- F. J. Villalba
- Marcos Cañada
F. J. Villalba is both author of the Rage from the South story and creator of the accompanying website where the weekly instalments of the comic were published. Francisco holds a degree in Spanish Philology and a Higher Diploma in content management, programming and multimedia design. His work as an editor and writer has included projects for numerous private companies and universities. As a technical editor, he manages the content of several online medical platforms, in addition to carrying out freelance work as a literary proof-reader In 2001, he founded STILOGO, which offers services in language consultancy, translation and web development. Rage from the South, his first graphic novel, is a cross-genre story that was intended to reflect the economic, social and political atmosphere of the south, with turbulent characters and pithy dialogue.
Marcos Antonio Cañada is the artist behind Rage from the South. Marcos studied Applied Arts, specialising in lithography and decoration for his Higher Diploma. He is an artist, photographer and illustrator who has won various awards for his art and photography and whose canvases have featured in exhibitions in Antequera, Alfarnate and the Historical-Botanical Garden of La Concepción in Málaga city. Rage from the South represents his first incursion into the genre of the graphic novel. In this Spanish noir story he employs a quasi-expressionist scale of greys and a minimal use of colour; the powerful images in this novel contrast roughly drawn and smudged lines with the hyperrealism that can also be seen in his oil and acrylic works.
Towards the end of 2009 Marcos and Francisco began planning a project for a new graphic novel - a shady thriller to be set in and around the city of Málaga, in the south of Spain. Neither of the authors had previous experience in graphic novels and this comic and the corresponding website became a labour of love for both of them.
The previous professional experience of both men did, however, count in their favour. Marcos is a photographer and artist whose work includes some figurative pieces, but hyperrealist landscapes and cityscapes had long been a significant element in his works. Both men considered that Marcos’ perspective on urban panorama would be perfect for the illustrations required in a graphic novel such as this.
Francisco’s career has spanned translation, writing and proofreading of both technical and creative texts; experience that stood him in good stead when it came to the concise narration necessary for this genre and the technical difficulties involved in tailoring a text to the limits imposed by the graphic novel format.
Since both Francisco and Marcos are from Málaga, they decided to set the main action of the story in and around the city they know and love. Well-known landmarks and areas of the town and environs are realistically depicted and the backdrop of the city is a defining characteristic of this narrative. The whole story was planned and written between 2010 and 2011, when the main plot was outlined and the drawings of the main characters were finalised.
At the end of 2012, when the plot had been fully completed, the authors wanted to follow the 19th Century literary tradition of serialised fiction used by great authors such as Dickens. Francisco’s experience in web design and the desire to bring the format into the 21st century were the inspiration behind deciding to publish the story as a webcomic that would provide readers with an interactive reading experience, and not merely consist of a series of pages to be read online.
What had originally been a pastime for the two authors eventually developed into a full-blown website that offers readers the opportunity to experiment with interactive options. Both authors envisioned the site as a form of interactive entertainment; as the web developed, features were included to give readers an active experience, allowing them to modify formats, headings, colours and backgrounds, and, as the story unfolds, discover illuminated details within the graphics of the novel itself.