Hello, my pretties. As promised I am bring you a taste of the sublimely odd, the uniquely retro by way of Mr. Retro Zombie himself, Jeremy Hawkins. Please give him a round of applause for putting up with my crazy questions. I got him to open up and give me some great answers to some tough questions ( I especially wanted to know if he was a Cubs or a Sox fan). And he has a book out, and I'll provide the link within this post so that you can check it out.
One of my first questions: (and this has been bugging me) Why Retro-zombie? Are you into zombies? And retro? Explain. (this should be good)
I started my zombie love a few years back and it started as a joke on my website and has turned into a monster of a site. A joke because I wanted to make famous people into the walking dead, funny thing it was more of a success than I would ever know. Now I have been working on the crossover to all things retro and that isn’t true either, I just want it to have the feel of that. What is retro anyways? I mean what does it mean to me…I have always loved things from the past sometimes the older the better. I used to do photo restoration and loved imagery of old photographs and it became my weird passion. This had nothing to do with the zombies and I said in my head… passion meets dead stuff, brain meets design and me somewhere in the middle… like two great things I invented my version of the Retro-Zombie… So less Zombies, More Retro…
I notice that you have below the title “Art is available for print” - this would be promoting a service, I'm presuming?
Most of the time I build the design for things I am working on and make the art/design bigger than it needs to be, if you see any thing made by me on my sites… there is always. I think that after I am gone someone is going to find these things I made and think… wow he was an artist, let’s sell it now that he is gone. I wanted to leave some type of legacy of being on this Earth for so many years, if were a child, book or a piece of art… so far two out of three isn’t bad. So I guess to answer your question, you can get my stuff from me… I am hoping you find something you like.
Your book is images and words. You said to me that it's like a coloring book for adults. Some are rather interesting and I see that you use skulls and skeletons on a couple of pages. These images you've layered over words, and words over images, and that's pretty cool. How could this apply to something a person needed for, say a blog, or is there something specific one could use this for as in a book, if they needed it?
I see everything as some type of art from old books to street signs I have always done this seeing life in a photograph or design. I know you are going to laugh at me but I am going to share this weird passion with you I go to World War II reenactments from time to time and I try to take different things each time I go… one year it was things of metal, next it was people, next abstract things… So this real pretty lady dressed to the nines from head to toe… I asked her if I could shoot her legs to show her stockings. I got the weirdest look from her and the several people around, I got my shot… I say it is just different. You dress up you have to think there are weirdos like me there. It wasn’t that I was trying to be dirty I just wanted the certain look.
So I got away from the question, I love meshing text with images… I think I have 75,000 images of stuff on my computer just to maybe use it someday. I have no problems designing things for people might need it; I get requests to make something special for banners/badges/headers. People get the wrong idea that I design just monster stuff, not true… here is just some of the things I am able to do, it’s a great feeling when it’s not spooky. I am not a monster, really… http://ebookdesigns.blogspot.com/. I am what I call a retro artist, I love making things look old or make old things new… did I mention I am not a monster?
Pssst: He is willing to work for you! Prices are very reasonable! He does ebook covers and you can hire him for creating banners, badges, and blog headers. Some of these are familiar to me. Go and check them out!
I see throughout that in some cases you take a familiar line, a cliché, and skewed it either slightly, or have fashioned a new meaning from it, and you've arranged these into poems. I write poetry too and know it takes me a while to come up with lines and then sometimes they just slam into me and I have to get it all down or I lose it. How do you go about this?
I love some of these lines. [a quote from “Fear” on page 10]:“Knives steal wounded blood” and I find that when you read “Monsters” you have drawn from life—“borrow our tools from neighbors” You realize the monsters are everywhere in real life, and they are us. I tend to agree.
It’s funny I love words not for just the meaning of what they are suppose to mean, but what they could mean. I like to take a meaning and reverse it, if to scare you, make you think or at the very least pull a reaction. I am not even sure sometimes what I am going to get when I start, but I guess that is everyone. Sometimes it rolls like water so fast I cannot keep up, like a dream where you have to remember key words or it is lost. I sometimes just fill ideas around the key words and make something more than it was ever meant to be. I will use the alphabet sometimes to in my head by giving a subject its own letter example: Gnome… A is…, B is…, C is… and fill it in until the letter Z. Monsters are everywhere and it’s just a matter to look at things on an angle, I wrote a piece called “Paper Clips” where the meaning is you can hurt someone… maybe kill them with the smallest object. Just the way you use it, we see evil… but can you simplify it to innocence?
I LOVE that answer! I've experimented with words too, in my poetry. You get hooked so easily when you do this chaotic thing with words. Cool!
Tell us a little bit about Howlin' Wolf Records and how you became involved in this blog and promotions?
The creator of Howlin’ Wolf Records, Wall Crumpler, is great person, as him and I are always trying to figure out how we became friends. We just are and we are both happy how things turned out, I started covering score releases that came out from the label. I started asking questions to him, the composers, actors of the films being composed and finally the film’s directors. It opened up to me doing some designs for them to help promote their stuff as it got released and over the next several years I wanted to do more. I approached them to be their update site, but didn’t want to lose what I have accomplished so far. I will be still doing the same types of reviews, music and interviews… just with a little more backing from this independent label. We shook our virtual hands and with a little design… name change we are working together. It opens some better doors for several reasons… you are no more just a blog covering stuff; you are a site being backed by a real place. Hopefully together we can share our common passion for music, books, art, films and talented people across the world. My idea is of Pinocchio from wood to a little boy and finally an adult… where wood he is now.
Rules of this is I give you a choice and you pick one. Ready? Here goes...
FORD or CHEVY?
Chevy, all the way… I drive a Chevy S-10…
COKE or PEPSI?
Cherry Coke, but the kind where they put the cherry juice in it.
CUBS or WHITE SOX?
Baseball… who cares about baseball? Go Bulls! :)
VAMPIRES or ZOMBIES? (trick question)
VAMPIRES or DEMONS? (I think he's sweating now)
This is tough, but I say Vampires!
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER or TRUE BLOOD?
BATMAN or SUPERMAN?
Superman! We have a family tribute to my brother’s son Alex who died a couple years back and he was strong man confined to a wheelchair his whole life. He was strong like Superman we always said, also been a fan for years… let me show you my collection.
Okay these are arbitrary questions relating to vampires:
Which would you go to see:
Vampires playing baseball
Zombies playing Quiddich?
If we are talking about “Harry Potter” Quidditch I am so going to say this, because I feel the first option fits into the modern eyes on the vampire lore. Zombies playing any type of sport would sometimes feel like watching golf, but from 200 feet away from the action.
Which do you prefer?
Sparkly vampires or non-sparkly vampires?
Non-Sparkly… I think it is an insult to the world of vampires from the goth to the writings, because they all work so hard to make it a statement. Not just some crazy attempt to sell some type of watered down soda pop to a bunch of teenie-boppers. I would like to call them “Suckers”… no insult intended. Now I am basing this off the movies, not the books… my wife says that the books are much better.