Archaia's Feeding Ground, a terrific horror series by Swifty Lang, Chris Mangun and Michael Lapinski that's recently been collected in a hardcover, is having a launch party for the hardcover at Salon Hecho in the Bowery, New York City, tomorrow night. What better way to celebrate Halloween than by hanging out in a New York bar rubbing elbows with the guys who brought werewolf horror to life on the Mexican border?
The Feeding Ground crew joined ComicBook.com to talk a little bit about the shindig, which you can learn more about by clicking over to their Facebook event page.
ComicBook.com: Describe Feeding Ground for us in twenty-five words or so for the uninitiated.
Swifty Lang: Feeding Ground is a story about a Mexican family trying to cross the border while they are besieged by werewolves. It's a modern myth about identity, transformation, and survival.
ComicBook.com: So why Salon Hecho? I mean, there are few places cooler to be on Halloween than the Lower East Side, but it's not a traditional comics venue. You could have gone with St. Mark's Comics or even The Pourhouse, where the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund often has events.
Chris Mangun: Good question! When our first floppy issue for Feeding Ground came out, we had a party at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn which went great. For the graphic novel we knew we had to do something unique to get people to come out. We needed a concept or theme. I learned about Hecho through Rene Hubard who has a band Rana Santacruz and played a lot at the old restaurant in Dumbo. I knew Salon Hecho as not just another great NYC Mexican restaurant and bar, its a fantastic rustic yet modern cultural hub for foodies, artist, and musicians. Rene told me Salon Hecho had just opened a stage/bar next to the restaurant in the Bowery and they might be willing to help us with a party based our work Feeding Ground... he said, (to paraphrase), “Ethan Smith, who’s one of the owners and artist, is a great guy who has helped a lot of Mexican/American artists.” When I met with Ethan at Salon Hecho, he was such a nice down to earth guy who welcomed our party concept. To make it complete, we hired Rana Santacruz to perform during the event (Rene also sang on our trailer for Feeding Ground). We wanted to give fans (and potential readers) a visceral celebration...food, drink, music, art and what better night and place than Halloween and Salon Hecho.
ComicBook.com: It's funny because for a "horror" book this reads more like a drama than a slasher flick. It's very smart. Do you anticipate a lot of pickup as a result of Halloween?
Thanks for saying so. From the moment Swifty pitched me the idea, I knew that there was already inherent horror in moving the werewolf myth to the Mexican desert. From there, our goal was to play to the terror of the location while delivering a personal family story and contemporary drama. Horror tales like Carpenter’s The Thing and Romero’s Night of the Living Dead both reflected their respective eras with the mirror of genre. As to whether or not readers will discover the book in time for Halloween, it’s thanks to guys like you that we can get the word out for this one and Halloweens to come.
ComicBook.com: What will be going on at the party besides just drinking and talking Feeding Ground? Giveaways, free food, art auction, drink & draw, any of that stuff?
Mangun: On top of the live music and dancing, we plan on giving away posters designed by Michael for anyone in a Feeding Ground-inspired costume.
ComicBook.com: Is this an Archaia event or just something you ,Swifty, and Chris thought would be cool?
Mangun: This is a Feeding Ground event that had been conceived about 6 months ago and slowly evolved into the current party concept. It really was the convergence of finding the space, the band, and the perfect celebratory date that worked with all of our schedules.
Any chance of seeing more Feeding Ground material? I've heard that you guys are all working on other projects, but this one has been a pretty successful gig for all involved, right?
Lapinski: As first-time creators, the book has already been a creative and personal success for us as we continue working to make sure Feeding Ground reaches its audience. The foreword by author Luis Alberto Urrea, who literally wrote the non-fiction book on the region of The Devil’s Highway, was a rewarding affirmation that there’s more for us to explore. There’s some indication in the book as to Blackwell’s colonial-era origin and also an opportunity for us to follow the remaining family members through a very changed landscape at the book’s end.