Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fernando B. Rodriguez

Name: Fernando B. Rodriguez

What do you do?
I do all of the writing and self-publish the 32 page black and white comic book, Aztec of the City.

Where can we find your work?
They can be purchased by mail and are available at most comic book stores in San Jose, CA. We're awaiting nation-wide distribution sometime this summer. Hopefully, June. There's an Aztec of the City Comic Books page on Facebook 2 view updates and appearances, and we're in the process of changing hosts 2 the website. Once we obtain the barcode scan, the book will be 4sale through as well.

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
Stan Lee and the Marvel Universe is what inspired me to be so passionate about comic books and storytelling and things have been very rough the past 5 years doing the book from Mexico, but I stay motivated through just being thankful2 God N Christ Jesus 4their blessings, love and guidance. Everyday it seems, a new door opens. Plus it helps having an 18 year old son, I love and miss so very much 2keep things in perspective and continue motoring forward with this comic book dream.

What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
Definitely the finished product. This volume 3 version looks spectacular and I couldn't be happier about it. So far, everyone loves the story and cover and that's always exciting2hear. The very first Aztec of the City looked terrible, like a rough draft and not a clean, crisp, clear finished product.

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
Stan Lee was my hero as a kid. I was in awe at his brilliant imagination, creativity and storytelling prowess. Bruce Lee inspired me too. A minority, who struggled for recognition and opportunity in film when Hollywood refused2 open their doors2 his culture, his vision, his dreams.

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
The Silver Surfer has been a longtime favorite. Traveling through the spaceways and galaxies of worlds unseen with unlimited cosmic power. But being Namor, the Sub Mariner, Prince of Atlantis would be kinda cool too.
When do you get your best ideas?
I get them all the time. They come randomly. When I'm on a 6-7 mile run, kickin' it at home on the couch chillin'2 a movie, walking down the street, while reading, trying2get some sleep. Mostly I guess, when there’s a little tranquility, quiet. Sometimes, whenever I'm in a reflective mood. Trying2 sort things out about life, love, loss, happiness, pain. 

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
The old blank 8-1/2 X 11'' papers with pencil. I prefer 2 erase, rather than scribble over with ink. From there, it gets transferred on-line2 share and direct the artist doing the actual job of turning my sketches, my roughs, into a good work of art. I used2 draw and I can draw, but nowhere near as good as the few others who have worked with me like Kasey Quevedo who did volume 2 and Ernie Polo, the Mtn View-based talent behind this new volume 3.

Are you self taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I created, penciled, and colored my very first comic book hero in the 6th grade. The Super-Sonic. Some things I would write in class ended up in the principal's office wall in junior high and after making my own sports pages, distributed2 all my classmates at Washington Elementary and Peter Burnett Jr High, I became San Jose High School's first ever Editor-In-Chief my junior year of an 8-10 page bi-weekly newspaper, the Herald. A title which had always been reserved for a Senior. As a little boy at home, my mom shared my uncle Agustin Rodriguez' book of 120-something poems in Spanish that he had self-published in Morelia, Michoacan. I think more than anything, that little book on her dresser of my tio's poems, planted the seed that self-publishing was what people did that wanted2 share their art. I was 1988 NorCal 10K champion in track at San Jose City College and didn't take advantage of the scholarships offers2 continue at either Chico St, Cal-Poly, Southern Oregon, Northern Arizona and a few other small division 2 and 3 schools. Choosing instead 2coach at San Jose Academy, where we qualified for state as local bay area CCS Divison 4 Cross Country Champions in 1990-91. I think life's journey of a wonderful childhood, street smarts, good friends, family and decent grades all have affected my spin on the universe I have created in an Aztec hero reborn in modern day 2019 San Jose, CA.

What would your creative work taste like?
Delicious and satisfying, leaving you wanting for more, month after month.

When you are not creating what do you like to do?
I'm training2qualify for the World Masters Track&Field Championships held every 2 years for athletes 40 years and older. The next finals are in Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 2013. At the moment, in my age group, I'm ranked #25 in the world but am working hard 2 move up into the top 10. I like playing hoops and when my son Luis, is here every summer, we throw the football around daily at Medano Beach. I'm really good at chess and unbeatable in scrabble. I love to read and read everything. Garbriel Garcia Marquez, ''100 years of Solitude'' was magical. Words in that story were like candy to me and I couldn't put the book down to save my life. When I got hit and run over by a small car in 2008, I spent a month in the hospital recovering with Leo Tolstoy's, "Anna Karenina'' at my bedside.

How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
I truly believe and remember with great fondness, all of the tackle football games we played at Washington Elementary with me at quarterback, calling plays and mixing things up so we all would score touchdowns. You know, in football as quarterback, you throw interceptions and are forced to get past those costly mistakes and keep throwing spirals that find their mark and you win and lose either way. But yeah, I think sports is a great teacher of struggle, unity, challenges, sportsmanship and in many ways the best confidence building game there can be. And well, my mom Lilia Sanchez Rodriguez, passed away at a very young age, and my father too, but I never knew the man. They divorced when my younger brother and I were 4 and 2 years old. She worked very hard, made friends easy, was giving, caring, loving and used to beat our ass too. Whoever I am, is cause of her. She was very stubborn and didn't allow anything2 get in her way. The creativity has been there since kindergarten and I would freely, happily, put things out there. Drawing the bat signal, Speed Racer's Mach-5, Spider-Man or just making things up in a story.

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?
I tell people about one of my  favorite movies, ''La Bamba'', when Bob Morales shows his brother the freehand drawings and mentions the art contest and Ritchie Valens, says, ''Yeah, do it man, go for broke!!'. And to remember that at some point, the art becomes the business and therein lie many more hurdles.

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