(Courtesy of Source Point Press)
From New York Comic Con 2017, Villain Media has an exclusive interview with the creative team behind Twiztid: Haunted High-Ons (Source Point Press). Twiztid, the horrorcore rap group from Detroit, Michigan, quickly realize being ghost hunters isn’t exactly what it’s cracked up to be, especially when the supernatural finds them.
As we previously mentioned, Jamie Madrox and Monoxide are carving out a comfortable side-gig for themselves as fake ghost hunters. The horrorcore rap duo happens to stumble upon a routine house call. Not only do they find themselves discovering a ghost, there’s also a killer demon to boot. Will Jamie and Monoxide be able to survive the night inside a haunted house? Or will they eventually become food for the demon lurking inside?
During the recent New York Comic Con, Villain Media spoke to writer Dirk Manning, artist Marianna Pescosta, and colorist Alessandro de Fornasari about bringing the music of Twiztid into their comic book realm. We discuss how the comic book project started out, the inspiration behind the illustrations, and their upcoming projects.
VILLAIN MEDIA: How did this project come about?
DIRK MANNING: Twiztid High Ons came about originally from Gary Reed. He was in touch with Twiztid and things like that. They wanted to write a comic book. Gary published my book Write or Wrong: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Comics. He knew I had a background in music journalism. He brought it to my attention. I ended up talking to Twiztid. They gave me the rough idea on a story. I plotted it out. They liked it and here we are. I knew just the artists I wanted, Marianna [Pescosta] and Alessandro [de Fornasari]. I knew this would match their style perfectly. And now we are here at New York Comic Con with the debut issue!
VM: Tell me about the inspiration behind the artwork. How much did Twiztid’s music have an influence?
MARIANNA PESCOSTA: I listened to all their albums while drawing. It was hard the first time to draw them. But then, after awhile, I learned how to draw them properly. It was really nice!
VM: Because the story is set inside a haunted house, what references did you use for the color scheme?
ALESSANDRO DE FORNASARI: For references, I looked up a lot of Marvel Comics from the ‘80s. I took those palettes and desaturated them. I took some separation out of them. Basically that was it! The style I used was a mixture of realistic coloring and shading, that classical Silver Age…
MP: Pop color!
ADF: Yeah, pop color!
VM: Audiences have become accustomed to the supernatural after seeing The Ring and Ghostbusters. Tell me about bringing the ghost to life in the pages.
DM: One of the main characters in the book is a ghost. The way Marianna and Alessandro drew and colored a translucent ghost, it’s probably one of my favorite parts of the book!
ADF: That was fun!
VM: Tell me about the theme of duality within the dialogue. Jamie Madrox and Monoxide are complete opposites in the story. One is quiet and calm, while the other comes off as loud and rambunctious.
DM: They manage their brand well! Everyone in entertainment has their own persona. And they were very clear about what they wanted their persona to be. That was kind of my job as a writer to go through and help extrapolate on that, push that out there. They’re a lot of fun to write as characters. I’m a fan of the music! It was a lot of fun to push it out there and crank it up there to 11!
VM: Tell me about the character designs for Jamie Madrox and Monoxide.
MP: I used a lot of references from pictures of them. And then I just found my own style. I just hoped it would work!
VM: The tone is grounded in the beginning. When the ghost shows up, that’s when the color scheme starts to change. Tell me about making the difference between the two worlds.
ADF: Well yes, we used light, warm tones, and atmosphere, for the first part of the story. Because basically,the two guys are chilling out in their shop. They’re fake ghost hunters. “We’re scamming people. We’re making money out of them. It’s nice and fun!” When the real sh*t comes up, the tone gets darker and darker because a real demon shows up! That’s where the real fun is! The last part of the story takes place at night. So we matched the colors accordingly.
VM: What other projects are you working on now?
DM: Tales of Mr. Rhee Volume 4 launches Friday the 13th. There’s a strong possibility you’ll see more Twiztid as well. Check out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and DirkManning.com, my official website! Sign up for the newsletter there! Big things are popping! Whoop! Whoop!
MP: Well I’m waiting for something about…
DM: Whoop! Whoop!
MP: [Laughs] Yeah I can’t say more!
ADF: Yeah, I’m a musician. Then a comic colorist. I have a chance to to make some additions, make some [guitar] picks for Twiztid. We’ll see how it goes!
– By Jorge Solis