Castle & Key Publications is the publishing arm of J. Gonzo Designs, LLC. and was founded in 2011 as a means to self-publish my comicbook projects.
After years of being a comicbook fan and having worked as an Art Director and Graphic Designer in the comicbook industry, it had always been a goal of mine to develop and publish a story and character that was my own creation; I wanted to contribute to an art form and industry that I loved. Over the years, I had developed a few different characters, stories and worlds that were met with varying levels of enthusiasm, but no real success. At this same time I was looking for work as a comicbook artist and would shop my portfolio around with company-owned characters and a few of my own personal pieces – one of these pieces was a short narrative involving a Luchador. This piece garnered a lot of attention and inquiry from the editors with whom I met. I had a loose idea of a backstory as to who he was, but hadn’t developed him into a real character beyond the one-shot that I had created him for. I was encouraged to flesh him out and get a pitch together for a fairly large comicbook company. I went about fleshing-out the arc and motivation of this character and in the end created La Mano del Destino. The company in question ultimately passed, but had nothing but praise for the project (They just couldn’t fit me into their publishing schedule). I then shopped La Mano del Destino around to other companies, all of who had much love for the book, but, similarly, could not take on a new project from an unknown. Many of the editors I spoke to wrote anguished rejection letters that would decline the project, but compliment the skill with which it was done and encourage me to self-publish. This almost universal fondness for La Mano del Destino and the love I had developed for my character led me to the decision to put my money where my mouth is and create Castle & Key Publications.
Though La Mano del Destino is Castle & Key Publications’ inaugural title, I hope to expand its roster under a simple credo of: Good stories told well.