Rob Van Dam, or RVD as he is better known, has been a success wherever he has been as a wrestler, but now this frog splashing comic fan has stepped through the ropes and into the world of comic creation with his new graphic novel, Twisted Perception. Mr Van Dam was at the MCM London Comic Con promoting his new creation, and I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes of his time for a quick chat about all things comic.
NICK: Rob, can you tell us a little about Twisted Perception and its origins?
RVD: The passion from this story came from stories deep inside me, the protagonist lives in my brain; you could say he is a personality of RVD.
Known as a positive inspiration, laid back peaceful guy, I’m admired by many people for having balance. I’m not a superhero, I don’t have super strength, but people know I can fight, and I’m positive and balanced. However, when I’m exposed to certain evils, like monsters that kidnap little kids, rape them, kill them, terrible atrocities like this, which are way too common, it brings something out of me that is no longer positive, no longer peaceful and no longer laid back. I have a hate, this need to punish. I just think that if I could get my hands on that person, what I would do to them, it’s a real ugly non-peaceful thought and it throws off my balance, and my story is about that.
The Twisted Perception is the look at one’s self, once you’ve crossed the line, and you’ve done bad things, even if it was to bad people, then you can really no longer be that same innocent, positive, plain authored person you once were. Even if you’re doing the right thing, the motivation, the inspiration is so dark and so violent and it’s a really unsettling feeling to try and keep inside, and remain balanced. Twisted Perception is the struggles of a peaceful martial artist who now sees himself in a much darker world than all of his practices and his martial arts have led him up to.
NICK: The art looks incredible, how does it feel to see your creation brought to life?
RVD: Oh it’s so cool, you see I can’t draw, I can do a stick figure for you and you probably wouldn’t recognise the stick figure. I’m pretty limited there. To have an idea live in your head for so long, and then see it actually come to fruition and materialise, is just awesome. Once the story is out, that intellectual property is out, and then the characters are real, it has real life. Whether it was turned into… I don’t know a movie or merchandise, it all just starts with an idea living inside my head. So, just to see that and to be able to touch it and to see it as something real, for a creator like me is a great, great award.
NICK: We know that you yourself, are a comic guy, but what writers influenced you whilst writing Twisted Perception?
RVD: Mostly growing up, I didn’t know the real actors, so much as the characters names. Just like we know a lot of characters by their characters names and not the real actors names, and I kinda grew up on that line.
So, I don’t think it was until much later, like when the Ultimate Universe and Brian Michael Bendis was getting all the credit for recreating how they do dialogue, I was into that, I was like, “This sounds like how real people talk.” It got to be a bit much for me when everything began switching over to the Ultimate Universe. But, Brian Vaughan, Ghost Rider was always my favourite character growing up, so I gotta give Gary Friedman credit for pulling me in. I was glad to see them make that into a movie, because he is such an under-appreciated character. As a kid all my friends loved Wolverine, so I felt that Ghost Rider was my own personal favourite, and to see that become a movie and get introduced to the masses, that was cool, regardless of anyone’s opinions of the movie.
NICK: Comic fans are often labelled, so when people like yourself advocate them, write them and appear at events such as MCM Comic Con, it kind of legitimises them.
RVD: Well there are a lot of different sides to me as a person. I’m known for wrestling which is a very physical job. I’m a fighter and competitive in that nature, but at the same time, I’m also a geek.
NICK: Going back to the Ghost Rider movie, how would you feel if Twisted Perception were to be picked up as a movie?
RVD: It would be awesome if anyone even approached the idea of turning this into live action.
You can get your hands on RVD’s fantastic comic book Twisted Perception by visiting robvandam.com