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Robbo

By Blazej Szpakowicz     February 05, 2006

Welcome to the DCG Artist Webmaster Spotlight.

Never mind the clever blurbs, here's the almighty founder of Comics2Film, Rob (Robbo) Worley!

Comics2Film (C2F):The name of the site basically states its purpose. With that said,why another film site? What led you to create a site so specific in itsscope?

Rob Worley (RW):Passion! Ever since I was a little kid I've been psyched every time asuperhero gets turned into a live-action character, no matter how bad thetranslation was. And when I was young there was no internet, so you'd beforced to wait for the drip-drip-drip of information about, say, theSpider-Man movie in one of Stan's Soapbox columns...and then never hearabout it again for YEARS.

So in the mid 1990s I got on the web and had my personal website likeeveryone else and I was hooked on sites like Ain't It Cool News, the DetroitNews Comics Continuum (now just Comics Continuum), Zentertainment and CoronaComing Attractions. Those sites, along with a few other outlets (like AndyMangles' Hollywood Heroes columns in one of Marvel's publications) and theywere filled with interesting news about comic book movies.

My though was, this should all be in one place. If I'm a fan who wants toknow what's going on with the Spider-Man movie, I should be able to go to awebpage that has clippings of all the news and rumors about it, so I canstay current.

That's pretty much how Comics2Film came about.

C2F:In the early days of comics to films there were just a few standardsites to hit for information. Sites like Dark Horizons, AICN, ComicsContinuum, Cinescape, Comics2Film, and a fewothers. Rumors and scoops were the big things early on... how did yougo about getting information and trying to "out-scoop" another website?

RW:In 1998 Comics2Film became a dot com and started to become very popular(thanks to a nice plug on Zentertainment...it was the equivalent of gettingslash/dotted at the time). And I was quite surprised that people inHollywood were seeking me out to help them promote their stuff. And so, evenearly on, I had access.

And so, the more serious I became about C2F, the more time I was spendingeach week, and eventually each day, on the phone with parties in Hollywoodtrying to find stories.

And by 2000 the site had completely transformed from a simple clippingservice to an outlet that had a steady flow of exclusive news that youcouldn't find on other sites.

I was also adamant that C2F be a CREDIBLE source of news, so I refrainedfrom printing every hair-brained "scoop" or "tip" the landed in my inbox.Every story was vetted and fact-checked.

C2F:Did you feel like it was more like a competition in the early daysbetween sites?

RW:Not in the very early days. C2F was a very specialized site, so I didn'tfeel like AICN and CCA were directly competing with me, not that I coulddirectly compete with them. They were much larger and more highly regardedthan C2F was. The only site in the early days that was similar was ComicsContinuum.

I have to admit there was a little rivalry with me and RobAlls (RobAllstetter) back in the day. As much as I endeavored to be professional andjournalistic, there was Allstetter who actually was a working journalist forthe Detroit News (and various other publications). So we'd occassionallyhave some back and forth in our news sections, each providing differentperspectives on the same story.

It wasn't until 2004, when C2F was already five years old, that thefollow-on sites started to pop up...the other sites who wanted to jump onthe comic book movie bandwagon.

C2F:Do you think sites like Comics2Film have effected the entertainmentindustry? If so, how?

RW:Sure. These sites provide a whole new level of access between the industryand the fans. It definitely changes the way movies are marketed, and to somedegree, how they're made. When you have someone like Guillermo del Toroactively engaging the fans throughout the production of 'Hellboy'... that'ssomething that just never happened even 10 years ago.

C2F:What is the wildest comics to film rumor you have ever seen at anysite?

Hmmmm....the wildest rumor I've heard recently, although I'm not sure it wasreported anyhwere, was that the producers of the Aquaman movie (not the TVshow) were looking to do the character as a wacky comedy with Will Ferrelstarring.

C2F:There are several quotes from directors and members of the comicindustry on the front page of the site. What kind of feedback do theygive you on the site and its content?

RW:Most of the feedback is positive. Most directors and producers I've heardfrom really like the site and appreciate the fact that the news was alwayscredible. Except Don Murphy. He hates me. Sometimes. Not really.

Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil and Ghost Rider) and Guillermo del Toro(Hellboy), have specifically commented that they love the fan art gallery.

In fact there was a tagline on one of the fan made Daredevil posters thatbecame a line of dialogue in the movie ("How do you kill a man withoutfear"). I could never get to the bottom of whether the fan art inspired thedialogue or if they were both inspired directly by a line from the comics.The fan artist (Essex)couldn't recall.

C2F:Which comic to film is your favorite and why?

RW:I've always been a huge Spider-Man fan, so I have to count both those moviesamong favorites. They're just well-made and really do justice to thecharacter. I love 'em!

In additon: X2, Batman Begins, Sin City, American Splendor, the first twooriginal Superman movies, the first two Blades...the list goes on and on,doesn't it? You couldn't really say that when I started C2F!

C2F:What comics that haven't been made into a movie you would like tosee? How would you approach the movie?

RW:Devil Dinosaur! I'd love to see an all ages 1970s Godzilla-esque take onMarvel's big red dinosaur. Eric Powell recently did an updated comic thathad many of the elements I would use in the movie, but I'd also let Big Dtime travel to present day L.A. so he could battle Fin Fang Foom on top ofthe "Die Hard" building.

C2F:What led to the creation of the DCG?

RW:A guy named John Moodystarted sending me these movie posters he had done inPhotoshop and asked if I wanted to put them on the site.

So I put them up and invited people to email their fan art to me. Prettysoon I was getting one or two a week. Then more than that. Eventually I hadto program the software to automate the whole thing just so I could staySANE! At its peak we were getting about 20 submissions a day.

C2F:How do you think the DCG has helped/hurt the site over the years?

RW:Oh, it's definitely created a whole new community within the regular C2Fcommunity. In fact, I would say there is a stronger sense of communitywithin the DCG than the entire rest of the site.

And the artists provide content that is quite popular with everyone whovisits the site.

C2F:Who are/were some of your favourite DCG artists?

RW:Wow...this is really hard. I'm going to get in trouble here because therehave been so many artists who have come and gone. I know I'll forgetsomeone. Ummm...Bis at the top of my list.

Essex,Zac,kev_incal,Sticks,Squedge,Welshcat,android,David Moran (Marrow2000),Lordmesa,dark_knight_dk,Marcelo Gomes,matrixblur,Mark Jones.

There've been so many that just do good work or have influenced the shape ofthe DCG.

C2F:You've also done some writing in the comics industry, such as YoungAncient One for Marvel/Epic, and Advent Rising for Bill Jemas' 360EP.How did this come about? How, if at all, did your experience running andwriting for Comics2Film help the transition to professional comics work?

RW:It was sort of an organic progression from writing news several times a weekto expanding into writing other areas. I guess one big inspiration was awriter I had interviewed and become friends with in 1998. He wouldoccasionally drop me an email and mention a pitch that he was working on. Iwould send him my ideas and we would go back and forth spitballing things.

For me it was just tremendous fun to think that something I created in thoseconversations might end up in a movie (so far, no such luck).

But, I always regretted that my primary profession was not writing, but thatI had pursued other things that I was less passionate about, things thatseemed more practical. And finally, at the end of 2000, I had the confidenceto set those other pursuits aside, quit my day job, and devotemyself to writing screenplays.

So, I finished my first screenplay in 2001 and started several more in 2002which was also the year C2F became like a full-time job to maintain. Towardsthe end of 2002 I got an email from Michael Doran, who was the PR guy atMarvel, asking if any of us web journalists were interested in a new thingMarvel was doing...which eventually turned out to be Epic. Of course, Ijumped at the chance.

And through a lot of hard work, rejected pitches and rewriting I got thegreenlight to do "Young Ancient One" as a three-issue series.

That was really my first break in professionally writing the kinds of thingsI wanted to write. It was very exciting. And it led to me getting otherwork.

So, I've got about a dozen comics credits now, with several more comicsrolling out in the coming months. I've written two Young Readers serialnovels for a new book line that will launch in the summer. And I'mcontinuing to write screenplays.

It's definitely been an interesting trek so far.

C2F:What characters would you most want to write for?

RW:Didn't I already say it? Devil Dinosaur!

C2F:Finally, if you could change one thing about Comics2Film, what wouldit be and why?

RW:There's no one thing...just a "To Do" list that gets longer and longer andlonger.

I guess if we're in the land of magic pixie dust, I'd change C2F so therewere fewer ads and more money. That would solve a lot of problems.


You can find Rob's li'l website athttp://www.comics2film.com. But you already knewthat, didn't you?

Interviewers: Blazej Szpakowicz and Dan Perceful

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