It’s no secret the mega talented portrait artist with a side of goth and a sparkle of sass, Emily N3ver, is a huge fan of horror movies.
The self professed “hell raiser” celebrated Halloween 2017 by creating the wickedly wonderful Gothtober zine. It features portraits of some of the most iconic goths of all time, ranked for their gothliness out of 5 Bats.
Last October Emily backed it up with her highly popular Women in Horror zine. It celebrates the screen queens of horror, showcasing 31 original sketches featuring iconic females in timeless horror movies.
For the month of October 2018, Emily dove into her personal (and questionable) favourite horror movies, and drew one pivotal woman from each, for every day of the month. The portraits accompany the artist’s thoughts and opinions of the character and movie throughout the zine.
The zine has been Zine Gang Distro best seller, with horror fans all across Australia and the world picking up a copy. So we asked Emily what inspired her obsession with the macabre and why she chose to celebrate these iconic scream queens in such an awesome way…
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am Emily N3ver, a zine maker, hell raiser and illustrator living and drawing in Melbourne, Australia.
My work is inspired by outer culture; weirdos, horror, punk, tattoos, things that are (or at least were) deemed unsavoury for mainstream consumption. For me, as a bisexual female artist I connect to monsters like The Creature From The Black Lagoon because I understand the fear of not being accepted which is something I try to explore in my work.
I have exhibited and sold zines internationally since 2002.
Why did you start this all-female horror tribute zine?
I started this zine on the night of September 30, 2018, giving myself the space of one evening to plan and then illustrate my self-made prompts for Instagram’s #inktober drawing challenge.
The year before I had created my own prompt list called #Gothtober and invited other people to be involved using that unique hashtag by drawing a person belonging to the gothic subculture once a day for the month of October. Due to its success I decided to do my own prompt list again but this time exploring another subculture close to my heart, women in horror.
I was particularly inspired to create this zine because in my own limited research I hadn’t found another zine like it yet embracing and celebrating the variety of female centred plots, let alone horror movies written and directed by women.
What are the concepts of your Women in Horror zine?
Women in Horror is a sketch book zine featuring 31 predominant women in horror, from characters like Ellen Ripley, to Jenna Jamerson of Zombie Strippers. The zine holds particular focus on modern horror (movies from the past 40 years) especially those written and directed by women, like Jennifer’s Body‘s Karyn Kusama.
I wanted to celebrate the various roles women can occupy in horror because I feel they offer raw dialogues about societal and particularly cultural constructs about what it means to be female.
How did you get into horror movies?
I got into horror movies at a young age. My sister, who was 10 years older than me, worked in a video rental store.
I’ll never forget the first time I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas when she brought it home for me on VHS. I was perhaps 5. I was terrified, exhilarated. I requested she rent the video out for me again and again until it was banned from our house.
Since then I’ve just been going from horror movie to horror movie still chasing that same thrill of being scared. I’ve long since lost count how many I’ve seen but I can recall exactly where and when I was with each one that left a lasting impact on me (like The Ring 2002, a sleep over at Sarah’s house).
What are your top 3 horror movies?
It’s a tough call to narrow it down, but my current top three horror movies are;
Alien 1979, directed by Ridley Scott, Staring Sigourney Weaver; Poltergeist‘ 1982, directed by Tobe Hopper; and The Love Witch 2016, directed by Anna Biller.
Alien to me is timeless, there’s been nothing like it since.
I felt awestruck when I realised Sigourney Weaver’s character Ellen was the protagonist. It felt like something huge to watch her navigate the nightmare unfolding bare faced and pragmatic.
It really shows that Ridley Scott couldn’t determine whether he had wanted to cast a man or woman in the role so left the character ambiguous to the point of being almost non-binary. This movie helped define my own sense of identity in a lot of ways and will always be important to me.
Poltergeist is so much fun! I love the campy nostalgia of it and best of all the male gaze throughout the film is minimal. It kind of doesn’t even matter what the men of this universe even do, sure they were part of the problem but solution rests with Tangina paranormal expert to save the day.
What’s more interesting is it has women from all different ages responding to the one crisis and allowing them the space to each have their own unique reactions to it which I can’t think of any other movie that does this.
The Love Witch is one of my new favourites.
Written, edited, produced, directed and scored by Anna Biller and staring Samantha Robinson. The film is set in modern day California however you’d be forgiven if you felt you were watching a hammer film of the 70s when first watching it.
The Love Witch taps into the difficult balance of women wielding the power of their own sexuality verses falling into the trap of being manipulated by the narrow ideals of male gaze. I adore the way it sucks you in as a charming adventure of a witch in her quest for love and ends in a blood bath.
Check out Emily’s zines and more from others at the Zine Gang Distro Etsy store.