Star Comic Book Fan:
An Interview With Rob Van Dam
me. He's holding my business card.
obvious that wrestling and comics have a lot in common. A few
years ago, Chaos! Comics even went so far as to publish a few
titles based around personalities in the-then WWF. Since that
time, we've seen Raven write an issue of Spider-Man, The Hurricane
play out a Green Lantern fixation on WWE, and, of course, wrestlers
keep lurking on the fringes of ComicCon.
lurking on the fringes doesn't cover it anymore. Though last
year he wandered the halls in a floppy hat and sunglasses
(some secret identity), this year Rob
Van Dam hit the Con with two big projects. First, he brought
a "preview" booth for his own comic book store, RVD's 5-Star
Comics, which officially opened in Long Beach the week after
was also there to talk about his own new comic book, Twisted
Perception, which he hopes will cross media. (Hey, doesn't
everybody intend for that these days?)
rate, though Rob was almost always occupied by fans, he did
find a little time to stand and talk with me. I took a few
breaks so that Rob could sign autographs and pose for pictures,
which gave me the great opportunity to just watch the guy
interact with his fans. Will it come as a surprise to you
when I say that he was incredibly gracious to everyone who
spoke to him, and especially enthusiastic to the kids that
came up shyly? Would that be completely ruining his reputation?
the case, he sure showed a lot of patience towards me, because
even though the wrestling fans here have given me the official
wrestling name of "The Patriarch," I still don't really know
squat about what's going on with the WWE.
McCaw: Let's talk about your new project.
Van Dam: It's a comic book. To me, it's really a story;
there's a lot that I'd like to do with it. I'm going to release
it in a comic book because I'm a huge comic book fan. It's
an ongoing story. I have over a year's worth written out;
I have a spin-off scripted and everything. I like to write.
You're writing it yourself?
Yes. That's all I can do. I can't draw; I wish I could. I'm
jealous of artists, but I've never been one. And so Noodlesoup
(Productions) is drawing it, coloring it. They've actually
inked the first book and are coloring it now.
to start the story with a four book set, to kick it all off.
From there, hopefully we'll get some demand and continue,
instead of committing myself to a monthly schedule right off
got number one almost wrapped up, and I'm pretty excited about
The name of the character is…?
The character is Yan Goodman, that's the guy's name, but the
story is called Twisted Perception. I haven't given
a whole lot out about the subject matter to the public yet,
just because I'm waiting to have a date, a time frame, some
sort of opening to materialize. Two years ago at the Con I
was handing out samples of it, thinking it was going to be
out soon. And here it is two years later and I already had
the story for two years before that, four years now.
been a little protective of talking too much about it.
That's understandable. But what would you say to someone about
why they should pick it up?
Obviously I'm going to get a lot of people to check it out
because of my name. But besides that, the artwork is outstanding.
They've done a great job bringing all the characters to life.
feel passionate about the story. Really really passionate
about it. I think that this comic book is going to kick other
comic book's asses. I've been a comic book fan since I was
like seven years old, so I'm very opinionated when I read
I hate it when I open up a comic book and it just starts to
introduce some of the characters. Then all of a sudden the
comic ends when the guy finds out that his girlfriend left
him. And I'm supposed to care enough to buy the next issue
or something. I hate those.
in these four comics, each one is an individual story that
opens up and has closure. The background story is like the
spine of the thing, that runs all the way through it. That's
very important to me.
What is it about comics that you love?
It's the action. I'm an action junky. I always have been,
from martial arts movies to, obviously, pro wrestling. Comic
books, in the same way, opened up my mind, opened up my imagination
to the possibilities of action in a way that you can't even
do in real life.
How is Twisted Perception going to be different than other
For one, it has absolutely nothing to do with wrestling whatsoever.
It's a complete fictional story, which means it doesn't have
Rob Van Dam in it. It doesn't even take place in a particular
city, because that wasn't what was important to me.
I read a lot of comics, it's cool how they can capture the
real feel of a New York City or New Orleans when you go there.
But that's not what this is about for me. It's about the story.
People that read it, I want them to be able to relate to it,
to the extent where it could be in their town. It could be
the real thing. My protagonist, Yan, I want people to be able
to relate to him. He's not an alien from another planet or
anything like that. He's an average guy, for the most part,
who is put in circumstances that, I hope, makes the reader
go, "what would I do if I was caught like that?"
What inspired you to open a comics shop?
and his dream...
One of my favorite things to do when I travel, which is 220
days a year, is to stop into comic book shops. I do it in
all the different cities when I'm wrestling. Even in other
countries, I always try to go to comic stores.
makes me happy. I like being surrounded by comics. I'm like
a little kid in a candy store when it comes to it. So it was
just a natural progression to try and open up one of my own.
You've obviously been here before. What is the geekiest moment
you have had personally at a convention?
I don't know. I guess maybe getting Lou Ferrigno's autograph.
That was pretty geeky, and I'm still pretty excited about
that from last year.
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