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An Interview with Chris R. Notarile, Creator of United They Stand, the Graphic Novel

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2018

Chris R. Notarile on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new graphic novel United They Stand - in a few words, what is it about?


United They Stand is a crossover event that merges my first horror feature, Methodic with the heroes of the BCU. It is also a sequel to my 2015 web series Phantom Faye. Basically, if youíre a Blinky fan, this book has everything.


United They Stand is a superhero story, a genre you've also returned to time and again as a filmmaker - so what do you find so fascinating about the genre?


I just love comics and superheroes. They are fun, entertaining, and educational. I love being able to blend and bend genres. And having my heroes battle a horror villain, I think, is really cool.


United They Stand is also tied in with your horror feature Methodic - care to elaborate?


In the book, I take the villain from the movie, The Dollman, and pit him against my team of heroes. We also get a little more backstory on the Dollman. Who and what he is, and where he came from. We also get to see his true form, which are things I have not been able to show on film.


What can you tell us about the look and feel of United They Stand?


The book is comprised of photographs, edited like a comic book. Iím an artist, but Iím not talented enough to properly draw, ink and color an entire graphic novel and make it look awesome. I know my limits. So I chose to make the book with photos. Itís new, itís different, and itís actually a lot of fun. Itís like making a movie, but I can do more, in less time. Also, there really arenít any other photo comic books out there, so Iíve just decided to corner the market.


With United They Stand being a photo comic book - do talk about producing a comic book this way, what are the challenges? And how does it compare to shooting a movie, and where are the main differences?


Making the book and making a movie are 95% the same. I make costumes, cast roles and schedule shooting days. The only difference is that nobody has to memorize any lines, and I can do more in the visual FX department. I can literally create anything I want, whereas when filming, Iím more limited. But other than that, the experience is exactly the same.


Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


I try to cast people who resemble the characters as closely as possible. Like any casting process, you want to find people who fit the role, who can emote, and who are easy to work with. Being able to hold a pose or expression is a lot harder than you might think.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


Itís just like making a movie, but you never have to worry about shushing people. So itís less stressful. I just pose my actors like they were action figures, and take pictures of them. Itís very simple and effortless. And since itís photography, rather than filming, itís easier to score more exotic locations, because you arenít getting in anyoneís way as much. It makes guerrilla shooting a lot easier.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of United They Stand?


Well the BCU and Methodic have their respective fan bases, so I am eager to see how they react to this book, ie: the horror fans being introduced to the BCU and the BCU fans being introduced to the Dollman. Though I think anyone who reads this will definitely get a kick out of the story.


United They Stand is not your first photo comic, but from what I know, you've only gotten into the medium pretty recently - so what caused that step? And also do talk about your previous photo comics for a bit?


Well I actually began with Danerman in 2013, but I didnít make another book again, until The Centurion in 2016. Though BCUís photo comics didnít really become a regular thing until 2017ís First Born. That was THE book that made me want to do this as often as possible. It was a sci-fi/horror thriller about an alien assassin sent to earth to kill a baby. It had a real Terminator vibe to it and I just loved the experience so much that I wanted to keep doing it. Since then, Iíve made Blast, which released back in January, and now United They Stand.


Any future projects (in whatever medium) you'd like to share?


Not sure what Iíll do next as far as comics go. I gotta figure that one out. As for films, I will be releasing SID 6.7, a fan film based off the 1995 Denzel Washington movie Virtuosity, and then Ghostbusters of Long Beach.


Your/your comic's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Feeling lucky ?
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You can order your copy of United They Stand here:


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


We sleep, they live!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD