Friday, December 20, 2013

Interview with Damien Glonek.

Full Name:
Damien Glonek
Alright, I’ve been meaning to ask you this for a while but I never got around to it and now’s as good a time as any.  I checked and you were born four years before the first Omen film came out.  The film came out just as you hit grade school.  Did your first name, being the same as that of the reincarnation of Satan effect you growing up?
My name actually came from Father Karras from The Exorcist.  When my mom was pregnant with me, my dad was reading the book and he thought Damien was a very original name so they chose that for me.  My dad was always pretty heavy into being original in whatever you do.
However years later The Omen did indeed change how society looks upon the name Damien.  Growing up it did have an effect on me, not in so much as a negative impact, but more the constant joking, “Oh are you the devil, blah blah, blah.  Are you going to make something happen, blah blah blah.”  The only negative impact from it was you get tired of hearing it over and over again, yes I get it The Omen, haven’t heard that one before.  Can we move along now?  Now with The Omen almost 40 years old, you don’t get it as much as within the first 10 years or so after it was out.  But now I don’t think there could be a more fitting name for me.  Proud that I have that name.
It’s a pretty cool name, all things considered.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous.
I used to get “Beam me up Scotty!” from baby-boomers while growing up, but now, thankfully all of the baby-boomers are dying off, so I don’t get that as much.

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
No nickname.  Just Damien.
Trenton, NJ

Current hometown:
Ewing, NJ

Favorite city and why?
NYC.  It is where everything happens and everything is available.  This is one city that has so many different things to offer and there is always something going on.  I was never in love with it until I started going to school and working in the city and getting to explore it really changed my whole outlook on it.  It is the capital of the world.
It really is, although I hope to get to check out Paris, London, and Tokyo someday.
Been to London and Tokyo, both awesome cities.  Paris may be on the list for next year.

Birthday / Age:
February 29th, 1972.  Do the math.
I did.  You’re old.

How would you describe yourself physically?
Some people view their bodies as a temple, mine is more like a tomb.
If that’s original, I’m borrowing it.
As far as I know, I made that up.  You can borrow it.
I’ll send you a royalty check if I ever make any money from it.

How would someone else describe you physically?
You would have to ask them.
Fine then, I asked myself, and I said I’d describe you like if Gomez Addams and Uncle Fester had a love child, but, you know, with dashing good looks.  So there.  Now you know.
Can’t say I am opposed to that physicality, could be worse.

The first thing people notice about you is…
I have no idea.
See preceding.

Hair Color / Eye Color / Race?
I once had black hair. / Brown eyes. / Caucasian.

Sexual orientation?

Religion, if any?
Individualist.  There shall be no god before me.  I am the master of my own fate.
So is your philosophy more Crowley or LaVey or neither of the preceding?
I really dislike following anything, I think a lot of different religions have good ideas, but I feel no need to follow any of them or claim to be a member.  I just pick and choose what suits me best.  The 10 commandments have a few good ideas in them, but then I find a lot of LaVey’s philosophies very suiting to my lifestyle.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
Not really superstitious.  I am afraid of bugs/spiders and children.

Do you smoke / drink?   If so, what?   Any bad habits?
Drink.  Beer, wine, alcohol.  I have no bad habits.

Current occupation / Dream job:
Co-Creator of Living Dead Dolls and product manager at Mezco Toyz.
Take us through a day in the life of Damien.   What do you do as the Co-Creator of Living Dead Dolls and product manager at Mezco Toyz?
Probably not as exciting as anyone thinks.  I live in NJ and I work in Queens, NY.  It takes me two hours to commute each way.  I leave the house around 7am and don’t return until 8pm.  That is the worst part.  Once in the office, I get a lot of emails from our Hong Kong office, with questions on how to proceed with whatever they are working on, or showing us samples.  Sometimes they will have sent a package of physical samples of products to review, in which case I go over everything and make comments and send them all back to them.  I also work with any sculptors and painters on any of the lines we are working on, reviewing their sculpts and getting them ready to send to the licensors for submissions approvals.  The LDD end of things is pretty much 24/7 for me.  I am always trying to think of what to do next, how to do it and stay original from what we have already done.  In the office I may piece together outfits and gather reference and at home I usually do the head painting.  Before you know it the day is over and I leave for home to come back and do it all over again.  Once in awhile I have to travel to Hong Kong to oversee things closer there.
Oh man!  Going to Hong Kong sounds awesome!  I used to work for the guys at EMCE toys and I remember seeing the slow process of putting a toy together.   I also remember waiting for the prototypes come back and then waiting for the finished product to come over on the proverbial “slow boat from China”.  Have you ever gotten any backlash for manufacturing your products overseas?
No never had any backlash for manufacturing over seas.  There really is no other way to do it.  You have to manufacture in China or maybe Mexico or even India I hear is getting into the game now.  But there is no other choice.  In order to meet today’s competitive prices you have to manufacture overseas, and even that is getting more and more expensive to do.
Oh, I know.   I just remembered a customer complaining that we manufactured our toys in China and having to explain, as politely as possible, that unless he wanted to pay twice as much for the privilege of having the “Made with pride in the USA” label on the packaging, we had to use China for production because otherwise it makes the retail price of the toys prohibitive.  It’s just the way of the world until US companies can lower their production prices to a competitive range.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Watch movies.  Create something.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I have no plan, I will wing it.

Weapon of choice:

Do you have any special skills?
I used to be able to draw, but I am out of practice.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I went to School of Visual Arts in NYC for cartooning and illustration.
Why for cartooning and illustration?
Art was always my thing in school.  I didn’t really know how to do anything else.  I was always into comics and I like fantasy and horror illustrators the most.  Unfortunately when I was finishing up college, the bottom was falling out of the Comics industry, but luckily I found a home in the toy industry and have made a home of things here.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
No student loans

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
Three cats.  Skunk Ape, Jinx and Devil Monkey.

What is your favorite animal?
Killer Whale.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
A lot, too many to mention.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Anything with tomato sauce and melted cheese is my favorite.  Vegetables and things with tentacles are my least favorite.
When I was in college I went through this phase where I was really interested in sushi.  It’s still one of my favorite foods, but you can have some pretty awful experiences if you’re a rookie.   Two of my mistakes were ordering Baby Octopus and Sea Urchin.   The tentacle part of the baby octopus wasn’t the awful part for me, but biting down on the body and feeling all of the octopus insides burst into my mouth like I had bitten down on a nightmarish Lovecraftian grape was a pretty terrible experience.
I do love sushi, I have eaten some questionable things in Hong Kong before.  Jellyfish and Tripe being the worst.
I’d never eat jellyfish, I learned my lesson with sea urchin.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
Don’t Dream It Be It and Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law.
So half Rocky Horror, half Aleister Crowley.  I can dig it!
I am all for doing what you want to do, as soon as some one says no you can’t I want to do it all that much more.  I hate being told what to do and I hate the word no.
I posted a variation on a Chinese proverb as a Facebook status last night.  “Does anyone else ever get tired of people telling you that something can't be done while you're in the middle of doing it?”  That happens to me all the time.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Co-Created a brand that has continued on for 16 years and growing.  Met my wife.
Alright, I know you must get this all of the time, but how did that happen?
Not the whole Living Dead Doll thing, that’s easy to understand.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting your wife on a few occasions and she is an amazing specimen of womankind.  Now, we know that you have some experience making dolls, so I have to ask… is she from Stepford?  Or is there some planet full of amazing women that is trying to repopulate their planet and I didn’t get the e-mail?  You must tell us your secret!
My wife and I actually first met at a Fangoria show through a mutual friend, I was immediately enamored with her.  But it started off just as small talk, but enough to know that we shared a lot of the same interests.  A month later we met again at a Chiller Theatre convention and went out to dinner with a group of people and sat next to each other and pretty much talked all through dinner, to back at the hotel afterwards and into the wee hours of the morning.  After that we went on a few dates and I was blown away.  Funny thing was I was not really interested in being in a relationship at the time, I was just enjoying life, but very early on I knew this was the perfect person for me, our first dates lasted days.  Marrying her was the one decision I probably ever made in my life where I didn’t have to think things through and weigh the pros and cons, it was easy and natural.  Eight years later we are still the best of friends, happily married and always out having fun.  We are both workaholics, we like to work hard and play hard, so we are a perfect match.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
The worst thing that can happen to me is I run out of time before I am done.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
My veins are pretty icy.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Not that I know of.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Co-Created a brand that has continued on for 16 years and growing.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I don’t think I have done anything to bad, at least as far as I am concerned.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
Like pet peeves, there are so many.

What do you do?
I work with toys all day.
I know that a lot of people must think that you just play with dolls all day long, but as a former horror genre merchandiser, I know that there’s a lot of hard work involved in creating the things that people want.   Do you find that true?  Do people think you’re living the dream?
Everyone thinks I am living the dream.  But to me it is very stressful, for a few reasons.  One, I am never satisfied with anything I do, I am always striving for more.  Two, in this line or work we are constantly met with very difficult deadlines to meet.  So that is always looming over our heads.  Three, we are always trying to stay fresh and creative and please your fans.  In something you have been doing for so long, it doesn’t get easier as time goes on it only gets more difficult.  And it can all go away tomorrow, so we are constantly trying to keep the machine moving.  We are constantly faced with difficult decisions we have to make, not because that is what we want to do, but because that is what we need to do in order to a) appease certain people or b) be able to continue.  I would love for people who think things are so easy or don’t understand why things are done a certain way to spend a week at this type of work and really see what goes into the decision making and that sometimes your hands really are tied.

How did you get started doing what you do?
Kind of fell into it.  Through the Living Dead Dolls it all started.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Just do it.  Be original, creative and practice a lot.  Never be satisfied.
Are you ever satisfied?
Never, I am my worst critic.  I am never happy with anything I do.  I almost always want to start over as soon as I am done.  I am a hard judge and not to easily impressed, mostly with myself.
I find that to be a personality quality of most of the people I know that do excellent work creatively.   They’re always their own worst critics and the most humble when accepting praise.  As for myself, I appreciate the appreciation of anyone that enjoys my work, but I value criticism much more.  Empty compliments are easy to come by, but constructive  criticism is a rare commodity.
I agree 100% with that.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
Worked on numerous music and other fanzines.  Some comic book art.  Ran a horror memorabilia mail order company.

What projects are you working on now?
Working on series 27 of Living Dead Dolls.
Play bass in thrash metal band Coffin and working on a new horror project called 4 on a Meathook.
Where can we check out Coffin and 4 on a Meathook?
Coffin has a facebook page:
As does 4 On A Meathook:
As well as a website  But that project won’t really be launching until early next year.
Cool!  Thanks for the links!  I clicked through and liked the pages.

What are you watching?
Last thing I watched was Corman’s World.

What are you listening to?
Last thing I listened to was Toxic Reasons.

What are you reading?
I am reading all 700 issues of Amazing Spider-man.  I am on issue 301.
What was your favorite story arc so far?
Probably the death of Gwen Stacey and death of Harry Osborn as the Green Goblin.  Plus the early dating times with Mary Jane were probably some of the best story and art.

Favorite author / book?
Don’t really have any.

Favorite band / song?
Black Sabbath, Samhain, Ramones.  A lot of different stuff.  I don’t have favorites too much good stuff out there.

Least favorite band / song?
Anything with Morrisey or The Cure.

Desert Island Music / Movies / Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
Wow, so hard to pick favorites for anything, especially when my moods for things change constantly.  At this point in time it would be:
1.  Samhain
2.  Ramones
3.  The Doors
4.  Slayer (first three albums)
5.  Black Sabbath
1.  The Rocky Horror Picture Show
2.  Jaws
3.  Tank Girl
4.  The Godfather 1 & 2
5.  Zombie
1.  Rue Morgue Magazine
2.  Elfquest Comic Books
3.  The Crow Comic Books
4.  Bernie Wrightson: A Look Back
5.  The book I write when I am on the desert island

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Be a successful musician.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional.

No one in particular.  I am not really into meeting people.  I don’t really idolize anyone.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
I have had only worked for three companies in my life.  The job I have now at Mezco Toyz would be the best.  I guess my first job working a warehouse would be the worst.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Ed Long
Cool!  I’ll send him an e-mail and see if he’s interested.

Summary and thanks:
Thanks to everyone who has supported me to allow me to do what I do.  You are who I appreciate most and never take for granted.

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.


About the Interviewee:
Damien Glonek is one of the co-creators of Living Dead Dolls which will soon be entering their 16th yeah or existantance.  When not creating dolls you can find him at a horror convention or watching horror movies.  He also plays bass in the thrash metal band Coffin (whenever they can find a steady drummer).

OPTIONAL: Prove you’re not a replicant.

Question 1:
A tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping. Why is that?

Because a naked woman just walked by

Question 2:
Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about your mother.

Caring, strong, optimistic, open-minded

Question 3:
It's your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet.

No thanks I already have one

Question 4:
You've got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar.

I stuff the boy in the jar and bury them both.

Question 5:
You're watching television. Suddenly you realise there's a wasp crawling on your arm.

I freak the fuck out, jump up and scream like a girl

Question 6:
You're reading a magazine. You come across a full-page nude photo of a girl. You show it to your husband. He likes it so much he hangs it on your bedroom wall.

Uh…what?  I have a husband?

Question 8:
You're watching a stage play. A banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog.

I must be in China.  No thanks I don’t eat dog.  Ok I will try a little piece.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
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Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
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Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
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