After six issues, the “1140 Rue Royale” story arc of Nightmares and Fairy Tales, written by Serena Valentino and drawn by Crab Scrambly is coming to a close at issue eighteen. Set in nineteenth-century New Orleans, this story of ghostly retribution, “1140 Rue Royale” has earned the praise of critics. Joe Hillard of PopThought commented, “[Valentino] has taken her writing up another notch herein, with the doubled-edged dialogue and the dream-like passages of introspection. She creates real characters, and yet they are singularly mythic as well. Crab Scrambly’s art only heightens the mythic feel: the long narrow faces, the encroaching shadows on the panels. Much of the book feels as though the reader too is trapped in this nightmare tunnel, burrowing deeper and deeper, inexorably forward....”
For some insight into the creative process that went into creating “1140 Rue Royale,” we spoke to Serena and Crab for the creators’ perspective. This month, we offer an interview with Crab Scrambly. Serena Valentino’s interview will run in next month’s ITW.
Crab Scramby has worked with SLG before, as artist on the Jhonen Vasquez-penned Everything Can Be Beaten and his own illustrated novella The 13th of Never, but his work on “1140 Rue Royale” was a new experience for him. We asked about the experience, and he shared a bit, but in typical Scrambly fashion, he ultimately remains enigmatic.
What was you favorite part about drawing “1140 Rue Royale”?
My favorite thing about drawing “1140 Rue Royale” was getting to drinking mass amounts of tea and other caffeinated beverages while I was working. I think painting the covers made me the most euphoric though.
Also... I’d like to say that working with Serena made the whole process more enjoyable. She really tries to cater to how an artist draws and that makes a difference. So remember everyone out there in comic book land... Serena rules with an iron fist!!!
Was Rue Royale your first comics-format book? What were the particular challenges in working in this format for you?
Yep... Rue Royale was my first venture into the filthy realm of sequential nightmares (no pun intended). It was particularly difficult fending away the giant Cthulhu that did not want me to finish the book....
What inspired the “look” of the comic book for you?
Hmmm... I’m mainly influenced by art outside of the sphere of comics. You know... things like cave paintings and cereal boxes.
What did you hope to get across to the reader about your story with your art? I was really hoping for the reader to just understand what was going on, and perhaps to leave them with a bit of indigestion afterward.