Whether we’re scared senseless or all pumped full of adrenaline, horror captures many of our imaginations and doesn’t want to let go. Taiwanese artist Ben Chen draws eerie horror comic stories with surprising humorous twists that captivate the hearts of cartoon fans and lovers of spooky things.
“Before these horror comics, my illustrations already kind of had a horror or dark style,” Ben told Bored Panda. Scroll down for the rest of our interview with the artist, upvote your fave comics illustrated by Ben, and let us know in the comments which one you loved the most and why. Also, be sure to check out Bored Panda’s other post about Ben’s clever pop-culture illustrations right here.
The artist has more than 4.3k followers on Flickr and he describes his drawing style as dark, humorous, and full of imagination. He’s a big fan of movies and illustration books, states that his brain “never stops running,” and he enjoys how his imagination lets him create something out of nothing.
According to Ben, he decided to change the way he approached illustrating when he felt that his art was reaching a different stage.
“My comics are the sequels to my illustrations,” Ben explained to us.
“My art was inspired by the things around me and by my own experiences. So, being aware of the little things around us is very important,” the illustrator pointed out the importance of firsthand experience when it comes to finding inspiration and for creativity.
“I love creating art! It’s so much fun! So I will keep drawing until I can't,” Ben revealed just how much he loves what he does.
Whether he’s drawing a comic or working on an illustration, Ben needs some time to figure out the idea he wants to express to the world. He also does a few sketches and scribbles before he gets down to business and starts drawing for real.
Ben told Bored Panda that it usually takes him 2 to 3 days to finish an illustration and 4 to 5 days to draw a comic. That’s not including the time he spends refining the idea and working out what elements should be in the final pieces.
The illustrator also had some advice for all illustrators out there who want to become professionals. “Try out multiple things to find what fits you and works best for you,” he said.
Ben advised illustrators to “build up the character” they’re drawing and using their own personality for inspiration. Art is also a great way to learn more about yourself. “Then keep having fun and keep passionate through your own works of art,” he added.
When it comes to horror, whether we’re watching a scary movie, reading a frightening book, or looking at Lovecraftian illustrations, there are several reasons why it’s so alluring.
First of all, horror provides us tension in the form of shock, mystery, and terror. Secondly, it enthralls us when it’s relevant and creates personal connections to us and our fears. Finally, there’s the element of unrealism that helps separate us from the horror—this lets us enjoy the story while being completely safe and snug under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa.
Psychologist Christopher Dwyer elaborated that watching horror movies, playing scary video games, and enjoying frights from the safety of our homes turns horror into entertainment. In his opinion, people seek controlled fear and suspense, not real fear: this lets us experience our bodies going into fight or flight mode while also knowing that we’re not at risk.
Meanwhile, media expert Dolf Zillmann and his colleagues came up with the so-called ‘Snuggle Theory.’ In short, this theory suggests that fear helps create stronger physical and emotional ties between people and brings them together.
For instance, his research showed that men enjoyed horror clips twice as much if their female companions were distressed. On the flip side, women enjoyed horror movie clips far more if their male companions were calm, cool, and collected.