Every comic fan has always dreamed of making their own stories about their heroes. From a simple ‘what if Goku would battle the Sentry?’ to ‘what if Wolverine got the power of Darkseid and battled Krang?’ Eventually, some fans develop their skills, and they would go on ahead so they can recreate their heroes and create their own universe. If you want proof, look no further than the current trend of writers of our well-known comic based movies. Those writers and young directors were also once fans when they were kids and now they’re living the dream.
And that’s what animator Joel Furtado did as well: Joel, a big fan of the X-Men since he was 6 years old has just come up with a web series based on the 90’s version of the X-Men (that I can say, every one loved and grew up with).
What’s A Geek’s Gem Bataclan was able to chat with Joel to talk about his first ever Web Series project, X-Men: Danger Room Protocols.
GEM (G): Who is Joel Furtado? [A brief background on where you’re from and how you started your work in animation.]
JOEL FURTADO (JF): After graduating from Emily Carr University with a fine arts degree, majoring in Animation, I began working immediately in the gaming industry. I’ve worked as an animator and art director for the past 10 years in both gaming and television. I’ve worked for companies such as Electronic Arts and Microsoft. I decided a year ago to take a break, taking a full year off. During this time I decided to create the series, X-men: Danger Room Protocols.
G: What are your other projects in animation you did before venturing on doing your own X-Men universe?
JF: Mostly I’ve just been animating at work, as my job would take a lot of my time and creative energy. This will be the first self-directed project I’ve done since my grad film at school. In the past, I’ve done small animations for fun on the side, which you can find on youtube. One fan trailer I made of Zelda actually went viral, with over a million views in the first couple weeks.
(A sample of Joel’s animation!)
(Joel’s fanmade trailer for Zelda)
G: How were you introduced to the X-Men?
JF: Growing up I was always a huge fan of the X-men, from the age of six onwards. I read a lot of comics as a kid, and still have an enormous collection. I was nine years old when the animated series came out, and it only solidified my love for the content and characters. As an animator, I had always wanted to create a fan project around X-men but never knew what to do or when I would have time to do it. I’m pretty happy I finally got to make it, and I’m very proud of the end result.
G: Who is your favorite X-Men character? Or if there’s many of them, like your Top 3 favorite X-Men?[and why?]
JF: My favorite character has always been Storm. I think what first drew me in was her powers, and how visual they are. I always liked her strong character, and at a time in comics where there was little diversity, I always appreciated having an African female character leading a superhero team.
Now it’s a love/hate relationship though, [haha], as she has proven to be the hardest character to animate out of the cast. Some of my other favorites would be Nightcrawler and Psylocke.
(from Joel’s IG: a BTS of Storm VS Sauron)
(from Joel’s IG: a BTS of Psylocke’s Kocho-Gakure or Psychic Butterfly Attack)
G: What made you decide to make this web series?
JF: It was something I always wanted to do, and I had been experimenting with new animation styles, and came up with one I thought would be the perfect fit. I think of the episodes almost like an animated webcomic, showing maybe 5-10 pages out of a comic. I think the length is perfect for youtube, and able to hold people’s attention.
G: Based on your online post, you planned and started this web series a year ago. How was the experience of doing this project? Because from what I read and saw, you’re making your own X-Men animated universe, and you’re doing it right[from my own perspective].
JF: It has been a good experience so far, and also the most challenging one I’ve ever had. I think at this point, I’ve been working 6 or 7 days a week, 10-15 hour days for the past 6 months. The project has been in development for about a year that’s right. Typically one person doesn’t create a project like this as there are many different skill sets required, but I’m doing my best to cover them all. That can sometimes make things very hard, but I think I’ve been able to manage okay.
G: If given a chance to make a spin-off or another web series, which X-Men hero [or other hero] you wanted to make this time?
JF: I think if I were to do another web series I would make something entirely different from X-men, but if I were ever to revisit X-men it would be fun to create an ongoing storyline, with proper dialogue and include lots of characters and fan favorites who didn’t make it in this time around.
I would probably switch up the art style as well, and try something different.
G: Lastly, in your own perspective, What’s a Geek?
JF: [Hrmm, haha]that’s a tough question. For me it’s someone who’s passionate about something. That could really be anything, from comics, games, sports, whatever your hobbies are really. I’ve never been self-conscious about the things I’m interested in or passionate about, and I would encourage people to do the same.
You can also view the Official Launch of Web Series here, or you can check the Youtube link below,
‘X-Men: Danger Room Protocol’ is out now and ready for viewing at joelfurtado.com.
The first episode will premiere on Tuesday, January 19, and here’s the synopsis:
You can also support Joel’s work by giving a pledge on his art and animation through this website, https://www.patreon.com/joelyface.