Maria Aurora Rodriguez
1.-When and how did you start to read comics?
I read them before I knew that’s what they were called. When I was I child I used to read some old comics lost in my grandmother’s house: Spiderman, Mortadelo y Filemón, Tin tin, Astrix and Oblix… the usual, but I was very young (5 or 6) and although I could read it I couldn’t understand the story, I preferred to look at the images. I learnt more about comics around 12 years old when I started to read Dibus (a magazine about cartoons, comics, films, manga, etc.) and the first comic I start to collect was W.I.T.C.H.
2.-When did you decide that you want to be illustrator?
Actually I didn’t “decide” it, it’s like the result of my training, I realized that my favorite subject was drawing.
3.-Tell us about your training and your influences.
I studied Fine Arts in Malaga, Spain and after that a Higher National Diploma in traditional and computer animation in Dublin. I think my influences are changing all the time, although I guess the most important are traditional animation and manga, which is the reason why my style is a mixture of both.
4.- Which parts of the illustrator job do you like and dislike?
The thing I like most are those little inspirational moments that sometimes happen; maybe you are listening music and you start to draw without stopping and then you realize the playlist stopped half hour ago.
And the thing I dislike is when someone I respect disregards a project which I worked very hard on, or that had a special meaning to me.
5.- Why did you decide join to the webcomic project of Twist comics?
I was familiar with the project through one of my friends, who is also an illustrator, and when I contacted with the scriptwriter he convinced me. I actually really liked the variety of stories I could choose to illustrate and the good deal with him.
6.- What attracted you to the story that you illustrated?
I really liked that the story was very humorous, but I like it especially because it’s about a group of geeks.
7.- Could you explain your decisions in the design of the main character?
I started by following the scriptwriter’s guide about their personalities and appearance. I imagined them as a very comedic duo, like Laurel and Hardy.
Pedro is an attractive geek guy; I had to think along the lines of a kind of young Kurt Cobain. Hence the blonde hair and the grunge touch in their clothes. All his body and face is long but curve. As for the nose? I know looks like Escaflowne, I wanted his face to be a little imperfect, so that he wouldn’t be the typical good-looking boy, but still cute; I liked him with that pointy nose (also, with a flat nose he looked like a girl XD)
Now Jordi, he is a master geek, metal lover and misogynist; and inspiration behind my design for him was José María from El día de la bestia but younger and a geek. Actually I had no mercy with this character because he was misogynist XD. Nobody told me but I wanted him to be plump and short but very expressive and exaggerated in his speaking. Anyway I ended up loving this character, I enjoy it very much when he causes his own bad luck owing to his big mouth XD.
8.- Do you think that geeks can’t find relationships?
No way, I know a lot of geeks with partners, even some of them are dating “non-geek” people. I think everyone has to be themselves; the mistake is looking for your love in the wrong place or acting different to try to attract the wrong person.
9.-How much time did you spend per page? What’s been your process for drawing it and communicating with the scriptwriter?
I spent around fifteen days per page (because I had my time divided amongst other projects) and the process was:
1- Read the script and solve doubts with the scriptwriter.
3- Digital inking.
5- Speech balloons and dialogues.
We always checked every step and changing things before continuing on.
10.- Which vignette are you proudest of? If there are spoilers please warn us.
I love the last vignette of the last page. This is because we could understand it even without dialogue, and also Jordi’s face is very very funny XD.
11.- What is your next project? What are you working now?
I’m going to continue working for Twist Comics, and I’m also contributing in a blog with my own gag comics.
12.- Which illustration are you proudest of?
An illustration I made for a module of the course I did in animation. It’s a landscape where I try to show a story using a sequence of images. I used a digital watercolor effect for first time, and although it may not be my best illustration it has a special meaning for me.
13.- Returning to the subject of hobbies, which comic are you reading now?
Actually, I guess I’m a heretic in this matter, because I’ve liked more animation than comics so I’m a bit out of date. I read some manga series, the last one I started to follow is Fairy Tale. Also this I’m reading again Astrix and Oblix, BlackSad and Jazz Maynard.
14.- If you knew tomorrow was going to be the start of the apocalypse… What would you do today?
I would go to eat all the stuff my diet doesn’t allow me to eat until I was sated.
15.- What words of greeting would you like to hear at heaven’s gates or in hell?
What are you doing here?! Go back home!
16.- What advice can you give us?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “If you are going to go out in a pair of heels, keep a pair of pumps in your purse!”
17.- If you could eliminate one thing on this planet, what would it be?
The virus… ALL OF THEM.
18.- What good things do you hope will happen for you in the coming months?
I hope to find a good job.
Maria Aurora Rodriguez