Decapitated Dan: Hey Angel. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about Gunbreed and what else your working on.First of all let’s talk about you. Who are you and what do you do?
Angel Fuentes: I’m a writer born and raised in Puerto Rico. I’ve been writing comics since 1997. Most of my work has been self published locally. I’m currently finishing my masters’ degree in screenwriting. Some of my past works are Parallel Zero, Santa Cristal, and Gunbreed (the original 1999 version).
DD: How did you find yourself getting into making comics?
AF: I found my passion for comics by accident. When my first girlfriend left me, a friend gave me a comic to get my mind off her. That was Speedball number nine by Steve Ditko. It was a really cheesy story, but it opened my mind to what comics could be. After that, I quickly began to draw my own cheesy comics in construction paper, until I realized I suck at drawing. So I partnered up with some friends, real artists, and I wrote stories for them. The rest is history.
DD: So what can you tell me about Gunbreed?
AF: Gunbreed is a supernatural western tale about a sheriff in the old west who witnesses the killing of his son and the people he protects at the hands of a gang of crooks that have become involved with magic.
DD: Who are the main characters?
Henry “Black Cloud” Stevens is the leader of the gang. He’s a vicious violent man. He makes a deal to sacrifice Powder Cain’s town in order to resurrect his dead girlfriend.
Samuel is a wizard with his own plans and agenda. He uses the gang to take control of the town.
DD: Where did this idea come from?
AF: My inspirations for Gunbreed are more western than horror. This particular story is very much influenced by Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven and some of the old spaghetti westerns. The supernatural twist is something was not done much at the time (this was back in 1998-99). The new version of the story, Ghost Town Resurrected, is a darker take. AC_Osorio provided art and colors on it and Carlos Mangual did the lettering.
DD: What are you hoping readers can take away from this story?
AF: I mostly hope people get entertained by it and come back for more. It’s a supernatural western tale with lots of flying limbs and exploding corpses. And the art is awesome!
DD: Can we expect more in the near future?
AF: We will publish Gunbreed as a series of self-contained one-shot comics for now. Ghost Town Resurrected was the first. The next one will be Haunted Guns that should come out by January 2010. There is also a Gunbreed short story in the first issue of our anthology book RBA Presents, available right now through our website www.razorbladeaple.com.
AF: RBA Studios was founded in late 2006 by artist Ozzy Fernandez and myself. Our Marketing Director is Rikky Carrion, and AC_Osorio is our Art Director. We also have Denise Fernandez as Editor and Ivonne Falcon as Assistant Art Director. So far we’re working with over 22 artists and writers from PR and several parts of the US.
Our stories explore genres such as Supernatural, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. We produce and distribute our comics locally in Puerto Rico, but are attempting to conquer the American market through conventions in Orlando and New York. However, we do have all our comics for sale online at our website’s store.
DD: What kinds of titles have you put out so far?
AF: We currently have two titles being published: RBA Presents, an anthology book by various artists and writers that features original Supernatural, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy stories, currently up to issue #3; and Leviathans, an action adventure book written by myself with art by Ana Bruno, about a reality show on dragon hunting. We recently published issue 2 of Leviathans and a complementary one-shot special called Belly of the Beast.
Then we have the Gunbreed: Ghost Town Resurrected one-shot. Hopefully people will show enough interest to turn our zombie cowboy into a series.
In addition, we have published two adult oriented one-shot comics called You Complete Me and Survival Guide to a Slasher Movie. You Complete Me, by artist Guillermo Martinez and myself, is an anthology of short social satires, some with surreal twists, which was recently debuted at the Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco. Survival Guide to a Slasher Movie is the brainchild of artist/writer Joey Rodriguez, is a comedy with graphic violence and nudity about a serial killer that takes you on a tour through a classic horror/slasher flick.
DD: What can we look forward to seeing from Razor Blade Apple?
Also coming up in issues #4 and 5 of RBA Presents: more short stories, more new concepts.
Leviathans issue 3 will come out by the first quarter of 2010. I can’t wait for people to read the crazy stuff we have planned for this title.
Other one-shot-specials and miniseries are in the works, but nothing I can talk about now.
Did I mention that all these comics will be available for purchase at www.razorbladeapple.com?
DD: What is the fan base like for Razor Blade Apple?
AF: I think fans have responded positively to our efforts to provide a high quality product in terms of art and stories. Sometimes we take a little longer than we expect to produce the comics, but in the end, the fans are there and they see that the extra-work we put in our comics. That said, I want to make clear that we are also working on having our comics out on time.
So far, RBA fans are Gunbreed fans, horror and zombie fans, or western fans that are interested in the horror twist. Hopefully we’ll be able to cater more stories in that same vein for them.
To all our fans: RBA is still trying to find its unique voice, and we’re experimenting with different types of stories. So this is the time to write us and give us your feedback on our works. What you want to see more and what you want to see less of. Feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
DD: Can we expect more from you horror comic wise in the future?
AF: You can definitely expect more Gunbreed in 2010, and I also recommend checking RBA Presents: for some new horror concepts we want to test out there. I can mention two shorts with horror elements: Mercy (issue #2) and Vanity (issue #3). Please stay tuned for issue 5 for an interesting take on a Latin folklore horror tale. If people like Survival Guide to a Slasher Movie, they can definitely expect sequels. Besides those projects, we’ll sure keep everyone updated as we get ready to announce them.
DD: What was it that got you interested in horror comics?
AF: My first horror comics were the reprints of Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. Fifties horror kicks ass! I’ve always been into Marvel’s Ghost Rider because my brother is such a huge fan and I read them all from him. The Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, and Brian Azarello Hellblazer tales are also really cool. And Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing just blew my mind away the first time I read them.
DD: Can you talk a bit about your experiences so far with working in comics?
AF: Just that I’m proud and lucky to be writing comics. Everything my partners and I’ve done has been out of our love for the comics medium. We take seriously every criticism seriously and are very grateful for the immense support we’ve gotten at conventions and signings. We’re just getting started.
Oh, and at conventions, it’s hard to sell comics to cosplayers. They don’t seem to have pockets on their costumes.
DD: What comics are you currently reading?
AF: I’m a hardcore Batman fan, so I read everything bat-related. That’s about twelve titles right there. Besides that, I’m into Vertigo stuff such as Sandman related projects, Hellblazer, Madame Xanadu, Unwritten, and House of Mystery. Looking forward to American Vampires. From Marvel I buy Stephen King’s the Stand and Dark Tower.
DD: So in summary give me a quick recap on Gunbreed and why fans should give it a try.
AF: How about this: Besides getting a supernatural horror western tale with all the excitement it entails and getting great art from some the best artists RBA can provide, I will let fans in on a little secret. Gunbreed is the first wave of what may become a supernatural horror comics universe. Check for hints in our next Gunbreed special, Haunted Guns, as well as in short stories we publish in RBA Presents.
DD: Thanks so much Angel. I hope people can jump on board and check out all your projects. I know from what I have read, I love them all already.