I sat down with Jay Kell – an aspiring web comic creator behind the webtoon The Hero & The Rockstar and founder of WebKom – an online community and organization of Filipino web comic creators. She wanted to ask me some questions about RaveForce and Jive Magazine as well, so I said why not feature it in this website.
JAY KELL: What inspired you to create RaveForce?
GN OCHOA: RaveForce was originally created in 1996 when I was just starting in college. I have always wanted to pursue a career in the comics industry and one day have my own creation out there. I was reading a lot of comics back then and mostly about superhero teams. By 1998 I finished a RaveForce graphic novel but it never ended in print. Having accomplished that, I tried pursuing other interests then adulthood happened. It was only recently that I decided to go back to my roots again and re-introduce RaveForce to the world, with a more modern premise and using the internet as a platform this time.
JK: Tell me something about the protagonist, Hearts.
GNO: The original Hearts was more of a supporting character, even though she was part of the core group. Her original role was an assassin who finishes the job when things get out of hand. The original RaveForce story didn’t revolve around her, she was just there.
The Hearts of today is much more different, for one I based her looks from my ex-girlfriend. I added a backstory for her where she was once a normal, innocent teenager until traumatic events happened and change her life. She grew up to become a model and a successful DJ but tragedy struck again and she ends up dead and being brought back to life – as you’ll see in the first episode of Chapter 1.
Despite the differences of now and then, one thing hasn’t changed: Hearts is still a badass femme-fatale that you won’t want to mess with.
JK: How much preparation did it take for you to start it? Have you been planning it for a long time?
GNO: When I decided to revive RaveForce after being dormant for 20 years, it didn’t take that long to plan it out. I started the initial character designs around July 2018 and by August I already had a plot laid out. I went through 4 revisions before finally releasing it online.
JK: What’s the most challenging part in the creation process?
GNO: Honestly I’m more worried with other people, especially die-hard comic readers, eventually seeing similarities with other titles and accuse me of being a copycat. I admit I have borrowed a few elements from other titles and added my own twist into it. I see nothing wrong with that as many comics and characters share many similarities as well. It is ok to get inspiration from more popular titles but you also need to make it distinct.
JK: What makes RaveForce different from other comics?
GNO: RaveForce tackles on the complicated subject of transhumanism and its implications to society plus the moral issues that comes with it. What if the next breed of human beings will have the choice to live as long as they want, free of disease and disabilities? What if we can bring back to life someone who just died? It is inevitable that time will come technology will become a factor in our evolution and survival as a species.
I know other comics have tackled on that subject but RaveForce takes place in the Philippines where much of technological process is held back by politics and religion, so there’s that interesting premise as well.
To be concluded.