David Murdoch – A Steady Diet of HorrorWednesday, March 28, 2012
We nabbed an interview with illustrator David Murdoch about working with Sideshow, his artistic process and his first great horror publication.
Welcome sir! Let’s see, can you start by telling us a bit about your background in art and coming to work with Sideshow?
I can give you that generic, “I’ve always been drawing” answer, and it’d be true. Roughly 12 years ago it started to take some direction for me. I was in school for interactive graphic design and during that period I got a good sense of where I was headed. Like most inspiring tales of artists, it had nothing to do with what I was in school for.
Around that time I had my art on a lot of forums and ended up developing a relationship with David Igo, the lead concept artist at Sideshow in an online community he had started. I’ve since been invited to work on print pieces for a few of Sideshow’s Premium Format Figures – Jason, Freddy, Colossus and a few others I don’t think I’m allowed to reveal yet ;)
Who or what would you say are your biggest artistic influences?
Well Frank Frazetta, Simon Bisley, and Ashley Wood are three talents I’d say have easily had the greatest impact on what I want or expect from myself.
Ah, we are definitely big fans of those guys as well! Can you tell us a little about your artistic process, and what it’s like collaborating with Sideshow?
I usually start a piece going right for the finished product. I lay down a lot of color and texture and go from there. The process is pretty loose. It’s all digital. I enjoy the energy I get to put in to my work, and collaborating with Sideshow has really given me the opportunity to demand more from myself artistically. I think I finish each project with that growth. My involvement depends on the project. Jason and Freddy were start to finish, whereas for Colossus Kris Anka did the sketch and I handled colors.
So we hear you are a huge horror buff. How has that impacted you and your work?
Absolutely. The Jason and Freddy pieces, obviously, are dark and moody. Horror affords me the opportunity to work with a little more visceral energy than other genres. I grew up on a pretty steady diet of horror and fell in love with big, brutish types of killer characters like Leather Face and Jason Voorhees early on. It’s something that I’ve always felt attached to, and enjoyed. It’s nice to be able to express myself within those licenses.
Growing up, your parents were okay with the “steady diet of horror”?
Not so much. I got away with seeing a lot of horror by watching a daytime series, Commander USA’s Groovy Movies. The rest of my horror intake happened at sleeper-overs, where the other kid had “cool” parents. Until the day I discovered that my parents had never placed an age restriction on our account at the local video store…
It’s funny, as much I love the genre I’d never once thought I’d be writing and illustrating my own horror story. My first book, Lucas, is going to be out in April and sure enough, it’s horror.
What is Lucas all about, where did this story come from?
Lucas is a culmination of all of the things I wanted out of a horror, and all of the things that go through my head when I’m watching something and thinking, “Why did they do that, why did they go in there!? Why didn’t they pick that up and smash his head in!?” Developing some disdain for cliches in horror was what began to brew the concept behind Lucas. It’s the tale of a slasher that’s really the antithesis to everything that’s inspired him. His character was my epiphany in horror.
So then Lucas is an origin story?
No. Without giving too much away, there’s a real familiarity to the backwoods setting and rural family characters Lucas opens with. But rather than go in and tell an origin story, it moves along painting the picture of this scenario revolving around “The Family,” carried out over a night. Lucas shows up, blindsiding them. He seeps in to their routine and destroys everything. We meet him as an embodied judgment, that force of nature that tears through our comfort zone and leaves us sorting through the debris.
Where can our readers find out more about Lucas or any other projects you’re working on?
You can always follow me on my art blog or on deviantart. I’m also currently running a Lucas fan-art contest on Satellite Soda, an art community and forum board. It ends April 9th with some very cool prizes. If anyone out there has an interest in participating or following along be sure to check it out here!