In 2012 a chilling new horror series launched with one of the most alarming covers I’ve ever had the pleasure of collecting. “Colder” was a unique story about the nature of insanity from Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra that oozed confidence and chilled to the core. The original work was an incredible look at mental illness that you don’t often find within the pages of comics, it’s not an easy thing to attack and it’s certainly no stranger than the bulk of comic panels. However the raw vulnerability of the first volume made for a book that wasn’t scared to linger on the horror of human perception. So much so we said ourselves “If you aren’t reading Colder, you’re missing out. Hugely. Don’t make that mistake.”
So today we’re happy to have the EXCLUSIVE reveal of “Colder: The Bad Seed.” This is a direct continuation of the first series and brings an entirely new threat into Declan’s world. We we’re lucky enough to sit down with Paul Tobin to talk about mental illness, working with Juan Ferreyra on the horrors in volume two, and his favorite type of fear.
BLOODY DISGUSTING: What interests you most about mental illness? And what sort of research did you do to prepare to dive back into the world of Colder?
PAUL TOBIN: Mental illness to me is all about the perception, and from both sides. It’s secrets that nobody else shares. An insane person can see something that doesn’t exist in “reality,” but at the same time it’s real in THEIR reality, and I find that fascinating. I’ve had a few (ahem) altered states where I’ve had hallucinations, and during them I KNEW that I was seeing something that wasn’t real… but… couldn’t deny my eyes anyway. So, the perception of “crazy” is a knife edge: both sides deny the other. And, from one perspective, both sides are right. As far as what kind of research I’ve done, life experience, mostly. I work in a creative field. Plenty of wonderfully strange people to learn from. I like my friends between a little insane and moderately insane. More interesting that way, right?
BD: What can you tell me about the mysterious Swivel? How could he possibly be any worse than Nimble Jack?
PT: Swivel’s of the same breed as Nimble Jack, in a way, in that they both have a specific goal that’s entirely normal. Nimble Jack was just hungry. Swivel just wants to grow his crops. Nothing wrong with either of them. It’s that perception switch of insanity that I play with, though, that record-scratch moment of, “Oh, he just wants to do this very simple and normal thing, and so there’s no problem, and… wait… THAT’S what you mean. Well, hell. That ain’t good.” That’s what I love about writing Colder, just taking the everyday events and desires and making them horrible things. Floors always seem solid until the earthquake hits, and you never quite feel like you have your balance afterwards. That’s the feeling that artist Juan Ferreyra and I are going for: just that feeling of unbalance, that your equilibrium is forever in danger.
BD: How much time has passed since the events of Colder?
PT: Not long. A couple months. Enough time that Declan and Reece have gotten on with their lives together, though in an odd way, for Declan. He’s still on a quest, and that quest leaves a door opens.
BD: How are you and Juan working to outdo the horrendous and unsightly horrors of the first volume?
PT: We made a very conscious decision NOT to try to outdo the first series. Our primary goal is to create a new work, a solid one. I think creators who feel a conscious need to top a previous work can quickly move their works into parody… losing the subtlety, characterization, and the general feel of what made a work successful in the first place.
BD: Now that Declan has overcome his “insanity” what causes the most conflict in his life?
PT: In a way, what causes the most conflict in Declan’s life is that he HAS overcome his insanity. And when you take away the insanity, you don’t have anything left but the truth. If that truth turns out to be horrible, there’s unfortunately nowhere left to turn.
BD: What excites you most about Bad Seed? What scares you most about it?
PT: Working with Juan is always such a treat. In the beginning I worked with him as per my normal methods: I’m a very “complete” scripter. But now I’ve built so much trust with him that I often will just describe the overall scene, and then know that Juan is going to bring it to life in a better way than I could have conceived. So, I think we constantly surprise each other. That’s a damn fun way of working. As far as what scares me most, it’s losing that knife edge… of starting to lean into cheap horror, the cat jumping from the closet, that sort of thing. It’s important for horror writers to stay true to the fear.
BD: What type of fear/terror/horror are you trying to tap into with this new volume?
PT: I love a lot of the Korean and Japanese horror movies, and works by such artists as Junjo Ito and Toshio Saeki… just anything that slips the carpet out from under reality. When it comes to horror, I don’t want to sit there screaming, I want to wake up sweating.
Colder: The Bad Seed hits in October, and we’ll have all sorts of coverage leading into the launch of #1. For now, here’s what Dark Horse has to say:
Colder: The Bad Seed #1
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Life goes on for Declan Thomas after his deadly encounter with the psychotic Nimble Jack, but Declan’s strange powers continue to develop, offering him a profound connection with the nature of insanity. Little does he know that the malevolent Swivel wishes to pick up where Nimble Jack left off!