Rob AndersinROB ANDERSIN INTERVIEW: CONDUCTED BY Lee A. Gooden

1/ Why the medium of comics?

In school I struggled to learn to read, in fact I could not read by the time I got to Junior High. I was about to be put on the small bus because they thought I was suffering from retardation or, as they put it, I was a retard. Teachers told me that I stupid since I was in Kindergarten. When I was a sixth grader in middle school, my reading level was around second grade. There was a lot of drama over this at home. My mom told me how she didn’t love me, that I was a waste of life, and I was an embarrassment to the family. Yeah I was 11, and I had one of the worst cases of ADHD seen back in the 80’s. (I am in a medical text-book as a test case subject for Ritalin that I was forced to take it daily.) When I discovered Comic books they saved my life. It began with the X-Men, and my interest in the X-Men comics made me teach myself how to read. Turns out I am severely Dyslexic and I have Dysgraphia. They learned this by giving me an IQ test. It also turned out that my IQ is on an Einstein like level. The funny thing was I was in a school for “gifted kids” and my IQ was the highest in the whole school. The IQ tester ripped into the school. (as my DAD would tell me after pulling me out for the day and having lunch to celebrate. He had to take time off of work for this, so he yelled at them-I found out later-for wasting his and my time. My mother would never apologize for the things she said.)
In the meeting the school had to go over the findings; (This was after they had told my parents I was a retard, remember? And, after they forced me to be tested.) the IQ tester told us that the symptoms were always there, but they missed them all and failed me as teachers. But, he also told us that it was too late to teach the things that I had missed out on, like phonics. Which as an adult now, I don’t understand. All they could do was try to help me and stop calling me stupid. (Something I told him when I broke down crying at the beginning of being tested by him, because it scared me to think I was stupid and an embarrassment I was only 11 remember? I was ashamed of who I was. )
My Dad was the only one who believed I wasn’t dumb or a retard as they called me, he saw something was wrong with me but did not what to call it or how to fix it. He saw that my mind worked differently. He was why I was tested. And he paid for me to have comics even when money was tight at home, which it often was. I skipped eating lunch so I had money for comics. I became obsessed with their worlds and the escapes they offered. I used a dictionary to learn words so I could understand the stories. Within one single year I went from second grade reading level to college level and one of the highest scores in the school. Comics gave me a world to go into when my life was ugly and it unlocked my mind and inspired me to find my own way to learn how to read and write so I owe comics more than they will ever owe me.

2/ Did you read a lot of comics as a child and were you heavily influenced by pop culture?

I remember my dad read to me that Batman comic where Robin Died (the one where you could vote on it in that issue, which we know now as the “Death issue”) and it upset me. That moment is one of the fondest memories of my life, because my Dad comforted me and told me how much he loved me. It was one of the greatest (and one of the very few warmest) moments from my childhood. It would be a few years after that, that comics would save my life. Comics influenced me more than pop culture ever did. Not to say there weren’t times where I wanted to fit in. But, that just wasn’t who I was. When I realized, I had to just be me, my life became so much more rewarding.

3/ What are your other influences; not just comics or pop-culture, but also regarding what you consider as your core?

TV, Cartoons and understanding things. I have a need to understand things and how things work. I spend my free time googling what things are and how things work. One of my favorite shows is “How it’s made.”

4/ Do you want to include religion and politics in this interview? If so, fire away. Use this interview as a non-judgmental platform.

Religion is personal. I once wrote a book ripping into Christianity and as I proof read it, I became ashamed. Who was I to tell others what to believe? I have beliefs, and when I’m asked about my beliefs, I speak about them openly and honestly. I consider myself to be very spiritual. With that said, I don’t preach. As for politics, I think enough people are talking about it that I do not need to speak on it as a whole. I will only say people should educate themselves on more than simply headlines and stop trusting bad news site and thinking bad news is factual. It is our job in life to seek out the truth not cherry pick the “truth” that best suits or needs.

5/ Describe your background while growing up; your education, the music and art scene, your favorite things in this era, etc.

I am a high school drop out and an alcoholic by the time I was 15. I lived how I wanted and when I wanted from 15 on. My Dad died when I was 13 tuning 14. A lot of family stuff happened around this time that I won’t openly talk about. I will in a personal setting talk about moments that directly affected me but as whole. It SUCKED. I was a 90’s kids and a METAL HEAD who lived for heavy metal thunder. I was a lost kid who needed a role model and had none. I wore a trench coat and did not care and never expected nor planned for life after 20. My Education was in the Streets of NYC. However, these experiences molded me into a better person, believe it or not. I made my mistakes early in life and in my 20’s became a very responsible person. I got it out of my system early I guess.

6/ Tell us how your family, being a husband and father contributes or doesn’t contribute to your art.

My family is shattered and full of people who turned their backs on me and my sisters. But that’s ok, because I have a fantastic and overly-smart Nephew and a Niece who will change the world. I am proud of them and love them deeply. My Sisters and my Wife are my family, along with the kids. The are my life. My Son Jaxx has made me a Better man and human being and even fixed my heart. Being a Dad, has made me a better man. My Wife is the love of my life and my partner in life. She has come from some of the same places as me, regarding of painful childhood. Having her in my life makes talking about the past easier cause it’s not met with a person’s inability to understand how much life sucks at times. And all of my life influences how I create. The good; the bad; the ugly and the kinky, all mix together to form my creations.

7/ What are your work habits? Is there a special place that you feel most comfortable to write and create.

I worked so hard I broke my back literally. Now, I am in pain every day and it will never end so comfortable doesn’t visit me and I can’t really work due to spinal injury and nerve damage. As for writing, I now write whenever I can. Some days I can’t sit in a chair so I use my IPhone to take notes. So, I don’t wait to create I write when ever I can.

8/ When did you know you wanted to be a writer/artist?

When I was a kid it was all I ever wanted to be, but I was told by teachers I would never be good enough. I did give it up for a while, after I wrote a novel called Mustang Detective when I was 15. I had a book offer and all for it. Before signing this book deal, I read the book in one sitting and it broke my heart. It was horrible I threw it out and never looked back. I gave up writing and would not write again for over a decade. The need to write would haunt me and I went back to writing in my late 20’s, because in the end I am a story-teller.

9/ What are you reading/listening/watching now?

Wow. I actually do not watch a ton of TV because I am dealing with my 2yr old son, running Written Sins or making comics. But I spend 1 hour a day watching shows with my wife, and that, is too long to list. My top 10 to watch are: The Blacklist, Agents of Shield, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Blindspot, Flash, Shameless, WWE programing and Marvel Netflix shows (black mirror is the Bomb and I am now watching Leverage on Netflix. And, a shout out to The Golden Girls). Music is a mix, but metal and alternative is always in the mix. God Smack, Ozzy, Disturbed, Skillet, Hollywood undead (my Sons fav band) some Mo Town and Classic rock.

10/ Explain the concept of “Fetish babies” and the whole culture it represents.

The Philosophy Behind the story
This story is dedicated to those born with a fetish for BDSM, to let you know you’re not alone. This story is our way to show the world more about who we are and disprove many misconceptions about the people who have Fetishes. The Biggest misconception that there is, is that somehow there is something wrong with anyone who has a fetish. In this day and age of acceptance, of all types of people those who have fetishes are still looked down upon and treated like damaged goods.
Unlike other stories told about BDSM this is Created by two Creators who have been into the Fetish Scene and actually have Fetishes. While none of the stories are real they are based on personal experiences and based upon a combined 30 years of study, experience and exploration into Fetishes and BDSM. This makes the story feel very real and shows a true side of what it is to have a fetish something often not seen before in mainstream media.
We also want to express the fact that a running theme for Fetish babies will be for you the reader to draw your own conclusions. The story is written to never preach but rather examine the intense relationships born out of fetish/BDSM and the dangers and rewards within those relationships. As well if we do our job right the ongoing series will be a learning tool, a guide to the NYC fetish underground as well as an opportunity to show to the World both how intense having a fetish/BDSM relationship can be all the while showing how normal most people with Fetishes really are. We are your teachers, your lawyers, your postal workers, law enforcement, etc… and your friends.
Fetish babies follows a young woman’s Journey into self discovery. Barbara is her name is this is a preview of her story :
Not everyone is introduced to kinky things, some people are born with a need that haunts their minds even from early in life. This urge is refereed to as a Fetish:
The Medical Definition of fetish: an object or bodily part whose real or fantasized presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression.
Barbara was born in a small town and very early on she knew she had a fetish for Bondage. Being in a small town she knew she could never be accepted for who she was and had to hide her desires. She worked hard in school and got a ticket out of small town life via a full scholarship to a college in NYC. Living in NYC had become an obsession for Barbara not because it was NYC but because of the hidden Fetish Underground of NYC. NYC was a place where she could be accepted for who she was, fetishes and all. Barbara gets her wish and journeys to NYC but what is that saying? Be careful of what you wish for? If NYC can eat you alive just living and working there imagine what the Cities Underground Fetish Scene can do to a Very Excited and eager to explore young woman. Join her adventures and misadventures as she learns the difference between fantasy and reality and watch as she grows and learns who she is in the most exciting city in the World’s Fetish Underground. Visit us @ Fetish babies.com

11/ You and your wife are also partners regarding your work. How did this come about? Is it difficult for spouses to be business partners?

I had written a Book on BDSM safety and it read like stereo instructions. After an NYCC in 2012, I meet an artist who drew bondage art and it was at a creator connection panel, so we were supposed to make something together. So, I wanted to work with him and bondage was a common interest. I talked to my wife and complained I would love to turn the safety book into a comic and she said, “why don’t you?” So I said I don’t know how to make it an interesting story and the rest is history. She gave the Fetish babies characters their souls and depth.

12/ What is the background of your current Kickstarter?

Need money to Print comic will Kickstart it. The Art is paid for so this is about printing costs only.

13/ What else have you written and/or produced?

I have written over a 100 stories. Most have not been seen by the public. WWW.NYR.Website has a huge story on it for free. I am a writer on www.GothicBlue.Website; a creation of my sisters which I actually did art for a free comic and now a web comic. We had a story that we were going to have for Christmas but the artist disappeared on us. The same thing with the DarkJustice.Website which connects to the other 3 stories online which I did the art for. MIND YOU I SUCK as an Artist but I wanted to make a comic and so I did after a Dirk Manning challenge at NY Special Edition creators connection. I have 4 projects I cannot talk about yet in the pipes and at least 4 I want to do as well. So stay tuned and follow WrittenSins.com and MRANdersin.Website. And of Course, WrittenSins.com

14/ Are you a musician/ Artist? What current music inspires you?

I am very inspired by two songs writen for two new projects. The songs are “My Name Humans” by Highly Suspect and “How do you love” by Shine Down. I learned the bass Guitar and regular guitar, but wasn’t very good, not my thing. But I had dreams of being a musician and even wrote some songs. As for an artist, Digital yes, I can do things some things by hand…but not so much. I have work and I am a credited artist on a few things. But, I don’t think it’s any good and its free work.

15/ Would you like to talk about the BDSM culture, setting straight the misconceptions and stereotypes?

That”s what Fetish babies is all about but I wrote a good solid piece here though and its well worth a look: Click here to see the article
16/ What else would you like to talk about? What do you want the world to know about Rob Andersin?
I talk to much but I will say its FREE to SHARE things. Like aren’t a real show of support sharing something is. As far as knowing who I am I let my actions speak for me.

17/ How did Creators of Written Sins come about?

Buddy Scalera runs a panel at comic cons called Creators Connection. I wanted to keep us together after the panel. I created WrittenSinsProductions.com (at the time WrittenSins.com was taken) to make a site where we stayed in touch. Sadly, for almost a whole year we failed, and failed badly. It was a name thing I believe and I needed to learn the things that caused failure to succeed. But I learned so much through that failure. Less than a year after WSP launched, I created Creators Of Written Sins.com and it became important to the Indie Creators because it is about Indie creators. We have changed how the Indie comic market is covered. We took away the caste system and made everyone equal. We cover all people who create and will continue to do so. But if it weren’t for Dirk Manning and Buddy Scalera inspiring the idea, it would not exists.

18/ What are your thoughts about indie/mainstream comics?

Indie comics are the future of comics and where the best content is right now. Until DC and Marvel realize stories need to come to an end or evolve they will struggle. I love Batman but how many time will we see Bruce Wayne die? JUST pass the cowl and then tell classic Bruce batman tales at the same time. The stories are stuck in a time warp. Some no longer make sense because science has made them impossible or show the idea was wrong. Reboots wont solve bad story telling because you want to cash in. I give DC credit for the new take and going back to the idea everything counts. It feels like they are ready to tell great stories and move forward. MARVEL is too influenced by a mouse these days. It has lost its way and is not a platform for new ideas and fresh creativity. It is a money-making machine. Which is sad because its lost it ability to tell good stories now.

19/ Who are your current favorite creators in indy/mainstream comics?

T.I.T.S by Colton Sorrels, Dirk Manning Nightmare World/Write or Wrong and all things Dirk, Victor Dandridge JR Library of Work-he has changed the Netflix shows like Luke cage with his story “Samaritan.” Kasey Peirce and her Pieces, Michele Gallagher and her Pottery, JR Blanton and all his no Gravity titles, Josh Dahl below Zero and his fellow barnstormers Jhonny C and Bob SalleyRuben Romero library and Roger Cabrera, anything title he’s on and Magic happens. Michel Mettlen and KANE. Marcel Dupree and all his titles. There are so many. He is someone to watch, one of tomorrow’s big names. Check out Morgan Organs by Daniel Broodie. Kim Roberts has some great things coming out. , Evie Dunn for showing age don’t mean a thing,Martin Dunn this guy is making comics daily. Daniel Farrand has something GREAT coming soon. Brain L.Hawkins is about to show us a Very different America. Kenny Groom and has Low lifes staying with him, Keithan Jones and all KID things. David Brown What is in the BAG??, Alex Mayday is burning up kickstarter. Kelly Bender has a great kickstarter going on right now Yakuza 893 check it out. James McCulloch is making great things across the pond. Eric Palicki has us seeing angels. Danni Smith is way more than her BOOBS. Danny Warner’s Masks and Shawna Shepard is a Creator to watch. Raymond Fields is by far a very entertaining creator that takes entertainment to the stars. Felipe is a bilingual master creator. Comfort Love and her husband Adam are making indie Comics Proud. Bobby Torres is a creator to keep an eye on. Richard Riviera and his Stabitty Bunny make me happy. Jenni Gregory makes us look at Dreams in a new way. Eric Cockrell has an Indie Comic that is very SNL like. Russell Nohelty has scary things on the way and Howie Noeldechen has a big 2017 coming. I could keep going but I will stop and say ANYONE CREATING A COMIC in the INDIE Market it worth looking into. It takes DRIVE to do indie comics and they deserve at least a look.
As for Main stream, mostly Batman. My heart is broken over what Marvel is doing, especially with the X-Men. I will read Deadpool. Marvel’s suckage has only affected him a bit. I am excited to hear the X-Men are getting a relaunch. Here is hoping.

20/ What are your next projects?

Right now, I have lettering gigs about to hit the market via a horror anthology. Another anthology is about to hit also called Not Alone 4 where I have a 2 pager that I am so proud of. Fetish babies 2 is in the beginning writing stages. There will be more to come from NYR/Dark Justice/Gothic Blue this year, even if I have to Draw it myself. And, there is another new anthology The details will coming soon. I will be doing a Back and White comic called “The PAIN BOX” and I will give you a scope: There will be a Written Sins Anthology coming to life this year stay tuned!!! And some other things I have in mind to do this year.

21/ What is your advice to those that want to create indie comics?

Make Something real you can hold in your hand, make a comic. Writers DRAW it no matter how bad and show the world you are serious, Artists WORK WITH a writer create a comic even if for free. If you are an artist and don’t have a full-length panel comic made at least 6 pages how can any of us take you serious or want to pay you? Get that one comic made and work hard worth the writer to make great things come to life. Writers treat the Artist as a co-creator even if you are paying them. And most importantly CREATE, CREATE, CREATE and I don’t mean excuses. Also when it comes to money never pay upfront for all of it do 2 pages at a time and artists if you take payment do the dam work. Writers talk burn one writer and they will tell other writers. Writers don’t start project you cannot afford to do, don’t make promises your check book can’t cash.

22/ Is there anything you’d like to reiterate, add or change in this interview?

Just want to talk about some artists I have worked with and a few I know if that’s ok? Plus something else I want to say; Satine Zillah brought Fetish babies to life and it’s a masterpiece. Honestly, I was blown away each time I got a new page, Criss Madd and I got to work together on a Kickstarter exclusive for Fetish babies and it was great to work with him. He was at the 2012 class where Fetish babies was born (and no he wasn’t the guy with bondage pics). That Artist flaked and hey that’s life. James Erik Hodson is a great artist that I will love working with. *spoilers* Scott Zambelli is on my wish list to work with, I Also worked with the Master piece making Carlos Villas for Fetish babies, Dave Music is going to me a frame to hang the Very 1st Fetish babies Comic I touch. Thank you Lee A Gooden for asking me questions in this interview and making me feel like I am an indie creator for the 1st time. Martin Dunn told me heart breaking things when I started WrittenSins.com and I thank him so much for it because it was honest and someone had to say it and if he hadn’t I would have settled more. Having him out there make me reach further, Victor Dandridge JR was there when I was in a wheel chair after surgery and lifted me up with his words, He will always be a close friend to me and if he ever needs me I will be there. Dirk Manning changed my life with Write or Wrong and without him we aren’t talking today. Buddy Scalera does not get enough praise for all he does you are my hero sir and you didn’t even need a cape. Heads up to my Niece, for when she reads this years from now I know you can be anything you want to be in life only God and you can put limits on it. To my Nephew again later in life, Dream Big and Reach for the stars. My older sister who has always had my back…know I love you always even though its rarely said. My younger sister if she reads this…know you can be one of the best creators ever if you only believed in yourself as I do. My brother from another mother Tubby for always lending me his ear. To My Wife and Co-Creator Alyssa Andersin Thank you for making me a better man and challenging me in life and for our Son, and to him I give thanks for making me whole, and a better man.
Here are also in closing some amazing artists and Creators I want to mention: Patricio Clarey, Micheal Grossman and his Goofy Froot creations, Micheal Mez Phillips, Clare Meth , Luis RT, Geroge Colman Jr Admek has great things coming, Arthur Bellfield has a great podcast Artificial nerds, Leah Lederman the Best Editor in comics, Wiliam Blanenship for some great insights and art he shares, Aaron Hazouri for making life toasty, Nick Mac for always working on something cool, Josh Gillam for the work he does with Vets and Cynical Stu hope he’s found. Ok I am going to stop if I missed you it wasn’t on purpose, I am sorry forgive me.

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