And this time I got a hold of Rodrigo Ybanez Garcia (which is a very creative and talented graphic designer, artist and comics maker from Mexico).
Thank you very much for your time Rodrigo =) With that said, would you be so kind and introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi there! My name is Rodrigo Ybanez Garcia. I’m a graphic designer, and I’m currently dedicated to making comics.
Do you remember how everything started for you when it comes to reading, creating and drawing comics and pictures?
My interest in comics started in 1994 reading Batman: Knightfall during the comic boom in Mexico. Then in 1997 I finally read The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and in retrospective, you could say there was no turning back.
Artistically, I always have been drawing since a young age, but even today, I´m pretty much a novice. I use to work with other artists when I need to create comics or illustrations for my projects.
Are there any comics and other artists that you truly like and look up to? If so, who and why?
I think a list would be practically endless regarding influences I got during the years, including artists from Capcom games, Batman artists from the 90s, 90s manga and anime and many more.
When I work, I try to recreate (or at least try to keep it in my mind) the style of Ed Benes, a Brazilian artist with a lot of works done for DC, including Justice League and Superman.
I like a lot how he portraits female characters and it´s my favorite above others like J. S. Campbell, Marc Silvestri, Michael Turner, among others. Benes also has a school in Brazil and I try to absorb the style from his students.
What’s the comics scene like in Mexico? And which comics are really popular in Mexico now Vs then?
I really can’t talk about the Mexican comic book industry because it´s very small compared with the international market. The Mexican reader is currently focused in manga.
Manga also is a really big competition for American comics, including Marvel. Usually, local projects are ignored not only by readers, but also by publishers. The market usually focuses on projects that already have been successful outside Mexico.
I’m more than curious to hear the story behind how the “Red Ninja Momiji” comics came to be, because I have a feeling that it’s been quite an adventure for you so I bet (when, where, how and why?).
Momiji started as an OC I did randomly in 2014, but then everything around her started to grow and decided to turn it into a solid project.
Around 2015, I started to go to Oscar Alferez Art School, where I worked more on the details of the character, the world around her, the type of adventures she would have and the aesthetics in her stories.
It’s been mostly a difficult process with a lot of obstacles in the way, since my main market is in the USA, while I´m confined in my homeland. But overall, it has been a growing experience.
What could you tell us about the main character of your Red Ninja Momiji comics? (Momiji) And could you perhaps give us a brief introduction to what the Red Ninja Momiji comic is all about?
Momiji is basically a mercenary and bounty hunter in a world were corporations are mostly in control of society, technology and even law enforcement.
There are no superheroes in her world, so you could say the battles she fights are more for economic reasons rather than idealistic ones, but the character is a little more than that. She has some sense of justice and considers killing unnecessary, so sometimes, she can be a heroine.
She fights other mercenaries a lot of the time, so she doesn´t always have the time for consideration for the people around. As a result, she often founds herself in moral dilemmas about completing a given job and causing the least possible harm.
I truly admire that you are a man of culture, because just like me you love thick women. So, in all seriousness. Have you always been into drawing thick and beautiful women? And do you remember how it all started for you?
I have a lot of influence from some hentai artists, including Butcha-U, who makes his female characters kinda thick and pleasant to watch.
I do it because I think American comic books don´t like to do it that much (even in past decades) because they want to keep their stuff PG-13 as much as possible, while I want to create stuff for a more “adult” audience.
I think I always had that interest even as a teenager when I tried to copy characters like Morrigan from Darkstalkers in my notebooks.
I also got a follow-up question on the same topic. Why do you think that so many people and big-name companies in the comic, video game and movie industry are so afraid of the female form nowadays?
I mean, there almost seem to be this fear and hate against female boobs, thickness and beauty…
I remember Razorfist (a Youtuber) mentioning in a podcast that Marvel and DC have always been social justice warriors, even back in the day and censorship has always been present in a way or another…So the current state of comics is mostly the result of that previous censorship.
Indy comics got away with that for a time, but they also got absorbed by this Puritanism. I think the main reason this Puritanism is so strong now is not just the current politics around fake inclusivity, feminism and progressivism, but it´s also because the mainstream has absorbed the comic book industry.
The industry wants everything to be as clean as possible, and the progressives use that in order to force their views and their own brand of aesthetics in the name of their political values.
Corporations love to say they are against sexism and racism, and the artists in charge of the modern industry are obsessed with sexism and racism.
I think that´s the reason why social justice warriors have been tolerated to the point they keep destroying entire franchises. Disney buying Marvel was like an atom bomb exploding over the industry.
Speaking of the fear of female boobs. I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard about the “unrealistic standards”, broken spine” and “where are her organs” argument right?
I for one sure have, because SJWs keep on screaming at me (and others) that thick and fit females are unrealistic…Well, what’s your take on that subject?
It’s a very stupid argument, because I´m pretty sure most of that people have no knowledge of anatomy or physiology to use that as a way to shame artists and consumers. I believe is just desperation from their part because they can’t find any other way to shame people for the moment.
There is a lot of body types and artists, while talented, sometimes focus on one type of body because that´s what they have practiced for.
Let’s remember this, some “people” praise obesity and they prefer to ignore obesity causes harm to articulations in general for carrying all that extra weight.
I don’t know how much Hitomi Tanaka’s breasts weigh, but I´m pretty sure she is far in a better place than a woman with an overweight of 250 kilograms. We know people end confined in their beds because their bodies can´t tolerate the extra weight for too long.
What has the response and feedback been like since the release of the first issue of the Red Ninja Momiji comic?
I’m gonna be honest, it has been very small, although the support I have has been continuous from fans and colleagues who are still waiting for Volume 2 and I hope to make more comics using that support.
I’m not sure about how much I’ve been able to sell on every platform, but for example, one of those, Comixcentral, closed recently their doors and it pains me my comic didn’t get enough attention to help a site like theirs to survive. It’s really hard to create attention towards your product when your resources are very limited.
I would like to have more comics made in order to support some of those sites and create interest by offering more products, but for me, it has been a truly slow process.
What would you say that you’re the proudest of so far when it comes to your comics and drawings and why?
I’m proud of the comics I’ve created with the help of the artists I had the chance to work with, including Leo Matos, Oscar Alferez (my art teacher) and my friend Skyraptor (who has been making pin-ups of my characters for a long time).
I prefer to work with others because I like to see my characters in ways I wouldn’t be able to make for myself. I enjoy the feeling of creating a character or a scene from a director’s point of view.
Surely you must have heard about all the drama and scandals surrounding Blizzard as of late right? (the Blitzchung and Blizzcon “Incident”).
Well, I would love to hear what you think about the said subject, especially since Blizzard does everything they can to silence and punish those who support Hong Kong and It’s people who are fighting for their freedom.
It’s something bad in the way a corporation and an entire political party from other countries have the ability to screw over people with absolute impunity.
Corporations and countries want to create a homogeny regarding economic and politics, but they know that´s impossible because they can´t control people, but still, they will try to do it as hard as they can.
Blizzard wants to force their ideals and make an obligation for their consumers to bend the knee permanently in exchange of nothing. China also wants the world to adjust to their own ideals and uses corporations to stop any dissidence. I´m afraid this is gonna get worse with enough time.
Since you’ve been in the comics game for quite some time now, I just have to ask you about your thoughts on comicsgate? Furthermore, what’s it been like to be an indie comics artists/creator in today’s comics industry?
I’ve been mostly disconnected from Comicsgate because I don´t want to take sides regarding internal drama. I just want to say that thanks to Comicsgate in general, I´ve been able to make a business and work in a way the mainstream industry would never give me a chance.
I have been beneficiated indirectly by a group of people who have been largely defamed as racists and xenophobes just because they don´t want to read Ms. Marvel or admit Captain Marvel as the most popular character ever as Marvel wishes they to do. I’m the evidence they have zero issues with people from other countries.
As you probably already know more than well…The political correctness levels are now higher than ever before. So with that fresh in mind, what’s your thoughts on cancel culture, censorship and the on-going SJW madness in general?
And what do you think that we could do in-order to fight back against all of this madness?
It’s really a scary prospect, because all you do is to offend the wrong person. I remember when in the UK all they needed to do to remove a commercial from the most recent videogame in the early 2000s was to make a phone call to the broadcast and the commercial with a cost of thousands of dollars is forever out from TV.
Now with social media, it’s worse and these people can talk to pay processors and effectively shut down your entire livelihood and celebrate it on Twitter.
I don’t see any solution except A) turn the cancel culture against them and shut them down the same way they do to others or B) wait for the laws to change in order to mitigate external intervention over “morality” on social media, but that would need politicians to give a damn about this topic at some point.
The irony is that payments processors and banks probably have no issue managing money they might know come from doubtful origins (like drug cartels). But the same consideration is not for the person with the wrong opinions over politics.
We have now reached the very end of this interview. So here’s my very last question for you. What are your plans, expectations and hopes for the rest of the year? And is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?
My goal for the end of the year is to relaunch Red Ninja Momiji Vol. 1 in a new format and lots of extras before launching Volume 2. I want to create another title if possible, with a new female character that I´m working on. I’m also having thoughts about exploring the erotic genre of comics in the near future.
Lastly, I would like to say thanks to my friends and fans of Momiji for their help and patience. I have lots of issues regarding my priorities but I hope this next year to produce more content often. Thanks to you for this opportunity to speak to your audience.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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