In 2018 I did a doodle that was all digital art. The idea was, what would it be like if I could do a moment in a found footage horror movie, with VHS texture and stuff? It did very well, so I was like, maybe I can cut out the middleman and use photos. People started sending in their own photos – like, “send in a pic, get a spooky guy drawn in the corner.”
I don’t even know where he came from. I just drew a creature in this photo and then wrote up a vague blurb about it: “There’s this creature, it can announce different regional broadcasts.” Something about the design hadn’t been quite done in that way before, and it just resonated.
Over the next year, it became one of the most popular guys I made. I think he fits into the vibe of a Slenderman-type character, so it was easy for people who like that vibe to pick up on. Slenderman was created in a very similar way on the Something Awful forums, with someone editing photos and just making up a spooky story.
In terms of the design of the creature, I’m scared of stuff that isn’t a person, but can use somebody’s voice. Using human emotion or language, but realizing there’s nothing behind it, is really scary to me. When you take the features away from a monster like H.R. Giger’s Alien – it specifically has no eyes, to try to keep you from relating to it.