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2011 Archive:
 Paranormal Peeps and Holiday Traditions
December 29, 2011

Littlest Mummy (A Christmas Story) By Richard Senate
December 21, 2011

Wartime UFOs with Mack Maloney
December 20, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) with Mike Markowicz
December 13, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Ghostly Lowdown on American Horror Story By Deonna Kelli Sayed
December 7, 2011

The Curse of H.H. Holmes with Jeff Mudgett
November 29, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Roundtable with David Rountree and Paul Browning By Deonna Kelli Sayed
November 17, 2011

Legends Are Born in October By Christopher Balzano
October 17, 2011

Halloween Nation with Lesley Pratt Bannatyne
October 11, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Haunting of Major Graham Mansion by Deonna Kelli Sayed
October 5, 2011

The Hunt for Ohio's River Styx Ghost Train by Ken Summers
September 29, 2011

Evidence of Ancient Aliens with Peter Robbins
September 27, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Southern New England Haunts with Andrew Lake
September 20, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Pop Paranormal Culture and Middle Eastern Legends with Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 13, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Legend Tripping with AdventureMyths by Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 12, 2011

Out of Place in Time and Space with Lamont Wood
September 6, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

TAPS Academy Comes to Town by Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 1, 2011

The Amityville House with Christopher Quaratino (Lutz)
August 30, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Springfield, Missouri’s 150th by Debra Prosser
August 26, 2011

Column - regular feature

Paranormal Pastoring by Rev. Sherrie James
August 22, 2011

Live-ish From the Haunted Fearing Tavern
August 16, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

In Defense of Paranormal Reality TV by Deonna Kelli Sayed
August 8, 2011

Gone From Sight by Debra Prosser
August 3, 2011

Column - regular feature

The Psychology of Being Watched By Wayne Harris-Wyrick
August 2, 2011

The Paranormal Pastor Robin Swope
July 26, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Living Voices: Dr. Dave Oester By Deonna Kelli Sayed
July 20, 2011

Living Voices: Richard Senate By Bobby Garcia
July 13, 2011

What's in a Name? Let's Try "Paranormalogy!" By Rev. Sherrie James
July 6, 2011

Caged and Staged by Katie Mullaly
June 23, 2011

The Haunted Dibbuk Box with Jason Haxton
June 14, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Ghost Hunter's Grant Wilson
June 13, 2011

The Haunted Book by Lee Prosser
June 10, 2011

Column - regular feature

Raymond Cass - EVP Pioneer by Bobby Garcia
June 9, 2011

Illinois Haunts with Michael Kleen
June 7, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Artist Paulina Cassidy
June 2, 2011

Alien/Human Hybrids with Barbara Lamb
May 31, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Author Marley Harbuck Gibson
May 26, 2011

Biblical Apocalypse Prophecies with Dr. Robert M. Price
May 24, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

America's Strangest House by Deonna Kelli Sayed
May 23, 2011

Two-Year Anniversary Special
May 17, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Artist Jackie Williams
May 13, 2011

Wiliford by Lee Prosser
May 12, 2011

Column - regular feature

The Spirit Box with Psychic Chris Fleming
May 10, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Violating the 13th Amendment Paranormal Style by Reverend Sherrie James
May 6, 2011

Inside the Church of Satan with Joshua P. Warren
May 3, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Terri J. Garofalo, creator of Entities-R-Us
April 28, 2011

Haunted San Francisco with Loyd Auerbach
April 26, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Future Predictions with Dr. Louis Turi
April 12, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - H.C. Noel, Creator of Tara Normal
April 7, 2011

Pennsylvania Bigfoot with Eric Altman
April 5, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spontaneous Human Combustion with Larry Arnold
March 29, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Japanese Earthquake Ghosts, 2011 by Lee Prosser
March 28, 2011

Column - regular feature

UFOs with Stanton Friedman
February 8, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Ophiuchus with Astrologer Christopher Renstrom
February 1, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Crashing the Ghost Adventures Shoot
January 11, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Marjorie Myrene Hart by Lee Prosser
January 3, 2011

Column - regular feature

April 4, 2011

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage

H.C. Noel, Creator of Tara Normal

By Deonna Kelli Sayed

Ghostvillage is launching Spring of Culture to celebrate the emerging scene of paranormal inspired creative arts. "The shows" -- paranormal reality TV -- often dominate the discussion in media culture. That is only a small part of the story! Off of the TV screen is a growing community of artists who engage paranormal themes (ghosts, paranormal investigation, and other supernatural elements) in web cartoons, comics, tarot card art, and in other distinctive outlets. Plus, some cast members from "the shows" are doing creative stuff in their free time. Consider Spring of Culture as an online Festive of the Haunted Arts -- and only at Ghostvillage!

Our first artist profile is H.C. Noel, creator of Tara Normal, which is an "super-sci-fi-action-mystery love story." Tara, the lead character, is described as "a licensed paranormal investigator who solves the bizarre, otherworldly mysteries that haunt each episode using her inherited supernatural abilities." She is sexy, smart, tough, and snazzy.

Launched in 2009, Tara Normal was voted that year as the WCRCA People's Choice Best New Comic Award. Howie, as friends call him, has his work featured in TAPS Paramag. He is often seen drawing amazing caricatures at TAPS events, and he has been a guest on 30-Odd Minutes. Tara Normal is online where one can also purchase Tara Normal inspired merchandise. Author Deonna Kelli Sayed welcomes H.C. Noel as the inaugural Spring of Culture 2011 artist profile.

Who is H.C. Noel, the artist?
I think I'm happiest when I'm creating stories and coming up with ideas. I'm very determined and hard working and above all else, I'm my harshest critic. I push myself to improve every day.

How did you become interested in the paranormal and ghost hunting?
I've always been interested in the paranormal since I was little (big Ghost Busters fan) but my first paranormal experience happened when I was around 16 or 17. When I first saw Ghost Hunters, I learned about the ghost hunting techniques that the groups use and it just captured my imagination.

At what point did your art become paranormally inspired, so to speak?
My first graphic novel, Mr. Scootles, which is on sale at my store, deals with ghosts and the afterlife. I've always been influenced by the unknown.

You are known for Tara Normal, featured in TAPS Paramag. Tell us about Tara's germination, birth, and growth as a comic.
Tara Normal came to me in various forms. I knew her general look right away as well as her name. I knew I wanted her origin to be mysterious and I wanted this comic to represent my interests and humor completely, more than any other story I've done. Originally Tara was more of a standard comic book type of story but as I created the comic online it really became it's own creature. It's something unique to my sensibilities and I'm proud of that. Whatever I think of goes into the work. That is what I think keeps it fresh.

How did you hook up with TAPS? You are seen at many Beyond events, and at private Spalding Inn happenings. Is TAPS like a Tara Normal patron? (I say that since the show has influenced the growth of a reality TV genre, investigation, and now art).
I am a big Ghost Hunters and TAPS fan, and I sent a drawing I did of the Ghost Hunters crew to Jason Hawes on MySpace and he really liked it. He wrote me back and then I met Holly Griffith and Britt Griffith and I was invited to donate art to the charity auction at the Beyond Reality Event at Mt. Washington. The art poster I created brought in a great amount of money for the charity and it's one of my proudest moments. I've become good friends with everybody. Jason and Grant and everyone's support of me has been overwhelming and I'm so grateful of their help and their love of my art. Having Tara Normal investigate with TAPS in the pages of TAPS Paramagazine is the top for me in terms of having the character interact with real people. It's something I imagined and has actually come true.

I have found it reassuring to see such a strong female persona in Tara. Was this an organic manifestation (ha, what a pun)? Did you intend to offer commentary on the gendered nature of how paranormal investigation is depicted in the media?
I wanted Tara to be strong physically and mentally. That was something that was always important of me. I grew up with my mom and two sisters so I wanted to create a character that was realistic and smart and didn't need a guy to save the day for her. In the paranormal field, there are a lot of smart female investigators so I'm proud when they tell me they love how strong Tara is. I really want readers to admire what she does and realize her strengths.

Do you ever have moments in your day when you wonder, "What would Tara do?"
Yeah, she really does inspire me too. She's way stronger than I am! She also is patient with decisions so I do definitely wish I had more of her qualities (even though I'm her creator!).

What distinguishes Tara Normal from other emerging paranormal-themed comics and cartoons?
Tara Normal is unique in its storytelling and it's artwork. It's a paranormal comic that combines everything: drama, sci-fi, horror, mystery, action, comedy and romance. Anything can happen and yet it all ties together. Each update of the story brings something new and unexpected. For instance, this story features a Giant Teddy Roosevelt who carries a trident. Where else can you see that?

Who has influenced you as an artist?
My mother, Mort Drucker (Mad Artist), J. Scott Campbell, Norman Rockwell, Edvard Munch and Michaelangelo. There are many, many others. I'm very influenced by old horror comics like Tales From the Crypt, too.

Any future plans for you as an artist and for Tara Normal?
My plans for Tara Normal are to reveal the mysteries of her origin (which haven't been revealed yet), pump up the drama of the story and to continue to improve my art. I really just want to continue to spread the word about her and to help extend the Tara Normal brand. One dream of mine is to see Tara expand to other media such as TV and film. It would be so amazing to see that happen.

Do you (or Tara) have any inspiring last words?
Never give up and always keep believing. Being an artist and creative person, there are so many doubts as to whether to continue, whether you're on the right path. Every time I hear from a Tara Normal reader on Facebook or Twitter or email, it solidifies what I'm doing. It makes it so real. I'm so proud to have created a character that inspires people and entertains them.

H.C. Noel is on Twitter. Tara Normal has her own Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube channel. She is a very social media savvy gal.

Deonna Kelli Sayed is the author of the forthcoming book, Paranormal Obsession: America's Fascination with Ghosts, Hauntings, Spooks, & Spirits (Lewellyn, September 2011). Learn more about Deonna by visiting her Facebook Page.

2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!

Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014