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Séance with Sam

Interviews

Séance with Sam

Mister Sam Shearon is a British-born ‘Dark-Artist’ currently based in Los Angeles.  Sam specializes in unexplained mysteries, cryptozoology, horror, and science fiction.  His artwork often includes elements inspired by the ancient culture, folklore, legends, and the occult.  His fascination with the supernatural, paranormal, cryptozoology and the unexplained plays a huge part in his work.             

              Growing up on the edge of a forest in England, many childhood experiences influenced the work Sam produces today.  This includes being visited one night by two small Victorian ‘ghost-children’ and a ‘green fireball’… Not long after that, he was chased along the edge of the forest by a giant, (foot and a half long), prehistoric-looking yellow and black striped dragonfly! This drove Sam’s fascination of the unknown into an obsession.  Since 2009, Sam has been “boots on the ground” in search of the elusive bigfoot.  He has traversed many of the forests and wilderness of the North American states, including California, Washington, Oregon, New York, and Arizona.

              Sam has created artwork for a variety of clients in both the rock and metal music scene and the world of comic books and graphic novels.  Creating album covers, merchandise, and comic-book covers for a variety of clients including Jason Charles Miller, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Ministry, Rammstein, Filter, Iron Maiden, KISS, Powerman 5000, HIM, Orgy, Doyle, Biohazard, American Head Charge, Clive Barker, Stan Lee, IDW publishing, Boom Studios, The X-Files and Fangoria…. to name but a few.  His artwork can also be found on the covers of various books, films, and podcasts regarding cryptozoology and the paranormal. Clients include David Weatherly, Ken Gerhard, Joshua Cutchin, Joshua P. Warren, Whitley Strieber, David Childress, Shannon LeGro, Marie D. Jones, Chase Kloetzke, Jim Harold, Loren Coleman, and many more.  His artwork can also be found in the pages of Paranormal Magazine and the Fortean Times.

              He has also created a number of titles from various authors under the helm of ‘Vesuvian Media Publishing’, with clients including Thommy Hutson, Dan Elish, Jonas Saul, Mary Ting, Lindy Ryan, and Alexandria Weis among many others. Vesuvian also publishes his own ‘Creepy Christmas’ coloring book which is available now on Amazon. This ‘adult coloring book’ features forty different winter-based ‘monsters’ and poems to match. This ‘Merry Macabre Coloring Book’ includes characters such as ‘Gryla’, ‘Santa Claws’, ‘dark elves’ and of course Sam’s version of ‘Krampus’!

              Sam also appears regularly at various comic conventions, signing books and prints of his artwork, including New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego Comic-Con, and has done so for the past eleven years in a row.  He’s been featured on the covers of several magazines (including this one!) and has appeared as a guest on various podcasts such as ‘Into The Fray’, ‘Where Did The Road Go’, ‘The Micah Hanks Program’, ‘The Ghost Story Guys’, ‘Talking Weird’, ‘Paranormality Radio’ and ‘Coast to Coast AM’ among many others.

              Talking with Sam these last couple of months have been an eye-opener to me on how much material he has created.  If you are a fan of cryptozoology, whether it be literature or documentaries, his art can be found all over the place.  My first exposure to his art went back about five years ago when I watched my first ‘Small Town Monsters’ documentary… His artwork can be found on twelve covers for their documentary movies and various merchandise designs to match! His work can also be found on the covers of fourteen cryptozoology, supernatural and paranormal-themed books by David Weatherly …and counting! He’s even written a chapter in volume four of David’s ‘Wood Knocks: Journal of Sasquatch Research’ series available on Amazon. He’s also illustrated the covers of several books by Ken Gerhard including ‘The Ultimate Guide to Bigfoot’ and ‘The Ultimate Guide to the Loch Ness Monster and Other Aquatic Cryptids’ – also available on Amazon.

              During one of my recent conversations with Sam, he informed me that he is currently working on a Halloween card collection for the upcoming season.  This is a follow-up to a Christmas collection he had put together and released last year. Each card will have its own classic Halloween monster, (of course in the extra dark portrayal by Sam), which will also be available as individually signed prints.  These will include ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and witches among many other creatures and characters. This is just one of several projects he is currently working on, besides the books and album cover artworks.

SAM:  “Last year I created a greeting card series as part of my ongoing ‘Creepy Christmas’ project, so this year I wanted to follow it up in the ‘Samhain Season’ and release an ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ card collection, to celebrate the precursor to the ‘Merry Macabre – Creepy Christmas – Season of Death’ series… (which will also be re-released again this year, with additional creatures and characters as a second set of cards). For this ‘All Hallows Eve’ release, (released of course prior to October), there will be thirteen designs available as a pack of 5” x 7” cards, (as with each of the Creepy Christmas card sets), and each creature or character will also be available as signed prints via my print store, linked on my website”.

It’s probably a good idea to sign up to his mailing list via his website mistersamshearon.com also, in order to get the head’s up on future releases, including limited editions and exclusive merchandise”.

              On the book cover front, Sam is continuing to work with renowned cryptozoologist, David Weatherly.  Weatherly is putting together a series of cryptid books that will number in upwards of fifty for the whole collection, each representing a sort of guidebook to each different state of North America.  Sam’s work will be featured on all fifty books… currently standing at seven books already available now on Amazon.  I believe Sam’s talent, years of research into all sorts of cryptids, and studying the witness descriptions, makes him perfectly suited to accurately portray these creatures. It’s a series seriously worth collecting and will look fantastic as an eventual full set on a shelf!

              On the horizon, Mister Sam Shearon has embarked on creating his own podcast.  If you missed his deep-voiced English accent on the early days of into The Fray, then stay tuned! Sam will be taking a hard study on a long list of unexplained, supernatural, and paranormal subjects.  The show will be a serious documentary style and Sam will be using his years of research as a guide when he delves into each area of study. The show will be on YouTube as well as the many podcatchers out there.

SAM: “Much of the idea behind the podcast, is that it will be visually driven as well. As an artist, it makes sense to also illustrate the things that I am talking about.
The first season has already been mapped out and it will cover ghosts, hauntings, and things that go bump in the night.  To get the full effect, you’re going to want to view it on YouTube, because, with each episode, I’ll include some of my artworks to glide in and out during the show… such as some of my ghost portraits, among other things.” 

If you’re interested in ‘being’ one of the ghosts that are displayed on the show, you can reach out to Sam via his Facebook or Instagram to arrange a portrait to be created by him in a ‘ghostly’ style. There’s even a level on his Patreon to become one of his ghost portraits at the ‘Immortality’ level/tier.

SAM: “It’s funny because you would think that people wouldn’t want to appear dead and rotting, but some are thrilled by it, and I have even done people’s pets as well. When I portray people, it’s not gruesome, with a skull exposed, or bloody, these are generally just gaunt dead-looking people, a little more romantic than gore.” 

              As mentioned in Sam’s bio earlier in the article, he has worked on several comics and graphics novels providing cover art.  Sam recounts when he was working for Stan Lee, he had the chance to go to his office and see where Stan Lee worked…

SAM: “I remember seeing a bunch of little white hairs stuck in the back of Stan Lee’s head-rest, on his chair. I thought to myself, ‘I could get some tweezers, a little glass vile, take some of those and maybe one day clone him in true science-fiction, comic-book style!’…
…Of course, I didn’t, however tempting that was!”. 

CODY: “Do you have plans to do more comic books or graphics novels?” 

SAM: “I’ve done cover art for IDW Publishing now for 10 years, including titles such as ‘The X-Files’, ‘Mars Attacks’, ’30 Days of Night’, ‘Angel’ and ‘Judge Dredd’, I’ve also created Hellraiser cover artwork for Clive Barker and worked on his ‘Books of Blood’ animated series as both artist and director. But these days, I’m really looking towards creating my own titles, under my own banner. 
But also, because of the COVID situation, a lot of studios have downsized, some people have gone to other comic studios or magazines. It’s been a real shake-up. Thankfully I’m freelance.
It’s actually been a real eye-opener in a sense though because it makes me ask myself, ‘where else could I work in the comic industry? What does the future hold?’ Who else could I create for?.
I really do enjoy doing comic covers, knowing that they go out there everywhere, perpetuating franchises, and inspiring others.  I really get a kick out of nailing a cover, such as for ‘The X-Files’ for example, as I then become a part of that franchise, in a small way of course, but I’m there as part of that universe’s history.” 

SAM:  “I am toying around with the idea of creating my own graphic novels and putting them out under my own direction as both writer and artist.  I am starting to realize that I am actually getting more enjoyment and even more success when I work on my own stuff, rather than an existing title or another creator’s property. I won’t stop creating for bands and authors here and there, of course, I’m currently working on the new ‘Kill Devil Hill’ and ‘Jason Charles Miller’ albums among other things, and of course various books and magazines on cryptozoology, but more time is being focused on my own projects these days for sure”. 

CODY: “Will your podcast be more non-fiction and the graphic novels are based in fiction?” 

SAM: “The graphic novels will be mainly fictional, woven with legends and lore, historical facts and of course plenty of science and science fiction will be mixed in… But with the podcast, it will be factual, I really want to take a skeptical, scientific deep-dive into various ‘stories’ and ‘true’ cases. I get very enthusiastic and fuelled to dig deeper when there may be something actually there, (of course once you wade through the hoaxes and misidentifications!). 
I find it extremely exciting to be able to pull apart stories and uncover things that others have only touched on… and even if there’s nothing at the end of the rope… I think that keeps the dream alive…
‘No answer’ keeps those mysteries mysterious! But ultimately, I want to have the podcast be a resource and an educational journey for people to refer back to, to explore with me, and in some senses, bring the dead back to life through my own journeys into the unknown!”.

CODY: “Being a creator, and with a good percentage of your day job involved in things considered paranormal, is there anything that you’ve learned that the average person may not know?” 

SAM: “I try to read every day, whether it’s a ghost story or ghost account or something in the realm of cryptozoology, but again, I do prefer real accounts rather than fiction, real accounts really grab me!
There’s always something to discover… or uncover. Many people think we have discovered and explored every inch of the world’s wilderness, yet there is still so much that is untouched or exposed to modern man. People assume that because we have satellite technology mapping the planet, we’ve explored everything, but that just simply isn’t true and far, far from it…. we’ve only developed around five percent of North America in terms of towns and cities, the rest is still wild forests, mountain ranges, and deserts… places so wild that hundreds of planes have gone down out there, that we still haven’t recovered… and THAT I find very, very interesting… Especially when you consider what might be walking around out there actively avoiding us!”.

              My conversations with Mister Sam Shearon have been an unforgettable experience.  We have logged about six hours of discussion over the unexplained and supernatural.  Sam has a depth of knowledge of the subject that I would almost put a Ph.D. at the end of his title if one existed.  He has been a great contributor to the Paranormality Media group.  Remember that Mister Sam Shearon does a weekly live drawing for his Patreon members every Wednesday at 6 pm, titled ‘Séance with Sam’. You can find all of Sam’s links including his social media, his mailing list, and signed-print store via his website: MisterSamShearon.com

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