Written by Brian Linsky
Buz Hasson is a busy man these days. He’s a comic book illustrator, a character and concept illustrator for films, a tattoo artist, an entrepreneur, and the founding member of The Living Corpse Crew.
Fortunately for us, Buz found some time to give iHorror an inside look at one of his latest projects, The Living Corpse Relics.
iH: So, tell me the story of the Living Corpse character. He’s a zombie, but he’s not necessarily a bad guy?
BH: Yeah, were big fans of byronic characters and anti heroes… vigilante comic stuff. Basically The Living Corpse is a self aware sentient alpha zombie who returns from the dead to eat his family, but gains self awareness in this mystical moment of rage.
He’s later greeted by a fallen angel who acts as his guide to a world between the living and the dead, where he learns he’s got a role in the destiny of humanity beyond what any zombie has done before. All is not what it seems in the living corpse universe and the monsters’ interpersonal relations between them make for a vast mythology were still building on.
iH: You’re now working on The Living Corpse Relics, a graphic novel of sorts?
BH: Yeah, we wanted to do a six issue miniseries but fans always fall off half way, so now it’s one shot, one kill and the 160 page graphic novel was the brick we wanted to drop. We’re having a blast self publishing, nothing greater than running and co-creating you’re own stuff direct for fans.
iH: Sounds very cool, when can fans expect to get their hands on the book?
BH: Spring 2017. That’s when The Living Corpse Relics drops and we’ll have even more surprises to reveal. The ideas come quicker than the reality can manifest them. Our previous books can currently be found now at Dynamic Forces. Fans will also be able to preorder the book.
iH: Your artwork is amazing. In addition to the art, do you also write the storylines?
BH: I create the characters and plot drive with my friend and creative partner Ken Haeser.
After months of hanging out working on freelance comic art for film production and comic publishers we hash out the ideas pretty thoroughly, lock in what we wanna do and then Ken breaks it all down in a cohesive story beginning, middle, and end.
iH: Besides Ken, you’re also working with Blair Smith as part of your Living Corpse Crew. How did the Crew first get together?
BH: Me and Ken been crushing the dream together for ten years. Blair has been at it just as long too but was so well rounded as an artist and with his out there brilliant mindscape, we had to bring him on board to make the trinity Corpse crew juggernaut we’re currently displaying today!
Me and Ken met through mutual creator friends in the online community. We weren’t far from each other in New Jersey where I was tattooing at the time. Once we hung out we knew we were gonna be working together for a while. Honestly though, I spend a lot of years working with different people so it takes a while to find the right mix.
After we launched Living Corpse and went on the con circuit, we met a lot of great people. Blair was one of them I saw online in 2012. He was doing digital colors as well as his painting and drawing, and reached out. The crew has never been more functional and cohesive, and creatively a powerhouse that cranks out art.
iH: What’s next for The Living Corpse character?
BH: Something big for sure. A next step up from the comics for us. I can’t spoil it yet, but fans will get an update next Spring. We’re also writing another one shot novel for after relics.
iH: You’ve worked in the art department on several new film releases as well, including Little Dead Rotting Hood (2016), Buddy Hutchins (2015), and The Horde (2016), How did you first get involved working with films?
BH: As a makeup artist early on I worked with Adrien Morot’s Maestro Fx in Canada. From there I realized creating the ideas in the early stage production was where the energy was, and where to make a mark on a film.
We’re now working with Gabe Campisi of Trap Light Pictures, who writes for the Asylum and is producing some new stuff we can’t mention yet that we’re working on for early 2017. Scariest stuff we’ve done yet, and some of the designs were challenging to work on to stay ahead of the culture.
iH: How’d you get involved doing artwork for the Grumpy Cat comic?
BH: Ken got the gig from working Dynamic Forces. Best part was he got to design the character look which with most cartoons is not the case. Grumpy is a kids comic but works for all ages so it was fun to be part of something not gorey and something safe for kids. For years we had nothing to offer to parents who liked our work, but now the GC stuff is perfect and we’re hoping to do some more cartoon stuff soon. We just did some cute style cartoony kid version covers for Stargate: Atlantis, It’s awesome to switch the style up a bit.
iH: Are you still tattooing?
BH: Yeah, I tattoo still, it’s an honor to do one for someone…. i love it. I’ve been tattooing since 1998. I took a professional apprenticeship from Bob Montagna (R.I.P.) in New Jersey, and worked with him for 8 years. Then I worked in Delaware at Explosive Tattoo for 11 years developing Living Corpse after hours, and now I’m working with Paul Acker and crew at The Seance Tattoo Parlor in Bensalem PA. Paul’s work has been a huge influence, and the shop is horror themed and genre related.
iH: I worked on a previous project with the help of Blair Webb, who writes the Ghostman comic. I understand he does some Living Corpse cosplay character and sketch work. How’d you guys hook up?
BH: I’ve known Webb since high school. We’d been working on comic art and developing our styles for years, it’s wild to have him in the crew rocking the suit. I’m a big fan of the actors who’ve played all my favorite monsters, Tom Woodruff Jr, who co-created and wore the Pumpkinhead suit, Ben Chapman, who was creature from the Black Lagoon, Boris Karloff, Kane Hodder,… it’s endless.
Having Webb be the Living Corpse couldn’t be more perfect. It’s been super fun to have him on board and he puts the work in like the rest of us and that’s how it gets done.
iH: So, what else should we keep an eye out for from Buz Hasson?
BH: I’m launching a skateboard LLC in January called STORY skateboarding company with Justin Ritter, the director of The Amazing Adventures of The Living Corpse. He’s hosting a launch event at the Tampa surf and skate fest Jan 12-15. The decks are all designed by me based on public domain horror and sci-fi, some original designs too, all comic style horror fantasy and action stuff gonna be really cool.
We just did a bunch of cover art for the official Hatchet comic based on Adam Green’s film franchise of the same name, published by American Mythology. I’d say keep an eye on my Instagram @buzcorpse and if you can find us on Facebook as well…..We’ve got two films, one tv series and many comic covers in development so as that stuff gets released they’ll be new stuff to see!
iH: Right on, we’ll be watching!