How did you meet and become friends with Gary
He contacted me about buying the
Shatner 99ís. Before MMP he was doing
conversions. He had some neat stuff at the time. He really studied
Myers and was getting in on the trend. So
the Myers trend was just building. I have no problem with
him, we talked on the phone and became
friends. I donít really know where it all went wrong, or how it
began. I mean, if Gary asked me for help I would help
him. Hell, if anyone asks me for help, I would do it. Really,
thatís just my personality. There is a rumor that I taught him how
to clay press and to enlarge masks, but to be honest, I donít even
know how to do it myself. Iíve never had a reason to do it, so I
never learned. You know, I always see posts and hear talk now and
again about how I helped him, but I helped him like anyone, offering
airbrush advice, etc. You know. This was before any of the
problems began, so Hell, what did I know? In the beginning,
everyone was getting their conversions, so no problems. Then with
the Samhain, the orders were just
overwhelming. I mean the master came in after preorders were taken
and that was a big backlog. You know, I try to stay out of
problems. Gary and I were friends, we helped each other with their
business, but I donít want to associate with the problems
thatís not how I run my business. People are going to blow up any
association I have with the guy, with all the flaming thatís going
on. I really feel bad for those people that lost money, thatís not
how you run a business. If all what is said is true, then Gary
deserves it. I mean he never screwed me over. I donít know any
behind the scenes information that anyone else would know. He did a
lot of web work for me and did an outstanding job on that, but Iíve
moved on. Let me just finalize by saying, does he and his family
deserve to be berated and attacked on a daily basis, nobody deserves
that. It is nice to see that things have begun to move forward away
from this whole mess.
Talk about some of the production
details on some of your masks
Certain paintjobs can kill me. The
Jester is unreal. I said there is no way I can do it like that. I
may put a hat on that guy just to ease the pain. Maybe a collar
too, but I cringe when I got orders for it. I may limit the number
on super shit paintjobs. I donít want to really change it and piss
off people who got it last year.
Smilin Jack, now that one is super easy. Paint
it black and then stipple the orange over it. Itís an easy one
unless you have 20 blanks sitting in front of you, then you just
want to bang your head against the wall. You turn on the music
really loud and you just go nuts. Itís
just a lot of time. I paint it black, then stipple orange, then
stipple the stem and neck a light brown. Then highlight and shade
with the airbrush, stem and neck. I use the latex base paint from
BF and just tint it. Sometimes Iíll use regular latex for really
large runs and loosen it up with water. I think I sold over 35 of
those, but I donít have my books in front of me. I did runs of 3
with Alís help stippling. He does unreal stipples. Al is just a
nut for detail. He does it right and really spends the extra time
getting it done. The individual attention to each mask is
important, donít want to just grind it
of my paint jobs are stippled. I like the depth they give. Jeff
does a lot of stippling now. Jeffís trying to cut down his
production time too. He was getting like 1.5 to 2 hrs sleep per day
for a while and thatís just nuts. I couldnít handle that. Jeff had
to kill off the Bad Moons due to hair costs. I had to cut my wolves
too due to the same reason. Iím still looking for new hair. I used
up all my white hair I had. Damn, you actually were one of the last
ones on your white wolf that you bought. I think I did one more
then ran out of hair.
LMC: What about other
items, like hands
PD: Oh gosh! Hands.
Yeah, I hate em especially if they are long and skinny. I tell you
I've thrown away so many wasted hands from trying to pull them out
of the mold and they just stuck and a finger breaks off or
something. You know, Jeff told me once. If you dread getting an
order for a particular character, then it is time to stop carrying
it. I mean, if I did all my hands in a 2 piece and had to seam them
all, I would go nuts. It's not worth the trouble and headache. That
is why I'll probably get new hands this year.
What is the key to a good mask?
PD: The key to a really good mask and
Iíll tell you one that captures it. Put really good eyes in it.
They draw you. Jeff has sold 100ís of
Salem Lot Vampires, because that mask is it. I mean, everyone owns
one. It just looks right through you.
Talk about coming up with a paint
You know, I donít particularly like to
stick to a paint scheme like from a movie or a character. If I do
one, I like to play with the scheme some. Some artists are
phenomenal talents. Justin from Nightowl
can do an amazing Jason. I was totally blown out of my seat by his
Raw 3. Itís such a great piece. I know the NMM78 will be the
craziest thing. So good. Iíd like to see Justin get into original
pieces, Iíve asked him before but he just hasnít had much time.
Who are your typical customers
I get less of the people that frequent
all the boards. Mostly repeat customers or people just surfing that
buy. Best thing I ever did for sales was to accept credit cards.
Impulse buying really pays off. Damn, thatís my favorite way to
Any bad customers?
I donít really have bad customers.
Most of the transactions are smooth. There are a few that bug you
with emails whereís my mask and those are the ones that are first to
complain that it isnít exactly what they wanted, so you canít please
everyone all the time.
Any advice for someone starting up
their own mask company?
I would say, go get a motorcycle and
pick up women. You wonít get any from doing this. It takes a lot
of time and dedication and you arenít going to get rich. So many
nights I gave up going out with friends. Eventually, they stopped
asking. Sometimes itís discouraging. Especially when you put
something out you are so proud of and it gets no attention and then
the next Myers comes out with 90 follow up posts and yours drops to
the bottom. The one post you get is someone asking what movie
is your mask from. My opinion of the
Myers trend, I think for $250-$300 Iíd rather have 5 masks then one
Myers. It hurts the market when no one can afford anything else. I
better about handling a $60.00 mask then handling a $300.00 mask
that you have to keep in a glass case on a high shelf. If thatís
your goal to strive for the best Myers, bless you. Go for it, live
and let live, but I will never carry a Myers. Been there/done that!
If Dick Warlock gave me the mold and said make
em, I would say no, honest, I donít want the problems that go
with it. Myers = Big pain in the ass!
Here's a tip for new
mask makers. You know that gunk you get in the bottom of your latex
pail. That stringy shit on the sides? Take that and stretch it
over a wound and hang it all over. Splash blood on it and you have
some gory stuff. I do this with Norm the victim. Norm is a cool
piece. He's a bit undersized, but cool as shit.
want to reiterate for those that think getting into making masks is
instant woman magnet. If you are a mask maker and you do have one,
they are grumpy or bitchy, well except for one female mask maker and
she knows who she is J . I joke with her a lot. She knows I
wouldn't hurt her, just kiss her a lot. I'm kidding! If anyone takes
me serious, I'm in trouble. My wife would split my head!
You ever get discouraged?
did see a post once where someone told a certain mask maker they
should carry 7 or 8 really nice masks, then 40 or so mediocre
masks. I took that as a shot at folks like me that my stuff is
subpar, when it really isnít. I mean I
love that stuff guys like Lee Romaire
and Russ Lukich put out. I mean, itís
like comparing pizza from Little Caesars to the Italian guy thatís
been doing it for 40 years. Itís top of the line, but thereís also
a market for my stuff for people who want quality at a reasonable
price, but of course what they put out is the best of the best and I
love it, all of it.