"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> TERRANCE ZDUNICH
ADDICTED TO THE KNIFE:
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH
BY PAMELA TORRES
PUNK GLOBE: Alright. Most of us recognize you as GRAVEROBBER from REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA, but your official website reveals you as an illustrator. About how long have you been drawing and doing animation?
ZDUNICH: Iíve been drawing my whole life and began working as a professional illustrator a little over ten years ago, primarily as a storyboard artist for live-action film and television. During this time, I took a couple of jobs storyboarding for animation as well. Most of this work however isnít representative of my true artistic voice, which is quite a bit darker than most toon jobs call for.
PUNK GLOBE: What kind of comics or cartoons influenced the style you created for REPO!'s stark animation sequences?
ZDUNICH: Tim Saleís art in Batman: The Long Halloween was one of the inspirations for the look of REPO!'s comic book sequences, especially his prominent use of black and limited color palettes. That said, I like to draw in varied styles. If you look at my latest work in the comics series The Molting, youíll notice the visual style, which changes from chapter to chapter, is completely different from the work I did for REPO!
PUNK GLOBE: Recently a lot of action-packed superhero comics and graphic novels are brought to life in the form of big budget blockbuster movies. Do you yourself have any favorites?
ZDUNICH: Christopher Nolanís take on the Batman series is probably the most successful demonstration of a comic book-movie adaptation. This success is partly due to the fact that the character of Batman exists in the real world, a real man without super powers. From Superman to Jesus, characters with super-human abilities donít translate well on the big screen because their magic powers, when filmed to resemble real life, usually register as unbelievable. I prefer my comic book heroes to be flawed human beings, not anthropomorphized gods.
PUNK GLOBE: As a lyricist, are you thinking of composing your own solo album?
ZDUNICH: Maybe. Although Iím not all that interested in the typical singer-songwriter route. If I were to record an album, it would probably be more along the lines of horror radio theatre or a pornographic audio book.
PUNK GLOBE: A lot of people, including director Darren Lynn Bousman, described REPO! as both 'a 21st century ROCKY HORROR' and 'the little engine that could.' Do you think more fanatics are embracing the film now because of the fact that it wasn't shown in a lot of American theaters?
ZDUNICH: I think that fans are embracing REPO! because itís different than most mainstream films. It exists as a very special, almost indefinable, project. As such, the audiences thatís come to embrace REPO! are also unique and special. If REPO! had opened on three thousand movie screens, would the project still be revered as something special? Something exclusive? I donít know, but I think so. I think we would have bombed big time with a large theatrical release and been ridiculed by mainstream audiences. This reaction would have fueled a similar response from REPO!ís current fanbase. How does the old saying go? You can drag the girl out of the barn, but if you donít duct tape her mouth sheíll scream and wake up the neighbors?
PUNK GLOBE: On December 5th you attended an interactive screening of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW in Los Angeles with the group SINS OF THE FLESH. Tell us what that experience was like?
ZDUNICH: ROCKY people, like REPO! people, are great. You can attend a screening of either film almost anywhere in the world and youíre guaranteed to meet the same sorts of folks: courageous, unconventional, and fun. I'm always honored to be a guest at these sorts of events.
PUNK GLOBE: I recently read online that you drew some storyboards for a film called FIREDOG. What is that about?
ZDUNICH: I did storyboards for this animated film several years ago. Last I heard the production was canned due to budgeting issues. The moral of the story: when grave-robbers are asked to draw cute cartoon puppies, chaos follows.
PUNK GLOBE: As you probably know, actor Patrick Swayze passed away last September after a long battle with cancer. As an uncredited storyboard maker for his very last movie, POWDER BLUE, how well did you know him?
ZDUNICH: Storyboard artists seldom meet the casts of films they work on. Typically, the work of a board artist is completed during a movieís preproduction process, which happens before filmingóand sometimes castingóbegins. I did meet Patrick Swayze, however, but not on Powder Blue; he auditioned for a part in REPO!.
PUNK GLOBE: Right now you are in the process of creating a 12-part graphic novel called THE MOLTING. How long have you been undertaking this, and what do you think cockroaches represent?
ZDUNICH: I worked on the story of The Molting for about a year and began the drawing process about four months ago. A new issue will be released every two months and the first two installments, "Guilty Susie" and "The Happiest Place On Earth", are available now at www.TheMoltingComic.com. In terms of my friends the cockroaches, the title The Molting is largely in reference to the molting process that these six-leggers go through when then outgrow their shells: roaches inhale air until their shells pop, then abandon their former skins, crawling out of them all white and slimy. Within hours, they form newer, stronger coats of armor.
PUNK GLOBE: Is your fascination with cockroaches partially inspired by the MTV short JOE'S APARTMENT by any chance?
ZDUNICH: No, not directly. I remember seeing and enjoying that film when I when I was college, especially the notion that as guys we need to hide the filthy secrets crawling around in our apartments from women if we ever want to get laid. "Terrance?" "Yes, baby?" "Is that a foot a see sticking out from behind the television set?" "Part of one, yes."
PUNK GLOBE: Is there anything else you'd like to say to all Punk Globe readers?
ZDUNICH: Check out The Molting. In exchange, you will have a new friend that you can call if you ever accidentally kill a prostitute and need a little "help" with the body.