Theater of the Bloody Tongue – Rock Opera, Burlesque and Pop Culture! Oh My!

Zodiak Lazy artist aka Stilldown is a German artist with an academic background in art (dr.phil), trying to make a living somehow and is not too successful. He creates Theater Of The Bloody Tongue.

Synopsis: Ariane Eldar, an unaging, multiverse travelling witch, has decided to make a living as professional performer, doing theater shows based on traditional burlesque and revived Grand Guignot. But she soon gets into exciting adventures again including many famous rock musicians, wizards, an eldritch god, a car demon, magic and strange creatures.

Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
I’ve studied art and teach art, too, also the pandemic stopped it all.

What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
It is based on the classic underground comix. It is for more mature readers, although there’s no graphic violent or pornographic material on it. I like this genre as it was made for educated, but liberal and lighthearted old and young people.

Are there any other genres that apply to your comic?
There are many aspects, though I would not exactly call them genres. There is a lot about (rock) music for music interested people, an emphasis for classic cars and machinery, some erotic and light bdsm elements, the expected lovecraft references, and many hidden or open references to famous paintings, movie stills or iconic photographs.

What was your inspiration for the story?
The original idea was to have this as a side comic to my previous comic “Steampunk Grogon”, as a vehicle for short crossover stories with other webcomics. I had a lot of cameos and crossover with other characters in the beginning, but there wasn’t much feedback, so I changed the concept into an adventure story and replaced the cameos with real life rockstars instead of webcomic characters.

Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
Many, although often more subconscious. My first drawings were very much influenced by Aubrey Beardsley, but this isn’t really visible anymore today. A big influence was probable Richar Metzger with “Moondog” (the first steampunk apocalyptic comic decades before the genre), Sole, Dister and Gottlieb, Moebius, Bakshi, Alan Aldrige, Edward Gorey, the old EC Horrorcomics, Manfred Schmidt (humor, not so much the drawing style), countless artist from Vampirella (Warren Era), early Heavy Metal and U-comix magacines. And my drawing style often gets compared with Charles Addams, which pleases me a lot.

How long does it take you to complete one page?
I draw in different shifts, like penciling, inking, letting the ink dry, shading, coloring, scanning, etc., so I work on several pages the same time. My best was about 6 pages on a weekend, usually longer.

What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
I think up the page, make sketches, look for reference material and then start to draw. Almost only traditional tools, except for lettering that is done virtual. So I use paper, ink, pencil and graphite, coal,dip pens, brushes, and sometimes aquarell.

Is your comic a finished work? If no, how long do you think you think it’s going to be when it’s complete? Is there a definitive ending or will you just keep going for as long as possible?
I will keep it up as long as I can.

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
I don’t recall.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making of your comic? If you could go back in time to the point where you just started making it and give yourself a pep talk, what would you say?
The work is time consuming and doesn’t pay off. I’ve sold some paperbacks, but not even enough to cover the expenses.

What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
I met (only virtual) some great people, including the members of Poobah, who give me feedback to my work.

What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
The frustration of not really getting noticed; I haven’t really overcome it yet.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
Obviously Ariane, because there’s so much she can do. She’s a more complex personality then some people may think, and she isn’t a stereotype, but just uses and plays with stereotypes. She’s a difficult, but nice person, who fits nowhere into any society, so she is an eternal outcast, but that makes her unique and special.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
The rock musicians, as they are parodies of real people. I don’t want to ridicule them or show them in a wrong way, yet they shall have a personality based on the information I’ve gathered about them.

Do you have a favorite character to draw?
Once again, Ariane.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
The ones that don’t show up often.

Where can we find you?


Trailer on youtube:

(Great Vinyl Cover Romance, paperback)
(Blood, Sweat & Snow, paperback)
(The Rock Opera)
(All Along The Bifröst Highway)
(Behind the scenes)
(Good bad girl)


Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
Not much about me, but I just say I love crossovers, and I could use some guest comics as I am ill at the moment and have a lot of important work piled up. I also worked with movies and music ( experimental, not a trained musician at all) and computer games, so I could imagine to join efforts with others here.

Have you read Theater of the Bloody Tongue yet? Let us know what you think in the comments! Or, hey, go to the creator’s site and show some love ?

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