December 3, 2023

Interview With ‘Slow Pokes’ Writer Steve Urena

Slow Pokes is a comic book that answers the question of what would happen if Sloths were fast? The projects is currently running on Kickstarter through October 31st.

Slow Pokes Poster
Poster by Vertebrae 33

We sat down with writer Steve Urena to get some more details…

ScareTissue: So… sloths. Not your typical horror monster. What made you come up with this idea?

Steve Urena: If you do a close analysis of the sloth, these animals are nightmare fuel! They look weird, they have claws and to me they are just creepy looking. Slow Pokes came to me a few years ago when Syfy was doing one of the sequels to Sharknado. I was joking with friends and was like what’s next a movie where sloths become fast and kill everyone? That idea stuck with me for many years and when I was taking comic book writing classes with Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience I used it for a project and the rest is history.

ScareTissue: In looking at the character sketches I can’t help to see some of the Scooby Doo gang represented (Charity = Velma, Eden = Daphne, London = Fred, Karate & Hurricane = Scoob and Shaggy) – am I just seeing something that’s not there?

Slow Pokes Characters

Steve Urena: Haha! On further inspection it does kind of look like that, but it was not my intent. A lot of these characters are based on people I know or have had run-ins with. London James is an amalgamation of two of my best friends from college, Charity is based on the strong women in my life, Karate Carlos was the nickname of someone I went to High School with and Eden Rare is loosely based on tech titans of today like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Hurricane does look a little like Red Herring from a Pup Named Scooby Doo though.

I wanted to make sure my characters were diverse and represent the people I know and see on a daily basis. I’m Puerto Rican, Dominican and Chinese so I wanted to have a mix of cultures and backgrounds in my comic.

ScareTissue: Did you have any influences in your character design of the sloths?

Steve Urena: The design of the sloths are my homage to every monster/creature movie I’ve seen. Movies like Gremlins, Ghoulies, Critters, etc. I think sloths are creepy enough to look out, so I don’t think there was too much that had to be done to make them scary.

ScareTissue: What comics have been your inspiration? I can’t help but to see some good ol The Walking Dead as I see these pages.

Steve Urena: I’ve loved comics ever since I was a kid, but I was more influenced by 80s horror movies than horror comics. I wanted to make sure this comic was bloody, colorful, and just downright fun. I remember seeing ridiculous looking horror movies on the shelves of Blockbuster as a kid and it just hooked me in. I wanted to capture that same style when creating Slow Pokes and Juan Romera’s style is perfect for this. The kickstarter lasts until Halloween at 12:01 so I hope everyone checks this out and spreads the word.

Slow Pokes Page

ScareTissue: How did you hook up with Juan and Sean?

Steve Urena: I got lucky my first time out. I had taken classes from Andy Schmidt and Paul Allor in their Comics Experience course and when I decided I wanted to create Slow Pokes through their Creative Services program they set me up with them. I couldn’t be happier with how the comic turned out. Juan and Sean are incredibly talented and brought this crazy idea to life.

Thanks to Steve for sitting down to chat with us. You can check out Slow Pokes on Kickstarter now!


I've been a fan of horror and slasher movies for as long as I can remember. I consider the original Halloween to be the best horror movie of all time and my guilty pleasure horror flick would be The Exorcist III. You can find me on Twitter at @406Northlane or TikTok @406Northlane where I'm sure I'll offend you at least once a day.

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