Cody Bahn / Editor-in-chief
PREVIOUSLY: The Foghorn interviewed local comic book writer Fabian Rangel Jr. shortly after his second graphic novel “Fall” was released. He was working with the publishing company 215 Ink, which also published Rangel’s “Extinct” graphic novel. Rangel has continued writing and is now working on a new series, “Doc Unknown.”
Fabian Rangel, local comic book writer, has spent the past couple of years trying to establish himself as a writer. “When this all started I just wanted to write a comic book,” Rangel said. “I started with small steps, but then I got hungry.” Rangel began working with publishing company 215 Ink. Under them, he published “Extinct,” “Fall” and a special copy of “Engines of Doom” with an added 10-page story. Since that time he has self-published most of his books. “A lot of it boils down to control,” said Rangel. While still with 215 Ink, Rangel said he did have the opportunity to sell a lot of books with them. He traveled to several conventions where he sat at the 215 Ink tables and signed books. He also said it was nice to see people walk by and pick up – out of all the books there – his books and start flipping through.
“I always wanted to jump up and say, ‘Hey! I wrote that,’” said Rangel.
Since last year, Rangel has released several single-issue series, most of them self-published and he also began working on a children’s book. Rangel said now all of his focus has been on his newest series, “Doc Unknown.”
“I’ve done a lot this past year,” said Rangel, “I didn’t feel like I had done the best one yet.”
Not a lot has been released on “Doc Unknown” yet, but Rangel said he feels like the upcoming issue two is the best thing he has written and the series will only get better.
Currently, “Doc Unknown” is a self-published title by Rangel with the art being handled by Ryan Cody, artist for “Automic Robo” and “Masks and Mobsters.” Rangel said that he might have the collection of “Doc Unknown” published by a company.
Rangel said that since the first issue of “Doc Unknown” was released, many artists contacted him asking for a chance to draw an issue of the series. The contacts prompted him to add short stories to the end of the last three issues, each one featuring a different artist.
While writing comics might seem like a dream job, it has not come without stress for him, Rangel said. He said he has “dumped a lot of money” into making comics and with looming hour cuts at his day job with the Corpus Christi Army Depot, he may be ending his writing career.
“I’m still taking care of my family stuff,” he said. “This [“Doc Unknown”] could be my last comic.”
He said it isn’t just the money issues hindering his writing, but also the frustrations that come with trying to compete in the market. He said it can be hard when many publishers do not know your name.
Rangel said that after this year, he will stop spending money on making comics and spend 2014 working on selling the books he has already released. He said he will travel to several conventions in 2014 just to get his books out to the public.
“I can walk away now and be proud of what I have done,” he said, “but if I didn’t have ‘Doc Unknown’ I would know I still had one more comic to do.”
Rangel said that since “Doc Unknown” may be his last series, he is putting every idea he has ever had into it.
“I’m actually still working on issue four, because I’ve just had too many crazy ideas for it,” said Rangel.
He said that if he were to continue writing, he would probably continue the “Doc Unknown” series.
“I say that next year could be it,” said Rangel, “but I could always come back.”