JR: The concept for Underground really came to me through fighting games like Tekken and King of Fighters, martial arts manga, and my own martial arts experience. With so many different fighting styles interacting in this brutal fight-club style environment, anything can happen and I think that’s what’s going to make it really exciting!
Saturday PM: Is this your first webcomic series?
JR: Yes, this would be the first. I’ve experimented with other concepts and done collaborations with writers in the past but this would be my own first webcomic series.
Saturday PM: Where did you get your art training?
JR: When it comes to illustration, especially with comic books, I’m mainly self-taught. I studied graphic design at Binghamton University which helped me get a handle on using some of the programs I use though.
Saturday PM:Who are your inspirations for comic/manga art?
JR: Takehiko Inoue definitely. I spent a lot of time practicing replicating panels from Vagabond. I also really like the work of Masasumi Kakazaki and George Morikawa.
Saturday PM: Where are you based (US? UK?)
JR: The US. Been a New Yorker all my life!
Saturday PM: What existing (past or current) manga/anime series do you hope UNDERGROUND can appeal to?
JR: I think if you like series like Baki, Hajime no Ippo, or Shamo, then Underground will be up your alley!
Saturday PM: How did you learn about us?
JR: WhytManga’s videos were suggested to me on YouTube and I subscribed to Saturday AM almost immediately after watching. Before I knew it, I got to meet some creators in person at Anime NYC!
Saturday PM: What do you hope to accomplish with Saturday PM this year?
JR: I’m hoping my series can help garner even more interest in the magazine and get readers hyped for every next release. If my work can help inspire other creators as Saturday AM did for me, that would be the most amazing thing.
Saturday PM: Where can fans learn more about you?
JR: I’m most active on Instagram - @jramamanga. That’s definitely the best place to see what projects and shenanigans I’m up to!