WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD is a new Image horror comic set in a roadside town on the back roads of America. With WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1, written by Steve Niles, hitting comic book shelves on June 14th, we talked to Alison Sampson, artist on the series, about the creative process behind the book.

ComicsVerse (CV): First of all, could you give us a rundown of what WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD is about?

Alison Sampson (AS): A family are on holiday in their Winnebago and *accidentally* get their van stolen at a creepy fairground and then get stuck in a town full of Satanists and it is about what happens next.

CV: Alison, in the afterword of #1, Steve said he pitched WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD to you. What was it about the idea that made you say yes?

AS: It is a good story, about people, and emotional relationships, and I thought it might be fun to draw and entertaining for people to read, specifically my teenage nephew.

CV: The disturbing sacrifice & rebirth scene at the beginning of the issue really got under my skin. How essential was it to set the tone of the book as soon as possible?

AS: That’s all Steve — but you don’t have to have a book to be all horrible for it to be scary. It is more a matter of timing.

Winnebago Graveyard
Image courtesy of Image Comics.

CV: When constructing a scene as violent as that, where does the challenge lie? Where do you find that balance between horrific and gory?

AS: Not to give away the content, but the biggest challenge for me was actually the physicality of it. It is an impossible situation — easy to write, reasonable to film with a judicious bit of cutting, but almost impossible to draw as a single image — so how can you make it look like it is physically possible? Then if you *can* make it look physically possible you have achieved the horror bit and the gore is just decoration.

CV: Despite a good chunk of the issue being set on the open road, driving through the desert, there’s a claustrophobic feel to these scenes. Was that deliberate or something that evolved organically?

AS: I think it comes with the story. It is not unlike something like DAS BOOT, where there is a limited number of characters in a confined space, with some defined relationships, and that is it. Then some external tensions are put upon them and we see where the cracks emerge.

READ: Want more Image horror? We talk to the creative team behind the spine-tingling series, REGRESSION!

 CV: The residents of the fairground are the stuff of nightmares, how much work goes into character design?

AS: It depends on the character. I don’t want to give away who or what is the main character, and also don’t want to say who is — or isn’t — the monster.

CV: Steve seems to love the horror genre across all platforms, what is your relationship with horror?

AS: I think there is horror everywhere in life, as well in stories, we just make the best of what we have and try and keep the level of horror down. So to some extent, it is in the background in all my comic work. For example, when the US-based newspapers published graphic details of the bomb that had killed so many in Manchester this week, the implications and images from that were more horrific and real than any fantasy monster and they were real in the world of someone like Jessica Jones as well.

Winnebago Graveyard
Image courtesy of Image Comics.

 CV: Stéphane Paitreau’s colors add a sense of overhanging dread to the story. What is the relationship like between artist and colorist?

AS: Respectful. Stef has a great deal of experience from coloring BD [Bandes Dessinées], so he gets notes per page about what we are trying to achieve — mood, time of day, any specific requirements and so on, and then he does his thing and he is pretty much spot on every time. When we started we both took a look at each other’s previous work and identified the bits we liked and then built on that. I think also he has grown into coloring my work specifically and is getting even better.

READ: Image Comics celebrates their 25th anniversary this year! Here’s what we think are Image’s top books!

CV: Is WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD a limited series or ongoing?

AS: It is four fat issues (with a bunch of singles exclusive material).

CV: What can we expect from the rest of the series?

AS: Catharsis, horror, questions, Winnebagos. Maybe some ritual, maybe some fighting.

CV: If you could recommend one horror movie for people to see, what would it be?

AS: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (original version).

CV: Do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like to mention?

AS: Nothing to announce yet other than I’ll have a story in Shelly Bond’s upcoming FEMME MAGNIFIQUE anthology, and I’ll be launching WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD at HeroesCon this next month and people can ask me then.

Want to Find Out More?

WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1 launches on the 14th of June. You can visit their official website here. If you want to keep up-to-date with Alison’s work, you can follow her on Twitter, @alis_samp.

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!