It’s common for creative MCAD graduates to start out freelancing, and while the life is intimidating it can be rewarding. But how many grads can say they got to create “splatter targets” of zombies for gun enthusiasts?
Maybe only Brent Schoonover, a lifetime fan of genre comics and pop culture. And the ridiculously gruesome zombies weren’t even his idea! “It was a really random process—someone I hardly knew dropped my name to the client.”
Schoonover actually prefers familiar modes like comics and editorial illustration. “Comics is the medium where I feel the most creative freedom, and I love telling stories,” says the self-published co-creator (with fellow alum Brandon Terrell) of Horrorwood. “And editorial work is often small jobs with a quick turnaround—even though print (magazines, newspapers) is in bad shape as a market, I’ve loved doing that kind of work.”
Horrorwood used the 1950s Hollywood blacklist as a setting for supernatural doings. Schoonover’s newest comics project, Mr. Murder is Dead , is a hardcover “crime noir type of story.” He’s fixed on the classics of American entertainment, and despite his digital skills he prefers pencils and ink for most of the comics work.
But he also gets today’s social media, despite a solo basement studio. “In addition to Facebook, Twitter, Deviant Art, etc. I’d love to set up a virtual studio through Skype, so people could watch my process and ask questions while I work!”