Al Isaacs, Founder of Smarts - The Pro Wrestling Cartoon,
Journalist and Comedian - 7th June 2003
Smarks - The Pro Wrestling Cartoon is a meeting of
my two backgrounds. I was a pro wrestling journalist
for about seven years with Scoopswrestling.com, and
I've been a comedian for the last 15 years.
did Smarks evolve?
make a long story short, I was looking for a platform
to share all the great stories that pro wrestlers
have told me over the years. The backstage stuff,
road tales, how the business affected their private
lives. This seemed like the right medium at the right
time. It's three years later, so we must be doing
media outlets have you operated on before?
I mentioned, Scoopswrestling.com was my site for some
time. As a comedian I've done several television shows
on American television, and a ton of radio. We're
in the process of developing Smarks into an animated
series, so that seems to be the next great leap.
did you discover your creative side?
I started doing improvisational comedy when I was
18. That's probably where I started to tap that side
of things, at least as far as humor goes. Before that
I did much more as a musician...I've been a drummer
for most of my natural life!
did the Terry Taylor connection come about?
mutual friend put us in touch. Terry is an EXTREMELY
funny guy, and has lived on both sides of the camera
in the wrestling world. Aside from the wealth of material
he has, I also wanted to be sure that I had someone
from within the industry to keep things as accurate
and respectful as possible. The last thing I want
to do is insult this business that I love.
have been your biggest supporters?
have been so many! If you mean from within the industry,
Diamond Dallas Page, Tatanka,
B Brian Blair, a host of others and a huge
amount of support from indy guys. We also received
a lot of praise from the entertainment industry. My
proudest was probably hearing from Nancy
"Bart Simpson" Cartwright. That was
a real thrill.
any wrestlers not find your cartoons funny, and if
so, what happened?
I've never heard anything negative...not yet at least.
As I said, not disrespecting the industry is at the
top of my priorities. Most of the stories are twists
on actual incidents, and I hopefully do more justice
to these guys than most mainstream entertainment.
Presenting them as real people with actual personalities,
families, not to mention intelligence.
have your works featured?
had a few magazine pieces done, and the toon itself
in syndicated on over 40 other sites. Everywhere from
DDP's official page to several radio station sites,
online newspapers, and indy feds.
has the internet helped you?
nearly impossible to launch a syndicated cartoon strip
these days. To put in plainly, no internet, no Smarks!
built your website?
did. The Scoops site was a real education in web building
and graphics work. I try to keep it somewhat simple,
since I don't have as much time to maintain things
as I once did. When I get bored I suppose I'll overhaul
everything again, but for now I'm happy with it.
are your tools of the trade?
and Illustrator primarily.
other talents do you have?
for my wife to know :)
depends on the day. Overall the feedback from readers
has been the biggest motivator. Without them, what's
the point?!?! And I am passionate for pro wrestling.
I get to be booker, talent, promoter, and everything
are your current projects?
also teaching a course in improv comedy here in New
York that is doing very well. I took two of my top
students and we've been hitting the road as 'Some
Assembly Required'. It's very satisfying. My
other current project is my first baby...and that's
the biggest production of my life!
are your challenges?
knew going in that this wasn't an easy industry to
crack. Every studio is filled with people who have
their own ideas, impressions, and prejudices. Some
good, some bad. Weighing out the benefits of working
with one group over another, taking risks, and sticking
to that fine line between 'compromise' and plain 'selling
out'. That's the tough part. The creative part is
far easier than the business end. But that's what
my lawyers are for!
much assistance do you received with Smarks?
Any wrestler I've asked for stories, and comedians
who have contributed to scripts in progress. Most
of all from my very supportive wife, Theresa, who
kicks my butt out of bed on those days when I'm just
not motivated. She's the best.
else would you like to achieve?
domination. And enough money to repair my hammock
in the back yard.
Coincidence is God's way of Remaining Anonymous'.
other important information can you tell us?
stop by Smarks at www.smarks.tv
and drop me a line to let me know what you think.
Honestly, what's there is just the tip of the iceberg.
So much more to come once we get animated!!!!
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