EXCLUSIVE UNCUT INTERVIEW: Jeff Zornow Talks ‘Moon Lake’ And Gives Us A Scene TOO Graphic For Print!

We are here once again to discuss one of the many gloriously gory and disturbing stories in the “Moon Lake” anthology by Archaia. This time I got a chance to interview Jeff Zornow about his artwork in the story “Desensitized Deidre”. Jeff was nice enough to give Bloody-Disgusting a look at some behind the scenes artwork that was censored before it could make the final cut, and of course that means I am going to shove it in your face in a completely uncensored interview.

WARNING: The Following Interview Contains Exclusive, Never Before Seen Images, Which Have Been Deemed Too ‘Disturbing’ For Print Previously. Viewer Discretion Is Strongly Advised. Oh…And There’s Some Strong Language Too. Have Fun.

Johnny_Trouble“Jeff, thanks for taking the time to talk with us here at BD. I am pleased to announce that this will be the first completely fucking uncensored interview I have written for Bloody-Disgusting. (And possibly the last.) THEoDEAD and I have decided that because you and Dan Fogler have been nice enough to give us an exclusive look an uncensored image from “Desensitized Deidre” that I don’t need to censor myself. (So kids, if you get offended, quit reading, or start crying.)

First and foremost, how did you team up with R. H. Stavis for this contribution to the “Moon Lake” anthology, also how did you two get signed on to do the anthology in the first place?”

Jeff“R.H. Stavis had already been signed up and had the script underway when I was called in for Moon Lake.”

Johnny_Trouble“What was the toughest part of creating the art for this story?”

Jeff“Hmmm I can’t honestly say I had a tough time with any of it. Drawing over the top gory kills is something I’m known for, though drawing a cartoon world filled with smiling suns and cuddly puppies and cartoon animals dancing among happy rainbows, was a challenge. I wouldn’t say it was tough, the whole thing was fun to illustrate. I did however create a new style of coloring for myself in this story. Something more painterly and akin to some of my metal album cover work. I really went all out on this story with trying to show off the best of my abilities.”

Johnny_Trouble“In the story, Deidre’s world gets split into two very different places. Your art presents us with the real world, which is full of emo kids, shallow preppy assholes, and Deidre’s lame-as-fuck boyfriend, while Deidre’s imagination sees a world that would give Walt Disney’s corpse an erection chalked full of happy animals that shit glitter and fart sunshine. This being said, was it mainly you who created these two worlds, or did Stavis set down any very specific guidelines?”

Jeff“Stavis, had no real guidelines, the script was fairly loose. The dialog was all there but the action always had room for me to mess with it. Creating the look and atmosphere of this story was all on me. And now that the deed is done I’ll let you in on the fact that I had to re-work bits of the story here and there, while I drew it.

But as far as creating the world of Moon Lake, and Deidre’s candyland/psycho world, were both fun to draw. I’m originally from a place with many local lake towns, ( Michigan), my parents have a lake cottage, so drawing that type of small mid-west town is always fun for me.

Drawing and designing Diedre’s Candyland psycho world was a whole new challenge to me. As so far Ive not been asked to do something so cartoony and cuddly hahah. I just drew on inspiration from old Saturday morning cartoons, old Nintendo games, and some current goofy stuff. Blasted the Monkees on my itunes while I illustrated all the cartoony stuff. I really never have illustrated anything like this book, so it was pretty rad.”

Johnny_Trouble“Honestly, the part where Deidre sticks the huge lollipop into the teddy bear’s mouth would have to be one of my favorite comic book character kills to date. Who came up with this idea?”

Jeff“That kill was in Stavis’s original script. The kill sequence that mostly bears my mark and influence was the double page spread of Deirdre vs the police S.W.A.T. force. The description was basically she’s killing them all, but with MACHINE GUNS, have fun. Hahaha So, the first thing I thought of was, “fuck guns….swords are way cooler” So I proposed the idea that if Deirdre kills all those gun-wielding cops, it would make her badass level jump through the roof! Dan and Archaia agreed. So then I decided to take on the task of making it a multiple image flow of Deirdre jumping through all the cops with her double swords performing some wicked kung fu on them all and slicing them all up. Choreographing that sword sequence was my favorite part of the story. I love doing action scenes, and have always secretly wanted to do a kung fu comic, this was a cool opportunity to show some action skills.”

Johnny_Trouble“When showing us Deidre’s past, you show a bear attacking the nurses’ station while a bunch of mutant babies fuck up the hospital. Was the bear a nod to Stef Hutchinson’s “Black Bear Blues” which appears earlier in the “Moon Lake” anthology, or was it just a funny random happenstance?”

Jeff“Yeah that was definitely a nod to Black Bear Blues, that was a detail mentioned in the script.”

Johnny_Trouble“What was your favorite part of the creative process for “Desensitized Deidre” and what made it stand out?”

Jeff ZornowThe fact that I was coloring myself, which is a rare opportunity in comics, I haven’t been able to color my own comic work since I worked on IDW’s “Gene Simmons’ House of Horror” books. And I feel that when I get to color my own comics it becomes some of my very best work, mostly because then I have total control of the look of the story. It was the same situation with DESENSITIZED DEIRDRE, I was able to illustrate and color all the art for the story, to after my job was done they did get and artist to re-design the “Man in the Moon” and drop him in all the stories. Originally I had my own design of the moon man Dan had approved, but later Dan wanted a more uniformed consistent look to the character. My version of the Moon Man was more scary looking. You’ll see in the unedited pages here.”

Johnny_Trouble“There is still one image we have yet to see… and that would be the goat-fucking scene. So can we show the world?”

Jeff“Yeah sure, tho as the warning in the book states, ONCE YOU SEE IT YOU CANT EVER UN-SEE IT!!

Hahaha, that was a scene in the story that I had to use some of my discretion to create, BELIEVE IT OR NOT!, what Stavis’ and Dan had suggested in the script and notes was actually WORSE! Hahaha, So I went with …..what you see here…and it was STILL CENSORED! Which still confuses me a lot because ITS’ NOT REAL! IT’S A DRAWING! Its less real than an animated cartoon hahahah! Just repeat to yourselves

IT’S ONLY A GRAPHIC NOVEL

IT’S ONLY A GRAPHIC NOVEL

IT’S ONLY A GRAPHIC NOVEL”




Johnny_Trouble“Did you use any references for creating the art in the goat-fucking scene? If so can you link us? (Kidding, that’s fucked up.)”

EXTRA CREDIT: (No answers will count against you.)

Johnny_Trouble“What would you say is the biggest difference between this generation’s emo kid and the 90’s mall goth?”

Jeff“I’ve never met an Emo kid that could kick your ass, not true about 90’s Goth kids. Also the 90’s goth kids had better music.”

Johnny_Trouble“Do you think THEoDEAD looks like an emo kid? (I do.)”

Jeff Zornow“You mean he isn’t an emo kid?”
Johnny_Trouble“If you bought something from an ice cream truck, what kind of ice cream/Popsicle would it be?”

Jeff Zornow“I’m pretty old school with ice cream, so from an ice cream truck I’d get either a soft serve chocolate or vanilla dipped in strawberry shell coating. OR an old school drumstick.”

Johnny_Trouble“What are your thoughts on wall calendars?”

Jeff Zornow“They’re great for keeping track of the day and date!”

The “Moon Lake” anthology was published by Archaia November of last year, and we are still feeling its awesome effects. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: GO FUCKING PICK IT UP. (That’s all I feel that I need to say as an afterword.)