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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Several Muppets Were Run Through The Walking Dead’s Zombie App and It’s Kind of Amazing

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For many people, a big part of their childhood were the Muppets from “Sesame Street”. The lessons they learned from characters such as Bert and Ernie, Count von Count, Big Bird, and more, were invaluable and set a foundation of how to live ones life. On top of educational lessons, they were taught compassion, sharing, decency, and other traits that form the basis of a civilized society. Then zombies came along and botched everything.

Using an app from “The Walking Dead”, several characters from “Sesame Street” have been zombified, resulting in images that will no doubt make some of you laugh while others might be horrified at what their childhood characters have gone through. It’s kinda hard to deny that Count von Count doesn’t look gruesome as hell with a dislocated and dangling jaw…

Below is a gallery of these images and, just for fun, underneath that is “The Walking Gingerbread”, an actual parody of “The Walking Dead” done by “Sesame Street” for Halloween!

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Josh Millican’s Best Horror Films of 2017

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It may just be that my love of horror grows every year, but it honestly feels as though 2017 has been a red-letter year for the genre. Not only are films like Andy Muschietti’s IT and Jordan Peele’s Get Out generating Oscar buzz but we’ve seen horror elements seep into mainstream movies and TV shows, from Logan to “Stranger Things”.

And this hasn’t merely been an amazing year for mainstream horror, with powerful indies emerging as some 2017’s best; it’s further proof that many of the most compelling and important genre flicks are being produced outside the traditional Hollywood system. Below, in no particular order, are my selections for the Best Horror Films of 2017. Let me know what you think in the Comments section!


Brawl in Cell Block 99

Though the subject matter is completely different, S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 has many parallels to his first film, 2015’s Bone Tomahawk. Both movies build slowly and are anchored by compelling characters and engrossing dialogue; furthermore, both films are deceptively understated until an explosive and shocking 3rd Act hits like a gut-punch.

Vince Vaughn delivers a genuinely poignant portrayal of Bradley Thomas, a down-on-his-luck drug runner willing to do anything to protect his family from disgruntled former associates. Don Johnson also deserves a shout-out for his turn as corrupt Warden Tuggs, the most unnerving fictional jailer since Cool Hand Luke.

Brawl in Cell Block 99 isn’t your typical horror movie, presenting a meandering narrative, but it’s still as entertaining as anything that follows an established formula. Horror is always most compelling when we can connect with a film’s protagonists, and this film delivers in spades.


Raw

Julia Ducournau’s Raw both benefited and suffered from reports of audience members fainting and falling ill during the film’s 2015 premiere at TIFF. Upon its limited theatrical release, The Nuart in Los Angeles passed barf bags out to moviegoers, a tactic usually reserved for the most extreme and outlandish of B-movies, films intentionally crafted to trigger the gag-reflex. While Raw does indeed contain scenes that are very difficult to stomach (pun intended!) it’s hardly a 2-dimensional gross-out.

Before classifying the film as horror, it’s a coming of age saga first and foremost. Themes of cannibalism and bodily mutilations become metaphors for sexual awakenings and transitions into adulthood. Raw is also a compelling study of sibling rivalries and the powerful influence of heredity on personal development.


The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Though released after I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is actually the debut film from Oz Perkins (son of horror icon Anthony Perkins). It combines the supernatural terrors of a possession movie with the compelling complexity of a murder mystery. The all-girls boarding school in winter provides a moody aesthetic with Gothic undertones while serving as an incubator for sexual awakenings and religious guilt.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter hinges on a powerful twist, but this doesn’t hit the audience like a ton of bricks; rather, the film’s secrets are gradually unraveled, resulting in a slow realization that’s as poignant as it is shocking. The film succeeds in no small part thanks to compelling performances by a trio of talented young thespians: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, and Lucy Boynton.


The Devil’s Candy

Sean Byrne is one of the most talented horror practitioners to emerge from Australia in the 21st Century. His debut film, The Loved Ones, is an under-seen sleeper that balances teen angst, dark comedy, and extreme violence. With his follow-up film, The Devil’s Candy, Byrne is finally getting the attention he deserves.

It’s less extreme than The Loved Ones, but The Devil’s Candy’s understated presentation, genuine drama, and slow-burn build-up delivers more palpable dread and a lasting resonance. The Devil’s Candy is a chaotic mix of heavy metal music and inner demons and can be viewed as a metaphor for how the blind pursuit of art can destroy families.

Ethan Embry deserves a shout out for his harrowing portrayal of father and artist Jesse Hellman. Who’d have thought the kid from Can’t Hardly Wait would develop into such a skilled actor?


Get OutGet Out

Historically, Q1 is a bad time for horror movies, as studios are prone to dumping films they have little faith in. Jordan Peele’s Get Out breaks the rules in many ways and, though released in February, it remains one of the most lauded and analyzed films of 2017—in any genre. The inclusion of sociopolitical elements makes Get Out both unique and timely, although even without its social agenda, Get Out is a compelling and unnerving experience, one that stokes paranoia by exacerbating primal fears related to deception and isolation.

Peele has become an exciting and refreshing figure in horror with plans for more socially-conscious thrillers in the years to come.


47 Meters Down

Nearly unceremoniously dumped directly to DVD in 2016, In the Deep was rebranded 47 Meters Down and given a theatrical release last Summer, where it became an unlikely hit. Perhaps hampered by preconceptions relating to lead actress Mandy Moore, 47 Meters Down is nonetheless immensely entertaining, eclipsing 2016’s shark-horror blockbuster The Shallows.

I do have doubts about the film’s ability to spawn a franchise (there’s currently a sequel in the works, being produced under the temporary title 48 Meters Down) considering this film hinges on a twist that can only be used once, so it’s difficult to imagine a sequel with the same impact—but who knows?

Ultimately, though, even a bad sequel won’t diminish the shine of 47 Meters Down. The film also proves there are still plenty of ways to pack legitimate terror into a PG-13 horror movie.

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Ash Vs Evil Dead Seasons 1 and 2 Are Now Streaming on Netflix

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The last word we brought you guys on the upcoming third season of Starz’s “Ash vs Evil Dead” starring Bruce Campbell was when we shared the show’s all-new teaser trailer (below).

Today we have awesome news that the first two seasons are now streaming on Netflix!

So if you’ve been putting off watching the series (for some reason) or have been waiting until the day where you could just binge-watch the series in one grand swoop, then today is your day. There isn’t a better time than now. Just make sure you’re caught up come February.

Hell, yeah.

Are you excited to watch (or rewatch) the first two seasons of “Ash vs Evil Dead” on Netflix? Let us know below!

“Ash vs Evil Dead” stars Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Lucy Lawless. Campbell executive produces the series with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Ivan Raimi, and Rick Jacobson. Season 3’s new showrunners are Mark Verheiden and Moira Grant.

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season 3 hits STARZ Sunday, February 25, 2018.

Synopsis:

Ash has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind’s only hope.

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