Victor Santos on Mice Templar: Destiny

Victor Santos on Mice Templar: Destiny

Last week, we spoke with Mice Templar creators Michael Avon Oeming and Bryan J. Glass about the upcoming second miniseries subtitled “Destiny”. In that chat, the writers were enthusiastic about bearing down into the second story-arc – with the foundation of Mice Templar made in the first book, this new miniseries allows them to stretch their paws (so to speak) and dig into the wider world these mice inhabit.

Joining Michael and Bryan on this journey is artist Victor Santos. Oeming illustrated the first miniseries, but as his drawing table is full with work on the third volume of Powers and the Dark Horse series Rapture he had to find someone to pass the artistic torch to. For an artist to bring in another artist to continue the series is no easy choice, but for Oeming he found his man in the Spanish artist Victor Santos.

Santos has burst on the scene as of late, being announced as the artist of the upcoming Vertigo Crime launch book Filthy Rich with writer Brian Azzarello, but his work on Mice Templar finds him trading in the crime work for medieval mice. For more, we caught up with Victor Santos by email.

Newsarama: Victor, thanks for talking to us. Let’s start with an easy one – what are you working on today?

Victor Santos: Thanks you! It´s funny because I have some close friends who are real fans of Newsarama (me too), I´m going to surprise them! [laughs]

NRAMA: You just said the magic words. [laughs]

So what’s on your drawing table?

VS: First answer: I was finishing the Filthy Rich book when I began with the Mice. These days I almost fulltime working hard in the Mice Templar series because I want to work far ahead. I don´t want to fail to the monthly schedule and I’m trying to make things easy to my colorist, Veronica. And I expect to get more new jobs in the American market, so I want to be in the safe side, and not to fail to the rest of the Mie Templar team and the fans of the series, preventing the delays the best I can.

But I´m always working in different things at the same time. This month I´ve published two new graphic novels, Black Kaiser and The Blood the Valkyries (this last as writer) in Spain and Italy (and later in France), and I´m preparing a couple of new projects for the same publisher (Planeta-de-Agostini).

NRAMA: I’m going to ask you about those, but first let’s talk about Mice Templar: Destiny How’d you get involved in the book?

VS: Mike and I meet some years ago, he and Kelsey Shannon introduced me to my good friend and pal Miles Gunter, who I joined to do Zombee (Image) and Demon Cleaner (Antarctic press). Two or three years ago Mike write me a short story for my Spanish series Los Reyes Elfos, that later was published in the ACTOR anthology, and both were very satisfied with the collaboration, we wanted to work together again. We have the same influences, a lot of common “artistic baggage”… When Bryan and Mike were searching the replacement simply I was here!

NRAMA: Mike Avon Oeming has passed the artistic torch to you to handle this miniseries – what’s it like to take over on a series after the book’s creator, while still working with him as a writer?

VS: I’m very conscious of the fact that this is Mike and Bryan’s baby.And as reader I hate when the artistic team of a series I follow changes; I have a great respect to the loyal readers. I want to do a “quietltransition” and to enrich and expand this universe. The creators are not overbearing but I ask for their suggestions, they know well their readers.

I want to do the same Duncan Fegredo did with Hellboy or Ryan Ottley did with Invencible.

NRAMA: You’re a real student of the game, Victor.. Kudos. How many issues is this miniseries slated to be?

VS: Mike and Bryan offered me to join the team for as long as I want. This miniseries is going to be eight issues, so we’ll see what the reaction is from the readers and take it from there.

But I´m really enjoying working on it, I think readers will see my growing as artist here and I would be happy drawing all the issues Bryan and Mike would want to give me.

NRAMA: I’ve got a weird one for you --- but I have to ask. You’re also working on the crime book Filthy Rich with Brian Azzarello. While I haven’t seen pages from that, the idea of a crime book and a book about medieval mice sounds worlds apart – how are you balancing it all?

VS: [laughs] It is really weird but it’s just the reason I love this job. In Spain and France I´ve been working in all kind of series: fantasy, noir, books for children or teenagers, superheroes… As reader I don´t care of having a Daniel Clowes graphic novel and the last Naruto on the same bookcase. European, Japanese, American indie or superheroes… I love all kind of stuff, so I like to jump from one word to other, playing with the style and the references, to play one day Miller and tomorrow to be “thinking Mignola”…

NRAMA: [laughs] Good answer. Lastly, looking over at your site I see a bunch of comics not even released in the U.S. Now that you’re doing more American work, do you plan on re-releasing those in English?

VS: I´m working on it, I have a lot of previous stuff I´m sure will like to the USA readers, they are not locals, are universal stories and everybody can understand and enjoy them easily. Even my priority is to get more jobs in the USA industry, I hope Mice Templar. will open the door to my previous fantasy books. All my Spanish noir books opened me the door to Vertigo, and USA readers don´t know my being as writer. Let´s cross fingers.

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