The following is an interview with Dre Torres, creator of the comic book series, Popova. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Torres about the inspiration behind the series, the shared creative process in bringing it to life, what the creative team hopes that readers will take away from the series, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your comic book series, Popova! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story (along with co-writer Alex Valdes)?
Dre Torres: Thank you! POPOVA is a crime drama based on a group of women who band together to wage a violent war on oppressive men. The inspiration comes from the real-life story of Madame Alexe Popova, an interesting figure who, in the late 1800s, confessed to killing over 300 men whose wives suffered from physical abuse. We felt this female revenge concept would be a timely story to tell given our current social and political climate.
BD: What can you tell us about your process in working with the entire creative team to bring the series to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
DT: Well, the story was originally conceived as a screenplay which Alex and I planned to shoot ourselves on a very low budget using our friends as actors, but we quickly realized the scope of the story was way beyond our financial means. I’ve always been a fan of comics growing up, and it became clear to us that POPOVA would fit well in this medium. The first step after that was adapting the screenplay into a comic book script, which was a challenge unto itself, and then finding an artist to interpret it. We were fortunate to land Yasmin Liang for issue #1, a very gifted artist based out of Hong Kong who brought our story to life, and Ari Syahrazad for issue #2, another talented artist who really heightened the cinematic feel of the story.
My creative influences range from filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick and Robert Rodriguez, to comic book legends like Denny O’Neil and Alan Moore, and true crime authors such as Edna Buchanan, among others.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
DT: Our intention is to explore the grey areas and inspire discourse regarding gender roles and stereotypes in our society.
BD: At this time, two issues of the series have been released. Do you have a certain number of issues planned of this story arc or for the series as a whole?
DT: This particular story arc wraps up in two issues, but there are important threads that we left open to explore in future installments. Our next step will be to release a trade paperback comprising issues #1 and #2 which we hope will be out before the end of the year.
BD: If given the opportunity to expand your series into other entertainment mediums, in what format do you hope to see it adapted?
DT: Though we did originally conceive POPOVA as a feature film, I believe an episodic TV series would be the best fit for this property.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
DT: I would encourage readers to check out The Last Taino, a documentary we shot in Cuba chronicling our search for a tribe of indigenous people thought to be extinct for over 500 years. You can watch it at www.thelasttaino.com. Aside from that, look out for the POPOVA trade paperback which will compile issues #1 and #2, this time in full color courtesy of our friend and rising star Shane Bailey.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Popova?
DT: You can find all things POPOVA-related on our website, www.popovaworld.com, and you can also follow us on Instagram at @popova_comic. Thank you very much for this opportunity, and I hope you all enjoy our work!