Monday, September 29, 2014

Burning With A Strange Light: An interview with Jim Wheelock

If you you stop by the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles this year, you'll run into some of the visionaries behind INFERNO LOS ANGELES. We talked with Jim Wheelock who did the art and design for this new book.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started on all of this? What was one of the hardest things for you to learn?

I'm the illustrator and designer of INFERNO LOS ANGELES, which is a graphic novel written by Ron Bassilian. It's a 136 page, full color, hardcover book that retells Dante's INFERNO in modern terms. We're both very proud of it. Probably the hardest thing I learned is just how much work is involved in producing a work this big -- there are lost of people in Hell, and you have to drawn them all!

I've also worked doing storyboards for animation and music videos, and on various independent comic projects, including one my earliest horror stories, "One Good Trick". which appeared in the legendary TABOO anthology.

We're selling INFERNO LOS ANGELES in the Mall of Cthulhu here at the Festival, and you can also order it at

What's your favorite H.P. Lovecraft story? 
I'd say "The Whisperer in Darkness". I grew up in Brattleboro, Vermont, which is one of the locations of the story, and when I first read it, it was great to be able to picture the events happening in an area I knew so well. I also really enjoyed the recent film version, where they shot it as it might have been made in the 1930s.

What's been your favorite creation so far? What was the most unexpected surprise you've found when making these creations?

INFERNO LOS ANGELES. The surprise -- and relief -- was that when it came back from the printers, everything had worked.

What’s the biggest challenge for artists interested in creating a Lovecraftian work?

I thinking finding something new in the context of the Lovecraft universe. It's a rich environment, though, so it can be done.

What's a project you really hope to take on in the next few years? Where do you hope to go from here?

I'm hoping to get started on a new graphic novel soon. I'm in the process of writing a couple of projects -- a crime story and a period science fiction story with Lovecraftian elements. I'm not sure which will come out of the gate first. I'm also looking for projects from other sources.

Where else can we find you throughout the year?

I'll probably be at the French comics festival in Angoulême again in January, although not as an exhibitor, and at various U. S. conventions throughout the year. My art blog is at

This year’s theme is “Shadows Over Innsmouth.” Do you think this story has had an influence on your work?

Certainly in terms of mood, and, coming from New England, there's an extra punch to the story for me. I also like Stuart Gordon's film version, DAGON, a lot.

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