INTERVIEW: Michel Fiffe on G.I. JOE ‘SIERRE MUERTE’ and COPRA

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Michel Fiffe has been very busy lately. Last year saw him bring back Bloodstrike over at Image. This year he’s not only taken on a new G.I. Joe mini-series, ‘Sierre Muerte’, from IDW, he’s also brought his cult favorite series Copra to a new home at Image. Michel took a little bit of time to have a chat with us at Monkeys Fighting Robots to talk about all of this and a little more. Read on and then make sure you check out both G.I. Joe: Sierre Muerte and Copra!

MFR: So let’s start with some history. Where you a huge G.I. Joe fan? The comic and the toys?

Michel Fiffe: Mostly the cartoons. I became a fan of the comics as a seasoned reader. I was hypnotized by Larry Hama’s free-flowing, intricate soap opera.
MFR: For those who didn’t pick up issue #1, can you roughly give us a synopsis for ‘Sierra Muerte’? And where does issue #2 find the characters?
Fiffe: Everything hits the fan, so we’re left to see if these characters reckon with the possibility that their existence is indeed a vortex of meaninglessness or not. It’s a barn burner.
Michel Fiffe
MFR: Can you hint at where the story is heading (without spoiling of course)?
FIFFE: Dammit, Manny, there’s no way to not spoil it!
MFR: Did anything specific inspire ‘Sierre Muerte’? 
FIFFE: My desire to see more Latin American nations, fictional or not, represented in the Joe-verse.
MFR: Did you have any access to research on the property, or did you just use your own knowledge as a fan?
FIFFE: I had access to my back issues for general inspiration, but I wasn’t citing anything specific from previous material.
MFR: What about the G.I. Joe universe do you find appealing? What drew you to the project? Fiffe
FIFFE: A disparate group of hard-asses with fully realized personalities and an iconic nemesis to constantly confront? There’s no way I wasn’t gonna find this appealing.
MFR: Are there any other old/childhood properties you want to take a stab at?
FIFFE: There are a couple, yeah, but nothing I can even begin to daydream about. Too swamped.
MFR: Ok, time for some favorites. Favorite Joe? Favorite Cobra? What about a favorite episode of the cartoon? And finally favorite old school issue of G.I. Joe?
FIFFE: Rock N Roll. Cobra Commander. The movie. Issue 104.
 MFR: Okay if we can briefly talk about Copra’s move to Image. What sparked that move?
FIFFE: My desire to no longer self publish and concentrate on making COPRA comics on the regular again.
Fiffe
MFR: For those folks not privy to Copra’s concept, give us a rundown. 
FIFFE: The Dirty Dozen by way of a psychedelic newsprint press. Revenge & violence, live & laffs, fleshed-out characters, all hand-crafted by me. It’s exactly what I want an action comic book to be.
MFR: What do you hope to get from having Copra under the Image Comics banner?
FIFFE: More people discovering the title.
MFR: Are you going to expand the Copra world? Spin-offs? Guest creators? Anything like that?
FIFFE: Nothing like that. I just wrapped up a mini-series and have no plans to ever deviate from the core series. I might have a pin-up or some fan art, but most of it will be 100% me.
MFR: Are there any other projects on deck you can talk about?
FIFFE: C-O-P-R-A
MFR: Okay, final question! What stuff are you digging lately? TV Shows, comics, movies…anything you have taken in that has really has been awesome?
FIFFE: Jesusfreak is a great comic, highly recommended. Been listening to Secret Chiefs 3 for weeks on end at this point. This season of The Bachelor stunk but I bet Paradise is gonna be good. Legacy Music Hour forever!

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Manuel Gomez
Assistant Comic Book Editor. Manny has been obsessed with comics since childhood. He feels every New Comic Book Day is a holiday. He also probably plays way too much Magic: The Gathering.

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