Ragman is one of the latest series coming out of DC Comics and it’s at a perfect time with its first issue out October 11. Given the supernatural angle of the character, a few weeks before Halloween is apt timing for his Rebirth introduction. We spoke to writer Ray Fawkes and artist Inaki Miranda about this upcoming series, which Miranda hopes could lead to Ragman joining the Justice League. Given the preview pages below and the creators’ thoughts, this series could be a breakout hit.
AiPT!: Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. First off, Ray, I really loved Gotham by Midnight, and given the character is Ragman, should readers expect a supernatural bent to this series? Any werewolves or vampires lurking about?
Ray Fawkes: Absolutely! Ragman’s got a great history in the supernatural territories of the DC Universe and we’re leaning hard into that! You’re going to see some great supernatural characters in this book, and a whole lot of dead things that just won’t lie down…
Inaki Miranda: There are so many cool-looking demons that there’s no room left for werewolves or vampires. Sorry, but demons win.
AiPT!: How did you both meet up to work on this project?
Fawkes: DC put us together on this! After pitching the book I asked for someone who could give the story a solid emotional ground but also cut loose with the monsters and with Ragman himself in a way we’ve never seen before. The moment I saw Inaki’s work I was totally energized by it, and I made sure that the scripts paved the way for him to show off his fantastic skills!
Miranda: And I’m so glad that DC thought of me for this book and that Ray wanted me in. This has turned out to be one of the best experiences in my career.
AiPT!: This is the first appearance, to my knowledge, of Ragman in the Rebirth era. Should fans of the character expect any big changes?
Fawkes: Yes. We’re staying true to the core of the character in terms of his humble origins and his great personal in-the-streets heroism, but we’re presenting an entirely new take on him.
Miranda: Yes, the visual changes are quite evident. The way I saw it, when I was put to the challenge of redesigning him was this: Let’s treat him as the new cool kid in town. Let’s make him a first-tier superhero, one that could become a symbol too, one that someday could be cool enough to become a member of the Justice League. That was my state of mind.
AiPT!: Have either of you seen Ragman in the Arrow show (he makes a return this season), and might fans of that show see any similarities to this new six-issue mini-series?
Fawkes: I’ve seen the Ragman who appears in Arrow and while I like him fine, we’re not married to that version of the character. I feel like network television has restrictions – both in terms of subject matter and straight up visuals – that comics don’t need to adhere to, and we wanted to take full advantage of the artistic freedoms the comic book medium presents.
Miranda: Yes, I saw a promotional clip, but it was a lot later on, when I was already working on the book. I think the TV version looks very cool. I’m just too much in love with our version and what we could achieve visually with it.
AiPT!: When is the first moment you fell in love with comics?
Fawkes: When I was very young – just barely able to read – my father would buy me these big bundles of comics from a local shop and let me have at them. I remember reading them until they literally fell apart, and falling completely in love with the characters and their amazing, colorful worlds. I still have vivid memories of reading the Justice League of America fighting Starro when I was maybe 5 years old. That was when it happened for me.
Miranda: There was this rundown bookstore in my hometown in Argentina where you could go and trade comics; my father would take me there when I was a kid and I’d bring back home these comics anthology magazines that were very famous at that time, titled D’artagnan, El Tony, Nippur Magnum… they featured a variety of stories of all different genres. There was this Sumerian character created by Robin Wood, named Nippur of Lagash. I remember thinking he was the coolest guy in the planet. I’d spend days reading those stories and then return to the store to get new ones, and so on. I’ve been reading comics ever since.
AiPT!: Inaki, your style is incredibly realistic and detailed which suits this story I think! Did you ever surprise yourself when creating this work? Did Ray ever surprise you?
Miranda: Collaborating with Ray has been unbelievably natural from the very first day, so, “surprise” isn’t the word, I was excited all the time. It felt like Ray knew my strengths when he was writing the scenes. Each script I would receive would fuel me like when I was a kid getting back home with those magazines. So from there on, I guess it was all just joy and hard work and trying out things hoping they work out fine. There was really no other thought in my mind other than “I want this to be the coolest book ever,” and Ray wanted me to have free reigns and go places visually; that’s when you’re able to create the best work because you’re mainly having fun, I think.
I also should mention how excited I got each time I saw the pages as colored by Eva [de la Cruz]. Eva gave the book a fabulous striking personality with the use of greens, tying the past and present in such a delicate way. The neon billboards really become alive with her touch. All the scenes have a great sense of lightning thanks to her colors.
AiPT!: What is your favorite method of procrastination?
Fawkes: Hah! Are my editors reading this? I NEVER PROCRASTINATE! (The answer is reading – I can call it research but sometimes I just want to read some Zen books).
Miranda: Right now it’s called Dark Souls 3, it was called Horizon Zero Dawn before, Witcher 3 before that and Fallout 4 the one before. But I only procrastinate AFTER I finish my pages.
Ragman #1 hits store shelves October 11! If you’re a comic shop your FOC is Monday September 18! Readers can also preorder it via Amazon at the link below!