettes and styles from all of these creative folks, it’s very rewarding to me as an illustrator. Now that I’ve seen what people can do to these pages with mixed media, textures, highlights and shadows, it has given me a better idea on how to design them. Seeing finished, colored-in pages by fans definitely influenced my mindset when drawing book 2. I was able to establish Ghouliana as the star of the series with book 1, so in book 2 I got the chance to expand on her world and include more pages that explore her character.

Photo by Pierre Veillet

DC: Tell me about Ghouliana and her role in this book.

AR: When you open up the book, you are stepping into Ghouliana’s world. Everything you see is part of her Creepatorium. Think of it like an endless museum of oddities. The book also includes Ghouliana’s relatives, which are rounded out by serial killers, creepy clowns, and decaying cousins, as well as her array of cryptic pets. There are a few poems in the book that hint at her backstory and how she enjoys tricking colorists into doing her evil bidding… so there is a bit of a treasure hunt to find Ghouliana’s missing ingredients for one of her spells, throughout, too.

DC: For many people, coloring is seen as a child’s activity. Clearly The Beauty of Horror challenges that preconception but I’m curious what you feel coloring offers adults that they may not be realizing they’re missing?

AR: For one thing, in this day and age, where you can’t escape digital screens, coloring books for adults allow people to unplug from all the technology for a little while and do something creative with their hands. Coloring is a calming experience for a lot of people that remind them of a simpler time in their lives, and it’s been proven to have benefits to reduce stress. The designs in The Beauty of Horror are extremely intricate, so it can literary take several hours to complete one page. It allows adults to lose themselves in a creative headspace and forget about their problems for awhile. Colorists seem to find the challenge very rewarding because the results can be absolutely mind blowing. Check out the site for some great examples submitted by fans.

DC: The first The Beauty of Horror featured a series of images that were seemingly unrelated to one another whereas Ghouliana’s Creepatorium has its own storyline. How did that element factor into your creations?

AR: With the first book, my goal was to create the ultimate horror coloring book. A book I’d want to color as a huge horror fan. I wanted every page to represent all of the iconic visuals of the genre. That’s why there is a diverse spectrum of designs featuring everything from vampires, werewolves, zombies and bats, to creepy bugs, killer clowns and severed heads. The Ghouliana character was actually developed much later into the process, when I was about halfway through drawing book 1. Once she started to evolve, I began featuring her on more and more pages in different settings. Now with book 2, she has become a major character and much more front and center. She really serves as a narrator for the series now. She is even seen in the flesh in the book trailer!

DC: Have you ever considered taking your own colored versions of these books and doing something with them? Releasing them as a book or maybe creating a story that revolves around those images?

AR: No, I haven’t, but that’s a fun idea! The funny thing is I have never ever completely colored in a page myself. I really need to purchase a great set of colored pencils. It’s on my to-do list.

DC: Are there plans for a third The Beauty of Horror? If so, can you tell us anything about what fans might expect from it?

AR: I would love to do a third volume if fans want it. There is actually a poem at the back of the new book that hints about Ghouliana’s return. So, it all really depends on my schedule and if the demand is there for it, but I absolutely love drawing these books and would love to continue the series. Trust me, there are many more tricks up Ghouliana’s sleeve!

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IFC Midnight Picks Up SXSW Hit What Keeps You Alive

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Colin Minihan’s thriller What Keeps You Alive starring Hannah Emily Anderson and Brittany Allen premiered in the Midnighters section at SXSW last month and today we have word via Deadline that the film has been picked up by IFC Midnight.

I’m very excited to be working with IFC Midnight on releasing What Keeps You Alive,” Minihan said in a statement. “They are at the top of their game and consistently releasing the best the genre has to offer.”

An official release date for the film hasn’t been announced as of yet but we will make sure to pass along word once we hear it.

Are you excited to check out Colin Minihan’s What Keeps You Alive? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.

The film is written and directed by Colin Minihan and based on a story by Minihan and Brittany Allen, who also composed the film’s score. Minihan also produces with Kurtis David Harder, Chris Ball, and Ben Knechtel. The film stars Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, Martha MacIsaac and Joey Klein.

Synopsis:

A same-sex couple against one another on their one-year anniversary.

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Blumhouse’s Stephanie Starring Frank Grillo Dumped to DVD

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Blumhouse’s new kid-horror flick Stephanie starring Frank Grillo and Anna Torv is getting dumped to DVD (yep, not even a Blu-ray) without a single special feature May 1.

And to make matters worse, today we have the film’s “trailer”… which is actually only a clip. Wow.

You can check out the clip below and the movie’s DVD cover art to the right and then make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The film is directed by Akiva Goldsman from a screenplay written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski (Siren, Super Dark Times) and stars Frank Grillo and Anna Torv. It hits DVD May 1.

BUY IT HERE

Synopsis:

A young girl, Stephanie is abandoned by her parents and forced to survive on her own. When her parents return, they are surprised to find her alive after they discover dark, supernatural forces are wreaking havoc, with Stephanie at the center of the turmoil.

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The Cast of Westworld Explains Why the Show Is a Must-Watch for Horror Fans

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“Westworld” Season 2 kicks off on Sunday, April 22nd at 9 PM on HBO, and fans of the high-concept sci-fi thriller are chomping at the bit; it’s understandable since Season 1 wrapped way back in late 2016.

While I have a wide definition of the term “horror”, believing it’s more of a sensation than a genre, many Dread Central readers may be wondering if a show about robot cowboys is worth their time and attention.

While I’d recommend “Westworld” to anyone who loves stylized violence, gore, and suspense, we challenged members of the cast to sell the series to potentially reluctant horror fans. How would they respond, for example, to a friend who dismisses the show because they watch horror almost exclusively?

Here are the responses we got from Luke Hemsworth (who plays Head of Security Ashley Stubbs), Angela Sarafyan (who plays host Clementine Pennyfeather), and Clifton Collins, Jr. (who plays both Lawrence and El Lazo).

Dread Central: Complete this sentence: “If you love horror movies, you should watch ‘Westworld’ because…”

Luke Hemsworth: If you love horror movies, you should watch “Westworld” because it’s really gory. It’s pretty dark and it’s also pretty smart.

Angela Sarafyan: You should definitely watch “Westworld” because it makes you face death. It’s a show that questions your mortality. The show not only projects these feelings, but makes you think about the boundlessness of human destruction and how far we can take our reality. Meaning: Will technology eventually be our destruction?

Clifton Collins, Jr: If you love horror movies, you should watch “Westworld” because the same rushes you get from scares in a horror movie, those thrilling and suspenseful events happen in the show. Just from reading it I can tell Season 2 is really cranked-up compared to Season 1. You’re going to have those moments where your heart palpitates or skips a beat and a lot of “Oh my gosh!” moments. There are some serious white-knuckle moments this season. It’s the same thrill you get from watching a horror film!


Westworld isn’t your typical amusement park. Intended for rich vacationers, the futuristic park — which is looked after by robotic “hosts” — allows its visitors to live out their fantasies through artificial consciousness. No matter how illicit the fantasy may be, there are no consequences for the park’s guests, allowing for any wish to be indulged. “Westworld” — which is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton movie of the same name — features an all-star cast that includes Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Golden Globe winner Ed Harris.

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