Tito W. James: We just saw each other at ECCC. It’s almost like we never left the convention.
Drew Rausch: We never left. There was only like this brief little interlude between the shows.
TWJ: I almost wish Elvira would come out during the intermission.
DR: Awe yeah and we could have a little pun-off.
TWJ: I was just talking to other creators about what got them interested in horror.
DR: I grew up on the Tales From The Crypt comics, those were some of the first comics I ever read as a kid. It’s the stereotypical story of going to the drug store with a couple of cents and thinking “I’m gonna buy a comic ’cause it has a zombie on it.” I’ve been hooked ever since.
Luckily I’ve had a family who was very supportive of that addiction. My Dad and I would watch Creep Show and all those old horror anthologies.
TWJ: Was there anything that legitimately scared you as a child?
DR: There was a story drawn by Jack Davis, about this butcher who was having a really tough time with his business. To help sell things he learned that human meat tastes better. So he would start grinding up all the naysayers of his business and feed them to his customers. That freaked me out.
TWJ: What are some of your biggest artistic influences?
DR: I’m a huge Tim Burton fan. I grew up on the Beeteljuice animated cartoon and Ren and Stimpy. As I’ve grown in my artistic endeavors those are the two styles that really stood out and I’ve kind of merged them together. So it’s like a zany/spooky kind of thing. I also love vintage Halloween; All that paper mache stuff from the 50s.
TWJ: Is there anything that frightens you as an adult?
DR: I’m terrified of flying. I hate airplanes.
TWJ: Well you’re very brave to do two conventions back to back.
Do you have any thoughts on horror in kids comics?
DR: I hope more kids get into horror. We are actually seeing a resurgence now with stuff like Goosebumps and Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. I think people are starting to realize you can have fun with horror. It doesn’t always have to be gore, sex, and violence. It can just be spooky and kids will get into it.
TWJ: Jumping off your point I’m actually noticing a shift in the horror genre. It’s no longer pinned by this tight age demographic of teenagers getting murdered. We have comics like Spook House that appeal to all ages and films like the Shape of Water or Get Out that have mature storytelling.
DR: I think this comes from that wave of nostalgia that’s hanging around. People are remembering movies like Gremlins; that was terrifying if you were a kid. But it was terrifying in this really fun way. It was silly but it scared you as a kid. I think people are starting to remember that way of storytelling instead of just focusing on slashers and jump-scares.
You mentioned Get Out. I think Jordan Peele is one of the biggest geniuses to come out of film right now. And I’m thrilled that he’s picked the horror genre to call home.
I’d like to thank Drew Rausch for taking the time do do this interview. You can find more of his work on his website.