Alison Zai’s Skeletons have been an online hit since 2014, and for those wanting a proper collection of her best work on the comic, a coffee-table ready hardcover Skeletons book arrived this month via Sex and Monsters.com.
It’s Zai’s first book, and the Baltimore resident talked to Halloween Every Night about the making of it, the alternate path her life could have taken and future experiments in dark humor.
Halloween Every Night: Alison, how did you get started as a cartoonist — and do you consider yourself a cartoonist or something else?
Alison Zai: I was drawing comics ever since I can remember. My major is illustration with a concentration in printmaking, so I do enjoy exploring different mediums, but recently I’ve been focused on making comics.
HEN: Did you always have a bit of a taste for the macabre or is Skeletons kind of a lark for you?
AZ: Both! I’ve always enjoyed dark humor, I dabble in light humor too but not as frequently. You can see this in my most recent work. I know that if I wasn’t doing art, I would have been a mortician.
HEN: How did Skeletons begin and did you set out to make a book?
AZ: Skeletons began when I was just starting to post my comics online. I think it was in 2014, one of them blew up so I made more and people liked them. I never thought it would actually be a book one day so I’m very grateful for that.
H.E.N.: How would you like people to think of Skeletons?
AZ: Personally I look back on the Skeletons era fondly, I’m sure people who have read it do as well.
HEN: Do you plan on doing more Skeletons cartoons and books or do you plan to move on?
AZ: Hard to say right now, my skeleton comics were definitely the catalyst for my comic career. Considering how my humor and style has changed over time, I know I’ve moved on from what I’ve created in the past, but I do hope to revisit the premise in new ways in the coming years.
Skeletons is available for $15 at sexandmonsters.com