Growing up on a steady diet of horror comics from the 1970s and 1980s has served artist Dean Kotz well.
His striking illustrations have brought to life unusual characters like Krampus, the mythical Christmas monster, and legendary author Edgar Allan Poe.
But in the comic book “Krampus,” Krampus is the savior of Christmas and in “Poe,” the author does not just write about chilling crimes, he investigates them.
“I really gravitated to that genre,” said Kotz who grew up in Pennsylvania and now lives in Brooklyn. “I devoured all of those magazines … ‘Creepy’ and EC [Comics].”
Kotz has some new series coming up, including a crime horror series from Dark Horse Comics and a fantasy series called “Gods and Gears” on the horizon from Alterna.
Readers of amNewYork have seen Kotz’s work accompany some modern-day horror tales, such as the worst subway stations in the city and a fictional scary stories about our not-so-rapid transit system. It’s a transportation system the Brooklynite was very familiar with.
“My girlfriend and I love walking around and taking public transit,” he said. “We love to see the activity in the street.”
Kotz is illustrating amNewYork’s new Caption This, a contest where readers can win the original artwork if their words win.
“This is going to be a fun challenge,” said Kotz. “I don’t do a lot of humor-based stuff."
Kotz said his love of drawing started when he was a young child.
“I always say everyone draws when you are a kid and everyone stops,” he said. “And I didn’t.”