Trevor Denham is an artist and magazine illustrator from Mad Monster Magazine, among several others. He received a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design, and has created creatures, storyboards, and graphic novels in addition to his signature pen and ink illustrations. The Head Monsters met Denham at the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, NC earlier this year.
First of all, tell us a little about yourself as an artist, and how you got into your field.
Apparently I have been drawing since day one. Mom saw me at two years old drawing by the nightlight. I guess I said “I have to finish this,” and she let me finish. After that, it was a way to just be creative or impress a girl.
I learned while in the Marines that if you could draw, you got out of doing some dirty detail because the Captain wanted you to draw the company logo. After graduating from the Ringling College of Art & Design, I began working with Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid at Glass Eye Pix, and started film work. From there I began with Diabolique, Mosterpalooza, Shadowland, and Mad Monster magazines.
It depends on your art director. If it’s someone with a strong sense of what they want, it can be difficult. But if you are doing it yourself, sometimes you can get a little lazy. A good swift kick to the rear always helps, never hinders.
We love the work you’ve done of classic monster characters. What is it about the classics that inspires you as an artist?
The classics are just that, classic. There is nothing classy about Freddy, Jason, Micheal, the Saw weirdo, or any of those slasher guys. Maybe it’s because I was born in the wrong age, I don’t know. But I will always take a classic black and white over a color film any day. Unless that film is “The Wild Bunch” – then everything else takes a back seat.
Who are your favorite fellow horror lovers (artist, writer, director, etc.)?
Eben McGarr and Joe Moe at Mad Monster Magazine. They have always treated me with kindness and respect and it is a real pleasure working for them.
If you were a monster, what monster would you be?
According to my fiancée, and I totally agree, I would be the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Here’s why: I live in Florida, I love the water, and I abhor most people.
I’m listening to lots of classic New Orleans jazz, the stuff from the 30’s and 40’s. Artists like Wingy Manone, Pete Fountain, Miff Mole, Red McKenzie, and lots of old Mississippi blues too. Big fan of Muddy Waters and Leadbelly. As far as movies now, I am addicted to the new “Dredd” movie… It should have won best picture.
Do you have any special upcoming projects that you’d like to share with our readers?
I have a sci-fi deal going on and I have been reading plenty of Louis L’amour stories. That just gets my brain rolling into some adventure stories I would like to set in the South China Seas. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.
Anything else you want to talk about that I failed to mention?
I could ramble on for days about things that weren’t asked or discussed, hence my nickname, “Soapbox.” I would just like to thank you for this interview.