Now that Uncanny Adventures has debuted, we’re going to take a few minutes to continue speaking with some of the great creators in our anthology to give you a taste of what you can expect. Drezz Rodriguez is a Canadian cartoonist whose pages with Andrez Bergen are dark, moody, and visceral. His work for Uncanny Adventures — “Zig Zag” — set a dark noir tone by matching static illustrations with the text.
Tell us a bit about Who You Are And How You Came To Be.
My name is Drezz Rodriguez, and I’m a creative director by day and an illustrator by night. Born and raised in Sudbury, Canada (about 3 hrs north of Toronto) I’ve been authoring comics since I was a teenager but didn’t really get into the webcomics game until 2010 with the release of my neo-noir online graphic novel, El Cuervo. I’m also a contributor and a podcast personality over at the Webcomic Alliance.
How did you find yourself making comics?
It’s an odd story, but it basically started off with a kid who lived across the street from me. He was a master swindler who would con younger kids out of their toys and sell them on the schoolyard. He ripped me off, his mom found out, and as compensation, I got a half-full longbox of comics – most notably, the Frank Miller run of Daredevil comics featuring the death of Elektra. That opened up my eyes to what comics ‘could’ be instead of the standard Archies and Richie Rich comics I was reading at the time. I felt it was something I wanted to do to – but struggled to find the resources to do it.
I was always more into alternative comics outside of the superhero mold, so I read a lot of Heavy Metal, Love and Rockets and Hate Magazine. They helped to influence my style and tell stories that showed the rotten side of humanity rather than following the formulaic ‘good guy wins out’ method.
Without giving too much away, tell us about your story Zig Zag and how you approached it.
Simple really – it’s a short story that takes place in one room, so I focused more on dramatic lighting to keep that sinister feeling. My style lends itself well for a story with this type of exposition.
What are you reading right now, comics or otherwise?
For comics, I’m actually diving back into my collection just to keep the gears oiled up. I finished reading Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp, and I’m currently reading Garth Ennis’ Preacher – the ‘Gone to Texas’ trade. It’s been years since I read it and wanted to get reacquainted with it.
For regular reading, I’m actually juggling two books. The first is Stephen King’s 11/22/63 about the JFK assassination, and the other is an e-book version of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. I have the entire collection on my iPad and wanted to see how it holds up in the modern era. I actually have a little James Bond comic project I’d love to work on in the future, but that’s for another time.
How did you meet up, and what’s your creative process like?
Andrez actually gave me some good praise on my webcomic, and I’ve given a read to some early drafts of his work. We’ve struck up a friendship over e-mail since our tastes in literature and visual styles are similar. He asked me if I wanted to contribute some visuals for Zig Zag, and I happily obliged. I’m looking forward to future collaborations.
What else is in the works for you, and where can readers find your work next?
Right now, I’m opening up a digital portrait commission site called Avatar Noir (www.avatarnoir.com), working on the second and third acts of my latest story arc for El Cuervo (www.el-cuervo.com), and I have a few other comic projects I’d like to get off the ground conceptually before year’s end. I’m also in the midst of working on an online based crime-noir game set in the 80s called ‘The Fix’ with no scheduled release date as of yet.