The Secret Life of a Real Halloweener [Interview]
Something unbelievable happened right the week before Halloween! Searching the internet we’ve bumped into the real Halloween idolator. Yup, he does exist. His favourite holiday is Halloween and not without reason. Apart from being a Halloween fan, Jonathan Wojcik is an artist, a toy collector, an armchair biologist and owns a ‘monstrous’ blog. So, this extraordinary person is our next interviewee and we are going to find out as much as we can about his unusual Halloween philosophy. And if you missed our previous interview about Halloween with Katy Gilroy, don’t forget to read it right after you finish with this interview!
What to start with? Let’s start from the very beginning, actually! How did you happen to become the fan of Halloween?
I was born on Halloween, and all my life took an interest in strange creatures, whether fantasy monsters or real-world insects and marine life. It’s just been that way as long as I can remember!
Now, it’s clear. Halloweener by birth! I guess, your attitude to the celebration is different from others. What do you think is the main idea of Halloween?
People have always enjoyed things that scare them, especially children. Halloween is a celebration of horror and fear, which are as important to almost every aspect of human culture as anything else could be. Entire civilizations revolved around the mysteries of death and the supernatural, and ghost stories are one of the oldest narrative genres known to man.
Have you noticed some evolution of Halloween celebration through the years? Did you like the old traditions better? Or do you find some new trends more interesting?
Halloween has grown a lot in popularity since I was a kid. It’s much more often celebrated by adults than it was just twenty some years ago, although many forms of celebration have strayed from what made it so fun in the first place. Adult costumes tend to be either “sexy” or an attempt at “humor” these days, or pop-culture references. Dressing up to look cool, creative and scary is a rarer art.
What was the most memorable Halloween celebration for you so far?
Probably, just trick or treating as a child. I had to be taken to other towns because we lived in the middle of nowhere, and I always had the most elaborate, creepy outfits most houses had seen. I always picked out the big, freaky monster masks and combined them with a lot of other things, like real bones and tattered cloth.
I am sure you dressed up a lot, but can you remember your best and favourite Halloween costume?
Only last year I made a full-body brain creature with giant eye stalks…I just didn’t really have anywhere to take it.
Let’s move from the costumes to the places. What do you think is the best city to celebrate Halloween?
I love the haunted houses and hayrides in Maryland and Pennsylvania where I grew up. Otherwise, I haven’t often had the chance to attend any big, public celebrations.
And the food – do you have your favourite Halloween food?
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite year round, but the Peanut Butter Pumpkins are even better. They’re plumper, with a higher peanut butter to chocolate ratio.
Now, reveal us some of your personal Halloween traditions. You must have those, unique and different from common ones?
Beside doing articles and artwork online, I have a tiny little coffin decoration that opens up to show a skeleton inside. I leave it closed until August 1st, which is the start of Halloween season for me, and close it back again in November.
As you’ve already mentioned the artwork – what kind of Halloween craft do you make? And what is your favourite kind of Halloween art?
I have a method of making gooey monster sculptures out of insulation foam. They were even featured in an art show once! I may be sharing the process soon as a seasonal blog post.
Sounds awesome! So, you make up a lot (like, thousands) of spooky characters. Do you have your favourite monster?
Every iteration, reinterpretation, homage and parody to The Fly. Flies are possibly my favorite animal with their weird looks and habits, and they’re so unlike humans that mashing them together always results in something weird and fun.
And the final question is simple – what are your plans for the upcoming Halloween?
This year I debuted a new comic online and will be sharing some special art and writing on Halloween itself. Otherwise I think I was invited to a party, but I’m not a huge party person. Mostly, I like to stay in and watch horror cartoons!
Thanks, Jonathan, for sharing your unique view on the Halloween phenomenon!
Got interested in Jonathan’s Halloween artworks? You are welcome to leave comments, ask questions and suggest ideas below!