Thirteen Terrifying Tales: Jon Scorfina Talks Spirits of St. Louis

Categories: Interviews

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Adam Davenport
Zombie Lindbergh
Ink & Drink Comics started out as a social gathering for St. Louis comic creators to meet up and drink beer while talking about comics. However, the group's enthusiasm soon outgrew simple conversation -- and they decided to pool their talents and start making comics.

The first release from this collection of macabre minds will be Spirits of St. Louis -- a horror anthology featuring thirteen terrifying tales. Just in time for Halloween, the collection provides plenty of chills with a lot of local flavor.

The official release is scheduled for Wednesday, October 13 at Star Clipper, 6392 Delmar in the Loop. From 5 to 10 p.m., fans will have a chance to meet most of the contributors. Oh, and there's also going to be free beer -- after all this is an Ink & Drink production!

A to Z recently caught up with contributor/Star Clipper manager Jon Scorfina to talk about the anthology.

William Melton: How did this project originate? Whose idea was it and was the decision to actually do it immediate, or did it gestate over a few weeks or so?

Jon Scorfina: The idea of Ink & Drink originated between Spirits editor and Pretentious Record Store Guy creator Carlos Ruiz and Pangaea creator Kevin Wolf, to form a collective group of comic creators in St. Louis to meet up and work on/ chat about comics. They met through mutual connections at Star Clipper and began attending comic conventions together, sharing table space. Slowly the group grew, adding members, and began meeting up monthly at the Applebee's near the Esquire. At first, it was more drinking cheap beer and discussing comic books, but gradually the idea of putting together an anthology of everyone's comics came out of drunken ramblings.

Once the group decided to do it, how did you go about putting it altogether? Was there a person (or two) assigned to a sort of managerial role to oversee the project?

Carlos Ruiz took the greatest managerial role for the project. It was decided that the deadline for submission was August 1, 2010 in order to get the books printed and to do a test run at Project Comic Con 2 in September in Maryland Heights, MO. Carlos would send out a monthly email to update contributors of the deadline and specifications for stories. Each contributing member was allotted a six-page story. The only real requirement was to write a story in the horror genre. Otherwise, creators had complete creative control over their story. The genre guideline really helped focus the large group.

The second anthology, tentatively titled Shots in the Dark, will be a crime anthology with a planned release of March 2011, with a third Science Fiction anthology planned for later that year. (Page count for contributors will also be increasing from six to eight pages.) Contributors were found through friends and associates of the Ink and Drink group. Star Clipper and Playbackstl were also hubs for comic creators associated with the project. In August, editors Carlos Ruiz, Jason Green and Brian Hollerbach sequenced all the stories together and sent it to print. To the group's surprise, the advanced copies completely sold out at Project Comic Con 2!  

Was it difficult coordinating the work of so many authors and artists or did everyone come together and work nicely as a team?

Unfortunately, a few planned contributors were not able to submit work. By happenstance, it turned out that there were thirteen tales of terror submitted. This just felt like the perfect haunting number for an October release! Carlos and I discussed releasing the comic on Wednesday, October 13 at Star Clipper where I'm the general manager, which was extra exciting because it was New Comic Wednesday! For a group of people who love comics, Wednesday has a significant importance to your weekly existence. 


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