Madeleine Flores is a cartoonist and the creator of “Help Us Great Warrior!” an occasional comic on the Internets, in which Great Warrior, a powerful, potato-shaped superhero, saves the villagers she lives among, and indulges her love of snacks and hot guys.
Madeleine, tell us how Great Warrior was born. Was she made in response to something?
I was working a crappy customer service job, I was miserable every day but I could doodle little things on scrap paper when I had a short break. She started off as a little blob-ular drawing that would say something positive to cheer me up. Eventually she morphed into Great Warrior.
Where is Great Warrior going and what does she want?
She is going on Great Adventures and wants to cheer people up!
You are currently working on the animated series, Bee and Puppycat. Do you prefer working in a community on a larger project or do you feel more at home working solo on something exclusively yours, like your 2010 graphic novel, The Girl and the Gorilla
Both are fun! I still work on my own things while working on Bee & Puppycat, so I get the best of both worlds. Write and joke around with friends and then come into my own projects with all this energy from finishing something else.
You’ve stated that Naoko Takeuchi (creator of Sailor Moon) and Rumiko Takahashi (creator of Ranma 1/2, InuYasha) are huge influences. Are there any American comic creators that you like as well?
Totally- and French and German and Canadian and Spanish and Italian and Brazilian and so on and so forth! Takeuchi and Takahashi were the reason I became interested in comics, all the wonderful work I’ve read since then is the reason I’m still into it!
Can you tell us a bit about your drawing tools and the differences in working on paper vs. screen?
Ah well- I guess the biggest difference is that i can undo on the computer? The physical act of drawing is such a Muscle Memory thing that I don’t personally feel a difference.
Are you interested in fine art? Are there particular painters you love?
My favourite ‘classic’ fine artists are Degas and Cassatt. My favourite contemporary painter that I like most right now is Wayne White.
Love Wayne White! I have to ask about music. Do you listen to music while you draw? If so what?
Yes and RuPaul! There are so many positive and empowering lyrics in RuPaul’s songs- one time I started crying euphorically to ‘Champion’ when the verse
‘Remember who you really are
Fearless and beautiful
A child of a shinin’ star’
came on while I was working on a comic, it was awesome.
This seems like a fantastic time to be involved in animation because there is so much interesting stuff going on there. What was it like working on “Adventuretime”?
It was super educational, as weird as that might sound. They taught me a lot about how to do a proper storyboard.
Are there other animated series you are especially enjoying?
“Kill la Kill,” “Steven Universe,” “Gravity Falls,” “Attack on Titan.”
Do you feel you have had to handle anything differently being a woman working in this medium?
There are probably more comments on my looks than my work :/
What keeps you inspired?
My friends and seeing all the great things they create!