Ryan Ferrier and Rove Interview – Terminals: Bloodlines
April 25th, 2016 by Temp User
Dynamic duo and Terminals co-creators, Ryan Ferrier and Trevor “Rove” Jameus team up once again with Penny Farthing Productions to debut the exciting new addition to the series – Terminals: Bloodlines.
We got a moment to catch up with partners in crime Ryan Ferrier and Trevor “Rove” Jameus, of Terminals: Bloodlines, the new original series from PENNY FARTHING PRODUCTIONS, to pick their brains about the all-new series and their craft. Be sure to check them out this weekend at the Calgary Expo, starting Thursday, April 28 to Sunday May 1. Both cool cats will be available for signings, commissions and don’t miss their panel: Terminal Superheroes: Talking Indie Comics with Ryan Ferrier and Rove on Friday at 3:15 PM in Room Palomino C.
Brand new issues of Terminals: Bloodlines (Issue 1: Cold and Issue 2: Legend) and the original series Terminals graphic novel are now available for purchase through Penny Farthing Productions. New issues and the graphic novel will also be available at the Calgary Expo.
Penny Farthing Productions: Tell us a little about the original Terminals series – what was the motivation behind the story?
Ryan Ferrier: I remember the original motivation as being a little more abstract in that it was based on a thought, and not exactly a narrative. It was simply: what would really happen if we were given super-powers? The idea being that it wouldn’t be awesome at all, in fact, it would probably be terrible. How would you land after the first time you flew, and not shatter every bone in your body? What would your life be like the 99% of the time you weren’t being a hero?
Ultimately, it was this idea—deconstructing that fantasy and story of the every-person given extraordinary powers—that led us to start building the world of Terminals, and crafting a sort-of alternate timeline for our actually history; one that splinters off in World War I, and has influences dating back to the Salem Witch Trials.
Trevor “ROVE” Jameus: Ryan and I were out for a beer musing about what it might be like to be a superhero in real life, and realized it might not be that fun. Nights waiting around with a CB radio waiting for crimes. Having your arm turned into a mega man style gun arm, then realizing you arm is permanently a canon. It’s great for the one night you’re shooting up drug dealers, but the 99% of your life you aren’t stopping crimes… YOU HAVE A GUN ARM. That kind of thing. After that night Ryan went off and birthed Terminals. I’m like the dad in this situation. My job ended that night and Ryan began making our baby. In his mind uterus.
A little gross, but we’ll roll with it. How did you come up with the new series, Terminals: Bloodlines?
Ryan Ferrier: When the fine folks at PFP approached us about possibly reuniting for more Terminals, we were overjoyed to say the least. But what really intrigued us about the project was potentially exploring the history of this alternate timeline, and expanding the mythology. I feel like we covered a lot of ground and created a really fun journey of “the world’s first superhero” in the original series, while only hinting at the past influences. To be able to dive into a new series with such an “open sandbox” approach, and to be able to focus on several different time periods, was something that we could really have fun with. That kind of freedom and variety is so welcome, as a creator—we get to do all these different things, with different tones and themes, all while expanding a mythology and making the work richer.
Rove: Ryan did it. I just tried to make it look pretty.
As the series’ co-creators, this may be a taboo question, but do you have a favorite character?
Ryan Ferrier: Bear/Clarence. Though I feel like Zombie has some really heartfelt moments in the original series, and was some of my favorite stuff to write. I mean, I love them all for different reasons—there’s not a character I dislike, unless it’s intentional.
Rove: My favourite character is probably Zombie. He has so much expression in his body language, and character in his face. I also like that he just kinda goes along with everything. He is a good sport.
How and when did you get into comics?
Ryan Ferrier: Terminals was my very first comics work (2010), and I’ve since been fortunate enough to make writing comics my full-time career, and have had the honor of working with some of the greatest creators in the industry, on my own work as well as some of the greatest properties. Truly blessed.
I owe a lot to Rove for making that a possibility—if he hadn’t encouraged me to actually, genuinely start work on Terminals, I may not have ever fallen down the rabbit hole in pursuit of becoming a comic writer.
Rove: I’ve drawn comics since I was a lad, but got serious about working in the industry at age 20. Started shopping my portfolio to whoever would look at it. Then Courtney Huddleston at PFP gave me my first break doing a short story in Decoy: Menagerie. I’m not sure if he was into my art, or was a sucker for me begging and promising to wash his car. Either way I will be eternally grateful.
Who has influenced your work?
Rove: As a kid, Jim Lee, Mark Sylvestri, Todd Mcfarlane and Joe Madureira were my heroes –the guys’ whose art I would trace over and over. As an adult I love Stuart Immomen, David Mack, and Bill Sienkiewicz (I like artists with hard names to spell).
Ryan Ferrier: There’s just too many to list! First and foremost, every artist and colorist I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with is always, always influential to me and the work. When thinking about overall influences, it’s hard not to name the obvious ones, for me being industry greats like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis. Lately I’ve become really inspired by artist-writers like Brandon Graham and Ryan Browne, whose work I totally adore. I think if I were to nail it down to one person in the history of my relationship with comics, the work of Jason—the Norwegian cartoonist—has been absolutely huge for me.
What is your creative process?
Ryan Ferrier: I’m a fairly big “process junkie,” and need to surround myself with a certain degree of organization. Mostly. Typically, I’ll start with an endless pile of notes, and work my way into an outline of sorts. From there, I would talk with the artist, if there were one involved, nail down the themes we’re going for, and break everything down into a general story arc, then detailed issue breakdowns. Once that is complete, and after several revisions and page-counts, I’ll dive head-first into the script. Revise, rewrite, shampoo, rinse, repeat.
It sounds like a mechanical, mathematical approach, but really it’s not—though it can be detailed and intense, it can often feel organic. That’s the best kind of work.
Rove: I start by reading the page from the script and letting it play like a movie in my mind’s eye. Then I sit there for a while staring at the blank piece of paper. Then I draw the page.
While you’re working, what is your guilty pleasure?
Rove: I sip scotch, and vape. I know its lame, but I’m quitting smoking. Right now I’m vaping bourbon cigar, mixed with lady finger biscuit.
Ryan Ferrier: I don’t even have to think about it—coffee. And I’m normally not guilty about it except for the fact that I drink so much of it. Like, a truly unhealthy amount. If I’m working, it’s almost certain there is a hot cup of black coffee at arm’s length.
Runner up is the fact that I work from home means I spend a fair amount of days—more than I’d maybe like to admit—spent working in my pajamas.
Is there anything you like to watch or listen to while you’re working?
Ryan Ferrier: Normally, if I’m writing—at least scripting—I work in silence so I can really get into the script and focus. But if I’m outlining or lettering, I’ll blast a playlist I’ve made inspired by that project. Or every now and then I’ll toss a record onto the turntable. Everything from hardcore to soul is my bag.
Rove: I like to throw on a documentary or educational program. Something I can drift in and out of paying attention to. Or I listen to Christian metalcore or podcasts.
Rove, every artist has a different process – can you walk us through yours? What is your step-by-step process? How long does it take for you to render a page?
Rove: I start with the panel layout. I try to picture every shot and how they will relate in my mind and layout the panels. Then a quick sketch in pencil of the scenes, keeping it loose and gestural. Then I go in with inks and fill in the blanks. With the inks, I separate my foreground/midground/background with varied perimeter line weights first, then I go into rendering with a small Pigma liner. All said and done, it takes 4-6 hours.
Ryan, as a writer, do you prefer to work on one story at a time, or multiple?
Being a full-time writer makes it pretty much impossible to work on one story at a time. I have to have multiple things on the go just to pay my bills, and keep the work going. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few projects on the go most times, be it creator-owned work, work-for-hire, or working on new things that could potentially find a home somewhere.
That’s the tough difference between a writer and an artist: it’s incredibly difficult and unusual for an artist to do more than an issue a month, whereas a writer can take on—and has to take on—multiple projects. But every month, even every week, can be different. Honestly, I like to be busy, and I like to have different things I can shift gears into from day to day.
What other graphic novels and/or series are you following?
Rove: I read anything by Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and Frank Miller, Ryan Ferrier or anything drawn by the artists listed in the question of influences. I also read anything Batman. I love Batman.
Ryan Ferrier: Right now I’m madly in love with LIMBO (Image) by Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard. I’m really excited for 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank (Black Mask) by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Thomas Mauer. I will obsessively consume anything released by Jason (usually through Fantagraphics). Terror Assaulter: O.M.W.O.T. (Fantagraphics) by Benjamin Marra and Sex Castle (Image) by Kyle Starks are two of the most absurd, wonderfully irreverent graphic novels I’ve read in years, and I can’t stop recommending them.
What would be a dream project in comics?
Ryan Ferrier: It’s tough to say! I feel like with my creator-owned projects, every series I work on is a dream project. It sounds like a cop out answer, but it’s so true. I’ve felt that way every single time. I will always pursue and work on creator-owned projects, so that’s a pretty sweet place to be in. As far as work-for-hire/licensed work, that would be the cherry on top of an already super cool sundae. Superman is a character I’d love to tackle, as well as Superboy, Robin, or Teen Titans. I have a Ka-Zar story in my head that I would absolutely die to make a reality. And, as a lifelong Planet of the Apes fanatic, writing those damn dirty apes would be a bit of a dream.
Otherwise, creating my own stories and working with immensely talented, hard-working artists on work that comes from our own brains is a dream come true.
Rove: I am a tattoo artist now and I love it more than anything. Only three things could make me take a break and draw comics again; my friendship with Ryan or Penny Farthing Productions, a million dollars, or a stand alone Batman graphic novel written by Frank Miller or Neil Gaiman.
What else are you working on these days (in or out of comics)?
Ryan Ferrier: It’s all comics, all the time over in House Ferrier. We’re three issues into Kennel Block Blues through BOOM! Studios, and I’m so in love with what we’re doing. Hot Damn has just started at IDW, which is by far the wildest thing I’ve ever worked on. Beyond that, I’ve got several plates spinning that are yet-to-be or soon-to-be announced that I’m super jazzed about. I’m a lucky cat.
Rove: I am tattooing full time. I have a waiting list that will take me into 2018, so I don’t have much time for anything else artistically. I might become a ninja assassin though. In my spare time. One that doesn’t kill people… like a good guy ninja assassin. So just a ninja I guess, a kind ninja. I would sneak past security and leave positive affirmations on pillows in the dead of night. With deadly precision.
Are you doing any other cons this year?
Rove: Ryan and I will be at the Calgary Comic Expo this year. But other than that I will be hermitting. I would love to do more shows but…Netflix and scotch.
Ryan Ferrier: I am! I was at Emerald City in Seattle a couple weeks ago and it was the pinnacle of awesome. Rove and I will be at the Calgary Expo at the end of April. I’m still finalizing plans for the rest of the year, but it looks like Kansas City Comicon, Rose City Comicon, and Saskatoon Expo are all likely possibilities.
*Terminals: Bloodlines #1, #2, and Terminals (Original Series Graphic Novel) will be available for purchase at Comixology in May.
Ryan Ferrier: @ryanwriter
Trevor “Rove” Jameus: @Ascendingkoi
Penny Farthing Productions: firstname.lastname@example.org