This month, Austin comic artist Will Rodriguez celebrates the 10-year anniversary of his quirky web comic Mangled Stare, a dedicated accomplishment in today’s fickle entertainment market. The Mighty Mangler may be the brain and brush behind MS, but he’s quick to give credit to his family for the handy supply of situational humor and for the occasional coloring assistance of his junior-graphic-artists-in-training. When asked about awards and honors earned by Mangled Stare, Will said…
Aside from the praise and admiration of my family, no other awards really carry the same priority or worth. ^_^ (Though, I don’t mind mentioning that I have held the Chipotle Chowdown Champion title at each convention I’ve attended in the last 6 years.)
Aww. And, congratulations… I think? *wink* Earlier this month, MS published a comic that Twilight fans everywhere, especially the significant others of TwiFans, will appreciate…
Psst – click to make it bigger and open in a new window!
Q&A with the Mighty Mangler!
From the comic, it’s clear that your honey is staunchly Team Jacob. How do you feel about all the Twilight hype?
You’d never know if not for her “Team Jacob” tshirt, keychain, posters, or bumper stickers, huh? Yes, my wife is extremely Team Jacob. I think Stephanie Meyers took a genre and turned it on its ear. She spun a story that built a very strong and dedicated fan-base and I applaud her for that.
So you visited Forks on your Spring Break… how exactly did she talk you into that? (hopeful TwiFans everywhere are holding their breath…)
She smiled and asked me in her sweetest girlie voice. >_< We were planning a road-trip and since I’d never seen the Pacific Ocean, I agreed that a drive to the west coast would be fun for the whole family. Besides, my wife supports my artistic endeavors and other geeky obsessions so it’s only fair that I support hers.
Did you enjoy the trip? What did you like best about it?
Well, we all had a fantastic time. The drive from Texas to Washington is a beautiful one. Utah was just breath-taking and the Quileute Reservation was humbling to visit. The best part of the trip, though, was when we surprised my wife by telling her that we were staying in the “Jacob Cabin” right on the treaty line, from the books. The entire cabin was Twilight-themed and each of the rooms was named after a member of the Black clan. We had the entire cabin to ourselves and made use of that fact with all of our children.
Do you have any advice for fellow TwiFan significant others?
Unless you have a significant other who enjoys a battle, fake it! Even if you think vampires should be fanged, stone-cold murderers, pretend to like it or, if nothing else, don’t bad-mouth a Twihard or their stories. Play your cards right and you’ll reap all the benefits of his or her Twilight addiction. ^_-
Can we look forward to any other Twilight-inspired comics in the near future? (Breaking Dawn is coming! *nudge nudge*)
My wife is counting down the minutes until the first part of Breaking Dawn releases! If she has any say in the matter (and she nearly always does), I can guarantee plenty more Twilight humor from Mangled Stare.
How did you get started in comics and what have you done to keep yourself motivated all these years?
When my wife told me she was pregnant with our first child, I knew that my childhood dream of becoming a cartoonist had no better springboard than the milestone of parenthood. I wanted to be able to leave a legacy for my children and show them that any of their dreams were achievable. Their praise and the continued support of my wife and readers, in addition to my love of cartooning and making folks laugh, make motivation easy. Ten years-easy, as a matter of fact!
Do you have any goals or plans (besides world domination, of course) for Mangled Stare that you’re excited about?
World domination comes with WAY too much responsibility! Keeping my three kiddos in line is enough for me, thanks. I am working on a graphic novel with a great friend of mine which will serve as a sort of precursor to Mangled Stare. I’m also working on some other stories I’ve been dying to tell since high school through animated cartoons as well as future graphic novels.
What advice would you give to young artists just starting out in the industry?
Be true to your craft. Never “settle” or compromise your passions for creativity in the attempt to “succeed.” Hone your craft and never stop learning. Art is organic and dynamic, so you should never stagnate your style. Draw something every day; anything! Just keep drawing. Accept constructive critisism and avoid being defensive; art is subjective.
And finally (no, you can’t skip this one!), declare your Twilight “Team”!
Well, if I have to choose, I guess I’m team Alice, though I’ve always had an affinity for werewolves over vampires, just because shapeshifting is cooler than drinking blood…
Pfft, blasphemy (from the GT Team Edward corner)! Thanks to Will Rodriguez from Mangled Stare for allowing GT to pepper him with Twilight fangirl-type questions and feature his work. =) Best of luck and we hope to see many future Twilight-inspired MS comic strips!
- Buy Twilight by The Mighty Mangler (the drawing at the start of this post – click HERE to see it again. It’s only $6 with shipping!)
- Read Mangled Stare online!
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