"We don't do 'cut-aways'. We like to show the squeamish bits that other people are too polite to show. Most horror simply doesn't go far enough. These days, too many creators are producing horror stories that have no horrific content - horror for people who donít like horror! They are afraid of actually confronting the audience and that's one of the very things that is the essence of all horror fantasy." - S.C.A.R.
Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr began working together as S.C.A.R. in the early 1990s, producing works for overseas and local publishers.
Their speciality is the bizarre world of horror and science fantasy. They have produced comic strips such as Savage Bitch, Lust Frontier and Hell's Belles for Australian Hustler, Australian Penthouse, The Picture and Sextra. Each strip carries S.C.A.R's signature style: a surrealist and satirical bent, with an emphasis on the fantastic and the darkside.
Much darker and horrific material has been produced for publishers abroad: the psychosexual science fantasy Femosaur World, the horrific Spore Whores series and Kill of the Spyderwoman, etc.
Under the banner of Steve Carter's Comic Nasties, S.C.A.R. have produced yet more titles: New World Disorder, Charnel House, Devilution, The Fuglies and Alien Eden.
Although it represents only one aspect of their work, S.C.A.R. have a reputation for extreme and explicit blood and guts. They are no strangers to the issues of censorship. All three issues of their horror comic book series Spore Whores are banned in Australia.
S.C.A.R. also produce avant garde, free improvisation music and electronica with their bands: Fistfunk Futurists, TeknoSadisT and Napalm Enema.
Excerpts from an interview:
What is your position on the issue of "offensive material"?
What is offensive to some is not necessarily offensive to others. It should be an issue of personal choice and not for any board of regulators to decide. Nothing is more offensive than telling an adult in a supposedly liberal society that they cannot read, view or produce something because someone somewhere might find it offensive.
What is your position on "political correctness"?
Our comics are very "politically correct". Many of our female characters have assertive roles and 50% of our content is created by a woman and 50% by a man... But seriously, it's hard to have respect for an ideology like political correctness as it is diametrically opposed to free speech.
Political correctness is a poor substitute for common courtesy. It also makes for very dull story telling. Ideas which are considered confronting and potentially offensive are supressed in favour of safe and mediocre material. There is no place in art for political correctness, or anywhere else for that matter. It absolutely reeks of all the worst aspects of social engineering.
Why do you use images of graphic violence and horror in your work?
To attain a specific level of intensity and dramatic impact, especially in a visual sense. For us they give the story a horrific edge. That's a very important element of any horror story; to reach a point beyond that of mere suspense, suggestion and the threat that something terrible might happen. There comes a time when you have to show it, not just say it.
Is the comicbook artform the most important field of work for you?
No, the horror and science fantasy genres are. We're just as interested in screenwriting and prose fiction. Most important to us is the free expression of ideas. Ultimately, it doesn't matter which medium they are expressed in.