100 Creatives 2014: James Ferry, Comic Art Sucker Punch
What He Does: James Ferry is yet another of the extremely talented comic artists living here in Houston. His dream was to make films, and he actually has several credits as a writer, director, and storyboard artists for works like Blue,In Dreams, and American Goldfish. Overall, though, the world of film takes a huge number of people.
Ferry prefers his comic art as he is limited only by his imagination and his willingness to buckle down. You can see the cinematic range his mind possesses in his pieces. Expansive cityscapes make homes for science fiction heroes and heroines, while strange, Lovecraftian monsters defy the eye's ability to interpret them. His work calls to mind Fiona Staples illustrations in Saga, and there is no higher praise for a comic artist than that.
Why He Likes It: "Art allows you to share ideas with others. Great art allows the viewer to see something in a new way or question what was taken for granted. Great art touches some unseen part of you and causes an emotional response. I think it is this sort of mental engagement between viewer and creator that I like the most. I don't get that when counting up numbers. "
What Inspires Him: Music is a big inspiration to Ferry, though he admits he is somewhat terrible at creating it himself. He prefers to listen to the soundscapes of others to wake his muse. Science fiction literature and comics, naturally, are also very important to him. In the past he focused on the European and Asian comic scene, people like Jodorowsky, Moebius, Katsuhiro Otomo, and Milo Manara, but the rather brilliant American comic scene going on right now has him excited.
Ferry grew up watching lots of late '80s and early '90s back when you had to physically go over to people's houses to trade grainy second, third, or even fourth generation VHS copies to see something like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D, Black Magic M66, and Neo-Tokyo. You can see a lot of that influence in his art.
If Not This, Then What: "I think I would want to work in some capacity towards getting humanity off this planet. I wish we would spend more towards this goal. Existing isn't enough. We need hope. We need something to believe in. We need to feel like humanity has a future."
If Not Here, Then Where: Ferry has only one criteria for living anywhere but Houston; less humidity and actual seasons. As we broil in Summer 2: Electric Boogaloo, we can all sympathize.
What's Next: "Well, a few I can't talk about because I'm under contract. I think I can say that I will soon have a piece of my art on the cover of a well known comic publisher... I wish I could say more but it will have to wait.
I've just recently completed a comic book of my own and I'm currently in the looking for a publisher. Again, until I have final word from the publishers, I can't really say much. This is a frustrating state to be in but the end result should be worth it.
In September, I will have a booth at the Alamo City Comic Con and will be selling prints. I've got several new prints just about finished that I'm working on between contract work. It is very busy as of late!"
More Creatives for 2014
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Keith Parsons, author and philosophy professor
Alonzo Williams Jr., photographer
Rudy Zanzibar Campos, painter
Paige Kiliany, director
Betirri Bengtson, visual artist
Melissa Maygrove, romance novelist
Natalie Harris, bridal gown designer
Larry McKee, cinematographer
Tiffany Heath, filmmaker
Jonathan Pidcock, Jewelry Maker
Mallory Bechtel, actor, singer, dancer
Janine Hughes, visual artist
Nyssa Juneau, artist
John Merritt, artist
Leslie Scates, choreographer and dance educator
Denise O'Neal, producer, director, playwright
Jason Poland, cartoonist
Courtney Sandifer, filmmaker, actor, writer
Lloyd Gite, gallery owner
Henry Yau, The Children's Museum of Houston's publicity and promotions guru
Angeli Pidcock, fantasy writer and mentor
Jennifer Mathieu, author
Scott Chitwood, writer
Anat Ronen, urban artist
Amber Galloway Gallego, rockstar and sign language interpreter
Michael Weems, playwright
Lane Montoya, artist
Jordan Simpson, SLAM poet
Joey & Jaime, designers
Suzi Taylor, photographer
Ashton Miyako, dressmaker
T. Smith, artistLindsay Finnen, photographer
Kaitlyn Stanley, tattoo artist
Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker
Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer
Shawn Swanner, video game painter
Andy Gonzales, painter
Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher
Theresa DiMenno, photographer
Jessica E. Jones, opera singer
Atseko Factor, actor
John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker
Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist
Rabēa Ballin, artist
David Wald, actor
Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist
Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston
Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist
Heather Gordy, artist
Mark Nasso, comic artist
Marian Szczepanski, novelist
Jonathan Blake, fashion designer
Doni Langlois, interior designer
Kat Denson, dancer
Blame the Comic, comedian
Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist
Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer
Rene Fernandez, painter
Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer