An Interview With Manny Of El Krudo
Thank you for chatting with me this week! Please tell the readers about yourself and the work you do.
Manny Shape: Hi Aaron and thanks for the opportunity! My name is Manny and I am the creator of the crazy-ape indie comic El Krudo! El Krudo is the story of an orangutan raised by the US military that is dropped into the Vietnam War and gets stuck behind enemy lines.
El Krudo is an excellent comic series. How did it come about?
Manny Shape: I did a lot of freestyle creative writing as a young adult and I wrote a monologue of what is now the character of El Krudo one late night. I read it to a friend the next day and he laughed. So I wrote another. Then another. After a year or so of rolling it around in my head, I felt the idea had some legs and I wrote a complete story arc with an ending.
How long have you been making comics? How did you get your start?
Manny Shape: El Krudo is the only comic I’ve made, so EK1 was published in 2018. I first set out to make a cartoon, and we made some progress, but quickly realized it would take a lot more time to produce a story in that medium. I have always been a lover of comics and so it was a natural decision to then convert the EK story into page/panel format. This has been such a fun experience I have really begun to appreciate comics so much more and have every intention to keep creating in this medium.
Making comics takes a lot of time and energy. What do you do to stay productive?
Manny Shape: I write or draw something every day. Some days I have a burning hot vision I need to get out and am totally inspired. Other days I sit in front of a blank page and force myself to draw another ape or whatever. Choose a direction. Always advancing. Be consistent.
Burnout happens to the best of us. What do you do to stay motivated?
Manny Shape: Burnout for me is specific to the sales and marketing efforts. I can make ape art all day and be a pig in mud. However, art was made to be shared with others. That’s the point, right? So I try to hustle and get the work out there. It has been fun to connect with others but self-promotion, as I am sure you are aware since you have this platform haha, is the hardest part to stay motivated for me.
How do you foster your creativity? Do you work at it, or wait for inspiration to strike?
Manny Shape: I work at it every day. In my twenties, when my friends would be out partying, I’d leave the bars or clubs or parties early to write and draw. Not sure if those were good decisions or not, haha. Sometimes inspiration will strike and I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and write it out, or draw the scene. Also, exercising helps me get the ideas rolling so I’ll think about problem scenes or how to advance a subplot while on a run.
Outside of your work, what do you do for fun?
Manny Shape: I love watching movies, reading old-school sci-fi paperbacks, running with my pup, and reading comics. And drawing and writing crazy ape stories.
What advice can you give to those who want to start making their own comics?
Manny Shape: I think it is important to save up money and be willing to invest in your idea. If you can’t afford to produce the entire thing in one shot, build up a body of work that helps you communicate your ideas to others. This will make it easier to gain interest when the time is right. When you’re ready to collaborate with others make sure the relationship is professional from the very start. And be patient.
Do you have any upcoming events or releases you would like to promote?
Manny Shape: We just released El Krudo 4: Far Out and people seem to be digging it, which has been awesome! El Krudo 5 is storyboarded and I am thinking about producing a different title this year as well.
Thank you again for chatting with me. Where can the readers find you and your work?
Manny Shape: Anyone interested in crazy-ape indie comics can find our work on our website www.elkrudo.com.
We are active on Twitter and Instagram @krudoel. Always great to interact with others so hit us up!
Great work with the Effective Nerd, it has been cool to watch it progress!
Thanks again for the opportunity!
Check Out Manny Shape And El Krudo!
A huge thank you to Manny for taking the time to chat with me this week. Make sure to check out Manny, and El Krudo, at the following locations: