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Frank Forte
Comic Creator
Horror Interview by The Gravedigger

Q: Why did you establish ASYLUM PRESS?

Asylum Press was formed in 1999 to publish Hex Of The Wicked Witch, The Vampire Verses and various horror anthologies. My first experience with publishing was in 1991. Mike Bliss and I formed Studio Insidio and published four issues of a horror anthology entitled From Beyonde. After that I was working with CFD Productions where I was editor/art director of Insidious Tales, The Vampire Verses as well as contributing to NightCry and Tales of The Dead. After that, I decided to form another publishing company, Asylum Press, and go on my own again. So horror has always been in my blood and I'm going to publish horror comics no matter what the trends are. So, the rise in popularity of horror as a genre wasn't a factor in forming Asylum Press, but the fact that there seems to be a resurgence of horror comics, films and books surely doesn't hurt.

Q: You also work as a television animator? What shows have you worked on?

I worked as a background designer and animator on Lil Pimp. I was a BG designer on Kid Notorious. I animated on HIHI Puffy Ami Yumi. I was a Storyboard Artist/Revisionist on The Mr. Men Show. I did some animation on the new Bewitched movie. The part where they redo the old animated TV Intro and use Will Farrell and Nicole Kidman in place of Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York.

Q: What/Who would you say were your influences when you were a kid that made you want to do what you do?

I've always loved Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon. Re-Animator and From Beyond were big influences on me in high school and college. Also, Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. Later I was turned on to Peter Jackson's early films; Bad Taste and Dead Alive. I read a lot of Lovecraft, some Steven King, Rudy Rucker, Philip K. Dick and William Gibson. These were the early literary influences. In comics I was reading the Old E.C. , Berni Wrightson reprints, House of Mystery, Eerie, Creepy and Heavy Metal. At some point I rejected super heroes and stuck with horror and sci-fi. It seemed to be where the better stories were being told. The writers and artists had more integrity and the tales were more adult-oriented. Now there's a lot of great superhero stories out there so I'm back to reading all sorts of comics.

Q: What are your top three comic titles (past or present) and why?

The Dark Knight-This book was a fave of mine as a kid. It did change the face of comics and brought a lot of interest in comics from other. RanXerox- I mean how can you not love this book. This title alone changed they way i thought about comics. I was blown away by the graphic imagery and the subject matter. "So this is what comics could be?", I thought. And I started looking to Europe to find more artists and writers who were doing this type of materiasl. I got most of the old catalan books. It seemed, at the time (late 80's) the work coming out of Europe was much more intense than the superhero books I was reading. Third would Br Batman vs Judge Dredd by By Alan Grant, John Wagner, Simon Bisley.

Q: What is one of your favorite projects, that you have worked on?

I think The Vampire Verses was my favorite. I only got through 4 issues. It was planned as a 12 issue seris. I plan on getting back to it soon. Maybe a 2010 release as a graphic novel. Asylum of Horrors is turning out to be a great book. I love gathering horror tales from around the world and putting them together in a giant tome. We've got some great new stories for future issues. Tim Vigil is working on a cover and an all-new story right now.

Q: Talk a bit about the genesis of WARLASH and THE ASYLUM OF HORRORS.

Warlash is a dark sci-fi comic that has a lot of action, but still has horror elements to the stories. He is a biomechanical hybrid warrior, attempts to track down all forms of rogue evil in the city of Pittsburgh. He is the vigilante law force of the city. He carries a gun, knife and scorpion tail. In his lair, a computer detective, known as Madigan Creed, gives him intelligence and helps him when he is in the battlefield. Because of his biomechanical spine, he has to injest painkillers to ward off the pain and amphetamines to keep his stamina up during long battles. Warlash: Dark Noir is the current three issue mini-series. I'm working with writer Royal McGraw to develop a few mini-series and one-shots. The Asylum Of Horrors is a quarterly horror anthology that features artists from all over the world. It's a larger format at 96 pages and we are trying to have beginning and end stories that act as front and end pieces and hold the book together. It features some truly twisted art and stories.

Q: What are some of the other magazines you produce?

In 2009 we will publish three more anthologies; The Asylum of Terrors, Vampire Macabre and Beyond Lovecraft. The Vampire Verses is a longer saga of a vampire/demon war. Undead Evil is a voodoo/zombie tale that takes place in post-Katrina New Orleans. This will be published as a graphic novel. Farmhouse is more of a dark drama about Sam Corneile, a drifter, returns home to take a job at a local mental institution where he unwittingly discovers a group of patients being exploited under an art therapy regimen. While there he falls for Helen, a feisty but troubled female patient who dares him to confront his past. We will also publish a 4 issue full color mini series of Steve Mannion's Fearless dawn character. Issue #1 will be out in April 2009. Some of our books will be published as mini-series first and then go to trade paperbacks and some books will go straight to trade.

Q: You are also associated with GIRLS & CORPSES Magazine...how did you get involved with R.S. Rhine?

Robert and I met when he contacted me to do a free illustration for a horror zine. Forbidden Lines I think it was. Then I agreed to publish his horror antholgies, Selected Readings from Satan's Powder Room, Chicken Soup for satan, and satan Gone Wild. All of which were collected, with new material into the giant trade Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell. During that time we created an animated pilot Sickcom (www.sickcom.com) and sold it to Spike and Mike's Sick and twisted festival of Animation. When Robert Created GNC he wanted me to contribute, So I'm doing spot illustrations, writing some gags and doing page layout.

Q: How can people contact you?

Right now we are looking at all types of horror comics as samples. Mostly we want a writer/artist team to approach us with a finished book or at least 10 pages of comics with lettering. All horror sub-genres are okay. vampires, werewolves, mad doctors, science fiction horror, slasher-type stories. Of course we would like to see an original take on these subjects. We are looking to publish mini-series, graphic novels and any short story submissions we can use in our anthologies. We are also looking to adapt published writers short stories into comics. Email: asylumpress@aol.com

find information about Frank Forte at imdb.com find horror stuff by Frank Forte

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