Illustrator Michael Boeckelmann Re-Animates NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES with His Fresh VHS Imprint Anubis Video, and Plans to Unleash Another Slab of Analog Excellence this Weekend at SEVERED 2014 with SLAUGHTER OF THE RATS!
There he is! MB in the flesh lookin' mean and serene.LM: Tell us a little bit about yourself, Michael. What’s the trajectory of your creative history, and your art? MB: I broke into comics right out of high school, in late 93, I believe? It was for a local company here in St. Louis. From there I launched a new company and book in the late 90’s with another VHS cover artist Tim Tyler. The book was called Stain and we had a little bit of success with it and some bad luck as well and it was over within two years. From there I had some major wrist surgery in 2002, had to learn to draw again and I would say from about 2007 / 08 up until now I’ve been working on re-launching Stain and I’ve spent the last year and a half doing VHS art primarily for King of the Witches and Uneasy Archive and have also been a regular at Virus Comix doing covers, pinups, and pages for my good artist and friend Ju Gomez on a book called Viral.
A most excellent comic cover executed by Mike. Drawin' the eyeballin' callin', mang!Your illustrations rip, dude. Who are some of your influences, and whose stuff are you looking at now that’s dropping your jaw? Thanks, Josh. There’s many to list, but I would say my major influences are Alfred Alcala, Virgil Finlay, Reed Crandall, John Totleben, Tim Vigil, Neal Adams, Kazuma Kaneko and Pablo Marcos. As far as guys right now that amaze me, Marco Rudy is really incredible. J.H. Williams III, Phil Jimenez, Jesus Saiz and Jomar Bulda. Hell, I look at Tim Vigil’s recent work and I’m always stunned at what he’s doing. He’s on a whole other level; it’s really disappointing to me that the comic industry has black balled him. He deserves so much more recognition as a modern master. NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES (aka HORROR OF THE ZOMBIES) , the third entry in the Blind Dead series under our belt and the Severed exclusive SLAUGHTER OF THE RATS coming up. I wanted to do something more artistic from the standard packaging and design… hopefully that shows and people will dig it. SEVERED SHORT FILM and VHSCU CONVENTION, which is a super-obscure and awesome Aussie flick called NIGHT OF FEAR. What inspired you to go for this flick, and to unleash it under a different title? I think this is a film that deserves a lot more attention then what it’s gotten. It was considered one of Australia’s first horror films. It predated TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and it’s obviously an inspiration to Hooper. It’s just got so much mood, atmosphere, and a small amount of sleaze to add to it. Plus, Terry Bourke shot this in such a creative way, the guy did some crazy good films including INN OF THE DAMNED and LADY STAY DEAD. I always loved going to the video stores in the late 80’s early 90’s and being duped into renting a film that you had no idea you’ve seen on a different label and under a different name. I’m sort of just paying homage to that with renaming this title.
The gutsy and grisly art for the upcoming analog assault from Anubis Video premiering this weekend at Severed. That flesh is SCREAMIN!Can you tell us a little bit about the charity auction you did for a special NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES tape? I did a special 1 / 1 cover to help a pretty cool little rescue group in North Carolina, The Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary. Blind Cat - Blind Dead… it kind of went hand in hand. We raised $150 which helped one of their cats with chemo treatments. I’m big into animal rescue and stray and feral cat rescue. My fiancé and I helped a local group earlier this year called Tenth Life, as well. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I can do something to help others and one of my goals with each release is to do a special charity auction for an organization. I would challenge more companies out there to do the same and find someone to help or give back to.
Some sick-as-shit pen shredding from Mike for the KOTW VHS release of DEVIL MOON. Crazy Rad.What is it about the VHS format that does it for you, Michael? Why do you want to put movies on tape again? It’s the nostalgia factor for me. I was fortunate to have quite a few Mom and Pop video stores
Another flesh-shreddin' illustration from Mike for the KOTW VHS release of LONG PIGS. Dig it.What are your thoughts on the resurgence in VHS love, and the community that’s developed from it? The community for the most part has been great. Earl Kess really created something special
A preview illustration for Mike's upcoming collaboration on the film THE HOUSE OF EVIL.Your output has really been cranked up recently, man. What gets you inspired to illustrate? Particular tunes? Fantastic flicks unreeling in the background? OTHER THINGS? I could go on and on about music. If I had to pick a few bands at the top of the list is Jex Thoth, Blood Ceremony, Kadavar, and Danava. I’m heavy into Doom and Stoner music. Movies, Jean Rollin always helps with mood and inspiration and I guess I’ll let the cat out of the bag on this one. I have Perry Mason on a lot while I work. My secret is out. I always find it soothing to have a stocky Raymond Burr in the background!
Some raw-as-hell artwork for a special edition of KOTW's PARTY LEVITATION. Watch out now!What’s next for you, Mike? You already have another ANUBIS title in the works? It’s going to be a busy summer. The next Anubis release is titled BLOOD OF THE YETI. It will be ready in a few months and I’ll be announcing more soon. Outside of that, I’m wrapping up the finishing touches to my own book Stain Resurrected which is a horror anthology title, and I’m contributing the most I ever had to Viral issue # 4. I’m also doing a special comic for Massilisano Cerchi’s THE HOUSE OF EVIL. That book and film will be killer. I get to draw some really cool creatures. I love the fact I can work between comic and VHS: my two passions combined! Anything else you’d like to shout out to all the Tapeheads eyeballin’ the blog? Just thanks for taking the time to read this and check out Anubis. It’s great to have a community like this that continues to grow. There’s a lot of great people out there in it. You have a younger generation catching up and getting into it, too, and it’s been great to see… and also I want to thank you, Josh, for doing Lunchmeat and giving us collectors a groovy magazine and site to read where we can discover so many new tapes and companies.
Hey, it’s my pleasure, man! It truly is amazing to see all of the Tapeheads emerge and converge on a daily basis, and you can bet your Allied Artists side-loading copy of THE SORCERERS that you can stay tuned to every aspect of Lunchmeat Land to keep you analog updated on all things VHS past and present… And you know this, MANNNN. And one other thing you should know is to groove on over to Anubis Video’s Official Facebook page to give them some love and stay in stride with all of their analog endeavors. I can’t wait to see which tape they pull from the tomb next.