C2E2 2023: Crafting Horror with Frankee White

There’s horror everywhere.

I met Frankee via the bird app, shouting out a comic he created that piqued my interest. When I found out they would be at C2E2, I reached out for a chance to catch up. Frankee has written titles including Broken Bear, Eat My Flesh Drink My Blood, 20 Fists, Who Killed Sarah Shaw, and more. They also write poetry and composed a soundtrack to Eat My Flesh Drink My Blood. Truly, a creative powerhouse (and Frankee is very tall, which has nothing to do with the work, but he is easy to spot in a crowd and a wonderful human to chat with.) 

One of my favorite things about Frankee is their consistent engagement with fans of his work and the promotion of creators and support of others online. He is one of the creators I think of when I consider the meaning of “comics community.” 

Nikki: First hard-hitting question I have…what’s your favorite sandwich? 

Frankee: Sandwich? So…there is a sandwich they used to make at the dorm I live at in my freshman year of college. It was on a baguette – the bread must have been three days old. A hard, hard fucking baguette. But it was chicken breast, cheddar cheese, and mayo. And then this hardass baguette that you could break your teeth on. I think about it to this day, and I can’t ever get it again. 

Nikki: That’s what makes it THE sandwich. Because you’re never going to get it again. You’re not going to buy a baguette and leave it on the counter for three days. 

Frankee: It wouldn’t be the same. It’s a white whale. I’m never going to get it. If I do get it, it will kill me. Probably. 

Nikki: Who Killed Sarah Shaw? For anybody who doesn’t know, can you give us a pitch for what it is all about?

Frankee: Who Killed Sarah Shaw is a black-and-white, true-crime mystery comic. It follows two content creators on what will be the last episode of their show. In a last-ditch effort to convince their producer that they can keep the show running, they’re going to try to solve a long-standing cold case. Normally they come in and content farm grief and trauma for money. So now they’re trying to do the right thing but for the wrong reasons. 

Nikki: Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood was one of my favorite one-shots from 2022. It’s a fantastic romance horror – where the hell did that idea come from? 

C2E2 interview Frankee White

Frankee: I grew up Catholic, so obviously talking about eating flesh and drinking blood, the Catholic ritual for the eucharist and it being the flesh and blood of Jesus – easy mark. Let’s go straight into horror with it. I like mixing up genres and doing things people may not expect. We lean into horror and show a lot of blood and guts, but we are also going to put our hearts on our sleeves, and we are going to talk about relationships. There’s an element of horror to long-term relationships. When you have to commit yourself to somebody for an extended period of time, how much of yourself is yourself? Do you devour somebody in your relationship to come out on the other side, okay? 

There’s horror in relationships. Horror in family, because family sucks too sometimes, and then horror in religion! Really the three big trauma-inducing things.  

Nikki: No wonder I was so attracted to that story. It really hit me in all sorts of spots. 

Frankee: That’s how I know I did it right. 

Nikki: You work in multiple genres. You do poetry as well. What does your creative process look like? 

Frankee: Oh, my process is messy. Basically, I will start with an idea. Like a line – something pops into my head – and I’m like, “That’s fun,” and I’ll write it down and start figuring it out from there. For example, EMFDMB started as a short story. I started writing it. I lost the draft. I don’t know where it went – thought I emailed it to myself, but I didn’t. So I had to start over, and I did it as a comic. But basically, an idea pops up. I try to start at the beginning and work through to the end, but I always know the end when I start. I do not like to trick myself. 

When I write poetry, it’s the same way I write dialogue for a comic: “how does this sound when I say it out loud?” It’s less about it making 100% logical sense. Does it feel good as you are saying it out loud? There’s usually just a core idea that I follow, and I’ll pick words that may not be the technically correct word to use because I like the alliteration, and I just want to do that. 

Hopefully nobody yells at me. 

Nikki: Frankee White does whatever Frankee White wants to do. Nobody can be mean to you. It’s all about community. Tell me about the importance of the comics community and building one with indie creators. 

Frankee: It’s huge. Beyond the $20 we pass around to each other to support our projects and stuff, which is part of it. Having a group of people that aren’t all the same person, they all have different styles of storytelling and are all telling different stories – it’s fun to lean into a group like that and be able to communicate. “Hey, I’m working on this…what do you think about that?” Or even if it is just for promotion, everybody is always down to help lift each other up. And everybody in artists alley today I’ve met – so it’s like, “finally! I got to see you face-to-face!” Being online is nice, but being able to come here and meet people face-to-face and say hello, well, it’s just a great community. There’s a reason I’m on Twitter all the fucking time. It’s because of the people!

Nikki: Do you have any advice for people going to a con for the first time? 

Frankee: Hydrate. If you’re over 21, make sure you get a beer. If you have anxiety like I do, it helps a little bit. Have fun – that’s obviously the biggest thing. If you go to a big con like C2E2, it’s totally different than a small con. If you’re there for entertainment stuff and there to see celebrities, go have fun. Go get your autographs. If you’re there for artist alley – I always recommend stopping at artist alley, even if you’re not into comic books, because there are great, talented people there that are selling their own stuff. 

Just have fun and try not to make it too big of a thing. 

Nikki: Thank you so much for hanging out with me for a bit and it’s nice to meet an internet friend!

You can find Frankee on Twitter at: 

Who Killed Sarah Shaw can be found on the artist’s, Adam Markiewicz, Patreon.

Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood (Dauntless Stories) can be found here.

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