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Rafa Sandoval: One of Marvel's 9 Young Guns

A comics interview article by: Charles Webb
Note from the Editor: For the first time in Comics Bulletin history we present to you, an interview in both English and the native language of the creator. In this instance you can read Rafa Sandoval’s answers in his native Spanish. I hope you enjoy this treat. I feel that sometimes things don’t transfer when translated, so here we have provided you with Mr. Sandoval’s unedited Spanish answers for your enjoyment. I hope you enjoy this new approach and we here at Comics Bulletin are looking forward to bringing you more and more insight on your favorite creators.


- Alex Rodrik, Features & Interviews Editor

Recently, Charles Webb had the chance to pick Rafa Sandoval’s brain about his craft and what it’s like working for Marvel and in the comics and animation industry.

Charles Webb: How’d you get started in the industry?

Rafa Sandoval: Mi inicio en el mundo de la industria del comic fue dibujando los personajes de Disney, antes de esto estuve trabajando en en varias empresas de animación, un tiempo después de dejar de dibujar comics Disney me surgió la oportunidad de trabajar para Marvel (algo que siempre quise) en la línea de Marvel Adventures, después de esto me ofrecieron más comics y hasta el día de hoy.

I got started in the comics industry while illustrating for Disney. I had worked at several animation studios before the opportunity to work for Marvel came. I was offered work on their Marvel Adventures line in 2007 and have worked for them ever since.

CW: What’s your artistic background?

RS: He estudiado bellas artes pero no lo terminé, me dí cuenta que quería coger otro camino y iniciarme en el comic o la animation.

Well, I studied fine art but didn’t complete my studies after I realized that I wanted to take another path with my art and get started in comics and animation.

CW: What are some of your influences?

RS: John Romita Jr, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, and Alan Davis--they are some of the greats who influence me.

CW: Is there a particular comics run that you look to for inspiration?

RS: Algunas veces miro los comics de Uncanny X-men de Byrne o Spidermen de Jhon Romita Junior, tambien he mirado comics de Steranko.

Sometimes I look at the work of John Byrne on Uncanny X-men or John Romita Jr.’s Spider-man. I also love Steranko.

CW: How has your previous experience in animation influence your current work?

RS: La animación me ha ayudado a poder dibujar con más rapidez, también ha influido en algo muy importante que es en los movimientos de los personajes, gracias a la animación los personajes tienen un movimiento más fluido y eso es importante en el comic.

The animation has helped me draw faster and has also influenced the movement of characters. Thanks to the animation, the characters have a more fluid movement and that is important in comics storytelling.

CW: Describe working on the Marvel Adventures line -- did you find yourself modifying your work for the younger audience?

RS: Realmente disfruté mucho trabajando en la línea Marvel Adventures, no modifique mi estilo lo que sucede que esta línea va dirigida a un publico más joven y hay que eliminar ciertas cosas, entre ellas la violencia exagerada, cualquier cosa que pueda ser perjudicial para los jóvenes.

I really enjoy working on the Marvel Adventures line. No, I didn’t change my style at all. The line is targeted at a younger audience, so we had to eliminate certain things -- including excessive violence or anything that can be harmful to younger children.

CW: Looking at some of your past work, it either involves mostly younger characters or is geared towards a younger audience. Do you have an affinity for stories and characters with a younger, less serious tone?

RS: Disfruto mucho dibujando comics y me gusta la variedad, dibujar para un publico joven o más adulto me parece bien las dos cosas, no tengo preferencias.

I enjoy drawing comics and I like variety. I have no preference for drawing for a younger audience or a more adult audience. I just want the story to be good and to do the best job that I can.

CW: Who’s your favorite character to draw? Why?

RS: Hay muchos personajes que me gustan pero por encima de todos está Spiderman, siempre fue mi personaje favorito desde que era niño, crecí con sus historias y por eso le guardo un especial cariño.

There are many characters that I like, but above all Spider-Man is my all-time favorite. He has always been my favorite since I was a kid. I grew up with the stories, so I have a special fondness for him.

CW: What kind of interests do you have outside of superhero work and how do those interests feed your art?

RS: Si, me gusta mucho los videojuegos, la música y las películas, también las series de TV, todas estas cosas también influyen en mi arte (comics).

I love videogames, music, movies, and TV series. All these things influence my art and the comics that I draw.

CW: What’s been the major challenge for you?

RS: Hel principal reto para mi ha sido pasar del mundo de la animación al comic, a un estilo mucho más realista del que estaba acostumbrado.

The biggest challenge has been the move from animation to the more realistic style required by Marvel. It has been a fun transition, but challenging.

CW: Everyone adds some element of themselves to the characters they draw. What have you added to the Young X-men? Hercules?

RS: Tanto en Hercules como en los Young X-men he utilizado fotos mías para capturar las expresiones y también uso un espejo para lo mismo, también algunas veces uso fotos de las manos para dibujarlas.

Both in Hercules and in Young X-Men I have used photos of myself to capture certain expressions. I also use a mirror for the same reason. Sometimes I’ll also use photos of my hands to draw complicated hand gestures.

CW: What’s next for you?

RS: El siguiente que sé que haré debe entrar en la colección de la Iniciativa de Vengadores, hacer algunos números en esta colección, no sé que haré después de la Iniciativa de Vengadores pero trabajando en la Maravilla todo está bien ;)

My inker, Roger Bonet, and I just finished Mighty Avengers #24. That book will be on stands in April. I can’t talk about my next assignment yet, but it will be at least four issues of an established book…with superheroes in it. ;)

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