A glimpse into the past ...

The first public appearance of Renegades took place in January 2009. The first appearance in my mind ... well, I would have to review many papers to be sure.

Creating projects of all kinds is one of my favorite hobbies, or rather was when I had time. Renegades was born under the because of my love for so many science fiction products I grew up with and that left an indelible mark on me. They were not only comic books, but also films or animation series that created the breeding ground that ended up causing the appearance of this bunch of multicolored, multiracial and dysfunctional characters, many of whom only got a couple panels appearance in a debut album called En los Albores de la Tempestad (At the Dawn of the Storm), as a clear homage to another of my favorite fictional sagas, which I will not name here.

Star Wars, Alien Legion, Dreadstar, Atari Force, Battle of the Planets, Cody Starbuck, Battlestar Galactica or Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs were leaving a more or less big footprint on the young couch adventurer project I was becoming little by little. Distant worlds, spacecraft, alternative realities, and fire-forged bonds between characters often in limit situations. The parable of present reality has always been one of the excuses to create the image of future reality that shapes science fiction. Great advances, technology overflowing, apocalyptic realities. Aliens, mutants and genetic experiments. An infinite blank canvas that is very difficult to resist as a creator of projects and adventures.

2007 was the year in which I decided that I was going to launch myself into the waters of the self-publishing sea. And I was going to do it big time. I wanted to provoke a creative mini-tsunami that was going to sweep ... the lobby of my house. Or something. I spent much of 2008 preparing the first album of what I expected to be a daring trilogy, format as fashionable then as it is now if you want to dispatch great epic sagas. Undoubtedly one of the best parts of the long process of creating Renegades was my fellowship with Karla Díaz, a promising chilean artist -she's ten times better than me right now. And maybe she was already then too- who helped me coloring the book and sometimes even also to maintain my sanity due to the high amount of stuff I was trying to do at the same time. Also deserves a special mention my good friend Carlos Gonzalez de Mingo who supported me during the whole process, demonstrating at times even more faith than myself that everything was going to be all right.  Carlos did the lettering and the layout of the whole album with complete dedication and affection, something that I can never thank him enough. I also want to have a memory for the people of the missing company Aleu who took care of printing the book with great professionalism and treating me as if I were a future and promising editor in the making.

Renegades, En Los Albores de la Tempestad was distributed in January 2009. After that I remember my attempts to promote it and make the book visible among the tons of new ones coming out every month, impossible task if you do not have a big publishing company behind or great support from the distributor. I did not have any of those things so I did what I could, with the altruistic help of enthusiastic people like the guys from Es La Hora de las Tortas website - Rafa, Antonio, Zona Negativa - Raul - or El Show de los Hombres Lobo. Humble signature sessions like the one I did in the Comic Box bookstore or, of course, with the Joso School during the Comic Convention that same year. I even edited a small print of a sketchbook for such an occasion. It was a very fun and exhausting Convention.

A very positive human balance in general and a great experience I guess. The sales were discreet and the vital plans of their enthusiastic author-publisher had to change very quickly. My first daughter was about to arrive and those who have been parents know the vertigo that these type of events produce. Priorities changed too quickly and fortunately there were jobs of all kinds that allowed me to recover from all the money - or at least a small part - that I lost with Renegades. I always had in mind to continue the adventure where I had left it on the first album. But every day that passed was farther away from those characters I had loved so much. When my daughter was born in 2010 I was so busy and bewildered by everything related with my parenthood that the best thing to do with the project was to leave it aside for the moment, at least until the living environment was a little better.

The years have passed. The "mercenaries with a heart" trapped in a macro-conflict between two empires that are suddenly attacked by a mysterious external force and everything they tried to explain about the relations between individuals, their reactions to limit situations, individual-state relations and certain parables on international politics I had in mind, were parked "sine die". But certainly never forgotten. There was always some irreducible fan who would ask me about them and give me a smile. But even if nobody had asked for them, his destiny was to return. It always was.

Like an amazing t-shirt that a anodyne guy was wearing some morning at Cardedeu's train station, the Mercenaries never die ...

... they just go to hell to regroup...

Mariano de la Torre

December 2016