When you’re a small time comic book artist like me, you treasure any collaborator who is creative, open to suggestions, and pays you on time.
I know a few terrific guys like that, and one of them is the very talented Mr. Phil McClorey.
|The stunning cover of Phil McClorey's|
new Horror in the West anthology, painted
by the talented Tony Taylor
In my bizarre little life things often take on a surreal quality, and I usually have a good story about the weird ways in which I’ve met some of my friends. Like the great Ian Williams for instance.
When we were both animation students at Sheridan College, I left my car lights on one morning and returned later that day to a dead battery. Of the few remaining students still there, Ian was the only one with a car. He kindly gave me a jump-start, I thanked him profusely, and we went our separate ways… Until I did the same damn thing the very next day! Ian, in his unique, existential wisdom, decided the universe was shoving us together and that we should be friends. That was quite a leap of faith considering I must have appeared to be a scatterbrained moron, but he was right, of course, and we became very good buddies.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a cute story like that for Phil McClorey.
In fact, I really don’t recall exactly how we met. It may have been at a convention, or he may have gotten my name via the grapevine when looking for artists, I honestly don’t recall.
See, Phil’s not a loud, gregarious, annoying type of person, like me.
He’s just this nice, soft-spoken, unassuming guy who happens to craft creepy horror stories of the most gruesome and disturbing kind. Phil and I have collaborated on a few choice examples of his unnerving little yarns, and I’m still having nightmares.
You can check out those stories, Portal of Its Eye and URL Dead, and many other great tales of terror here: http://www.furiouscomics.com/
|From "Under the Mountain" Story by Phil McClorey,|
art by Jeff McComsey and Jason Copland
Now we come to the reason for this post and the strange dream that led to my inclusion. One evening about a year or so ago, I had one of my typical weirdo nightmares. I saw it as a little movie, playing out before me, like I was the camera rather than a character in the story. (I’m sure any good psychologist would consider the fact I didn’t star in my own dream to be proof of incipient insanity… and who am I to disagree?)
In the dream, I saw this cowboy, in classic Wild West gear, sitting stoically on his horse in the cold drizzle, dutifully watching over his herd. Only, it wasn’t a herd of sheep or cattle. It was something far stranger… and more tentacled…
As usual, I woke up and jotted down the weirdness for future reference.
Less than 48 hours later, I got an E-mail from Phil, telling me he was putting together an anthology of Western-themed horror stories. Freaky, right? I immediately remembered good old Ian Williams and his thoughts on how the universe pushes people together for a greater purpose. It certainly seemed like something cosmic was up that day, though one had to wonder at what arcane powers were behind that little coincidence.
|A tense moment from "Brother's Keeper"|
story by AG Pasquella, art by Brian Evinou
So, I drew up the story, Star Calf by name, and Phil included it in his new anthology Horror in the West.
And now that anthology needs some funding to be published. Please check out the Indiegogo fundraiser site here: http://www.indiegogo.com/Horror-in-the-West
And, if you can, drop a few bucks in the kitty, (In exchange for some great perks!) and help foal this eerie little tome out into the world.
As for you, Phil McClorey, thanks for counting me in on this little adventure. “Cthulhu R’lyeh!”
|Panels from "Star Calf" story and art|
by Sam Agro (That's me!)