This interview was published on the old WordPress CBO in 2009 so never made it to this CBO. So, I thought, WHY lose an interview. Ahh, a "re-post"!
Ladies and Gentlemen and Comic geeksters;CBO is proud to present to you a chat with the hippest real-life Witch in comics,the grooviest colourist around town,a total Star Wars Geek and wife of one of the best comic artists around! I present to you..
The HOLLY GOLIGHTLY Interview!
Terry:Holly,you grew up in New York City,which to many is the capitol city of comicdom;were you exposed to comics at an early age?
Holly: I guest it is but I’m not sure that is why I started reading comics. I think my earliest memory is finding Jean-Claude Forest’s Barbarella on our bookshelf. I think I was 4-5 years old.
Terry: All I found,at around 8 years of age,were my father’s porn mags –not quite the same!
Your bio says that you spent a year at Bard For Film –which sounds like somewhere to learn movie script-writing –am I right…or more likely,wrong?
Holly: Yeah- Wrong…I am and will always be a HUGE Star Wars Geek and wanted to study film making. I really am not a fan of writing- I prefer storytelling and rather jump to storyboards to relay my vision then a lot of wordy words : P
Above:The Star Wars wedding of Holly and Jim!
Terry:I’m also guessing [I should have learned my lesson by now!] that you were thinking of storyboarding for movies as I see you spent a year at a school of Design for Storyboarding. And later you got a degree in acting –I’m detecting Holly may have wanted to get into movies or TV?
Holly: I taught myself storyboarding from all the Star Wars mags and making of specials on TV. When I went to Parsons they stuck me in Illustration and I disliked it soooo much I actually was transfered into a great Storyboarding Class that I absolutely LOVED!
I was never really cut out to be a student, I prefer to actually work and get a project done and learn that way- but I have a huge respect for good teachers and even enjoy teaching…I am a conundrum!
I actually was a child actor. I did off Broadway, some commercials and NYU student films. I was even in a Blondie music Video, Rapture!
Pretty much at the age of 16, I realized acting wasn’t going to be the vocation for me…too political not enough creative control. But I loved the craft and my father wanted me to get a college degree.
Seemed natural to study what I loved and Marymount Manhattan has a wonderful theatre program, I highly recommend it! A lot of what I learned there I apply to my comicbook writing and pacing.
Terry: You were in a Blondie video –one of my favourites? ! Wow. Respect.
I also understand you’ve worked in education,fashion designing and children’s entertainment! Can you tell me a little about this?
Holly:Fresh out of college,I didn’t want to wait tables. I wanted to do something important…and fun so I thought I’ll teach! I was very lucky and landed a assistant teaching position at Dalton in NYC. I taught Pre-K!
I really love kids but again teaching was smoothed with politics and I needed to create! So I started a children’s fashion company. My Mum was a model turned fashion designer so I grew up in the fashion industry and comfortably translated my experience and creativity into a small biz.
Wasn’t really happy after a few years and decided to rethink my career and follow my first love of comics! So I did children’s entertainment-face painting- singing-being the little mermaid-stuff like that to support myself till I got my comicbook career on the move.
Terry: Pre-kindergarten kids –now that is hard work –one youngster can be a handful but a class full:eek!
Now,and not explaining why I know this,but am I correct in assuming that you were once known as “Fauve” and if I am right,can you explain the reason for the name and later dropping it?
Holly:My first work in comics had an Adult theme and I had to create a nom du plume to separate that work and my Children’s entertainment.
Tonya Kay in TAROT #55! Another Witchy Woman we love!
Terry: Hmm. Yeah,that could present a few awkward moments. Well,brushing Fauve gently to one side:at what point did you realize that you wanted to draw comics and make a career out of it?
Holly: When Fashion became less creative for me!
Terry: LOL! Okay,so what was it like trying to get into comics –did you have ideas you wanted to sell or were there titles you really wanted to work on;were you the traditional starving budding comic creator?
Holly: I was happy to work! And I got work right away after taking a portfolio to a convention I was pleased as punch! I also believe you are what you eat soooo I want to eat well !
Chef Miguel [from Top Chef 1st Season] And Holly “cookin’ up dindin!
Terry: Ahh,so true. I’m lucky in that I simply eat to live though I love cooking and my speciality is potato salad,pies,soups and anything else vegetarian. Oh,I’m so multi-talented but this is your interview!
I’m jumping ahead of myself a little there,after all I have no idea whether you wanted to draw or simply write comics?
Holly:I was happy to try my hand at any task given to me.
Terry: Yep,that’s how you get into comics! So when did the big break come and how did it happen?
Holly:Gee I don’t know about a big break…what would that be? Any work I do I think is important…like in acting there are no small parts- only small actors -heehee
Terry:You’ve drawn Josie And The Pussycats,Sabrina The Teenage Witch as well as Betty & Veronica for Archie Comics. How much work did you do for Archie and,for the completists out there,how long did you work for them?
Holly:mmm I think from 1998-2004..buuut not sure.
Terry: Hey it’s a silly question I throw in! I’ve asked 80 year old comic veterans how long they’ve worked on strips –the reply “Did I work on that?” is usually the best you can hope for when you are talking about 50 years ago!
Pleasant memories of working for Archie –would you do more work for them?
Holly: I have some pleasant memories- Dan Decarlo training me and thinking I was a good artist was a proud moment-but no I wouldn’t work with them again…unless they change their work for hire rules.
Terry:For Chaos! Comics you worked on the Nightmare Theatre title –can you tell me was that as a regular writer,artist or both?
Holly:Um-I think I just did the 3-4 page opening art. No writing. A pin up too if I remember.
Terry:Broadsword Comics is the company set up by your significant other half and former Catwoman artist,Jim Balent –I know you are Vice President of the company but was this a later position or did you help set up Broadsword?
Holly: BroadSword is Jim Balent’s company and Jim is my Hubby. So when he wanted to do his own title, all my experience running a company was there to support any endeavor he’d venture.
The “VP” stands for very perky actually! I do all the production- web building -colour his stories ( he does the covers) lettering-make trailers -oh and any other fun thing that needs doin’
Terry: Wow. A two person company that sounds like its fun! Your own comics such as Vampfire and School Bites are still being published? For those unacquainted,perhaps you can tell us something about them and your plans for both books?
Holly:Vampfire was an earlier creation of mine, a Gothic Vampire Soap Opera. I republished it through BroadSword . It’s been optioned to become a movie so we’ll see where that goes. I’m working on School Bites, a Fun Vampire romantic manga. Kinda Harry Potter meets Anne Rice. Here’s my blurb on it :
“Follow Cherri Creeper as she discovers that there is indeed a School to teach fledgling Vampires to Drink Responsibly!”
Terry: Here is to the movie and vampires drinking responsibly!
With your comic work are you a pen/brush and inks on paper artist or do you use a computer for all your work –you colour Jim’s Tarot:Witch Of The Black Rose so is that traditionally coloured or computerised colouring?
Holly: I colour on the computer…I’m a real Mac geek- (singing)I love my Mac!
Terry:Writing and drawing comics has to be quite disciplined so what would a typical day be like for you?
Holly:early to rise! Oatmeal berries & wheat germ with a nice cup of coffee – we answer emails- then start workin’ on art-Lunch-Work- then Din Din I love to cook!
If we need to get anymore work done…hop on it after a nice cup of tea! then wind down playing video games or a bit of TV….and end the day with cuddles.
Terry: It’s obviously the cuddles I miss out on and coffee these days! But do you ever get one of those days when nothing goes right and you just scream out “***** the comics!” or do you just grin and bare it?
Holly: Nope!…if I get tired I think of Disney….that’s where we go to vaca…then I did a comic/travel guide on that! It’s called Fears & Ears!
Terry:I’m just going over the notes I’ve made and I’m guessing that you are either
[a] super human,
[b] a work droid or,
[c] a human dynamo!
You are the model for Jim’s Tarot character and appear on photo covers as Tarot as well as Catress [of whom I know nothing!]. You are also the model for the Official Tarot calendar. That said –deep breath—you have also expanded into pin-up modelling with your own calendar –Jim being the photographer. You also designed and maintain Broadsword Comics and your own websites while designing T-shirts and other apparel available on the sites and contribute art for various businesses and people including Thomas Dolby!
Holly:Yes and for Howard Jones as well and if everything goes well I hope to do some designs for the English Beat!
I’m stuck in the 80s…and I think on a London street corner!
Terry:Hang on a second while I catch my breath..right,the modelling work. Was the idea of your appearing in photo covers as Tarot Jim’s or your own –the Tarot calendar I’d assume was a natural progression from the cover work?
Holly:Well Jim and I enjoy dressing up- you’d see that when you pick up our comic book and look at the credits. We like to have a fun photo for every issue!
It was both our idea. Yes the Calendar came out of all the extra photos we had from doing shoots.
Terry:Being a photo model is obviously a lot different from working on comics so is it a sort of “release” from the cramped confines of an artists workplace?
Holly:mmm- not really we set up the photo studio in our Library…its just a skip away from my studio upstairs. I only model for Jim- I have an exclusive with him.
Terry: And,of course,you’ve worked with CBOs favorite fantasy model,Nicole Damon?
Holly:Jim has! He did a beautiful pin up of her, which is available on our web site : )
Terry:The design work I assume can be quite taxing when/if you have to cater to a specific “want” of a business?
Holly: ummmm- not sure what you mean. We don’t cater to anyone but what we wish to draw. That’s the best part of working for one self. We’re true to our hearts desire and I think I readers feel the honesty of our creation and may enjoy that breath of uncatered air!
Terry: ahh,no,I think I got that wrong –I think its just the difference in British and American English terminology!
One thing I’ve not touched on yet is your contributions to New Witch Magazine –is this article work or at?
Holly:I draw the art for the writers. A lil’ chibi of each author crowns their articles.
Terry:I know when I mentioned to someone that I was going to try to interview you I got the response “Isn’t she a witch –don’t you mind?” They obviously did not know me at all! Wiccan I presume? Do you practice the whole healing and herbal medicine thing –I suppose I should ask how you got into Wiccan [or do you prefer witchcraft?] and how long ago?
Holly: I’m actually a ‘Witch’ not Wiccan…justa Witch. I started reading Tarot when I was 8 years old. I dabble in astrology, Candle Magick, gems/stone Magick and I mainly use herbs for cooking. But cooking is it’s own Magick-when done right. Actually, when I colour Tarot…I do use a form of Colour Magick..colours do influence mood…so I conscienciously choose certain colours for certain scenes.
Terry: Interesting. In the UK the term “Wiccan” seems to be preferred but that might be because of historical roots and that the term “witch” has had such negativity attached to it –unless a tabloid or magazine wants a photo of “sky-clad witches” then it’s totally for titillation! When you say “Witch” people either think of the TV series Bewitched/Sabrina The Teenage Witch [and the comic!] or of Black Mass conducting Satanists. Have you had much negative reaction?
Holly: Well I can wiggles my nose like Samantha and I do draw Sabrina…I have also done Candle magick for a very nice Satanist…I try and keep an open mind to peoples paths.
The only thing that annoys me is negative poopy people and they come from all kinds of places. But I rarely have to deal with negative reactions…I think people are more interested in my hair colour.
Terry: And why not! Though I noticed in photos you do get “Holly-mini-mes”!
Right,now what do we have to look forward to in the way of future Holly Golightly comic work?
Holly: I’m working on School Bites 4 and colouring Tarot #56 due out May 09.
Terry:And your work with Jim and Broadsword Comics will continue apace; presumably more Tarot photo covers?
Holly:We only do one photo cover a year to celebrate out anniversary and that was this passed March…Year 9!
Proof of just how good a team they are -Jim and Holly accepting three Project Fanboy Awards for – Best Title:Tarot/Best Indy title:Tarot & Best Indy Villain:Raven Hex!
Terry:Before this gets too boring for you perhaps a good way to end this interview would be with some words for Fans as well as those out there who might be thinking “why should I buy Broadsword Comics?” –take it from there!
Holly:I don’t think that’s a good question…I would rather invite people to join in Jim and my adventures on paper! If you love fantasy,Witches,vampires,fantastical creatures,strange tales…some horror and a giggle now and then…Join us!
Tarot is for Grown ups that crave fairytales and adventure stories enriched with a more mature landscape of experiences. School Bites, for 13 and up that are tired of wah wah vampires and want a bit of fun with their fangs and Fears & Ears,for any UK travellers who are tattooed-take their hair colour inspiration from a pack of crayons and love Disney,Halloween & Star Wars!
Terry:Holly,my THANKS for taking the time to answer the dumb questions and,I hope,one year we may see Broadsword Comics at the UK International Comic Expo!
Holly: If there are Flake Bars and a recent copy of Dr Who-I’m there! Ta Very Much!
Long Live Harry Potter!