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Interview: Ulises Fariñas Discusses Motro, Breaking Into Comics, and More!

When there are countless stories to enjoy like there are today, in a variety of formats, it’s sometimes hard to separate the good from the great. Occasionally however, an artist comes along that seems to always excite you and Ulises Fariñas has been one of those artists. From his fantastic work on Amazing Forest to his work on Judge Dredd and his most resent series Motro there’s a magic to his writing that makes it feel unique and special. We had the opportunity to ask him a few questions recently and delve into his creative process, building a world, and more!

AiPT!: What were your favorite comics growing up?

Ulises Fariñas: I didn’t read many comics growing up, my family couldn’t afford them. But we did have those scholastic book fairs in my school, and I’d always order the far side collections.

AiPT!: Motro reads like a tale that’s been in development for ages and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were whole biographies for every character? When and where was Motro first cooked up?

Fariñas: Motro is the son of Skuldust, who is the son of Redbeard, who was betrayed by Monstro, in the 65th millennium. Redbeard is the son of Bloodbeard, who has no beard, just a nose that never stops bleeding and he is also immune to magic.

The main character in Motro.

I had to consult my worldbuilding files, which keeps a record of most of the details, some of it I keep on a website but most of it is just kept in a big master file. It describes geography, philosophy, wars, people. Been making it for the last 10 years or so.

Check out this cool map I made of Ashruhh, for scale, it’s about three United States across, and most of the story takes place in the area around the largest river:

AiPT!: What do you wish someone had told you about the comic business when you first started?

Fariñas: I wish anyone told me anything about the comics business when I first started. In college, it was almost completely devoid of any useful information to having a career in comics. Anyone who is just starting now, I tell them to focus on making a lot of work, and not worrying too much if it’s good, and making sure you can work fast enough to pay the bills off of comics. Speed and consistency will get you work.

AiPT!: After reading Amazing Forest I feel as if you and Erick Freitas have an endless supply of stories. Where do you find inspiration to come up with so many? Follow up: How is writing an anthology of stories different than a series like Motro?

Fariñas: Hahaha, we do have an endless supply of stories. We also keep a junk drawer of any ideas we don’t even develop, just stuff we spitball or send each other at 5 am. Inspiration isn’t required, a lot of times we start conversations off doing a sort of improv, and things that make us laugh or get a reaction, we will be like “oh wow, write that one down.”

With Motro, its not that much different, because the story structure of this series is that each issue is a new adventure. So they both have a sort of “drop-in and go nuts” kinda vibe.

AiPT!: In the perfect world how long would the series run or do you have a set number of issues to end the series on?

Fariñas: Forever. But for now, I have about eight chapters left.

In the perfect world Motro will last as long as this guy travelled.

AiPT!: What’s the best advice you ever received?

Fariñas: Too many to say. But I think Jean Luc Picard’s “It is possible to make no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life,” has got me thinking about this past election, thinking about trying your hardest to do the right thing, and still having to deal with everything that will go wrong anyway. That basically sums up Motro’s life.

AiPT!: What’s your favorite method of procrastination? Temptation? Vice?

Fariñas: I usually will work on either a drawing or a story while I have scripts and comics I have to draw that pay me. It’s like taking a break from work by doing work that has no benefit. Otherwise, I also enjoy trying to edit the Transformers movies into something watchable. I’ve started over five times, still haven’t been able to do it.


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