In 1980, the City of New Orleans reluctantly greeted me. The place hasn’t been quite right since. As the son of a Naval officer, I endured a series of relocations before returning to New Orleans in 1991. I subjected myself to a stream of horror movies, comics, classic literature, and hard rock, and spent my formative years dreaming of a job writing graphic novels. After one semester of college and a bad breakup with a girl, I decided to completely upset the applecart and join the Marine Corps Reserves. Upon returning to New Orleans in the fall of 2000, I met my future wife, Sabrina. Shortly after graduating in 2002, fate and Operation Iraqi Freedom interrupted my transition into the real world, and my reserve unit was activated in March of 2003.
While training in Camp Pendleton, I suffered a permanent knee injury, which kept me in California for a year of surgery, physical therapy, and working in the mail room. During that time, I decided to actually write a comic book. I wrote the script for the first issue of Dead Souls on a yellow legal pad while I recuperated, all while listening to an uninterrupted stream of Gothic rock and extreme metal. After returning to New Orleans, I married Sabrina and worked a few different office jobs while working on Dead Souls. I also took a second job writing about comic books for the entertainment website Cinescape (now Mania). The media credentials opened a lot of doors along the way.
And somehow, without planning to, I became a DJ and an event promoter. I volunteered to DJ at a monthly event grounded in dark music, horror films, and Victorian literature. Three years later, I had spun music at numerous club nights, booked and promoted live acts, and befriended a bunch of rock stars. In 2008, I met Marc Moorash of Seraphemera Books, who somehow lived in the same odd gray area of comic books and events planning. He offered to publish Dead Souls, and when the first issue finally came out, I had enough of a following to make it worth my while. And, as it turned out, rock stars like comic books, and I found himself with a handful of famous fans. Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth, Alan Moore, and Jyrki 69 of the 69 Eyes have all publicly praised my comic writing. I continued releasing books through Seraphemera, adding another miniseries (Immortal: 60) and an original graphic novel (Tad Caldwell and the Monster Kid). I all but stopped DJing in 2010 after the reality of club night politics finally drove me to the edge of reason. I still threw the occasional concert, but mostly tried to stay out of the endless turf war between Goth nights that was happening.
In 2011, Jyrki 69 of the platinum-selling Finnish "goth n' roll" band The 69 Eyes approached me about starting a yearly vampire-themed costume party in New Orleans. With only weeks to spare, I booked the first Fangtasia vampire ball. Seizing on the popularity of HBO's True Blood, I received permission from HBO to use the name of the “bar with a bite.” Fans from around the country traveled to the event, and a tradition was born.
I still live in New Orleans with Sabrina and our two cats, Vlad and Erzsebet. I spend my days and nights writing comics and graphic novels. At the moment, I’m co-writing the third issue of the 69 Eyes’ first miniseries Helsinki Vampires and working with Dani Filth on the upcoming Cradle of Filth: The Curse of Venus Aversa. You can find me at local and regional conferences, signing comics and giving academic lectures on vampire folklore, dark culture, and comic books. And of course, Fangtasia will return for its fourth year in 2014.