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RAMON ESPINOZA
Artist of Praetorian
Published by: Outlaw Entertainment

Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur - (Posted: 6/10/2009)

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Ramon Espinoza

Richard: Where were you born and raised and what was it like growing up?

Ramon: I was born in Mexico City, but I was raised in a suburb that lies 20 minutes from the main city. My childhood was not easy for me or those around me; I was a very restless and different child. Drawing and painting where the only things that could control my behavior.

Richard: How did you first start drawing?

Ramon: As I mentioned, I was what is called a hyperactive child, nobody could watch after me, I was like Bart Simpson, a nightmare. My mother tried different activities, from Karate, Football and gymnastics, but nothing seemed to work. However, one day she gave me a notebook, colors, and found her holy remedy, this is when she discovered that drawing would keep me occupied, silent and calm for the entire day. When I was five she enrolled me in drawing and painting classes and since then I haven’t stopped for a single day. I started making my own comics when I was 12, and haven’t stopped since.

Richard: Did you have to do any research for the scenes at the crucifixion?

Ramon: Of course. It is a period in time that I find personally fascinating, I have a Project about Jesus that is several years old, so I had already done my research. The most difficult thing was deciding what kind of cross to use on the comic, the iconic one or the real one, the real one is not the cross that we all know, it’s more of a “T”, and people were crucified relatively close to the ground and with their feet nailed to the sides of the plank, however, the traditional cross is more ingrained in the subconscious, which is why I decided to draw that one. As for the Romans and the city of Jerusalem, I obtained some documentaries, diagrams and books where they are explained. In the case of the soldiers, what each element means and the uniform that each rank wore.

Richard: How would you describe your art style?

Ramon: I don’t know, stylized? With a touch of animation, caricature, and a little of traditional drawing. Perhaps a bit obsessive with the backgrounds. I would like to think that whenever people remember one of my Works, they will have the sensation of having seen a movie

Richard: How did you join Outlaw Entertainment?

Ramon: I had the fortune of knowing Jason Burns because of a work we had previously realized together, it was The Sleepy Truth, with art by my great friend Erik Valdez, and in which he invited me to do the coloring. After that I did the art for the first part of a graphic novel of Jason’s which was stopped because of external reasons. One day, out of the blue, he invited me to do Praetorians for Outlaw, and after reading the script there was no way I could say no.

Richard: Do you ever imagine yourself as the characters you draw?

Ramon: Always. Everybody knows that making comics is like being the Director and Actor in your own movie. And as an actor you have to study your character, and when I say study I mean things that are beyond the script, such as: Does the character collect things? If so, what does he collect? What is his favourite color? Does he have strong family ties or are they nonexistent? All of this contributes to making better work, since you can decide what to put in his house, the type of clothes or mobile phone he has, or what color his car should be..

Richard: Would you like to do more comics along the lines of "Praetorian"?

Ramon: Praetorians was an excellent script, and a very good story. If there is a sequel to Praetorians, I would love to work on it, and I would like to work on more stories in general, as long as the script is good, I don’t care what genre it is.

Richard: What will we find at your website

Ramon: www.ramonespinoza.com ? Publicity Works I have done here in Mexico as well as a client list and a very friendly ftp from which I send whatever Works I am asked for. The really interesting thing would be my blog, I post every two weeks, more or less, and well, I talk of my personal interests, comic book and drawing processes as well as news of future projects. Right now it is only in Spanish, though I think I will have to start translating it, hehe, the blog link is: http://espinozacomics.blogspot.com/

Richard: Do you still do coloring?

Ramon: I’ve thought about that a lot, you know? I’ve discussed with Erik and my wife Carol, that most people like my coloring better than my drawing, and I sincerely enjoy drawing more than I do coloring. The other day I reached a conclusion on this subject.

I don’t consider myself a colorist, I consider myself a Comic Artist, in the full meaning of the word. I write, draw and color comics. I love the entire process. Will I color in the future? Yes, I have the second volume of The Sleepy Truth which my friend Erik Valdez has finished drawing, but I also have many other projects as well.

Richard: Did you enjoy drawing "How To Be A Serial Killer"?

Ramon: You know? It was very exciting and scary , since the deadline was too tight, I had to finish 4 pages a day, and I’m talking about pencils and inks, and it wasn’t easy at all. However, I was very satisfied with the final product, and Jessie Garza is a great editor, so yes, I enjoyed it very much.

Richard: Do you prefer working on graphic novels or would you prefer a regular series?

Ramon: For now, to be honest, I think Graphic Novels. Eventually I’d love to work on a regular series.

Richard: Would you like to work for either of the Big Two comic publishers?

Ramon: Who wouldn’t? That is anybody’s dream, to draw some of your favourite characters, at least once. For most people, that was the reason for wanting to do comics. My reason is to eventually be able to tell my own stories.

Richard: How can someone contact you?

Ramon: Through my webpage in “contacts”

Richard: Any final words of wisdom?

Ramon: Wisdom? Mmmm, I really think that Brooke McEldowney, the cartoonist, said exactly how I feel on any project I am. I quote:
“I suppose no matter what I'm drawing, there will always be some sort of question in my mind about it. A work of art (even cartoon art)is never really finished; it is abandoned.”
When you are on a deadline, that’s exactly the truth, you are never totally happy with it, but you have to let it go. And after you left a project. You feel sort of empty and sad, like what now? Because you put all your heart and time in it. But then you see your baby in print, You touch it, read it and you feel happy, and realize that you can do other projects. And is like that every single time. At least for me. I don’t know if that could be consider words of wisdom, but well, there you have it.


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