Alan speaks with David Strausser about how he allows his Audience to recreate his art with their own inspiration
Updated Date: Feb 15, 2022
Publish Date: Nov 01, 2021
gave me the quickest green light that I got with the company and it was on april fool's Day, so I wasn't sure if they were messing with me or not, but but they were they had been wanting to get into the coloring book game and this was the opportunity to do that. And um once I said yes, I was like great, but now I have to feel 88 pages of you know pages with like you said blank pages, you know, pages. So so it was like okay make my list of all the things that are horror related, all the horror characters that I could think of and just go down the list, you know, this was a big task and I really wanted a knock it out of the park because this was going, I was like speaking for horror fans, this was this was our chance to have a horror adult coloring book. and sure enough when it came out in September 2016 it just exploded and it was in the Wall Street Journal and T. Q. And we did a wow a video to promote it that went viral and got like 7.5 million views. Uh I was just one of my podcast episodes would get 7.5 one, this is it right here. Uh but that was really uh there's they're really the spark because about halfway through the book of drawing all these monsters and stuff, I came up with this character called juliana which is like this little undead ghoul girl that kind of messes with the colorist to find things to unlock uh some, you know, terrors that she has planned and she's really a rambunctious type of character that is really looking to twist the mind of the colors and she became So even in your, your coloring books, you have specific characters that have roles, it sounds like and there's a, there's a family of characters, you know, I just kept expanding on juliana's world and from book to book uh, every book I gave a theme. So, uh beauty of our two, we went inside juliana's preparatory um which is like a museum of oddities and beauty of our three was haunted playgrounds, which was all carnival themes. And so each one really has a theme for me to kind of sink my teeth into and really explore. Right? So with that. Okay, the one question then, that still remains for me and maybe you said it and I just didn't get it. But when you're going through that design process, I mean, how did you figure out like, hey, what are these? Okay, so I get it, you're doing the story? Okay. Doing the story is easier. But I mean, was it like a, I mind game for you as far as drawing the blank images or the uncultured images and like how do you balance that as far as what you vision in your head versus giving the person who's buying the book the artistic freedom to color in that character that scene how they see it, which could be different than how you see it. I mean, does that play into it? The cool thing is I'm not a color by trade, you know, eye color, eye color, my own graphic novels because I have to and we could get into that later. Um but um this was actually kind of a pleasure because I just had to draw the line art and if you go on instagram, instagram or whatever, there's thousands of colors coloring these beauty of horror books and they're fantastic. They're beautiful and you could see the same one page uh colored 20 different ways, you know, different, different styles, different mediums, you name it. So for me that's like, that's something that you, you end up checking out. It's not like when you're one of those people that are released the book and you check out your actually checking to see what people are doing with your art absolutely give you the warm and fuzzies, give you the goose bumps like holy ship, people actually like this. It does because it's kind of like an art project with strangers. You know, it's like, yeah, draw this page and what can you do with it, what you, and, you know, you get people from all over the world, you know, Ukrainian, wherever, um, posting up beautiful pages and it really is a lot more interactive than writing a graphic novel, putting it out and then meeting the fan at the occasional comic con. You know, this is like every every day interaction with fans and and people that love this world. You think do you think that everyday interaction with fans you have? Do you think that that really helps you keep more grounded as far as, you know, where your design goes? Your image goes just your your mentality, because it's not like you're living in a bubble than thinking what people may or may not want your, you know, you're there, you're talking with them on a regular basis, and you're able to kind of get that.