Marc Andreyko - On Writing 'The Ferryman'

Who are the Ferrymen? That's a good question – and one that began to be answered in the first issue of The Ferryman which was released earlier this month. What we do know is this – a man named Gideon Thorne is at the center, using his unique talents at hunting people to work for a sinister man named Mr. Webster. Who is he? How did he get the job? Those are questions only the comic can answer.

Created by well-known movie producer Joel Silver (The Matrix, RocknRolla), he's enlisted veteran comics writer Marc Andreyko to take his story to the comics page in a five-issue miniseries from DC's Wildstorm imprint. With the first two issues in stores and more on the way, Newsarama contacted Andreyko to peel back the layers of this story.

Newsarama: Thanks for talking to us, Marc. How would you describe The Ferryman series?

Marc Andreyko: The Ferryman is the story of Gideon Thorne, a former NYC cop, who, under sinister circumstances you'll see in issue 2, is now in the employ of the enigmatic Mr. Webster. Gideon's job is to ferry souls back to Webster when the souls' owners' deal with Webster expires.

NRAMA: A classic story translated to modern times. I get it. Tell us more about the organization Mr. Webster controls.

MA: Wll, I don't want to ruin any surprises, but I can say this: they go way back and, yes, Charon was the first one.

NRAMA: Charon, the mythical ferryman across the River Styx in Greek mythology. Tell me more!

MA: Slow down…. The origins are slowly revealed over the course of the miniseries.

NRAMA: Gotcha. What can you tell us about Gideon?

MA: He's a good guy trapped by unbearable circumstance, but, good intentins, as they say, end up paving many miles of Hell's Highway.

NRAMA: What is Gideon after in this series?

MA: A little salvation, a little reunion. You'll see…

NRAMA: The man Gideon works for is Mr. Webster. What are his goals and what kind of jobs does he assign Thorne?

MA: Well, he's the devil. So nothing nice. Gideon is, as the best Ferryman around, always tracking down bad folks who hocked their souls for earthly delights.

NRAMA: Is it just me, or are there some biblical overtones here. Gideon is a religious name, and Mr. Webster makes me think of the short story "The Devil & Daniel Webster". Am I just seeing things, Marc?

MA: I wanted to use "Milton" as his name until I realized the movie Devil's Advocate beat me to it.

NRAMA: I blame Keanu Reeves.

Speaking of film, this is one of those comics that look destined for film. What's your outlook on the chances, and who would you cast in the main role?

MA: Films getting made are like those baby sea turtles in the Galapagos. Y'know, 3,000 are born… and two grow to adulthood. So, it would be great if a movie was made, but, for now, I'm just pouring my energies into making a good comic story.

As far as an actor for Gideon? Hmm, it could be tailored to so many: Colin Farrell, Jason Statham or Chris Evans would all bring something to the role.

NRAMA: How'd you come about to write The Ferryman comic series, Marc?

MA: I've known Erik Olsen (an exec at Silver's Dark Castle label) and heard about their interest in getting into comics. My manager set up a call and the rest is history…

NRAMA: This all started from an idea by movie producer Joel Silver. As the one to write out the story, can you tell us about working with Joel?

MA: My dealings with Joel have been minimal, but really great. His initial idea/concept allowed me a great deal of freedom to shape the ultimate story. And, while many times you hear horror stories about these sorts of projects, The Ferryman has been a real joy to work on. Eric and Scott Peterson at Wildstorm have been great editors and really contributed to the final product. I'd work with any of these guys again in the blink of an eye.

NRAMA: Let's not forget about the art side of this – You're working with a relative comics newcomer here with artist Jonathan Wayshak. As the veteran of the duo, what's your appraisal of the new guy?

MA: Have you seen his stuff? I'm going to be begging him to take my calls in very short order. He's a superstar.

NRAMA: [laughs] One last thing, Marc. What's next for you in comics?

MA: Good question!

Anybody looking for a wordsmith? Will Dialogue for Food!

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