Roman Morales III is an artist and more. He doesn’t just draw the exploits of crime fighters — for fifteen years he’s put on the blue uniform and patrolled the streets of the big city as a member of the Los Angeles Police Department.
When he’s not been busy making the streets safer for Angelenos, he has drawn Lynch Mob (Chaos Comics) and X-Men: Hardee’s Special . He’s currently hard at work on The 10th Muse for Blue Water Productions. You can find out more about him on the Third Empire Studios site on MySpace.
Question 1: When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics for a living?
When I got out of the Marine Corps. That’s when it hit me solid, and I pursued that goal successfully with the co-creation of the Lynch Mob for Chaos Comics.
Question 2: Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?
My wife, she believed in me and supported my ambitions and drive to become an artist.
Question 3: Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?
Honestly, it’s a couple of people: Geoff Darrow and Adam Hughes. Both artists were inspiring and compassionate, not warm and fuzzy, or full of stuff and fluff like lots of artists who talk to young artists.
Oh, let’s see? A good fight now and then, an adrenaline pump on a felony stop, or dealing with a gang member or two… Oh, recharge artistically! Sorry. I listen to music, watch a cool movie or two, work out, or read scripture,… and hang with my family.
Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.
Right now, it’s a twelve-hour shift as a police officer working in Los Angeles. That’s a long story all in itself, but I generally start my artistic day when I get home. I de-escalate for about an hour and then hit the pages or character designing for the Muse, Mob or MidKnights or other projects for about three to four hours.
Question 6: What writing, drawing, or other tools do you use?
I’m a penciller right now for Blue Water. I try not to get to fancy, but am using Reeves pencils and Bristol Paper 100 lb., When I Ink, I use Prisma pens and sometimes go barrio-style and use a ballpoint pen.
As an artist, the completed page, after the inker, letterer and colorist hit it — it’s magical sometimes. I like the times when an idea comes to life, and I have the satisfaction that I’ve brought to reality a thought, and it helps motivate me when I put a bad guy away, too.
Question 8: What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?
In comics, it’s this latest project in the works, because it was my re-entry into comics from an almost 15-year career of law enforcement, from one love back to the other. It is good.
Question 9: We’ve all met very talented newcomers who are trying to get their first professional projects. What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard given to a promising new creator?
I say to them this: Strive to be the most unique; don’t cookie cut your artwork or abilities. Look for an idea, character, story that will catch someone’s attention and make them think, “Hmmmm? I’d like to see more.” Draw your butts off. Use that gift with a passion to draw, and you’ll make it.
Question 10: Time to get philosophical: What’s the most important “big idea” that you’ve learned in life – in or out of comics – and why is it important?
Whew, are you ready? There is good and evil. People are selfish, and at some time in your life you will have to pick a side, but there are people who care and try to make a difference. Most people create the drama in their lives, and lots more ask for it with spades. That was the 15-year cop talking. Hope is just a prayer away!
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