Interview with April O’Neil


Who is Rafael?

Interview by April O’Neil


Rafael (no last name) is about to take the comic world by storm. So, who is he and what can the world expect from his ground breaking journalism?

Everyone wants to know.

So I went ahead and found out. Here’s the transcript of our interview.

Before we start, can I ask — what’s with the costume? 

Oh…cosplay’s the thing now, right? So I just figured…why not. I look good as Superman, don’t I? (He winked at me…twice).


I guess…not sure how to respond here. 

How about — COWABUNGA! (says in mock surfer voice)


Are you trying to quote my friend Michelangelo? First, that’s not how he uses that word. Second, why wouldn’t you quote Raphael? You guys share the same name.

Actually, my name is spelt with an “F.” RAFAEL. The turtle’s named after the great Renaissance painter. Did you know that?


Yes…they all are named after famous artists. And, please don’t call them “the turtles.” It’s a bit disrespectful.

My apologizes. I’m still getting used to this comic book world. Don’t tell the rat what I said, I’m scared of him the most. You ever see a video of someone with rabies? Freaky.


(Sigh)…How about we get started. Tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you do?

I’m a writer. Well, kind of. It depends how you define “writer.” Do I get paid to write? Sort of. I’m a marketing writer, so that pays the bills. I’ve also done some journalism work for newspapers and magazines. I have a Master’s degree in Writing Studies. And I’m currently working on my first book!


So you really like to write? 

No…not really.


I’m a bit confused…

Let me put it this way. Imagine you live in a city overrun by ninjas and the cops can’t stop anything and you have to rely on a bizarre mutant turtles with Kung Fu skills named after Renaissance masters, and someone told you to write some fiction.


I do live in a … Wait, you live in a … Are you saying you have mutant turtles in your world, too?

No! That would be weird. But if you’ve seen my President you might think you’re living in a comic book, too.


Lets get back on track. When did you start liking comic books? Did your love of comics start as a child?

Actually, I wasn’t that into comic books back then. When I was kid all people talked about was Batman breaking his back, Superman dying, yada yada yada. I had some comics, including the infamous Superman death issue. I recently thought the issue would be worth a lot of money, but I learned it’s not worth more than the toilet paper in my bathroom. Matter-of-fact, the toilet paper is more expensive.

Anyway, I was, however, into comic-related stuff like the X-Men cartoon, which was one of my favorite shows. The Tim Burton Batman movies and Christopher Reeves Superman movies, were awesome. And my favorite…FAVORITE…comic book related things was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I had the toys. I watched the cartoon. I dressed up as them for Halloween.


That’s very flattering. I’m sure the guys will love to hear that.

And tell them my family owns a pizza restaurant. They’re welcome anytime.


I’ll do that. But, if you weren’t that into comic books as a kid, why are you writing a blog about comic books?

I love to read. Even as a kid, my favorite books were the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine, I ate them up every month when they came out. So, in some way, those books were like my monthly comics. As I got older, I read a lot of different books by people like Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, and so many classics. But recently I hit a point that I wanted something more serial. A story that every few weeks would continue. I tried fan-fiction and Amazon singles and things like that. It didn’t do it for me. But I realized I loved comic book based movies and TV shows like Daredevil and the Flash, so I thought — let’s give it a shot. I went to the store, found an “in” point, and haven’t looked back.


So you have no longterm experience with comic books? You, I presume, don’t know anything about big events like Civil War, Flashpoint, Crisis of Infinite Earths, the Infinity Wars, and all the rest, right?



Then I have to ask — what makes you think you can write about comic books?

Last I checked there’s no PHD in comic history or theory. So, I look at it as — why not? Sure, some life-long comic book readers will think my reviews are terrible. But maybe there are a few late comers to the game that can relate to what I have to say.


Okay then. So what do you want people to get out of your blog?

I hope they can kick-back, relax, and be entertained. I’m not going to be breaking any ground with my thoughts and theories. Aside from comic books, I’ll likely review fiction, and maybe even some non-fiction, books. Comics are fun. So, lets have some here, too.