Catch-Up

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back in Junior High School, Jason Rodriguez wrote a scathing satire featuring a death match between then-Vice President Dan Quayle and WWF-superstar Hulk Hogan. Jason’s Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Friedman, claimed it was one of the funniest pieces she’s ever seen from a student and encouraged him to keep writing. Over the next six years, Jason unleashed some of the most vapid, maudlin poetry and short stories ever written onto various creative writing classes. His work was so sappy that Goths would roll their eyes yet, for some reason, his teachers kept encouraging him. He even attempted a novel sophomore year in High School. It was an adventure-fantasy about the return of Nimrod, God’s great hunter, and the family that needed to prepare him for the final showdown with the antichrist. It was to span seven books but half-way through the first one Jason deleted it off of his Apple IIc, claiming it was too “pedestrian.”

Clearly, Jason was on a bad path.

Luckily he turned it all around in college, first by writing two comedic screenplays for movies you’ll never see and following that up with the one-man musical comedy Jesus Christ MegaStar. JCMS ran for a weekend in Boston University for a packed crowd and garnered an impressive following thanks to a variety of guerilla marketing techniques. The show recently ran for a week at Improv Boston.

After college Jason edited and wrote for two online satire sites, Closet Elvis Productions and Closet Elvis Living. Thanks to some linkage from sites like Fark.com, the webmags picked up a sizable following before Jason turned his back on everyone who was working with him at the time to pursue a career in comics and graphic novels. He still ignores the people who helped him get to where he is today, claiming it gives him that “Hollywood Edge.”

After several horrible pitches that should have convinced Jason that he had no place in comics, Jason finally landed a gig as submissions editor for the cult-hit Western Tales of Terror. Within a month he was promoted to editor, showing no remorse for the man he unseated, and landed his second gig editing the critically-acclaimed Elk’s Run. Elk’s Run was praised in Entertainment Weekly, Variety, and Ain’t It Cool News and, after being nominated for seven Harvey Awards in 2006, the trade rights were acquired by Villard Books, a division of the Random House Publishing Group.

Jason used the success of Elk’s Run to produce and edit the graphic novel anthology Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened. The book was published by Villard in 2007 and featured work from some of comics’ most-celebrated creators including Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner, Matt Kindt, Phil Hester, Tom Beland, and Michael Gaydos. Postcards was received critical acclaim in USA Today, the LA Times, Daily Candy, and the Washington Post Express and was nominated for an Eisner Award (Best Anthology) and two Harvey Awards (Best Anthology and Special Award For Excellence In Presentation).

Jason is now working on several projects. He’s cowriting a graphic novel about the life-and-times of Sam Cooke with long-time friend Chris Stevens and the phenomenal Nate Powell. He’s also attempting to revisit the sequel to Postcards. Jason is branching out of comics a bit and trying to get back into satire and humor as well as dabbling in narrative journalism and editorials. Jason is also hard-at-work on his first novel, a young adult book about a teenager that knows everything except for what he’s supposed to do with his gift. He currently lives in Arlington, VA with his fiancée, Robin, two dogs, four cats, and a Quaker parrot that he hates with a passion.

Jason Rodriguez is repped by Bob Mecoy.

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jason rodriguez is an eisner and harvey-nominated editor and writer. email him. or become his digital BFF below:




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