Recently, your’s cruelly, Dan XIII, had the putrid pleasure of askin’ Life of Agony Bassist, and true devotee of the horror biz Alan Robert some queasy questions about all manner of devious deviltry! Read on to learn about the multitude of poisonous projects he has just waiting to assault our eerie eyeballs!
HORROR FUEL: Hey Alan! Let’s cut right to the chase; namely your creepy colorin’ books that are haunting the sinister shelves of stores nation wide! What can you tell our revoltin’ readers about The Beauty of Horror, Volume 3: Haunted Playgrounds and the series in general?
ALAN ROBERT: When I started the Beauty of Horror series back in 2016, my goal was to create the ultimate coloring book for horror fans, because one really didn’t exist at that time. The coloring craze was in high gear, and book store shelves were filled with mandalas, flowers and cutesy animal coloring books. So, what was a horror fiend like me supposed to do? I got my hands dirty! I drew over 80 pages of intricate zombies, werewolves, vampires and things that go bump in the night for that first GOREgeous coloring book. Along the way, I came up with this little undead girl named Ghouliana, who mischievously played tricks on the fans to find her creepy lost items within the artwork. That first book became an Amazon #1 bestseller and found an audience in a big way!
Throughout the series, I’ve developed Ghouliana quite a bit, giving her pals and pets, and her very own Creepatorium where she displays her extensive collection of oddities! Needless to say, the books have been an absolute blast to draw, and Volume 3: Haunted Playgrounds just might be my favorite of the three. In Beauty of Horror 3, Ghouliana is on the hunt through abandoned amusement parks to locate the lost limbs to her monster friend in order to resurrect him. It’s filled with demonic clowns and carnies, freaks and weirdos, all set in the haunted carnival atmosphere. If you have coulrophobia, this might not be the book for you (laughs).
HF: Are there any sinister subjects you’ve wanted to cover, but have either not gotten around to or felt they may be too extreme for the books?
AR: Actually, I’ve been expanding the Beauty of Horror world a lot lately and trying new things. Besides the three Beauty of Horror books that are available right now, I’ve also drawn two other products that will be released later in the year. One is a monster-sized lithograph set, The Beauty of Horror: Ultimate Nightmare, featuring oversized 12×12” prints suitable for framing, and the other is a holiday-themed coloring book called The Beauty of Horror: Ghosts Of Christmas, where Ghouliana takes on Santa and the North Pole. There’s a bunch of other stuff in the works for 2019, too… so, I think you might be seeing Ghouliana haunting other mediums in the very near future, like games and TV shows.
HF: Speakin’ of your arcane art, I know you studied under the legendary Walt Simonson at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Were you a fan of his comics work, and do you read any comics these days?
AR: Absolutely! I love Walt’s books. In the ‘80s, I collected his X-Factor series and met him a few times at comic cons for autographs before I had him as a teacher. One of the coolest part of being in his class was being able to draw Robocop pages as homework, based on the actual comic scripts. He also invited famous comic creators to stop by and give guest lectures, too. It was a very unique experience and really eye opening. When I started writing and illustrating my own graphic novels professionally for IDW Publishing years later, Walt and I reconnected and he actually wrote the introduction to my Crawl to Me book. It was a huge honor. We still run into each other every now and then at comic events, and it’s always great to see him.
HF: Since we are BD in the horror biz; what are some of your fav fright flicks?
AR: Hands down, my favorite horror film is The Shining. Tied for a close second is probably Evil Dead 2, Chainsaw Massacre 2, and the original Halloween.
HF: Fine choices one and all! Now, as many of my fiendish fans may well know, you are the bassist for legendary metal band Life of Agony. How do your roles as artist and musician intersect?
AR: I’ve always been very hands on with the imagery and visuals for the band. Back in the early nineties, I designed the Life of Agony skull logo and have probably designed every LOA T-shirt ever made (laughs). I’ve also created storyboards for our music videos, designed album covers, stage backdrops, websites, etc. for decades. It’s been a lot of fun.
HF: What have ya got comin’ our wicked way next?
AR: Speaking of Life of Agony, we just signed a new record deal to release a new album through Napalm Records in 2019, so we’ve been working together on new material in between tours throughout the year. My graphic novel Crawl to Me is in development to become a feature film and we’ll be announcing the director very soon, and The Beauty of Horror is also being adapted for games and television.
HF: Where can the boils n’ ghouls keep up with you online?
HR: Fangs Alan, and please feel free to kick back in our crypt any time! As for you creeps be sure to head here and order Alan’s beastly books post haste!