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"And I'm too old to be slaying vampires."
—Manny to Anita[src]

Manuel Rodriguez, usually referred to as Manny, is an older animator and a retired vampire executioner. As such he never gets grandfathered into the preternatural marshal program, although he still does occasional morgue stakings by the time of Dead Ice. He believes vampires are monsters, and has issues with Anita's relationship with Jean-Claude.

Physical description Edit

Manny is not much taller than Anita, at about 5' 5", and has a slender build and a thin face. He has black mustache, and his once coal-black wavy hair already had white and silver mixed in at the age of 52 during the events of The Laughing Corpse. By the time of Dead Ice his eyesight might be weakening a bit, and his hair color is described as salt-and-pepper.

Age Edit

There is quite a bit of confusion about Manny's age. In Guilty Pleasures his age is given as having been 52 two years previously when they went after Valentine, but in The Laughing Corpse he is said to be still 52. Moreover Anita, has gone from age 24 to 31, between The Laughing Corpse and Dead Ice, but Manny says that there's less than five years until his 60th birthday, which is a weird way to phrase it if he is 59, and even weirder if he's already 61. If, on the other hand, we assume that 'less than five years' makes Manny 56 in Dead Ice, he should have been 49 in The Laughing Corpse and 47 when he and Anita confronted Valentine's nest.

Family Edit

Rosita - Manny's wife is a devout Catholic, and very jealous of anyone Manny had a relationship with before they he met her long ago in Mexico. There are somewhat conflicting descriptions of her along the series, which might make her 5' 8" or 5' 10" tall, or possibly 'nearly a foot taller' than Manny. She has a round face and wide shoulders and a nearly square shape, and weighs well over 300 pounds. Dead Ice makes it sound like she always keeps her hair in a bun at the nape of her neck, but in The Laughing Corpse her black hair is loosely permed and cut just below her ears. Rosita is a stay-at-home mom, but is considering starting her own wedding coordinator business because she enjoys arranging Connie's marriage so much. Anita thinks Rosita and Manny married in their teens, but that doesn't match his history with Dominga Salvador, unless only Rosita was in her teens. Rosita used to try to set Anita up with men, with a firm belief that every woman needs a husband, but is open-minded and romantic enough to accept Anita's choice after Jean-Claude's public proposal.

Consuela 'Connie' - Manny and Rosita's oldest daughter, whose wedding plans and arrangements are mentioned several times throughout Dead Ice. She is kidnapped by Maximiliano, who plans to kill her and sell her ensouled zombie as a sex slave for the dual purpose of hurting Manny and earning a lot of money, but the ritual is interrupted in time. She is 25 years old at the time, 5' 9" tall and pretty, and slender like her father. Her wedding happens in the epilogue of Dead Ice, and is revisited in Wounded.

Mercedes - Manny and Rosita's other daughter, who looks like a slightly younger version of Connie.

Tomas - Manny and Rosita's only son, still in kindergarten at the time of The Laughing Corpse, and 13 years old in Dead Ice and growing like a weed. He's a good enough runner to compete at State level, although when Maximiliano kidnaps him along with Connie, shoots him, and breaks his leg badly, it's uncertain whether he'll recover well enough to run again.

Other relationships Edit

When he was younger, Manny was quite wild and popular among women. Probably the most significant of his relationships before Rosita was with Dominga Salvador, whom Manny thought he loved, while he was still a vaudun priest and a true believer. They had a son together, Maximiliano, although Dominga Salvador passed him off as a sister-son. Manny doesn't learn the truth until after Maximiliano kidnaps Connie and Tomas in revenge for the perceived abandonment.

In Guilty Pleasures Anita says that Manny has four kids, but one of them seems to disappear along the series, because neither Anita nor Manny knows about Maximiliano at the time.

History before the series Edit

In his thirties, before his marriage and conversion to Christianity, Manny was a powerful vaudun priest who was involved with Dominga Salvador. He committed several acts that would land him in jail or even get a swift death sentence if police ever found out about them, including human sacrifice. We don't know many details of these events, but they are referenced in The Laughing Corpse. Manny's past with Dominga Salvador comes to haunt him and his family again in Dead Ice.

Manny and Bert founded Animators, Inc. in a small room above a garage four years before the beginning of the series. Manny became Anita's mentor in both vampire hunting and animator business, although she has long since surpassed his skills in both areas. Anita calls him a stake-and-garlic man, who only carried a gun as a backup.

Prequel Edit

The First Death comics, which are best read after the first novel, detail the referred events two years before Guilty Pleasures. Anita is still Manny's apprentice despite already being a licensed executioner and consulting with RPIT. Dolph prefers to work with Anita, because while he considers Manny one of the good ones, he still puts his wife and kids before catching the bad guys. However, cops require search warrants while vampire executors don't, so Anita goes with Manny instead of RPIT when it's time for actual hunting. Manny, for his part, prefers it this way, because cops don't even have silver bullets or partial immunity against vampire powers, and would only get in the way. He loves going at it alone, or with just Anita as the backup as the case might be.

When they prepare for the hunt they talk about hunting strategy and past hunts, and Manny quizzes Anita on her equipment. We learn that he finds guns useless even with silver ammo, even for slowing down a vampire, and chooses a blade instead. He also mentions that the place stinks of vampires, although it's unclear if he means an actual smell. When they get inside he can tell right away that the vampires aren't there anymore, something that Anita can't do. They add crosses to the coffins and sprinkle in holy water before finding an actual corpse in the other room. Anita has never seen a body this freshly dead before, but Manny has. Afterwards he checks her temperature in case of shock, but she brushes his concern away.

A bit later we learn that Anita considers Manny a better zombie raiser than she is. Even later that evening Edward threatens to get the information he wants out of Manny if Anita doesn't spill -- through torture, if necessary. The next day Anita trades information with Edward and gets enough in return to go hunting with Manny again. When they get outside of the fourth house on their list Manny senses sleeping vampires inside. Anita is starting to feel like just a backup muscle with a gun next to Manny's talents with the dead.

When they break inside the humans in there appear terrified and beg not to be hurt, only to lead them into a trap after Manny promises them a safe passage if they cooperate. A man threatens to slit Manny's throat if Anita doesn't give up her gun, so she does, even against his protests and earlier teachings. They beat Manny so badly he's unable to walk unaided, and as such is useless for their hunt. Anita fares better, and has to leave him behind when they let her run for a bit, although she does manage to check his pulse on her way by. Edward eventually saves the day and carries Manny out of the house, setting it into fire on the way. The official story is that Manny and Anita saved themselves. Manny lands into hospital, but is going to make it, although Anita has to promise his wife to not take him to any more vampire hunts.

The comics don't mention how long Manny has to stay in the hospital, or what injuries Anita suffered, but we learn these things in the first novel.

History within the series Edit

Guilty Pleasures Edit

We don't see Manny in person, but we learn he trained Anita to be both an animator and a vampire hunter. We also learn that he almost died on his last hunt with Anita, going after Valentine's nest. Manny retired at his wife's request after spending four months in hospital. Rosita also made Anita swear before God to never involve Manny in a hunt again, claiming he's too old, and has four kids to think of. Consequently Anita no longer counts him as the kind of friend whom she can call for backup into a freak party. Later in the book we learn that Anita has shared power with Manny twice to raise a zombie, with Anita acting as a focus.

The Laughing Corpse Edit

In the second book we meet Manny properly for the first time, as Anita has no choice but to involve him when a powerful vaudun priestess, Dominga Salvador, becomes a suspect at raising a zombie as a murder weapon. Manny's own name is also mentioned as a person who could do such a thing, but wouldn't. Anita calls him as a backup for a meeting with the Señora, which he sets up for the next morning. He says his agreement with Rosita doesn't cover zombie business, only vampire hunts. We learn that Manny was once a vaudun priest and Dominga Salvador's lover, and that's why he's able to arrange the meeting on such short notice. We also learn that Manny left vaudun behind when he met Rosita, who converted him to Christianity, although Anita knew this part even before.

Later, at the meeting, the Señora says that Manny could have been very powerful, but he replies that he didn't want the power. She also reveals that Manny as well committed human sacrifices in his time as a vaudun priest. Manny admits it, but presses that it was almost twenty years ago, when he was young, vaudun, and necromancer, and fancied himself in love with the Señora. Anita finds it hard to reconcile this picture with the man who taught her right from wrong in the animating business. The Señora claims it was Manny who urged her into such practices, but Anita doesn't believe her. In the end, Manny and Anita run away from the Señora together. Manny drives them back, and Anita doesn't know what to think of him anymore, but she promises not to tell police or Rosita about his past. Manny warns Anita that the Señora will keep her word and send something bad after Anita.

It's also claimed that Anita has known Manny for four years at this point. This is inconsistent with the timeline where Anita meets Manny through Bert three years previously.

Circus of the Damned Edit

Again we don't see Manny in person, but he's shortly referred to as the person who taught Anita to become an animator, and that Bert didn't send her out alone to raise zombies but with Manny. His retirement from vampire hunting business also comes up.

The Lunatic Cafe Edit

In this book Manny is barely mentioned at all, and is only referred to as a male who might have got Elvira Drew's smile to light her up even more than she does for Anita's sake.

Bloody Bones Edit

In this book Manny is again mentioned very briefly, but we learn that Bert and Manny founded Animators, Inc. together five years earlier. Later we learn that even though Manny taught Anita how to share power and act as a focus, he can't act as a focus himself.

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