Comic Creator Spotlight on John Gholson: "For Three Years I'm Working on Comics That Literally Nobody Can Read"

For Free Comic Book Day we chat with Austin's sequential standouts

John Gholson, working on the cover of this week's Chronicle (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Essential bibliography: Halloween Man (Sugar Skull Media)

First Comic:Fantastic Four 222. It’s about Franklin Richards being possessed. This was the Fantastic Four’s take on The Exorcist. It’s no wonder I found it freaky when I was a kid.”

Currently working on: “There’s a Halloween Man milestone coming up [and] I’m slowly but surely working on my own book, which is called Burgerberg.”

“I was writing film reviews at I would take what I could get – not first tier, sometimes second tier, so like Transylmania, The Spy Next Door, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which was fine. [But] I noticed the reviews were drying up, to the point where I was getting painted into a corner. They started assigning me Marvel stuff – the first I covered was Captain America: The First Avenger, and three, four movies past First Avenger the news cycle is dominated by Marvel. I’m struggling [for] something to cover, because the site is covering nothing but Marvel on a daily basis.

“I was like, I don’t want to stop reviewing movies, but the landscape is totally different to what it was three years ago. So I took a page from Rick Trimble. He’s a cartoonist that does these four-panel movie reviews, so what I’ll pitch is these one-page, nine-panel grid movie reviews, and I did that for two years. It was called Stripped, and I had some pretty high-profile fans who brought a lot of attention to me, like [Deadpool creator] Rob Liefeld.

“That led to me doing a bunch of secret, backdoor corporate comics. I did two comics for an oil company that were internal documents about developments in the company. So for three years I’m working on comics that literally nobody can read, but it’s a nice training ground. There’s no audience out there to discourage me from being crappy. … Then we were having a party watching wrestling movies, and a friend said, ‘Do you know [Halloween Man creator] Drew Edwards? I think you’d get along pretty well.’”

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Austin Comic Creators, John Gholson, Halloween Man

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