AN American comic book writer put a Filipino-American character in the spotlight of his comic book series called “Rocket Girl.”
The story’s creator, Fred Corder, originally hails from Washington DC. He is also the founder and creative director of Pockets Fulla Pillz (PFP), an art design company that publishes the “Rocket Girl.”
The original comic series is illustrated by Corder’s Filipino artist friend and business partner, Jeck Flores.
“Rocket Girl” delves into the life of a Filipino-American neurologist, Rashida Johnson, whose work is taken by her Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) boss.
Rashida is a Filipina born in Luzon and was adopted by African-American physicians who were conducting a mission in the Philippines.
While Rashida looks like your typical superhero, Corder said that she has no superpowers in the classical sense.
“She just can’t die properly,” he told FilAm.net. “Each time she dies, she comes back 15 minutes before it happened. That’s just the beginning of the oddity of her predicament. It really plays with the question of morality and causality. Her character’s journey asks the central question: Do you define your actions? Or do your actions define you?”
The only power that Rashida possesses is her quick-tempered nature, hence the code name “Rocket Girl.”
What makes her different from other superheroes is that the only villain present is Rashida herself. “She is fighting the enslavement imposed by her own dark emotions and pride,” Corder said, “and that makes her relatable and interesting for fans.”
The comic duo, Corder and Flores, have been working together for six years already. They previously worked on designing album covers and other graphics before eventually shifting their focus to comics.
In 2012, Fred left his job as a psychologist in DC and made his move to Manila official to further expand his business.
“It took me by surprise honestly; the graphic artists of the Manila area are the best in the world,” he said. “I immersed myself and intentionally got lost in the colorful world that is the Manila art underground scene.”
While writing the story and dialogue of his comic, Corder has also been on a lookout for new artists within Metro Manila to join his PFP team.
“Create! Create! If you are an artist, you must draw nonstop. If you are a writer, you have to write nonstop,” he advised aspiring comic artists. “Even if your art or writing sucks, as long as it’s original and there is a scary amount of it everywhere you will succeed eventually.”