Spotlight: Franco Polizzi talks LEGO, comics and zombies

Franco Polizzi - aka @llworld
Franco Polizzi – aka @llworld

Melbourne based LEGO photographer and comic artist, Franco Polizzi is killing off popular LEGO Instagrammers in his latest “Zombie Apoca-LL-ypse” story with hilarious results.

With over 19,000 followers and co-founder of popular Instagram community, Brick Central, Franco (under his username, @llworld) entertains his followers with short comic strips featuring LEGO minifigures coupled with his fun sense of humour and wit.

We asked him about his work as a LEGO photographer and what it’s like being part of the LEGO community on Instagram.

How long have you been sharing LEGO comic strips on Instagram for and what got you started in the first place?

I’ve been sharing since August 24th 2012, my very first photo was of Deadpool & Wolverine minifigs. Prior to that, for a few years I was taking photos of my mates, cartooning them, and turning them into comics. I was writing too much material and my friends weren’t always available, so I turned to LEGO minifigs to become my subjects.

Deadpool & Spider-Man became my favourite duo, then I started to buy the minifigs series so that I could have “accessories” for my dynamic duo.

It’s deadpool bitches! #deadpool #lego #marvellego #deadpoollego #marvel #wolverine

A photo posted by Lego Comics (@llworld) on

Which of your photos is your favourite and what is it that makes it stand out for you?

This gag for me is hilarious! Even though it’s blacked out due to the dark room they’re in, you can picture these characters in your mind. So basically I’m using your imagination, instead of the minifigs.

  Darkness #LLworld #LegoLegion #brickcentral #lego #legos #minifigures #afol #webcomic @lego ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ   A photo posted by Lego Comics (@llworld) on

Where did you get the idea for the Zombie ApocaLLypse story line?

It started as an idea to motivate @Bentbricks to get back into writing comics. I’ve always had a good time collaborating with him. I also find it funny that @thecourtous has a similar sigfig to my old sigfig, and when I used to collaborate with @bentbricks that’s the sigfig I used. So I thought it would be funny that @bentbricks goes to tell me that I used to be funnier, but then he realises who he is about to talk to isn’t LL. For whatever reason he bites @thecourtous, and from there it kept on rolling on! I started to introduce more LEGO instagrammers and killing them off for a laugh. I almost killed off @cheepjokes at least 5 times, but then I realised that the story can continue. I regret killing off so many at the start, but oh well.

Speaking of which, it’s great seeing collaborations and cameos of other Instagrammers in your stories. Why do you think the LEGO community on Instagram is so strong?

I believe it’s so strong because it’s honest. We’re here to share our passions, and to pass on what we have learned along the way. Taking photos of these little people isn’t easy to do. Once you start interacting with other LEGO photographers, you learn a few tips and how to improve your skills. Hence the reason I started @brickcentral. I wanted a place where we could come together and share.

So, what sort of gear are you using for your shoots?

I have a home made light box with two globes on either side, fake grass to make it a little more real. I use my iPhone to take all photos, I write out my script in Notes, import the photos to ComicBook and paste in the words. Then I export each frame and import them into Frametastic to grid them up. From there I import the image into Aillis to add effects and my watermark. Once all that is done it gets posted to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr.

If someone wanted to get started in LEGO comics, what advice would you give them?

Write down what you want to do first! And I mean write everything down! Who is talking, where they’re standing, what expressions they have, what angle you’re going to shoot. The more detail you put on paper the better your comic will be. I read so many other people’s comics and some are lost in translation. I’ve been guilty of it myself, how I see it in my mind may not translate properly. Some other readers may get confused on what’s going on.

For example, In the comic below here are some do’s and dont’s.

Tips from llworld

Top panel, use of a comma. In the top row he either has two hours to kill someone, or just two hours to kill and he wants company.

Middle panel, bubble placement. The middle row shows a conversation between two zombies, but the zombie on the left is supposed to talk second, because we read from left to right, top to bottom, we read the zombie on the left first. So, if your not willing to change the subjects around, do what I’ve done on the right. First person talks make it a top bubble, second person talks make it a bottom bubble.

And last panel, dramatic effect. You don’t need to take multiple photos. You can reuse the same shot, just crop it and angle it differently. Have a far shot first, then a close up to add drama.

Really think about your comic, take your time, and read over it a few hours later. You might want to change it.

You’re also working on a YouTube channel with Cheepjokes, do you have any other projects happening at the moment? 

Always! it never stops. I’m working on something for the brick conventions in Australia (Brickvention, Brickalaide etc) which I’m keeping close to my chest.

Non-LEGO related stuff, I’m working on a few comic book scripts, a children’s book and I’ve got a synopsis for a movie which I really need to sit down and work on.

Finally, what would you say has been the best thing about being part of the LEGO community?

Knowing that we are proud of what we do! When I started, I didn’t want any of my friends or family know that I was buying LEGO and taking photos of it. However I wanted to share my creations, I wanted to put out there my pictures and jokes. Interacting with other LEGO Instagrammers has made me proud to be an AFOL, and now I don’t care who I tell.

To see more of Franco’s work and read the full story of the Zombie Apoca-LL-ypse story, visit his gallery on Instagram.

Southern Bricks Admin

Southern Bricks LEGO Users Group is a community of LEGO fans from Adelaide and across South Australia.