It's About Insanity: An Interview With Paul Tobin About Colder: Bad Seed

For those of you that haven't checked out the first volume of Colder from Dark Horse you need to. It was a series we covered in single issues and the trade, we just couldn't stop talking about the wonderful creation from Paul Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra. The next chapter of the series is coming out on October 22nd from Dark Horse which gave me the opportunity to talk to Paul about next volume Colder: Bad Seed.

DUSTIN: For those out there that might not have read the first volume of COLDER can you give us a quick rundown of what the first volume was about?

PAUL TOBIN: It’s about insanity, at its core. I’m fascinated by how the human mind works, and how it fails. So, insanity exists, and the rule of nature is that if something exists, then something else exists to EAT it. The story begins at an insane asylum in the late 1930’s where early LSD experiments have gone VERY wrong, and a doorway opens to the Hungry World, from where our debonair villain Nimble Jack (none too sane himself) steps forth. Nimble eats insanity, and… as a result of his feeding… life itself. And the tastiest morsel of them all is our lead character, Declan, who… in the modern day… awakens from a coma he’s been in for untold years. Declan has a strange ability to cure insanity, but the cost is great. Every time he uses his powers, he opens himself to the Hungry World, and Nimble Jack, and, every time, he grows a bit… colder.

Colder-Bad-Seed-Preview-1-10.1.14DUSTIN: The big news for COLDER: BAD SEED is that it’s returning as an ongoing, did this change your approach for the storytelling on the second arc at all?

TOBIN: First, I should say that we’re not entirely considering it as an ongoing. We have three arcs planned, and then Juan and I will have to discuss if we’ve told our story. We’ve seen too many solid stories fall apart when teams try too hard to stretch a good solid core until it no longer resembles what made it so successful. So, two arcs of five issues each, and then Juan and I will sit down with a whole bunch of cocktails and decide if it would be insane to go on, or insane to quit. As far as my storytelling approach, I’ve been very gratified to be able to explore some of the characters and themes in greater detail… which lends an even stronger depth to the horror. 

DUSTIN: I have to admit I’m a little surprised to see the character of Reece back, if I were in her shoes I don’t know if I would have stuck around. Can you tell us what her role in the story is going to be this time around? What can we expect from Declan and the new antagonist Swivel?

TOBIN: Reece actually becomes even more involved in the story, this time. Poor girl. Juan and I wanted to give her larger focus, and she’s rather forced into involvement. It’s not something she’s choosing. As far as Declan, he’s dedicating himself to helping people, and we learn more about Declan’s forgotten past, which isn’t as pretty as he might have hoped. Swivel, meanwhile, just wants to garden. That sounds nice, right? Unfortunately, his gardens grow insanity, and his “seeds” are… well… let’s save that for now.

Colder-Bad-Seed-Preview-2-10.14DUSTIN: The cover that was revealed with the preview reveals Swivel if I’m not mistaken, but it got me wondering… where do you and artist Juan Ferreyra come up with the designs? Is it collaborative or do you just throw out Lovecraft esque descriptions and see what Ferreyra can come up with?

TOBIN: Depends. I had very precise ideas for Swivel, and described what I wanted in detail, but at that point it’s my job to step back and let Juan draw what he wants. We batted some looks back and forth for Swivel, just as we did for Nimble Jack, and came up with one we could both embrace, by that meaning the one we found the most unsettling. For other monsters, though, I often give broader descriptions of what I want to see, or even just totally step back and say, “Juan. We need monsters, here. Mess with our minds and creep us out.”

DUSTIN: In the preview for the first issue Reece asks, “It can’t come back here anymore right? Nimble Jack is Dead?” any comment on that? Feel free to tease us all.

TOBIN: Swivel is definitely the focus of the second arc, but as far as Nimble Jack in the future? A lot of that depends on if Declan and Reece can keep their heads together.

You still have time to check out the first volume of Colder in anticipation of Colder: Bad Seed, but do yourself a favor and get your pre-order in for the new series. A big thank you to Paul Tobin for taking the time to chat with me and to Dark Horse for setting it up.