Skull Head is a chaotic cosmic story about a guy in a punk band & the people around him. Set in a futuristic dystopian world. It’s got everything from cults with Lovecraftian gods to mariachi bands, mutants, bikers, mobsters & a crime fighting cat. Think Tank Girl mixed with Judge Dredd wrapped in the most interesting or weird parts of subculture that exist in the world. But it’s not just the crazy story that makes this comic book so unique – the visual style has a distinct and eye-catching aesthetic unlike anything else out there today.
We talk to the creator of this independent zine that is a subcultural hyper-trip
Tell us about yourself and how you came to the point of creating your own zine
Hi, I’m Willy Dean the writer & illustrator. I’m based in the UK & addicted to pizza. As one of those creative types, I’m always looking for a fun project to focus my attention on & Skull Head was one of those ideas in the back of your mind you never get round to. In Summer 2022 I found myself with a lot of free time & decided I was finally going to get this down on paper! I really wanted to do something that was totally different to anything I was seeing by other people, something more tailored to the alternative scene & something that I would enjoy reading as well as create. I think it took me about four months of going back over my work to get the visual style to what it is now, as for the stories, I’ve got too many to keep track of. Stacks of scraps of paper where I write down funny ideas or situations I find entertaining.
Skull Head Issue 1
This is the fifth instalment of Skull Head, give us a quick overview of the story so far
We’ve been introduced to the world of Skully (Skull Head) & the main people in his life, his punk band & the landlord of the bar they all hangout in. The fascist government and the futuristic mutant world where our story take place. There’s been a few crazy situations to deal with & I’m sure the more people read the more they realise that there is a much bigger story going on in the background. I really wanted to start small & as the story moves on everything just grows & grows into the complex crazy universe. I don’t want to give too much away but as each issue moves on you meet more characters, issue five just takes you further down the messy rabbit hole that is the Skull Head universe.
We guess we know the answer but are you a comic fan ?
When I was younger more than now. I was always drawn to things like Tank Girl, Hellboy & 200AD. The finely polished Marvel world isn’t really for me, although I see why people are into to it. If I’m going to read a comic, I’ll normally go back to those three. The artwork styles appeal to me a lot which you can probably see influence of in my work.
Where did you find your inspiration for the story and illustration ?
The main characters are loosely based on myself & my friends. The others are normally inspired by some weird in interesting culture I’ve read about. When I’m writing out a story, I will often think of something I find funny or something that would be a surprise or unpredictable & think right how to I get from point A to point B in 16 pages. As for the illustrations I try to focus on the key moment to best get the feeling across. It can be quite a challenge & the illustration part is what takes the most time. Things evolve a lot from the original scribbles. Then I also throw in a bunch of song and film references for good measure.
Skull Head Issue 3
Give us an introduction to the main characters in the story
We’ve got Skull Head (Skully), The mutant with a Skull for head. he’s a bit awkward, a bit cynical but would do anything for his friends. Nova the bassist, she’s a loudmouth & sort of hectic. Tootie the guitarist, he’s super chill & happiest when he’s eating. Freddy the four-armed drummer, a ladies’ man & Sal the bar owner, he’s like the parental figure for the group. I can’t forget Hoppy the three-legged, crime fighting cat. Hoppy is based on my real-life three-legged cat but I’m not sure how much crime the little guy fights. Together they are Voodoo Jones. I’m planning to kill some people off & introduce new characters to keep things interesting at some point, although I’m not sure who yet.
Skully, Freddy, Nova, Tootie and Hoppy
Tell us about your own love of subculture and which scenes influenced you.
I think the world is full of all these fascinating cultures that we should be exposed to & learn about. So many people get trapped in their little lives & miss out on all the amazing & crazy things out there, I don’t want that to happen to me. I think that’s why punk appeals to me most, I don’t want to follow the rules & be stuck in a societal straitjacket, I want to be exposed to strange & crazy out there. However, I think I’m influenced a lot by different parts of alternative music & fashion from the 60s onwards, every decade had something great & I think you’ll see reference to that in the comic. I wanted each character to have their own identity or interest & not be created from the same ideas.
Can you share your music top ten with us?
This is always hard to come up with as the top then changes with my mood, so I’ll just go for the ten I’ve been listening to this week. These are in no set order.
- Idles, first album is my favourite but they’re a great band that do no wrong in my eyes. AIL.
- Danzig, only the first three albums.
- Viagra Boys. Grit & saxophone. You can’t go wrong there.
- Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- Corey Taylor does a cover of Love Gun by Kiss I’ve been playing lot.
- Soft Play have a great energy.
- Bad Religion are always on my playlist.
- Buena Vista Social Club are my go-to easy morning listening.
What’s next for Skullhead?
There’s so much to come. Conspiracies, wrestling, riots, Love stories, bar fights, more mini crime fighting cat stories thrown in the mix. Some other new mini comics with interesting characters. More bad guys & crazy situations. I’m not planning to stop any time soon!
Brought to you by Underground – the brand of the Original Allgender Creeper and other British Subculture styles
A word from Will
Just head to the website to get a copy & keep up to date with the issues. I put a lot of info & the odd promo code on Instagram so it’s worth giving us a follow there too
visit the website