The Creators of INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK TWO Discuss Bringing the Hero Back to Kickstarter
INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK TWO, the highly anticipated sequel to the explosively successful graphic novel, INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK ONE is returning to Kickstarter. The gripping series combines the best elements of a superhero drama, dynamic storytelling, world-building of Japanese tokusatsu superheroes, and the intrigue and relationship drama of British boarding school fiction.
Writer Mat Groom (known for Marvel Comics‘ ULTRAMAN and Image‘s ULTRAMASSIVE) and artist Erica D’Urso (recognized for their work on CAPTAIN MARVEL and XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS) have once again joined forces to deliver another superpowered entry to Inferno Girl Red. They are joined by the original creative team, including the talented colorist Igor Monti, letterer Becca Carey, editor Kyle Higgins, and design agency FOR THE PEOPLE.
INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK TWO Kickstarter campaign invites you to delve deeper into the beloved world of legendary hero INFERNO GIRL RED. The campaign will give readers the opportunity to not only jump into the new chapter of the story but also grab a copy of BOOK ONE in digital or deluxe, oversized hardcover formats.
INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK TWO continues the journey of Cássia Costa, who embraced an ancient power to become the heroic INFERNO GIRL RED. After protecting Apex City from its first major threat, Cássia faces the consequences of her actions. She must forge a relationship with a new mentor and expand her team, as a villainous duo rises and new challenges emerge.
The Kickstarter edition of INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK TWO comes in an oversized, deluxe hardcover format, matching the first book. Backers will receive a Kickstarter-exclusive cover and gain access to behind-the-scenes materials unavailable elsewhere. This edition features 120 pages of action-packed Inferno Girl Red superheroics along with additional pages of behind-the-scenes content.
Check out our interview with the creative minds behind Inferno Girl Red and be sure to join the action in INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK TWO by heading over to the official Kickstarter page and getting your copy.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me for the Geek Network. I’d like to start at the beginning, as the best stories do. How did the three of you meet? What made you want to work together?
MAT: I was introduced to Erica after a genuinely painstaking search for an artist and co-creator. I knew I wanted to have a female collaborator to help bring that perspective because of the nature of the story, but I also knew we’d need someone who could handle both heartfelt human emotion and also blistering action. (IGR editor) Kyle Higgins and myself were asking everyone we knew for recommendations, but when we saw Erica’s work, we knew right away we’d found the perfect person.
Finding Igor was a similar process– we’d seen his work on MEGA MAN, and we were just blown away… he felt like a totally fresh perspective in the world of comic coloring, and we knew straight away that he could bring the energy and vibrancy that would be needed to match Erica. He also uses light in such a masterful way, which is an important part of our book, about the flames of hope burning the darkness. His work has become such a huge part of the book’s identity
ERICA: One day a colleague reached out to me saying he’d suggested me for a job. I didn’t expect too much because many times it happens that it’s not a good fit for the project. But this time was the exception! The project was out of my comfort zone in some ways, because I’d never watched tokusatsu stuff—it was all new to me and I wasn’t sure it was me they wanted for Inferno Girl Red. But the more time I spent on the project, the more I loved it, and now I’m really happy to be part of this team.
IGOR: Kyle did the magic: he wrote me talking about my colors and in a blink of an eye we were talking about Inferno Girl Red. After e-meeting Mat and Erica I understood that it was the right project.
Where did the concept for Inferno Girl Red come from? Did one person come up with the concept and you two built it together or was it a joint effort from day one?
MAT: I wanted to create a superhero book that was welcoming and accessible, that would invite people in who maybe haven’t had much experience with superhero comics before, and that would feel like a really timely and meaningful representation of what it means to come of age in today’s world. I sketched out the shape of the story, the themes and early thoughts on the characters… but once Erica came on-board as co-creator, we worked collaboratively to build out this world and give shape and meaning. So much of Erica is infused all throughout the book, now.
Speaking of inviting people in, I would like to say– both BOOK ONE and BOOK TWO are available as part of our Kickstarter campaign, and I encourage anyone and everyone to check it out and see if it’s for you.
For those who don’t know, INFERNO GIRL RED is the story of Cássia Costa– a teenage girl who bounced from city-to-city as her mother struggled to find work. After a difficult upbringing she gets a chance to redefine her future when she’s invited to an extremely prestigious academy, in the near-utopian Apex City. Everything is looking up for Cássia– until the entire city is ripped out of our universe and cast into darkness, taking Cássia’s hopes of a brighter future with it.
But she gets a chance to turn things around when a magical bracelet rockets into her life, empowering her to take on the legacy mantle of INFERNO GIRL RED– though the bracelet is powered by belief, forcing Cássia to find a reason to hope when all seems lost, so she can live up to a secret legacy, save her only family, and protect her new home!
ERICA: Mat and I worked together to create something that could feel realistic, close to us enough to empathize with their characters and places. He told me how he wanted some things, gave me references, and I worked around everything. Igor added the last touches that we needed to shape the first book—without him we wouldn’t have Inferno Girl Red as we know it.
Saying the book is beautiful feels like an understatement. The world you’ve created, with each little touch. Nothing feels extra, nothing feels without purpose. The characters feel alive, and Inferno Girl? You can feel her movement across the page. It’s a 3D character on a 2D page. How did you come up with the designs and the craftsmanship?
ERICA: Designing is probably my favorite part. I enjoy proposing different ideas, I have plenty of them and Inferno Girl Red was a world to create almost from zero. All I had was what Mat wrote about it and some vague ideas of the concepts. I had to study a little about what was the meaning of a tokusatsu comic/series, because before this project I never really dug into it, so it was fun to learn something new! I understood I wanted to test my abilities on something I never tried but keep working on a story where I could feel close to the characters and their feelings.
IGOR: Erica did an amazing job with the design of the characters and environments. My main goal was to keep that dynamism and give honor to the amazingness of the pages. My approach was to try a cinematic style, to give to the reader the vibes you have watching a film.
The moments between Cássia and her mother were some of my favorites. As someone who grew up with a single parent, I truly felt their story beyond just what was on the page. How did you go about building their relationship?
MAT: I think stories about teenagers are somewhat necessarily also stories about parents– but since we’re always trying to make sure IGR is fresh and compelling, I wanted to avoid the superhero tropes of the past. Rather than it being about hiding the secret identity from the parents, or dead parents motivating the hero, or the parents secretly being the villains… I wanted Cássia and her mother to have a strong, close, (mostly) healthy relationship. I’m sure people like yourself who grew up with a single parent knows how important and strong those bonds can often be… so I wanted to reflect that, and make it an important foundation for Cássia’s story.
ERICA: Mat did the huge part, I simply did my best to express their emotions on paper. I tried to imagine myself as Cassia or Ana to understand their feelings and represent them for the better.
With Inferno Girl Red being a mini-series, and also being described as a Massive-Verse series- what can we expect from the Inferno Girl Red universe? No spoilers of course, but I know I’m itching to get more from you guys.
MAT: Well, there being more is contingent on our campaign getting funded, so that’s another reason to check out our campaign! But assuming we can move forward, obviously we’d like to do more IGR books, but being a part of the Massive-Verse affords us all sorts of opportunities. For example, Cássia (as IGR) and the villain of BOOK ONE, The Griffin, are playable character decks in our forthcoming MASSIVE-VERSE FIGHTING CARD GAME, which will be hitting shelves next year. We love to be able to experiment in new forms, like this… and while I can’t say much more, our hope is to bring IGR to other forms and places soon.
IGOR: Everything is super top secret, ahah! But talking about my personal dreams, I’d love to see an IGR animated series one day… who knows, I like to dream big 🙂
Where can readers follow you for updates?
MAT: You can find our Kickstarter campaign by going to infernogirlred.com, you can follow IGR on Twitter/X by searching for @infernogirlred, my website is matgroom.com and I’m on Twitter/X as @mathewgroom.
ERICA: They can follow me on Twitter as @Erica_DUrso and Instagram as @erucchan.
IGOR: Our new readers and new friends can follow me on IG: igor.monti or Twitter/X: @igormontiart.
It’s silly but I think it’s important: What animal do you think you could take in a fight?
MAT: Aw, I don’t want to hurt animals! Though I think most animals could do more harm to me than I could do for them. But if I had to choose… I guess a sloth? But that feels mean. Please don’t make me fight a sloth.
ERICA: I’m totally against animal fighting, I feel bad enough making my Pokémons fight in the first place, ahah. But I can tell you one of my favorite animals: the pangolin!
IGOR: I don’t like animal fights, but if I was directly involved in a fight as an animal, I’d probably be a bear.
Finally, What do you think people should know about Inferno Girl a Red, you as individuals, or you as a creative force?
MAT: INFERNO GIRL RED is a huge labor of love, we’re all so passionate about it, and I think it genuinely contributes something positive to the world… so I hope you’ll check out our Kickstarter.
Oh, and if I may—my artist friend Kelly McMahon will be launching a Kickstarter campaign of her own soon, for her newest set of gorgeous illustrated playing cards, inspired by the roaring 20s and crime noir—and I wrote a murder mystery featuring the characters from the card art which you can experience and solve while playing any of your favorite card games with the cards. That project is called BAD BLOOD, and it’ll be launching on Kickstarter soon!
ERICA: I think Inferno Girl Red is a great story, telling about friendship, belief, and self-esteem. The growth of the characters feels “human” and it isn’t something you always see in a mini-series. Plus, you can enjoy some nice action and a tokusatsu-vibe comic!
IGOR: IGR is not just a novel about someone with superpowers with no reasons—it’s something bigger, full of kindness, energy, friendship, and hope. And we all need hope.
Do I know Sabrina? Sabrina…Sabrina….Oh, you mean her? Yeahh. She’s wild. Homegirl throws solo dance parties in her bedroom. She writes like nobody’s reading…because they aren’t (yet). She is an award-winning baker, and has seen every episode of every season of ALL the Star Treks, and Stargates except Stargate Universe because it wasn’t right. Perpetual teenager. 4’11 of sass and sarcasm. She’s obsessed with cats. Single if you can believe it. All around nerd, and just too weird for her own good. AND SHE’S PROUD OF IT?