|PAUL TOBIN & JUAN FERREYRA
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DF Interview: Tobin, Ferreyra return to Colder to ‘toss the bones’
By Byron Brewer
As part of its announcement slate for Phoenix Comicon 2015, Dark Horse Comics announced the final installment of Eisner-nominated horror series Colder by writer Paul Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra.
Colder: Toss the Bones, set to debut in September, follows a newly-resurrected Nimble Jack as he skips back and forth between the Hungry World and our own reality, recruiting agents of madness and unifying them with a single objective: the death and consumption of Declan.
Dynamic Forces spoke with scribe and artist to see what occurs in this third chapter of the celebrated comic.
DYNAMIC FORCES: Paul, tell us how this comic phenom Colder, which has now morphed into a trilogy, began.
PAUL TOBIN: Scott Allie, now the editor-in-chief at Dark Horse, and I were chatting about me starting to do some creator-owned material. I’d worked with him on some media tie-ins, and we’d enjoyed working together, but I think he could tell I was wanting to stretch my legs a bit. We batted some of my ideas back and forth, and since Dark Horse is known for some excellent horror titles, we settled on Colder, and on really amping up the psychological part of horror. It’s easy to do a gore title, but tougher… and I think far more interesting… to do a truly unsettling book, which is what I hope we’ve achieved with Colder.
DF: Juan, did you do the initial character designs for Colder’s characters? Are there any new characters coming up in Toss the Bones that proved a challenge?
JUAN FERREYRA: Yeah, I did all the designs on Colder’s characters with help from Paul and Scott, about how each would look and all of us giving special references from actors or characters and mixing them. For instance, Nimble Jack is a mix of George McFly, the master of ceremonies from the movie Cabaret and the Joker.
I just started on Toss the Bones, so I still have a bunch of issues where I can create more characters, but there is a pigeon monster that was a challenge to do, also pigeons forming faces and stuff like that are hard to do, but fun!
DF: Tell us about the latest – and what I hear is the final? – installment of this Eisner-nominated saga.
PT: Well, Nimble Jack has returned, and… yes… it’s the final arc, so Juan and I could play with the story however we wanted. I’ve always thought it’s important for a horror series to have a conclusion. There are only so many frights you can give a set of characters before they (and the readers) become jaded to the horror. There’s only so many doors to open before it’s just another door, no matter what’s on the other side. In Toss the Bones, Declan, Nimble Jack and Reece are all forced to confront who they are, what they want, and the effect of all the horror on them. Declan and Reece are done running, because it’s clear they can’t escape. So… it’s a match between Declan and Jack, but of course a very odd and unsettling one, in the Colder tradition.
JF: With the final arc, artistically, what I want to achieve is that the difference between the real world and the Hungry World won’t be that evident. In the first arc we’re in summer, the second one is autumn, in both of these, because they are both colorful seasons, the difference between worlds is evident, but the third arc happens during winter, which for the series it means the end, the cold, death, we’re getting colder and so to reflect that there will be snow and everything will be grey and white, making the line between worlds thinner, like the crazy are invading our world more and more.
DF: Can each of you talk about your collaboration in putting the book together … the process of creation and how that works?
PT: I drink absinthe or whiskey, and Juan drinks beer, I think. Other than that, I sit down with an outline of what we want to do, and then I just go a little crazy until there’s a full script in front of me. And I shoot that off to Juan, who is incredible at taking what I’ve written and bringing it to life, expanding on some parts of it visually, really adding in a lot of the visual elements. My scripts point him in directions, and then he races off until we’re all shrieking.
JF: Beer and gin tonics, maybe mojitos… I get the script and start to work out ideas, I do some research, like looking for pics of pigeons and Boston, I try to come up with a palette for the arc and when creating monsters and weird stuff I try mixing stuff and changing parts and using human things on animal bodies and animal parts on human bodies, things like that.
DF: Paul, how have Colder’s characters changed as the saga has moved along?
PT: I think both Declan and Reece have gained a lot of confidence. And Reece doesn’t automatically run anymore: she’s understood that this is her life and she needs to take control, and that she’s in this just as deep as Declan. As for Nimble Jack, he’s just gotten hungrier.
JF: They seem more sure of themselves and they are moving from being scared to being pissed and angrier that this is happening to them..
DF: Once this Colder installment is complete, have you told your tale? Any spinoffs in the future?
PT: I don’t foresee anything past this third arc. It might be interesting to revisit the world at some point, but not with these characters. Their story will be told. That said, I’m hoping to work with Juan for a long time to come, but… the next project would likely be vastly different. It’s more fun to explore new challenges. Maybe we’ll do a romance comic!
DF: What have you both enjoyed most about this series?
PT: Honestly, it’s been working with Juan. I get to watch those pages come in, those covers, everything I’d hoped for and more. I love that he has the characters live in a world… not just a background. Juan is one of the two artists I trust the most in the world, and I married the other one.
JF: I wanted to marry Paul but I got in late. When I found out he was already married, it was too late. I was three issues in… Besides working with Paul, being able to come up with a fun story in a really cool new world that we were able to come up with, full of weird creatures and wicked scenes; it is a rollercoaster for my imagination, it pushes me and makes me a better artist for it.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions. Colder: Toss the Bones #1 hits stores in September!
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