Cesar Feliciano is in the interesting position of handling the art chores on Bluewater Production's upcoming "Female Force: Sonia Sotomayor" comic book.
The book was announced recently by the company, which has also featured, or is due to feature, Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin, and Hilary Clinton, among others. The book featuring Justice Sotomayor will hit comic book retailers in April.
Mr. Feliciano was kind enough to take a few minutes to discuss how he got into the business of comics, was tapped for this project in particular, and what Justice Sotomayor's inspiring story means to him.
HispanicBusiness.com: What else have you worked on in comics?
Cesar Feliciano: I've done background inking for Suicide Squad from DC Comics. I also have done illustrating work for One Shot Press, Masterpiece Comics and The Illustration Studios.
HB.com: What's your artistic background/training?
Cesar Feliciano: I grew up really liking sword and fantasy art. Artist like Boris Vallejo, Frank Frazetta, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, George Perez, Alfredo Alcala, Nestor Redondo, Rudy Nebres and John Buscema.
I never had any formal training per se, but what I did have was a desire to never give up trying to learn how to draw and understand the craft of comics creating.
HB.com: Why'd you decide to get into comics in the first place?
Cesar Feliciano: I tried to avoid it for years and was told by many people that I was wasting my time pursuing something like that. There is no future in comics, they would tell me over and over. I mistakenly believed them and tried many other things but I found that I still had a desire and an itch to pursue this love affair that I had with comics and the way that they spoke to me. Comics excited me and I looked at it as an art form just as viable as any other art form. I knew that if I worked hard enough at it and never gave up I could realize my dreams.
HB.com: How did the Sotomayor project develop at Bluewater? And how did you get involved/at what stage?
Cesar Feliciano: This is a very interesting story. I had a friend that had done some work for Bluewater Productions. I had never heard of the company but I kept the name in the back of my head. A few weeks later i was searching for different comic book companies to send samples to and came across Bluewater Productions again. I sent them a link to some samples that I had and waited for a response. Now as fortune would have it, Darren Davis had a script based on Sonia Sotomayor and written by Robert Schnackenberg on his desk. He saw my samples and thought I would be good fit as artist on this book. He sent me back an e-mail and we went back and forth a few times. I gave him my number and a couple days later he called me to let me know that I would be doing the comic. Darren is a great guy to work for and he is very progressive.
HB.com: What's it like drawing sequential art based on a real person versus a character model?
Cesar Feliciano: Ha, ha, good question. Well for one thing character models can't call you out and say you did not something right with them. All kidding aside though. I find that the story means more. It's not like superheroes and other subject matter that are pure fiction. When doing a biography comics you are dealing a real person and it is incumbent on you to be very accurate in portraying them.
HB.com: How does Judge Sotomayor's story resonate with you? Do you feel like it has a broad meaning in a societal sense?
Cesar Feliciano: The story of Justice Sotomayor resonates with me in that here is someone from humble beginnings and dealing with many obstacles in her life and yet she persevered. She never gave up and never allowed to accept defeat. She is also someone who is not afraid of her Hispanic heritage. As an American of Puerto Rican descent like me I can look at her as an example of hard work and perseverance.
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