Showing posts with label Jason Rodriguez. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jason Rodriguez. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Jason Rodriguez's Little Particle Kickstarter continues

Jason Rodriguez's Little Particle Kickstarter continues with these new stickers. He points out, "The purpose of this Kickstarter is to print a book, sure - but my purpose with this book is science advocacy."As with his Colonial Comics series, Jason's focus on educational and entertaining comics is one I agree with.

He's also noted that someone has backed having an original unique story written for them. I'm finding that curiously tempting.Sticker #1

Sticker #2

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"The idea was always to go up to the Revolution": Jason Rodriguez speaks about his second Colonial Comics book

by Mike Rhode

The second book in the historical non-fiction short story anthology Colonial Comics was released this week. I met with editor Jason Rodriguez at Lost Dog Café in South Arlington and we chatted a bit about putting both books together. I hadn't gotten a copy yet, so the discussion is a bit abstract regarding the second volume, but hopefully our talk and some pictures from the book will hold your interest, dear reader. You can also check out this 2015 interview on book one from the Washington City Paper.

JR: It’s funny that the second book in the Colonial Comics series is actually thicker than the first one. They changed the paper stock, and the second actually has more pages. The covers are supposed to be continuous. [The first book] has the Massachusetts coastline, the Mayflower coming in, a bunch of Pilgrims parked on the shore, and one Native American overlooking it. The second continues with the same shoreline, but now built up to Boston and more ominously, with the British fleet coming in. When we do a mid-Atlantic version, the drawing is going to continue South (i.e. lower in the cover).

MR: Are there any more books in the New England series?

JR: No more. We’re going to cut it off at the Revolution, partly because a lot of people know about the American Revolution. They learned about it in school.

MR: There’s always more, smaller stories…

JR: Absolutely. There’s plenty we could do, but as far as Colonial Comics, the idea was always to go up to the Revolution. Otherwise, it would be Revolutionary Comics. We wanted to focus on the origins of the country.

MR: Are you planning on working your way to the South now?

JR: The third book is supposed to be mid-Atlantic history. We don’t have any plans to start it immediately. With the first book, we put it out there and started working on the second book. We got feedback on the first that we incorporated into the second, but we want get new feedback before we start thinking about the third book. I wouldn’t expect us to start working on a third book for six months or so.

MR: Fulcrum is enthusiastic about the line?

JR: Yes, although the first book didn’t sell quite as well as either of us wanted it to. When we go to a new printing of the book, we’ll make some changes. The second book is strong and addressed feedback we got from the first book, and should take off quicker. The first one sold fine; it just didn’t sell fantastically.
MR: I think part of the problem with the first book to a certain degree might be the amount of religion that’s a part of the early American colonies – it’s hard to get away from, it’s hard to understand, and it’s far removed from our culture.

JR: Yes, that led to a structural problem with the stories themselves, because from 1620-1750, people know the landing at Plymouth and the witch trials, and when we try to fill in the spaces, a lot of it is based on religion and is dark stuff, like wiping out populations. And for a lot of it, we have to use primary sources because it’s not covered in a book that we can turn to. Because of that we ended up getting a lot of text-heavy stories that was aimed at an adult audience, but marketed to middle-graders and young adults. With the new book, I was much better at keeping people doing things that feel  like comics with actual actions and not just captions everywhere. I think we took a lot of issues with the first book to heart and came up with something much more fantastic.

MR: Did you use mostly the same contributors?

JR: No. There are some repeats. I have my people that I love working with. John Bell and David Lewis are back as assistant editors. They both also wrote a story. There’s a lot of our DC-area folks – Jason Axtell colored a story in the first book, but he illustrated a story this time. Matt Dembicki’s back. Scott White did the cover again, and this time he also did a comic story. Chris Piers, even though he’s out in Seattle now. [Being interviewed in a bar, Jason overlooked Arsia Rozegar, Mal Jones, Matt Rawson, Rafer Roberts, and Carla Speed McNeil who also contributed]. I always use Charles Fetherolf, Josh O’Neill and James Comey. I loved working with E.J. Barnes and Sara Winifred Searle  in the first volume so I invited them back. Jason Hanley has always been my letterer but for the most part I brought a lot of new people on board.

MR: How do you find people?

JR: We had a general call for submissions that several people responded to, including some great finds. That’s probably where Jackie Roche came from and she is phenomenal. She does these fantastic watercolors. Just like with the first book, I wanted to focus on under-represented narratives, unknown stories, things like that, but I still wanted to touch on some of the big stories that we know.

 I wanted to include the Boston Tea Party in some way, and Jackie came to me with a pitch about actually tracing the tea trade – starting in China, following it through India, and then into Massachusetts and tracing the tea as it went into the harbor.

A lot of the stories are ones I just found. Ashley Victoria Robinson wrote “Mercy Otis Warren” about the playwright, and one by nature I guess, because there were no plays in Boston. It was against Puritanical rules to produce plays. Warren wrote revolutionary plays, originally anonymously, but later took credit for them. Ashley wrote me saying she wanted to do a story about nurses in the Revolutionary War, which we weren’t covering, but since Ashley also had some playwriting experience, I suggested Warren. 

Some people I paired with a topic, and some people came in with great things. Kevin Cooney came through the submission process with a story about the Stamp Act obelisk which I think is one of the greatest things I learned. Matt Dembicki illustrated it. When the Stamp Act was repealed, Paul Revere designed this obelisk which was supposed to be a permanent fixture under the Liberty Tree. The problem was that it was made out of oiled paper and wood, and it was lit from the inside with candles and they put fireworks on top of it, so it burned down the first night they celebrated it. Paul Revere’s plates still survive and I actually made an origami version of it for promotion purposes so you could print it out and fold it.

MR: Do you have an editor at Fulcrum?

JR: Yes, Fulcrum assigns me a chain of editors. Rebecca McEwen edits for content and what’s allowed and what’s not in these books. It’s not just sex and violence but language. There are two stories where I had to put a disclaimer noting that “negro” and “mulatto” were common terms. We had to cut out “damns.” There was a little pushback at times from the artists, but we managed to sustain most of it. The copy editor was Alison Auch and she was great to work with. She was very responsive and helped put the book together. She worked really hard in the last month, because I was late in delivering everything. But I do all the design work including the cover and literally deliver them an entire book, so they could just publish it as-is, but they don’t. They fine-tooth-comb it, and have third party people read it, and put a lot of effort into it.

MR: A few years ago, you did an Amazon-only Kindle children’s book and you’re about to launch a Kickstarter campaign for that?

JR: “The Little Particle that Could” is a story about particle physics and general relativity for kids. The original version followed a graviton who was perfectly happy just spinning and pulling things down to earth until a photon catches her eye and she decides to chase it, off the Earth and into a black hole. We wanted to do a print edition that was a bit more special so now we have a new colorist, and Jason Hanley is re-lettering it. We’re hoping to do a hardcover with nice glossy stock, and then stretch goal to a board book because I love them. We just need to raise $5000, and then $10,000 for the board book. I think it’s achievable.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The math behind Spiderman's punch

Local comics editor/writer Jason Rodriguez, who works as an applied mathematician, takes a mathematical look at Spiderman’s punch in a post for The Robot’s Pajamas blog. Read his article 
"Spider-Man’s Punch Speed vs. Talking Time (Or: Why Spider-Man is a Terrible Fighter)."

Saturday, March 19, 2016

March 20: Rodriguez on future technology

This isn't directly related to comics, but comics editor/writer Jason Rodriguez is among the panelists speaking Sunday on the topic of fiction and future technology. It's at the planetarium in Arlington, starting at 1:30 pm. There's a minimal fee.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rodriguez on NHPR's 'Word of Mouth'

Jason Rodriguez talks about his comics anthology Colonial Comics on New Hampshire Public Radio's 'Word of Mouth':

"Writer and editor Jason Rodrigueis re-examining the era with an unusual collection called Colonial Comics: New England, 1620 – 1750.  From Thomas Morton: Merrymount’s Lord of Misrule, to the story of Eunice Williams, a colonist captured and raised by Native Americans – this illustrated collection, opens up under appreciated stories from New England’s rich colonial history."

(To hear the interview, click here and scroll down on the page.)

Photo courtesy of Jason Rodriguez

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Q&A: Rodriguez on 'Colonial Comics'

by Matt Dembicki

D.C. Conspiracy member Jason Rodriguez has edited a new comics anthology called Colonial Comics (Fulcrum Publishing) that debuts this weekend at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo in Boston. Below are a few questions Jason answered for us regarding his book. (Note: In full disclosure, I illustrated one of the stories in the book.)
What was your mission statement for the book?

I want to create a book that functions as both entertainment and education. The main idea is to tell stories that you often don't find in school history books that can, in turn, lead into larger discussions about colonial American history. When I was growing up, my knowledge of colonial American history was essentially: 1) some people came over here for religious freedom, they wore funny hats, 2) they met this one Native American...not sure what happened to him, 3) something about burning witches, and 4) we went to war with England. What I want to do is fill in those gaps and tell stories about the Native Americans and women and free-thinkers and slaves and business owners who came from the Colonies and give a better understanding of what life was like over our first 200+ years, the good and the bad.
How did you find collaborators, such as co-editors, writers and artists?
I reached out to a bunch of historians, first. That was always an interesting conversation. Writing Dr. Virginia DeJohn Anderson and telling her, "I really loved CREATURES OF EMPIRE, have you ever considered writing a comics story about free-range animal husbandry suitable for twelve year olds?" Of course the answer was, "No, I never thought of that." But over the course of several conversations we figured out what that story would look like, and then I found the right illustrator to bring it to life. As for a lot of the other creators, I reached out to folks from the DC Conspiracy and Locust Moon crews. The best resource I came across was the Boston Comics Roundtable - they are essentially the DC Conspiracy of Boston and consist of many different incredible cartoonists and writers. It was there that I found a lot of my contributors, people I've never worked with before, along with one of my assistant editors John Bell. I talked to John once and offered him the job, he was an amazing resource in this.
What were the most difficult aspects of putting this anthology together?

Probably working with people who never worked in comics before. There's a big difference between writing a history book and writing a comic script. We just needed small pieces of bigger stories and we needed to fit them into easy-to-read, 11-page comics stories. Schedules were difficult, as well - a lot of people taught and just simply didn't have the time to contribute on the level that would move the book along at a good pace. Also, I designed every page of the book and it turns out I'm a bit of a tinkerer. Two months before deadline I took the whole book part and rebuilt it with new intros, interstitials, book guides, and a reference section. I wouldn't say I'm my own worse enemy, but it turns out I'm definitely my own worst editor. 

How can Colonial Comics be used as a teaching tool?

It contextualizes history, plain and simple. When we were kids we loved the dioramas at history museums. A handful of cavemen taking down a Wooly Mammoth, we could stare at it for hours on end and build a story out of it. From there, we began to get interested in the details of the clothes and the weapons and the process of hunting. Comics afford kids that same luxury - they can study a panel, see what people were wearing and how they spoke. Get a sense of scale. All the while reading an entertaining narrative. From there, they may become interested in the details. The free-range animal husbandry story (which was illustrated by Mike Sgier) is a silent story about a troublesome pig who keeps eating Native crops. We see the escalation of destruction that eventually leads to Native American's packing up and moving westward. The story behind the story, and beyond the story, is where the real teaching comes in.
These comics can be used as a hook to get kids interested in history. Kind of like tricking them into learning a thing, and giving them several samples of topics to see what they're most interested in.

What are your future plans? Is this part of a series?

I have two more Colonial books coming out, one focusing on pre-Revolutionary New England and one focusing on Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. I would like to do more, but let's see how these are received, first. The other history book I'm editing is a student's memoirs about growing up in war-torn Sarajevo, but that won't come out until 2016 or so, most likely.
Beyond history comics I'm also working with AAAS to do a science and science fiction comics gallery show and comics creation workshop, with the idea being to team kids up with scientists, writers, and illustrators to help them understand how science fact turns into science fiction and then mentor them in the creation of their own comics. We're still in the planning phases for this program and it will be starting some time next year.
Below are a few images from the book that Jason gave us to share with our readers.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sept. 26-28: Baltimore Book Fest

The Baltimore Book Fest is the weekend, Sept. 26-28. The Charm City Comics Book Pavilion (Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Rash Field) will include Phil Cho, Darren Soto, Steve Anderson, Andrew Aydin and Art Way Alliance.

I'll be at the fest, too. At noon, I'll be at the National Aquarium's Ocean Exploration Stage (Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Area 10, between the National Aquarium and World Trade Center), talking about Wild Ocean and using comics to spread the word about conservation.

At 3 p.m. I'll be at the Charm City Comics Book Pavilion with fellow D.C. comic booker Jason Rodriguez (editor of the upcoming Colonial Comics anthology), where we will give examples of how schools and libraries are using comics in the classroom, from teaching English to bringing history to life.

Monday, July 15, 2013

District Comics nominated for Harvey Award.

District Comics edited by Matt Dembicki is up for a Harvey Award! Also, several D.C. Conspiracy members are in several anthologies nominated for the Harvey Awards, including Team Cul de Sac edited by Chris Sparks and Once Upon a Time Machine edited by Jason Rodriguez.

Monday, August 25, 2008

cIndy podcast news

Chris wrote in with some updates to his interview podcast site that I quote verbatim (to get to some of these, click the rotating images on the site):

1. presents: Butterfly's Convention Adventure... you can see the promo picture in the right rail of the site. The picture is from Jason Rodriguez's Coast-to-Coast report. On Jason's road trip he met-up with Butterfly.

Dean's photo essay of the SDCC is coming soon, IT IS GOING TO ROCK :-) It will be similar to the Roger Rabbit inspired MOCCA report he did last year.

2. I had an interview with local guy and Crazy Paper, Zuda and Chemistry Set writer Jim Dougan. He worked on's NO FORMULA: STORIES FROM THE CHEMISTRY SET VOL. 1 Color / B&W, 120 pp. 6in x. 9in. Price: $16.99.

3. We have redesigned the site to better highlight the guests. You can see the coverflow is very similar to the latest version of itunes.

4. The Podcast is proud to sponsor Dean Trippe's Butterfly SDCC adventure, please check-out Part 1 of the SDCC adventure @
About the Dean Trippe - Dean Trippe is an alien robot ninja wizard (from the future). He is also a freelance comics creator who lives with his wife and son outside Nashville, TN. Dean is best known for his superhero parody webcomic, Butterfly, and as the founder and editor of Project: Rooftop. He is also a member of the all-ages webcomics collective Lunchbox Funnies. His publishers include Ad House Books, Image Comics, New Reliable Press and Oni Press. He is a former comic shop manager, a lifelong superhero fan, and has an actual degree in comics.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jason Rodriguez and Chris Piers Article

Jason Rodriguez and Chris Piers are featured in an article about careers - "Getting Ahead: The Write Stuff," by Rachel Kaufman Express, August 13, 2008.

Over in the Examiner, they note Jim Henson's career, including some of his works as a University of Maryland student cartoonist along with the Muppets, are on exhibit at the Smithsonian's Ripley Center (the underground one). The article isn't online.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tracking Jason Rodriguez

Jason's got three posts up at the DCist about his drive to San Diego's ComicCon.

July 14: The Plan

July 15-18: DC to Tennessee

July 19-21: Tennessee to New Mexico

This is still an insane idea, although it looks like he's having fun, of a sort.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jason Rodriguez's insane roadtrip to San Diego Comic-Con

Jason just wrote in:

Tomorrow I hit the road. I'm driving 2,700 miles from Washington DC to San Diego ComicCon. I'm taking 9 days to do the trip and stopping in 17 cities to visit 25 comic shops and chat with a little over 20 comic creators, bloggers, and fans. I'm looking into the impact of rising comic sales and mainstream acceptance in the cities and towns situated between the coasts. My progress will be tracked at DCist ( in a series of dispatches entitled Coast-to-Coast Comicdom. I will be checking in several times a week and supplying some coverage from the convention.

DCist has freed up my own tag in case you're interested in following my progress but not as interested in the daily happenings around and about the DC area. Just go here:

My first article, Coast-to-Coast Comicdom: A Briffit in DC, is already up here: It features some original artwork from the talented Scott White.

That's all - I hope to see most of you in San Diego; I pull into town on the 23rd.

Jason Rodriguez

Well, that's nuts, but good luck!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jason Rodriguez interviewed by The Pulse

Arlington's own comic writer and editor Jason Rodriguez is featured in a new online interview - "For Your Consideration: Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened," By Chris Beckett, Comicon's The Pulse May 8 2008. life would be easier if you guys would just email me about these things... really, not all self-promotion is a bad thing...

Friday, April 11, 2008



Panel 1
We’re at the Bethesda Writer’s Center (, America ’s premier independent literary center. It’s 7:30PM on Tuesday, April 15th. Four panelists are sitting in front of a crowded auditorium. This is a promotional event for the Writer’s Center’s upcoming Writing for Comics 12-week course.

Panel 2
Tight on Matt Dembicki. He’s the artist and writer behind the Day Prize-nominated Mr. Big. He’s talking a bit about self-publishing your comic.

MATT: When you self-publish, you find you have the freedom to do your comic the way you want to do it. You’re your own editor.

Panel 3
Cut to political cartoonist Carlton Stoiber. He’s talking about balancing a day job while making comics.
CARLTON : I maintain a consulting practice on nuclear security and safety issues by day and create comics by night.

Panel 4
Chris Piers is standing up now. He’s talking about the challenges writers face when collaborating with artists.
CHRIS: If you’re trying to find an artist with a full script in hand, you’re probably too late.

Panel 5
It’s comic editor Jason Rodriguez’s turn to talk. He’s discussing the business of comics and how someone publishes their work in the current market.
JASON: There’re a lot of publishers out there looking for comics. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of people looking for publishers.

Panel 6
Writer’s Center Executive Director and panel moderator Greg Robison’s giving his closing remarks.
GREG: We’d like to thank the generous grant from the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation. It’s paying for this panel and will also sponsor three high-school students looking to take this course. Contact the Writer’s Center for more information (, 301-654-8664).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jason Rodriguez mentioned in NY Times

In the New York Times April 10, 2008, "Names That Match Forge a Bond on the Internet," by STEPHANIE ROSENBLOOM we find this mention of Jason:

Jason Rodriguez, 30, an editor of comic and graphic novels in Arlington, Va., feels connected to another Jason Rodriguez, a stuntman who has worked on films (some inspired by graphic novels) including sequels to “Spider-Man” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

“He’s a really good stuntman,” Mr. Rodriguez said with a hint of pride. He likens himself and the stuntman — whom he has never met — to the physically incongruous brothers in the comedy “Twins” played by Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“We both sort of have this connection,” said Mr. Rodriguez, who casts himself in the Danny DeVito role. “We both support this nerd world.”

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Elk's Run interview

Elk's Run was edited by Arlington's Jason Rodriguez - here's a discussion of the book and an interview with the author from Comicon's The Pulse 02-14-2008 "FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Elk’s Run," by CHRIS BECKETT.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jason Rodriguez interviewed by Newsarama

Local comics writer Jason Rodriguez is interviewed about his next project after Postcards. See "LIFE AFTER POSTCARDS: CATCHING UP WITH JASON RODRIGUEZ" by Zack Smith, Newsarama October 1, 2007.