Spinning Blood: An Interview With Gilbert Hernandez About "Fatima: The Blood Spinners"

Gilbert Hernandez is one of the original mack daddies of modern Indie Comix, known for his work as part of Los Bros Hernandez with his brothers Jaime and Mario on Love and Rockets, as well as his solo books including last year’s Marble Season. Hernandez published a sci-fi series with Dark Horse in 2012 called Fatima: The Blood Spinners, which will be released in April in hardcover. In honor of the collection’s release, Hernandez sat down with Comic Bastards and let us pick his brains a bit. Let’s dive right in! Nick Philpott: How do you keep finding new things to write about after almost 30 years of making comics? What's your well for inspiration?

Gilbert Hernandez: Remember: Good artists borrow, great artists steal. I just steal, man, I steal.

Nyuk nyuk. Seriously, I've got a lot of ideas that I never got around to producing, so I mine old unused ideas and bring them up to date and give them new life. That's only if I think the old ideas are worth making into new comics. I have enough ideas to take care of the next 20 years, before my time as cartoonist is up. I'll be 77 by then!

Nick: Were you working on MARBLE SEASON while you were working on FATIMA? What's it like going back and forth between two disparate genres like that?

Gilbert: It's tough, but I like working like that because when I'm burning out on one, I can shift gears and work on the other one and back and forth. I wouldn't recommend it. Phew!

Fatima Hardcover CoverNick: Los Bros Hernandez have been publishing at Fantagraphics for so long. What made you decide to do this book as a series with Dark Horse instead of a novel?

Gilbert: It's a matter of breaking up the workload. I like doing stories a chapter at time to be collected later. Less burnout. And I still like comic books.

My next new project with DH will be a fully complete graphic novel called Loverboys.

Nick: What are some of the movies and books you were taking in while you were creating this book? Did you have a soundtrack for it?

Gilbert: I don't listen to music when I create a comic. I usually listen to music when I drive alone.

I was thinking of the Vincent Price movie The Last Man on Earth (based on the book I Am Legend) which is about a scientist immune to the pandemic turning everybody into zombies. It inspired the original Night of the Living Dead film.

Nick: Can we expect to see more of Fatima, aside from her short epilogue in the sketchbook material?

Gilbert: I would like to do the further adventures of Fatima, but we'll see what we see. --- And there it is from the Dark Horse’s mouth, sports fans. A huge Thank You to Gilbert for making time for little old me and my questions for him in his packed schedule. Be sure to check out Fatima: The Blood Spinners April 22nd from Dark Horse in luxurious hardcover. AND, we’ll be sure to keep our ear to the ground to keep you updated on Gilbert’s new project, Loverboys.