Ulises Fariñas is preparing to make your mind melt. MOTRO has been described as “Bonkers” and, well, it fits. This insane world that is unlike anything else storms into stores and online on November 2, 2016, and Fariñas was kind enough to give us the scoop on what this wild book is all about.
Ulises Fariñas: I was at my first comic convention, and I had built this huge display that looked like a model rail-road town. Someone said that it reminded them of Warhammer 40K, and that I should make a comic like that! And i was like “Oh, sure…”
But then I did.
AL: The world of MOTRO is seemingly post-apocalyptic, fantastical and batshit crazy. How would you describe this world to someone about to pick up the book?
UF: Surrealist fantasy, I think. But if I was feeling sardonic, I’d ask them if they were bored with every fantasy novel or comic having the same elves, the same orcs, the same barbarians? If they said yes, I’d give them MOTRO. If they said no, I would poof—be gone!
AL: In the first issue, we meet somewhat sentient machines in the Wheeliebeast and Tankerbeasts. Do you recall where these “creatures” developed from as you created the world of MOTRO?
UF: I really like the movie Beastmaster; the main character has two ferrets and other animals he communicates with. I wanted the same thing, but with motorcycles and tanks. And so it was written.
AL: There is more to MOTRO than the unique world and intense fighting. What do you feel are the central themes at the heart of the book?
UF: That you’ll grow up to be the exact same horrible kind of man as your fathers and brothers and uncles were, and if you are aware of these patterns, most of the time you just feel guilty rather than trying anything new.
AL: Ulises, you certainly don’t hold anything back in the first issue. The art is intense and powerful. Did you know from the outset that MOTRO was going to be such a wild visual ride or did your design and thoughts about the world grow and change with time?
UF: I began drawing The first version of MOTRO when I was 20, and it is significantly different than how I draw now. But I think both styles are still packed with my particular aesthetic, but the change in the drawing meant that I wanted to explore why that change occurred in the story. For me, it was because I wanted to grow as an artist—so for MOTRO its quite literally because the world we see that is super cartoony/iconic (the early drawings of MOTRO) are how Motro (the character) draws himself in his journals. It all comes full circle.
AL: Erick and Ulises, this is far from your first collaboration together. How does an issue of MOTRO come together? Do you plot together or does one of you focus primarily on dialogue or some other aspect of the creative process?
Erick Freitas: MOTRO’s process was very different than anything else we ever wrote together, mainly because Ulises already had so much content already worked out. From doodles, characters, sketches, synopsis, etc. So a lot of was simply building a plot with these elements and then executing it. In general though, when Ulises and I work together, we discuss every aspect of the story in long winded, sometimes tiresome conversations, that eventually find the creative diamond we have been mining for.
AL: Last words: Any final messages you’d like to send out to folks about MOTRO?