Skateboarding, Fighting Ninjas, and Middle School Dances
An Interview with Jim Rugg

What if Kal El had been found by the Warriors instead of the Kents? Street Angel accidentally joins a super violent street gang. Are the Bleeders the family Jesse never had, or is Jesse the child they never wanted? What? Jesse 'Street Angel' Sanchez is the deadliest girl alive - a teenage homeless orphan skateboarder, fighting ninjas and trying to pass 7th grade! 

The Street Angel Gang from Image Comics will be available August 01, 2017. Check out our interview with Street Angel creator Jim Rugg below!

The Street Angel Gang
ISBN Code: 9781534303669

Item Code: (MAY170648), $19.99
Availabe August 2017!

 Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special
ISBN Code: 9781534302877

Item Code: (FEB170714), $19.99
Available Now!

Ashley Kronsberg: In your own words, can you give us some background on Street Angel?

Jim Rugg: Street Angel is a homeless, 13 year old, ninja skateboarder. Her real name is Jesse Sanchez. There is a lot of mystery surrounding Street Angel. We do not know much about her background - where she came from, what happened to her family, or how she learned to be such a tough ninja (she has been called the Deadliest Girl Alive).

Her stories are a mash up of superhero and alternative comics. Sometimes she’s saving the world from an evil geologist and other times she’s dumpster diving for dinner and trying to survive on the streets. Her stories are packed with action and comedy. The word most associated with Street Angel is “fun”.    

Ashley Kronsberg: What inspired you to create Jesse ‘Street Angel’ Sanchez? Were there specific influences in the creation of her character?

Jim Rugg: Brian Maruca, my long-time writing partner, and I created Street Angel in the early 2000s. She was inspired by what I was seeing in comic shops, or more specifically, what I wasn’t seeing. I was bored with the same old characters like Batman and Spider-Man - successful, adult white guys. I wanted something different. There weren’t any other comic books or characters like her - a fun, dynamic, young girl facing a hard situation/life. She fights to survive or to defend those less fortunate than herself.

Specific influences included all the comics I liked. At the time, I had read lots of superhero comics (Marvel, DC, Image), lots of alternative comics (Ghost World, Love and Rockets, Dirty Plotte, I Never Liked You), manga (Mai the Psychic Girl, Fist of the North Star, Akira), webcomics, mini-comics, anime, and cartoons. Street Angel was a chance to fold all of my favorite art and story influences into one book. In that way, she’s a very personal character.

Ashley Kronsberg: Street Angel was originally published in 2004 – how has the story expanded and/or changed throughout the years to where we find Jesse now?

Jim Rugg: After Street Angel was published in 2004-2005, I made other books like the PLAIN Janes with Cecil Castelucci (DC Comics), the Guild with Felicia Day (Dark Horse), and Afrodisiac (AdHouse Books). I got much better as a cartoonist through experience and working with editors. I also became more aware of the Young Adult genre. I read and watched stories featuring other strong female protagonists like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Tank Girl. And the comics industry diversified so there were more comics featuring strong female leads and more comics created by women. These developments made me a better creator and gave me more insight into Street Angel as a character.

Our new Street Angel stories have expanded her cast to include more of her friends and peers, to showcase more of her personal relationships, and to reveal more of her character as a result. As an artist, I started working with color more (I spent a couple of years making gallery art for shows in LA). Adding color to Street Angel comics has made a more dynamic, eye-catching world for her to skate through! Sadly, the socio-economic climate of America has made Street Angel’s homeless status more relevant.

One thing that has stayed the same is our goal to make each book reader friendly. Every Street Angel book contains a complete story and stands on its own. Street Angel remains an action/comedy featuring a strong female protagonist. It’s a book that fits next to Paper Girls, Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel, and Nimona.  

Ashley Kronsberg: The Street Angel Gang is now available! How does this story work with Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special?

Jim Rugg: Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special is like a day in the life of Jesse Sanchez. It follows Jesse thru school - dealing with the usual teen angst (an upcoming school dance - awkard) and a bully. The Street Angel Gang is like after dark with Jesse Sanchez. She gets drawn into gang life when a local gang has a recruitment drive that includes snacks. Being a tough ninja, Jesse takes to gang life like a fish to water. The gang offers her a sense of family, something our lonely lead craves. Of course it wouldn’t be much of a story if everything worked out smoothly.

Ashley Kronsberg: Finally, if you HAD to pick a favorite character (besides Jesse), who would it be?

Jim Rugg: It’s so hard to pick one favorite! Her friend Bell is awesome. Bell is very exuberant, a quality that I love. So if I can only pick one, it is Bell.  


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