Our Friend, and renowned creator Gary Pullin is an award winning artist who in his own words (Instagram bio), specializes in Design, Illustration, and Monsters. Not only has he played an integral role in creating many of the foundational designs for the Official Return of the Living Dead product line, his highly detailed and vibrant designs were heavily featured in the exclusive limited edition Kickstarter Collection, whose success was able to launch our site. All that aside, frankly his stuff is just cool as sh--! So, we thought it would be fun to ask him a few questions. Here's Ghoulish Gary Pullin--in his own words.
What was the first horror movie you remember watching?
It’s tough to define the very first horror film I watched, it could have been a Godzilla film or a Universal Monster movie. We lived in Ontario, Canada and we would get a few U.S. stations, like Channel 43 in Cleveland. I do have a very early memory of watching the Creature from the Black Lagoon for the first time. When they showed the Creature, shrilling music would go off and for a young kid, that was pretty scary. When the home video boom hit in the 80s, my parents got us a VCR. My friends and I rented as many horror movies as we could. I remember watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the very first time and it was terrifying. It felt like I was watching something that could really happen. I was hooked. Nightmare on Elm Street was another instant favourite.
When did you come across The Return of the Living Dead? What’s the first scene or image that jumps out at you when you think about it?
I remember seeing the VHS cover in the video store for the first time and I was totally captivated it. The greenish grinning, skeletal punk rockers demanded I rent it. Right away you could tell it looked like it promised something more than the other zombie films. When you ask what the first scene that pops into your head is, you can’t help but think of Trash’s impromptu cemetery dance but when Tarman yells “Brains!!”, you know you’re in for something different. The film instantly established its own rules, I think a lot of horror fans can relate to that. William Stout’s design of Tarman and some of the other aspects are a big factor to the film’s success. And you can’t forget the soundtrack. It introduced me to Roky Erickson and the tracks are all incredible as well.
Who were some of your influences for your distinct and amazing artistic style?
I appreciate that, thanks! Growing up, I gravitated towards artists like Bernie Wrightson and Vincent Locke from DeadWorld. I loved their pen and ink style. The first time I saw Basil Gogos was a memorable moment. I was in awe of the way he used bright colours to light his monster portraits. I collected Famous Monsters of Filmland, Fangoria and Mad magazine when I was a kid. I loved all the artists and imagery in their pages. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with those magazines, which is something I never would have thought was even a possibility when I was young.
What do you hope people take away from your work with RTLD designs and your other works?
I hope fans of the movie enjoy finding all the Easter eggs we’ve hidden within the poster. There are so many memorable moments and quotes from the movie and we wanted to come up with a unique way to present them. The idea of a “UNEEDA Medical Supply Workplace Hazardous Material Work Guide” made sense. I love all the signage and graphic design that goes into creating environments. Working with the owners of Return of the Living Dead on the artwork has been more fun than a funeral!
You can find Gary and his work at:
IG and Twitter: @ghoulishgary
Ghoulish: The Art of Gary Pullin: https://www.amazon.com/Ghoulish-Gary-Pullin-Exclusive-Cover/dp/1948221063/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ghoulish&qid=1627489130&sr=8-2
**Photo credit: Laura Wimbels**
Celebrate Gary with our Kickstarter Leftovers UNEEDA Collection, available HERE.
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