Collections of “things” have always left an impression on my imagination. Variations of something that lives within the same uniform universe always gave me a place to escape to. Everything within a “collection” belongs there. It exists there. It evolves there. And it dies there. Whether it was a collection of Garbage Pail Kids, or something more vague, like a collection of “technology-gone-bad” films, I love the idea of exploring a collected world. It’s always inspired me to imagine “what else exists here, given these parameters of this world that’s collected?” When I was younger I made up my own Garbage Pail Kids using whatever parameters I imagined TOPPS had made when they produced them. I also invented people, animals and creatures that I would hope would show up inside Gary Larsen’s “Far Side” comics. I created Smurf-spinoffs that didn’t exist, like “Mutant Smurf” and “Guilty Smurf.” I imagined mysteries that Scooby Doo and the gang would have to solve, and I imagined what other monsters Dr. Frankenstein would make if he had a second chance. To me, all of the universes that I loved growing up were just collections of things that had variations among them that jumpstarted my brain to live inside those places for a while.
Short stories, anthologies, and serials are also “collections” that have always had a lasting effect on me, whether it’s comics like EC’s Tales from the Crypt, books like Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew, older television shows like Twilight Zone or even newer television series like American Horror Story. I love the idea of multiple events or characters existing within the same universe. And it’s for that reason, I decided to start a new ongoing series of illustrated stories inspired by two of my favorite (and drastically opposite) “collections”.
Partly inspired by “Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark” (by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell), partly inspired by “Richard Hargreaves’ MR. MEN” children’s books, and partly inspired by ONE SCENE in one episode of Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories”, "MEET THE MISTERS" is an ongoing collection of short stories and illustrations exposing some American boogeymen that you might not have heard about....yet. Written and illustrated by me, MEET THE MISTERS can be seen and read HERE on my website. I’ll be updating it off and on as I write some more stories, but I just wanted to share the first two chapters of “MEET THE MISTERS” because these new paintings will be on display as part of Jason Edmiston’s “IN OUR VEINS” group art show at the NUVANGO Gallery in Toronto. Jason personally curated a collection of artists and had us create new original work inspired by things that they love. These paintings seemed to fit perfectly amongst the other inspired works. The gallery show opens Feb 11-March 11, Heart of Toronto at Nuvango (639 Queen Street). More info on that show very soon. And stay tuned for more of my new “collection” of boogeymen.