Netherworld Comics are so good (and cute)!
Recently I was lucky enough to interview Lenny Bugéy – Creator of Netherworld Comics. An artist, fellow horror lover, and film maker, Lenny began making films at a young age and loves bringing stories to life. Especially the dark ones. More recently he has been creating Netherworld Comics and the stories of the unholy monsters that haunt the Netherworld.
Welcome Lenny, it’s great to have this opportunity to ask about your work
I want to start by saying thank you, Kate, for talking Netherworld and filmmaking with me, they are some of my favorite topics.
What got you started drawing comics? Can you remember the first one (and do you still have it)?
I started drawing comics at a young age and was always sketching something any chance I could get, like most kids. I’ve always been a big fan of Looney Tunes and The Simpsons, and would try to draw characters from those shows. When I was about nine or ten, I would get how-to books from the school library on drawing cartoon characters and I remember being determined to draw this one cartoon army guy sleeping under a tree on my own, without following the instructions. I focused hard on the details and with some practice it came out looking pretty close to the original. This motivated me to build on that and start creating my own characters to tell the stories I wanted to tell. My grandma was always a huge supporter of my creative side so she kept the drawing and I think she may still have it today.
Who are your influences? What did you read growing up? And do you think your love of horror fuels your comics or is it sometimes the other way around?
I was always interested in dark themes and read Spawn a lot growing up, the animated series was great too. I’m a big fan of Matt Groening also and the Treehouse of Horror episodes of The Simpsons were always my favorite. Of course, The Addams Family is great and Charles Addams’ comics were a big influence on me starting Netherworld because he could say so much with one panel while being incredibly clever and grim at the same time. My love of horror definitely fuels the comic and my writing. I learned from Hitchcock that nothing good ever happens in a Dutch angle and it’s those nuances you learn from the greats that make you a better artist. You’ll see a lot of references to those who inspire me in Netherworld and my other work.
What is your process for creating your comics? Do you start with the story or the character?
Creativity usually strikes for me at about 3 a.m. and once I have a concept in mind it all starts in my sketchbook. I typically begin with an idea for a story and let that dictate the characters involved. Once the sketches are roughed out I start the digital layout. I work in black and white for the comic to keep a minimalist approach with the artwork so the focus stays on the characters and story. This is also intentional because, even though it’s horror based, Netherworld is really a throwback to simpler times and the Sunday comics we all grew up reading.
Do you have a favourite out of the characters you’ve created (I promise I won’t tell the others)?
There’s a bit of myself in each of my characters so it’s hard to choose a favorite. The main character, Dev, is probably the most fun to work with simply because he’s the devil and it’s interesting to think about what he might do or say in certain situations. I’m about to release a few more comics soon, which will introduce Eddie who’s a gorehound like me and I’m having fun writing dialogue for the road kill rabbit named Hopper that we’ll meet in a couple issues who is a real smartass.
What does the future look like for the Netherworld comic?
My goal for the comic is to keep telling funny, twisted stories with the characters and putting out comics for people to enjoy. I also do some animation with my work and I plan to release some issues as motion comics then later produce Netherworld as an animated series.
You mentioned you were working on some films, could you tell us more about that?
I just wrapped editing a feature length psychological thriller and did some Scott Pilgrim style vfx for a music video. I’m working on a script right now actually that will go into production as soon as it’s complete.
I like to explore what’s in our nightmares with my stories. I had written a horror film about a year ago that deals with the loss of innocence for a young girl as she has the unfortunate experience of watching her family get murdered over the course of one night. I love how this script came together and I’ve been developing it further to take this story and characters in a new direction. The original script was a stark zombie/collapse of civilization piece and I’ve got something in mind that widens the concept in a way that I think true horror fans will really appreciate.
What has been your biggest hurdle?
I would say time mostly. It seems like there’s never enough time to do it all but that’s never stopped me from burning the midnight oil.
If someone wanted to do what you do what piece of advice would you give them?
Never stop drawing and watch every horror film you can, especially indies and B movies, any film at all. I developed a habit years ago of watching horror flicks late at night, whatever I stumbled on surfing TV or the web, and I would study them. I’d take a chance on movies I’d never heard of and be amazed by the gore and how horror writers and directors could innovate such imaginative scenes and creatures.
What book, movie, and comic would you recommend and why?
Stephen King’s IT was one of the first horror novels I can remember reading and being completely fascinated/terrified by descriptions of the clown. The book is over a thousand pages long so it took me forever to get through but I highly recommend that for anyone who doesn’t mind not sleeping at night.
Movie recommendations are tough for me because there are so many great ones out there. I actually watch and re-watch films over and over for the same reasons people sometimes do with books. Rear Window (1954) is a classic for suspense and, if you haven’t seen them, stream Let the Right One In (2008) and Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) right away if you’re a filmmaker. There’s so much depth to the storytelling as well as the unique characters and monsters del Toro creates in his films.
For comics, I got hooked on The Walking Dead television series in the first season then started reading the comic books mainly to see how it all started. I love Charlie Adlard’s illustrations in those comics and how Robert Kirkman was able to extend Romero’s zombie to show the human drama that would exist well beyond the apocalypse.
Who are you?
My life is reflected in my work and I’m simply someone with a passion for storytelling whatever the medium may be. It takes so many talented artists supporting each other to create great comics or films and these are the people who inspire me. I enjoy bringing stories to life and hope to one day inspire the next generation of storytellers with my work the way others have done for me.
Reels: http://bugey.wordpress.com (go check the show reel out, I’m loving the eyeball through the paper 🙂 )
More about Netherworld comics:
Comic site: http://netherworldtoon.wordpress.com
Horror and Fantasy Author – Also writing as K.T. McQueen. Love Western Horror, cowboy boots, my cactus Collin, & my Demon Cat.
Moths – I hate moths, the way they flutter at your face!