John Pelico, the creator/author and illustrator of KillerPumpkins®, graduated from Pepperdine University located in Malibu with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art. He continued his formal training in illustration and design at the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena. Later he went on to work in the television industry for ABC and CBS studios before branching out on his own and starting his own company. Specializing in advertising, marketing, design and illustration for more than 25 years, John has worked with a variety of corporate and entertainment icons such as HBO, Dick Clark Productions, and the Academy Awards. But it is his love for Halloween that truly inspires John.
For years, he has created one-of-a-kind illustrations for his family surrounding his most favorite holiday. These early illustrations centered around an evil presence that began when a pumpkin was lit. As the collection grew, it began drawing a lot of attention from others and their positive comments prompted John to take this unique idea to another level. Halloween was ready for a much-needed make over.
Up until a few years ago, decorations wouldn’t go up until the weekend prior to Halloween. Baby-boomers and their families are now getting into the “spirit” of things and are beginning the ardent task of decorating earlier and earlier each year. Traditional horror icons like black cats, witches, and ghosts have since been replaced by current scare favorites such as Jason, Freddie Krueger, and Michael Meyers. John began to grow bored with all these slasher idols and soon realized that this new generation of Halloween enthusiasts needed to be brought back to the Halloween basics that he enjoyed from cherished childhood memories. The first step was to give a purpose to support the artwork John had created.
After giving it a lot of creative thought, John developed the on-line graphic story, Knights of the Lyte: Curse of the Killer Pumpkins©, a medieval fantasy, centering around a mythological prophecy unleashed on mankind surrounding an evil king and his thirst for power. However, the Killer Pumpkins brand goes well beyond the story. In fact, the KOL story was only one part of what has made KillerPumpkins so successful. The story lends itself to numerous book and movie sequels, video gaming, collectibles, and merchandising. It has evolved into something much more. It is John’s unique artwork that has added another entity to the Killer Pumpkins franchise.
He enjoys depicting autumn in the heartland where nature displays a brilliant, fiery show as the leaves turn colors and cool breezes signal that winter is on its way. It is this artwork that has opened up numerous licensing opportunities and why he is known by some as“the Walt Disney of Halloween.”
"I work in [Adobe] Photoshop CS2 on a Mac [from Apple]. I was an airbrush artist before computers and now use Photoshop for the simple reason of a cleaner workstation and control! Much like the old fashion way I use masks with simple gradations integrated with hard line details. I think the combination of traditional style airbrushing with photoshop and my design ability has given me my unique style. Having evolved with my style I sometimes use textures and filters though all my light and shadows are done without the aid of any 3D filters or aids.