Over the weekend I had a chance to interview Ryan Ferrier about the third entry to his smash hit sci-fi comic series D4VE from IDWD4VEOCRACY. We talked about the continuation of the series and what's to come next. Enjoy.

Billy Tournas: After a quick journey to hell in your series Hot Damn, Valentin Ramon and yourself are back on 34RTH with D4VEOCRACY. How did this all come about?

Ryan Ferrier: Around the time we started working on D4VE2 I began making notes and scribbling down ideas for a potential third arc of the series, and the core idea for what would become D4VEOCRACY was the constant theme. I think both of us knew we had this third and final arc in us, so as soon as Hot Damn production started winding down, we shifted gears back on D4VE. We could’ve gone from D4VE2 to D4VEOCRACY, I remember, but we decided to take a small break for Hot Damn, which I’m so proud of. We missed D4VE a lot though. This third arc has felt nothing but natural.

Was working with Valentin on Hot Damn a different experience to working on D4VEOCRACY? And if so did it change or improve the way you worked on this third D4VE book?

Really the only thing different was the boundaries we each put on ourselves as creators. With a book like Hot Damn there’s quite a bit of potentially controversial stuff going on, so we were both kind of feeling things out in terms of “how far can/should we go.” But really, working with Valentin is an absolute dream, and the level of trust and inspiration that goes between us is pretty awesome. I think D4VEOCRACY is his best work yet, and all roads have led to this arc—he’s making my scripts better and giving me more confidence and drive to go bigger.

After travelling back in time in D4VE2 to face his inner demons, I would assume D4VE could handle anything now?

Nope! You’re going to see a different D4VE. Certainly a much more resolved man who has gone through the necessary emotions and healing to begin building something stable but his challenge comes in facing something that he really has no control over: free will. How can he possibly save a world that doesn’t want or doesn’t feel has to be saved? D4VE’s also shifting his methods a little bit, which is terrifying. He can’t win be punching and shooting, yet his goal is still the same. He’s totally unequipped against foes who feed right into the whims of the planet.

The thing I love most about D4VEOCRACY is just how much the main cast has grown over the last two series. We’re really proud of where they’ve all gone and how they’ll all end up, for better or worse.

How much after D4VE2 is D4VEOCRACY set?

Four years! At the start of D4VEOCRACY #1 we’re right at the end of President Roombo’s first term in office, which he started at the end of D4VE2. So there’s been a nice little gap of time for the planet to get settled again. D4VE works part time at the history museum, 54LLY is an executive at 34RTH POW3R, 5COTTY is in marketing for the DUD3R app, and BR4D is a secret service agent.

One thing I love about the D4VE series is that each arc can be picked up as a stand-alone story so any reader can jump in. Was that always the plan from you and Valentin?

It wasn’t something we kept in mind as a goal, to have them read distinctly on their own, no. I think as a reading experience, it’s best to read D4VE first. In D4VE2 there are a lot of callbacks to the first series, and less set-up for the world and “rules” of the series. I have had a lot of people tell me they read D4VE2 first though and had no problems. Maybe I’m just a sucker for continuity. I do think D4VEOCRACY benefits entirely from following the characters since their start, so we may have broken the chain with that one. But Valentin and I are approaching these arcs with character and story in mind first; it would seem remiss to try and water down their journeys thus far. That said I absolutely think anyone could read any arc anytime and find something to enjoy, just look at Valentin’s art! So in other words, the D4VE train is leaving the station so you’re either in or you’re out!

Each series of D4VE has brought us new, unique and wonderful characters. I would assume that this is going to be the case this time round as well?

Yes, oh yes, and I’m really excited (diabolically) for them. In issue #1 we debut GL3NN, the app startup running douchebro who serves as one of the series’ primary villains. He’s a handfull of inspirations crammed into one. Imagine Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Shkreli, and Ryan Lochte all at their smarmiest and stuffed into an axe body spray rich kid robot body.

We’re also really excited for D4VE’s political rival, S4M, who’s origin is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time in the D4VE universe. [SPOILER FOR ISSUE #1] he is the internet uploaded into a robots body. [/END SPOILER] So we’re going to have a lot of fun with that. There’s really anything we can do with that as the well runs pretty deep (and bizarre), so you can expect some wild moments.

What can you tease us about the upcoming journey you're going to take D4VE on?

This is not an election comic, that’s something I want people to know first and foremost. As you’ll see in issue #2, that premise is flipped around and the real sense of D4VE’s journey is revealed. There is going to be some big action with huge implications for the robot civilization. There will be some imploding relationships. There will be some moments that (hopefully) make you cry. We will see the characters reach their end, and their fates will be revealed, as this is the last D4VE story.

Finally, what else are you working on at the moment?

I’m super excited about my two-issue arc of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe, beginning in issue #7 on 02.22.17! Adam Gorham and myself have been having so much fun on this story, and it’s kind of a dream come true. It’s a Donatello-centric story with a lot of heart and action.

Later in March is the start of my ongoing backup story in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. That should be in every issue for about a year, which is really cool. I’m working with artist Bachan and colorist Triona Farrell, who are both amazing. These pages are some of the most fun stuff I’ve ever been a part of.

I’ve also got an all-ages OGN for a licensed property in the summer which hasn’t been announced yet, and a couple other series, creator-owned and licensed, that are yet to be announced, but I’m beyond excited and grateful for them.

Thank you very much for chatting with me, Ryan


D4VEOCRACY #1 is on sale now. You can find it digitally from the IDW Publishing websitecomiXology, or from your local Comic Book store. 

The first two series, D4VE & 
D4VE2, can be found in Trade format at IDW Publishing website, or from your local Comic Book store. Single issues can also be found digitally at comiXology.

Ryan Ferrier can be located on Twitter and his Blog
Valentine Ramon can be located via his Blog


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