ECCC 2019: Making Monsters With Marie Enger
by Tito W. James
Tito W. James: Your artwork is very distinctive. There’s angularity mixed with pop colors and humorous subject matter. What art some of your influences?
Marie Enger: I was really influenced by a lot of movie monsters. This is going to sound crazy but I’ve noticed that there’s so much fan-art at shows. I realized that I wanted to do something that was recognizable without doing fan art I wasn’t really into. Now, I focus mainly on monster stuff and public domain ideas. So I do a lot of Lovecraftian stuff. I’d say monsters are my biggest influence.
TWJ: What comics are you currently working on?
ME: I’m currently working on a webcomic called Fhtgan and Loathing, which is like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas meets Cthulhu. It’s a story about a couple of friends who have lost touch, getting really drunk at a party, and waking up in the Eldritch dimension.
So they fight H.P. Lovecraft and Mother of Puss. And They go on this weird fucked-up road trip to a strip club with floating pods. My goal with the comic is to make you feel like you are on this weird fucked-up road trip with your friends. It’s a very organic and funny thing with a lot of weed and beer.
I also do an RPG game called Casket Land, which just funded on Kickstarter. There’s also Nosferatu, which was an Inktober project from 2017. Next I’m working on a comic tentatively titled Pizza Reaper, about the Saint Louis style pizza culture wars and MONSTERS!
TWJ: Talk to me about Casket Land because your Kickstaretr described it as appealing to fans of Mad Max and Vampire Hunter D.
ME: I was asked to be part of Kickstarter Zine Quest and I wanted to do a western setting without all the cowboy bullshit. I really appreciated the imagery from the Dust Bowl. It was very bleak where everyone was just scrabbling to survive. But I also wanted monsters, because I fucking love monsters. So it made sense to combine a Vampire Hunter D esthetic and then go from there.
Casket Land is an RPG where you play for six hours, as a variety of character classes like a grave digger, an undertaker, a miner, or a fool. You battle a very specific monster in a specific amount of time. This first game of Casket Land is kind of based on Baba Yaga. Your whole goal is to out there before your water runs out kill her open the well back up and come back.
You’ll have to fight things like heilodragons, dust devils, and mad people who live out in the hills. So it’s a really bleak and brutal but hopefully entertaining game to play.
TWJ: Do you have any advice you aspiring artists about stylization?
ME: You can’t fight your style. I do not want to draw this way but it happens anyway. So you can either fight it and have something mediocre for the rest fo your life or really lean into it and trust that there’s going to be someone out there who really likes what you do even if you don’t.
I’d like to thank Marie Enger for taking the time to do this interview. You can find her work on her website.