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Secret Identities – Cliff Francis

I ask Fwooshmembers questions.

They answer them.

Cliff Francis:  “I am 52.6% DC and 47.4% Marvel.”

Where do you live?

Petersburg, VA. That’s the Richmond area of the Old Dominion.

Where do you work?

I am a project administrator for a pharmaceutical company. Over worked and under appreciated.

Are you an expert on anything?

Unquestionably. On Comic Book History, manufacturing of action figure toys, Tri-Dim Chess, The Alan Parsons Project, Hapkido-Savate Fusion kate. Goodness, there are many more. I’m also fluent in 5 languages.

Because I have a very high IQ, when I come across something, which catches my interest, I just go ahead and become an expert on it. I can’t help it!

You are an everyman with a job to do, but what is the job description?

They ought to call you Sexyvonabstruse. I have no idea. I suppose the important things are to be accountable for yourself. Make a stand for what is right in the world and don’t let anybody push you around. And eat your vegetables.


Who is in you family?
Myself and my wife. Mizera, ladies!

Any pets?
We have a dog, Aleksiso, and a cat, Charles Shultz.

What type of music do you enjoy?

I enjoy most well-made music. So of course, I detest pretty much everything on the radio today. I CANNOT STAND rap, “hip hop” or most other contemporary pop music.

Some of my favorite artists are Alan Parsons Project, Rupert Holmes, Rick Wakeman, Supertramp, Phil Collins.
I also believe that John Williams is the single greatest classical composer of all time.

Would you say the Alan Parson’s Project song “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You” is a direct reference to Bruce Banner changing back and forth into the Hulk?

No. Actually, that song is inspired by the stories of Isaac Asimov. In fact, the entire album “I Robot” was a concept album based on Asimov’s book. Styx later blatantly ripped off this idea with “Mr. Roboto.” It is funny to listen to the song with the Banner/Hulk idea in mind though.


What are your future plans?

I plan to stay doing exactly what I’m doing. I really don’t like change, so if I can just keep things as they are now, for as long as possible, that would be ideal.

Do you customize?

No. Absolutely not. I only like official items in my collection. Customs bother me. My problem is this: they are basically knock-offs. We all like to make fun of crappy knock-off figures that we find in dollar stores, that come from Mexico or China or wherever. They’re laughable because they’re so poorly made. But everyone oohs and aahs over a well done custom. Why is that?

I’ll admit that I have come around on this somewhat though. Over the years, I’ve come to respect some of the very talented customizers out there who do amazing work. But it’s still a knock-off. I’m not a fan of knock-offs.

Would you accept or even want a fwoosh-made custom of the Green Lama?

No and no. Has someone offered?


Do you cook?

Sadly no. I do love to eat though.

Where do you vacation? Where would you like to vacation?

We get out to Hampton Roads on occasion and the beach. But those are basically day trips. As far as actual going-away vacations – I try to get to as many of the major conventions as I can each year. Definitely Comic Con in San Diego and Trek in Vegas. I’m hoping to hit Celebration in Orlando in August

What is in your collection?

Everything. I mean really everything. I’ve been collecting toys for 40+ years, so you can imagine how large a collection that entails. As for current, active lines, I collect everything from G.I. Joe and MoTUC to DC Direct to Mighty Muggs and Super Hero Squad. I draw the line at Hot Wheels though. I think collecting Hot Wheels is just silly and childish. I don’t see the appeal there at all. I will never buy a little toy car; it’s infantile. Just my opinion.


What other sites do you visit?
Waaay too many to list. Off the top of my head:

Marvel and DC’s sites, of course.,, various Yahoo groups,,,,

You recently reviewed the reviews of other similar websites. What was the idea behind that?

It was twofold. I really wanted to make the point of how crucially important toys blogs/message boards/reviews are to the industry and the professional-hobby. And I also wanted to honor, in some small way, the people who take the time to provide us with said net content.

Which do you prefer Marvel or DC?

I am 52.6% DC and 47.4% Marvel. This is based on a fairly complicated algorithm I worked out a long time ago, the details of which I won’t burden you with here.

Do you spend most of your day sending facebook requests to comic artists and comic writers?

HA! No. But after so many years in the community, I do have many, many friends in the industry. And they always seem to find me.

Do people in the industry really seek out your opinion on matters? That seems like a fanboy’s wet dream like the Leia/Leeloo/Leela role playing tri-fantasy.

They do. Many of them I have known for quite a long time, and so they know that I have a wealth of wisdom and insight over and above what the average “fan-boy” may have to offer. It’s nice to have that “inside track”, but it’s not always a bed of roses. I remember once being in full character at a ren-faire and I had forgotten to silence my phone and it rang full blast right in the middle of the smithy’s den. It was Randy Falk wanting to know if I thought NECA should acquire the rights to Mr. Belvedere.

What do you spend your money on?

Comic books and graphic novels, toys, and DVDs for the most part.

What is wrong with you?

Nothing. What’s wrong with you?

Joking aside, people often tell me I take things too seriously. I don’t see it, but I guess that many people can’t all be wrong. I do like to have fun, I just think there are certain things that deserve to be taken seriously. But too serious or not, nobody will ever silence me when I’m advocating on an issue of dire importance.


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