Uno Moralez is an artist that makes creepy gifs, standalone images and comics that he calls digital short stories. His art consists of black and white pixels that look like 16 bit versions of macabre 50’s comic strips.
This would probably be found in a pulp fiction series like Terror Tales or Dime Mystery. We’re talking waking up to find your leg walking around by itself, firemen fighting demon flame succubi that shoot fire from more that just their mouths, and barely legal teens who chop off their male friend’s head so they can replace it with the one they had in the fridge. And yes, there are some zombies and illuminati in for good measure.
Collins: I’m curious about your personal history with comics. What are your comic influences, in particular? Did you read comics as a child? Who do you read now?
Moralez: When I was a child, Russia was behind the Iron Curtain, and everything that was foreign was unusual. I had a few issues of action Marvel comics and I liked to just thumb through them, and later tried to imitate their style. I don’t think they helped me to form as an artist, though I still use the skills I imitated at my job. I stopped reading fiction a long time ago; now I mostly read translations of ancient mystical books. It’s quite entertaining and expands my imagination and makes it multidimensional. Sometimes I also read some weird stuff on the Internet.
Collins: If comics weren’t a big influence on you, what is?
Moralez: I have a closet where I keep all stuff I like—music, cinema, works of artists I love or even don’t know—but all that doesn’t affect my inspiration directly. I draw my own visions. Part of them I see in my dreams. Part of them I see when I’m awake; maybe they’re also from night dreams, like memories. And if somebody finds someone’s influences in my work, he’s probably right. We all are made of the same parts.
Collins: One of my favorite things about your work is the way it blends imagery from different cultures into something new and challenging. I can see the influence of Soviet art and traditional iconography, but also manga, the imagery of David Lynch…
Collins: Since you’re drawing digitally and publishing primarily through the digital medium of the web, I find your work more frightening than I would if it were in print. It feels like the horrors you depict in your illustrations and comics are a part of the web itself — like they’ve infected the page on which they are hosted. Do you feel publishing on the web gives your work any advantages it would not have in print?
Moralez: It’s an interesting point of view. If you start to think, “What is the Internet?”, pretty horrible thoughts can get into your head. I see the Web as an electronic prosthesis which replaces the mental link between people on the planet. But the thought of the Internet having an autonomous mind warms my imagination.
Actually, I publish my work on the web because it looks like it was planned and created there—in its original form, in other words. Furthermore, it’s available for maximum number of people.
Those are just my thoughts. Maybe the Internet Mind will just laugh at me.
Collins: Earlier you avoided the comparison to horror — what about erotica? If you’re drawing images from your dreams, as you said, does that explain the presence of the sexual material in your work?
Moralez: Does it mean that erotic nightmares regularly strangle me, and that is reflected in my art? Of course not. In sexual passion I see an irresistible force, in front of which most people, even very strong ones, appear as helpless victims. There is something diabolic in it. Passion is a fire. This symbol seems very suitable for passion, and I use it very often myself.
Read the full interview on The Comics Journal here:http://www.tcj.com/uno-moralez/
Check out his latest comics here: http://unomoralez.com/img.htmlTweet