Exclusive: Terrance Zdunich Talks The Molting
Most people are familiar with Terrance Zdunich the singer and actor due to his heart palpitation-inducing performance as Graverobber in Repo! The Genetic Opera. On September 15th, the world will finally get the chance to know Terrance the artist a little bit better. That’s when “Guilty Susie,” the first chapter in his new comic series The Molting, will be released.
“Drawing was the first art form I really latched onto,” explained Zdunich. “Music and performing came much later on for me. I was always drawing, even as a kid and I just stuck with it until I was really good at it. When I got older, I went to art school and learned about storyboarding. This was before the time where you had all these DVD extras so I had no idea that this type of art existed in film before this.”
“I ended up working for a few years at Sony for some of their animated shows but I didn’t like sitting in a cubicle so that’s when I started to get the idea for Repo. Getting to create The Molting is like my life going full circle and I love that I get to go back to storytelling through my own art,” Zdunich added.
The idea for the story of The Molting was something that was brewing inside Zdunich for the past year or so. He knew that it was a story that needed to be told, but he just wasn’t sure at first how to get that story out there.
It wasn’t until Zdunich had to work on the comic book style interstitials on Repo! that he realized he wanted to present this story in a graphic novel format.
Zdunich said, “I wasn’t initially going to be the person who drew the comics for Repo!, but when we got to the comics portion of the film, we just ran out of money. So I took on the task myself. I was sort of hesitant to do them at first because I didn’t honestly know if my drawings could cut it and if they would hold up on a big screen. They turned out to be some of the best stuff I have ever created, and I am really proud of how they turned out.”
Working on the Repo! comics motivated Zdunich to move forward with his idea for The Molting for a variety of different reasons - some of them creative, some of them to gain back balance within his work.
“Repo! was such a chaotic experience for everyone, I think,” Zdunich explained. “There was so much energy spent navigating personalities and budgets, so I wanted my next project to be something that even if it became bigger than me, I still maintained my autonomy.”
“I didn’t want to have to wait for the okay from anyone again, and creating a graphic novel seemed like the best way to tell this particular set of stories. I liked the idea of telling a complete story that is presented in such a way that it is still as compelling as film, even without having the audio aspect to it. I definitely think the visuals in The Molting are strong enough to keep the readers engrossed,” added Zdunich.
Zdunich began putting together the script of The Molting during the Repo! Road Tours late in 2008. Although he’s the first to tell you that trying to sum up the storyline is almost impossible, Zdunich did his best to paint a portrait of the world of The Molting.
Zdunich said, “There’s a huge scope to this world, and each chapter traverses time so it’s difficult to synopsize. Ultimately though, it’s the portrait of a dysfunctional American family living in Anaheim near Disney in the mid 90s.”
“That period of time is when Disney was using the ad campaign of it being 'The Happiest Place on Earth' so you have this family living right outside the ‘happiest place on Earth’ in slum-like conditions. I wanted to play on that juxtaposition. Basically, there are two brothers and the entire series is about their journey. That’s the main idea, but there are so many side stories, too,” added Zdunich.
In the first issue, "Guilty Susie", Zdunich takes readers a few decades back to a Southern Gothic backdrop. The story opens with two orphan children, and a series of events are set into motion throughout this installment that end up not only affecting the characters in this first book but the next three generation of people as well.
While the story isn’t straight-up horror, Zdunich promises fans that the story is still very dark and should deliver the chills.
“It’s not 'what’s behind the door' horror but more experiencing the horrific events in the lives of these characters,” explained Zdunich. “The Molting is similar in tone to Repo! but in some ways goes a little darker - just not necessarily as obviously as Repo! did. But don’t worry, though, there’s still plenty of blood!”
Zdunich, who is self-distributing The Molting, is planning to take "Guilty Susie" on tour so that he can meet fans and give them a taste of the new world he created face to face. He recently visited Utah to give the Mormons (okay, and those Zydrate fanatics too!) a taste of his newest creation (check out pics from his trip on his blog here).
One of his next stops will be at the LA Repo! Shadowcast (featuring ATTK) on Friday, September 25th, at the Beverly Fairfax Theater (7907 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles). Zdunich will be there signing issues of "Guilty Susie" for fans before the show, which starts at midnight. For even more info visit LittleGlassVial.com.
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