TP_DIMMU_PROMO_01

A few months ago I was talking to a friend about the interview we did recently with Kieron Gillen of Phonogram fame, and how interesting it was to learn more about the connection between music and comic books.  During the conversation he mentioned a comic book company, Terminal Press, that he said was just starting to create a whole line of comics based on metal bands and urged me to check them out.  Based in Long Beach, NY, Terminal Press is run by Brian Ferrara who publishes a variety of comics including ones based on the music and image of the legendary black metal band Dimmu Borgir.  Needless to say I was fascinated, and with my friend’s help I got a hold of Brian to get his thoughts on how and where he sees comics and music merging.

Figment News:  Can you tell us a little about Terminal Press and how you got started in the comic business?

Brian Ferrara:  I got started making comics when I realized I was incapable of sustaining my sanity in a normal office environment and my hands were too delicate for manual labor. Terminal Press is the vessel through which the dark juvenile fantasies in our artist’s minds flow.

nuclear-blast-records-logo

FN:  You’ve just started creating a series of comic books based on bands signed to Nuclear Blast Records.  How did that relationship get started?

BF:  I first met the label manager for Nuclear Blast through a friend who was working our booth at the San Diego Comic Con in 08. He came by, heard us blasting Meshuggah and saw our line-up of badass books and the wheels started turning. Nuclear Blast displays at the con every year, so they are no strangers to comics. We’re all just a bunch of metal heads and fanboys, so it just made sense.

FN:  Do you think comics and music are interconnected?  Does music provide you with inspiration when you’re writing your comics?

BF:  100% yes to both. Art and music are like the two halves of a He-Man toy’s sword. They can both cut shit up alone, but when combined, you can turn Cringer into Battlecat. Take your classic Maiden and Megadeth albums and remove Eddie and Vic. Better yet, don’t do that, because that would suck.

I listen to music all day long. Seriously, all day. When I’m working I just rip through my whole library. When I’m writing, I usually go instrumental so I don’t get distracted by lyrics. Lastly, I like to get in a run every other day and that’s when I go with the heaviest of the heavy stuff to get all pumped and jacked and whatnot.

Dimmu_00_a_cover_black

FN:  You’ve created a comic for legendary Norwegian Black Metal band Dimmu Borgir.  What was it like creating a comic for such a well known band?

BF:  It was an honor and something we were all very proud to do. I was very excited because it was something I always wanted to do and I just wanted to give it my all and put together something that would respect the band and their fans.

Dimmu Borgir Fan at Big Apple Con

FN:  Do you think their music and image are good fodder for a comic book?

BF:  Dimmu screams for a comic book. I can barely think of a band that would work better in a comic than them. They aren’t a bunch of guys with instruments- they’re fucking demons from hell wielding fire and steel!

FN:  Did you actually meet with the members of Dimmu Borgir or was their music and cover art the inspiration?

BF:  I haven’t met the guys personally, but I’ve been to the shows, have all of the albums and send all the content for their approval before it is released. I’ll hopefully get to meet up with them next time they’re somewhere closer than Norway.

Dimmu_01

FN:  Narek Gevorgian did all of the artwork for the “Dark Fortress” correct?  How do you two work together when creating a comic book?

BF:  I usually come up with the basis for the story and then try to brainstorm with him. Then Narek tells me it’s a good idea and then I’m like, “is it just good?” and then Narek will be like, “it’s good.” and then I’ll be like, “is it good or is it great? I want it to be great!” and then he’ll be like, “it’s great.” but he’ll say it all passive aggressive so I’m not sure if it is or not, at which point we start yelling at each other. That’s pretty much when the magic happens.

FN:  What does the band think of the “Dark Fortress”?

BF:  I think it’s exactly what they were looking for as far as Fortress’ go. They can’t wait to move in.

FN:  Are their plans to do additional books on Dimmu Borgir?

BF:  We haven’t gotten that far yet, but I definitely wouldn’t rule it out. I’m focused on making sure this one kicks ass.

TP_EXODUS_PROMO_01

FN:  I know you’re also working on a comic book involving Nuclear Blast artist ExodusWhat other bands are you working with?

BF:  That’s all we have announced for now, but I definitely have my eye on other Nuclear Blast artists. If I had my way, Meshuggah would be on the list for sure.

FN:  What piece of advice can you pass on to our Figment users regarding the best way to create the image of a black metal band or any band for that matter?

BF:  I think any great metal band needs some kind of mascot at the core of their imagery. Once you have a cool mascot, you can just stick it in different scenarios to create album covers and merch. Say you have some sort of demonic monkey with a switchblade and bee wings as your mascot- put him front of some pyramids- boom- instant concept album.

Hard Core Series

FN:  I see you’ve got an entire line of “Hard/Core” comics based on iconic adult films like Debbie Does Dallas and “The Devil in Miss Jones”.  What other comic books does Terminal Press publish?

BF:  That’s pretty much it. Metal and porno. We do have some based on killer teddy bears, graffiti, circus animals, zombies, assassins, one with a guy with a crow jammed in his eye socket and another about an alcoholic lemur and a baby eating rhinoceros, but mostly metal and porno.

FN:  Where can someone pick up “Dimmu Borgir:  Dark Fortress” and your other comic books?

BF:  For everything Terminal Press, go to terminalpress.com. We bake them fresh and mail them directly to your house.

FN:  Any plans to branch out and do comics with other labels or other types of bands?

BF:  For metal, we have yet to exhaust the awesome roster of Nuclear Blast bands. I never know what is around the corner though. Maybe I’ll finally get the chance to do that Miley Cyrus book I’ve always dreamed of. That’s only if her label goes for my tentacle porn for tweens pitch.

FN:  If you could pick one band on Figment to create a comic book around, which one would it be?

BF:  It would be for whichever band was able to pull off getting banged by groupies in the back of a creepy van on their imaginary tour.

FN:  Have you ever created a fake band and if so, what was its name?

BF:  I’ve created real bands that never went anywhere, so does that count? Here are some of the names I can remember – Black Magic, Moribund, Ultimate Paradox, F.O.C. (Forecast of Calamity) and 1000 Years of Winter. I’m definitely forgetting a few along the way, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind. That list is in chronological order starting in 6th grade, so keep that in mind too.

 

Leave a Reply