FEAR, EMPTINESS, DECIBEL: Q&A WITH TOM NEELY, CREATOR OF THE COMIC BOOK HENRY & GLENN FOREVER
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
As the killer gatefold above indicates, August’s Decibel (order here) presents an in-depth exploration of the bond between extreme music and extreme comics. Nick Green busted his ass to deliver multiple hilarious and informative profiles on the industry’s most brutally creative psychos. Today, in the interest of giving you a little cutting room floor action, here’s a quick Q&A with cover artist Tom Neely, of Henry & Glenn Forever infamy.
You submitted a variety of ideas for the Scott Ian cover. How did you settle upon the imagery you created for the foldout?
The only guideline I was given was that it had to include Scott Ian. Which, as much as I love Anthrax, was more difficult than I thought, because I don’t often make art that involves actual living people. I sketched out five or six ideas that I presented to Jamie [Leary, head designer] and Albert [Mudrian, editor in chief]. They picked my second favorite, which was actually my first sketch, and I think it ended up being the best idea overall.
How many of the demons depicted on the flip side are your own original creations? Will any of them be popping up in any future books?
Only a few of them are my own. I wanted to include many of the characters by some of the cartoonists covered in the comics article: Ed Luce’s Goteblüd; Johnny Ryan’s Cannibal Fuckface with Slurge arm; Mark Rudolph’s version of the Blind Dead and the mummies from his Curse of the Pharaohs comic; Chuck BB’s black metal kids and “Undead Odin”; Dylan Williams’ reporter; as well as the werewolf and red skeletons from my own latest book, The Wolf.
Is this the first magazine cover you’ve ever illustrated?
I’ve done some covers for a few smaller music zines and weekly papers in the past. But this is probably the biggest magazine cover I’ve ever illustrated.
Are there any covert Henry & Glenn references in the gatefold?
Hmmm… there is, but it’s a barely noticeable, happy accident that I decided to leave in. If you look closely at the cover that the purple demon is holding on the cover of the cover that Scott Ian is holding on the actual front cover, you’ll see just the green corner of the cover of Henry & Glenn Forever.
How long did you spend on the cover altogether?
It’s hard to say because it was spread out over a couple of weeks amidst other things I’m working on. Probably about three or four days of actual work to pull it all together.
What projects do you have on the horizon?
I just published my new graphic novel, The Wolf, which I’m unleashing to the world this week. So, that’s the main thing I’m up to these days. I’ve got too many other plans for future comics on the horizon, but I’m not sure what I’ll start on next: perhaps more Henry & Glenn, some short stories for anthologies, a series of small paintings that might turn into a book at some point, and another graphic novel that I’ve written, but haven’t started drawing yet. I’ve always got more ideas than time.
Decibel’s August 2011 issue features Anthrax, Arch Enemy, Tombs, Origin, Weekend Nachos, a Cradle of Filth Hall of Fame, and an awesome Wormrot flexi disc . That issue is available here, but why not get a full subscription to ensure you never miss an issue?