In our previous interview with Inferno Girl Red writer Mat Groom, he described Erica D’Urso’s style as one that is “…profoundly dynamic, expressive way, while still handling emotion in a way that is raw and moving.”
One look at D’Urso’s artwork and you can see what Groom means, and it is all on display in the first issue of Inferno Girl Red (which is currently available to back on Kickstarter). We were lucky enough to also get to speak to D’Urso about her collaborators (Groom and Kyle Higgins), all aspects of Inferno Girl Red, as well as some exciting work for Marvel on the horizon in this exclusive interview.
How did you become involved in Inferno Girl Red?
It was all thanks to Mat and Kyle. Mat was working on this story for some years and he was searching for an artist that could fit his idea of ideal style. I’m really honored that they chose me!
Thoughts on working with Mat as a writer and Kyle as an editor?
Mat and Kyle are probably some of the most awesome people I’ve worked with so far. Mat is a great listener and very open to listen to all my craziest ideas, and he’s also a very kind person who’s able to understand me when I’m not at the top. Kyle is one of the most passionate editors I know, and he’s also really patient with me. I couldn’t have wished for two better people to work and be friends with.
Did you have an interest in classic tokusatsu heroes before Inferno Girl Red?
This is a little embarrassing, but to be honest, my knowledge of the tokusatsu genre was initially really poor. I’ve always wanted to draw in life, but for many reasons I never searched to learn something new, until I started to really love my work. It was only five years ago that I started to grow my knowledge in various genres. This is why I love to draw very different kinds of comics, because it’s an awesome chance to learn something new, like tokusatsu heroes.
How would you describe Cássia Costa as a character and hero?
Càssia is a very pragmatic girl that has to find new faith in herself and in the power of Inferno Girl Red. Since I first read the pitch of the project, I felt Càssia was really close to me, because I’m quite pragmatic myself, even if I have a huge dreamer side which I fear to listen to sometimes.
Heroes are known best to be empathetic and unselfish people, invincible figures ready to help you despite their own feelings or health. This is what it could seem like from the outside, at least. But heroes are people too; they have feelings, struggle with life, and are constantly afraid. Càssia, to me, is a newborn and sincere hero. The true heroism here is not in sacrificing herself, but in starting to believe again.
How do you incorporate the action that the tokusatsu series are known for in your artwork? Anime influences?
As said before, my knowledge of tokusatsu is still poor, and I’m still learning! I didn’t want to slow the process for this work, so meanwhile I studied the basics and tried to integrate what was tokusatsu for me. Dynamism, spectacular scenes and energy.
I collected what I knew that gave me those vibes and key words to create something fresh and still recognizable as tokusatsu canons. I watched a lot Simone di Meo’s Power Rangers, for example, because I think he’s one of the more energetic artists I know; Studio Trigger’s anime like Promare and Gurren Lagann were source of great inspiration; and even if it’s not exactly tokusatsu, My Hero Academia gave me the kind of mood I wanted to “never give up.”
Thoughts on the Kickstarter funding option?
I think the Kickstarter was planned really well but I’m not really good at planning this kind of thing, they’re pretty big for me, haha. I hope the fans will appreciate the ideas we planned for them!
Upcoming projects for other companies and recent work?
I recently worked with Marvel for a couple of upcoming projects this year. I’ll appear on the new series Mighty Valkyries by Torunn Grønbekk that will be out by 21th April and, later this summer, you can find me on Power Princess #1 /Heroes Reborn #6 by Jason Aaron!
The Inferno Girl Red Kickstarter ends on Wednesday, May 5.