Mario Acevedo's popular vampire hero, Felix Gomez, is wowing fans in a whole new way as the star of a new graphic novel series. So we sat down with Mario Acevedo to find out what fans could expect from Felix's newest adventures which begins with Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez: Killing the Cobra Chinatown Trollop.
RT BOOK REVIEWS: This is not the first time that you have written about Felix. How does the graphic novel Chinatown Trollop fit into your Felix Gomez series?
Mario Acevedo: This is the prequel to Felix Gomez’s adventures in my first novel, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats. Chris Ryall, the publisher at IDW, found the mention where Felix refers to a previous assignment against the Han Cobra Chinese heroin smugglers and suggested the graphic novel revolve around that episode.
RT: In this graphic novel, Felix admits that he has a hero complex but he also says he feels like a poser – others are the real heroes, not him. What do you think?
MA: Felix is well aware of his failings and misgivings. His hero complex comes from his sense of duty and honor, and his awareness of his flaws has only intensified because he is now an undead bloodsucker, supposedly a predator on humans.
RT: Qian Ning, Felix’s lover, certainly thinks of him as a hero. Qian has a great backstory as the former Chinatown Trollop, but instead of focusing on that, you instead show her vulnerability when Felix leaves her to go off on his dangerous missions. What prompted you to use Qian’s point of view in the story?
MA: In every Felix story, he gets involved with a strong female character (human or supernatural) and together they’re on separate missions for the greater good. And in every story, things don’t go well for Felix and the females because circumstances trap them, often because the bad guys blindsided Felix. I gave Qian Ning a rather shameful past and that her reputation as the Chinatown Trollop was because she had been forced to work as a prostitute. Now she runs a shelter for women escaping the sex slave trade. I thought by bringing that aspect of her life into focus would increase the reader’s horror when the Han Cobras lash out against Felix.
RT: Felix relies heavily on the skills he has developed from being undead including speed, agility and accelerated healing, but he doesn’t embrace everything about his new lifestyle. In fact, he outright refuses to drink human blood. What stops him from accepting his fate and fully living as a vampire?
MA: What stops Felix from accepting his fate as a bloodsucking vampire is his guilt over the death of the Iraqi girl his men mistakenly ambushed during the war (based on an actual event, unfortunately). Felix comes to terms with his vampiric nature at the conclusion of The Nymphos of Rocky Flats and after that, he happily guzzles from the necks of humans. But I couldn’t address in the graphic novel how he overcame his aversion to feeding from humans as those events don’t happen until much later.
RT: Felix rails against the forces that try to control him whether they take the form of drug smugglers, the US government or the tough organization that rules the vampires. What prompts his aversion to authority?
MA: If Felix is aware of his failings, then he is really aware of the failings of bureaucracy and the compromises those in power make and shove down the throats of those below.
RT: How much have in common with your hero, you know, besides the same Hawaiian shirts and military background?
MA: True, Felix and I both served in the army in Iraq (different wars), and we’re both Chicanos who prefer to wear Hawaiian shirts. Aside from that, Felix is taller and handsome, has more hair, can sing, has better luck with the ladies, and in general would resent any comparison to me.
RT: Felix has some awful memories and thanks to his immortality, he is stuck with them forever. Can there be a happy ending (or at least some closure) for an ex-military, current vampire protagonist with self-destructive tendencies and an allergy to authority?
Mario Acevedo: Yes, at some point there will be closure but no happy ending. Felix will do his duty. Expect to laugh and shed tears.
Thanks much. I love RT. Happy fanging!
Check out Felix's first graphic novel adventure, Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez: Killing The Cobra Chinatown Trollop in stores now!