The year is 1992, and Marc Evan and Chris Soria are sitting next to each other in sixth-grade Spanish class. They don’t know it yet, but these two 12-year-olds are going to become best friends. They’re going to construct epic haunted houses each year, petrifying parents more than peers. They’re going to attend an artsy high school, study illustration at Parsons, grow up, and move to Brooklyn. They’re going to freelance and bartend and, per their favorite holiday, casually carve some pumpkins for bosses and friends. And then the Yankees are going to put in a double-digit order, and Maniac Pumpkin Carvers will be born.
Every year, in early September, the orders begin flooding in. Pumpkins are sourced from an organic farm just a couple hours from their childhood home. Clients range from colossal enterprises like CitiBank, Yahoo, and the BBC, to devoted girlfriends wanting a carving of their boyfriends’ face.
And all those pumpkin seeds? “Oh, we save them. We give them to our friends to roast. You can imagine, it’s a lot of seeds, but we’re not really getting into the business of selling roasted seeds, too.” And least, not yet.
American artist Ray Villafane has taken pumpkin carving to a whole new level. Using his background in fine art and his work in designing models for DC and Marvel comics, Ray turns pumpkins into gruesome Gothic gargoyles.