This Halloween, Z2 Comics is revelling in all things spooky and creepy, and given our publishing line, that is not a hard thing to do. The Z2 library overflows with disturbing tales of the grim and grisly, and we'll be chatting with some of our most hellbent authors and collaborators about all things Halloween.
And Spencer Charnas may as well be a spokesperson for the holiday every day of the year. The vocalist and crux of horror-obsessed metal collective Ice Nine Kills has devoted the past decade to honoring the macabre. Charnas has not only proven to be a hyper-dynamic frontman—navigating biting hooks and crushing breakdowns for his Boston-anchored quintet—but a human encyclopedia of cinematic terror. Last two LPs Welcome to Horrorwood: The Silver Scream 2 and The Silver Scream offer a song-by-song exploration of iconic horror films and other terrifying media tentpoles. "Funeral Derangements" offers a brutal, staccato reflection of Stephen King's Pet Cemetery while "Rainy Day" threads a glorious homage to the zombie video game behemoth, Resident Evil.
Charnas and crew elevate that adoration in their videos, often including molecularly-researched callbacks, props, and even actors in their respective music videos. Ice Nine Kills even hosted its debut convention, The Silver Scream Con, last August.
Z2 and Charnas were even able to escort that vision to a slasher-centric graphic novel—Ice Nine Kills: Inked in Blood—earlier this year.
This is all to say: Charnas knows Halloween like few do. We asked him a few questions and his answers did not disappoint.
What’s your favorite Halloween costume that you wore as a kid or beyond?
Spencer Charnas: My favorite costumes as a child were always Robert Blake, Mark David Chapman, or one year I went as the Menendez brothers.
Do you have any annual Halloween traditions: movies, food, haunted houses, seances? Anything specific to your very haunted stomping grounds of Massachusetts?
Spencer Charnas: I used to have a tradition of putting nails and razor blades in trick or treaters' candy, but my attorney has advised me to stop speaking on that subject publicly.
What does the Charnas household offer candy-wise?
Spencer Charnas: I don't really eat candy so I give out piping-hot roast beef 3-way sandwiches from Nick's Roast Beef instead. If the state bird of MA could be changed, I would change it from the Black-capped Chickadee to that sandwich because birds aren't really as much fun as that sandwich.
We’ve confirmed that it’s hip to be scared. What’s the most scared you’ve ever been? Have you ever encountered anything remotely supernatural?
Spencer Charnas: One time my ex wife found my new address; that was VERY scary.
You have to curate an all-night film marathon for Halloween 2022. Which four movies do you pick?
Spencer Charnas: Terrifier; Terrifier 2; Halloween Ends; Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.
Similar note: INK is tasked with curating a festival on Halloween with an unlimited budget—you headline. Which bands do you recruit?
Spencer Charnas: CANNIBAL CORPSE, MORBID ANGEL, GWAR, JOSH GROBAN.
Ice Nine Kills has used horror cinema as a sharp source of inspiration for your last two albums; is horror going to fuel future work? Cinematic or otherwise?
Spencer Charnas: I'd say there's a good goddamn chance! But if I tell you I'd have to kill someone...
Every slasher icon is hunting you—you get to pick one to defend you. Who do you pick and why?
Spencer Charnas: I'd pick the killer from the movie Pieces, because, it's exactly what you think it is...