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Frightful Friday With Asylum Press’ Frank Forte

Kevin Community • Oct 22, 2021

Frank Forte is an accomplished designer, storyboard artist and comic book artist whose credits include Lovecraft Country, Heavy Metal Magazine, Bob’s Burgers and more. Influenced by classic cartoons and comic books, Frank’s work is an assemblage of inspiration from what he grew up watching on TV and reading in comic books.

Frank is also the publisher of Asylum Press, which produces premium comic books and graphic novels within the horror, science fiction, and action genres. Featuring original, character-driven stories and cinematic artwork by top creators and new talent, Asylum appeals to an audience that might not normally buy traditional comic books.

Over the last year, Asylum has worked hard -- recruiting the best artists they can find from around the world and team them up with professional screenwriters to create exceptional stories to captivate readers.

GlobalComix: We are delighted to have this opportunity to learn more about you and your work. Tell us about what led you to a career in television and comics?

Frank Forte: I was working in indie comics all throughout the 90s. I worked for Cry for Dawn, Boneyard Press, Anubis Press and others. The work was great, but the pay was low.

In the early 2000s I moved out to Hollywood to find work as a storyboard artist in TV and film. I worked in animation at first, for Renegade Animation, Comedy Central and a few other small studios before getting a job at Bento Box where I worked on The Allen Gregory Show.

That led to a 4-year gig on Bob's Burgers. After that I worked at Sony Animation, DreamWorks and a few other places, before transitioning to live action where I've stayed. I've worked on many horror films at Blumhouse (Insidious: The Last Key, Truth or Dare, Fantasy Island), The Conjuring 3, Lovecraft Country and the upcoming She-Hulk TV show for Marvel.

GlobalComix: You founded Asylum Press in 1999, what was the impetus for it? 

Frank Forte: I was working with smaller publishers, but I had been dying to get back into it myself, I had connections with Diamond from doing From Beyond in 1991, so I just started publishing again under Asylum Press. We published Hex of the Wicked Witch, Billy Boy, The Vampire Verses, Satan's Powder Room, Satan Gone Wild, Warlash, Chicken Soup for Satan and many others. We took a break around 2016 and now we're back. We are doing a hybrid of publishing and fundraising through crowdfunding as well as through Diamond and other distributors.

GlobalComix: Asylum is known for its eclectic taste in horror, vintage comics, and exotic sci-fi. As a publisher and a creator, what sort of stories interest you? 

Frank Forte: I've always loved The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, Tales from the Darkside and other short form anthology shows. In comics I always read House of Mystery, heavy metal, Epic, Eerie and Creepy and all the short story collections from Europe. 

So, Asylum Press naturally gravitated to anthology comics. Satan's Powder Room, Satan Gone Wild, Chicken Soup for Satan, Insidious Tales, EEEK!, Zombie Terrors, Asylum of Horrors, Vampire Macabre are all anthologies.  Now these are always a hard sell, it's easier to create a flagship character and build a fanbase, with anthologies, it's a certain type of reader. Asylum press does have 3 brand new series featuring characters in mini-series format like Hellboy. We will be releasing the details soon.

GlobalComix: October is here with Halloween right around the corner, what can you tell us about your recent Halloween Horror Box Kickstarter

Frank Forte: Halloween Horror Box is a crowdfunding campaign that offers regular and variant covers to a selection of five all-new horror comics. The titles include: Vampire Macabre: Halloween Special #1, Zombie Terrors: Halloween Special #1, EEEK!: Halloween Special #1, Asylum of Horrors: Halloween Special #1 and Vampires: Halloween Special #1. Each of these titles features a Kickstarter exclusive covers that include NSFW "naughty" covers by me, Jason Paulos and Edu Menna, Metal covers.

I'm very excited to bring readers a horrific bloodthirsty collection of all-new horror comics featuring an international cast of artistic talent, that arrive just in time for the Halloween horror madness! The campaign ends Oct. 31st (Halloween) at Midnight!

GlobalComix: Where can horror and sci-fi fans learn more about Asylum and its spooktacular comics? 

Frank Forte: You can find us online at www.asylumpress.com. For Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, you can find us using the handle: AsylumPress. You can learn more about me and my work as an artist and creator on my website: FrankForte.com.

GlobalComix readers can find a curated selection of Asylum Press’ books right here: @AsylumPress. Thanks again for joining us, Frank.