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Falls Horror Fest Profile: The art of Steve McGinnis

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On June 8th and 9th in Niagara Falls, Canada, FANGORIA is presenting the Falls Horror Fest, two days of cult film icons (including Tom Savini, Kane Hodder, Lori Cardille, David Prowse, Jeff Lieberman and many others) and fantastic events. Fango staffers like editors myself, Sam Zimmerman and Kier-La Janisse will be on hand to meet fans and talk about the magazine, while all manner of weird pop culture happenings go down around us, including FX artist Paul Jones bringing his props and monsters from films like RESIDENT EVIL and SILENT HILL.

One of the local artists behind the fest is horror enthusiast and children’s book illustrator Steve McGinnis, whose lifelong obsession with monsters lead him to use pencil, paint and digital tweaking in making multimedia hat tips to the creatures he adores.

Steve has designed much of the advertising material for the con and will be on hand selling prints of his favorite works. We shone a light on the artist, allowing him some space to speak through the horror media portal he’s loved since he was a kid.

FANGORIA: When did you start drawing monsters?

McGinnisJasonSTEVE MCGINNIS: I started at a young age of six or seven drawing the classic monsters; Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney and my favorite, Lon Chaney Jr. I’ve always had a passion for illustrating horror. Fast forward a few decades and I was given an opportunity to illustrate horror art for the 2012 MacabreCon. This was a pleasant change from the years of children’s book illustration that I had been doing. The overwhelming positive reception I received from the horror fans made me want to enter the horror illustration field fulltime.

FANG: What tools do you use to realize that style?

MCGINNIS:  I still illustrate with blueline pro paper and pencils and ink by hand. I made the jump to digital coloring and shading on the tablet with children’s art a few years ago. It’s cleaner, quicker and finishes camera ready. The transition to the Intous tablet is not an easy one, though.

FANG: How would you describe your style?

MCGINNIS:  I have a few styles: my children’s book style, comic book style and the horror realistic style. I think what they would have in common is that I try and capture the eyes, posture and emotion to let the viewer know what’s taking place without words.  I market my children’s art through my site and publishers. I’m lucky enough now that writers approach me to illustrate their stories. As for the horror art, I’ve currently added a complete horror page to my site and timeline.  The organizers at the Falls Horror Fest & Niagara Falls Comic Con have given me a huge opportunity to showcase my art to horror fans that would normally not see my work. This includes having four of my pieces of art showcased in four issues of FANGORIA.

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About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
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