Posted - 01/01/2013 : 12:28:03 PM
Creator/Writer/Artist/Model for Banzai Girl/Artist for Exposure
Published by: Keenspot.com
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: Banzai Girl has been around for a number of years now; what is her staying power?
Jinky: Fans like YOU, Rich! You've all supported me through two BANZAI GIRL arcs, Annuals and Specials across two print publishers, and now onto Keenspot.com. BANZAI GIRL is also available as a download comic, as well.
Rich: At first there were three different versions of Banzai Girl -- why were there three?
Jinky: That goes back into the original mythology of BANZAI GIRL. I was an Asian schoolgirl when I created the book -- and, as they say, "write what you know," so my character is conveniently named Jinky Coronado! (Laughs.) I came up with a series that was not only about my family and friends, but about all the Filipino myths and legends I grew up with -- the Duwende, the Manananggal, the Kapre`, the Snakeman, and all the rest. Normal for me, but exotic for much of my American audience. So I came up with a story where, in her nightmares, there were two alternate versions of me -- as a Princess -- because what girl doesn't want to be in Princess? -- and as a super-sexy Future Freedom fighter. I covered a lot of ground, not to mention of lot of really excellent-fitting schoolgirl uniforms, and it seemed to be a combination of things the readers liked.
Rich: What will people find on keenspot.com from you?
Jinky: I did the original BANZAI GIRL series at Sirius, followed that with BANZAI GIRLS at Arcana, and now I'm at banzaigirl.keenspot.com relaunching the series for a whole new audience, and I'm back to doing some all-new material to make fans happy. What's more, fans can look for a BANZAI GIRL new trade paperback and hardcover collection toward the end of the year, thanks to the new audience that Keenspot has brought to BANZAI GIRL.
Rich: Why have you decided to bring back "Banzai Girl" now -- and will there be any changes?
Jinky: Not so much "changes" as continuing the story! I'm letting the original BANZAI GIRL storyline unfold for this online audience, even while I'm working on NEW stories to keep the series going, plus tons and tons of new pinups and such to keep things interesting.
Rich: You have been drawing some "Exposure" comics recently; how have they been doing?
Jinky: Ohhh, I'm very glad you asked me about EXPOSURE! The EXPOSURE series began over a decade ago at Image Comics with David Campiti writing and Al Rio drawing. Then two years ago, Keenspot brought back EXPOSURE, serializing all the original Al Rio issues -- and there, again, Keenspot built a whole new audience, so there's an EXPOSURE trade paperback and hardcover coming out in a month or two with all that wonderful Al Rio art, but also with some new Al Rio art and wonderful new color. I've already seen it -- it's a really beautiful book, being released with the Red Giant logo on it. So yeah, it'll be in comics shops this Spring.
As for my involvement, eventually the Al Rio-drawn EXPOSURE material came to an end, and Al Rio was not only a friend but gave me his blessings to continue his characters, since he was busy on a big FEVER MOON graphic novel at the time. I had only completed the first new story before he died....that was very sad. So I am trying my very best to make EXPOSURE something he would be proud of. Of course, I had to update everything in the series -- the technology, the clothing -- to 2013.
It's great having both BANZAI GIRL and EXPOSURE on Keenspot. They have a bigger audience right now, by far, than they ever did just in print. What's more, I'm sharing webspace on Keenspot with Mike Deodato! His own project is on jadewarriors.keenspot.com. Free comics everywhere -- how cool is that?
Rich: You draw very beautiful cute sexy females -- how do you achieve their look?
Jinky: God was very good to me. (Laughs.) I've been lucky to look pretty enough to be a lingerie model in FHM magazine, and in calendars, and get featured in Mirror and Wizard and ImagineFX, and elsewhere -- so I'm able to model myself for the characters. There's even a trick to it: If it hurts a little when I try it, the pose works! If not, I'm not exaggerating enough. The sexy exaggeration works well on the page.
Rich: For those who have not heard of "Banzai Girl" or "Exposure," what is each about?
Jinky: BANZAI GIRL, which I write and draw, is best described as the adventures of an Asian schoolgirl and her friends fighting Filipino monsters of myth -- which means there's a whole different type of creature than the European-based monsters that Americans are used to. Our vampires are totally different, splitting at the waist, entrails hanging out, and sucking the life of unborn children out of their mothers! (Oh -- did you know there was a recent documentary about them that used some of my artwork? That was cool to see my work on screen.) Really disturbing stuff wrapped up in this sexy-cute comic book. Lots of Filipino culture in this one -- the houses, the buildings, the jeepneys, the clothing -- all authentically what I grew up with. Except for those schoolgirl uniforms, of course, which only exist in a hopeful boy's fevered imagination. (Laughs.) Except you've actually seen me in it!
EXPOSURE is basically The X-Files or Fringe crossed with Charlie's Angels. Writer David Campiti described it to me as sort of a supernatural version of the TV shows She-Spies or V.I.P. He had both on DVD and let me watch them. Loads of fun, cheeky and snarky -- not taking themselves very seriously! I realized exactly what he was going for.
Rich: How do you feel your career in comics has been going?
Jinky: Very well, actually! You know, I got to draw the AVALON HIGH series of graphic novels with best-selling author Meg Cabot not long ago, so that's three volumes of my work. My own BANZAI GIRL has been pretty successful with lots of spin-off merchandise, and EXPOSURE is a steady stream of all-new pages. Certainly I'd happily do work for Marvel and DC if they had the right thing -- and the right schedule -- for me.
Rich: What is your association with Glass House Graphics?
Jinky: Glass House Graphics is the comics-oriented artist agency that represents me. They've been in business 20 years. That means I'm repped by the same mega-agency that handles superstars Mike Deodato, Will Conrad, Luke Ross, Fabo Laguna, Cliff Richards, Wilson Tortosa, Anthony Tan, Paolo Pantalena, Vincenzo Cucca, and so many others -- so I couldn't be happier.
Rich: You are planning to redo and update the Banzai Girl website; what can we look forward to seeing there?
Jinky: We just relaunched banzaigirls.com for 2013. And jinkycoronado.com will take you there, as well. As I find time, I'll be putting up new photos, lots of new art, behind-the-scenes goodies, and building a new online store that features loads of new prints as well as an easy way to hire me for custom commissions and cover art. I think you'll like it, Rich. And you know, when I originally launched BANZAI GIRL, my website had a Message Board -- but I've tried to keep up with social media by running a Facebook page that serves the same purpose. I'm also a pretty big presence on heromorph.com.
Rich: Which comics besides your own would you recommend?
Jinky: Right now, my favorite comic book is a wonderful color mini-series called KNIGHTINGALE, which is drawn by Tina Francisco and Larry Tuazon. It's worth looking for. My colorist Katrina MaeHao colors it!
Rich: Which ones from Marvel and DC?
Jinky: I'd have to recommend Mike Deodato's work on THE AVENGERS at Marvel and Will Conrad's STORMWATCH at DC. Superhero comics really don't get any more impressive than those.
Rich: If you could have one super power what would it be -- and why?
Jinky: That's always a tough question, isn't it? If you're limited to one without thinking it out, you could get killed. If I say "flight," it's so easy to miscalculate and mangle yourself. Super-strength? You could be really strong but still break your limbs if you're not also indestructible. Mind-reading? No, I already knows what some guys think about me! (Laughs.) So how about this one: Since the 36-hour trip to the Philippines is pretty grueling -- Teleportation, as long as my body, and time and space, make all the necessary adjustments so I can always do it safely. How's that for negotiating? (Laughs)
Rich: Do you have any other artistic outlets besides comics?
Jinky: I love dancing, collecting purses and shoes, doing hair and makeup for people, and photography. I've got a nice little photography studio in my house, and I'm gonna be taking classes this year to learn more!
Rich: How can someone contact you?
Jinky: Through my website jinkycoronado.com or right on Facebook! -- or through my agent at Glass House Graphics.
Rich: What would the comic book character of Banzai Girl say to her fans?
Jinky: Does it seem drafty in here to you? (Laughs)