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Comic artist Tony Moore discusses his “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” poster and “The Walking Dead”

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When the team behind the gory horror-comedy “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” went searching for a comic book artist to create a limited-edition poster for the film, they definitely went looking in the right direction.

Revealed earlier this month, the “Tucker & Dale” poster created by illustrator Tony Moore not only offers up a great caricature of the film and its stars, but it harkens back to the work he did on another project you might be familiar with: The Walking Dead comic book series.

With “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” hitting the On Demand library this week (just in time for Halloween), IFC chatted up Moore about his work on the film’s bloody poster, and what he thinks about the “The Walking Dead” television series.


IFC: When you decide to tackle a project like this, where do you start? How do you kick everything off?

TM: I watched the movie a few times trying to get the general feel for the thing. “Tucker & Dale” seemed a lot more humorous than a standard horror thing, so when I dove into it I kind of leaned a little more on my roots as a cartoonist and dug into more of the fun horror stuff that I grew up reading, like EC Comics and Jack Davis and that kind of stuff.

IFC: How much back and forth was there about the design of the poster? Was the final result close to your initial layout, or something else entirely?

TM: This was basically the same layout that I had started with, and when I sent it in to Magnet Releasing to show them what I was shooting for, it hit near the same basic layout that they had for the official movie poster, so I felt like I was on the right track. At least, I was thinking in the right direction if I was that close to what they had already done on their side. I changed it up a little bit and added some action into it, and tried to play around with some of the horror movie tropes.

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IFC: Most of your work involves creating the look of characters from scratch. Does it require a different approach when you’re working off a real-life person’s likeness?

TM: Yeah, definitely. Likenesses are definitely a challenge. I feel obligated to hit somewhere near the mark as best I can to make it recognizably Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine. On top of that, I also had to play up the difference in their sizes and shapes, and exaggerate their silhouettes a little bit. So I went more with a “Laurel & Hardy” kind of contrast between the two – just to make them more visually striking. That’s sort of the root of cartooning any way.

IFC: It looks like you got to tread some familiar ground with the gory scenes framing the poster image. Did this feel like some of your work on The Walking Dead and projects like that?

TM: Oh yeah. Throughout my career I’ve been lucky enough that most of my jobs are people who want me to do what I do, what I do best. Yeah, I got to sink my teeth into the framework of gore around the image, which I had a lot of fun doing. That part’s actually the calm part, even though it’s full of horrible things. It was fun to get to really play with that, and make all sorts of marks and disgusting shapes and all of that.

IFC: So what did you think of the film?

TM: I thought it was hilarious. I really enjoyed it. So many horror movies have become so overly serious and grim, and you don’t really get a lot of tongue in cheek horror any more. I’ve always enjoyed that. Like I said, I grew up reading EC Comics and Tales From the Crypt-type stuff that was as horrific as they could make it, but also never took itself too seriously. I’ve always been of that mindset, that when you start to take yourself too seriously is when you become a joke. I definitely was pleased to see a movie that finally relaxed a little bit.

IFC: So, as the artist who first brought The Walking Dead to everyone’s attention, I have to ask what you thought of the first season of the tv series… Any thoughts?

TM: For the most part, I really dug it. There were some parts that were not as awesome as others, but especially visually, I couldn’t get over how amazing it looked. Some of the stuff were scenes straight out of the book, which were really surreal to see brought to life and brought to that level of realism. That was amazing, and the visual effects stuff that Greg Nicotero and his crew are doing is some of the best stuff that’s probably been put on film.

IFC: You created the look for Rick Grimes and drew many of the iconic scenes that were brought to life in those first few episodes of the television series. How did it feel when you first saw some of them on the screen?

TM: “Surreal” is really the only word for it. Previous to this, they were words on a page that I tried to do my best to bring to life in some relatable form. Obviously there are some parts of the scenes I’m not able to fully execute in a drawing, so to see it so fully captured and finished, it was like somebody had reached into my brain and pulled it out – like when they grabbed Freddy Krueger from a dream and pulled him into the real world. That’s what it felt like to me. I got chills the first time I saw the bicycle-girl zombie, and that scene of Rick riding into Atlanta on horseback, and that highway – those scenes were straight from the panels I had drawn. I still sit back in awe that this was something I had done.

IFC: What are you hoping to see in the second season?

TM: It’s pretty wide open. They’ve covered a lot of ground from the first volume but they’ve left plenty of threads hanging. I’m just looking forward to seeing how things play out. I think they’re going to go to the farm this time, and they’ve hinted that they will probably bring Michonne into the mix. I think she’ll be great to see on screen.

“Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is available via On Demand now, and stars Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine, and Katrina Bowden. You can find out more about Tony Moore’s work online at tonymooreillustration.com.


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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.