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NYCC: Juan Ferreyra Interview

Interview conducted by James Ferguson

Juan Ferreyra gives me nightmares.  More specifically, his artwork on Colder and its sequels is nightmare inducing.  I've described it as the best visual representation of insanity, with monsters and settings that are unlike anything you will ever set your eyes on.  I had a chance to sit with Juan at the Dark Horse Comics booth on the floor of New York Comic Con to chat about Colder and all the wonderful creatures he's drawn.

James Ferguson: Do you have a big book of nightmares that you pull some of these monsters that we see in Colder?  Or is that all your imagination?

Juan Ferreyra: Imagination.  It's a lot of work actually.  I sit down and start to sketch things that never see print and suddenly something comes up.  

James F: Does it come organically?

Juan F: Sometimes it does.  Sometimes it's just working to get there, trying to find something.  Experimenting a bit.  Some of it sticks, but otherwise it's searching, looking through pictures.  Pulling from imagination.

Click images to enlarge

James F: I had spoken with writer Paul Tobin at last year's New York Comic Con.  He mentioned that the dogs in the Hungry World were originally described as just dogs, but when you came back with the art, they were those terrifying creatures with hands for bodies.

Juan F: The script has a character who is afraid of dogs, so the Hungry World should have been full of dogs.  I thought it would be scarier...and this is something I always wanted to do.  When I was a kid, I was always playing with my hand like it was a monster, so I thought about adding a head.  It came out pretty good.

James F: Definitely.  Do you ever scare yourself with your own art?

Juan F: No.  Unless I have to draw spiders.  I hate spiders.  I will never draw a spider.  My own drawings though, no, they don't scare me.  So far.  

James F: You pencil, ink, and color your own work, is that correct?

Juan F: Kind of.  I do pencils and water colors and then I color my own work.  I don't do inks.  I used to, but in skipping inks it makes it faster and the pencils with the water colors gives it a more painted look.  

Click images to enlarge

James F: How long does something like that take?

Juan F: I do the layouts of the comic.  Then I add maybe five days to do soft pencils, then two weeks to “ink” with water color and tight pencils.  Five days to color the whole comic.  

James F: It sounds like you've adapted your process a bit for this.

Juan F: Yes, I change it all the time.  I started doing inks and greyscales on my first job at Image.  I worked with pencils and coloring, but it was tighter, and I tried to simulate more with inking.  Now, with my pencils, I try to be looser and try to have a more horror look with the comic.  Always changing for the better.  Maybe my next project I'll go back to inks, or not.  

James F: The Colder series has had some great iconic covers.  Is there anything you pull in for inspiration for those?  

Juan F: It depends on the story or what I'm supposed to tell.  I've done a lot of covers that weren't final.  It's a horror comic and it's a crazy world, so I get to look at all kinds of things.  

Click images to enlarge

James F: Who was more fun to draw?  Nimble Jack or Swivel?

Juan F: Nimble Jack was more fun to draw.  Swivel was also fun with all the fingers that I love.  If I ran into them walking, I would be more scared of the finger things.  Nimble Jack would make me laugh at first.  At first, I'd be more scared of Swivel.

James F: Anything you'd like to tease going into the last few issues of Colder?

Juan F: We're getting crazier and crazier.  New monsters.  New stuff.  Nimble Jack is having fun with that.

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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