“I wanted to create stories that tried to bring some of the deep strangeness of Asian horror films like Ringu and A Tale of Two Sisters together with the visceral horror of David Cronenberg and the atmosphere of Joyce Carol Oates or House of Leaves,” said Costello. “Split Lip is my attempt at that.”
Split Lip is influenced by comics including the EC horror library and the works of Junji Ito and Kazuo Umezu.
“I consciously chose not use to the standard horror archetypes – vampires, zombies, werewolves – in these stories, because I wanted to try to venture into new territory, areas that frighten thanks to both ideas and actions,” said Costello. “Fear is often generated by the unknown, by the strange, so by using less-familiar ideas, I hope to catch readers with their guards down.”
The first comic in the series, “The Executioner is a Lonely Man,” was illustrated by Brian A. LaFramboise, whose work has appeared in Trailer Park of Terror and Opi8.com. The comic tells the story of two men who become neighbors on death row. Barrett, the row’s newest arrival, is marking time until his execution. Transformed by guilt, he has accepted his fate, and waits for death. The other man, Doc, a long-time death row resident, asserts his innocence and strikes up an understanding, if not exactly friendship, with him.
Costello also has a production blog at http://www.splitlipcomic.com/blog.