Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I’ve had the pleasure of known comic artist Pete Hernandez III. Pete is a Puerto Rican artist that lives in NY. He has a long career in the art field, and has created his own comic called Company Man. He is an up and comer in this field, as he paves his own roads within this industry. I have watched as Pete has grown and evolved to a point where his comic has broken many barriers, and has made its way across the pond over in Ireland. Furthermore, you can buy his comic Company Man over on itunes and many other fine online digital outlets.

A spread of Pete's characters within the world of Company Man.  You can see the vast diversity of his heroes and villains. 

 To the interview-

Jake Estrada: What were your inspirations that got you into art?

Pete has a very powerful and exciting art
Pete Hernandez III: Since I was about 5 I drew on everything I could get my hands on. Notebook paper, white paper towels, you name it. No one person inspired me, I was born scribbling on any surface, like any kid I guess, but it never left me regardless of how many people tried to “look out for my best interests” and steer me away from it. As I got older the need to draw grew stronger.

Jake Estrada: When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist.

Pete Hernandez III: By the time I was 12 I knew it was all I wanted to do.

Jake Estrada: It is very important to know who you are as a person and artist. Your likes, your dislikes, and more importantly where you are going.

A very rich cast of ethnic heroes and

Pete Hernandez III: My likes…? Music, video games, books, good television, comics, learning about different cultures, science.

Dislikes…pretentious arrogant people, miscarriage of justice, racism, basically anything that keeps people from evolving freely.

Jake Estrada: What inspired you to create Company man?

Pete Hernandez III: Company Man was built from three different script ideas I’d had saved in a word doc. One was about a corporation that creates a serum to give people powers, another one was about a guy who can control matter, and the other was an action adventure with this assassin character I have. I took them all and mixed ‘em up when a friend asked me to invent a weekly comic strip for a site called Comics Nexus. CM grew from there to what it is now.

Pete draws, and colors his own books. He is a one man show.
Jake Estrada: Seeing that you have a cast of ethnic characters, has anyone ever questioned your reasoning behind this?

Pete Hernandez III: No, not that I can think of. People always seemed interested. I don’t present my characters in a preachy soapbox manner. Some characters, like the black ones, are just Black Superman or Black Flash as opposed to just being who they are, their powers, their motivations as a person. I think that turns off non-ethnic readers and makes them feel challenged to a degree and it can put them on the defensive. My characters are Latino, Black, Asian but the focus is on their story, their struggle, not just their cultural background though that is a factor in the type of person they are. I’m just showing ethnically diverse characters doing what they do not because they are Puerto Rican or Japanese but because they have extra normal abilities and want to stop the dark force attempting to exert its control over the world by creating super beings and them licensing them out to foreign powers as living weapons.

Jake Estrada: Furthermore, how has the industry changed since you entered? Do you feel that the industry will continue to change, and has technology made it easier?
His colors are rich and vibrant.

Pete Hernandez III: First, technology has made it possible for guys at the bottom of the ladder, like me, to get our books out the way we want them to be and reach an audience directly, building real connections with the readers. It’s hard getting the word out to people BUT the door is open in a way it never was before.

The industry has definitely changed over the decades. I feel, and this is based off personal experiences as well as stories told to me first hand from people on the inside, there was a stronger sense of professionalism in the 80’s. Under Jim Shooter’s control, books were never late and neither were the artists or they were fired. Once Joe Q took over the industry took a gradual nose dive in that respect. Books look amazing now, great art and color but storytelling has gone by the wayside for the most part in exchange for splashy pages artists can sell for a couple hundred at cons. Writers, not all of them, but many of the top tier, just regurgitate storylines written 25 years ago and do it badly. Days of Future Past, for example, from the X-Universe has been done to death. There’s been very little in terms of originality over the last 15 years or so, just flashy re-treads. Heroes have been beating the shit out of each other as far back as House Of M and not focusing on fighting crime and evil around the world. Just a bunch of dysfunctional people in spandex punching each other in the face for 12 issues. 

As far as how the industry may change in the future? It’s going to continue to shrink until the indies really rise in strength. Marvel and DC, much like the Republicans and Democrats, have a stranglehold on the comics world and allow nothing new to get through and interfere with their sales but the fact is books don’t sell anywhere near as well as they did in the 80's and 90's. I blame a complete disregard for continuity and weak writing from Fanboys who managed to sneak their way into the business with the help of a friend on the inside. Comics used to sell a million units and now a top book sells 80, 000.

Creators blame the fans but they’re the ones putting out lackluster stories. Way too many creators in comics just see the medium as a stepping stool into film. They all want that Mark Millar money and despise comics and the fans who love them. This is not conjecture,  I’ve heard and read as much in private messages and phone conversations. The industry hates the fans. The sad fact is most of them, the creators, just aren’t good enough to get their book turned into a cable show or movie and don’t discover that until they’ve cultivated a connection in the field, presented their work, then get told to re-write five or six times because what they submitted just isn’t good enough.

The future of comics, like the future of this country, is in the hands of the younger generation of which I’m physically not a part of, lol, but mentally I feel I am.

You wish to learn more about Pete, or want to hire him for work you can contact him over at various places. One of the first places you can check out his website. Pete is always taking commissions. 

You can also get him on his facebook page and friend him here:

Thanks Pete for the interview. 

Okay folks take care.


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