Women in Comics Month: Interview with Desiree Rodriguez

In honor of Women in Comics Month this March, PREVIEWSworld talks with writer Desiree Rodriguez!

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PREVIEWSworld: Who is your current comics employer?

Desiree Rodriguez: Lion Forge, LLC

PREVIEWSworld: What is your primary job title? In a quick phrase or two, could you define your job’s key responsibility?

Desiree Rodriguez: Editorial Assistant, main responsibility is to help the cultivation of a books creation from top to bottom (art, reference, lettering, scripting, etc) to go to print. Other main responsibility is to make sure my Senior Editor doesn’t pass out from stress.

PREVIEWSworld: Could you please explain how your work helps make comics a reality? (Connect the dots for us. Where are you in the flow of getting a book into reader hands?)

Desiree Rodriguez: From the beginning in setting up a writer or artist with the proper reference materials, vetting scripts, pages, colors and letters and making sure each person in the chain receives the next part of the work. Once a penciler is finished, those pages go to the inker, when those pages are finished those go to the colorist and so on until the book is completed. It’s a bit like making a cake, I help oversee the process to the cake being made. There’s the conveyer belt metaphor but that’s not as tasty.

PREVIEWSworld: What’s the part of your job you enjoy the most?

Desiree Rodriguez: That’s hard to say, I’m grateful each day for what I get to do and the amazing people I’ve been given the opportunity to work with. The process of creation is also something I highly value. Being able to work with so many talented people in creating something of value has been a wonderful experience. I’m really lucky.

PREVIEWSworld: What comic titles have you worked on?

Desiree Rodriguez: I’ve been an Editorial Assistant on Noble, Accell, Superb, Astonisher, Incidentals, Kino, Summit and a few projects yet to be announced yet. I’m also a co-editor on Puerto Rico Strong a charity anthology for Puerto Rico hurricane relief.

PREVIEWSworld: While there are loads of professionals in the comics industry, there are only so many folks who get to do what you do! How did you get started? How did you learn all the skills you needed for your position?

Desiree Rodriguez: There’s three groups I really attribute to my place in comics today: the women at Women Write About Comics, Keith Chow, and Joe Illidge. The women at WWAC helped cultivate my knowledge of the industry, Keith Chow gave me the opportunity to write Being Latinx In Comics which is a piece that caught the eye of Joe Illidge who offered me the job as his assistant. I can’t say enough about how grateful I am to these people. Sometimes I wake up and I’m like, ‘oh right I have work at a legit comic company today. It’s still a surreal experience sometimes. Which is something I hold on to so I don’t get a big head. I’ve been blessed and I try to remind myself that every day.

PREVIEWSworld: Talk to us about the heroic people in your comics life. Who do you admire? Who inspires you? Why?

Desiree Rodriguez: George Perez and Dwayne McDuffie. George Perez’s run with Marv Wolfman on New Teen Titans is what got me into print comics but also, he was one of the first Puerto Rican creators who made a place within the industry. As a fellow Boricua, that was always a big inspiration to me. Dwayne McDuffie, I mean the dude’s a legend, he wrote some of my favorite episodes of Justice League and created Static Shock. He was always really candid about the struggles of being a black man in the industry too. That’s something I always respected because he kept it real and really worked to pave a way for creators of color in the industry.

PREVIEWSworld
: Do you have an online presence we can link to and share with our readers?

Desiree Rodriguez: If you wanna see me tweet about Yu-gi-oh and sometimes comics you can find me at BoricuaDesiree on Twitter.

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