I'd like to introduce you to John Sowder, the artist behind the cover art for the Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2017 anthology.
His answers will be in purple:
How long have you been doing art?
When I was young my mother put a pencil in my hand and challenged me to draw anything I see. So it's been a pretty long time!
Do you have a preferred media?
I like traditional Western comic books, so I like to work with pen and ink.
What drew you to the Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror?
Jennifer Miller contacted me, No doubt through my work with writer Rick Powell. I don't recall off hand but I'm certain that was our connection.
What inspires your art?
A lot of the same things that inspired me when I was a kid: Universal and Hammer horror films, Japanese monsters, Corman Poe movies, DC and Marvel comics from the 70s. But mainly other artist or other creative folks who share an enthusiasm with the things that are close to my heart.
Can you describe a time when you first realized that creating was something that you absolutely had to do?
Yes, taking it back to my childhood once again … in grade school I couldn't help but draw during class. It's something I did so often that my teachers just decided to leave me alone and let me doodle. .
What's your favorite thing you've ever created?
I'm usually not happy with my work in general. Basically the stuff I've done for the LOVECRAFT E-ZINE looks good and my cover art for Rick Powell's story TRUE NATURE actually reflected what I was going for: part Jack Davis/ classic E.C. horror comic and part Charles Burn. And I like the covers I created for Divine Authority Comic's MIDNIGHT WARRIORS annual 1 and Drew Edward's HALLOWEEN MAN: AMERICAN NIGHTMARE. I like to think my best work is before me still. I hope it is anyway.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven't yet?
Film making, which I have dabbled with in the past. But also writing for audio dramas. I'm a fan of old time radio shows like NIGHTFALL and QUIET PLEASE and this type of format has made a comeback with podcasts like WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE and PSEUDOPOD.
I've asked authors, so I'll ask you too. Do you Google yourself?
I haven't done that in maybe ten years or so! I used to dominate the google search. Not anymore though.
What's the hardest thing about being an artist?
Lots of things actually! Not having the time to do everything you want to do. Wanting to make comics or draw full time, but realizing whatever money I make doesn't equal my bi-monthly check from my real job. Not being able to keep up with digital technology as it relates to art. Like I said, lots of things!
Please tell us where we can find more of your work?
You can check out Drew Edward's comic HALLOWEEN MAN on comixology, and Midnight Warriors or Divine Authority Presents though Indy Planet. You can find various Rick Powell stories I did cover art for on either Amazon or lulu. And, of course, there is the LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF HORROR 2017 edition, which I'm looking forward to checking out simply for the pleasure of reading it.
Thank you so much for your time, John! I look forward to this year's anthology. Have a Happy Halloween, everyone! Stay safe and have a great rest of your week!