I had an opportunity to sit down with Ryan "Master Legion" Mojica and talk about Legion Studios and see what he and his crew are up to.
Decapitated Dan: Hey Ryan thanks for taking the time to talk to me about Legion Studios. Lets start off simple. What is Legion Studios all about?
Ryan Mojica: Legion Studios is a combination of my love for classic horror, dark literature and spiritual warfare. I was raised watching shows like Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, and Tales from the Darkside and had an insatiable love for horror movies as a young lad. Yet I was also born into a very “God” fearing environment…which only left me to brood over the “enemy” and delve into the mysteries of man’s wickedness even more. I always found it so intriguing that the supposed “Christian” that so proudly goes to church every Sunday may also be the “hypochristian” who cheats on his wife. It’s these kinds of elements that we apply into some of our stories and revel “man’s” natural, sinful, human nature.
DD: How long have you been working in comics?
RM: Technically I’ve been working on comics since the early ‘90’s doing short stories here and there for small Indy publishers. Most of them never took off, let alone got published. I got my first “real” break back in ’98 when Hart Fisher from Boneyard Press gave me a shot with his title, Bill the Bull. From there I went on to illustrate several other titles and pin ups, including Babylon Crush, Dark Angel and pin ups for Glenn Danzig’s Verotik. I stuck around there for awhile until branching off to do my own project and haven’t missed it since.
DD: Do you notice that you have a strong following as an independent company that has been around for a while now?
RM: I can’t say that we have a following that can fill a building or anything (at least not yet, heh), but what I do know is that our “legionnaires” are definitely loyal and supportive. It is definitely through their allegiance that we keep this blazing fire of immortality lit. They truly are the fuel that keeps this fire burning.
DD: After reading some of your books I notice that Horror wise you tend to lean towards a more Satanic approach. Why did you decide to take on this specific genre as opposed to the more traditional monsters and zombies?
RM: I love monsters and Zombies just as much as the next guy, but personally is there anything there? No. The “Satanic” element is prevalent only because of the true nature of it all. Again, I think we all struggle with spiritual elements in some form or another. Rather than just throw it all out on the table, I’d much rather graze the surface and allow the reader to decide for themselves.
DD: Do you feel that you have had to conform to this style to stay in the game? Would you want to branch out more?
RM: It’s interesting you ask that, ironically I think it’s the “satanic” elements that keep me OUT of the game. A lot of people are afraid of what they don’t understand and shy away from it. However at the same time those same people have no idea how close they actually are to being knee deep in it, thus my opinion. As the years go by I feel we do “branch out” time to time with other titles in the horror genre. I think as a growing comic company it’s pointless not to expand your horizon. Nonetheless, for me to “conform” to something would be going totally against what I started…I feel if I just keep doing what I’ve been doing for five years now it will eventually pay off…and if not than I at least can die comfortably knowing that I went out doing what I love.
DD: So what books are you and your team currently working on?
RM: Right now were currently working on Queen of Sin 3, the long awaited Book of Legion 3, a “Movie-Adaptation” of Master’s Devils and Geoffrey Graves, Kitty Zombie. We also have another series currently being tossed around by myself and Jeremiah Buckel with a working title called Satan’s Circus.
DD: What got you into working in comics?
RM: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t raised on super heroes. I remember trying to copy the artwork from my older brother’s Batman, Spiderman and X-men comics and pissing him off for bending the pages. All I know is, as far back as I remember, I was fascinated with comic books and artwork. As the years went by, I developed my own style and sent in submission after submission to Marvel, DC, and other big names. I guess after no luck I turned my attention toward my other passion and found my true calling in horror comics…and it worked. Ironically now those “big names” have seen the demand for the horror genre and established it into their books (rolls eyes)…humph…don’t get me started.
DD: If you could work with anyone in the industry past or present who would it be and why?
RM: Simon Bisley, Frank Frazetta, Greg Capullo and Basil Gogos…because their artwork is horrifically beautiful, nuff said.
DD: What books are you currently reading?
RM: Honestly, I’m not reading any comics these days. I’m sure if I looked hard enough I would find some titles here and there that I would like. But I find it easier to ignore other books as to not get influenced or upset that someone is or has done something that I may have had conjuring in my head…you know?
DD: What can we expect from Legion Studios 5 years down the road?
RM: We recently launched our production company called Nine Day Fall Productions and are currently in production of our first live-action short film based after one of our best-selling comics called, Master’s Devils (www.MastersDevilsTheMovie.com). The film stars Deneen Melody, Sofiya Smirnova, Kaylee Williams, Kristin Montgomery , Alyxandra Brinkman, and Ari “First Jason” Lehman. I’ll be working with Terence Muncy from Warbranch Productions to bring this project to life by late 2009/early 2010. So aside from more comics, guess I can promise a “fire” in the independent film industry too. From Comics to SINema…we are forever.
DD: If you could sum up LS in one sentence what would it be?
RM: How about two? As long as SIN hungers for its hosts, we will be here making the most of it. Heroes come and Villains go, but SIN is forever!
DD: Thanks for your time Ryan. It is much appreciated.
RM: Much Obliged!
If you want to learn more about Legion Studios and see what else they are up to you can at http://www.legionsden.com/