Holly Golightly is the High Priestess of Production, Colourist and Vice President of Jim Balent’s BroadSword Comics. Along with that, Holly is also a talented comic book creator in her own right, and is just starting work on the third issue of her current project, School Bites. Holly took some time out to chat with First Comics News about BroadSword and School Bites.
First Comics News: First off, what’s School Bites about?
Holly Golightly: It focuses on Cherri Creeper, a newbie Vampire who’s been recruited by an academy for First Time Vampires and such.
1st: School Bites looks to be a mixture of manga and American style comics. In your view, what’s that miixture like?
Holly: It’s totally eye candy! Lots of colour, texture , patterns….and I switch art style all the way through to support the situations that my characters are going through… romantic-heroic-silly-yummy… I really didn’t want to be nailed down to any style, it’s very schizo.
1st: Stepping into the personal for a moment or to, Holly you make no secret of the fact that you’re a witch. Were your parents witches or did you convert?
Holly: My Father as a boy escaped from Yugoslavia during World War 2, because his dad was Jewish and broke out of a prison camp. His Mum was I believe Catholic, but neither were very religious, possibly all the horrors they saw at the realize of religion labeling made they wary of it. Yet Mimi & Artie always celebrated the feasting part and the festivities like a Christmas tree and egg hunts! They lived on a farm where they once raised chickens, upstate New York, it was heaven for me being a city gal! My Mom is Jewish and she grew up on Long Island. I didn’t feel the pressure of ‘religion’ from her parents either. Nana & Popop were more about tradition, having the fam for Passover and all. I was taken to temple once or twice and the odd Barmiztva, but was way uncomfy when I saw them separate the women and the men. I started reading Tarot at the age of 8. Being a Witch is more a Craft and a science than a Religion. I believe the Religion would be Wicca or Pagan. Me, I’m a Witch, I celebrate the positive in every culture! I ‘m interested in Eastern Cultures as well… I prefer to just keep an open mind . I feel blessed by just being alive and creating.
1st: How did your family react to your becoming a witch?
Holly: Pleeease, have you seen how I dress, That’s always been more of an issue! I don’t really think it matters to them as long as I’m happy, productive and am a basically good person.
1st: What got you interested in witchcraft?
Holly: My mom was approached by a coven back in the 70s, she’s also very sensitive to whatever you need to be sensitive to for Reading the Tarot, that and she’s a hottie what Coven wouldn’t want her! They gave her a Tarot deck. She didn’t join the Coven to my knowledge but the deck was in our apartment, I was just drawn to it. Taught myself, Then other components of the Craft came to my attention, gems, herbs, astrology and then candle Magick.
1st: What is candle Magick?
Holly: It’s a ritual done with candles, glyphs, glitter, oils, incense and certain intent to focus on a particular situation in your life and change it for the better.
1st: How do you go from being interested in witches as an esoteric concept to actually becoming a witch?
Holly: Don’t know . That’s not how it happened for me. I didn’t know I had a name, ‘Witch’. I learned and did all those things before I ever knew about ‘WitchCraft’.
1st: Where does the average person even find a witch?
Holly: Gee, I grew up in New York City. So you may meet any kind of individual there. So…I guess there, the internet, Salem, Mass and probably in the town you live in.
1st: Can you actually perform Magick?
Holly: Everyone can.
1st: What I am trying to get at is it possible to do the type of Magick that breaks the laws of physics?
Holly: I guess what I was trying to express in the Magick is a Science as well as an Art. It comes done to there is not action that doesn’t have a reaction. You drop a pebble in a pond and you can see the ripples roll from the centre out to the shore. You create a ritual, the pebble, to send your thoughts and desires out into the universe, the pond. I’m very practical… Practical Magick! LOL! Now if you’re talkin about flying, as far as I’ve seen that is Hollywood entertainment and Puritan propaganda kinda stuff… but if I ever leave the ground while doing something witchy, I’ll email you! I Promise!
1st: What is Magick like in the real world as opposed to what we see on TV?
Holly: True Magick is more as you see Native Americans express or even what the Jedi do. It is ritual, honoring and respecting the world around you, connecting with the life force. What you see on TV is for entertainment purposes, Magick is to become more in touch with yourself and knowing you are a component in existence.
1st: What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about witches?
Holly: They all worship Satan.
1st: Have you ever faced prejudice because you are a witch?
Holly: Yes. Printers have not worked with us, strangers have been rude to me not to mentioned some individuals in our comic book field. You know I’m dying to name a name…but I’m going to first re-approach this person and inform him that he should never tell anyone that their ‘powers’ come from Satan. At the time I was so stunned and my nature is not to attack but to explain, but since then I thought what if this guy was rude to a Reader like that! No, I think that we as artists need to be kind and appreciative to our readers! And I approached him as a Reader… grrrr, I’m still PO’ed. Mean people suck.
1st: Getting back to Love Bites, many of the titles at Broadsword are not all age appropriate. Is School Bites intended as an all age comic?
Holly: First off ‘All ages ‘ should be judged by a parent not an industry. We do have Mature Reader on some our comics, but I’ve met more mature 14 year olds and less mature 30 some-things so when I sat down to tell the story of “School Bites” I didn’t say -“this should be all ages!” I wanted to draw what I wanted to draw and have fun doing it. But after I finished, I did feel that it would be groovy for 13 and up if I had to put an age scale on it. I did have to obscure a booby or 2, poor things, for distribution… basically it was like in Terminator, when Arnold was sent back to the past all naked like… that’s what happens when you step into another realm in my book-clothes must be shadow proofed or else POOF!… It’s weird that if you show what we are under our clothes, each and every one of us, everyday! It’s “naughty!” but it’s okay to show people beating on each other senseless, so I never refer to them as ‘naughty bit’ but as ‘happy bits’! If you notice there is almost no blood or beating of people in my comic, that was a personal decision, I rather concentrate on relationships, my characters having fun and their cute accessories.
1st: For readers who may not be familiar with School Bites lets go over the main characters. Charlotte Webb/Cherri Creeper is the main character, how does she become a vampire?
Holly: She became bored with a lame Halloween party at the Limelight in NYC, left through an alley exit and became a midnight snack.
1st: Annie Mia is an interesting take on a vampire, has anyone ever done a story with a Vegan Vampire before?
Holly: Err, not to my knowledge, I just know a lot of Vegans and thought it would be an interesting conundrum.
1st: What is the story behind Cleo Batra?
Holly: ah, that will appear in upcoming issue, sooo you’re gonna have to wait.
1st: Fair enough, but how does Sugar Shock end up with pink wings?
Holly: She is just sooooo girlie and sweet, hence Pink Wings! Any other info would come out in the future.
1st: Fujiko transforms into a cat. Don’t all vampires have the same abilities?
Holly: No, not in my Vampire world. Fujiko is based on a Japanese Legend I read when I was young. About a beautiful Japanese Princess that would turn into a huge cat at night and drink the blood of the villagers. Fujiko most always is in a Cat/Human form. That’s her normal appearance, she is not, nor was she ever Human. There are soooo many legends and Myths of what Vampires are, I wanted to create a whole world of them and they’d all have different strengths…kinda like the X-Men of Vampires!
1st: So what is a Vampire school like and how does it differ from a normal school setting?
Holly: Last time I was in college there wasn’t a Blood Drinking or Vampire hygiene class.
1st: How frequently is School Bites published?
Holly: So far once a year, I do everything on that baby and there are 64pgs of full colour!
1st: When can we expect the first two issues to be reissued?
1st: What’s happening with issue #3 and when can we expect to see it?
Holly: It’s bubbling in my brain right now! We’ve set an August date for release.
1st: Your title is High Priestess of Production, Colourist and Vice President of BroadSword Comics. What is the job of the High Priestess of Production?
Holly: Well, I do all the production on the book. Lettering, back pages, organizing printers, number crunching, whatever it takes to get our books out! Plus I do the merchandising with Jim as well as build and maintain our 4 web sites: JimBalent.com | BooCat.us | CryptChick.com | PrettyChibi.com
1st: You have said “I love to use Colour Magick when I colour my book.” What is Colour Magick and how does it affect the way a comic is coloured?
Holly: In the Craft, different colours are used for different rituals, or to symbolize different energies or Gods and Goddesses. For example, Pink and Green are Venus colours, in Magick I use they symbolize, Love, growth, prosperity… so if there’s a scene that is particularly romantic, I may lean toward those colours. The best example would be in our SpellCards!
1st: How noticeable is the difference in coloring to the average reader?
Holly: Probably none.
1st: One of the things that impress me about Broadsword is the marketing. From baby clothes to clocks, from bumper stickers to underwear, including soap and drinking glasses. There is a huge amount of merchandising. How do you decide what is right for baby clothes and what will sell as a dog t-shirt?
Holly: I was a children’s fashion designer for 7 years before I went into my true Bliss of Comics. I ran my own company from the age of 21 to 28… and before that my Mom was in the fashion industry and I worked with her and learned from many professionals about marketing and design. Then after being in Comics for nearly 13 years, I just blended the two together.
1st: You were a child actor, how did your parents get you into acting?
Holly: My Dad was in politics. He was Commissioner of NYC transportation during the 70s & 80s but my Mom was a Model and did a couple of Horror movies in the 60s, she signed me up when I was a baby.
1st: What did you act it?
Holly: I did off Broadway, some commercials and NYU student films. I was in the Blondie video for Rapture.
1st: How did this affect your childhood?
Holly: It kept me busy ! I loved the theatre, I took theatre classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse, singing lessons, art lessons, went to the theatre all the time as well as the movies! My everyday life and brain were full, I never did a drug in my life…I was happy being way busy..!
1st: Why did you stop acting at 16?
Holly: I had a bad experience during a play I was in and realized I didn’t want morons telling me how my hair should look or how I should be… but I was lucky enough to act with Genna Davis in that Play though. I decided that I enjoyed watching theatre more than dealing with the stupid politics.
1st: Then why did you graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a BA in Acting, if you didn’t want to continue with an acting career?
Holly: I wanted to experience the Craft of the art without the politics. and Marymount Manhattan College has the best acting program!
1st: You said you were a children’s fashion designer for 7 years, what took you from acting to children’s fashion?
Holly: I love kids. I did child care all though college to pay bills and such. When I graduated I wanted to do something that mattered . So I went for a teaching position at Dalton. I loved my head teacher that I assisted and the kids were the best! But stupid politics came up again… and it wasn’t about the kids also I missed creating , so I took the two and started my own hand- painted Kids Tee company.
1st: Where did you work as a fashion designer?
Holly: Out of my apartment. I love working at home.
1st: How do you break into that field?
Holly: I went from boutique to store with samples and built a client list..
1st: When did all of this lead to K-9 fashion design?
Holly: Never did, I just recently did a couple of tees on Cafe Press.
1st: How did this branch into a children’s party planning and entertaining business?
Holly: The fashion industry wasn’t my true Bliss, so I needed to bridge that career with the comic art career I wanted. So I moved into the Kids Catering biz.
1st: Did you dress up and attend the parties yourself or did you only run the company?
Holly: I did all the above! I even caught chick pox from some kids at one party!
1st: You appear in costume quite a bit, do you make your own costumes?
Holly: No, I either hire seamstresses or put them together from bought clothes
1st: Given the crossovers in your own career(s), has Broadsword been able to break into mass market wholesale to places like Hot Topic?
Holly: Hot Topics will not have anything with the word ‘Witch’ in it. Weird! they’ll have ‘Bitch” or ‘Porn Star’ but not Witch… But we’re more interested in creating Comics, telling fun stories and doing groovy things for our readers on our web sites… mass marketing sounds like a massive headache. But if a groovy merchandiser would approach us, hey we’re always open to good and honest ideas!
1st: Other then School Bites you are also know for Vampfire, what is Vampfire about?
Holly: EEp! that’s a tall order. I usually describe it as a Gothic Romance/Vampire Soap Opera. It deals with Love, Hate, Conflict, motherhood, daughterhood and all the complicated things in-between. Someone once said it was “Strangers in Paradise with fangs”.
1st: The lead character, Bethany, has it pretty rough – not only is she a Vampire she is also a demon, why mix the two?
Holly: Actually she’s a very kind being…I think I wanted her to be of two worlds, a fish out of water. The Demons in my story or NOT what’s common to our culture. There are just another race of beings. They have a strict moral code, I see them more like Samurai.
1st: When you first started working on Vampfire you did so under the pen name Fauve, why use a pen name?
1st: You use a much more traditional comic book art style in Vampfire, why change your style?
Holly: I guess I feel like drawing and singing are similar. If you wish to sing a certain type of song you sing in a certain style…It’s fun to sing or draw in all different ways
1st: Vampfire has been options as a movie, where does it stand right now?
Holly: It has been optioned, again for a movie, first time was Steward Gordon who did Reanimator, awesome movie! Buuut – gee this thing has been in Hollywood for nearly 10 years now the screenplay writer is working on it with an indy film studio, they changed my story a whole bunch, soooo I have no idea what’s up with it now
1st: Who would you like to see star as Bethany?
Holly: …Me, I want Bif Naked, a very groovy Rocker Girl, to be Bethany , but I get the feeling, my brain is too Goth/left of centre for them. Bif if your out there reading… email me! You should be in that Movie!!
1st: What about Manon Kelly reprising her role as Vampfire?
Holly: Manon is a beautiful woman. The way the writers have changed the character is that Bethany is, err, I think 16 or17.
1st: You have also modeled in two new calendars for 2006, Tarot’s Monthly Magick Calendar and the Holly G! Calendar. Is this something new, or does Broadsword publish these every year?
Holly: This is something new.
1st: What’s it like being a calendar girl?
Holly: Hmmm? I don’t think I’d even call myself that. I’m first off a Comic book artist, then a writer, then I model for Jim. Jim is an awesome photographer and we both thought, Hey we have all these groovy pictures from the inside front cover of our Comics and Model shots I do for him as ref for posters, covers and such… Let’s do a Calendar! I’m glad people will enjoy all the work we do together! Since we enjoy creating it!