The Art of the Scare: an interview with Steve McGinnis

The internet can be a scary place, for both good and bad reasons. One of the coolest things going on these days on social media is the career of Steve McGinnis, a horror fanatic and one of the best artists putting ink to paper today.

McGinnis was raised on the good scary stuff and he’s made a name for himself across the horror community thanks to some incredible pieces (including eye-popping work to honor the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre cast at the 2012 Niagara Falls Comic-Con). He’s no one-trick pony, however. McGinnis also is an acclaimed artist in children’s books. When he isn’t sketching his latest nightmare, he can be found in over forty kid books!

As if that weren’t enough on his plate, McGinnis also is the man behind the fan favorite comic series Rise of the Harvester. If you’re not familiar with the soon-to-be trilogy, do yourself a favor and get acquainted fast- it’s top notch work and recently it was announced that audiences would be getting a film adaptation of everyone’s favorite sickle-wielding madman.

Perhaps time doesn’t exist in McGinnis’s universe, because while he’s busy at work on all of these projects and churning out amazing pieces, McGinnis was able to carve out some time to chat with Mangled Matters about his career, The Harvester and what he’s working on currently.

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MANGLED MATTERS: What is the first memory you have of horror sinking its teeth in you and reeling you in?

STEVE McGINNIS: My Aunt used to baby sit me. She’s a horror addict, so we’d watch The Twilight Zone and Hammer films. When Beta came around, she’d bring over Trilogy of Terror and Jaws. Those scared the hell out of me. Jaws left an impression on me. I realized I liked being scared.

MM: Having dabbled in many different art realms, it’s gotta be fun to go from sketching the Three Little Pigs to Leatherface on any given day. How does a typical day in the life of “Steve McGinnis, Artist” go?

SM: It’s a good balance. When I get tired of doing big-eyed puppies and such, I get to jump over to hyper detailed monsters. My day is almost like a flip of a coin. I could be working on a horror piece, then I’ll get an email from a publisher stating they need a kids book started. So, I’ll jump to that.

MM: You’ve seen your art on just about every major horror outlet out there. Is there any one particular piece or cover that is especially near and dear to your heart?

SM: The John Carpenter Fangoria cover. I’m a huge John Carpenter fan. From his films to his music. So this was kind of a dream project. Everyone at Fango was great to work with too. They just said the theme and let me run with it.

Fangoria #339 cover for web

MM:The Harvester is clearly a labor of love for you and one that is gaining a lot of attention (and rightfully so). News broke fairly recently that your series would be adapted into a film. Talk about the ultimate compliment for one’s work. How involved are you going to be in the film-making process of The Harvester?

SM: That was mind-blowing when it finally happened. When I was illustrating the Harvester pages laid it out like a storyboard to give it that film flow. I have thirty percent creative control. I’m also art directing. I hope this keeps the original vision and look of it.

MM: What conventions can fans see you at in the coming months?

SM: I have the new Tri City Super Con coming up in Kitchener, Ontario. I also have Frightmare in the Falls and I might be doing the Hamilton Comic Con in September.

MM: What are you currently working on?

SM: I’m currently working on a few projects and commissions, also working on book 3 of The Harvester.

MM: Where can fans find your latest work?

SM: Fans can find me at my fan pages on Instagram (stevemcginnishorrorillustration) and Facebook, or my website .

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Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Mangled Matters’ review of Rise of the Harvester in the coming days!!

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