By: Nicole D’Andria
Today I’m speaking to Raph Felix, creator of LOCKJAW D.M.P.A.! Released by the relatively new publishing company Cataclysm Comics, Raph pulls double duties as both the writer and artist of the title. Inspired by real-world Cryptozoology, myths, and legends, he strives to tell his story through imagery.
Me: Your series, LOCKJAW D.M.P.A., focuses on the department of metacryptid and paranormal affairs. What can you tell us about this department and the main cast of characters readers will be following?
Felix: Well, the first book is a sort of soft flashback. It centers on Michael Lamere, a now-retired agent for the DMPA, and Nita Lamere, parents of two young children, Vincent and Mikey. It’s bedtime and the kids want a story. But though they get the kid-friendly version, we readers get the actual events without the sugar coating.
There are some rather nasty terrorists holding up a business building, led by an even nastier villain named Sybil. She has them Nazi vibes. And as the story goes along, it introduces the paranormal side of things. And a dark hero that good and evil fear in good measure named The Night. I have been trying to keep him as secret as possible.
Me: You pull double duty on LOCKJAW D.M.P.A. as both the writer and artist. What are your favorite aspects of the writing and art processes?
Felix: Writing is way harder. Drawing has always been what came easiest to me. But together? I am having to really flesh things out. It’s no longer just concept design where a character floats in an empty white space or space of complementing color. It has to be a fully realized environment with life and energy all its own. Or at least I have to convey it best I can. When writing I tend to forget that at some point, I gotta draw that stuff. And in drawing said stuff, I have to adhere to the written word. It’s exciting for me. Though I am no writer, I do have excellent editors that won’t let me fail.
Me: Who are your comic book writer/artist inspirations and how would you say their work has inspired you and your creations?
Felix: My faves are those that are both artists and authors of their books, such as Mark Crilley, author and creator of Brody’s Ghost, and various how to draw manga titles. Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy. Odunze Oguguo, creator of the manga series Apple Black. And the list goes on. These guys wrote and illustrated their own stuff. That to me is amazing. I also must add that Clive Barker is one such writer that happens to be a top-notch artist as well. His work has graced the covers of many of his stories. You gotta love that.
Me: How did you become part of Cataclysm Comics and why were they the perfect home for LOCKJAW D.M.P.A.?
Felix: That kind of happened slowly. Very slowly. At the time Cataclysm was just an idea being thrown around by William Glover as a sort of inside joke. “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we had our own comic book universe?” and so forth. At the time I was not feeling my artistic self. I was very anti-artist at the time. But folks wanted drawings. I did some commission work and slowly settled on finally writing out my story. As a novel. That’s the funny thing, I wanted to do a novel. NOT a graphic novel. I ran that idea by William Glover as my own inside joke. And he was like, “Hey, bro, you know that Idea of having a comic book company? Well, I think I’m gonna do it,” and I was like cool. Inspired me to get typing.
Me: What inspirational words would you give to aspiring comic book writers/artists?
Felix: If your art is weak, make sure the story is strong. If your story is weak, be damn sure the art is on point. If both are pretty good, then good on ya. There is an experience in doing. You learn as you go. Jump on in, the water is fine.
Me: Plug yourself! Where can people find your work and what are some of your upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
Felix: I am currently working on the second installment of my story LOCKJAW DMPA. But the first book is out now. Available as a digital download at Cataclysm Comics for $5.99, here’s the link: https://www.cataclysmcomic.com/product/lockjaw-d-m-p-a/
42 pages, no filler. I like my comics thick.
Me: Thanks for your time, Raph! Best of luck to you and Cataclysm Comics in your endeavor to create your very own comic book universe!
Do you have a comic book and/or crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it? Let me know in the comments below or message me on my website.