Outside of being known as the bassist for legendary New York-based metal band, Life of Agony, Alan Robert has developed quite the canon of comics in the horror genre. Recently, he expanded into the world of adult coloring books, for those who like their art therapy a little bit darker than most. We caught with Alan to discuss his numerous projects, as well as the rebirth of Life of Agony.
Horror News Network: To say you’ve been busy is such a gross understatement! First off, I have to ask about any updates on the Crawl to Me movie?
Alan Robert: Yes! Well, since we last spoke, the film actually changed hands a few times. The script went through a major rewrite after we brought on a new producer who had a great vision for the material. My team and I worked closely with him and the writers to develop Crawl to Me into a twisted, layered psychological thriller.
t’s all very exciting, but making a movie is a very long process and you really need all the stars to align for it to come to fruition. Thankfully, right now, we have a great group in place and we can finally start scheduling the production. We are very close to announcing the director and exactly who is involved.
Horror News Network: Over the last decade or so, you’ve become just as recognizable in the horror comic community as you are in the rock/metal community, winning several Horror Comic Awards. I know many comic fans, including myself, have been really looking forward to your next book, The Shunned One. What’s the status on that? Can we expect the book, or anymore news before the end of 2018?
Alan Robert: The Shunned One started out as a comic book idea I was working on after my Killogy series wrapped up. I teased the series with a short 10-page story in the back of theKillogy Halloween Special. Shortly after that came out, we started developing it as a live-action feature film. It went through a few scripts and writers, and now a director is on board making final tweaks. Along the way, I started The Beauty of Horror coloring book series and that took off in a huge way, so I ended up putting The Shunned One comic on hold until the movie script was further along. I would really like for the comic and the movie to share the same storyline, and since the movie script is still being developed, I thought it was best to wait until it wasall done before getting too deep in drawing the comic.
Horror News Network: With The Shunned One also be adapted to film, do you expect the film and book to drop simultaneously? Has there been anyone or studio attached to the film yet?
Alan Robert: Yes, there are a lot of announcements coming with this project, it’s definitely active, but it’s still a bit too soon to reveal all the details.
Horror News Network: The I remember us talking back when The Beauty of Horror first came out. You had said it was project that just came about after seeing your wife and your daughter coloring one day and thought, why not make a horror version. Did you ever think that it would have the giant success that it does and become a full-blown series?
Alan Robert: I seriously had no clue The Beauty of Horror would blow up like it did, let alone keep me busy the last couple of years expanding the series. It’s been so much fun and there’s so much more to come. Volume 3, Haunted Playgrounds just came out and there are two more releases coming before years end…The Beauty of Horror: Ultimate Nightmare and The Beauty of Horror: Ghosts of Christmas. There’s also talk o fbringing Ghouliana and her undead pals to games and television! Exciting stuff.
Horror News Network: With The Beauty of Horror 3: Haunted Playgrounds, which released last week, how do you keep the designs in each installment fresh? I mean for anyone who has a copy of any of your coloring books, besides gruesome, they are also super detailed.
Alan Robert: Since tackling the first book, I think it’s actually gotten a lot easier for me to just dive in and draw now. Book one really connected with fans and it’s the fans’ color work that inspired me to try new things with each following book. I learned early on that illustrating a coloring book was very different than drawing a graphic novel. There’s literally no shading or shadows, so you need to create depth by using different techniques. By the second book, I really found my groove drawing in this style. So, this third book just might be my favorite of the series. Especially, since book 3 is carnival-based, there’s a ton of maniac clowns running around with chainsaws, which is a lot of fun to draw.
Horror News Network: I just want to switch gears now and ask about the rebirth, if you will, of Life of Agony. A Place Where There’s No More Pain really got a tremendous response from fans last year. I know you’ve been touring like crazy. How does it feel to have had music fans give you such a warm welcome back after being on hiatus for quite a few years?
Alan Robert: The fans have been awesome! LOA fans are some of the most die-hard, for sure, and we are so incredibly grateful. Thanks to them, the band is doing better than ever right now. The shows have been selling out and we added a new member earlier this year – Veronica Bellino on drums. She has played with Jeff Beck, DMC, and Richie Sambora in the past. We’ve been on the road all year together with this Rise of the Underground tour, up and back between the US and Europe several times, which started back in April and goes through December. We just re-signed with Napalm Records to release a new album in 2019, so we’ve been busy writing new songs in between shows.
Horror News Network: How do you balance recording and touring with all the horror projects you have in the works?
Alan Robert: I don’t sleep much (laugh)! I’ve always said that insomnia is the key to productivity. Actually, being able to do art and music is a great balance for me. I feel very blessed to have these opportunities. While the horror stuff can feel very isolating at times, drawing for many, many hours alone, touring involves a lot of travel and performing in front of large crowds ever night. It’s almost like having a split personality.
Horror News Network: With everything that’s in the works for you, what can horror fans expect in 2019?
Alan Robert: Lots of horror projects in the works for the new year. But there’s something reallycool coming in just a few months that horror fans should keep an eye out for… I’ve hooked up with animator Trent Shy thanks to my bad-ass producing partner Chris White. Trent is working on an outrageous stop-motion claymation short based on the Beauty of Horror: Ghosts of Christmas coloring book. We’ll be sharing some very cool stuff leading up to it, but trust me, this thing is going to be insane! Ghouliana is taking on the North Pole…and I’m not sure if there’ll be any survivors!
Thanks Alan! Horror fans can pick up The Beauty of Horror: Haunted Playgrounds, which is out now and catch Life of Agony out on tour this Fall.