So, you know how it is: you’re the son of a spider god, you take a trip through a dimensional portal to rescue your Dad and you become half-human. The usual.
No? Well, that’s kinda the point. Greg Anderson Elysée has created a pretty unique hero here, and DAMN we needed that. A refreshing take on the hero figure, a highly untapped mythology for this genre, and just the right balance of creepy and loveable. And I hate spiders. Hell, I’d knock myself out running into a wall to get AWAY from Is’nana if I saw him in spider form.
But Is’nana is a good kid – and you’ll love him as much as I do. That’s why I was stoked to see volume 2 of his story on Kickstarter right before Halloween, such a perfect time for this book to hit. And Greg was nice enough to join in on the Strange Kids Club Halloween festivities, so let’s give him a while to chat about were-spiders, urban legends and gypsy curses…
IT’S JUST YOU AND THE COMIC PUBLISHER OF YOUR DREAMS, AND YOU HAVE ONE SHORT ELEVATOR RIDE TO PITCH IS’NANA THE WERE-SPIDER AS THE BEST THING EVER. SHOW THEM YOUR UNBRIDLED LOVE FOR THIS BOOK!
Greg Anderson Elysée: Dang! You putting me on the spot! OK! “So this is my book, Is’nana the Were-Spider. I am the writer and creator. It’s a horror fantasy coming of age book about the son of the West African God of Stories, Anansi the Spider. Essentially, it’s a father and son story where they’re trying to bond stopping creatures and demons from other dimensions while trying not to drive each other crazy at the same time. So, typical father and son story!” (smiles)
WHAT’S YOUR BEST (OR WORST, IF THAT’S A BETTER STORY) HALLOWEEN MEMORY? (TRICKS, TREATS, SHENANIGANS…IT’S ALL FAIR GAME.)
GAE: Well when I was growing up, my mom wasn’t too big on Halloween. She’s a very Christian woman and still complains when Halloween comes by. Now that I’m an adult, I take full advantage and go all out to dress up. So, my favorite Halloween memories are of me recently just dressing up and having a blast walking around New York City. Amongst my friends, I’m known as that guy who goes the distance when I can. Thus far I’ve dressed as the Crow, Brother Voodoo, Two-Face, Black Panther, and last year Tien from Dragon Ball Z. I may dress up as Tien again because I got my costume done far too late for me to go out and celebrate.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HALLOWEEN CANDY?
GAE: Don’t hate me but I actually don’t like candy. But when I am in the city, I always buy bags of candy and give them out to Trick and Treaters while I’m walking around.
NAME ONE URBAN LEGEND/MONSTER STORY THAT TERRIFIED YOU AS A KID.
GAE: Well in Haitian culture, growing up you’re always hearing horror stories and superstitions. Haitians are extremely superstitious, so as a kid growing up, that stuff would get into your head. One thing that was common was hearing about Loup-Garous, which are shape shifters and more commonly to Western stories: were-wolves. But in Haiti, they’re seen as shape shifting witches who kidnap kids and “eat” them, stealing their souls and weakening you.
So there’s that and don’t laugh, haha! I’m laughing, but as a kid I was TERRIFIED of ALF, that alien with his own TV show. When his show would come on, I used to run to the TV set and turn it off and wait until a good decent amount of time would pass before I turned it on. I have no idea why I simply never changed the channel. But now that I’m older, he cracks me up.
It’s weird because I loved the Crypt Keeper but ALF was my enemy Number 1.
IF YOU COULD BE HAUNTED BY ANY FAMOUS PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE – AND WHY?
GAE: Wow. I really don’t know. My mind goes straight to Bob Marley. I would love to just hang out with his ghost, talk about all types of things, and listen to him sing and play his guitar.
WHAT ARE THREE SONGS THAT ARE A MUST FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN PLAYLIST?
GAE: Hmmm. Tales from the Crypt theme song by Danny Elfman. The Phantasm 2 theme by Fred Myrow. Last but not least: The Addams Family!
AFTER YOU CROSS AN OLD GYPSY WOMAN (WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!), SHE CURSES YOU TO TURN EVERY NIGHT INTO _________. WHAT MONSTER/BEASTIE/OTHER WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO SPEND YOUR NIGHTS AS?
GAE: Maaaan, that is hard! You know what? Turn me into a were-spider like Is’nana. Is’nana can shape shift into various forms of spiders, he can break into millions of spiders and travel around, sprout extra arms and spider legs, shoot webs and venom, and talk to and control spiders! I’d definitely go around turning into spiders to scare people who deserve it, like bullies and problematically bigoted folks. Yeeeeah, that’s how I’d spend my nights. Haha! Imagine find those little kids who pick on others, crawl into their rooms as a million spiders and turn into a giant spider creature slowly and gradually slinking down towards them. Haha!
Where’s this gypsy woman? I’m ready to accept my fate.