Even if her name isn’t familiar, her moves certainly are. Zoe Bell has been at the top of her game as a stunt person in roles that ranged from XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS to any number of Quintin Tarantino films. Now she produces and stars in RAZE (with CONTINUUM’S Rachel Nichols). Zoe talks about the new film and a few of her favorite moments living on the edge. Plus DC loses market share (but not to Marvel) and the networks drop the axe. Did your favorite show get cancelled?
COMMUNITY’s Jim Rash is back in THE WRITER’S ROOM for another season, and he previews it all here for us including an episode dedicated exclusively to comic book shows. Plus Tyler Labine talks about his new paranormal comedy, DEADBEAT, which is ready for your binge watching and Thanos will pull the Marvel Universe closer together.
The actor/writer/comedian/rapper/not-Spider-Man Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, recently released his new album ‘Because the Internet.” On said album, Glover, amongst other tirades about money and how he has it, exclaims in a solemn tone… “I don’t know who I am anymore”. This is precluded by lyrics revolving around what one might assume his life is like these days – facing criticism from random strangers, texts from other strangers, and general haters being hateful– and as such, the line hits home pretty harshly. We’ve all been there, right?
Shortly after hearing that line though, adjoined to others like “No one’s ever been this lost”, “Funny the day you born that’s really your death sentence”, and the gem “Eventually all my followers realize they don’t need a leader” I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth. Glover’s alter ego is a pessimistic child with too much money, who has the gall to bitch about it. As a person only two years older then he, with a wife and a kid, a day job and a night job, I not only can’t relate to him… I can’t even accept the notion of where he’s coming from. More to the point? I wrote angsty lyrics like this too– in high school, when I couldn’t get laid.
With that being said? I give Glover all the credit in the world. He’s branching out, and attempting to explore the arts as a whole, rather than celebrate singular successes. As an award winning writer on 30 Rock turned lovable ensemble cast-member in Community, Donald could ostensibly ride out the well-wishes of white America for a good long time. Instead, he’s toured the country doing comedy, making movies, and of course rapping. And rather than rap as a happy-go-lucky kid who is just gosh-darned pleased-as-punch to be a success… he instead turned inward (and in an odd turn perhaps as an alter-ego if you will) to produce something new and unexpected. Granted, I don’t know Donald beyond the NBC stuff, so as it were… I was caught off guard. While I may not like the fruits of his labor, I can indeed respect the hustle. But I digress.
Those of us who proclaim the title of artist should all adopt a simple philosophy: never stop learning. An artist in my humble opinion, is someone who not only creates but challenges him or herself to continue to learn, adapt, and reinterpret ourselves and our creations. While I could easily spend paragraphs waxing on about musicians exploring other genres (Billy Joe of Green Day doing an Everly Brothers cover album, anyone?), or writers creating a new nom-de-plum so they could try their hand at something unexpected … I’d prefer to focus solely on those within our coveted realm of comic bookery.
With the continual allure of crowd-funding readily available for those with semi-famous names, great artists like Gene Ha are taking time off (in his case to do some much-needed house work) and considering going creator-owned. Even if it’s for a single project, seeing things like that are very exciting to a guy like me. Creator-owned means creator-controlled. It’s an exploration less of what will immediately be made for a specific market (that is to say… sell well) and perhaps more a leap of faith by an artist seeking to expand beyond what has merely drawn a paycheck. Look perhaps at our patron saint of crankiness, Alan Moore, who high above in his castle, now works when (or if) he chooses, and only when it strikes him to. As an artist, I can’t help but respect the moxie. Of course, if I’d written Watchmen… I might have the means with which to be choosier. Then again, my comic books are made on my own dime, and as such, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing anyways– just not as lucratively.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a step back to commend my arch nemesis, Dan Dougherty, and my friend by-way-of-the-con-circuit Jon Michael Lennon. Both gentlemen as of late have shown considerable leaps of inspiration and as such have been producing some of the best art I’ve seen from either of them. This is devoid of editorial mandate, mind-you. Dougherty’s Touching Evil is a self-published masterpiece in the same vein as Revival. Here the normally jovial Dougherty (a.k.a. Beardo)http://www.gocomics.com/beardo opts to write and draw a serious story with mature themes and an amazing blend of noir-twinged scripting married to a more serious style in his visuals. The result is one of the best comics I’ve read all year. Lennon, normally producer of amazingly-dark anthologies has had an artistic second-coming as of late. With an upcoming gallery show, Lennon’s Crumb-esque work has grown into singular pieces of art. Devoid of context, with a more potent eye for graphic design… the works are a step forward for him such that I can’t help but feel his next foray into “Product of Society” will be leaps and bounds above the previous installments.
Just as Glover drops what could be just a friendly facade to become Childish Gambino, so too, must we within the realm of comic books free ourselves from our self-imposed hells. Just because it sells doesn’t mean it needs to be made. If we are to call ourselves artists then we must act as such. The greats never stop learning, exploring, and challenging themselves. Here at the precipice of a new year, perhaps we creative-types ought to consider losing more that just a bad habit or two as a resolution. Instead, we should take a page from Gambino, and take the opportunity to get lost, and then find ourselves again. Cheers.
Mayim Bialik (Blossom, The Big Bang Theory) has been cast to voice the Inspector’s time traveling ship the BOOTH in Travis Richey’s second web-adventure of Inspector SpacetimeUntitled Web Series About A Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time.
Mayim’s first major role (if you don’t count Pumpkinhead, and believe me I debated that) was in the Bette Midler film Beaches, playing the 11-year-old version of The Divine One, an uncanny similarity only surpassed by Bette’s actual daughter Sophie. Her TV fame came with the series Blossom, which ran for five years. After a number of voice roles in cartoons and video games, she pulled back from Hollywood to (now get this) get her bachelors, and eventually her PhD in neuroscience. AND raise two kids. She’s now appearing on The Big Band Theory as Amy Farah Fowler. And clearly, she is awesome.
Travis Richey first appeared as The Inspector on NBC’s Community in a 30-second parody of Doctor Who. The Internet took the thirty seconds to its bosom and cultivated it into a full continuity seemingly overnight. The past Inspectors, the villains, and Jeffrey, who everyone hates. Actor (and officially the 11th Inspector) Travis saw the potential of the character and submitted a script for an Inspector adventure, a project which was met with resounding apathy by the producers. When Travis chose to self-produce a web series, NBC and Sony suddenly… exhibited reticence. He plowed ahead with a cannily de-branded version, raising the funds via Kickstarter.
The second series is beginning production now, including Bialik as the voice of BOOTH, which is smaller on the inside, but is able to reconfigure its interior dimensions so “there’s always room for one more”.
From Travis’ press release:
Travis and Mayim reconnected by chance after being seated next to each other on a flight from Milwaukee to LA in November 2011, and the conversation included talk of Inspector Spacetime and looking for opportunities to work together. “I am thrilled to be part of the Inspector Spacetime world,” said Mayim. “As a Doctor Who fan, Inspector Spacetime satisfies all of my theatrical and nerdy desires. Putting on an admittedly poor fake British accent and working with the awesome and talented Travis Richey made me feel like a bonafide nerd-girl.”
More details about the series, including upcoming new like plans for toys and a comic book, are available at the website, TheInspector.TV.
NBC’sCOMMUNITY has had more than a few changes this run of episodes and series regular, Allison Brie, shares how her character “Annie” will be dealing with “Jeff” (Joel McHale), plus Danny Pudi talks about how the show is still an undiscovered gem to a lot of TV watchers. Plus get set for the biggest DOCTOR WHO Con ever – and zombies are headed to Riverdale.
As ARROW hits the halfway mark of the TV season, fans and critics alike say it keeps getting better. We go backstage with the creators and cast to find out how they got this far, and what lies ahead for new characters including one played by fan favorite John Barrowman. Plus How about Captain Kirk, Ron Burgundy or Spock doing your voice mail message? It can happen if you hurry.
It’s a Christmas tradition at a lot of holiday parties. You might call it “Secret Santa” or “White Elephant” but now it’s getting super-sized and coming to NBC for five consecutive nights. Howie Mandel joins us to talk about what TAKE IT ALL will mean to the landscape of primetime television, plus Neil Gaiman hits radio and WALKING DEAD fans can keep the fear going with a new iOS game.
SONS OF ANARCHY will be wrapping this season on a particularly bloody note, which has been the tone for the last few months. We talked with series creator Kurt Sutter about his plans to keep the tension and betrayal coming. Plus everyone is waiting for the 2nd part of the direct-to-DVD DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Bruce Timm & Andrea Romano join us to talk about what we will and won’t be seeing in the next part set to hit stores in 2013.
The November TV Ratings Sweeps are over and for the first time in a while, NBC climbed to the top. Critics are saying that the win was due to several of the network’s new shows, including the comedy GO ON. We talk to the creators and cast about just how a show about death became so funny, plus Chevy Chase finally bolts from COMMUNITY and David Tennant back on DOCTOR WHO??