[Fabian Rangel Jr] INTERVIEW
Interview conducted by James Ferguson
Fabian Rangel Jr is one busy writer. He's self-published a number of comics, including two graphic novels and a one-shot for his character Doc Unknown as well as contributed to several anthologies such as Monstrosity. Now he's turned to Kickstarter once again to fund SIX, a collection of his short horror comics. The campaign was fully funded within its first week. I had a chance to chat with Fabian regarding the project.
James Ferguson: SIX is a collection of all of the short horror comics you've written to date. Some of them have been published elsewhere before. Why collect them now in one place?
Fabian Rangel Jr: The newest story, "The Souls of Wicked Men" was just completed a couple of months ago. Once it was done, I realized I had enough material for a one-shot. I figured with Halloween right around the corner, it was the perfect time to put out a horror anthology. Also, some of that stuff is out of print, or the books they are in are hard to get ahold off. Mostly, I just wanted one nice horror book on my convention table as opposed to three or four separate books.
JF: Can you give me a quick rundown of the stories collected in SIX?
FRJR: This is going to be as quick as I can make it! A warrior woman fighting zombies; a couple of train robbers encounter a witch; an old man deals with true evil; a story of demons; a classic revenge story involving monsters; and a zombie story set during the Iraq war. If you dig Tales from the Crypt, you'll dig SIX.
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JF: Do you have a favorite story among the bunch in SIX? I know that's like asking a father to choose between his children.
FRJR: I really dig our 'Our Own Wars" because I feel it's the best example of the kinds of stories I dig, and try to create. There's an emotional punch and the story really works well in the comic book format. But I also think 'When the Evil Came" is the best example of a straight-up horror story in the collection. It's pretty creepy.
JF: How was it working with a variety of artists on these stories? Did you adjust the way you worked based on each one's talents?
FRJR: With the exception of a couple of stories I knew who the artist was going to be before I put ideas to paper, so yes, I definitely wrote to their various strengths in a way that would let their particular skill sets shine through. I really loved working with the artists on these stories; they all knocked it out of the park. This book really is something cool to look at (and read, hopefully!).
JF: SIX includes several different monsters, including vampires, zombies, and a really big fat guy. Do you have a favorite movie monster or a horror film that influenced you as a writer?
FRJR: Actually, you wouldn't know it from this collection, but my favorite monster is the werewolf. I grew up in the '80s, when monsters looked real before CGI. I used to pretend to turn into a werewolf when the moon was full. It's a real shame I didn't get a werewolf story in SIX. If I get to do a second volume, there will definitely be a werewolf story in the mix. Horror films that influenced me? I gotta go with Monster Squad, The Lost Boys, and An American Werewolf in London. Also, Waxwork. Those movies really made me fall in love with the supernatural.
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JF: You seem to be a Kickstarter whiz of late, successfully crowd funding several campaigns over the past four years. Do you have any tips for other indie comic creators looking to self publish their work?
FRJR: Actually, I've been self-publishing comics for four years, but I only did my first Kickstarter a year ago (Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets). So that brings me to my tip/advice for comic creators; build a fan base. If I had tried to do a Kickstarter four years ago, it would have crashed and burned. One of the main reasons I've been able to pull these three campaigns off is because for three years before I came to Kickstarter, I took loans out, maxed out credit cards, got a second job and saved money to make my own comics. I showed people I was reliable, and over time I built a fan base by doing signings and conventions as often as I could and by using Facebook and Twitter. In the end, though, you have to make a cool, professional looking product. If the book is good enough, it'll practically sell itself.
JF: Do you have any plans for more Doc Unknown? Is Gate City safe yet?
FRJR: Of course! There will be a third volume of Doc Unknown featuring issues #9-#12. I'm writing #10 right now. That will be the end of the series, and we'll be doing a Kickstarter for that final Volume in the spring of next year. And no, Gate City is cursed.
HorrorTalk would like to thank Fabian Rangel Jr for taking the time to speak with James about SIX. His Kickstarter campaign for SIX is running through October 8th, 2014 and there are still plenty of cool rewards available.
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