Rogues Portal had the opportunity to speak with Troy Nixey, the artist behind Jenny Finn. Issue #1 of this revisited comic comes out from Dark Horse on November 15.
Check out the Q&A below!
- ROGUES PORTAL (RP): Jenny Finn is not a new character, but she is new to me! Where did the idea for Jenny Finn first originate?
TROY NIXEY (TN): Jenny’s origin sprang from a series of casual conversations between Mike and I. We both love the Victorian era and monsters, so that was the initial springboard. The conversations grew to involve reference books and a lot of sketches from me. It was a very organic process.
- RP: How will this new run of Jenny Finn differ from the one you worked on with Mike Mignola previously?
TN: The printing has improved significantly, so a lot of my fine line work that was lost on the newsprint of the initial run will be seen for the first time. The biggest difference of course is the addition of Dave Stewart to the mix. The colors he’s added to the work are remarkable. We had always hoped JF would eventually be colored, and there’s no one better than Dave to make that happen.
- RP: What is it like working together as a creative team on Jenny Finn?
TN: Mike is a wonderful collaborator. We’ve worked together on a few projects, and it’s always been a pleasure. Mike is open to suggestions and the sharing of ideas. Working with Dave is just as enjoyable. We tend to have an initial conversation about the vibe for the project, then he does what he does so well.
- RP: The art in Jenny Finn screams Victorian (in the best way possible), and the scenes—from the streets to the brothel to the shipyard—are extremely detailed. Do you envision the scenes in your head before drawing, or do you just go as you feel led?
TN: I’m big on reference and have quite a collection of books full of photos of Victorian locations and people. I love to begin with completely authentic trappings then manipulate them as needed, I tend to make places creepier and structurally unsound.
- RP: One of the things that really struck me about the art was the characters’ faces; they are long, heavy-browed, and rather grotesque. What was the inspiration behind this?
TN: Simply a continuation of my approach to all my work. Someone described my characters as lumps of mashed potatoes. I feel that’s spot on. Haha.
- RP: I must ask: why tentacles and fish-parts over, let’s say something more usual, like boils? For the record, I think it’s awesome (in a the more-horrific-the-better way).
TN: My penchant for drawing weird fishy-bits pre-exists JF. Mike understood how much I loved drawing it and folded it into the story.
- RP: I am a huge fan of the Victorian aesthetic—especially of the steampunk variety. What do you enjoy drawing about this period?
TN: Short answer: everything. From the clothes to the haircuts to the architecture too of course, the machines. History has always fascinated me, even from an early age. I’m not sure why, but, to be honest, I don’t really question it. I embrace it, and let it flow into every nook and cranny of my work.
- RP: If you could travel back in time to any era in history, what would it be? Why?
TN: I’d travel back to 1978, when I was six and say thanks for being such a creative kid and keep it up. Any other time travel, I’m happy to just visit it in my work. Haha.
- RP: Who are some of your favorite writers and artists (comic-book or otherwise)?
TN: Mike Mignola (of course), The Coen Brothers, Denis Villeneuve, Kaare Andrews, Tardi, Moebius, Kirby, Eisner, Nicolas Nemiri, Fiona Staples, Jonathan Lethem, Chester Himes, Allie Wong (she’s hilarious)…I could go on and on, there’s so many talented people creating wonderful work, and, thanks to the internet, they’re easy to discover.
- RP: For readers like myself, eager to see more of your work, can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
TN: There’s a lot of books that have either recently come out or are coming out soon. Kaare Andrews and I teamed up earlier this year to create THE BLACK SINISTER, that’s available in hardcover. Dark Horse is also reissuing IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD AGAIN in a really nice hardcover edition, and beginning in January a brand new four issue mini-series called VINEGAR TEETH hits the stands. I collaborated with Damon Gentry on that one. I’m really proud of it, it’s a lot of fun. All books are published by Dark Horse.
As you can tell from this interview, Jenny Finn #1 should definitely be on your pull list. We will have a review of issue #1 out this week; stay tuned!