Archive for the 1 Category

Interview with Frank Thorne’s Daughter: Wende Thorne

Posted in 1 on August 12, 2009 by SSCrompton

1. Can you describe what it was like growing up as the daughter of Frank Thorne; furthermore, do you have a particularly fond memory which illustrates his and your relationship?

Since my father’s current fame came to him long after I was on my own, growing up with Frank Thorne was simply growing up with a really great dad.  He was always there for me and my brother and two sisters. Since his studio was in our home (the same one he works and lives in today), he scheduled all his working hours around our school hours. He would even work late into the night if it meant not missing any of the events we kids were involved in. He even carried on this tradition when he and my mother raised their grandson.

Our house was the “best place on the block” growing up. All of our friends loved coming over to play with the Thornes because it often included my dad! He would dress up as an “injun” and scare the shit out of us when we were playing cowboys and Indians, and WE LOVED IT!

My father also knew a lot of starving artists living in Greenwich Village in New York. It was the late 50s, early 60s, and he and my mom would invite several of them over for spaghetti dinners in the summer. My brother and I weren’t allowed to stay up passed bedtime, so we would sneak down from our beds and listen behind the stairs to all their exotic tales and bohemian stories. We were so enchanted by what we heard!

We never had a television until the late 50s. I think I was around eight years old when our first set arrived. We rarely watched it, though. We were always restricted to two programs per week, and never on a school night. But we didn’t care—my father always dressed up as an “ol’ prospector”, and read us stories from Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Service—we had the real thing! Who cared about a stupid television show??

But perhaps my fondest memories were our family musicales. My mother would accompany my father on the e-flat horn and I on the French Horn. We would play into the evening (mostly Mozart horn concertos). My father and I share the same sense of humor, especially when it comes to bodily noises, and often during these musicales we would look over at each other and just bust out laughing—especially when one of our instruments sounded out like that of a fart!

2. In the Gary Groth interview conducted with your father, published in the Comics Journal #280, it was mentioned that you had plans to produce a documentary about his work. Can you give us an update on this venture?

It’s an ongoing work in progress. We have no budget for it, so we are producing it around all our other commitments. It’s been slow-going, but it will be produced! So far we have interviewed several of my father’s art school buddies and a few of his protégés.

3. What do you think has kept your parents together for such a long time, given that they appear to have diametrically opposing views on several major issues, most notably, that of god and faith?

Undying mutual respect and adoration for each other; my mother has and always has had a fiercely independent spirit. And she has always been passionate about her music. They met through their love of music.

4. Do you have a passion for comics and or fantasy in general?

Not a passion, but definitely an interest in fantasy in particular. I know it might sound cliché, but I’m a big fan of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.”

5. Some of your father’s work has been looked upon as being extremely controversial, especially his later material. Specifically have you read “The Iron Devil” and if so, what were your reactions when you did?

I have proof-read most of my father’s work, but not the Iron Devil. His work is his work—I have always kept an objective eye—his work is what he does. He is always first and foremost, in my eyes, a really great father and friend.

6. Who is the real Frank Thorne, Thenef the Mage, Shard the dirty yet charming old man, Uncle Zit, or are these all just facets of the same man?

He’s an amalgam of them all…

7. At what age were you exposed to your father’s work? Did you ever help to give him ideas for stories?

I have always been exposed to my father’s work. His studio is still located in the same spot it was when I was growing up—right next to my bedroom. In fact, we shared a bathroom, so my sisters and brother and I always had plenty of opportunities to see what was on the drawing board. He never locked the door. His drawing board was, literally, an “open book”.

I’m not aware that I ever gave him ideas for stories…then again, he never needed ideas! I do remember holding poses for him when he was working freelance for Golden Magazine and was illustrating for lots of children’s stories.

8. Did the two Memoirs which your father wrote “Drawing Sexy Women” and “The Crystal ballroom” help you at all to better understand him, was there information that you had not previously known that you enjoyed learning?

I had already known about all the characters mentioned in “Drawing Sexy Women” and “The Crystal Ballroom”. In fact, a few of them were aunts and uncles of mine! What I did enjoy learning from reading “The Crystal Ballroom” is that my father had a much more intimate relationship with his mother and father than I was aware. My grandparents were often quiet and reserved around us kids growing up…I was comforted to learn that they were so supportive of my father, even though they didn’t quite understand what he was about…

9. Much of your father’s work has remained out of print, and of the work that is in print a great deal of it has been changed from its original format. For example “Ghita” which once appeared in beautiful full color has been given a black and white treatment.  Is there a possibility that you would ever try to correct this great injustice in comics?

HELL YES!!

10. Who is your favorite Frank Thorne character?

Frank Thorne as himself…

In The Gutter: Frank Thorne Interview

Posted in 1 on August 12, 2009 by SSCrompton

thorne_redsonjaFrank Thorne is the artist behind countless comics, and the writer of some of the best illustrated erotica ever to see print. Frank Thorne’s career rocketed into orbit after his epic run on the original “Red Sonja” series of the 1970s, after which he created some of the world of comicdom’s most memorable women including: “Ghita of Alizarr” (for the Warren publication 1984) , “Lann” (Heavy Metal Magazine) , Moonshine “McJugs”  (Playboy), and “Danger Rangerette” (National Lampoon/High-Times). Most recently he has returned to Playboy where you can catch his gag cartoons, run in almost every new issue of the magazine.

Note: I have never given myself credit for authoring any of the articles found on the Carnal Comics blog. But since Mr. Thorne mentions me by name, I guess you know now. Enjoy the interview.

  1. In your memoir, “Drawing Sexy Women,” you site Alex Raymond as your main inspiration for wanting to become a cartoonist: yet, you also describe writing him a fan letter and receiving a rather off-putting response; and then later meeting him in person, only to again have a less than favorable encounter. What made you want to press on in cartooning, even after one of your favorite, if not your #1 favorite artist, turned out to be such a disappointment?

In reflection, Raymond’s gift was so enormous that all is forgiven. He was taken from us at a young age, a terrible loss. And here I am, resembling Methuselah, still at the board, cranking out Playboy gags.

Now a word about Nick Blodgett before what is sure to be a series of unconscionable harangues. Nick is a lad of twenty thorne_ghita_alizarr_v1_cvrharvests, very bright, which gainsays his contacting me for this torrent of verbiage. Nick is no mere fan boy; he has broad interests, which makes him very good company. Although for the near term his vision is limited, he has the g imlet eye of a seasoned practitioner of the craft. Nick is also my rep, which makes him the youngest agent representing the world’s oldest cartoonist. Nick has placed books two and three of “The Alizarrian Trilogy” with the diverse and funky Carnal Comics, which has a special meaning for me.  Carnal and Holly-Go- Lightly Weinberg connected me with the fabulous Tiffany Million. Now retired, Tiff was one of the top adult actresses of all time. She performed in a video as Ghita of Alizarr, it was shot in the same studio that my Playboy Channel segment with Linda Behrle was produced.  I love actors; in the presence of a toothsome actress with ample bosoms I become oleomargarine.

2. You’re perhaps best known for your incredible run on the “Red Sonja” series of the nineteen seventies, a series which garnered not only praise from your typical male comic reader, but had an enormous female following as well. Why di­­d this heroine succeed in pleasing both boys and girls alike when so many others had failed in the past? After all, Red Sonja was the first character to have a convention dedicated entirely to her, not even Wonder Woman achieved this honor.

ITEM: For the uninitiated it must be noted that all the above occurred over 30 years ago. For those that resonate with the Sonja phenomenon, and have access to comic book archives, I reference my last comic book done before Sonja in 1975: “Son of Dracula,” published by Atlas, cover price 12 cents.  It’s evident that I was ready stylistically, then fate stepped in and Archie Goodwin plopped “The Redhead” in my lap. Kismet! Sonja was easy; I fell madly in love with her. She was as real to me as your old pair of sneakers. Ham that I am, I connived with the help of a sizable bevy of talented people, the shows, the convention hoopla, and the rest.  Sonja, from her very first appearances, stirred unseemly emotions in both males and females. I’m told it was the sexiest title on the stands at the time, which explains why young males grabbed the books. I received a lot of mail from both genders while drawing the fiery-haired swordswoman. Perhaps her female fans identified with the fact that Sonja was a virgin, and no man could have her lest he first defeat her in combat with a sword, which is the granddaddy of all phallic symbols.  Great concept, and we have Roy Thomas to thank for that. Robert E. Howard’s Sonja was just a smidgen in his novella “Shadow Of The Vulture.” Remember, I just drew the dame; it’s Roy who should get the credit for Sonja’s success.

ITEM: Moroto is my favorite Sonja delineator, Howie Chayken’s was fresh, loose, and very alive, Smith’s looked like a guy, Buscema’s was pure poetry, but Estaban remains my favorite.

3. You’ve met a great many beautiful women over the course of your career, and have a great many more pictures of cuties in your scrapbook collection. What is it about your wife that stole the heart of the Wizard Frank Thorne and continues to keep it under lock and key?

Marilyn is my one and only immortal beloved, all the rest is preposterous fantasy. It’s been 62 years of bliss.

4. In an interview conducted in the magazine, “Amazing Heroes,” circa 1987, you stated that you weren’t so sure if comics should be considered high art. Has that opinion changed over the years?

Comics have come a long way since the eighties when that interview was conducted. A graphic novel has even won a Pulitzer Prize, if you still don’t consider them “high art” then what is?

To me, the Pulitzer Prize winner, “Maus,” was ponderous and crudely drawn, but, because I am a staunch supporter of  Israel, the book was important. I still don’t consider comics “high art.” It’s great that somebody does; the value of my originals has skyrocketed, especially the Sonja stuff, the looming new Sonja movie has created renewed interest in all things pertaining to The Redhead.

5. You have remarked before that comics are very similar to theater, but you have never really expounded on that idea. Are there any specific plays or playwrights that have particularly inspired your work?

Among contemporary playwrights David Mamet comes to the fore, especially “Glengarry Glen Ross.” It’s better than “Death of a Salesman” by a country mile. Mamet’s output is wildly uneven. Lucky guy, he was once married to Lindsey Crouse. Fellini, although not a playwright, had a great influence on my work. When Ghita was published in Italian I received a letter from the maestro; it’s framed and hangs on my studio wall.

6. Long time fans of yours have probably noticed that a familiar character appears in most of your tales, that of yourself. What is the reason for including your likeness as one of the characters, and which one do you most identify with?

Having been an amateur magician for a short period early in my ignoble career, Thenef/Ford is me.  As a functional alcoholic and a dispenser of fraudulent myths, I proudly shamble to stage front and do an arabesque and a pirouette passé.

7. You seem to draw fuel for crafting the personalities and appearances of those that populate your worlds from real people. For example, Ghita is modeled after Linda Behrle, with a few other personality traits of the original Sonja models thrown in, am I right?  If this is the case, then what led to the creation of the sub-troll, Dahib?

Dahib can freely express his love for the tawdry Golden Goddess, the wizard is dumb to the task, for his fealty was ever to his beloved Masalina, who was murdered along with her unborn child at the outset of the stories. In “Sprite,” the second book of the trilogy, soon to be published by Carnal, Dahib is transformed by sorcery into Brael, a handsome human who has unbridled sex with Ghita, the reigning nympho queen of golden-spired Alizarr.

8. This is somewhat of a selfish question, as not all of our readers may be familiar with one of your most recent books, “The Crystal Ballroom,” chronicling your high school years. But whatever happened to the lovely, sweet, albeit, troubled girl, Alice Southern, whom you developed somewhat of a romance with?

Alice was a real person, although I changed the spelling of her last name. The rest of the account is true, alas, I never learned of her fate. She was among muses of my youth. Not to forget Lenore Lans, which was her real name, in later years she morphed into “Lann.” Of course there was Alex Raymond’s Dale Arden, the raven-haired beauty with the wasp waist who roamed alien worlds with “Flash Gordon.”

9. Continuing along the lines of the same subject, your more recent work has seemed to deal with the consequences of the emotions that go hand in hand with sex, as well as the negative effects of sexual abuse. Are you in some way trying to make amends for previous work, which only placed the spotlight on the fun one can have with sex, or is it just another way for you to explore the subject matter?

Voilá! You’ve hit the very heart of the matter! And makes it evident that you read “Nymph,” the first book of the trilogy, published in 2006 by Fantagraphics. Thanks, Nick!

Item: Only in prose fiction can you get into the exquisite inner workings of a character’s psyche. In “Nymph” sexual abuse of children is ventilated, while incest, sodomy, and homosexuality are rendered easily in prose.  A “Nymph” graphic novel would be the size of the Manhattan telephone book. Each book of the trilogy is amply illustrated with pencil drawings, one every page or two, but they don’t impede the flow of prose. I’m reaching for a different audience with this series, and the mail I’ve received concerning “Nymph” is far from the usual correspondence.

10. During the past several years you’ve returned to “Playboy” magazine where the adventures of another of your blonde bombshells, “Moonshine McJugs” was first published. Recently your work for “Playboy” has been a little bit different than what it was in the past; instead of comic strips you are doing full page gags. How do the two compare, and are the gags as satisfying for you as drawing a strip?c79c25a9c4509cbe

The Playboy full color, full-page gag,s are the ultimate challenge and it’s the best fun ever; and a high-wire act for an old geezer.  Example: For several years I’ve been trying to develop a cartoon that renders the Niagara of porn on the Internet. Finally nailed it and Hef bought the gag. It’s funny too; it HAS to be funny. You can have a beautiful drawing with any number of gorgeous dames, but if the funny part is missing it won’t play in Podunck. The Internet is also the biggest brothel in the history of mankind and for some time I’ve been trying to envision it in a single (funny) image.

11. I think a question all of your fans would like an answer to, is when will you attend another convention? Surely you must have at least enough energy for one more San Diego Comic Con stored in that impressive beard of yours?

Humm, looking into my crystal ball I see no conventions in my future.

12. The late Tom Sutton was one of your good friends, at least a good phone buddy as you described him. With the death of Mr. Sutton, and so many others of your contemporaries, do you ever feel as though the world of comics has gone and passed you by? What drives you to continue to create, even at the age of almost eighty? Sorry to bring up your age, but it’s easily available on Wikipedia anyway.

Think of me as the figurehead on The Flying Dutchman plowing through the roiling seas of dotage. Many of my generation of craftsmen have passed, yet a remnant remains, and I hope they’re working. In this racket you don’t have to retire. I can’t retire; I never had a job.

13. Your work has gained quite a reputation for being at the center of controversy, with an issue of the hardcore series, “Iron Devil,” being seized by Oklahoma Police, and “Lann” being taken off the shelves in Finland. In both of the above mentioned cases these pieces were labeled as pedophilia. What is your stance on minors portrayed in sexual situations in art? Is it okay because they’re just drawings, and drawings don’t have ages, or is there a definitive line someone can cross, where their art should now be considered obscene in the eyes of the law?

The sequence in Lann, wherein the rejuvenated Shard (Me) beds the porn star, is one of the funniest I’ve ever done; the whole of the second half of Lann is good for a few chuckles. Label it pornography, pedophilia’ or whatever you will, if it’s really funny and elegantly drawn, it warrants an audience. I enjoy being a pornographer.  Times and mores change. Twenty years ago the local press wouldn’t touch me with a ten-foot bargepole, now I’m turning down interviews. Until you flew from CA for a visit, and to arrange this interview, all of the reporters have been fetching young women. I mean some of my stuff is really dirty, and here I am sitting facing these babes talking about my “métier” while thinking unchaste thoughts.

Item: Yes, Nick, to answer your excellent question, the line can be crossed, but it’s fading with each passing year. I’ve crossed it; I hope that I’ve done so with a certain grace.

14. Have any of your children or grandchildren expressed an interest in following in your footsteps?

None. Marilyn is an extremely gifted, Julliard trained musician; all of our children received the music talent.

15. Although you’ve made a living out of drawing and writing comics, you have said before that you do not read many comics. Out of the few you have read which ones have captured your attention and interest? Can you specifically speak on the art of Richard Corben, whom you have admitted to being a fan of?

Corben? I’m his #1 fan. Al Williamson did some great work; talk about grace, Al had it all. Although he cannot produce because of his illness, his stuff will linger with his fans long after we both are dust.

16. Your series “Ghita of Alizarr” was once optioned as a film, but never hit the silver screen. Would you care to comment on the current status of the property, is there any chance it might ever become a fantastic flick?

Ryder Windham, one of the top writers at Lucasfilm is developing a screen treatment for a PG13 version of Ghita of Alizarr. What I’ve seen of it so far is wonderful. When the property was first optioned I attempted the treatment; it was awful. Ryder is coming in with an astonishing concept, fresh and very now. I take pride in having had a small part in the realization of the Sonja movies.

17. Does Frank Thorne, the Wizard of comics, believe in magic?

Alas, no, the laws of nature have never been reversed. There is no unexplained phenomenon.

18. Before you became a professional gun for hire in the comics’ industry, you had somewhat of a successful run as a jazz musician. At what point did you decide to give up music? This decision must have been a difficult one. Do you ever wonder what would have happened had you gone in the direction of music instead?

I played some impressive gigs in my youth, but I didn’t have the real talent to have a career in music. Marilyn has it; she’s been a professional musician all her life.

19. Are there any projects or books Frank Thorne fans should look out for in the future?

The co mpletion of The Alizarrian Trilogy, and a book of the Playboy cartoons Hef passed on. After all these years there’s a sizable number, and with commentary, it would be terrific book. Hey, Nick; you’re my agent, find me a publisher!

20. How do you want the world to remember you?

I’m thinking, I’m THINKING. Wait! My Johnson died, but I’m still producing, this proves that there IS life after death! That’s it! Thorne outlived his Johnson! fthorne4

TMNT 25th Anniversary Interview

Posted in 1 on July 1, 2009 by SSCrompton

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I took the opportunity to conduct an interview with TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman. Kevin took time out of his busy schedule to reflect on the history of those four half-shelled wonders and the empire built around them, as well as discuss his recent work as publisher and editor of “Heavy Metal” magazine: the United States’ premier adult fantasy and science fiction magazine.

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  1. It’s hard to believe that you and Peter Laird created the Ninja Turtles twenty five years ago, how does that feel—is it a milestone for you, or do you just feel old?

**Nope, don’t really feel old—but I will admit at times, at the age of 47, I do have my days! LOL! Honestly, it is beyond amazing to me that I am here answering such cool questions about the TMNT’s after 25 years. I have to thank our amazing fans for that!

2. Did you ever imagine that four little half-shelled creatures would become such a pop culture phenomenon?

**Never. The characters were born out of our sheer love of comic stories, and it was comic stories we did. The fact that the comics drew so much interest; to become other things, like cartoons and toys, that we decided to work with the interested parties to see if they would sell in those kinds of places too—and of course that they did, was really cool as well.

3. I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but who’s your favorite turtle and why?

**Raphael is my favorite TMNT, mainly because he is the most like me. I’m kind of that guy, as Peter is the most like Donatello—the fact that we could make these characters into “real personalities,” whether original or based on people we knew—the most important thing was to bring them to life for us, and everyone interested in them: a lot of fun overall.

4. One can see countless influences on the TMNT including Star Wars and Samurai films, are there any influences that fans of the Turtles wouldn’t expect fueled your imagination?

**Dave Sims “Cerebus” and Frank Miller “Ronin” were the biggest for me, but I think we used a little of everything that was popular in comics at that time—“X-Men” and the “New Mutants,” of course everything Jack Kirby from our past, as well as some underground comics influences like the work of Richard Corben and Vaughn Bode.

5. The original TMNT comics, although funny, do have a darker more mature tone than that of the late eighties early nineties animated series that most people commonly identify the Turtles with. Were you happy with the changes made in the animated series?

**Yes, and mainly because we owned and created everything with the TMNT’s and we had full control and say over what was to be done with them. So,  when it came time to decide what would work for a younger audience, we worked with the toy and animation companies to come up with ideas that would make them work for kids. We created or approved all changes made at that time. We are very happy with the end result.

6. The TMNT have been a merchandising powerhouse, including being prominent on everything from school supplies to ingredients in Chef Boyardee.  What’s the most bizarre item ever created under the TMNT brand?

**Honestly, if you think about it, all of them were bizarre and, the fact that all; from TMNT toys, belts, cereal, PJ’s, or anything else created around the brand, ever sold was amazing to me. Twenty-five years after I drew the first turtle, I still get to dress my 3-year- old son in TMNT pj’s at bedtime and, although he has no clue I created them, he thinks they are pretty cool to wear while he sleeps.

7. What about the TMNT makes them so accessible to interpretation by other writers and artists, as well as to virtually all forms of media?

**Hard to say in many ways, but I do think there is a common denominator in a group of this type—the leader, the funny one, the hothead, the geek that resonate with most kids—but if you consider the outcast nature, and the father figure of Splinter; as well as the desire to be teenagers first and heroes when called upon (pretty much everyone’s dream) I think that is what draws and keeps people comic back: Again, just a guess.

8. Besides the comics, which incarnation of the Turtles are you most proud of—the original animated series, movies, the modern animated series, videogames etc.?

**TMNT movie one by Steve Barron and Todd Langdon. Besides the original work Peter and I did, this is our favorite hands down. Although we enjoyed working on all the other comics and animated and video games—all of which were cool—that I think  will always be our favorite.

9. The TMNT wasn’t always the biggest thing since sliced bread, it started out incredibly small. Do you have any advice for independent comic creators just getting started?

**It is difficult for me to really give solid advice to newcomers today, as things have changed so much since we first did the TMNTs 25 years ago. The direct comic market has changed and is nearly impossible to launch a new comic and, back in our day, there was no such thing as the internet. Today, I think if a new comic storyteller wants to try and find a following, they need to build a following online, and build from there. Otherwise it is just too expensive, and really hard to find an audience the way we used to.

10 . Where do you see the TMNT headed in another twenty five years?

**Couldn’t even begin to guess! The fact that we have made it this far thanks to amazing fans like yourself speaks for itself, the first time around was a dream—the second time it worked for the young fans was a bigger fantasy—and where it will be in ten to twenty years is anybody’s guess—let’s find out together!

11. After the success of the Ninja Turtles you purchased Heavy Metal magazine, was this something you always wanted to do?

**No, buying Heavy Metal was nothing I set out to do, much like creating the TMNT’s. BUT, thanks to the TMNT’s, when I heard HM was available for sale, I had enough money from the success of the TMNT’s to jump in and buy it. Seems like it all worked out great, especially considering I was such a huge fan of HM long before the TMNT’s were born.

12. Although Heavy Metal contains adult content it has never gone hardcore, why is this the case?  Would you ever consider a hardcore sex driven comic for the magazine, if the art and story lived up to H.M. standards?

**Don’t really need to. There is plenty of hardcore HM kind of comics out there if people want them—many other publishers that focus on that kind of work, much of which I buy for my own collection but, Heavy Metal has been know for a certain kind of work;the kind of work I would like to read, that is full of adventure, different genres, and a great mix of art styles that works for me, and what I pick for our readers—seems to work, we have our crowd—and they can find something edgier elsewhere if they want to—but were are glad they are with us every issue, from issue to issue.

13. There are a large number of HM fans who love the old material from the seventies and eighties, yet a great deal of this remains out of print. Has it ever crossed your mind to start something like a Classic Metal line that would specialize in publishing these lost treasures of comic history?

**Yes, we have tried to do this in a number of ways, but the rights cannot be gotten in most of the situations. When we buy the rights to publish we buy one-time English language rights, and nothing else—when we have gone back to try this, the right are now in control of someone else, or we cannot come up with enough money for them, so we have decided to keep our focus on the new work, and get collection rights when we can.

14. What’s the status on the new Heavy Metal movie, and whatever happened to the production of the “Fist Full of Blood” film?

**The new Heavy Metal film has grown into quite a project, with David Fincher and James Cameron co-executive producing, with Blur Animation doing all the animation, and a number of other REALLY cool directors coming on board to do a few different segments of this new $50 million dollar animated anthology 3D feature film—time and history will tell where we take it from here. As far as “Fistful of Blood,” it was shelved when Fincher came on board for the first new big budget film, but we are trying to get it off the ground as a separate film, as film without the HM banner—but solid none the less. Let’s see if we can come up with a deal to bring that to life as well.

15. Has having children changed your mind in regards to the kind of comics you publish? Do you plan on giving up the adult stuff in favor of more kid oriented fare?

**Nope, I think for myself, as well as what my children like, or what I decide they should see and know about me, will be on a “time is right” situation. Most of the comics I wrote before the TMNT’s were edgier than the TMNT’s; some of the work I did during the TMNT’s were the same, and some of the things I am doing now are more adult (although I have other kids projects I am working on). It is not so much what I think my kids will think about what I am doing now, it is more what my kids will think when they look back and see what I did as a total picture. Like it or not, it is what their Dad did—but I do hope they will think fondly of it.teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-1

Aurora Snow Interview

Posted in 1 on June 20, 2009 by SSCrompton

Aurora Snow is one of the biggest names working in the adult industry today. Ms. Snow has starred in three hundred plus films, and directed over a dozen titles as well. Most recently she can be seen in two parody blockbusters from Hustler Video, “This Aint Star Trek XXX” and “Not The Bradys XXX.”
Carnal Comics will debut her comic biography this summer at Comic Con San Diego. Learn what makes this brainy beauty tick and more inside the pages of the first Porn Star Biography Carnal has published since 2005.
Aurora Snow took time out of her incredibly busy schedule to speak to us, and this is what she had to say…AScover2
1. Your comic biography is set to debut later this summer at the San Diego Comic Con, what drew you to this project and are you, or have you ever been, a fan of comic books?

I am fascinated with comics. As a kid I loved to read the sound effects out loud, now as an adult I do that with my nephews. They love the Batman and Spiderman comics, though I am partial to X-men; Rogue and Wolverine are my favorites.

2. In the past few years you’ve preformed mainly in plot driven films, as opposed to gonzo releases, do you have a preference?

I enjoy the work I do whether it is gonzo or plot driven. I enjoy the plot driven movies as there is another dimension of the creative process that goes into making these films. I find it inspiring to play a character or add something more to the scene than just being myself. Of course I adore theater, hence the acting is always a thrill for me.

3.  During your extensive career you took part in two films in the “Extreme Teen” series produced by Extreme Associates. One of the movies in that series, “Extreme Teen 24” was seized in a federal obscenity investigation. Although you did not participate in that particular installment, the films all have a similar nature of indulging the fantasy of having sex with a young, arguably underage girl. What is your stance regarding this sort of content, should the plot scenario of sex with a minor be considered federally obscene and warrant prosecution, or is it just a harmless playful fantasy?

This was not simulated sex with minors. No way was this anything close to such an awful monstrosity. This was simply an exercise in fantasy role playing that most adults get into. Perhaps the porn world makes the dress up and role playing a little more detailed, but it is no more than a role playing game meant for grown-ups playing around.

4. You maintain an incredibly active MySpace presence, blogging several times a week. How important is contact with your fans to you, and how has it boosted your career?

I love my fans. I never knew how much I adored the internet or traveling until I understood it meant I could communicate with fans. I love having friends everywhere. I find blogging on MySpace to be very therapeutic. I enjoy sharing my life with the world, and blogging my personal life is a great way of doing that….I often wonder how having a reality T.V. show would go….as I really enjoy putting myself “out there.” Just a thought J

5.  Regarding the same subject, your blogs often contain personal information that anyone might be nervous to share with the world. This information does indeed help to paint a vivid picture of the real Aurora Snow. Has that at all been a detriment to you, given that a great many adult entertainment fans would rather separate the porn star from the human being? I ask because in a previous interview I conducted with another starlet, she thought her “fans” might treat her a bit differently if they knew her better, if they knew for example that she was a mother.

I believe that in giving my fans access to the real me it will shed some light and break down the barriers people have built up around the stereotyping of “porn girls.” I enjoy letting people in on a little secret–porn may be fun but at the end of the day it’s my job not my lifestyle. I don’t judge people by the jobs they hold and yet I often feel judged by the job I do, bit by bit I intend to break down this wall.

6.  One of your more recent roles was Jan in the porno parody “Not the Bradys XXX”, what is it like to be a part of such an iconic sitcom’s history? Have fans asked you to sign any “Brady Bunch” memorabilia, or quote the famous “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” line?

Yes, I have many new fans thanks to the Brady spoof. I have enjoyed being a big part of that series and am under the impression that we may be shooting parts three and four later this year.

7.   Besides acting in adult films, you’ve directed several as well. The films you’ve directed have predominately been in the anal genre. A lot of adult actors/actresses who move into directing specialize in a genre they’re known for. But when one hears the name Aurora Snow, they might not automatically associate you with anal sex, since you’ve been in such a diverse collection of scenes. Why did you decide to adopt anal as your directorial specialty?

I believe in creating what is in demand; in short I believe in pleasing my fans. My fans often call out for anal and therefore I feel inclined to honor their requests, as a good hostess would.

8.  In a previous interview you mentioned that after you are finished with adult films, you would like to work in entertainment law. Perhaps it’s just me, but I can’t really imagine Aurora Snow behind a desk. With your blogs and the film, “The Perverted Tales of Aurora Snow,” you have shown a gift for writing and creativity. Has the idea of authoring erotica or any other fiction ever crossed your mind?

Of course! Aside from law school my other life’s ambition is to write a book or two. I am almost certain in years to come I can see that through. For as long as I can remember I have always viewed this life I lead as a path, I am on it collecting the necessary material so that one day when I am old and gray I may finally sit down with pen and paper and share it with the world in many colorful stories.

9. What, if anything does your theater background bring to the porno production table?

It certainly helps me memorize lines quickly! Also it has helped with script reading and taking direction.

10.   In a large number of cases your job demands certain standards of beauty, have you ever felt pressured to get plastic surgery or make any other alterations to enhance your appearance?

Yes I have felt pressured, but I am terrified of surgery. If not for being so afraid of it I may have caved by now. I have a philosophy–if it’s not broken don’t fix it (wait).  I have however become obsessed with the gym…now if only I could perfect my diet….I have a horrid sweet tooth.

11.  A person you have spoken of quite frequently about on your blog has been your brother. It appears that you have a very close relationship with him. Can you speak a little about his current situation?

Yes, my brother is very near and dear to me, all three of them actually. I have three younger brothers and we are all very close. It was hard when I moved away to college but we managed to keep in touch and stay close.  I blog about my brother as it is the only way to let some of what I am holding on to out. He was in a near fatal motorcycle accident February 20th of this year. He was in Critical Care for 4 wks and in a coma most of that time. When he came through the coma without a trace of brain damage we were elated. He’s only 24 yrs old (today June 7th was his birthday which we celebrated at the hospital) and he has three little boys ages one, four and six.  My life is forever changed. I ping pong between my brother and my nephews (he has full custody of his boys and is a great daddy) trying to hold it all together and propel this family forward while managing to work here and there to fund it all. I am disgusted by our health care system and the lack of care hospitals issue.  My brother was an EMT working two jobs and still going to school to become a firefighter and yet his insurance has decided to drop him due to all of this and now he is stuck dealing with the state care which puts him at a distinct disadvantage for proper care. He has a spinal cord injury and was sent to a place that specials in brain injury because that was the closest rehabilitation hospital in the county that the state was willing to pay for. His therapy is a far cry from being what he needs and there is not a thing we can do about it. The hospital has set a discharge date for June 17th, which is both good and bad. Great to have him come home, bad because we have to scramble to somehow get ramps built for his wheelchair, doorways widened and then we have to figure out how to have him continue on with some sort of in home nursing system or therapy however I believe most of that is up to us to take care of. It’s overwhelming and astounding that so little care is given to patients who cannot afford better through no fault of their own.

12. You have stated that you first entered the adult industry under the assumption that you were answering a nude modeling add. Jumping from nude modeling into full on sex scenes seems like a pretty huge leap. What convinced you to go forward when signing up for your first scene?

Honestly? The money–I really did it all for the money in the beginning and then I stayed on as I began to enjoy it.

13. The name Aurora Snow is an amalgamation of two fairytale princesses, Princess Aurora from the Disney adaptation of “Sleeping Beauty” and Snow White who eventually becomes a princess at the end of her harrowing ordeal. What significance do fairytales have in your life?

I don’t believe in fairytales, but I always wished I did. To have such a naively ignorant outlook struck me as a sort of blissful state. Fairytales sugar coat reality so I adore them for their simplistic beauty, though if given the choice I am pleased life isn’t a fairytale as that in the end would be very boring.

14. What is the best and worst thing about being Aurora Snow?

I would answer this differently at various points in my life. At the moment one of the best things about being “Aurora Snow” is the luxury of having the time to be here for my brother (partially thanks to my career and it’s unrestrictive schedule); I am also thankful for the vast amount of life experience I have gained in a relatively short amount of time. The worst thing about being “Aurora Snow” is that I am judged on a character I have acted as on film before being given a chance to disprove the stereotypes that surround this business.

Please visit Aurora Snow at…

www.AuroraSnow.com

www.myspace.com/clubaurorasnow

www.twitter.com/missaurorasnowbrady_banned

Carnal To Release Limited Edition of Nymph

Posted in 1 on June 14, 2009 by SSCrompton

Carnal Comics has just cbookcover_nymphonfirmed with Frank Thorne (Red Sonja, Ghita of Alizarr) plans to release a limited edition of his first illustrated novel in the Alizarrian trilogy “Nymph.”
“Nymph” chronicles the early adventures of Ghita as a teenage girl, and if you thought the original comic series was hot, you haven’t seen anything yet. The story is told in sweeping erotic pros with all new drawings by the master of rendering sexy women, Frank Thorne.
The limited editions of 100 will come signed and numbered, and also include an audio CD of the book read by the author himself.
This is truly a unique item that any fan of Mr. Thorne’s work should add to their collection, as  well as anyone who loves erotic sword and sorcery.

Aurora Snow, Sinn Sage, Frank Thorne And More

Posted in 1 on June 4, 2009 by SSCrompton

Hey Carnal fans! Sorry the blog hasn’t been updated in awhile, but we here at Carnal Comics have been working on some pretty great stuff.
Aurora Snow has agreed to do an interview with us, in honor of her new Carnal Comics’ biography debuting at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Look for that to be posted here in the upcoming weeks. We cannot say for sure when the interview will be up, as Aurora is extremely busy, especially taking care of her injured brother and his children.

GREAT NEWS!!!! Vampirooni actress Sinn Sage is out of her coma and back home. Sinn recently e-mailed me, and is now back actively checking her MySpace. Please head over there and leave her a sweet comment. Sinn is not out of the woods yet though, there are still a great deal of medical bills which need paying, you can help her and her family out with this by going to savesinn.com and making a donation. Every little bit helps, so don’t feel like you won’t make a difference even if all you can spare is a few bucks.

Your trusty caretaker of this blog and I guess Steve Crompton’s (Publisher of Carnal Comics) assistant recently traveled to New Jersey and had a visit with the legendary erotic comic artist/writer Frank Thorne. You may know Frank from his incredible run on “Red Sonja” in the seventies, or perhaps from his other smash hit barbarian character, Ghita. If you’re not familiar with his work you should be, along with Richard Corben and Wally Wood, Frank is the best artist in adult comics ever to have graced the medium. Carnal is deeply honored and proud to announce that we will be publishing the next two illistrated novels in the Alizarrian trilogy featuring Ghita.
You can pick up the first novel in the series “Nymph” available from Fantagraphics, as well as  the complete Ghita comic book series in one massive volume.

We will also be conducting an interview with Mr. Thorne, but it will not be posted until sometime in July, as he’s swamped right now with Playboy work and Red Sonja commisions. After all there is a big “Red Sonja”  flick coming out later this year, or early 2010, whenever the big Hollywood dudes finish it.
Many people have lost track of Frank Thorne’s work as of recent years, and are surprised when I tell them that he does a gag strip for Playboy almost every other month. Be sure to subscribe so as not to miss a single installment of his sexy and wacky shorts.

Well that’s all for now, but look for an exclusive page from the upcoming Demi the Demoness Movie Comic Special coming out later this year. It’s pretty awesome.

Audrey Elson Interview

Posted in 1 on May 11, 2009 by SSCrompton

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Audrey Elson is an adult film actress probably best known for her role as Lyssa the delicious yet deadly witch in the “Demi The Demoness” film, based on the popular adult comic of the same name (both the comic series and movie can be purchased on demicomix.com). But besides being someone who gets paid for playing naughty dress-up, or down as it were, hopefully, you will come to know Audrey as much more than that by reading this interview. For behind this delectable Detroit diva’s onscreen persona lies a unique individual, who is much more than a pretty face, and as she describes one of her fan’s saying to her, a woman with “Awesome Rockin’ tits.”

1.Did you enjoy your experience playing Lyssa the witch in the “Demi The Demoness” movie? If given the opportunity would you be willing to reprise your role? You do die in the film, but it is based on a comic, and everybody knows, no one really ever dies in comics.

I had a lot of fun working on the “Demi” movie. I especially enjoyed being directed by Steve Steele and performing opposite Sinn Sage. It was a strenuous day of shooting, but a worthwhile experience overall. I would love to reprise my role; Lyssa is a fun character to play. And yes, it is true:  if you die in a comic, you’re never really dead. However, I’m in a state of semi-retirement in which I’m not sure whether or not I’ll continue performing the rest of the year. If the timing and circumstances were all in sync, I’d love to reprise the role.

2. You have a very distinct tattoo of an old English font letter D which stands for Detroit where you are from. What does Detroit mean to you and what do you miss most about living there?

I got the tattoo as a reminder to myself to never get a big head and to keep in mind where I came from. It’s impossible to feel high and mighty in any capacity when you come from a shithole like the “D.”  Detroit has its charm, and I kid when I call it a ‘shithole,’ but it ain’t Beverly Hills, that’s for sure. It’s the spirit of the city, the attitude of the city that will always be with me. The best example I can give would be to compare the attitude of Los Angelinos to the attitude of Detroiters. People in LA will kiss your ass and curse you as you turn your back. If a Detroiter doesn’t like you, there’s no need for sugarcoating it—they’ll let you know to your face. It’s a type of raw honesty that I appreciate. I don’t ever want to lose that perspective, and my tattoo reminds me of that.

3. In past interviews you’ve indicated that you would ultimately like to have a career in mainstream cinema. How optimistic are you about a crossover given that there have been several starlets in the last few years to have done so quite successfully,  the most recent being Sasha Grey and her roles in several upcoming independent features?

The constant fear of a normal job keeps me going in that direction. Actually, I’m very happy and content with my life right now. I’m taking a much needed break from the work-force and raising my family. It’s time spent that I can’t put a price on. I’m very fortunate to be able to stay home right now. I’d love to get back into acting, but I definitely need to work on my skills. With acting, you’re never really finished learning. I could be in training for the next fifteen years and learn something new every day. The whole crossover thing is a bit silly, but I understand its place. The unfortunate thing about being an adult performer is that, no matter how successful you become in mainstream cinema, you will always be a ‘porn star.’ Or, you’re a gifted actor, ‘for a porn star.’  The stigma never goes away.

4. If acting in the mainstream does not work out, would you consider becoming more involved in the adult industry, say, transitioning into writing or directing?

I’m fairly certain that I’d be a better director than performer, it’s something I’m not sure I’d want to get into. The ‘writing’ that goes into the adult industry is a joke. Lame dialogue, POV shot, more lame dialogue, black guy enters scene, blowjob, anal, popshot, scene. There’s your script. One of the really fun things about porn is all the improvisation. I’ve worked with some really funny, quick, talented people that would excel if given the proper venue.

5. On your MySpace page you list Larry Flynt as a hero. I doubt there are too many women who would consider him as such, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t admit it. What about Mr. Flynt is special in your eyes, so special that you would list him as one of your heroes?

Americans owe that man a ‘thank you.’ A big one. That man has fought tooth-and-nail        for free speech since the early days of smut. His enthusiasm towards the cause always struck a chord with me, and I appreciate the service he has provided and the sacrifices he made to give me the right to be a porn actor in 2009. He came from nothing, worked his ass off as a business man, and used his wealth to protect the freedoms that make this country so great. God bless Larry Flynt.

6. Many argue that your occupation is immoral, how do you respond to these sorts of claims and what value do feel adult films have in society, if any?

The people that argue that my occupation is immoral come from a little hypocrite club called ‘organized religion.’ The people that crusade against porn during the day are jacking off to it at night, and absolutely loving it. I’m doing what they are too embarrassed and afraid to so. I’m liberated by the very acts of sexual defiance that others wish they had the courage to do. To be naked in front of the world—stripped down, raw and explicit—is one of the most liberating feelings I have ever experienced. I wish those that judge before they think or experience would just wake up. This is your life—FEEL IT. Adult films push the boundaries—they do us the service of letting us know just where those boundaries lie, and they show us that sexuality is something to be celebrated and enjoyed.

7. Adult actresses, as well as actors have often commented that their fans seem to believe that they are who they portray on camera. Why do you think this is the case, when we don’t see it happening as much with non-adult actors/actresses?  For example, Christian Bale plays Batman, yet he’s not expected to run around at night fighting crime.

This is always really irritating. I’ve had more than my fair share of unpleasant public experiences with ‘fans’ that think I’m some kind of sideshow freak that they can poke at until I collapse in a puddle of bad makeup and hair extensions screaming, “I’m not an animal!”  They don’t separate the fantasy from the reality, or maybe they just don’t want to. If they stopped to think while they comment on my awesome rockin’ tits that I’m someone’s mother and someone’s daughter and an avid gardening enthusiast; the sexual fantasies they have about me would probably be ruined forever. I also have it on good authority that Christian Bale is, in fact, Batman.

8. What led to your decision to enter the adult film industry? After all you did enter at a slightly older age, at least in terms of porno years.

Are you trying to call me old!? Jesus, I’m only 23! I don’t know how to answer that. When I look at my peer group in the industry, the vast majority are women my age or older, and men in their late thirties (or older, if you can imagine). I entered the industry at 21-22, which I think is a pretty average age in the business. Young enough to be clinging on to that last thread of innocence, old enough not to give a shit anymore. It’s a fine age, as a matter of fact.

9. In your view, when, if ever, should erotica be deemed obscenity in the eyes of the law? (Excluding content involving minors which is a given.)

NEVER!!! Let me be more direct with you…FUCKING NEVER!!! I don’t want the law telling me what I can and can’t jerk off to.

Something that’s obscene to you may be perfectly acceptable or even super-duper hot, to me. The whole ‘obscenity law’ issue is another brilliant disguise for censorship. Congratulations America; you let some prick that you don’t know in a building  far, far away tell you what you can and can’t enjoy. If you let him get away with that, just IMAGINE what else you’ll let him take away from you.

10. Some might deem the scenes in which you’ve participated in as degrading towards women and would argue that those who are a party to such things could only have a low opinion of themselves. What does the woman behind Audrey Elson feel when she wakes up in the morning, are you genuinely happy?

I’m as pleased as punch when I wake up in the morning! Seriously! I live a very blessed and happy life. I have so much to be happy for. My self-identity has little to do with “Audrey Elson” and comes mostly from being “Mommy.”  I’m not so different from anyone else; granted, I may conduct myself a bit differently in the work place (but always professionally, and with utmost courtesy for my co-workers. I have a very high opinion of myself, and am a very confident lady. I’ll agree that some of the scenes I participated in have been somewhat degrading to women, and I in NO WAY condone such behavior (which, I think would be obvious). However, it is a work of FICTION, just like any other movie you’d fork over your fourteen bucks a ticket for. No one ever gave the actors in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” any grief for their work in the most successful snuff film in history. Take it at face-value; it’s a little story told by actors on a screen before your eyes, and you’re paying to watch it.

11.  Is it in some way empowering to know that you are the object of someone’s fantasies, or does it give you some other feeling?

I wouldn’t say it’s empowering. I don’t desire any sort of ‘power’ over others. It does give the old self esteem a little boost, though. It’s nice to have a stranger tell you that you’re the most beautiful woman they’ve ever seen. It’s very flattering and sweet, you know?  Even if it’s absolute bullshit, it still feels nice and makes me walk a little taller during the day.

12.  You have placed this quote on your MySpace page. “There is too much burden placed on the orgasm to make up for empty areas in life.” That’s an interesting statement. What personal significance does it hold for you?

I just think people are obsessed with sex. In good ways, in bad ways; especially Americans. It’s this big deal, and it really shouldn’t be. Sex is fantastic, and without it, none of us would be around, but I think people make it into this Holy Grail. Maybe it’s because they aren’t having any sex, or are frustrated with their sex lives in the first place. I apply the idea to a personal relationship I’ve had. Sex became a deal-breaker, when it should only have ever been an amplifier. The sex was standing-in for an emotional void that this person had in their life. When sex becomes a substitute for something else, it does a disservice to your life, as opposed to enriching it as it properly should.

13.  How do you balance your career and personal relationships? Is it ever difficult to separate the two?

It can get pretty rough. I’ve had ‘best friends’ and close family members insult and abandon me due to by choice to participate in adult films. It’s difficult to maintain a stable romantic relationship because human nature leads us to feel jealousy and resentment towards a partner that is non-monogamous. I myself have the same feelings of jealousy towards my romantic partners—I don’t want to share, either! And most men, no matter how secure in themselves, don’t want to see their lovely lady getting railed better, faster, and harder than they can do with her. The male ego is a delicate dainty little bugger, and it doesn’t like to be fucked with. At the end of the work day, porn is a job. I do my job like you do your job:  I show up on time, I’m a team player, I collect my pay, and I go home to cook dinner and watch “The Office.”  I just have a lot more free-time than you do; oh, and there’s the little part about the sex, but that goes on at most workplaces, anyways.

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