And now . . . time for an interview!
We’ve teased and promised long enough! And now it’s time to share with you the interview we conducted with two of our favorite comic book professionals, most recently of the Dark Horse book, “Colder”: Writer Paul Tobin and Artist Juan Ferreyra!
Stu was initially drawn into checking out, “Colder” because of the horrific looking cover to issue #1. (Stu means that as a compliment, while Zach still refuses to look at it because he’ll pee the bed. Again.) We became huge fans of this intense, psychological, trippy and phantasmagorical look at mental illness, the city of Boston and . . . love? Paul & Juan originally worked together on the Fallen Skies comic adaptation for Dark Horse before teaming up for, “Colder”. They were nice enough to answer our questions and so now, we present to you the very first Earth 603 Interview Time!
Earth 603: As comic fans based in New England, I was happy to see, “Colder” based in Boston. What was behind the decision to use Boston as the, “Colder” locale?
Paul Tobin: First off, I wanted it in an American city, because I wanted it to resonate as American horror. And then, as a writer who’s done a ton of work for Marvel Comics, I was sick to death of New York City. But I still wanted it to be more east coast oriented, because I love some of the older American architectural styles. I live in Portland Oregon, and it’s a great town, but it doesn’t quite have the feel of Lovecraftian style madness lurking around the corner. Not unless the monsters have a lot of tattoos and ironic mustaches. So . . . Boston was the perfect fit.
Earth 603: The cover of Colder #1 still gives us nightmares. But we love it and it certainly jumps off the shelf. Was there any interference from Dark Horse regarding the art for the cover of issue #1?
Paul: I want to say that the cover to the 1st issue was ALL Juan. He deserves 100% of the credit for that beauty. If anyone has nightmares, he’s the one to call. And I’ll admit when I first saw it, my thoughts were, “I LOVE this, but marketing won’t let us use it.” Editors Scott Allie and Daniel Chabon were completely behind us, though… and as far as I know there was nary a bump of trouble. That’s the beauty of working with companies like Dark Horse, because they’re run by individual people you can talk with, rather than departments and divisions. So, Scott and Dan could say, “We like this. Let’s DO it!” to their co-workers, rather than to Executive A from Division Nine. (which actually sounds like a great title for something)
Juan Ferreyra: Ha! Not at all! actually there was a previous #1 Cover, but our Editor Scott Allie thought it wasn’t shocking enough, they wanted something really scary so I came up with that, the idea was that Colder was able to enter people’s crazy minds and cure them, but he’s also crazy so I wondered what if he wanted to enter his own mind to cure it. That cover was my idea of how to touch your own brain.
Earth 603: Were you familiar with each other’s work before you collaborated on, “Falling Skies”? Is there a plan for anymore, “Falling Skies” issues?
Paul: I’d seen some work of Juan’s before on Rex Mundi, and definitely liked it. Then he really stepped up for Falling Skies, and then put on a jetpack and ZOOMED up for Colder. I feel really lucky.
Juan: No, we never met before Falling Skies and I don’t think there are plans for more issues, but there are plans for more Colder and I like that idea a lot better.
Earth 603: The coloring of Colder might be the best colors I’ve seen in a comic in years. There’s no question. Just a statement.
Juan: Ha! Thanks. That means a lot for me. I LOVE coloring and it is one process I really enjoy. The funny thing is that before trying it I thought that I would never be able to color anything.
Earth 603: Juan, what was your inspiration for some of the architecture and skeletal creatures in the Realm of Chaos/Insanity?
Juan: I guess from anywhere. For the architecture, I took a lot of pictures when I traveled to Boston one day while I was doing some research for, “Falling skies” and I took what I saw from them and combined them into deformed, aged and impossible buildings. The skeletal creatures came form the idea of having all flesh monsters with an extra layer of bones on the outside.
Earth 603: What was the appearance of antagonist Nimble Jack influenced by? There seems to be elements of the Joker and of Beetlejuice.
Paul: I’d have to say that, visually, the biggest inspiration was Joel Grey’s character in Cabaret. But then we wanted him to be creepier, more sinister, and more oblivious to anything but his desire. And we definitely wanted him to move . . . wrong. Something like that can be really hard to pull off in a static form, but I worked hard to set it in the script, and Juan really went full aces on it. Personality-wise, Nimble Jack is my own madness, my own craziness, my own way of looking at the world . . . but stripped down to the barest essentials.
Juan: It has something from a character of a movie that Paul and Scott suggested [Cabaret], some Joker and also some George McFly into him.
Earth 603: We really enjoyed the ending because it leaves things on a humorous and uncertain note. It sort of the drives home the point that these two characters don’t really know each other. Do you think you will ever write these characters again? Is there a future for them?
Paul: Juan and I, along with Dark Horse, are definitely in talks about more Colder. We think it’s going to happen. All just a matter of scheduling, now. So, will I write these characters again? It’s likely, yeah. I certainly have a whole new barrel of madness I’d like to spill out.
Earth 603: Any awesome upcoming projects? Any plans to collaborate again – maybe outside of, “Colder”?
Paul: I’m definitely collaborating with Juan again, as in addition to the likelihood of more Colder, we’re going to be working together on at least one and possibly two unannounced projects. Beyond my work with Juan I’m doing an online comic called Bandette, about a teen thief, and I’m working on Bionic Woman over at Dynamite, and I’m in negotiations for the release of my second novel, after Prepare To Die! came out last summer. I’m also working for two video game companies, and have three unannounced graphic novels at this point, another comic series, and . . . oh . . . lots more. I keep busy.
Juan: In the immediate future I’m working on a creator owned 5 issue miniseries for Dark Horse, I can’t talk about it yet but it has monsters in it. Also we’re talking with Paul about how to do a follow up to Colder so, yes, hopefully we will be collaborating again – we would like to do at least Vol 2 and Vol 3 of Colder.
Earth 603: Paul & Juan, thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us! We loved, “Colder” from Dark Horse Comics and highly recommend it to all of our readers and listeners!