Halloween and monsters, two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly. Every year during October we see images of werewolves, zombies, Frankenstein, mummies, and vampires as decorations in stores and on homes. Witches, black cats and bats also make up these images as Halloween staples. Door covers, inflatable balloons, cards, candy wrappers, streamers and a myriad of different decoration items become standard images just before stores become flooded with Christmas paraphernalia.
The images range from light hearted cartoons to the more realistic ‘back from the dead’ visuals. It’s just something we have come to accept, and almost expect, right before people begin preparing for Christmas.
While it isn’t a holiday, many list Halloween as their favourite annual holiday. One such person is Rodney Dollah, the man behind the annual title ‘Little book of Monsters’.
“I always looked forward to Halloween as a child but it always seemed to come and go way to quick. One day was not enough for me.” Dollah recalls, ” I never understood why the whole month of October was not filled with anything festive leading up to it? I hardly ever even seen a new horror movie being released around that time, let alone anything else. I always wanted the whole month of October to feel like one whole month of Halloween.”
For the third year in a row Dollah has had an open call out to artists to contribute to a compilation book called ‘The Little Book of Monsters’, which is about, what else, but monsters.
The fully illustrated book features works by artists from a wide range of back grounds. From professional artists working in the animation or comic industry to highly talented part time or up and coming artists. Every year Dollah has an open call to all artists interested, and accepts theme based submissions for consideration for his book. “Each year there is a new theme based event in which artists are called upon to follow, though all these themes and events always revolve around creating a monster.” Dollah told me , when asked about guidelines and his process for choosing who gets selected. “I have been fortunate enough to work with a great many of artists in my past from the film, video game and comic book industries, ranging from all parts of the world and most of them I can now say are good friends. So for each new volume, I have a few of them appear in the books as featured guest artists . I also open up submissions world wide for other professionals and up and comers from these industries to take part in these yearly events. I believe the more known guest artists that are in the books, tend to help bring a little more attention to this type of book and also to the newer artists in them” he added.
“The idea came to me about 3 month prior to the first volume’s launch. I used to host yearly art jams for the month of October, based on various themes, for Halloween.” Dollah said about his motivation to first launch the book “There was no real planning for an annual art book to be published up until the three months prior to the first’s volumes publication. I pretty much Produced, directed, designed and published the very first volume all myself within those three months before Halloween that year. I did have some help thou coming from Brian Haberlin, (co-creator of ‘Withchblade’) and Jim O’Barr (the creator of ‘The Crow’), to get a little recognition for the first volume.”
The annual book is $19.95 USD (+ shipping an handling) and features 64 beautifully illustrated pages of artwork from the various artists Dollah has selected. The second book can be ordered here. And the progress of the third volume may be followed here.
Please keep in mind that the site is still being developed and will require regular visits to get the details. Which isn’t a bad thing considering the quality of the work that visitors to the site will be treated to.
You can also follow ‘The Little Book of Monsters’ on Dollah’s Facebook page.
John Goodale is the author of the book ‘Johnny Gora’ and a contributor to TMRZoo.com. You can read his monthly column called ‘Indy Comic Spotlight’ on independent comics here and find more on the topic on his blog ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’