Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden chats to artist Dan Mora about Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Klaus and more…
Dan Mora won’t reveal this to the world, but he’s a super-hero. In his civilian identity, he’s a stellar husband and father. But when duty calls, this Alajuela native has become one of the most exciting artists to burst out of comics in decades. Not bad for a young “kid” who got his start working for newspapers.
“I used to work as an infographic designer and freelance illustrator for a newspaper,” Mora said, “and got an opportunity from BOOM! to start working in the comic industry. It was 2014, I think.”
According to Mora, there have been an army of four-colour illustrators who influenced and shaped his career as a comic book artist.
“Many illustrators have influenced me over the years,” Mora explained. “Bruce Timm is the first to pop in my head, but each artist leaves an impression and becomes an important part of the process to find my style.”
Having found his style, Mora has also discovered accolades in comicdom –winning the prestigious Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award in 2016, and being nominated for the Eisner Award a year later.
“It was an amazing experience,” Mora remembered. “I never would have thought a few years ago that something like that was possible, and to be nominated the next year! I’m so grateful for all of it.”
Besides doing some work for the House of Ideas and its Distinguished Competition, Mora had primarily worked on several high-profile titles for BOOM! Studios. But the question remains: How does he choose his assignments?
“I think the projects choose me,” Mora said. “I very much trust the editors at BOOM! because they know what fits me well.”
One of those best-selling projects he conjures his artistic magic on is Grant Morrison’s annual Klaus specials. What’s it like working with the award-winning writer?
“At first, it was very weird,” Mora admitted, “because I couldn’t understand a single panel he was describing. But then, I got practice and I felt more secure with my interpretations. And, over the years, I think it’s become sort of a friendship. When I think of Grant I picture the face of Klaus on him. He is a really nice guy, and I couldn’t be more grateful to him to let me be a part of his imagination.”
Besides Klaus and Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers and various WWE titles, Mora’s latest Herculean effort has been illustrating the sold-out relaunch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How much pressure was there in reinventing the visual look of the characters from the popular TV series?
“A lot of pressure,” Mora laughed. “Buffy is such a beloved franchise and there are a lot of fans to please; but at the same time, it was fun to imagine them as people in modern days.”
Mora is open-ended on what characters and properties he’d like to tackle in the near future.
“All kinds of characters and genres,” Mora exclaimed. “I want to do horror, science fiction, superheroes, etc. But I have a special place in my heart for the heroes from my childhood.
“I think that comics should represent the people who read them, and they definitely need to be more diverse to reflect the world we live in today.”
Buffy The Vampire Slayer#1 is out this Wednesday 23 January 2019