Over the past decades, Brom has lent his distinctive visions and artwork to all facets of the creative industries, from novels and games to comics and film. He is also the author of a series of award-winning illustrated horror novels: Krampus: The Yule Lord, The Child Thief, The Plucker, and The Devil’s Rose. Brom is currently kept in a dank cellar somewhere just outside of Seattle. Visit him at bromart.com.
First off I’d like to ask you a question in the spirit of Nightmare: What scares you the most?
Runaway political correctness that is destroying our right to offend? Other than that, parasites, anything that feeds on our innards. Ack! But for the most part I am very superstitious and believe the shadows are teeming with things out to get me.
Most people think of December as a time for happy holidays, but as the author of Krampus: The Yule Lord, you know there’s a dark side to the dead of winter. What is your favorite creepy winter myth and why?
Well, since I wrote an entire novel on dear old Krampus, he has to be my first choice. Hard not to love a figure that revels in putting naughty children in a sack and beating the snot out of them. In addition to his child minding, I enjoy his long history that extends far back to pagan times, long before Saint Nicholas came along and stole the holiday season from him. I love the idea of Krampus returning to reclaim Christmas, which is probably why it’s the premise of my novel.
December is also a time for traditions. Do you have any unique winter or holiday traditions?
The family does take some pride in who can wear the ugliest Christmas sweater. Sorry, no pictures. Other than that the usual, y’know, putting coal in my kids’ stockings, eating figgy pudding, slaughtering a goat and offering its intestines to the mother goddess.
What inspired Redd Wing, the image appearing as the cover of this month’s Nightmare?
I seem to have a bit of a fetish for winged women, but hey, who doesn’t? I’ve done similar versions of this bird skull lady for various projects and commissions. She is vaguely based on a concept I have been exploring of what happened to the Valkyries after Valhalla fell.
What kind of world do you envision the figure in Redd Wing comes from?
A world littered with dead gods after Ragnarok and the fall of Valhalla.
In early October, you and your wife participated in “Baby Tattooville,” a small weekend intensive that brought together approximately twelve artists and forty art aficionados. Do you prefer appearing at small gatherings, or at larger venues like conventions? Do they each have their own pros and cons?
I love the small, intimate shows with the focus being on art. Wonderful to be able to take your time with people, to indulge yourself in art and creativity.
During the “Baby Tattooville” event, you and the other artists collaborated on an original art piece. Have you ever worked on one piece with so many artists before? What was it like?
I have not. It was, simply put, a hell of a lot of fun. I was far outside of my comfort zone, as I don’t traditionally paint in acrylics, but there was so much talent there to shepherd the painting along. It was fascinating to see the painting mutate, destruct, and finally evolve as more and more artist added their bits.
Can you tell us anything about the new novel you’re working on? Or are the details top secret?
I tend to keep details secret until closer to release, but for the most part it is a gritty and visceral romp through purgatory accompanied by dozens of full color paintings and pencil renderings. Shooting to have it out about a year from now. For more details keep an eye on bromart.com.
Do you have any advice for young artists looking to follow in your dark and dangerous footsteps?
Don’t eat paint, but equally important, be sure to put in your portfolio the type of work you really want to do, as the type of work you show is the type of work you will get.
Spread the word!