Q: What made you decide to create GIRLS & CORPSES magazine?
A severe brain injury and skull fracture when I was ten, which killed me -- and then I was brought back. It's is the name of my first book "My Brain Escapes Me".I think it allowed me see death from the other side and I became quite fascinated with the subject. There was Life Magazine but never Death Magazine. It is the second most major event of our life -- and Girls and Corpses Magazine sprinkles it with sugar (er... Chloride of Lime) so it smells a little nicer. Also, I have an affinity for comedy and horror -- or as I call it "humorror." There is a huge market for horror and everyone likes hot chicks, so I thought why not put the best of both world's together, like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and it's worked like a dream... er... nightmare. Movies like "Shawn Of The Dead" probably best represent this blend of humor and horror I dig. I also felt it the time was ripe to spoof on men's magazines like Maxim and Stuff, who place beautiful girls next to anything and everything to help sell it. So, I thought, why not corpses? And the magazine quickly took off with landing features in: Maxim, Stuff, Penthouse, Bizarre, FHM, Rue Morgue and may others. I've also guested on radio show across the country such as Playboy Radio and Maxim Radio. This corpse had definitely got legs -- albeit bony ones.
Q: Your co-publisher was killed by a Grizzly Bear?
Unfortunately true. Stephan Miller was filming a commercial at his cousin Randy's animal training facility, Predators In Action, up in Big Bear. He was accidentally bit on the neck by the bear, who he had helped raise from a cub, Rocky, who pierced his carotid artery. Since the animal training facility was in the mountains, the paramedics were too far away to save him. Very tragic. Stephan Miller first met me at Haunt-X and Fangoria conventions where I was an exhibitor. At that time, I had completed fifteen online issues of Girls and Corpses Magazine and was seeking someone to help me co-finance a print magazine. Stephan came in on the business end and left the creative to me -- and he helped us both achieve something unique, risky and original. I think about Stephan often. I'll never forget the day the first box of G&C magazines arrived from the printer. We waited at his house all day because the mail truck was delayed. But his face lit up when he saw the first print issue. Stephan was a truly force of life and it's hard to believe he's gone. He left behind his wife Elizabeth and two young kids. I've written several editorials about his untimely death in the magazine. You can read more about it here. Stephan and I used to joke that the first one of us who died would be on the magazine cover. He won... and lost.
Q: Your magazine covers everything...from jokes, to zombies to comics to interviews with mainstream and not so mainstream
So many it's hard to pick! I have many interviews morticians, embalmers, cremators and I really like, such as with 1-800-Autopsy. Also, the interviews with horror stars: Sid Haig, Scout Taylor Compton, Danielle Harris and Sherry Moon Zombie The interview our corpsepondant Hollie Stevens did with Gidget Gein who used to be Marilyn Manson's bass player was great. It was Gein's last interview before he recently died of a heroin overdose. He worked for a time as a body bagger, picking up the deceased, which is the focus of the interview. I also have employed writer Jaye Beldo, who has written several interesting articles for us, such as next issue's "How To Mummify Yourself" and last issues "Brain Eating Kuru." Also, Kevin Klemm, our grave digger, snagged a great interview with "Nekromantik" director Jorg Buttgereit. There are so many cool interviews and articles in the magazine there are too may to name. But you can read many of them here in our back issues
Q: Who is your target audience?
Anyone who can breath and others who can't. We get all types of readers: From cops to inmates, soldiers in Iraq to high school girls, priests to atheists, teens to my 88 year old mother. The magazine has something for everyone -- who has an open mind and isn't afraid to try new things. Some folks can't get past the title. But it's not a magazine about necrophilia, but rather a comedic and sometimes serious look at death and life in its most extreme. We get 99% positive mail but I always hope and pray for negative letters so I can print them in our Letters-To-The-Deaditor
Q: Is there anything that you wouldn't print?
Yes -- believe it or not, I do sometimes draw the line. We aren't Bizarre Magazine, so I don't like to show actual people heads crushed by tractors, or real beheadings and such. The comedy in Girls and Corpses walks a fine line and may sometimes cross it -- but that's the risk being original and pushing boundaries. Oh, I don't like to print things or artwork promoting real murderers and serial killers. Also, thing involving young kids. Though we do do a piece called Kids andCorpses, which you'd have to see to understand. But just those two words together kept me of KROQ Radio in Los Angeles. We have also been banned in several prisons in Wisconsin and Kansas. It's funny because they can't stop heroin and cocaine from getting into prison and we still get letters from prisoners -- so someone they are getting into their cells -- so I imagine Girls and Corpses Magazine is slipping into prison rolled up a tube up someone's ass. Which is really he best way to receive the magazine.
Q: I thought it was interesting that with your review of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST you had a problem with the animal killings....are you a Vegan?
Nope, I like meat, the bloodier the better. Actually, that review was written by now deceased partner, Stephan Miller, who used to work with his cousin with animals in the movies, so he didn't like that animals were really killed in Cannibal Holocaust. A turtle in that movie reportedly has its shell removed while still alive. Stephan loved animals and hated to see them abused for a movie. But his love for wild animals sure didn't save him from his fate.
Q: Your mother was an actress on the ADAM'S FAMILY? What memories do you have about all that?
I remember going to the set with her and meeting Lurch ("Youuuu Rannnggggg?"). I was about seven and I had to climb up a ladder to shake his hand. The set was amazing! I visited a lot of sets with my mother and also my father who was a comedy writer for such shows as All In The Family.
Q: Who is the one celebrity you met that was completely different than your expectations?
John Ritter. I thought he would be a really nice guy and the media would have you believe he was a perfect guy. I worked with him on the movie Problem Child and he was kind of, well, a dick. I know he's dead and was beloved by everyone. But when you work with some actors you find out what you don't want to know, that they aren't always the character they portray on film or in the media. But I also worked with Lou Gosset Jr and he was a gem. And within the first week he knew the name of every crew member. It's strange but very often the bad guys in the movies are the nicest people. But I was a studio Unit Publicist for a decade and there are many stars you would not trust to walk your dog. I wrote a true story about a certain Academy Award winner I worked with called, "Her Shit Does Stink." Check it our in our winter issue. It's a real stinker.
Q: A lot of people, who aren't into the horror genre, think that horror and what it includes is glorifying death--and while that might be true to a certain extent, I find that horror films are really quite life-affirming. What is your take on this?
I think people go to horror films for the same reason that people bungy jump, or free-fall from airplanes (as I have done). That jolt of fear makes you feel alive in a way normal life cannot deliver. But the reason there are so many bad horror films now is that it's such an easy genre to replicate. Take some teen girls and throw them in the woods with a crazed killer or monster. Blood, guts and a topless scene and you have a flick. I get twenty of these in our office each week to review. Most of them suck. The horror movies I like are great stories like Jaws, Aliens, The Exorcist and to an extent the early Saws and even Hostel. The film must have a clever premise or what's the point of writing the script? But if there is comedy with the horror, then you've really got me hooked. I liked Slither, for example, for that reason and I was surprised how much I liked Zombie Strippers starring Jenna Jameson. You should run out and rent that one. I even like some of the Troma films because they take gross-out to a higher art. It's like a fireworks show with vomit, blood and feces.
Q: What's in store for future issues?
More death, comedy and mayhem. We like to do gimmicks -- like our 3D issue, noir issue and blacklight poster. Stay tuned for our scratch-and-sniff corpse issue. Actually, I don't know what I'm doing until the last moment and Girls and Corpses is a fluid, ever evolving magazine. We just keep getting deader and deader. So, please check us out at: http://girlsandcorpses.com/