With an aesthetic that can veer from controlled chaos, to sharp and clearly defined, American artist Casanova N Frankenstein (born Albert Melvin Frank III, name formally changed in 2013) has been creating works of all mediums since the 1980s. Most known for his comics and his semi-autobiographical Tad Martin character; Cas is also a well established writer, as well as someone who can turn his considerable skills to virtually any medium – Be it sculpture, clothing, jewellery or even designer toys. With all of Cas’ works being infused with his unique personality and artistic talent.

Born during 1967 in Chicago, USA, Casanova N Frankenstein was initially inspired to create thanks to early exposure to his father’s extensive comics collection and the many emotions that stemmed from growing up black in America, with a difficult family life and the usual teenage angst.

Feeling like an outcast for most of his early life, Cas’ world was forever changed in his teens when he discovered punk music, it’s community and associated DIY spirit – Cas had finally found his people. His tribe. His place.
With Cas going on to release his debut comic, Tad Martin No.1, in 1991 via Caliber Comics.
Cas then continued releasing comics and other art throughout the 1990s to much acclaim, before taking a break from publicly sharing his work during the early 2000s. Then, in 2015, Cas made a return to the world of comics, with ‘Tad Martin No. 6.’ Since then Cas has found his comics and other works published by companies such as Domino Books, LuLu and Fantagraphics – Cementing his triumphant comeback!

A recent photo of Cas.

Recently, Cas also began actively collaborating with others, having worked with Australian artist Glenn Pearce on comics, ‘The Year I Lost My Mind’ (2020) & ‘How to Make a Monster’ (2022) – Both of which are written by Cas & illustrated by Glenn. Bringing Cas to another chapter in his already illustrious career.

Wanting to get to know him better, we sent Cas some questions to answer over email – Which he has responded to with a mix of standard answers, poems and prose pieces.
Take a dive into Cas’ world, below…
[Editor: Cas has also been kind enough to share a link to read and download his 2017 comic ‘Purgatory – A Reject’s Story’ for free. Just check the “Links” section at the end of his interview.]

Getting Acquainted

Name + D.O.B?

Casanova Nobody Frankenstein

August 28, 1967   

Art by Cas.

City, State and Country you currently call home?

Austin, TX. USA

City, State and Country you’re from?

Chicago, IL. USA

Please describe some memories – such as art, music, comics, friendships, adventures, study, romance, politics, work, crime, religion, drugs… anything really – from the stages of your life noted below:

* Your childhood:

Poem: Andy Kaufman
Up until I was about six years-old, and
figured out I wasn’t crazy for not liking
it, my father
and I would wrestle.
We’d play on his
bed, and all
was fine and
dandy, but
it usually ended
with him
putting a pillow
my face and
pinning me down
so that I was
unable to
move or breathe.
And I would
scream and
panic and lose
breath from
screaming and
struggling, and would
be waiting
to die.
Then he’d pull the
away, laughing. But
seeing that I was
crying, would
get angry and
say, “I was just
playin’ with you. You know I wouldn’t hurt

Then he’d chase me away disgusted.
I’d wander away feeling
Upset at myself for
being scared. For making
him so upset by
not getting the

An autobiographical meme by Cas.

Poem: Autumnal
The early encroachment of
darkness arrived hand-in-hand
with the naked black fingers of the
Those fingers married to
the unmuffled-wind
which gasped and screamed
in fits of vitality (like
some terrified-animal fighting
a trap) as it scraped itself across the
frigid-concrete and over the
stiff, dry blades of yellow grass,
and echoed that awful moan
across each and every hard
so that it could find the window
of my dark bedroom.

My nine-year-old self, under covers
eyes staring at the
soft-edged steely-coloured ceiling-shadows
of streetlight-cast venetian-blind windowframe.
Tar-coloured shadows pooled in the crevices
between the greys
extending in feathery obsidian-tentacles
like summer pond-leeches.

The crying wind carries with it
a cacophony of disparate-portent.

From the train-yards, the
deep dead cello of the engines
burrowing deep into my soul
accented by the prison-door slammings
of coupling cars, and the off key
bellowing of the air horns.

In the alley the clashing-metal of
overlaying the robotic dinosaur-call of
the garbage truck.

Sirens piercing in the distances with
visions of blood, and violence.

So, alone in the darknesses
In my room, in my mind
this lullaby-of-horror carries me
into oblivion.

Poem: Family Weekend 1978
Forced to watch fish
slowly suffocate on the ice
in the
Styrofoam cooler, my
became laboured.

I mentioned it once
but they
told me I was acting like
a “damn-sissy”.

Which served as the
bell, beginning
another class in
Outlasting Sissy-Horror

Cas as a tween.

Prose: Pool Party
After a fire destroyed their home in 1974, my grandparents and great-grandparents relocated to Homewood Illinois, which was an all-white Chicago suburb. I was 7 years old when I spent that first summer with them, and was awakened many nights by rocks and rotten eggs being thrown at our windows. My family actually had to buy retractable metal shutters, and wrought-iron security doors to protect themselves.
I managed to make friends with a neighbour kid, who one day told me about a pool party the little girls at the corner-house were having. I ran home to get a towel and swimming trunks. I power-walked down to the corner house and knocked on the door. I could hear the splashing and kids’ voices behind the backyard fence. I rang the doorbell, and got a quick peek of a white face, that disappeared behind the window curtain.
I walked home that day with a huge new horrifying reality.
A few days later i was walking past that corner house, when a grown-man comes bounding out the front door and across the grass.
“STAY OFF MY GRASS!” this red-faced adult yelled at me.
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t step on your grass.” I replied.
I guess he didn’t care for the back-talk because he screamed at me, “NIGGERS KILL MY GRASS!” then huffily walked back up his steps and slammed the front door behind him.
I mention this to say that this is the reality of a black kid in Chicago. A constant barrage of messages that you are a piece of shit. You grow up with it and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.
Nobody could change the reality because it was accepted by adults. Your parents couldn’t make it better. Your school pretended like the situation didn’t exist, and considered your situation to be the same as a white child.
And if you weren’t of a very specific type of mind, you quickly sink into self-hatred, realizing that no matter what you do, or how hard you try, you are seen as a criminal, an animal, and an immediate threat.
So there should be no question as to why young black guys try to destroy the black bodies around them. It’s what reality has given them. It’s what America taught us all.
I was extremely fortunate to be one of the few whose mind didn’t work like other people’s. But even for me, in surroundings with white friends, i was isolated by their denial of my reality and acceptance of the status-quo. None of them saw colour. And they complimented me on being not like “other black guys” or being “not really black”.
And they couldn’t see just how much pain and effort was involved in maintaining our relationships, and my sanity.
As the decades went by, nothing was changing, and as I began to speak to truth, my white friends became fewer and fewer as I was seen as a complainer, and “angry black guy”, which in plain English means a Black guy that no longer can sit and listen to their good-natured racist jokes, queries of why I was working minimum wage jobs at the age of 40, and didn’t “do something” with my degrees, and explanations as to why they were exempt from the racist programming.
They never had to think about real life. Even when they were little kids, playing in that backyard pool, behind a fence and 1000 miles away.

Art by Cas.

* Your teenage years:

Poem: 13
I am that kid
Standing at the mouth of a
suburban side street,
looking down the
tree-lined block.

Memories of past
as insistent
as the blazing sun
over my head.

A block of silence.
My generation. Turned.
New kids being born.
Still in the nest.

The concrete friends of
summer yesteryear
as they
have started
combing their hair,
and giving a shit about
looking, “neat”.

Cars burst out of bicycle’s-

I am the
boy standing.


The cover to Cas comic ‘Purgatory: A Rejects Story.’
Released in 2017 by Fantagraphics.

Poem: Extreme Sports
I was sixteen, and darkness had fallen
and we’re riding our bikes.

The boys I’m riding with
turn onto 95th street
and I follow
even though we’re headed towards
a white neighbourhood.

I figured we were going to turn around
as the first set of railroad tracks
pass under my wheels
I feel fear
creeping over me.

I tell them we should turn
They only laugh
and pedal faster.

I sure as hell
don’t want to go forward
but can’t go back
by myself.

So I plunge into the night
behind the fools on wheels
as we rattle over the
second set of tracks
I know we’ve gone
way too far.

Cars swerve close
horns blaring
laughter in the voices
of my friends
(years before extreme sports)

as the high-beams light on
our backs
and I see my shadow
on the ground
in front of me.

They laugh as windows
are rolled down
curses are flung
along with pieces of garbage
at us.

My nerves jangle
as cars slow down
then pass with a shout of
I’m not ashamed to admit
that on that dark
summer’s night
my nut-sack clenched up
like a peach pit
and shoved my testicles
up into my guts.

Along we rode
another mile
I’d given up on trying to say
their bicycles were bigger
and they were stronger.
They slowly began to pull

I followed as they
turned right on Pulaski
where blacks could get mobbed
and beaten
in broad daylight.
I wished for a street
without so many lights.

I felt like a cockroach on a wedding cake.
The cars hooted and honked
and swerved at us
like mad bulls.

The passengers cursed
and spat and screamed.
I couldn’t even sweat.

We turned right on 87th street
and headed back east
back towards our mixed neighbourhood.

They really began to pump
leaving me further
and further

My heart raced.
A wheeze rattled through my lungs
and I cursed them all.

As we reached Western Avenue
I broke away from them
and rode home
their laughter
pelting dryly
against my back.

An autobiographical meme by Cas.

Poem: Beautiful Peckerwoods
Starting out with
nothing, as I did
but a very
nebulous idea of
what was cool
and a high degree
of anxiety
I was dropped
headfirst and
soft side down
into West Texas.

Hordes of blonde
Amazons with bows
in their hair
and their massive
Topsider-wearing gods
driving along
in new cars
of foreign makes.

In this small-town.
This tiny Paris or
New York City
they were important.
Anyplace else they
would have been considered

I was like a baby,
a blank page
as it all went by.
I was in awe of
Travis and his
and his bedroom
you reached through
a trapdoor
in his Grandparents’
garage floor
and down a ladder.

I was 18 and in awe
of this 16 year-old
West Texan
who had absorbed
more than I had
or so it seemed.

I was like a blank
page filling quickly
a baby lusting
loving, hypnotized
by babyfat West Texas
girls with
part of their heads
shaved like
fresh lobotomies.

Girls that hung out
with Mohawk Travis
who thought this
nerdy black guy
was cool.

The Lubbock Texas
people in black.
A fad of many
started by

So many
confused sexless-girls
and their skinny
non-sexual boy-things
having late-night
fuelled by methamphetamine
which was brought
in by outlaw bikers.

Bikers that would stomp
these people
like kittens if
they ever actually
crossed their paths.
But that never happened.

Two different worlds.
Although I wound up
hanging in places
they separately frequented.

So snooty and
faux-gay and the perfect
targets that
just begged to
get beaten up
but it never happened.

These Texan young
people in this
fishbowl college
town, trying to
snoot us all with
how cool and
avant-garde they

got the dance clubs
packed with
college pricks
that were
taking on the
clove cigarette and
black v-neck
sweater mannerisms
of this tiny group
of about a hundred
confused jagoffs
who lived in
back issues of
Interview magazine.

I’d hate to think
that I was without
a girl in the
outside crowd
because I was black, but I
don’t know.
I don’t know.
Maybe it was
because I was so
desperate and sad.

The dusty flatland
magnifies the
little lizard into
a Gila monster so
I’m Godzilla with
my frohawk and
engineer boots.

My searching for
something, something
I needed to be
a creative need
a statement made
something not so
quiet so boring.

West Texas College
town Redneck-rich
peckerwoods with
their tanned noses
in the air,

shit on the dorm
bathroom walls or
letting their
vomit solidify on
the carpets and
in the sinks
because the
school has Niggers
and Mekskins
to clean it up.

Life is fun
when things are
just handed to you.

Cas aged 17.

* Your 20s:

Prose: 1988
Huge ragged holes open the knees of my jeans, deep crescents of shadow banding my spindly legs. Bulky engineer boots, comical fat-soled knob-toed Frankenstein feet sprouting from calves as thick as my forearms.
Toss on my leather jacket and trench coat on top. It’s cold outside. West Texas cold.
Fonzarelli-scarecrow shivering in the darkness.

Footsteps echoing along the concrete walls of the underground parking lot. Sounds sharpened by the chill.
The borrowed white Cougar sits majestic, its 1977 body huge, beside the new Hondas and Beemers.
The interior is plush, insulated. The V-8 rumbles to life without hesitation. I put a punk-rock tape in the cassette deck. The warm air hummms through the dash-slits. I light a Lucky Strike and drive out onto the street.
As I drove along, I pictured her gleaming blue Chinese eyes set in that pale white skin. I shudder in uncertain anticipation. Pretty face, limp dick, life everlasting…
The stench of burning fat from the rendering-plant ghosts through the air vents, lessening as I get closer to affluence.
The Cougar sliced… bludgeoned its way through the darkness, unseen, unheeded, flowing over the ragged pavement, softly, like quicksilver.
Her neighbourhood, her legacy, lay hidden behind a curtain of trees planted on the far side of a grassy field. Turning up the drive I am again in awe of the claustrophobic-opulence bursting forth, like a sunrise from behind those trees.
Two-story brick castles set back on sprawling green lawns. New cars freshly washed, waxed, glimmering in the streetlight, or nestled in circular driveways. The Cougar parked by the curb. Like a battleship in a bowl of Fruit Loops. I step into the chill.
The chiaroscuro of her bedroom light, spilling onto the dark lawn like stage-lighting, draws me stealthily nearer. I rap lightly at the pane.
She motions me to go to the side of the house, into the Quasimodian-shadows. I’ve never seen her parents, and if it is possible I probably wanted to meet them less than they wanted to meet me.
Their backyard was a shared immense, sprawling park, ending in a man-made lake, which is not on the map, and known only to the houses which hid it.
I hear the moan and clatter as the garage door ran up the tracks, followed by the soft humm of a Volvo engine, pulling away. The door closes.
I stand there in the empty night, feeling the sense of wrongness, dependence, cowardice of a thief in the night. I shiver.
She rounds the house and calls me out. I am almost man, a runaway slave hiding from the master, a wolf at the edge of the campfire. I see that she’s wearing a jacket. I’m not invited inside.
She leads me through an archway into a Spanish- style courtyard, surrounding an empty swimming-pool. We sit on black wrought-iron furniture. I watch my breath float away on blue-tinged breezes.
I try to imagine my babyfat-princess swimming in there, on a warm night, and I cannot see it. Much less could I picture her angelic face or round bottom, skewered on the end of my questionable masculinity.
I really don’t know why I was out there in the cold with her. A pretty face? Hope for a kiss?
A gamble to relieve the loneliness?

It was something to do. Something concrete for me to consider, looking back from years to come.

Cas aged 27.

Poem: A Family
A family of unrecognized anti-heroes
unloved, unmourned and

What it meant to be punk
back then,
was to be a part of
a family.
A blended Brady Bunch of
damaged children, with their
eyes wide open.

We were the kids that
saw it all start
on TV in the 70s.
All those panicked news-segments
and television dramas
warning Middle-America that
THEY were here.
They were insane
music full of hate…
they killed each other when
they danced.

America was horrified,
but we weren’t
Born expatriates
with our eyes wide-open.

Even as we watched those shows
and played with our
SSP Racers, we were

From the outside (by design)
punk appeared ugly
But it was fascinating,
to us at least.
These punks were grown-ups
but they were like us.
They were what we would be
they were grown… but
they were not grown ups…
They weren’t the Hessian dirt-bags
that listened to “hard-rock”
and wore denim.
The sullen, racist
pimply faced, long-haired
guys and girls in bitchin-Camaros
that the other kids
(the “Normal” kids that our parents liked)
wanted to grow into.

To us the mysterious punks were
living dreams…
superheroes in black leather.
Living embodiments of
An impossible-mix of
and intention
and suicidal amounts of
not giving a fuck
about the world of
“Normal” people.

The Punks were
our parents’ manifest terror
of the future-tense judgement
the shaming fingers of
and church-congregants
pointing out the parental-ineptitude
failure to control
and moral-laxity that
led to the breakdown of
and the bastard black spawn of
corrupted daughters.

We were whipping-boys
and girls, existing as
resented-mistakes and constant
reminders of our parents’
lost-dreams and stolen
The sullen future-tense teenagers.
satanic-panic inducing ingrates.
The embarrassing, bald-headed
neighbourhood freak-shows.

But what they could never grasp
is that
when you removed 80’s punk
from caustic-music
and dismissal of propriety
it is a framework
on which we built our
moral hot-rods.
When the, clean-cut
the narcissistic
Janus-faced Prom-Queens
and the, faceless mass
of mercenary status-seekers
peacocked flashy facades
of BMWs and Cadillacs
the punks had these laughable
piece of shit tin cans,
with hidden-hearts of detailed
high-compression chrome.
Fuelled by the cruelty
of a society that mirrored, multiplied
and intensified the malignant parental-gaze
which was the cause of the damage
that drew us together like
fingers in a fist.

So we went places that we
weren’t supposed to go, and
took our licks from society’s darlings
who recognized the
ugly power-structure
as well as we did, but they chose
to embrace it

We were an entire generation of
individuals who chose
the martyrdom of a clean-conscience
that was thrust upon us
as a masochistic-morality
by an animalistic-society whose
only passions
were fuelled by their shameless
A passion for a survival of the fittest
based on lust and greed
built on the backs of the poor
and nourished on the
blood and tears of
the leather-bound saints.

The cover to Cas’ comic ‘Tales of the Leather Bound Saints’ aka ‘Tad Martin 8.’
Released in 2020 by Fantagraphics.

* Your 30s:

Poem: Mary Ann
She was like a brick-wall
covered with familiar
A statue or gargoyle
that sat at the end of
the bar, and talked to the
Everyone knew her
because she was there
every night.
And I knew that because
I was also there.
every night.
Two empty bodies
sacks to fill with
Friendless, angry
reaching out only
for a glass
or an ashtray.
In my mind
I was still handsome
clever and
instead of the
frightening, chain-smoking
that I’d become.
So I tried
and succeeded in
picking her up.
Two drunks
whose lives seemed to
revolve around
an Austin bar.
We went back
to her apartment
had more drinks
had sex and
went to sleep on the
futon on
the floor.
In the morning we
drank a screwdriver
at her kitchen-counter.
This went on for
some days
this pattern of
drinking and
only broken for sleep
and work.
No emotional connection
just companionship.
And at the age of 32
this was all I wanted.
Sometimes happiness is
too much to ask for.
and a warm body
keep you alive
if not entirely

Cas aged 35.

Poem: Fiend Without a Face
I’m out again.
It’s a Tuesday night
and for some reason
I’m driving down I-35
to Sixth street.
I’ve done this so many times.
Everything I see

I park my car in an alley
put the club on the wheel
and walk into
the senseless future.

The doormen at the nightclub
are pleasant.
They just work there.
Perhaps if they actually hung out there
they wouldn’t smile so much.
One of them puts a
paper bracelet on
my wrist.

I walk into the dark.
The loud booming of
Industrial dance music
used to assault my ears
I don’t even hear it.

I sit at the end of the bar
and light a cigar.
I don’t order anything.
I had my drinks
before I left home.

The girl in the cage
is dancing
not exactly to the beat.
She has a flat ass.
I wish she would look at me.

When I first started coming here
I’d see all of these beautiful
pale girls, dressed like
and I would think that
they could love me
if they knew me.

For whatever reason though
they don’t want to know me.
I don’t strike them
as good boyfriend material.
Not human enough
for them, or maybe
too human.

It’s hard for me to accept
those women who dress like
would be afraid of my
skin colour.

The DJ says hello to me.
I shake his hand.
He leaves me to my cigar.
No one is speaking to me
no one is looking at me
as though I have become
a translucent phantom.

Even though no one is watching
I wait for a few minutes
to leave
so as not to seem
in case someone decided
to look.

The doorman opens the door
for me
and I thank him
even though it’s his job
it’s still a nice thing for him
to do.

The night is muggy
the air is stifling.
A woman lies on the sidewalk
too drunk to stand.
A male companion
has her by the hand
he’s talking to her.
He must be embarrassed.
I’m glad I’m not him.

I go into a bar.
The jukebox plays both
Louis Jordan and the Cramps.
On the two TV screens
is playing.
I read the subtitles.
Yul Brenner stalks along
like a mechanical
daddy longlegs
a stern smile on his mouth
even though he’s a machine
he enjoys the killing
he has passion.

I order a Coke
and snuff out my cigar
I light a fresh one
and look around me.

People are in groups never alone.
They’ve built groups of human
wagon train circles
and turned their backs
on their surroundings.
There are small rings of friends
or whatever
all over the bar.

The only people by themselves
are me
and the cook in the kitchen.
I finish the Coke and leave.

I don’t know why
but I go back
to the vampire nightclub.
Perhaps I still hope
a beautiful woman will
see me, and
talk to me.

I just don’t want
to sit at home
by myself
waiting for a beautiful woman
to knock on my door
because that
doesn’t happen
to me.

I go back into the club
there are many more people
Nobody looks my way.

At some point
before the place closes
I realize that
I’ve had more than
I don’t care how defeated
I look
I just walk out.

Going back to my car
I feel tired
like I’ve just finished
a day’s work.
I start the car
and head home to
and the half-empty
bourbon bottle.

Art by Cas.

* Your 40s:

Poem: Punk Rock Princess
She showed up last year
with a group of drunken babies, hedonists and troubled look-at-me’s.
She was plastered with all the
Punk-rock concentrated jim-jams:
ripped fishnets
combat boots
bra through net-top
facial tattoos
plaid miniskirt
Belladonna gap-tooth smile
and shot through with stainless.
Baptized in a barrel of butcher knives with an advanced degree in
taking her clothes off.

Not pretty in the Marie Claire Sorority way but like a blinding

in the Austin TX swamp of
doughy Bettie Page haircut
pre-fab Rockabilly Stepford wives.

She now spends her time
shaking her ass
to pay for 5-dollar hamburgers and
cab rides for her
cleft-chinned boyfriends.
Rockers with teeth in their
hearts and brains,
bartenders with dead eyes
leather-wearing versions
of young Republicans in
date-rape shirts spelled out in Greek.
This punk-rock world as closed-minded and limited as any Jew-hating country-club.

Loss follows her as she chases
Dogs made of shadows through
The perfect cobweb.

Cas aged 47

* Your 50s so far:

Poem: Chrysalis
you manage to live
to middle
The whole thing not
a blur, but
thousands of documents
and images
printed on big sheets of
X-ray film and
sandwiched together into
cloudy blue monolith
with a Klieg light
shining through
the far end.
And you can’t cleanly peel
one moment from the
next, so you
have memories
that are
tattered at the edges
like a Halloween witch
Sometimes it’s so heavy and
you get numb from all those
broken hearts.
try not to stumble.
You recall the clean sweet
feelings of
puppy love
as they call it.
A misnomer.
Nothing soft and
waggly about those intense
that suicidally serious
intensity that
parents belittle, that
provides you with
your first vivid fantasy of
violently killing them
for doing so.
It takes a toll.
A lot of folks
can’t bring that
past the
teenaged years
cause jobs and
booze and
fucking and
waking up at 6 Bobbing for turds in an open sewer
At some point we all
Get isolated and feel
These bodies were made
With a sense of touch
And the ability to
Recall how that
First love felt, while
Forgetting why that first
Especially so as you
Sit in your apartment
Listening to the sound of
The refrigerator motor
Grinding, and staring
At the dirt in the
And all of reality
Seems to be this
External torture that’s
Happening to you
Dragging you along
For a
Rough ride.
So you think you
Need something
Someone to help
To slow it down or
Make it stop.
And because you are
Lazy/shy/awkward/jaded/etc., you
Go online.
A horrible place.
You put on a series of
good faith
Blindfolds, with names like
Match.com and
Sewn onto the blindfolds
In fancy script, and
You go headfirst into
What you quickly learn
Is an open toilet.
crushes the fucking
heart out of them.
But what if it
happened again
Nearing 50
after all the numb
X-rayed years of
Dull delights which
Passed for
What if your
leathery old
coal-dusted heart
latched on to something
so beautiful and
that you cried
and shook and
busted out of a
chrysalis, that you
didn’t know was
What do you think
you’d become?

An autobiographical meme by Cas.

Prose: Memories of Tomorrow
Two days ago, I was thinking, about how I discovered and became a stoic. But it would be decades later before I connected this thing I had been doing to an actual school of thought. The same thing happened with “inventing” yoga and meditation.
I used to have long hours of disinterest in anything when I was a kid, so I would contort my body into knots. Some of the poses would become ecstatic, and I’d fall into a deep meditative-state, (although I had no idea that’s what it was) and in that state my conscious-mind would go into a sort of mental “grotto”, and I would hear the voice of my subconscious, as though I was in a sound-booth, hearing myself speak. I had no idea what it was, but I was instinctively aware that Midwestern Protestant-thought would interpret it as (what they called) “demon-inspired” activity. But with my conscious-mind under lock and key, none of this concerned me because I knew, (from some greater pool of understanding) that all of what was happening had a name. If not presently, then at some future time, or alternate-existence that existed all the same.

In that deep state, I would ponder things that a 10-year-old would not logically be pondering. Things which were (even at present) beyond the measurements of the scientific-method. And I would pack these understandings away, knowing that they would be somehow retrievable to me, at a later date.
That said; along with puberty came a change in both interests and perceptual-ability, and I would eventually disavow what happened as “kids-stuff” or “fantasy”. And it wasn’t until college, (when I started smoking weed) that my mind once again was able to return to that lost state of enhanced-perception. But even then, I didn’t connect it with what had happened during childhood. I’d forgotten.
I didn’t remember until maybe 2012, when I started taking notes during my trip-spurned meditations.
Fast-forward to 2020. I was on a low-level trip, and something I saw or heard triggered an implanted-memory.
This will probably sound fantastic, (if it hasn’t already gone beyond that point) but I recalled very clearly, a time right on the cusp of puberty when my parents had taken me to some god-awfully bleak psycho-thriller of a survival-movie, which was digging its way into my sanity, and I did what I always did; I pulled my knees to my chest, clenched my eyes, placed my palms firmly against my ears (thumbs-down), plugged my ears with the tips of my pinky-fingers, and softly-hummed.
I went into my subconscious-mind, and pondered my situation. One realization that I had then was, that there was a specific age at which humans are old-enough to be invaluable to the economy, but not yet locked-into dependence on jobs for survival. It would also be an age at which they were still young enough to retain some part of the morality and sense of optimism of children. I also realized that such a group could cripple the system by just refusing to participate in its evils. Just sit down and refuse to work or buy. I didn’t know how they could possibly contact each other to set the plan up, but I made sure to store the thought for the future.
All of this was taking place in my subconscious-mind as a series of overlapping full-colour images. The thought went into a crate, and the crate went upwards, then rushed down a multi-coloured-tunnel, past minutes, hours, months, and years, and I felt it place itself in the correct location for retrieval at the appropriate-time.

And in 2020, the memory was unlocked. In a time, where youth were dejected, unemployed, and being used as acceptable-losses in dying-capitalism’s last-ditch psychopathic-effort to retain a hold. A time where these young-people were easily able to plan and execute a mass-revolt.
I went to work crafting a meme, that on it’s surface seemed humdrum, but to a few perceptive 18-23 year olds, it would hit them as the spark for something doable.
I posted the meme on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, at 4am (to make sure it would be the first thing on people’s feeds when they got up) along with a caption briefly recalling my memory, asking people to PLEASE just share the post with their friends, because it could go viral…
And I waited.

And 24-hours later I quit all social-media, because not one person had shared the all-important post.
This may sound like a joke, or a story-outline, but it’s not. Everything happened just as I said. And now I’ve realized, after 35 years of trying to tell people about vital things is that they aren’t going to listen. They are to selfish, stupid, or broken, to listen.
I did the best I could, but I’m done now…
About 3 years ago I found out that the Latin-root of monster, is “monstrum”. A monstrum is a warning, or “portent” to man. A thing born different, as a warning-messenger of things to come.

The cover to the comic ‘How to Make a Monster,’ written by Cas & featuring art by Glenn Pearce. Published in 2022 by Fantagraphics.

Personal motto(s)?

Not a motto, but I refuse to go against my personal code of ethics.

What role did toys play in your childhood?

Without knowing it, I was following the genetic memory of Benin Togo Vudu, by imbuing toys with spirit. I was subconsciously aware of what I was doing, but my Christian upbringing prevented me from consciously claiming my actions for what they were.

Comics, Art & Creativity Questions

When and why did you first become interested in art, comics and everything creative?
… and any pivotal creative moments / influences?

I was raised around my father’s comic books, and caught quite a few beatings (due to my father’s inherent selfishness) for daring to invade his basement boxes of yellowing books.
I started drawing comics in the 7th-grade. Mostly during school hours.
This was influenced by many different artists. Stephen Mellor, and Richard Corben, were the main artists I was attempting to emulate.
In my teenage years I was completely blown away by the art of Bill Sienkiewicz, and Jaime Hernandez, and my art and stories reflected their influence.
The tragic-comedy Autobiography of Harvey Pekar‘s American Splendor, became the writing template for my comics, 1987 to present.

The cover to Cas’ comic ‘In the Wilderness.’
Published in 2019 by Fantagraphics.

You are most well known for your comics; but have also worked in lots of other mediums…
For those at home who may be unaware – Can you please outline your various artistic practices?
(To our knowledge you also create dolls / toys, customise clothing, write and have also made jewellery.)

I’ve always had visions of things that I wanted to create, and an overwhelming need to see the fabrication though to completion. Sometimes the ideas will pop into my head. Other times I will rummage through various odds and ends that I save in plastic-tubs, until I see a connection between this and that.
The internet has been invaluable to me, as I can both research necessary materials and methods, and purchase materials that I’d otherwise be unable to find.

If you had to explain your creative endeavours to some recently crash-landed aliens…
What would you tell them?

Pondering (the nebulous middle-ground between thought and meditation) is the key to creation.
That is where the invisible becomes visible, and that visible (with thought and effort) becomes reality.

Who are some of your favourite artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians?
…and what is it about their works that so inspire and move you?

I am inspired by works that are transgressive in their unflinching honesty, transcendent-beauty, or the ability to create a mood or theme that captures my mind and emotions.
– S.R O. by Robert Deane Pharr,
– The Harlem crime series by Chester Himes,
– Journey to the End of Night, by Louis Ferdinand Celine.

– Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch),
– “X” (Roger Corman),
– Leon The Professional,
– Evil Dead 2013,
– Fury Road.

– Chopin’s nocturnes
– The first Vampire Weekend album
– He’s an Oddball (Lewis Sisters)
– The Bad Brains “yellow tapr”
– Hybrid Moments (Misfits)
– Native Love (The Enchanters)

Art by Cas.

If people wanted to check out your art, work with you or buy some of your wares – Where should they visit and how should they get in touch?

Most of my books are out of print, but if they contact me on Instagram (@pinkyfrankenstein) I can either send pdf copies, or point them to hard-copies.

We watched your 2020 interview with Noah Van Sciver and were wondering – Do you still carry a loaded gun with you at all times?
… and have you ever had to use it?
If so – Please share the tale(s)!

I no longer carry a firearm, as I have had a change of perspective towards a more positive life.

I cannot comment (for legal reasons) on any firearm usage.

The whole firearm thing seems unimportant in the grand scheme of things, and only holds interest for the boring, safe, white middle-class viewer.

Care to comment on somehow, inextricably, getting involved in the current Phoebe Gloeckner weirdness?

I told Phoebe that she has become the focus of a group of narcissistic young white women, who torment her as a form of sadistic-entertainment that is usually expressed towards Black People in the form of malicious “emergency” calls to police.

Odds & Ends

If you could live in any place, during any historical era – Where and when would that be?
…and why would you choose that time and place?

Black people don’t have the luxury of traveling to the past, as the recorded past is Eurocentric, and hostile towards persons of the African-diaspora.

What does “God” mean to you?

“God” is a toxic-huminization of universal-consciousness, created and continued through the Mosaic-religions.
My own spiritual-understandings are part and parcel of Metaphysical study, and too involved to go into here.

The cover to the Tad Martin Omnibus.
Released in 2019 by LuLu.

Does sex change everything?

Sex ruins romance and friendship. It creates a sense of ownership, and a contempt-breeding familiarity.
Think about any romantic relationship you’ve had – Consider how the interactions were before sex, and the changes that occurred after sex

What are the top 3 items you own?
… and what is it about each of them that you so love?
[Please include photos or drawings of them!]

My leather jacket, because it is my sole remaining-connection to my Punk-rock history.

My Tad Martin Ventriloquist figure, because he is my sole human-companion, and source of intelligent-conversation.

Cas’ Tad Martin ventriloquist doll.

My external memory-drive, and backups, which contain all of my writing, comics, and favourite media.

Cas’ external hard-drives – featuring copies of his art & other key data.

Please describe your last dream in detail…

I can’t go into much detail on my most recent dream as it was long and convoluted. But it involved work, unreasonable expectations, fear of unemployment, toxic schemes of bosses, and negative anticipation of whatever horrible-task I would next be directed to perform.

Of everything you have done so far, what would you most like to be remembered for?

I would like to be remembered for being a wordsmith, in my poems and prose.

The cover to the comic ‘The Year I Lost My Mind,’ written by Cas & featuring art by Glenn Pearce.
Published in 2020 by LuLu.


All images supplied by Cas.