Interview: Rachel Deering Talks In the Dark, Crowdfunding and Horror

Alasdair Stuart writes;

Rachel Deering wears a lot of hats. She's part of the team who produce the Amelia Cole comics from Monkeybrain, has her own horror series, Anathema and is in the final stages of bringing In The Dark into land. A huge horror anthology filled with some amazing creative talent, it's Kickstarter campaign finishes, appropriately enough, on Halloween. I talked to her about her career, horror and crowdfunding.


Tell us a little about what you do.

I am a freelance writer, editor, and letterer for comics. My main project is the creator-owned horror series, ANATHEMA, but I've also written for CREEPY at Dark Horse and Blizzard Entertainment on DIABLO III. I have lettered for IDW, Dark Horse, Image, Valiant, and tons of indie and self-published books.

What got you into horror?

My weird old uncle gave me a stack of worn out magazines when I was about 8 years old. There were a few issues of CREEPY and EERIE in there that really grabbed my attention more than anything else. Those books hooked me for horror and set me on the path to finding as many icky comics and creature feature films as possible.

What sort of horror do you still enjoy today?

I'm still a fan of those 60s and 70s horror comics and movies. Warren, Skywald, and EC comics and Hammer and Amicus films make up the bulk of my entertainment choices. I don't really care for a lot of modern horror, but I did enjoy SEVERED by Scott Snyder, Locke & Key by Joe Hill, and most of what Mignola produces. Modern stuff with classic sensibilities, I guess.

Who's influenced your work in the field?

Bruce Jones and Bernie Wrightson more than anyone. Jenifer from CREEPY #63 is the gold standard for storytelling in my opinion. Other than that, I'm mostly influenced by classic authors like Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany, Robert E. Howard, J. Sheridan LeFanu, and William Blake.

How did you come to put together In The Dark?

I had been wanting to put together what I considered the "ultimate" horror anthology for a long time. When a few creators on twitter suggested that I go for it, I took that as a good starting point and started presenting my concept to some of my pro friends.

How did you go about recruiting creators for it?

I started by asking a bunch of my friends in the industry if they would be interested. Thankfully for me, most of them were, and a few of them even brought some friends of theirs on board. All in all, it was pretty smooth and easy. It seems creators respond positively when you offer them the chance to tell whatever kind of story they want to tell with no page limit.

How's the project gone?

It's been an absolute dream, really. The process of recruiting creators was simple, getting IDW involved was way easier than I had anticipated, and the kickstarter has gone very well. I knew that people would respond to the concept, but I never could have guessed that it would be so positive. I'm incredibly thankful.

How do you find the perception of kickstarter has changed over the last couple of years?

I think it's sort of become a mixed bag. There have been people who were burned by kickstarters when they didn't get their rewards, and there have been people who have watched their contributions turn into an amazing final product. You have a lot of folks who return to kickstarter daily, hoping to find an exciting new project to back, and then you have people who are pretty sour about their experiences who talk shit any time they get a chance.

What would you recommend to projects just starting down the crowdfunding route?

Build your social networks! Kickstarter will bring you a handful of backers on its own, but the majority of your support is going to come from the people who already know and appreciate your work. I would also suggest backing a few projects yourself before you launch a campaign of your own. It doesn't look good if you have your hand out, but you've never supported anything yourself. And lastly, I would suggest looking at as many successful campaigns as possible. Watch their videos, look at their rewards, see how they've gone about running a successful campaign, then try to implement those practices in your own project.

What's next for you?

I have a book coming from Monkeybrain in December called RELIC, I'm finishing up ANATHEMA by the end of the year, getting IN THE DARK out to the people by April, and hopefully starting on volume 2 immediately after.

Thanks to Rachel for talking to me. In The Dark, featuring Rachel, Scott Snyder, Steve Niles, Justin Jordan, Cullen Bunn, Paul Tobin, Duane Swierczynski, Tom Taylor, F. Paul Wilson, Tim Seeley, Marguerite Bennett, Brian Keene, Christopher Sebela, Matthew Dow Smith, James Tynion IV, Sean E. Williams, Michael Moreci & Steve Seeley, Jody Lehup, Ed Brisson, Mike Olvieri, Nate Southard, Valeri D'Orazio with art by Declan Shalvey, Tradd Moore, Dalibor Talajic, Tyler Jenkins, Damien Worm, Andy Belanger, Patric Reynolds, Robert Wilson IV, Stephen Green, Matthew Dow Smith, Marc Laming, Christian Wildgoose, Douglas Holgate, Brian Level, Christian Dibari, Mike Henderson, Mack Chater, Alison Sampson, Jonathan Brandon Sawyer, Drew Moss, Thomas Boatwright, David James Cole, Erik Donovan and Todd Galusha on art closes its kickstarter on Halloween. If you're a horror fan, check it out before it ends, the book looks fantastic.