Sam Rhodes, Fanboy Comics Creative Director: Hi, this is Sam Rhodes from Fanboy Comics, and, today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Alan Robert. He is the creative force and bassist behind the rock group Life Of Agony, the front man for the New York City based punk group Spoiler NYC; last year he wrote and illustrated a horror [comic] mini series called Wire Hangers published by IDW, which he is currently producing as a film through his production company, Wasted Talent Entertainment, and he’s back again this year with a new horror comic, Crawl To Me, that was just released on Wednesday, the 13th [of July]. Alan, thank you very much for talking to me.
Alan Robert: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
SR: Yeah! So, Alan, you are a renaissance man: music, art, writing… my question is, how do you find time to focus on all these different projects? And, do you have time to fit in sleep anywhere?
AR: [Laughs] Well, that’s always the biggest challenge, right?
AR: I actually am very inspired in the middle of the night [laughs]. And, you know that reduces the sleep time for me, but you know, I enjoy doing all these things. It gets me very excited to get involved with all these projects, and so I think it’s kind of a catch-22, because the excitement fuels me and keeps me up at night and, at the same time, the projects demand that I stay up all night working on them, so . . .
SR: Right. Right. Cool. Cool. I was reading that you took a class with Walt Simonson who is an incredible comic book artist, um-
AR: He’s amazing!
SR: Yeah, is that when you first started getting into comics? Or, did you get into it more recently? Or . . .
AR: I’ve been into comics since I was a kid. My dad had all the original Spider-Man comics and Fantastic Four issues. He saved them for me, so . . .
AR: He kinda passed them down to me, and I got hooked at a really young age. And then, in my teens, I got into my own collecting, and I would go to the conventions and get, you know, custom pieces of art from my favorite artists, like Mike Zeck with The Punisher and . . . people like that. And, I would just be that annoying kid, you know, at the table bugging ‘em all the time.
SR: [laughs] Nice.
AR: And, you know . . .
SR: That’s cool.
AR: I had a lot of fun, you know, and uh . . . I had a lot of comics signed by, you know, everyone under the sun. And then, um, I always drew as kid, and, by the time I got to college, I actually got a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and that’s where I took a class with Walt Simonson.
SR: Nice. So, has it always been a dream of yours to do a comic?
AR: Yeah, even before the music started, you know, that was my goal. I wanted to be a penciler for Marvel or something. And so, I went to school specifically to learn the trade, and, by the time I graduated, the same year I graduated, the band got signed. Life of Agony got signed and we started touring right out of the gate, and that’s when I had to make a decision – which path I was gonna pursue. I went with the band and things kinda snowballed. We just got into this whole cycle of recording, touring, writing. You know, that whole thing for years and years, so the comic dreams got put on hold for a little bit, but I never lost sight of it.
SR: Nice. Nice. Well, we’re really happy that you came back to it. That’s awesome! So, you wrote and illustrated Wire Hangers, and now you’re in the early processes of making it into a movie. You’re producing the film along with Ted Adams, who is the CEO of IDW, and Jeff Mazzola, who did The Descent and Under New Management. It’s gotta be a very different experience to do the comic and the movie, and so I guess what I want to ask is, is this your first time as a producer on a feature length movie? And, if so, how are you liking it?
AR: It is WAY different than doing anything I’ve done before. The only thing I can compare it to maybe is the music business, just because there are so many pieces of the puzzle to connect and so many different people you need to get involved to make it happen.
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