Girls and Corpses Magazine — Chock Full of Blood, Soul and Babes [INTERVIEW]
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert S. Rhine -- founder, publisher, and 'Deaditor-In-Chief' of Girls and Corpses, a horror/comedy magazine. Yes, it's real.
Robert, formerly of 'Cracked Magazine' has sold fiction to over 100 different publications. We found the Girls and Corpses Magazine while browsing at Jim Hanley’s Universe in Midtown Manhattan, and promptly wrote him this e-mail:
Subject: Yay for Girls and Corpses!
Ok, I was walking through Jim Hanley's Universe comic book store and saw your magazine, which I have never even heard of in my entire life. I was completely intrigued and freaking out that this was even happening. I have been obsessing and thinking about your freaky magazine since that day we had our brief rendezvous in the store. I am a writer and would love to contribute to your magazine, on any level, in any way. What can I do? Oh, hi, my name's Elina and I write for GuySpeed Magazine Best regards! Elina N.”
As a result, he published me on four whole glorious pages about my topic of choice: Cannibalism, and agreed to interview with us. Enjoy:
Ok, everyone is going to want to know, what the hell is this magazine about?
What’s funny is I have people standing in front of me at conventions that pick up the magazine and ask, what is this? I usually say its farm machinery or a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes. Simply put, it’s a real magazine – we are on stands in the US and Canada as well as translated in Germany. We have been around for almost 8 years now and it’s a comedy horror magazine, and one of few comedy magazines still around in publication. Essentially, it’s a comedy magazine about death – what we’re doing is impossible, yet, it has been a great success.
How did this idea hit you, and how did you come up with it?
You used the perfect word – “hit me.” I was literally hit on the head when I was 10 years old in an accident that I had. My skull was crushed and part of my brain physically was coming out of my head. In fact the first book I wrote was called “My Brain Escapes Me,” and you can still find it on Amazon. I literally died – my parents were told I was dead, and then, I wasn’t dead. I think this played a role in what my interest in death perhaps was. My father was a TV comedy writer and my mother is a comedian actress – so I grew up with a lot of comedy in my house and I am a writer as well. I was at New York Comic Con for 8 years with my friend who is at Asylum Press. Every year I had a new comic book or novel that I would write (mainly based around Satan) and I would bring a corpse to the shows and girls would love taking pictures with these corpses. This was the genesis of Girls and Corpses.
How many readers has your magazine reached from its inception and first publication?
In terms of whom it has reached in sales, in the hundreds of thousands. If you bring the magazine into a room, everyone freaks out when they see it; it changes the whole atmosphere. People go nutty when they see it because they can’t believe it’s a magazine.
Any creepy requests or fan mail since the magazine started?
I got a lot of letters early on from people who were upset for some reason – one of the first letters I got was from the Crystal Cathedral - where the church basically said they hope me and my corpses rot in hell – which I thought was really funny. I get a lot of prison letters – I got a letter from a guy on death row that we ran in the issue. We’re actually banned from all the prisons in the country. Shipping is an issue to prison, which is fine, I don’t think they should have copies of a magazine called Girls and Corpses in prison!
I noticed Tera Patrick is on the cover of an issue; what other porn stars or celebrities have graced your covers or been featured?
Our first celebrity on the cover was Sheri Moon Zombie; she was on the cover of our first issue in print. We had Kristin Campbell and Wendy Kremer who are both horror actresses. Also there was, Tiffany Shepis, who is the horror scream queen, Danielle Harris who was in Halloween 4 and 5 (and we’re shooting her again; she had the fastest selling issue to date), Sid Haig from The Devil’s Rejects, Charlotte Stokely, Playboy girls, Harland Williams the comedian, and Camden Toy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Of course there was Andy San Dimas who is a big porno star, Joslyn James who was one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses, and Chastity Lynn. There’s Tera Patrick, Gilbert Gottfried and Lloyd Kaufman is coming up - and really the list goes on and on.
Do girls know they’re holding real corpses when they sign up to do a photo shoot?
Since women basically seek us out to be part of our photo shoots and issues they always know they’re holding a corpse, so there’s never an issue with that.
I have had many people ask me how real the corpses are and I will defend their realness to my grave. But are any corpses ever made out of materials?
There are real corpses in every issue – however, I don’t say which corpses are real. This keeps people guessing. I work with someone from 1-800-AUTOPSY, (yes, this is really happening people) and the person who runs it is Vidal Herrera. He is one of my good friends and I see him very often and we shoot there a lot. He also has a business called Coffin Couches. He takes coffins and makes them into couches.
Do you get requests often from girls who want to model with corpses or do you seek them out?
We don’t have to even go out looking for women – there are so many women who want to be part of this magazine they just send us pictures. What makes the magazine work is it’s a certain type of girl; mostly un-tattooed or heavily pierced girls. We go for the more girl next door look. There are exceptions such as Tera Patrick who has a huge tattoo from that Yakuza which she got in Japan.
Did your friends and family think you’d lost it when you came up with this idea?
Well, the people that know me know I have this dark crazy sense of humor. I mean, I write Satan comic books. Nobody was terribly surprised that knows me – my mother is the type of person if I had shown her a stick I found in the woods her reaction would be “Oh my god, it’s so beautiful.” She was also in the magazine in our third issue. My mother also played Melancholia, Morticia’s cousin on the Addam’s family!
What should we expect from Girls and Corpses in the future?
I pride myself on making every issue better than the last and pour my blood and soul into every issue that comes out. We’re going on the road to Vegas for the fetish and fantasy Halloween Ball. Then we do Days of the Dead around the country and have The Miss Dead Pageant. Right now we have a store online where you can buy current issues, back issues, our calendar, and other crazy products like prison soap, corpse body soap, severed key chains, comic books, t-shirts – there’s tons of stuff in the store. We’re taking over the world, one corpse at a time.