When I first started down this path as a creator, my first con I ever tabled at was Inbeoncon. One of the lessons I learned from my business class prior to the con was that I had to network in the industry to really open doors. Networking to me wasn’t only about opening doors, but also about building relationships. At that con one of the fellow creators I met was none other than Jorge Medina. At the time he was selling his comic Russ5377, he even took the time to come over to my table to chat and pick up a copy of the comic I had released at the time. Since then we have kept in contact and I have seen him meet success in this industry. To start things off, Jorge tell our readers about your background and where you grew up.
I was born in Ecuador and migrated to the US when I was 7 years old. I lived in Queens for a year before I settled in Yonkers, NY
What inspired you to become a writer?
I actually started out as an artist. I was inspired by Walt Disney and Hannah Barbera cartoons back in the day. I was always drawing and creating stories when I was a kid. As I got older, I realized that I was a better writer than I was an artist. With that tough realization, and a very bad review of my artwork, I hung up the pencil and picked up the pen. Now the only drawing I do is to design my characters and send those drawings to the artists I hire so that they can draw them. In a way, this eliminates the whole Stan Lee, Steve Ditko “who created Spider-Man” debate.
One of your projects is Russ5377, can you tell our readers more about that book and what inspired you to come up with the story?
Russ5377 is a book about a boy whose mom was injected with a deadly serum when she was pregnant that was supposed to kill her. Instead, it had an effect on him while in her belly that gave him superpowers at birth. His mom has since disappeared and he wants to find her, but first he has to survive Luis Judin Home for youths.
I created Russ back in 1999 when I was working at an orphanage. I did the data entry work which meant I had to add all of the names of the kids that came to the orphanage into their computer system. One day I came across a kid’s name Noname. I thought it was an interesting name. As it turns out the name wasn’t a name, it was a description “No name”. The kid’s information I was entering was not complete since they didn’t even know his name. That broke my heart, but it also gave me an idea. What if this boy had super powers and had a mom that he was going to look for once he escaped this orphanage and the story of Russ5377 was born.
Your next project that you have released is a comic called Wonder Duck, what was the inspiration behind this book?
So remember how I told you that I was inspired by cartoons from Walt Disney and Hannah Barbera, well Wonder Duck is my homage to the “Disney afternoon” from the late 80’s and 90’s. I was a huge fan of Ducktales and one of my favorite characters was Gizmo Duck. This led me to create my own super powered duck!
So far the book is doing well. It’s being published through the Dark Fire Press imprint and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Comixology and should be available at other retailers soon. Log on to my website medinawip.com for more info.
Every creator has a process they go through when they are looking to create something. Can you tell us your creative process?
I like to do a lot of research when I write my stories and get inspiration from daily life. I write tons of notes and outlines. Writing for me is like those puzzles you buy in a box. You get home, take all of those pieces out of the box, sit at the table, look at the box to see what the image is supposed to look like, and get to work. For me my outline is the box that shows me what the end product is supposed to look like and my notes and doodles are the pieces of the story that I have to put together.
Usually I’ll design a character and then give them a story. But it doesn’t always work that way. I write a few drafts of the scripts and only once I’m completely finished do I go looking for an artist.
I love the creative process!
You’re also the co-host on a podcast called Catch Da Craze. Tell us more about the podcast.
The podcast actually started many many years ago. It was something that my co host Samuel Vera came up with as a way to promote his comic book company called Crazee Comics. Catch Da Craze was born as a means to an end. At the time there weren’t as many podcasts as there are now, but the band broke up and Sam stopped doing it. Fast forward to a reunion between Sam and I late last year and Catch Da Craze volume 2 was re born.
The show is a weekly show that airs on YouTube and all podcast platforms every Friday. We usually discuss whatever is going on at the moment and then we have a segment called Get Your Meds. Here we talk about a topic relevant to the creative process. (Did I mention, I love the creative process?) You’ll notice we talk a lot about self-publishing, but that’s because it’s what we’ve done for the last 17 years. I try to give the new guys stepping into the ring some kind of perspective that shows them what they’re walking into. Hopefully the mistakes I’ve made will help them find success. And that’s what the segment and the show tries to do at the heart of it. The industry is a storm and you have to be able to navigate it to survive it. The last part of the show is an interview with an independent artist. We try to include all creative avenues, (artists, writers, singers, musicians, cosplayers, editors, etc) and help them promote their work. It’s about paying it forward.
What are some of your future plans and goals as a creator?
Right now I’m working on getting The Adventures of Wonder Duck in as many people’s hands as possible. My publisher Dark Fire Press and JM DeSantis have been amazing in helping me do that. I am working on the continuation to the first Wonder Duck graphic novel. The artists have started that so I’m excited about it and can’t wait for you guys to see that!
I’m also in development of a follow up story to Russ5377. You guys can get a copy of the first book on my website and download the digital version on iTunes.
I’ve had lots of fun writing and creating all age stories but I’d like to step into a darker subject and I’m working on a more serious graphic novel that is still in the development stages. I hope to have a script penned by the end of the year and then the process of finding an artist will begin.
Finally, I’m working with a very good friend of mine named Jonathan Syphax on a book called Street Journal. We started that book a few years ago and put out 3 issues of it, but we are rebooting the whole thing and will have some really good stuff out really soon!
What is some advice you would like to share with new creators out there?
Be persistent, do lots of research and learn your craft! You have to know the rules before you break them! Don’t be cocky, be confident. There’s a difference, trust me!
Jorge, thank you again for taking the time to do this interview. Where can our readers find you and your comics?
You can find me on Catch Da Craze every Friday on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/catchdacraze1 (make sure you subscribe to the channel)
My website is medinawip.com. Check out Russ5377, The Adventures of Wonder Duck and all of my tshirt, sweatshirt and hoody designs on there. You can also see what shows I will be attending.
Check out darkfirepress.com and order a copy of The Adventures of Wonder Duck from there or my site.
all kids! Thank you so much for the interview!!!