Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Halloween Questionnaire: Eric Pigors

The first in a series of blog entries where I'll ask the same four Halloween-related questions to each person featured.

The King of Old School Halloween is a great place to start. He's artist, and Haunter, Eric Pigors. Eric has worked in the animation industry for over 18 years. The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Tarzan, Hercules, and The Princess and the Frog are some of the films in which his work can be seen. In 1999, he started his own company ToxicToons.

Eric's amazing (and immense) collection of bizarre and macabre works can be seen on his site ToxicToons.com. His shop features his original art, prints, magnets, stickers, t-shirts, buttons, and an absolutely brilliant dvd featuring his alter ego Unkle Pigors.

Click above to watch a teaser.

Trick or Treat Studios has recently produced the first of three masks designed by Eric. Gruesome is a full over-the-head mask with amazing detail and style.

Click above for more information.

His love of Halloween is obvious in his work - grinning pumpkins with Traditional cuts, creepy trick-or-treaters, long-fingered ghouls with extra-long fangs, curvy Vamps, and uneven-limbed creatures abound. And it overflows into his Haunt. I can remember the first time I saw a photo of his Halloween display. It was years ago and I was flipping through images of his art on his site, and I found a very small photo of a skull-faced ghost, and I just stared at it. Leaning in to study and process what I was seeing.

It was the first time I thought of Old School as a Haunt style. It was beautiful. I once described Old School as the watercolor of Halloween, with its washed-out pigments and crude arrangements. With old rubber masks and bright white sheets and plastic skulls hanging from strings. Eric's displays have it all. They capture all the feelings that I had as a Halloween-worshiping kid.

To the Questions:

When you opened your trick-or-treat bag at the end of Halloween night, what candy was the one that would excite you most?
Well there was one house that gave out little bags with Halloween art and candy and other stuff in them. It's funny though, there was an old man & wife who would sit outside their front door with a tv dinner tray. They had lots of stacks of 5 pennies each, and a few silver dollars for the best costumes. For some reason, getting 5 cents seemed like so much money back then! I remember always being excited to get those 5 cents. I think because I could buy more candy at the 7-11 at the end of our neighborhood. Nowadays when I give out candy, I have a couple of bags with stuff like rubber skeletons, spooky sound fx cds, spiders, and lots of candy in case I see a kid all decked out in something really spooky. Like I know this kid gets Halloween, and looks forward to it!

What's your earliest Halloween memory?
Well my mom tells me when I was around 5 or 6, it was my first Halloween, and I saw a kid come to our door dressed as a bunny rabbit. My mom said I ran to my room crying! I like to think this is why I love to draw creepy monsters! hahaha
But I remember seeing hundreds of kids running through the streets all dressed up. And being really afraid to go to the doors of houses that looked like what you and I both do to our houses at Halloween. But now I remember those houses fondly.

How would you define "Old School" Halloween?
Orange, White, Black, and Spooky!!!
I really keep thinking when I go out shopping around Halloween nowadays I will find more stuff like this. But it's all so bland and cute and boring now. I rarely buy anything anymore. That's why when I sell my own merchandise at Halloween, I try to do what I want to buy at stores. Like my TRICK OR TREAT BAG specials, they come full of my Toxictoons merch you only get with the bag. Like a cd of old spooky songs mixed with horror sound bites, window displays of my art, a signed poster, magnet, pins, my Spooky activity book to color and do other stuff in. And this year you can win my art I drew for this year's bag!

About 10 years ago, I was at a grocery store shopping with my wife and there was a box display for Halloween candy. It was just orange with a black tree and a ghost, and it made me bust out a pen and draw on my hand it inspired me so much.
Also Old School Halloween to me is watching the Charlie Brown special, listening to the Disney sound fx record, and watching Disney's Sleepy Hollow cartoon. It's cardboard skeleton displays, the smell of rubber monster masks, black lights, and ghost stories. Halloween is my favorite time of year and it's what I love to draw mostly.

How do you spend Halloween nights?
Well I try to watch as many Halloween-themed shows as possible, and see as many haunted houses as I can go to. I still do a lil spookhouse in my mom's garage to give the kids something to remember, like when I trick or treated in her neighborhood as a kid. There are a few other people there who do it also. When I was maybe 13, I built my 1st haunted house in my mom's garage with my younger brother. We decked it all out with boogie boards as gravestones (lame) but it's all we had. We also had a dummy with my first skeleton mask sitting in a chair with a jack o'lantern. And I sat up in the rafters and would pull ghosts up and down with strings and let them slide down fishing lines like in that Brady Bunch episode. My brother led them around in an executioner outfit with a hatchet that we used to cut firewood. Then at the end, I would scream and drop a dummy down out of the rafters right in front of them. I remember one poor kid started crying and his mom was laughing hysterically.

But the year before this is the one Halloween I remember fondly,when my friend and I went trick or treating. We were determined to go to every house in my mom's neighborhood and get as much candy as we could. I was dressed as a hobo with a pillow in my shirt, nose and glasses, and smudged dirt on my face. That's the year I saw a few houses that had grown-ups dressed as monsters, fog machines, colored lights, and I was petrified to go to their doorways to get my candy. But the one house I remember to this day was playing my favorite Disney sound fx record in their garage. It was the heartbeat or alien part as I walked up their driveway to the house. It was dark and I had to go through a gate and 15 feet to a pitch black doorway with only a jack o'lantern lit for light. I went really slow, looking behind the bushes waiting for something to jump out at me. Then I got to the door and knocked, then I knocked again. And no one answered, so I ran out of their doorway through the gates as fast as I could to the next house and kept filling my pillow case. But just the scary sounds and darkness and my imagination of what was there scared the crap out of me!



crudedoodle.com said...

This is a great interview and a great idea for an entry. Looking forward to others!

Marrow said...

This is great, rot! Can't wait to find out who the rest are!

Rev. Dr. Potato. said...

Awesome. This is great. That's how i feel about Halloween and it's frustrating to see it grow into more gore and sex than traditional ghouls and ghosts. Not that there's anything wrong with gore or sex, but I feel nostalgic about Halloween and see it as orange and black with gnarled tree limbs and green skinned children. Keep these articles coming!

Sara said...

VERY freaking cool. Loved it. Love HIM!

So, did you tell him you hate Disney ;)? lol

I had no idea he was such a seasoned artist with such a love for Halloween. I remember his picture in my animation books growing up. Neat.

Jeano Roid said...

Nice.. Big fan and friend of Pigors. Did the art for our last record.

Marrow said...

hmmmm... I woonder if these interviews will ever end up in Haunt Theory...

Rot said...

: )

Just haunt stuff in Haunt Theory.

Sara : D
I forgot to mention my Disney issues!

Glad you guys liked the interview. I've been toying with it for a while.

Chris Davis has been doing some terrific interviews with fellow haunters at her blog...and the Shellhawksnest blog is doing Halloween memories from bloggers as well.

Neat month for Halloween tales.

Jon Glassett said...

Fantastic start to a fantastic series. What a terrific idea!

Rot said...

I stole it from James Lipton. : )

Pam Morris said...

that was a good read (and really fun pics!!!)

K.O. said...

Great feature, Rot! I love the profile and the questions. A series of interviews is a wonderful idea! Looking forward to the next installment.

The Gill-Man said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Mr. Pigor's artwork! I first discovered Toxic Toons on Eric's MySpace page, and I've been a fan ever since! His love of Halloween is evident in all of his work, and his approach to haunting is absolutely wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing this interview, Rot!

The Frog Queen said...

What a great interview thanks for sharing...absolutely love his work and he is a very generous guy!

Thanks to both of you for sharing....and thanks for the mention :)