Sandy King is certainly not overshadowed by her husband and filmmaker extraordinaire, John Carpenter. Together, they are a powerhouse couple who’s out to make a unique stamp in not only comicbookdom but also cinema. She’s not only co-producer of her husbands many works, but also the first woman founder of the comic book publishing company, Storm King Comics . Before this shift to publishing, she worked with legends of cinema like Francis Ford Coppola and Michael Mann to name a few.
“I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to work with amazing auteur filmmakers in a wide array of genres,” said King. “In the animation world, I worked for Lewis Hall and Carlos Gutierrez on a film called ‘Anti-Matter,’ which won the first Student Academy Award. With John, I’ve done some pretty classic horror films, including ‘They Live,’ which I think was an important film for our times.”
There are not many filmmakers today who can say they’ve made dramas (Killing of a Chinese Bookie with Cassavetes), comedies (16 Candles with John Hughes), westerns (The Long Riders with Walter Hill), animated films and horror movies.
This company got its start when Thomas Ian Griffith came to her and John with an idea. They spent two years learning the ropes, and talking to those who know the industry before getting anything printed. “The result was our first book, John Carpenter’s Asylum . It won awards; it was fun to do, and we’ve never stopped. Probably our most popular title is the annual anthology we publish every October, John Carpenter’s Tales for a HalloweeNight,” said King.
And there’s a lot more that the pair do throughout the year. I got a chance to interview King in a joint project with Absolute Underground Magazine.
How involved is your husband with Storm King Comics?
The comics are made out of the same offices where we do all of our other projects, from movies to TV shows and music tours. He’s involved in it all. The comic company is mine, so I do the heavy lifting, but he sees every story, weighs in on stories and art and writes a story every year for the anthology.
I’m very curious about how the artist selection process works. Do they pitch to Storm King Comics, or do you approach specific individuals?
In general, I find the writers and artists…they don’t find me. And much like when I crew up a movie, I match make the teams on each comic.
In the upcoming Tales for a Halloween Night Vol 8, that page with Osiris is really cool, and I wish I could own a print of that. What made you decide to go for an Egyptian theme for the splash pages that precede the story?
Anna Carillo, who writes the interstitials each year, pulls the theme of each one from the stories that follow. Her brother, Jaime, is the artist. I just dug the concept they had of Bastet cruising through time in various guises. It took the Halloween black cat to another level. Jaime is an incredible painter, isn’t he?
How does John Carpenter’s Tales For A HalloweeNight differ from other anthology series that’s produced around this time? How would you compare this to, for example, Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror?
I don’t compare our books to what other people are doing. I think what’s different about our books in general is how I choose the writers, and that they’re not all the expected comic writers. And when they are, I push them outside their usual lanes.
When did the idea to produce comics under the Storm Kids label come about? Also, is it okay to introduce kids to the horror genre at a young age?
I thought there weren’t enough good books in the genre aimed at kids that dignified them as a real audience with taste. R.L. Stine was the only real author I saw who got age appropriate horror and served it with good, solid writing that holds up through the years. Not that it isn’t out there. I just wasn’t seeing it served up with good art and good writing. I had families stopping by my booth at the cons and kids were wanting to look at our books which are aimed at adults. The themes are more existential. What’s frightening in them is over their heads.
I think horror is an allegorical art form and is absolutely okay when dealt with on an age appropriate level to help kids through their fears. They can conquer separation anxiety, loss, and death on their own terms, handled gently. The littlest ones (4-8 year olds) can just come to the party and feel included in the Halloween hijinks with ghosts and pumpkins and bats.
For the parent company, Storm King Productions, are there any films or TV series currently in production?
Yes. But there are NDAs on everything until the networks and studios announce them.
What’s coming up that we can expect this year?
Where can people find you online?