HELLCAT PRESS - LADY'S OF HORROR TAKE A STAND IN THE WORLD OF COMIC BOOKS

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Hellcat Press What type of person do you conjure up in your mind whenever you think of an author who writes stories related to the horror genre? Do you think of someone like Stephen King, the famous horror writer whose works include The Shining and Pet Sematary? Or alternatively, do you think of someone like Frankenstein's Mary Shelley? Personally, I only think of one person, and one person alone. Lindsay, it's now over to you.


Walking Dead


1) What are your own origins, Lindsay?   I've always been into horror and the macabre. When I was younger, I was very into "kid horror" -- stuff like "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" and "Goosebumps". I also grew up in the 90s, when tons of superhero comic book characters were being turned into kick-ass cartoons. My brother and I would run home every day to watch "Batman: The Animated Series", which kind of got me into comic books, namely, the X-Men comic books. I always viewed horror and comics as very separate entities, though. To me, comics were all superheroes and Archie, whereas horror was in the realm of prose and film.

Simply Sinful
After I graduated from college, I came back to Boston and discovered the Boston Comics Roundtable: It's a group that's devoted to people who write and draw comics. Initially, I really wanted to write my own superhero comics; as I had this idea for a team of superheroes with really crappy powers called "The B-Squad", but it never really went anywhere. I sort of discovered that my real strength was in horror after writing a short script about a group of teenagers who set out to commit a random act of violence and discover that their intended target is way worse than they ever imagined.

I had gotten the idea watching one of those "Scariest Movies Ever" clipshow lists on TV. According to this list, the top two scariest movies ever were A Clockwork Orange and Hostel, which I thought was just weird (what about The Exorcist? Jaws? Rosemary's Baby?). So, I sort of combined the two into this 20-page comic script about three boys who break into a house and discover too late that the woman living there is absolutely psychotic.

I showed the script to a few people, and they were genuinely surprised that I had come up with it. I'm very petite; I'm adorable. I've been told that I look like the human equivalent of a kitten. So, I think people were just stunned that someone so harmless-looking came up with this brutal, violent script. I just like writing horror. I'm not really sure why. Part of it is the challenge, as I want to see if I can come up with something that'll scare people. Plus a big part of it is knowing that I've succeeded, that I've created something scary.

2) What inspired you to form the publishing house, ‘Hellcat Press’?   As I said before, I used to be part of the Boston Comics Roundtable. I was a member for about 7 years, and in that time, I helped the group put out about half a dozen anthologies. I had this idea for an anthology -- I wanted to put together an all-female horror comics anthology, and at the time, I thought that I would need the BCR's help. I pitched the idea at a meeting and it was a huge failure. I started my pitch with, "horror is a very male-dominated genre, and women are often under-represented", and this one guy just interrupted me by yelling, "MARY SHELLEY!", over and over again. He would not let me talk. I looked over at the guy who was moderating the meeting, and he didn't do anything.

Dark Lady
I finally managed to finish my pitch and I said, "OK, does anyone have any questions?". The moderator -- the guy in charge of the group as a whole -- raised his hand and said, "yeah, but what if I collaborate with a woman?", and the whole thing de-evolved into a giant joke. Different guys asked if they could write under a pen-name, or if they could just not tell me that they were a man, or if I was going to require proof of gender. I was so heartbroken. These were people who I had always assumed liked and respected me, and to have them basically tell me, "your all-female anthology is worthless", was devastating.

I quit the group and decided to just see if I could do the whole thing myself. My husband helped me set up a website with a call for submissions, and I received a query from a woman in Finland a few days later. I had initially thought that I needed the Boston Comics Roundtable to help me, but in the end, I realized that I could successfully put together an anthology myself. It was such a liberating moment to realize, "hey, I don't actually need help. I can do this myself".

3) Can you briefly tell us about some of your current titles?   We've got two titles out now. Firstly, "Dark Lady" is our all-female horror comics anthology. It features ten short scary stories written and illustrated by women from around the world. Our second anthology, "Simply Sinful", is a co-ed anthology about the Seven Deadly Sins. It features fourteen short scary stories written and illustrated by contributors from around the world. We're accepting pitches for a third anthology, "Tales from the Public Domain".

4) What song would you say best represents ‘Hellcat Press’ and why?   That's a tough one. My taste in music is constantly changing. Right now, I'd have to go with either No More Mister Nice Guy by Alice Cooper, or Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.




Vincent Price
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   If Vincent Price could promote Hellcat Press, that would make my day. He was such an awesome old-school horror icon. He was so suave and sophisticated, and he had that amazing voice. He also had that very erudite, learned air to him, so he'd definitely be able to take a comic book and treat it like high literature.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   A lot. I've learned a lot about self-publishing and about myself. I've always been good at multitasking and juggling schedules, but my experiences with "Dark Lady" showed me that I need to stand up for myself and occasionally be pugnacious. There's a time to be nice and there's a time to pull your claws out, and sometimes it can be hard to tell when. This whole experience has taught me that I'm more capable than I initially thought I was.

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   This will sound cliche, but my husband and my cats. My husband has been incredibly supportive of Hellcat Press. He's excited and enthusiastic about the anthologies. He's also been instrumental with Hellcat Press's website and with the layout of the anthologies.

8) If ‘HCP’ had a motto, what would it be?   Well, our official slogan is, "Hellcat Press: Home of Horrifying Anthologies". But I guess if we had a motto, it'd be something like, "Hellcat Press: if you pitch us an all-female anthology, we won't turn it into a joke".

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Now you heard the lady, so what are you waiting for? When you've got the time please check out 'Hellcat Press' at their official websitefacebook, and twitter pages. Go on. Click-Click. And trust me, those cat's don't bite.

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