ST [interviewer]: Faith plays an important role in Mabelrose's life and story. What role does faith play in your life and why is faith so important/integral to the character Mabelrose?
Rod Espinosa: It's funny you asked this question.
Whether or not I am a religious man did not influence why I chose to create a character who prays. I am not trying to peddle any religion here. It is why I left out all reference to any name or practice. At certain times, you see Mabelrose kneeling (Christian way); at others, you see her on the floor (like a Muslim). It is an act of humility to pray; the person acknowledges that they need help and guidance from a higher power.
I think comic worlds lack people with humility. Everyone in comicsland is arrogant and proud; even the good guys. They never turn to anyone for help, they never acknowledge their humanity and their limits. Comics world is like the real world around us, sometimes: It's always ME, ME, ME.
My sexy body
My victory over my enemies
My own personal glory
Mabelrose is a unique character, don't you think? In a comics world filled with apparent atheists who only believe in themselves and what they can get out of others, she's the only one who really does pray sincerely. From an artistic point of view as far a comics goes, it really hasn't been done yet! Think about that! It's groundbreaking! IT'S AN ORIGINAL CONCEPT!
ST [interviewer]: Do you think there is a dearth of sincerely religious characters in comics today?
Rod Espinosa: Only in most Western comics, I believe. Back home in the Philippines, for example, they produce tons of Christian pamphlets with really good-looking art telling bible stories. In Italy, they made a comic book out of the Pope's life story during World War II, as well as life stories of Catholic saints.
It's funny, but with popular Western culture today, the only time you will even see mention of "JESUS" in comics is when someone reacts to something gone horribly wrong or when they use that name in a sting of four word expletives. I don't really mind that there is a dearth of religious characters. In fact, the longer that Mabelrose remains the only one, the more unique a character she becomes to the genre. Lara Crofts and gun toting babes are a dime a dozen. Witchblade types are even more common. X-men wannabe's are everywhere. It is a wonderful thing to say to the world: There is only one Mabelrose! There will only be one Courageous Princess.
Mabelrose is a member of that rare elite group of female characters who do not have to exploit their bodies to be loved by readers. The Few. The Proud!
ST [interviewer]: If The Courageous Princess were made into a movie, would you prefer a live action or anime? If live action, whom would play the leads? If you prefer an anime, whom would voice the leads?
Rod Espinosa: Anime??? Oh, I can hear it now...
"Ohayo!!! Rod San!"
"What, make Courageous Princess into anime?"
"Let me see your story....
"What??? No robots? No guns either? No post nuclear holocaust setting? No sexy 10 year old children with large breasts? No gay men characters? No way, Mr. Rod San!!! Hai, this will not sell with us!!!"
I would really like it if WB or [legendary Latter-day Saint animator] Don Bluth picked it up. Disney is a far shot, but if they would, I am game. I really don't care who does voices as long as the production remain true to the original concept. (My guess is, if they are going to make it into an animation or live action, the prayer will go out the window first. I know movie producers are allergic to that kind of thing. Again, they are simply feeding a demand. For some reason, the sight of people praying in movies too easily offends us, the movie going public.)