Artist Juan Ferreyra has long been a favorite here at Adventures in Poor Taste. His work on the chilling, haunting Colder and more recently on the incredibly fun Kiss Me, Satan! has been a joy to observe. Today, AiPT resident horror expect Sean sat down with the man behind the drawings to talk about finding his inner horror fan, his schedule, and what he’s going to be for Halloween, amongst many other things:
Adventures in Poor Taste: What is your earliest memory of being inspired by a piece of art?
Juan Ferreyra: I guess first grade books that came with all the drawings and I liked copying them. I also remember being inspired by the Incredible Hulk TV show, because I drew the Hulk all the time by then.
AiPT: Who are your favorite artists?
Juan: Growing up? John Byrne, Kevin Maguire, Jerry Ordway, Adam Hughes, Kevin Nowlan, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Brian Bolland, Alan Davis and a lot more!
AiPT: Would you consider yourself a horror fan? Obviously you seem to work in a variety of genres in comics, but lately it seems you have focused on projects of a distinctly terrifying nature.
Juan: Lately I wouldn’t consider myself a horror fan, because I’m easily scared by horror, not fun! So I end up not enjoying a horror movie for example. But when I was a kid there was a TV show in Saturdays called Journey Into the Unexpected “and they showed all the time old horror movies and I remember enjoying them a lot. I remember enjoying the monsters a lot, I LOVED movies like Aliens, Predator, Jaws, etc with monsters in it!
Lately I was asked to do more horror stories and I surprisingly found myself at ease with them, really comfortable doing them and having a lot of fun, like it was hidden in me.
AiPT: If you Google your name, an Argentinian soccer player, and a Paraguayan boxer comes up, as well as you. Has anyone ever asked you if you’re either of these Juan Ferreyras?
Juan: That hasn’t happened to me yet, I guess because people end up scared of either being kicked really hard or being punched really hard…
Anyway there are a lot of Ferreyras in my country; in my city alone, it’s the fourth most common last name and for example at the gym I went to, there were other two Juan Ferreyras attending it!
AiPT: What gave you the idea to do the first cover for Colder, where Declan is scratching his eye up through his mouth and under his skin? It is, for my money, one of the most disturbing images I’ve ever seen. It made me want to read the comic.
Juan: Thanks! That was the idea on the first place, disturb you into buying it! For the first issue I made a different cover, one where we had two half faces of Declan, one showing his Cold side and another showing his Crazy side.
Scott Allie, my editor, thought we needed a really terrifying cover, so he asked me to really disturb people, go all the way. So I started to think of Declan’s power in the comic: he has the ability to step inside crazy people’s mind and curing them just by touching them, right? So if he’s also crazy how would he try it on himself?
Well I guess he would try to touch his own brain and what you see on the final cover is the faster way for someone to try to do that! Then Declan is blue because he’s getting colder so that color against the red blood made a nice contrast on the final cover.
AiPT: How much of the monster design from Colder was your idea, and how much of it was Tobin’s?
Juan: Paul came with stuff like “he’s surrounded by terrifying dogs,” and I came with the idea of making them really big and with hands for bodies. Paul handled the story really well and I think he sees comics like it is, a collaborative process, so he let me do my thing and come up with the weird visuals.
AiPT: If you could be a monster, which kind would you want to be? I’d want to be a vampire. But one of these Eastern European ones that dress like royalty, and live in giant castles. The ones that turn into bats, and wear capes.
Juan: Is a dragon a monster? I would love to be a dragon, flying and burning stuff in the process is my kind of thing. Yes! I would like to be a dragon! They eat bats and burn castles down to hide in them…
AiPT: Have you ever been to Massachusetts? What about Louisiana?
Juan: I’ve been in Massachusetts in October 2011, after NYComicon I travelled to Northampton to visit my friend Arvid Nelson (Rex Mundi, writer) and then I visited Boston, that is where I got all my references for Colder and Falling Skies. I loved the state! I never been to Louisiana but I would love to go there, a dream trip for me would be to go from Boston to San Diego by car, THAT would be awesome!
AiPT: What is your work schedule like? Do you have any routines to get you into the zone to start drawing?
Juan: Lately I’ve been doing my comics in five weeks, because I have to color them myself, which is a process I love. I do layouts, then light pencils, then tight pencils with maybe some watercolors on them and then I finish the coloring in Photoshop using my Wacom Cintiq tablet. My routines are making coffee, checking emails and news sites, listen to the radio and then I start drawing! Twice a week I go play some tennis before drawing and twice a week I go play soccer after drawing…in between, I play video games or watch movies or TV series.
AiPT: Lightning round: Favorite band?
Juan: Radiohead! Met them and made a video clip for them!
AiPT: Read anything good lately?
Juan: A book about creativity published here in my country. Comic book wise, Sin Titulo By Cameron Stewart! awesome comic!
AiPT: Favorite superhero?
Juan: Definitely Superman! Big, big, big fan!
AiPT: The new series you’re doing the art for, Kiss Me, Satan!, has plenty of werewolf action. Did you study video our pictures of wolves, or do you just go wherever your intuition takes you?
Juan: I studied pictures of wolves and when it came to design them on the comic I just made them how my subconscious thought of werewolves, but with clothes, being naked all the time disturbs me…
AiPT: Favorite werewolf movie?
Juan: Haven’t seen to much of those, I guess An American Werewolf in London.
AiPT: Movie about demons?
Juan: The Devil’s Advocate.
AiPT: Can we expect any more crazy panels such as in Colder? I know you probably can’t say much even if there are crazy pics, but should readers strap on the holy shit hats?
Juan: There definitely will be! Especially on the last issue where I added extra pages to the usual 22 to make the action bigger and better! we end up having five double spread pages with sometimes multiple panels and lot of “Bams!,” blood, werewolves and demons.
I’m adding some spoiler free pics of some werewolf action.
AiPT: Do you like to decorate a lot for Halloween? I’mma go nuts.
Juan: We don’t have Halloween down here, so sadly no, but the heat starts to come in and I like to make myself some gin tonics or mojitos and jump in the pool!
AiPT: Thanks for your time, and keep on drawing some awesome pictures.
Juan: Thanks for the interview!
I will try to keep doing awesome pictures.