Nerves Of Steel – Jarred Lujan & Orlando Caicedo Talk ‘Dry Foot’

by James Ferguson

Dry Foot, the latest series from Mad Cave Studios is set to debut this week, following a group of kids in 1980s Miami as they prepare for the heist of a lifetime. I got a chance to speak with writer Jarred Lujan and artist Orlando Caicedo about the project.
Diego Gomez is tired of the drugs and violence that surround him. He wants nothing more than to escape west and leave the neon lights of 1980s Miami behind him. With the help of three friends, Diego hatches a plan to rob the most dangerous gang in the city, Los Marielitos. Filled with Latin-American influences, Dry Foot is a coming-of age-tale that deals with family, friendship, trust, and adversity. Many would kill to live in the Magic City. Others would die to leave it behind.

James Ferguson: How would you describe the four main characters in Dry Foot and how their personalities clash and/or work together?
Jarred Lujan: Okay, so there’s Diego. Diego loves movies and he’s got these big, lofty ambitions for where he wants to go. There’s Mariana, who shares a set of ambitions, but she’s a bit more disciplined and headstrong. Fabian is the cool guy who just wants to chase girls and maybe commit some petty theft. Angel is our big lug who loves his family and is really just happy to be with his friends.
All of the kids love each other. They’re almost an extended family. So, sure, there’s clashes and they annoy each other, but ultimately they work together because they all want pretty much the same thing: the best for everyone.

JF: This group of kids sets their sights pretty high with their plan to rob the most dangerous gang in the city. Is this a case of “Go big or go home”? Or do they just feel that confident?
JL: I think it’s a case of confidence and necessity. They have that sort of teenage I Know More Than Everyone Else confidence and the goal is a pretty big one, so why not take everything you need in one swoop?

JF: What brought you to this setting and time period for Dry Foot? Did you have to resist the temptation to fill this with references to ’80s pop culture?
Orlando Caicedo: As far as the visuals go, I tried to aim more for a ‘feel’ of the 80’s. I didn’t want to get too bogged down with references and super accurate depictions. I wanted the story to get center stage and show more the development of these characters and their relationships.
JL: Mad Cave sort of had us set up with the Miami in the 80’s route when Orlando and I came on board. I spent so much time in research for this book, from movies to old newspaper stories to history texts. I feel SUPER connected to this time and, specifically, Miami now. While there’s some 80’s references in the comic, like movies and stuff, Orlando nails it: this is a story that really zooms in on our characters and THEIR story.

JF: How did the design of the characters come about?
OC: Their designs were based off of kids and adults I grew up with, lots of Miami references from the web, and a little bit of Menudo.
JF: What else can fans expect from Dry Foot?
OC: You can definitely expect some crazy action, high stakes, and nerves of steel.
JL: There’s jokes, there’s drama, there’s big secrets! Plus, it has some of the most gorgeous art you could ask for. This is an amazing looking book with a tremendous amount of heart poured into it. It may be a little biased, but trust me, folks: You don’t want to miss out.
Comicon would like to thank Jarred Lujan and Orlando Caicedo for taking the time to speak with us. Dry Foot #1 is set fo release on September 9th, 2020. 

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