BEN: I have no formal training. I never even graduated high school. School is for NERDS!
Q: How did you hook up with Tokyopop.com?
BEN: I originally shopped a crude version of the book to different publishers, with no luck. I shelved it, moved to L.A, and got a job at Kinkos in Hollywood. While I was working there I met a guy who was freelancing for TokyoPop. I happened to have the old pitch-packet for ILH on me, so I just gave it to him without thinking too much of it. Fast foward a couple months and I got a call from former editor Mark Paniccia . He dug the idea and I went in for a meeting. Mark suggested Keith and I jumped at the chance to work with him. It's Keith Giffen for God-sakes! So I pretty much fell into it jackass backwards.
Q: Explain the creative process of the book, with you and Keith Giffen...
BEN: It's all Giffen. Besides creating the main cast, Keith is responsible for all the madness, including fan favorite Moochie.
Q: Who is your favorite character in I LUV HALLOWEEN and why?
BEN: I'd have to say Finch, since he was the first character I created for the series. But my favorite to draw is Spike. The dude has a soup bowl hair cut. How many comic book characters have a soup bowl ( laughs).
Q: Talk about some of your other work, such as THE CRYPTICS, which you're doing with Steve Niles...
BEN: Steve's great, he's really fun to work with. We worked together on a book called THE LONLEY TOMBSTONE last year, I was a great to do something completely different from ILH. THE CRYPTICS originally was going to be just some shorts for a magazine and snowballed into a full 32 page book. THE CRYPTICS is completely opposite from I LUV HALLOWEEN. It's nice to work on both ends of the spectrum.
I also worked on some books for Boom! Studios. I worked on ZOMBIE TALES, CTHULHU TALES, and I did a pinup for FEAR THE DEAD. Those projects were great and again it's a chance to do something completely different.
Q: What are you working on now and anything in the future?
BEN: I'm plugging away at the last volume of the I LUV HALLOWEEN series and I have a project I did with Joe Kelly ( Man of Action Studios) called DOUGLAS FREDRICKS AND THE HOUSE OF THEY. Also, Steve and I have plans for more CRYPTICS down the pipe. I've just been really lucky to be able to work with all these talented writers. It's been great.
Q: To you, what is the strangest thing you've observed about LA?
BEN: L.A is L.A. I love and I hate it (laughs). The weirdest thing I've seen out here has to be seeing a homeless man spreading mayonnaise on his sandwich under a bridge. How did he get the mayonnaise and does he refrigerate it? You figure if your homeless you'd be happy with the bread and meat, but this guy must be particular about what goes in he sandwiches.
Q: What is your website info/contact info?
BEN: I have a website but it's been under construction for a year. I'm lazy. But I post new art pretty frequently on my Myspace page. I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org