Doing the Write Thing: Writer Russell Molina and Artist Mikey Marchan
Graphic novelist Russell Molina is back with the sequel to his story about a "senior citizen superhero" in Mr Tino Volume 2. This time, he teams up with illustrator Mikey Marchan to raise the stakes for our hero—with more action-packed sequences and a shocker of an ending.
Picking up from where the first book left off, Mr Tino sets out to find who has been taking the children from the community, but nothing can prepare him for the answer he gets. Here, Russell and Mikey talk about what new emotional burdens and moral dilemmas Mr Tino Volume 2 has in store for the 66-year-old vigilante—and us.
What happens in Mr Tino Volume 2?
Russell: Volume 2 picks up where Volume 1 left off. But the new book presents a slightly different Mr Tino, one who is now powered with all of these emotions. There will be more action, more revelations and a different kind of energy while maintaining the pace and the grit of the first book.
Mikey: This is the further unravelling of Mr Tino’s story, of his hero’s journey. And as the readers of the first volume know, there were a lot of questions left unanswered. The story ended with a giant cliffhanger. So this book aims to answer all those questions and also, put an end to the story arc of Mr Tino. It also features what I believe would be the biggest challenge of his adventure in this story.
What sorts of inspirations did you gather for this book?
M: Well, I think story-wise, Russ was inspired by a lot the classic superhero stories and comics. And he just put a very cool twist to it, that the main character was a guy in his sixties when he was aware that he has superpowers. And I think it just makes a very good story to tell.
R: Mr Tino is a story about a man who, on his 66th birthday while trying to save his wife from a near-fatal crash, suddenly discovers that he has superhuman strength. So what are you going to do with this newfound superpower at this age? Can I save my ailing wife? Will I try to solve the mystery of the missing kids in the neighbourhood? Mr Tino Volume 1 took us on this roller coaster ride as our senior citizen hero tries to answer all of these questions as he himself struggles to search for meaning and purpose. Volume 1 ended with a cliffhanger and now Volume 2 is finally here.
What are your favourite moments from this book?
M: The most memorable one for me I think was during the production phase. We were on the climactic chapter of this story. And when Russ handed me the script, to my surprise, there were just a couple of lines in it. And when I asked him about it, he told me that it was all up to me, like I had free rein on how I illustrate that part, how I pace it, and compose it. And yeah I really appreciated that because I had a lot of freedom making it and I can say that that was the most enjoyable part for me.
R: For me, it's how Mr Tino creates new conversations to the already rich superhero genre by introducing an unlikely protagonist—familiar, relatable and one that can represent us, our roots and our own struggles. It is a story of hope, a story of the unimaginable – one that pushes us to believe that nothing is really impossible in this world. Something that we all need to realise especially today.
What can readers take away from this book?
M: I’d like them to take something from Mr Tino’s character. His bravery, his heart, his tenacity and most of all his unwavering love for his family. Besides the readers enjoying this book, one real hope of mine is maybe it inspires some of the readers to make comics of their own. I really think that comics is a really amazing art medium and it would make me really happy if more people make great comics.
R: If you rooted for Mr Tino in Volume 1, do pick up the second book and continue the journey with him. If you haven’t read the first book, I hope you experience this super senior citizen story and begin this thrilling adventure.
Get Mr Tino Volume 2 from our online bookshop here.