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Ghastly ReflectionsHorror Comics, Music and Conspiracies: An Interview with T. Casey Brennan
POSTED BY TERENCE NUZUM, March 24, 2015    Share

Growing up reading old yellowed pages of Creepy and Eerie magazines are one of my fondest memories of comics. I have written about this very subject before in this column, but in doing so never did I think it would lead to not only getting feedback from one of the writers but also a interview. The writer in question is the one and only, the enigmatic T. Casey Brennan. He has written for both Creepy and Eerie not to mention Vampirella, he plays in an avant garde band and has been considered a suspect in the JFK conspiracy. Welcome to the amazing, sometimes bizarre, and always fascinating world of T. Casey Brennan....

TN: I'd like to start off by saying how honored I am to be granted an interview with a comic writer from horror magazines I grew up with. I'd love to know if writing comics was your first passion and how did you get started in the business and why horror comics?

TCB: Thanks! My first story to go on the national newsstands was in the February 1968 CHARGER, from Major Magazines, the same publisher as CRACKED. My first pro comic book story came a bit later in EERIE #22. But before that, I wrote a comic called Captain Democracy in 1964, in a fanzine called FAN TO FAN, mimeographed I believe, and with a low print run. I wanted to write horror comics, however, because I saw in that format, an opportunity to present my own style of romance, drama, and (sort of) activism. Though most of my comic book work was for the Warren comics, here is one of my stories for their competitors, on YouTube - http://www.youtube.comwatch?v=AZNfz1pH5kQ - "Where Gods Once Stood" - from NIGHTMARE #11 (Skywald). I present my prose - then have the Old God's priests hold a union style "wildcat walkout". You only have that kind of freedom in horror comics.

TN: You've written stories for Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella.Writing for Warren,at least in retrospect, is a thing of legend for horror fans. What were some of your experiences and memories of your time at Warren?

TCB: There have always been a lot of stories circulating around about rivalries within that company but none of the stories are interesting. There is, however, one exception, and that is the story of the Necronomicon Monks. It began as a text story posted at various internet sites: "Conjurella Messiah: Necronomicon Monks.". Then, in ACTOR COMICS PRESENTS, Vol. 1 (from the charity that helps has been comic book pros), a revised version was presented - "Hypothetical CEREBUS and the Necronomicon Monks". Now that version is available on line in an official CEREBUS blog,at: http://momentofcerebus.blogspot.com/2014/12/t-casey-brennans-hypothetical-cerebus.html?m=1 It is the story of Jim Warren and myself - with various other celebrities - at a con in Toronto, with overtones of JFK.

TN: In the late 1970s you also wrote some issues of The House of Mystery for D.C. How did that differ than writing for Warren?

TCB: Two amazing things stand out about that association, from my viewpoint. The first, and most amazing, is that my story "Soul of Faustus" from HOUSE OF MYSTERY #274, was reprinted in a Portuguese Classics Illustrated style comic, Classicos de Pavor #2, with an adaptation of H.G. Wells THE INVISIBLE MAN. Here is a site for that comic: http://www.guiadosquadrinhos.com/edicao/classicos-de-pavor-(capitao-misterio-apresenta)-n-2/cl00410 The amazing part is that my story, retitled "Dr. Fausto: Mefistofeles", is presented as the definitive version, instead of Marlowe or Goethe!

The other amazing thing is the way that HOUSE OF MYSTERY has become not only part of the DC universe, but the high-brow part of the DC universe! It was really a second banana title when I wrote for it. Now it has it's own fandom, it's own Wikipedia page, it's own cheerleader ("Nurse Melody", the title's unofficial historian), and a kind of pseudo-religious philosophy to go with the host, Cain!

TN: If you could have written for any superhero titles which superhero would you most like to have written for?

TCB: I actually would have liked to proceed with the very feminist character I created in VAMPIRELLA #17, the Conjuress! Here is -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pwh_4OZZg0 VAMPIRELLA 18 by me, featuring the Conjuress in a prominent role. Bill Dubay killed her off to spite me, then Harris revived her as Lilith. But that wasn't all -- Aaliyah's costume in Queen of the Damned was taken completely from the character Jose Gonzales and I created! So, yes, THE CONJURESS should have been a series and I should have written it.

TN:Dark Horse and Dynamite have released lavish coffee table collections of Eerie, Creepy, and Vampirella introducing these ghoulish gems to a whole new audience. How does it feel to see magazines you worked on 40 years ago be so revered today?

TCB: They've done a good job but the people in power at those companies are my self-proclaimed enemies. So I hate to go overboard praising them. But yes,VAMPIRELLA ARCHIVES Vol. 1 - I was in it - made #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for graphic novels!

TN:It is well documented that you believe you were one of the shooters of President John F. Kennedy on that day in Dallas in 1963. Can you tell me a little about that?

TCB: Other than give references, i am reluctant at this point to answer questions on my alleged JFK involvement. For one thing, we have only just reached the point where we can discuss MKULTRA victimization in the entertainment industry. We are far from being able to discuss it in comic books. Anyone can find CONJURELLA on the net. And anyone can find the many interviews I did on the subject, like this one... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwNby0te5j0

I am #8 on page 1496 on a list of possible JFK shooters in Vincent Bugliosi's RECLAIMING HISTORY: THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK.

TN: In doing my research I came across your band. How did you get into music and how would you describe your sound?

TCB: Maybe the sound I make now is the sound of a man being dead. I've just had emergency surgery and haven't been onstage since. But before that, I was sort of punk, sort of metal. Here is -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpldW7mKNMU - my band on stage at Tangent Gallery in Detroit! And here is the real version of that same song as played on various podcasts and radio stations.., http://homelessdave.com/music/SocialWorker.mp3

TN: And finally the big question. What is your favorite horror movie of all time?

TCB: The short, funny answer would be THE CARDINAL & THE WRATH OF THE WARTHOG, based on a local super-hero, on which I had a walk-on...

But I've more recently learned that a movie out (or coming out; I'm not sure which) about the making of the EVIL DEAD, called "Invaluable" mentions my ties to that movie's legendary special effects wizard, Tom Sullivan. Tom's first pro artwork was to draw one of my stories! So yeah, I'm now part of the mythos surrounding that series!

"A Stranger in Hell" by T. Casey Brennan & Esteban Maroto, from EERIE #38.

"Ghastly Reflections" is ©2015 by Terence Nuzum. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2015 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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