Last week we brought you information about Spooky Sleepover from creators Dave Scheidt and Jess Smart Smiley. Well their passion for the project convinced me to do an interview with them about the project which is still on Kickstarter (check it out here).
DUSTIN: To begin with can you tell us a little about Spooky Sleepover?
DAVE SCHEIDT: Spooky Sleepover is a funny all-ages horror collection. It's kind of like Tales From The Crypt except there's way more pizza and werewolves and killer talking toilets.
JESS SMART SMILEY: This book is actually a time machine in disguise! Our comics take you right back to the fifth grade, when girls were icky, boogers were funny and scary stories were king. Picture yourself wolfing down a package of Twizzlers and reading with a flashlight. THAT is Spooky Sleepover.
DUSTIN: Why did you guys choose to make Spooky Sleepover an all-ages title?
DS: I think comics have gotten way too grim and "serious". I read a bunch of those but I think we owe it the younger generation and families to put as much effort and creativity into stories everyone can enjoy just as much as we do with the more adult comics out there.
JSS: Yeah, what Dave said. Plus, these are stories that everyone can get into, and we want to keep it that way! No need to make things violent or offensive in Spooky Sleepover.
DUSTIN: With it being all-ages, will there be morals to the story or what’s the approach that makes it an all-ages story?
DS: We didn't really set out to really have morals or any sort of it bigger message in the book. A lot of that stuff is in there just as a classic storytelling device but the approach really was just for Jess and I to make a comic that make us laugh and hope other people dig it too. We had so much fun making Spooky Sleepover. We want boys and girls and teenagers and parents and big old dudes with beards to read Spooky Sleepover. EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT!
JSS: Our goal is to make family-friendly stories. Hopefully mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, and the kids can all have a good laugh and get a little spooked by these comics. The moral here is: STAY SPOOKY!
DUSTIN: With all the crowd-funding options out there why did you guys choose Kickstarter and what’s your approach to getting people’s attention on there?
DS: Just as I am incredibly lucky to be able to collaborate with Jess on this book, the Kickstarter stuff is really his expertise. I just suggest stuff like how I will prank call my parents if people donated a certain amount and how we should do the Monster Mash.
JSS: There are scads of crowdfunding platforms out there, but Kickstarter runs the show as far as community goes. Just look at their site: everything is designed to drive attention to great projects and their creators. It's not a competitive platform for collecting money--it's a network, focused on making and doing cool things together. I love that. I guess our approach is inviting people to the party!
DUSTIN: How did you two end up working together on the project?
DS: I picked up Jess's first book Upside Down: A Vampire Tale and loved it. One thing I think a lot of people don't realize is that as big as comics are, the community itself is relatively small and you can reach out to people so much easier nowadays. So we eventually became friends and ever so often sent each other our work and talked about how cool it would be to work together. A few months back we got the opportunity to work on a story for Aw Yeah Comics in issue #8 and it turned out awesome. Jess nailed absolutely nailed it and we realized we were a really good fit to make comics together. We had an idea to work on a comic together for Halloween and that eventually turned into Spooky Sleepover!
Jess's art is incredibly vibrant and sweet and electric. It has some many layers to it and this fantastic warmth. I think that's how he is able to nail so much of the moods of this book. Jess is one of those people who still has this terrific kid-like wonder that he brings to his work. It is so awesome to be able to make comics with him. He makes me look good.
Dave and I connected over our mutual love for monsters, comics and really lame jokes. I had a lot of fun drawing his story in Aw Yeah Comics #8 and I got real excited when he started mentioning some ideas he had for some funny horror comics.
Dave is a big hairy kid and he's not afraid to let it all out. It shows in his writing and his ideas, and it's what makes these stories so enjoyable to read. Dave writes for himself, which turns out to be children, adults and weirdos everywhere.
DUSTIN: What’s in store for Spooky Sleepover after the Kickstarter?
DS: It's really up to all our fans and supporters! Spooky Sleepover will happen if people want it. We have a lot of plans for this book we just got to see if people are into it!
JSS: Yep! This book is enough to be excited about on its own, but just you wait and see what else we have in mind! Mwa ha ha!
Well there you have it, a big thank you to Dave and Jess for taking the time to talk with me about the project. Hopefully you’re as interested as I am and if you are then here’s the link one more time to the Kickstarter page.