Interviews

Interviews

Sun
23
Nov

Legends of the Film Maker: Brett Culp and the New Batman Phenomenon

Brett Culp with Kye Sapp

Recently, I had the privilege of reviewing one of the most impacting documentaries I've seen in years. You may be surprised to learn that it was about Batman. You also may already be dismissing the film, because of that. That would be your great mistake -- because the film is about so much more than a superhero. It's about identity, and the power that stories have on people -- and the power those people in turn gain over their environment and their lives because of a story.

We spoke with the film's director, Brett Culp, about what drove him toward this project, and some of the many benefits that are still coming out of the film.

Everyone in LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT has a Batman story to tell, but there was one that was missing, and I'd like to get that one. What's your Batman story?

Thu
30
Oct

Justin. B. Williams: The Day Walker Out of Ferguson

2.3.N PIMPIN feat Day Walker and TheGIFT.I.C.

Justin B. Williams is a busy man these days. In addition to work he was already performing with his HI FIVE Community Development Corporation and his career in music as part of 23n PIMPIN featuring Day Walker and TheGIFT.I.C. he has also become a correspondent for the Allman in the Morning show on 97.1 FM, as well as Susie Moore's podcast, Q with a View.

What's propelled Williams -- a.k.a. The Day Walker -- into the spotlight is a combination of being the right person in the right place. In this case, the place happens to be Ferguson, Missouri, where The Day Walker has been in the thick of the peaceful protests, while working in cooperation with Emerson Electric to help revitalize Ferguson.

Sat
18
Oct

Archon 38 Encounter: The Art of BatSpats

Michelle Benz of BatSpats

Archon 38 continues to be the gift that keeps on giving! Nestled amongst the many vendors set up in the expansive dealers room, I chanced upon a chillingly familiar looking couple: The Joker and Harley Quinn!

But there was no need to scream or fire up the Bat-signal: this was the booth for Michelle Benz, the creative genius behind BatSpats.com, and some intriguing and refreshing takes on familiar comic book characters as well as other pop culture icons and tropes.

Here's a snippet of the encounter. Enjoy!

Thu
09
Oct

C.S. Marks Rides High at Archon 38

CS Marks, author of the Elfhunter series

The Archon science fiction convention is quickly taking the express train into yesterday, and I still have so much material left! One of the more interesting writers I encountered in the main aisle was C.S. Marks -- a biologist whose scientific background guides the framework of her fantasy stories, the Elfhunter series. Don't let the pointy ears and fuzzy animatronic horse fool you: Marks is one sharp cookie with a clear idea of where she wants to take her readers.

But don't take my word for it! Click the video below and get some insights into the world of Alterra (and it's residents, both humanoid and equine) straight from the horse's mouth (so to speak).

 

 

Mon
06
Oct

David J. Pedersen's Got Angst. Lucky Him!

David J. Pedersen, Angst

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the annual Archon convention isn't the costumes you see or the panels you attend or the goodies you buy. It's the people you meet.

While volunteering as a panelist and roaming the hallways like a homeless web reporter, I made the acquaintance of David J. Pedersen, author of the fantasy novels Angst and Buried in Angst. Admittedly, it may or may not have been the posters (and personal appearances) of his model, Cristi, which initially attracted me to his table, but the means, in this case, justified the ends. Or something like that. What I'm really trying to say is that I grew my circle of friendly acquaintances in the community, and learned about a new series of fantasy novels which take a unique approach to the tried-and-tired sword and sorcery formula.

Wed
18
Jun

Carl Potts on Alien Legion: Uncivil War

Carl Potts is just as responsible for my comic fandom as Stan Lee, Bob Kane or Will Eisner. Not only was he responsible for helping industry luminaries Jim Lee and Art Adams break into the business, Potts also wrote or edited many of my favorite comics in the 80s and early 90s, including Dr. Strange, The Defenders, The Punisher War Journal, Strikeforce: Morituri, Marvel Fanfare, Shadowmasters, and the original graphic novels Last of the Dragons and The Alien Legion: A Grey Way to Die. That graphic novel spawned a very successful ongoing series under Marvel's more mature Epic imprint. Now, thirty years since its inception, the Alien Legion is back with an all-new mini-series, Alien Legion: Uncivil War. The first issue is scheduled to hit the shelves on 6/25/2014. The former Marvel Editor-In-Chief took some time to discuss the past, present, and possible future of his beloved space warriors. 

Thu
22
May

Pat Shand: Grimm Fairy Tales Turns 100!

A long time back (it seems) I remember reviewing Raven Gregory's Return to Wonderland. That has been my one and only exposure to the Zenescope line of comics. Certainly I've been aware of them. The eye-grabbing covers (yes, I'm male, why do you ask?) have captured my attention on more than a few hundred occasions. But I did not realize what was being built across the various titles. And now that the company is at the stage where their flagship title is nearing its 100th issue, I think it's time I gave this indie publisher some of the respect it deserves.

So a few emails and some time-zone mathematics later, I'm on the phone with Zenescope's Pat Shand, asking all the neophyte questions and trying to get a handle on all these various characters running about the titles as they prepare to kill each other.

Tue
06
May

Ted Nugent: "Maximize the Good While Crushing the Bad and the Ugly"

Ted Nugent

If you're enjoying the current crop of outdoor-related reality programming, you may want to check out -- and thank -- Ted Nugent's Spirit of the Wild. Now entering it's 25th season on Outdoor Channel, Spirit of the Wild is an up-front and unsanitized look at hunters and hunting starring Ted and Shemane Nugent doing what they love.

This writer was honored with the opportunity to speak to Nugent about his show, but also his music and his unfettered political opinions -- and anyone who's heard Nugent interviewed knows the best thing the interviewer can do is get out of the way and let Nugent take over.

The new season of Spirit of the Wild debuts Tuesday, July 2nd at 8:30pm EST on Outdoor Channel.

Mon
24
Mar

Andrea Logan White: Moms' Night Out

Andrea Logan White's resume ranges from heavy drama ("Sarah's Choice") to light comedy ("Veggietales: Princess and the Popstar") to apocalyptic action ("Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End"). But it has been consistent in one respect: it's target audience of Christian viewers. This May, she stars opposite Patricia Heaton (The Middle), Sean Astin ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy), Glee's Harry Shum Jr., and country music superstar Trace Adkins in the family-friendly comedy "Moms' Night Out."

We spent a few moments with Andrea to discuss her role in the film, and about being a Christian in the film industry.

You'll be starring in the upcoming film, "Moms' Night Out." But you're more than just acting in it -- this was your baby from the beginning, wasn't it?

Sun
01
Dec

Vicki Lawrence: America's Favorite Mama

Long before Tyler Perry made himself up to look like an old woman, the young Vicki Lawrence was putting on the padding and powder to make herself into Thelma Harper for The Carol Burnett Show. The character was too big to be held to sketch comedy, however, and insisted on having her own show, giving rise to six seasons of the fan favorite situation comedy, Mama’s Family.

As Time Life presents the complete series on DVD, and Vicki tours the country with her “two woman show” of herself and Mama Harper (see VickiLawrence.com for details and schedules), we were privileged to steal a few moments to look back at the roots of Mama’s Family.

Can you recall your feelings, and the audience reaction, the very first time you walked out on a stage in the persona of Mama?

Fri
05
Jul

Knightess Rouge: On the Serious Business of Cosplay

Knightess Rouge

Comic conventions have come a long way since I first began attending them back in the mid 1980s. Back then, even the large conventions -- in this case the Chicago Comicon, pre-Wizard World -- were pretty much glorified flea markets with a focus on comics, games and toys, with the big plus being that your favorite artists and writers would be in attendance. Oh, and to get an autograph, you just had to stand in line -- not buy a ticket. (If anyone wants to hear my Peter David story regarding book signings, I never tire of telling it.)

Even then, there were fans who wanted to take things up a notch and create costumes of their favorite comic book heroes and villains. I myself created a hand-made Joker outfit that largely consisted of a white pair of pants and a white Don Johnson cotton jacket that had been soaked in purple Rit, white pancake makeup, lipstick, and a pistol that popped out a "BANG!" flag. That was about as elaborate as things got in those days.

Wed
29
May

Alison Arngrim: Original Prairie Bitch

Alison Arngrim Little House Prairie

If you had a television at all in the 1970s and 1980s, you can't help but be intimately familiar with Little House on the Prairie -- and thus, you probably grew up hating one of the original "mean girls" of media, Nellie Oleson.

"Nellie" -- Alison Arngrim to citizens of the real world -- is all grown up now, and while she's still true to her Little House fans, she's moved on to other facets of entertainment... and some extremely important work as well, turning personal tragedy into an impetus for rescuing children in trouble. Despite working in some disturbing corners of the world, Alison remains full of energy, spirit, and good humor. I hope that comes through in this transcription as much as it was evident in our actual conversation.

We've met up on Twitter, where you're very active.

I tweet. I twat. I'm all over it.

Sat
20
Apr

Dr. Dina: The 4/20 411 on Medical Marijuana and Media Myths

Marijuana has been a plot device in film and television ever since the 1936 debut of "Reefer Madness" and on up through every Cheech and Chong film of the 70s.

Most recently, pot was the driving force between the multi-season Showtime series, Weeds, from Jenji Kohan. The series starred Mary-Louise Parker as the fictional Nancy Botwin, a suburban soccer mom and widow who turns to selling weed to make ends meet after the death of her husband. The adventures quickly escape suburbia and into the realm of Mexican drug cartels and DEA agents.

As fictional as Nancy Botwin is, the woman she was modeled on, known as Dr. Dina, is as real as they come. An outspoken advocate for medical marijuana as well as a force of nature, Dr. Dina spoke with The Trades to deliver "the straight dope," so to speak, on the American love/hate affair with weed.


Why is this an important issue to you, and how did that come about?

Wed
20
Mar

Further Down the Rabbit Hole with Frank Beddor

Frank Beddor Hatter M Looking Glass Wars Interview

Once upon a time, a certain creative individual found himself possessed of the idea to write an alternative take on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Several years later and a number of prose books and graphic novels under his belt, Frank Beddor still finds himself lost in the wonder, as Princess Alyss and Hatter Madigan continue to weave their personas into new adventures, in new forms.

Perhaps there really is a stream of imagination coming from the Wonderland dimension. If so, Beddor seems to have tapped into it's mainline, and is drinking from it deeply.

Sat
20
Oct

Catherine Davis: "Runaway Slave" and the American Black Genocide of Abortion

Catherine Davis Black Pro Life Coalition Runaway Slave

Reverend C.L. Bryant's film "Runaway Slave" is an eye opening look into the African-American community from the perspective of black conservatives. The documentary interviews several prominent black leaders in putting together its case, among whom is the notable Catherine Davis, co-founder of the Black Pro-Life Coalition, who shares some astounding and shocking numbers and statistics. Seeking to dig more into the facts Davis puts forth in the film, we reached out to her for this interview.

 

So I've had the chance now to watch "Runaway Slave" and found it to be a powerful documentary, an opinion shared by others who've seen the film with me. How did you come to be involved with this project?

Fri
17
Aug

C.L. Bryant: Breaking the New Chains with "Runaway Slave"

CL Bryant Runaway Slave

The Reverend C.L. Bryant is a statistical political anomaly: a former leader in the NAACP who made the conscious decision to do a political about-face and join the conservative Tea Party movement. His political documentary, "Runaway Slave," is both a history lesson, a study in comparative social structures, and a rousing call to action.

 

What drove you to produce "Runaway Slave," and what's the core message you were seeking to deliver?

Thu
07
Jun

Julianna Zobrist: Crazy? Hardly. Fearless? Definitely.

Juliana Zobrist

As the bass kicks up, the synthesised techno-pop sounds pile on and the echoing, electronically masked background vocals slide in, the last thing you\'d ever expect the music to be is contemporary Christian. The club-mix sound is only part of the unique output of Julianna Zobrist (wife to Tampa Bay Rays\' right-fielder Ben Zobrist, for those who follow sports more than music), and the message is unapologetically Christian, appealing to the younger market with a mainstream sound. Having taken some time off for a new baby daughter, the Zobrists\' second child, Julianna is back in the studio, with a new EP in the offing, "Say It Now," with a post-modern sound and rare and honest introspection.


Say It Now is a very divergent sound from what one would normally attribute to Contemporary Christian Music. It\'s got a very synth-pop dance-mix thing going for it. Who are your musical influences, because I can\'t imagine they\'re within CCM.

Thu
07
Jun

Joel Gilbert: Birthers Asking Wrong Question on Obama Parentage

Joel Gilbert author

When Joel Gilbert wrote and produced "Atomic Jihad: Ahmadinejad's Coming War for Islamic Revival and Obama's Politics of Defeat," the film became a feature at the CPAC Conference and went on to win an award at the Hudson Institute Film Festival. Now, the contributing editor to FamilySecurityMatters.org has turned his political sights to another aspect of the Obama administration, that being the origins of the President himself. But if you think Gilbert is climbing aboard the Birther Express, think again. According to Gilbert, birthers are barking up the wrong tree. It's not a question of where Obama was born -- but rather, one of paternity. Was Obama's father Barack Obama, the Kenyan? Or was it Communist Party USA agitator and organizer, Frank Marshall Davis?

Thu
01
Mar

Andrew Breitbart: Walking Toward the Fire with Righteous Indignation

Andrew Breitbart

Update: March 1, 2012. At the age of 43, Andrew Breitbart has passed away of natural causes yet to be determined. It was barely less than a year ago I had the opportunity to interview the man who fearlessly confronted and challenged corruption in the government and the media.

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I update this interview with this information.

Working mostly behind the scenes, Andrew Breitbart has evolved into the face of New Media conservatism. With websites like BigGovernment and BigHollywood, and prepping a handful of other Big internet ventures, Breitbart rocketed to public attention when he rolled out James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles' video exposure of ACORN.

Thu
19
Jan

Nicole Weider: Countering Image Conscious with Image Conscience

Nicole Weider

Nicole Weider has a passion. A former fashion model, Weider has taken to the Internet with a message for young girls, urging them to reject the messages of promiscuity and unrealistic definitions of beauty. Through her website, Project: Inspired, Weider is not just reaching out to young teens -- she's waging a war on the top magazine in the industry: Cosmopolitan. Where most models would give their eye-teeth to be on the cover of the foundation of Kate White's masthead, Weider seeks to give the cover a different look -- from inside a plastic bag.

 


There have been several films in the past that follow the plot of "small town girl moves to Hollywood, discovers seedy life of vice." Movies like "Valley of the Dolls" come to mind. Did your real-life experience compare to these fictional representations?

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