Death Cookie: Since you’ve been living a little too far from St. Louis to make it to Archon every year, we haven’t seen you in a while. What have you been up to?
Gary Bedell: Mostly I’ve been plotting and planning projects. I took a break from the convention circuit so I could produce products instead of having a sore wrist due to crazy commissions list.
DC: We have this vague knowledge that your day job involves doing some kind of art for video games, but we’ve never been entirely clear on the details. Care to tell us more about what you do for a living?
GB: I work as a specialist for Black Lantern Studios. Which means I do a variety of things. Concept art, animation, and sometimes game design. I’ve been working for them a little over six years.
DC: Tell us more about Thawed. What made you decide it was time to release a book of art, and what kind of cool stuff will we find inside?
GB: Thawed, originally was going to be almost a retaliation piece due to my anger against the industry. (I wont go into details) But I later changed my mentality and decided to aim it more towards what I’ve done and the work that I hadn’t been able to show the public (minus the internet). It’s called Thawed because I felt like a lot of my work had just been on “hold” or “frozen” for years. Then I just said f#*k it the people need to see this. Now, I’m planning a book release party which will be on March 4th 2011 at Canvas Gallery in Springfield Missouri.
DC: One thing we know from experience is that you’re prolific, especially when you get excited about a project. When we did M-Force, you sent us something like three times as many drawings as we asked for--so much we couldn’t fit it all in the book. With so much work to choose from, how did you go about deciding what to include in Thawed?
GB: Oh man, that was the hardest part of putting the book together. I literally went through gigs of work and set up an internal folder system on my computer. It took me a month to decide what went in and what didn’t. The second hardest part was producing new work while I was doing the layouts because there would be a piece that I would highly consider putting in the book but, I’d have to tell myself no because I’d have to change layouts and page numbers which is a pain in the ass.
DC: In a lot of the illustrations you did for Hex, you included yourself in the pictures, sometimes as a character, sometimes on a poster or milk carton or something. Once the Hex staff caught on, these self-portraits became sort of an “Easter egg” that we always look for when you send us new stuff. Are you still doing this? If so, how many self-portraits do you estimate are scattered throughout Thawed?
GB: LOL. I haven’t done it much as of lately. But if I had to guess there’s probably about 3-4 of them.
DC: Last year, you did a Halloween-themed drawing every day for the entire month of October. What inspired that--was it just a personal challenge (kind of along the lines of a 24-hour comic), a dare, a bet, or what? Once you’d committed to the drawing a day, did you regret it or have trouble coming up with new ideas?
GB: The Halloween countdown was definitely a personal challenge and a chance to flex different art styles. Plus, Halloween is my favorite holiday which made it even more fun. There were a few times were time was a factor so I was doing about two to three a day. The only hard part was not repeating subject matter.
DC: Do you plan to do this kind of thing again, or is once enough?
GB: I had planned on doing it just once but I've gotten a lot of request to do it again next year. So, I "might" do it again
DC: What the Hell is Kanye Twitty? We need to know.
GB: Well, as you may or may not know I DJ and produce music as Agent Traxxident. Kanye Twitty started as a joke between my friends and I. I think it was a country meets rap type thing. So I decided to produce the EP. I took samples from Conway Twitty songs and turned them into hip-hop/dance tracks and added acapellas from Kanye West. The trick was to match the subject matters per song. For example, Conway Twitty’s “Lead me on” and Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” equals “Lead me to Gold’ . The album will be free and available to download soon.
DC: Have you got any other projects coming up that you can tell us about?
GB: I have a project that I refer to as “My Baby” it’s a comic project but that’s all I can say about it at the moment. I’m working on a horror project with writer Mark Berryhill aka KingMAB called, “The Betweened” tba on release date though. There’s a few other things but as you know I can’t talk about them yet.
Visit Gary's website at http://www.geebeemedia.com/