Going Feral: An Interview With Gabriel Andrade
Gabriel Andrade is the artist on the upcoming Ferals series written by David Lapham from Avatar. Keith Davidsen talked to Gabril for Bleeding Cool…
Keith Davidsen: What were your thoughts on the work you’d be doing for FERALS when you received the script for issue #1?
Gabriel Andrade: First I thought: “Finally I will do what I really love, create a police story with Werewolves.” When I saw David Lapham was the writer, I exclaimed “Oh God!” I was very hungry to work with someone who knows how to tell this kind of story. I am inspired by aspects of real life in comics. When I received the scripts I thought: “This is so cool.” The story pulled me in immediately. All the characters have a unique narrative voice and the violence was intense. This is a great book! It is everything a good werewolf movie must be — violent, aggressive, realistic, and brutal.
Keith Davidsen: How did you design the look for the FERALS werewolves? Did you receive lots of input from Lapham and Christensen? Have you been using visual reference?
Gabriel Andrade: William (Christensen) sent me a sketch of the basic werewolf design. I found interesting but it didn’t scared me. I wanted to make the Ferals something that would put a real fear in people. I tried to imagine something that I wouldn’t want in my path no matter what time of day. I took some pictures of dogs and wolves for reference. Then I changed the anatomy of a man to make it as close to a wolf as possible. I increased the canines and stretched the forearm. I tried not to see other werewolves, famous or not. I wanted something really unique and new. It’s very hard. The design evolved further while I drew the covers of first issues. Now I’m satisfied with the look of our Ferals. I love how this turned out.
Keith Davidsen: Would you consider yourself a werewolf fan? What are your favorite werewolf movies or stories?
Gabriel Andrade: Yes, I like werewolves! Since I was child I have liked monster movies. I saw all the werewolf movies, but I liked only a few — An American Werewolf in London (1981), The Howling (1981), The Company of Wolves (1984), and Silver Bullet (1985).
However the best movies about werewolves are those that deal in a secondary way the legend within the main plot.
I love these movies because they paint an iconoclastic picture of the werewolf. All have a different tale and a free interpretation about the legend. They are: The Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001), Underworld (2003) and Van Helsing (2004). I think Van Helsing has the best version of a badass werewolf ever. The Wolfman (2010) is also really good, but I like more violence and a brutal metamorphosis of a mad beast. I define it like this: If I can´t hear an aggressive Heavy Metal soundtrack with the movie, it’s not so good. FERALS has the Heavy Metal quality.
Keith Davidsen: How do you approach a project like FERALS differently than your previous work on LADY DEATH #7-12?
Gabriel Andrade: I’m used to this kind of change! In my job it’s very normal. I’ve worked on a Gospel book while doing a horror title after making a superhero comic book. It’s all normal to me. I try to just focus on what excites me most in each work. In Lady Death, it was drawing beautiful women and fights with wild action. In FERALS, focus is the humanity of the characters, the climate and the savagery of the beast. I love challenges; I have no problems with dramatic genre changes.
Keith Davidsen: When you draw the hero of FERALS, Officer Dale Chesnutt, what are the qualities you try to capture in your work?
Gabriel Andrade: Dale is determined and looking to do justice above all. In principle this is just a guy with a policeman’s uniform, but during the story he becomes a fierce survivor, insightful and charismatic, strong and sensitive. When I read the first lines of the script I knew where to search for inspiration to the physical construction of the character. I thought of something between Jeremy Renner, Jensen Ackles, and Chris Hemsworth. I mixed them all together and created Dale Chesnutt of FERALS.
Keith Davidsen: The mystery woman Gerda is quite beautiful and mesmerizing. Are there certain people who have inspired her look?
Gabriel Andrade: Yes! When I was searching for photo references to create Madge’s Bar I discovered the model Bar Refaeli by accident. I said: – “Oh God..! She is very beautiful and sexy and has the perfect ethnic appearance.” For the hot body, I used some Brazilian models like Adriana Lima.
Ferals is published by Avatar, monthly from January.