‘I’m Drawing Archie Fighting A Freakin’ Predator': Fernando Ruiz Talks ‘Archie Vs Predator’
Even though it was announced months ago, I'm still having a hard time believing that we live in a magical world where Alex de Campi and Fernando Ruiz's Archie Vs Predator is a real thing that is happening. Even in a time when the company's most critically successful book is a moody supernatural horror story where the entire cast is about two seconds away from being murdered by zombies, Archie Vs Predator still seems like a beautiful, beautiful dream.
ComicsAlliance: How did the conversation about Archie Vs Predator start? Did you just get a call from the editors that started with, "You're not going to believe what we're doing," or were you part of the initial pitch?
Fernando Ruiz: Archie Vs Predator was first suggested in March of 2014 at an Archie Creative Summit where the Archie heads, writers and artists got together to kick around new ideas. After the successes of Archie meeting KISS and Glee, we were all throwing around possibilities for other properties Archie could team up with.
I remember someone suggesting Archie Meets Godzilla and Archie Meets Friday the 13th. I don’t remember who was the first to bring up Archie Vs Predator, but that was the one we kept coming back to. Everyone loved that idea. I remember at the time thinking it’ll never happen and if it did, they’d never let me draw it. Happily, I was wrong on both counts.
CA: Was it a challenge to figure out how to fit the Predator into the traditional Archie style? It's a pretty complicated design, so I wonder what gets smoothed out to make the transition.
FR: I’d never drawn the Predator before, so the first thing I did once I was given the assignment was to sit down and “figure out” the Predator visually. My first thought was to draw a completely realistic Predator. I made a few sketches, some of which were included in the back of the Archie Vs Predator mini-comic. Eventually it was decided that the Predator should be more “Archiefied” so he would fit a bit more seamlessly into the Archie Universe. I then streamlined the basic Predator design into what you’ll see in the series.
CA: Along those same lines, how did you get into the right mindset to draw the crossover? Did you watch the movies to get a feel for it, and if you did, how did you manage to get back into the right frame of mind for Archie and the Gang?
FR: It had been a long time for me and Predator, so the first thing I did was to re-watch the original movie. I had forgotten what a great movie that is! Afterwards, I was inspired to jump right in full force!
CA: What kind of violence can we expect to see in the crossover? I mean, I'm assuming Jughead doesn't get vaporized or anything, but at this point, you never know.
FR: Assume nothing! Nothing is off the table! No one is safe! Some will live. Some will die! Alex De Campi has written a great script with a shock on almost every page!
CA: Seriously though, how fun is it to put those kids in danger of being murdered by aliens?
FR: It’s been a blast! I can’t believe some of the situations I’ve been drawing in this series! I’ve been showing some of my pages to my students at the Kubert School. It’s great to see their reactions. They’ve literally have been screaming out loud at some of the panels I’ve shown them! It’s great!
CA: Where does Archie Vs Predator stack up on the list of the weirdest things you've had to draw for an Archie book? I imagine Betty riding a dragon in Archie #664 has to be pretty high on the list too.
FR: I’m usually the guy Archie gets to draw the weird stories like the Archie Thor parody and the Game of Thrones parody. Archie Vs Predator, because of the sheer intensity of the story, absolutely tops anything I’ve ever done in terms of weirdness. I’m drawing stuff I never in a million years thought I’d ever draw. Betty riding a dragon is nothing! I’m drawing Archie fighting a freakin’ Predator!
Archie Vs Predator #1 is on sale April 15th 2015.