Poster Design by Charlie Athanas

Poster Design by Charlie Athanas

Charlie is a WildClaw founding member, and has guided the company aesthetic from our poster art for Great God Pan through every single Deathscribe, in addition to designing the set for the premiere production of The Revenants back in 2009. Today, we’ll be talking about reading between the lines, variations on a theme, and What Scares Him.

1) What was your introduction to horror?

Watching “The Haunting” (1963) on TV at home alone with my older sister. Scariest thing I had seen and would see until catching “Alien” at an early showing prior to its release. No one had any idea what they were in for and it scared the hell out of everyone in the theater.

2) How would you define horror as a genre? What, to you, is the perfect horror story, & why?

Horror as a genre to me is defined by works of art that inspire fear, revulsion, curiosity, and mystery. I would say “The Telltale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe would meet my definition of the perfect horror story.

3) Zombies: Fast or Slow?

Slow. It is in the “in-between spaces” where the interesting things happen.

4) In re-visitng The Revenants, what challenge surprised you the most this time around? What lessons have you learned from this project that you’re excited to use in the future?

For myself as the poster designer, the toughest challenge was coming up with an image as strong as the first poster for the first production of The Revenants. I was trying to top myself and as an illustrator you work long and hard to come up with the perfect image that suits both the production and the brand. To create one successfully the first time is hard enough, to hope that lightning strikes twice is tempting fate. I did come upon an image that worked for me, but the rest of the company immediately pointed out that it evoked the Lord of the Rings and that killed it.

Trust me, you DO NOT want to deal with Tolkien's IP lawyers.

Trust me, you DO NOT want to deal with Tolkien’s IP lawyers.

In the end I am satisfied with the new graphic. I hope it evokes the fear and dread and flips a trope or two on its head at the same time. And puts bums in the seats.

5) What Scares You?

Genuine surprises scare me. And suspenseful expectation. There is a moment in this new production of The Revenants that has both and it makes for a great scene in the play. And from the vocal audience reactions we’re getting from the theatre crowd (known for its respectful silence) during this scene, it is doing its job quite well.

You can see what meets Charlie’s suspenseful expectations in The Revenants at The Athenaeum Theater through February 22nd!
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