Interview - Antonio Esteves - The Angry Penguin

Very few things in the world should incite as much fear as an angry penguin. He's got every reason to be angry; for instance, he's one of the only birds that, by nature, can't really fly. Pretty short shrift if you ask me. Anyways, Antonio Esteves has created a comic based on the premise of an angry penguin called The Angry Penguin. He was less than angry enough to answer a few questions about the work.

Where did you come up with the idea for an angry penguin in a Gulliver's Travels scenario?

Essentially, it came to light because I have an unhealthy obsession with the word "chilean". I've also never been to Chile, so the Chile portrayed in the book is how I imagine it to be; a country filled with tiny midget ninjas in flannel. I envision the Chilean people to be a strong people, a beehive of sorts. If you poke at one Chilean, the rest are going to swarm you. My admiration for this country only goes as far as my imagination since I've never been and have also never researched the country in any regard.

At the end of the day, is there any one reason that the main character is so angry?

There is no "one" reason why he is angry. There may be a reason, there may not be a reason. At the current moment, we are not revealing the answer, but it may come out down the road.

Why the Chilean jungle?

I believe it to be a dark and mysterious place that may or may not exist. I don't know for sure since I've never been to Chile. For all I know, it could be a barren tundra or a luxurious paradise.

The book reads at an almost torrid pace. Did you intentionally write it to move so fast? Do you think that helps the story, getting the reader caught up in the fervor of an angry penguin against a slew of foes.

Yes, it was written purposely fast. We had never written comic book before, so it was a learning experience for us. We didn't think of it as a grander scheme, we just wanted to get right into the action.

Peter Lazarski's art (in conjunction with the writing) did an excellent job of personifying the animals in the the book (penguin and bears). Obviously, I'm guessing there was no desire to study penguins and bears to make the book realistic in that sense, but did the art successfully capture what you were going for in terms of characterizing the animals as humans?

If you're suggesting penguins in "real life" don't have human-like legs, don't stand well over 6ft. tall, and don't drink vodka, I won't hear it and I won't respond to it.

It's a well known fact that anytime a wrestler uses a sleeper hold they're instantly a heel. Did you feel that it was necessary for Stalin's move to be a sleeper to solidify him as the villain?

I didn't feel the sleeper hold was needed to solidify his villain-ness, but I also know I've never met a villain that can't pull out a sleeper hold when necessary.

Is The Angry Penguin slated to be an ongoing series? If so, what can readers expect in future issues of the series (in terms of scenarios facing the Angry Penguin)?

They can expect more story, unlike our past issues which have read at a crazy pace. We'll be adding more dimension to the Angry Penguin character, developing the world he lives in as well as shedding more light on his back story. We'll also be introducing a few new characters soon. Our new issue will also be a 3 part, full-length, comic book.

Anything else you're working on we can expect to see in the near future?

We're releasing a lot of new Angry Penguin apparel, and will be revealing the first of our Angry Penguin vinyl toys later this year. We're also getting to launch a line of children's apparel, aptly titled Angry Penguin, Jr.

What's your convention schedule for the remainder of the year?

We just got back from The Bamboozle music festival in New Jersey and are now preparing to head out on the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer. In the fall, we'll be at Toronto's Fan Expo and, of course, NY Comic Con.

Anything you want to plug while you have the floor?

We just started releasing our newest comic book as a web series. There are two new pages every week on our website: Please check it out!