Interview: Swimming With the Fishes and Jenny Finn Writer/Artist Troy Nixey

Dark Horse are at it again!  Not content with Hellboy or B.P.R.D, the fertile ground of Mike Mignola’s horror infused imagination.  This time, fellow artist/writer Troy Nixey is along or the ride.  We caught up with Troy as the first issue of Jenny Finn hit the store to discuss collaborating with “one of the most important creators in history”, influences and art styles:

Comic Crusaders: Hi Troy, great to speak with you.  Lets start with how this book was written. How does the writing process work when there are two writers on a book? Is one on dialogue the other on plot, or is it more collaborative? If so, how is it more collaborative?

Troy Nixey: It began with lots of sharing of ideas then Mike went off and wrote the plots for the issues. As I drew the pages I’d offer the occasional dialogue suggestion in the gutters. Sometimes Mike used the suggestion, sometimes he didn’t. It was a very collaborative, organic experience. I enjoyed it very much.

CC: When drawing the book, how much of an influence was your writing partner Mike Mignola?

TN: I consider Mike to be one of the most important creators in comic history. I was a huge fan of his before we started on Jenny but Mike is really supportive of other artists so there was no pressure from him at all. We both wanted to tell a fun creepy story and I think we succeeded.

CC: The book reminds me a lot, at least in places, of the Penny Dreadful TV show, along with the strange thing happening to a stranger element from Dr Who. What are your main influences and how have they impacted your writing or art?

TN: I really need to watch Penny Dreadful, I’ve heard good things. My artistic influences from my early days weren’t really comic book related. I came to comics when I was in junior high school but I was already drawing by then. I did read Mad magazine and Looney Tunes was huge for me. I saw Star Wars in its original run and it blew my mind! It kicked up the doors of my imagination. Interestingly enough the subjects I’m known for, weird creepy monsters (in the case of Jenny Finn, gross fishy stuff) and and old antiquated fantastical settings, I don’t have a clue where those crept in.

CC: You know, now that you mention MAD I totally see it!  I am a firm believer that creators can find characters or styles that suit them and bring the best out of them. Your art has an unusual style, with elongated faces; does that make it hard to move into other comic book arenas?

TN: Someone described my work as full of lumpy mashed potato people and I wholeheartedly agree. Hahaha. To be honest I completely focus on the stories I want to tell so of course my work is well suited for the subject matter. I’m not really interested in drawing anyone else’s characters right now, just my own, so my style keep developing to that end.

CC: The manner by which some of the characters speak, mainly Joe, in an exposition way, is reminiscent of old school writing for comics. Was this intentional?

TN: That’s more of a question for Mike, but what I know about Mike is nothing usually happens by accident. He makes bold, amazing decisions.

CC: Whats next for you and Jenny Finn?

TN: Dark Horse is my home for the next while. They’re publishing a new deluxe hardcover of It’s Only The End Of The World Again which is due out very soon. This January, Damon Gentry and I have a four issue-mini series called Vinegar Teeth hitting the stands, I’m really excited about this one, it’s a lot of fun. That’s in the can so I’m about to jump onto a brand new Trout four issue mini-series. Lots of fun weird stuff coming down the pike.

Trout?  Coming down the pike?  You must really love fish!  Thanks fro taking the time to speak to me.  Good luck with the book.

If you are interested in Jenny Finn and looking at Troy’s mashed potato people, click Here for a review of Jenny Finn #1

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