Creators Workshop member Forrest Helvie is contributing a story to the Kickstarter anthology This Nightmare Kills Fascists! Editors Matt Miner and Eric Palicki have assembled a team of amazing talent, including Vita Ayala, Claire Connelly, Justin Jordan, Tini Howard, Jamel Jones, Katy Rex, Ryan Ferrier, Christopher Sebela, and many more, to blend horror and suspense with strong sociopolitical commentary. The project came together over a discussion on Twitter.
“Given the present climate, people are really looking for ways to express their concern, their frustrations, and anger; This Nightmare Kills Fascists provides one such outlet – not just for the creators involved, but also the readers,” says Forrest.
“There can be a catharsis that comes with encountering art that visualizes the feelings of the audience that they might not have otherwise been able to articulate themselves… We’re certainly looking to get people talking about a host of themes here.
He points out that the book wasn’t initially conceived as an anti-Trumpism manifesto, and continues, “The idea, as I understand it, is for each creative team to craft a story that not only engages the reader through the excitement of horror, but also one that confronts them with some socio-political reality that contains some element of true horror.” Some entries, however, will directly respond to the actions of the current administration.
Forrest’s entry, “Black Friday,” was originally written in 2015, and looks at the consequences faced by a father who does anything he can to ensure his son receives the hottest new holiday toy. With art by Joseba Morales, the story “naturally finds itself removed from the current political drama we’re living in today. Instead, my story looks at an instance of capitalism gone wrong in the form of the ‘Black Friday’ phenomenon — something people seem to be recognizing as they push back against it amidst the ever-growing promotions impinging upon our Thanksgiving Day holiday.”
“[We] completed ‘Black Friday’ … when we began working on a series of short stories of which this was going to be a part. We met on a website called ZWOL.org, which is a forum where creators can get together to work on projects. He showed me some samples, and I really liked his portfolio,” he says of their initial meeting.
“He’s also a super guy to work with, as there are plenty of times when he’ll tweak something to really get the story to shine.”
Three of the short stories for the original anthology were completed, but when one spun off into its own series, the other were left without an outlet. “Black Friday” ended up in This Nightmare Kills Fascists. The second will be published later this year in IF Crime Anthology by Alterna Comics.
Regarding the development of the story, Forrest says, “I remember interviewing a popular comic book writer a few years ago, one known for infusing horror in his superhero stories, and asking him how he touched that particular nerve with his readers. He responded by saying that he looked for what he loved most, exposed that person or thing to something terrible, and fleshed that out into the story.”
He concludes, “All I will say is that for someone who typically writes children’s stories with stuffed animals, ‘Black Friday’ takes a dark and twisted turn away from that genre! If you liked Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, I think you’ll like the story Joseba and I put together.”
You can back the This Nightmare Kills Fascists Kickstarter here.