Wilfredo Torres Irons Out Black Hammer
May 20, 2018
by Vince Brusio
A fan of the book since its inception, artist Wilfredo Torres got a gig to work with Jeff Lemire on Black Hammer…and he’s loving every minute of it—to the point where if you walked in on him while he’s drawing, you may be able to take some pictures he’d rather you not have in your possession. The Quantum Age: From The World of Black Hammer #1 (MAY180320) is offered in the May issue of the PREVIEWS catalog, and in this exclusive interview, Wilfredo reflects on time behind the drawing board.
Vince Brusio: This story takes place in the same Black Hammer universe, but the timeline for this new series is 1,000 years in the future. In this far future, however, the culture and technology are far removed from the norms of the ancient past. So how do you try to show the synergy between the Black Hammer Farm history one minute, and the new-Age heroes the next?
Wilfredo Torres: The heroes and environments in The Quantum Age are directly informed/inspired by the characters from the Black Hammer farm and with Jeff masterminding the grand scheme of it all. It’s tied quite directly.
Vince Brusio: In one of the sample pages provided for the book in the May PREVIEWS, we see camaraderie between the current heroes, and it seems to be unwavering despite great odds and impending self-sacrifice. How do you go about drawing the body language for these heroes to show their rapport?
Wilfredo Torres: The characters have a camaraderie and a rapport, and I think that comes from confidence not only in their own abilities but in those of their teammates plus having Archive V in your ear calling the plays doesn’t hurt. My process involves quite a bit of hand-wringing, yelling, and tears… as well as some very silly reference photos of myself in compromising positions.
Vince Brusio: The authoritarian regime that wants to take over the planet: have you given it a face? How did you go about drafting concept art for some mysterious force that wants to place the world in a petri dish?
Wilfredo Torres: The encroaching evil definitely has a face, and like many of our nightmares, it is a [REDACTED].
Vince Brusio: Who was the primary force behind the character designs? What was the give-and-take between you and Jeff when it came to creating these characters?
Wilfredo Torres: It was a very collaborative process. Jeff had a specific idea of what he wanted for the look of Archive V, so I gave him a few variations, and we landed on his final look from there, but for the most part, he would give me a general description and then let me run with it.
Vince Brusio: What’s rewarding to you working on this book?
Wilfredo Torres: I’ve been reading Black Hammer since the first issue hit the stands, so it’s a lot of fun to be able to dig into this particular toy-box. Getting a chance to collaborate with Jeff and Dave Stewart on another project is fantastic.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.