The idea of the STALLONEZONE first came to me in
the late 70's! Of course
it would have been a LOT different back then! At that time I was really into comic books,
original art and fanzines (magazines created by fans which contained
original art, stories, interviews, etc). My good friend, John Beatty was an aspiring
comic artist and had started to develop contacts with other fans
and pros as well.
John and I were going to do a comic fanzine and
I talked about creating a fanzine that covered comics and movies.
We even went so far as to layout the first issue and get art
stats started. We never
did publish it (but I still have some of the stats!) because
John began to get work professinally and I was busy with college.
I revisited the idea in the mid 80's and even published
a couple of newsletters titled ZONE that were mailed out to friends.
The emphasis was again
on comics, art and movies.
Of course SLY was covered in each issue!
The idea for a STALLONE periodical for his fans
was always in the back of my mind and once I had access to the
internet I became intrigued with the idea of a website dedicated
to SLY. I was on AOL and
they had an area that members could use to create simple websites
with a point and click production. I was off and running.
When I first started the STALLONEZONE back in 1996,
it was a one man operation. I did everything from finding news
items, to scanning pictures, and designing the pages. You name
it and I did it alone. The site was very basic at first and then
I began to add the "bells and whistles" [animated gifs,
flashing messages, scrolling headlines, etc.].
My good friend, John Beatty, was impressed with
my web abilities and wanted to learn how to do all of these cool
things. Needless to say, in no time John was the expert and with
his artistic sense of layout and design, he was able to offer
suggestions and solutions to my every question. John graciously
designed logos, and pages, as well as provided the much needed
technical support. John came on board officially as the site
co-designer and technician.
My goal was to create a Stallone 'periodical' of
sorts. A web "magazine" that fans could count on being
updated 'weekly.' John felt that the best way to do this was
to simplify the site and streamline the ease of use to the web
surfer. John took my ideas and his sensibilities and through
many give-and-take sessions, we developed the STALLONEZONE into
what it is today... the most popular Stallone site on the web!
The AOL site was quickly becoming too small for
the SZ! I decided that
I would have to find another server in order to meet the needs
of our plans for the SZ.
Early in 1999 we switched over to Mindspring. Within six months Mindspring was too small!
John and I talked about
getting Stallonezone domained. In September of 1999 we did just that!
Although we have received news and photos from
various sources over the years, one very talented Stallone fan
named Ernest Resendes [A.K.A. "Jazzman"] began to send
in scans of his original art as well as rare pictures from his
personal collection. Jazzman did this repeatedly without request
for payment or even credit [although we ALWAYS credit fans who
send in items that are used on the STALLONEZONE.]. Jazzman became
a regular contributor whose positive responses and upbeat attitude
transcended the casual fan/contributor. John and I discussed
the situation and decided that Ernest should be offered a role
as 'Associate Gallery Editor." Jazzman accepted and became
the third member of the team.
In June of 2000, rOb De Vera the creator of the
very popular STALLONE tribute page, Souhpaw, decided to retire
the site due to the time constraints needed to maintain Southpaw's
high level of excellence.
rOb had always been a SZ regular and had in fact donated specifically
made graphics to us over the years. rOb's site was always given top billing in our STALLONE
links section so it seemed natural to invite him to join the
SZ creative team. rOb
Currently the four of us provide the bulk of the
material that appears on the STALLONEZONE. Whenever others contribute
we offer them a "byline" for their contribution.
We would also like to acknowledge all the people
who post on our message-board. We appreciate their support.
We have no plans to expand our editorial staff
[besides not many people are willing to work for nothing but
praise!] but who knows what the future will hold?