An Interview with the Queen of Horror: Sandy King Carpenter

By Jason Delgado

Sandy King Carpenter is a film producer with some impressive horror titles to her name such as: Village of the Damned, Vampires, and Ghosts of Mars. Lately, she’s been tackling the world of comics with her publishing imprint Storm King Comics, which was co-founded with her husband, the legendary king of horror films, director John Carpenter. Together, they focus on bringing top writers from the worlds of film, comics, and novels together to write horror and sci-fi comics, such as the award-winning John Carpenter’s Tales for a HalloweeNight. The latest additions to the Storm King lineup include John Carpenter’s Night Terrors, and John Carpenter Presents Storm Kids, which is a way of introducing horror and sci-fi to younger audiences.

Personally, I am glad that the Carpenters are bringing horror tales to kids, because my son innately has a fascination with all things that go bump in the night, and I became a huge fan of both horror and John Carpenter when I saw his original Halloween at a sleepover when I was young. It scared the living daylights out of me, and I loved it! It’s an honor to be able to ask a few questions of the queen of horror, Sandy King Carpenter.

FoCC Blog: What appeals to you about comic books as a medium?

SKC: All forms of storytelling interest me, from telling stories around a campfire to making movies for the big screen. Comics and graphic novels are interesting because they combine the written word of novels with pictures to give the reader boosts into the imaginary world you’re trying to guide them through. Like a novel, there is no sound or motion, but in partnership with a great artist, you have a 50/50 storytelling relationship that seduces the reader into their own imagination to complete the story. I also like the precision it requires of both parties in the dance. You have to be economical with your words and images to hit the page turns and cliffhangers that push your reader forward. It’s challenging in the best senses of the word.

FoCC Blog: What kind of things do you find frightening?

SKC: Fear changes as we grow up, as we age.  Different things scare us as children, as young people, and as we grow older. I look to reality for what scares me. Nothing I can create is as frightening as the real world right now or the more existential questions of life, death and faith.

FoCC Blog: Is there a story that you have been dying to tell, but just haven’t gotten it out yet?

SKC: Not really. Comics has allowed me to explore lots of stories that might not be considered commercially viable or interesting to a mass audience.

FoCC Blog: Do you have any fun behind the scenes stories from the set of They Live (on which she worked on as a script supervisor)?

SKC: Not that are in 25 words or less.  And they’re usually at someone else’s expense or only funny at 3am during an extra long day.

FoCC Blog: What advice would you give to a writer who wants to make a living in comics or film?

SKC: Have something to say. Ask yourself why? If it’s for fame and fortune you’re barking up the wrong tree and should go become a commodities broker.

FoCC Blog: My son is almost 3, and already loves all things “spooky.” Would you ever consider doing books for his age range with your Storm King Kids line?

SKC: Get him Stanley’s Haunted House. It was written for ages 4-7 and isn’t scary. It’s for little ones wanting to get in on the fun. We were nominated last year for an Eisner for it. Great characters, art and GHOST BUNNIES!

FoCC Blog: Do you and your husband John do anything special on Halloween night, or is it usually a quiet night in?

SKC: He hides. Our office is in a residential neighborhood by a school, so we decorate over there, have an open bar for the neighbors and give out candy to all the kids.  Very old fashioned.  For a few years, John and his band were performing on tour, so we weren’t around.

FoCC Blog: Are there any upcoming projects that you would like the Friends of Comic Cons Blog to know about?

SKC: John and I have a few television series that will be announced later this year and two features that should be coming up. John and the boys are just finishing up the score for HALLOWEEN ENDS right now. We have a fiction podcast that got delayed during COVID that should be starting back up soon. And Storm King Comics is debuting a new imprint, Dark & Twisted, with books by Amanda Deibert and Cullen Bunn & Heath Amodio. Those are scheduled for release next year.

Thank you very much to Sandy King Carpenter for doing this interview! Look out for her at booth #2020 at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), along with John Carpenter signed collectibles! Sandy King Carpenter will also be on the following three panels at SDCC (dates and times TBA):

Writing Tales of Horror and Suspense with Storm King Comics
Exploring Societal Horror with Storm King Comics, featuring the Civilians Trade Paperback launch
Women on the Darkside

For more information on this exciting comic book line, go to www.stormkingcomics.com !

Jason Delgado

Jason is a CSULB film school alum and movie guy for Friends of Comic Con. He loves movies, TV, writing, comics, going to Cons, basketball (Lakers), music (all forms of rock + 90's hip hop), football (Chargers), his dog, and most importantly wife and newborn son. He's written a comedy/sci-fi script, and wants to write more in between raising a son. He doesn't often cosplay, but when he does, it's as Iron Fist. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDelgado78

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