Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Voices from Artists Alley: SAM COSTELLO

Another day, another interview with a small press comic creator. And what could be a better compliment to your morning bagel than a brief chat with Split Lip writer Sam Costello? He's like human cream cheese, y'all. Let's get right to it!

Scott Harris: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Sam. What can you tell the readers out there about yourself and your work?

Sam Costello: My name’s Sam Costello, I’m a writer of all sorts of things, including comics, based in Providence, Rhode Island. The main comic I have these days is a series called Split Lip. It’s a horror anthology. I write them all but they’re drawn by different artists from all around the world. I post them online at splitlipcomic.com and then also make them available in print.

Is Split Lip self-published, or do you have a publisher you work with?

Basically, it’s self-published. I did have a publishing deal in Australia for a little while but unfortunately that company went out of business, but I don’t hope there’s any relationship between them publishing me and going out of business.

When did you start working on this?

Split Lip debuted in October, 2006, so we’re coming up on the third anniversary now and we’ve published about – I think we’re in the middle of the 27th story on the website right now and it’s about 300, 310 total pages of comics available on the site. But of course, I had started working on it a little before that, I started at the beginning of 2006 actually writing the stories, finding the artists, that sort of thing.

Okay. So the stories debut on the website first, then you compile them into the trades?

That’s correct. The stories get serialized on the website, three pages every Sunday. So you get the new stories coming online, then basically I put out one collection a year. So right now we’ve got Volume One, that came out in 2009; Volume Two should be debuting in probably January, 2010.

And the series is mostly horror?

Yes, it’s basically entirely horror. It’s the kind of thing, if you like Twilight Zone, if you liked the original Tales From the Crypt, you’ll probably like this sort of thing. It’s more about scaring you, more about ideas and mood and tone. You’re not going to find vampires, you’re not going to find zombies, you’re not going to find any of those sort of traditional, archetypal horror concepts. It’s very much about trying to push in some different directions that you don’t find in a lot of modern horror comics.

So it sounds more like it’s more of an atmospheric type of horror, like Poe.

Yeah, there’s definitely some of that. It’s difficult, you’ve got to walk that line between having the atmospherics but also the action. People are looking for certain things out of horror, so some of the stories are a little bit more low key, some of them are a bit volent, some of them are a bit scarier, some of them are a bit more strange or weird. It kind of runs a gamut.

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