Christian Duque: I'd like to welcome Lyman Dally to StrengthAddicts.com
audience. Lyman is a gifted artist that's been directly influenced and inspired by
muscle. His works spans various genres, and he's here with us today. Lyman,
welcome to our little page!! Please tell us a little about yourself (typically this is a
great place to give us your full name, trade, where you grew up and where you
call your hometown. You can also add more information).
Lyman Dally: My name is Lyman M. Dally, and I grew up as a skinny kid in
Parsippany New Jersey. In my time, no one worked out and there were no gyms.
Only YMCA's had weightrooms, and there weren't many of those. I got picked-on
a lot because I was skinny and shy, and I didn't do well in gym class.
Christian Duque: In reading your bio online, I was very impressed with your
candor about a troubling part of your life. Your early adolescence (like that of
many kids) seemed marred by many of the ill behaviors of the age - bullyish,
social cliques, and the oh-so-typical backlash endured by creative students (then
& today). But you discovered the weights. Talk to us about the first time you
picked up the iron and you knew it was for you. What day was it, what time, what
year? Was it the pump that did it or the courage to just TRAIN?
Lyman Dally: Yeah it was like that, the bullying feeling insecure physically. The
kids that nature made bigger/faster/stronger had less problems and all the fun. I
wanted some of that fun. One day some guys in my class started talking about
presses and curls, and they looked like their arms were growing. They told me
they were lifting weights, so I asked my parents to buy me a set of weights. They
didn't think I'd stick with it so we borrowed a neighbor's weight set just in case I
quit. That day was December 3rd 1968. I'll always remember that. The day that
changed my life in a very big way.
I had no idea how to lift a barbell, so I did what we'd now call reverse curls and
floor presses. In three days I saw my first muscle growth on my arms, right
outside my elbows (the Brachioradialis muscle). I was hooked! This was for me!
Christian Duque: As you got older, talk to us about your decision to compete.
What federation/division did you participate in and what memories do you have
from that time?
Lyman Dally: Mostly AAU. The NPC didn't exist yet (did you know I did their
double-biceps logo?). It took a long while for me to put on enuff muscle to even
think about competing. By then I was living in South Florida, and my first contest
was the YMCA International Jose Marti (a step under Mr Miami). I didn't win
anything in my first shot, but took Most Muscular, Best Back and third place
overall the next year. Later I competed in some New Jersey shows but didn't
place. By then everyone was doing steroids and I wasn't, so I hung-up the posing
trunks in 1982 and focused on building an art career!
Christian Duque: From your page and other online searches, I read that you
were involved with powerlifting and strength-related sports. Did these provide the
same (or greater) rush than bodybuilding? What were/are some of your favorite
exercises and what are some of your fondest memories from the sport/era?
Lyman Dally: I did some amateur powerlifting just by chance. I'm small-boned
and not really built for strength, but at 167lbs I got a 310 bench, 365 squat and
345 deadlift. I could curl 160lbs in good form. My favorite exercises are incline
dumbbell curls and bent-arm ez curl pullovers (does anyone still do those?). I
hate squats but like calf raises: my calves respond better than my thighs.
Christian Duque: What's your take on the state of bodybuilding and powerlifting
today? Do you feel these sports will ever become "mainstream" or do you think
they'll continue to blossom as "cult" sports. Also, although we're living Socchi and
the Winter Games, everyone seems bitten by the bug. Do you think (and would
you like to see) bodybuilding in the Olympics?
Lyman Dally: It might be because I've been around awhile, but I think
bodybuilding has gone way beyond anything that will ever be mainstream. It had
it's chance in the Arnold Era, but then it became this monstrous angry thing. On
one hand today's physiques are amazing to look at, but what it takes to look like
that will never become something enuff people want to do or want to admire.
I would "like" to see bodybuilding become an Olympic sport, but because of what
it is, I see it being overlooked as it has been. I wish I could be more positive, but I
don't think bodybuilding would benefit much from being included in the Olympics.
It's its own animal. Literally.
Christian Duque: Let's transition to Art. In all honesty, everything could be argued is art. When did you start
painting, drawing, and/or sketching? Did you receive praise and support for your desire to focus on
cartooning - or did you experience any artsy snobbery from the more traditional fields of the discipline?
Lyman Dally: Great question; and bodybuilding is an art form as well as a sport IMO. I got a lot of support
from my parents to be an artist. I think a kid is lucky to have supportive parents. It helps form a confident
sense of self. My dad was so proud of me when I took up bodybuilding, too! I started drawing probably @4 or
5. I found I could make my classmates laugh with my drawings, and that made me feel special. That feeling
never left me, I still feel that way!
|Lyman Dally - Poolside '77
Christian Duque: Quadra-Blu - who is she? What inspired you to create her
and the theme? Is she a feminine, muscular crusader? A message on steroids?
What? Inquiring minds want to know.
Lyman Dally: And I will tell. Quadra-Blu was a support character in the monthly
cartoon series MAX REP that I first did for FLEX, then for MUSCULAR
DEVELOPMENT. Sadly, MAX REP ended in 1998. What I didn't know was that
Quadra-Blu was building her own little fan club. Every so often, somebody would
email me to bring Quadra-Blu back. But muscle magazines nowadays don't want
art or cartoons, so there was nowhere to bring her back to. Finally some fans
thru' AmazOns (a musclewoman fan site) convinced me to try an online cartoon
of Quadra. I like making her a sexy, muscular "fish out of water" on a new world:
Earth. There are so many of these female "avenger types" in comics that to add
another one to the pile would just be silly. I want the cartoon to be weird, unique
and oddly compelling.
Christian Duque: Let's talk Women's Bodybuilding. What's your take when the public, namely 'men,' attack these
women, question their femininity, and effectuate a lot of the anti-social behavior we're trying to eradicate from our
school and our society on a whole (bullying, harassment, and male chauvinism)?
Lyman Dally: I admire women, as well as men, who put their time in the gym. The women look shapely, tight &
gorgeous. But when they get into heavy steroid use, they lose that feminine look IMO. I think this is what the
detractors zero-in on. I support anyone's efforts look any way they want, but visual appeal dictates that a society
uncomfortable with huge ripped women will rebel against it.
Christian Duque: Who are some of your favorite bodybuilders - from all eras - men and/or women? And why?
Lyman Dally: Dave Draper is my favorite male bodybuilder. I was inspired by him in an old Weider ad. Gladys
Portuguese was my favorite female. I think she was one of the 10 most beautiful women I've seen. I'm sure I'm
overlooking many other great bodybuilders. If I could look like any one bodybuilder past or present it would be
Clancy Ross from the late 1960's, as I think my physical structure was similar to his.
Christian Duque: It's Word Association Time!! (one word to a sentence reaction)
Stan Lee - Created my second-favorite superhero; the Hulk
DC or Marvel - DC because I think their art is generally better.
Frank Miller - A very popular creator.
Cubism - Never appreciated it.
Realism in Comics - Love it. Not enuff of it artwise. Comic art is and has been way too derivative!!
Abstract Art in Comics - Great for backgrounds?
Quadru-Blu - Wish it would become an animated tv license!
Cartoons - I like the ones in The New Yorker magazine
Inspiration - Up and down but always there!
Completion - Gott'a happen!! Finish what you start, then start something new!!!
Legacy - Something one hopes someone else will one day scrape together for them.
Christian Duque: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Please provide your fans with links to your webpage,
projects, and please thank all those that have helped you along the way.
Lyman Dally: First, let me thank these people in the order of which they helped me: Denie Walter, Ruth Silverman,
Jerry Kindela, Steve Blechman, Marc and Ed Passarelli.
Websites n' videos that might interest muscle people:
A collection of muscle illustration I did: http://muscleart360.tumblr.com/
The one and only fully animated Quadra-blu video: http://vimeo.com/39532771 (you gott'a watch this!)
|Christian Duque Interviews Famed Artist LYMAN DALLY for StrengthAddicts.com