Talking to Artist Kenneth Rocafort
Talking to Kenneth Rocafort
The Puerto Rican native Kenneth Rocafort broke into comics in the small press arena, and that's where Top Cow took notice of him. After a series of tryouts and pin-ups, Top Cow put him in the daunting assignment of doing a fill-in issue of the Marc Silvestri-illustrated Hunter-Killer Series. Excelling at the trial by fire, Rocafort went to work later on Paul Dini's Madame Mirage series and is now one of Top Cow's star pencillers.Rocafort recently finished working on the Pilot Season book The Core, and now he is doing a series of covers for Top Cow while he works on an undisclosed project. So now we examine Rocafort's work through an interview and try to get out details about what he's working on. Newsarama: You've been doing comics for several years now, but it was your work at Top Cow that really catapulted your career. How did you get started at Top Cow?
Kenneth Rocafort: I took the initiative to send samples of my work, displaying some of my styles in illustration. The person who noticed me was former editor-in-chief Renae Geerlings. She was very kind. Working with her was an amazing and gratifying experience. She always saw the potential of my work and gave me the chance to join an excellent group of people. My first assignment was to draw some test sequential work and pinups. Then I started working on Hunter-Killer #9. NRAMA: If you could work on any project with any writer, what would it be? KR: I keep mentioning Cyberforce because it was the title that really attracted me to comics. For me, it has a spark that makes it special. As for a writer, I don’t have anyone in mind at the moment. NRAMA: In doing research for this interview, I've discovered that in addition to comics you've also done work in theatre, animation and illustrations for toy boxes. Can you tell us about that? KR: I was in charge of set design and preparation of the stage for diverse theatrical works inside and outside the University of Puerto Rico and sometimes I designed the wardrobe. In animation, I worked in the area of storyboard and character design. I had the opportunity to illustrate toy boxes for G.I. Joe vehicles (R.O.C.C. and R.H.I.N.O.) for Hasbro and also I drew the cover for a video game for the PS2 called Samurai Western. NRAMA: Mel Caylo tells us you've got a new project for Marvel through Top Cow's partnership with them. What can you tell us about it? KR: I am working on a project written by C.B. Cebulski and at the moment all I can say is the characters that are involved in the story are Wolverine and the Punisher. NRAMA: I've read that your father is a graphic designer. How did that influence you to become an artist? KR: Actually, the influence was not directly from him. I just had the art materials at my disposal which I used and experimented with. But I focused more in the area of illustration, unlike my father and older brother who are both graphic designers. I like to use pencils but I ink and color in Photoshop, which I got good at just by practicing. NRAMA: What comics do you read? KR: The majority are titles from Top Cow like all the Pilot Season books, Magdalena and Witchblade. In addition to that I like manga like Air Gear, indie books like Mouse Guard, Iron and the Maiden and the anthology book Void Pulpo, and some older books like The Metabarons. I also read The New Avengers and All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, just to mention a few. NRAMA: If you weren't an artist, what would you be doing as a job? KR: I never thought of other options; I’ve been quite determined about my goals. But outside of being an artist, I think I would still be distributing my résumé and working wherever they accepted me!