Stephen Lynch is touring through Philadelphia next week, and will be taking over the Theater of the Living Arts for two days, March 13th and 14th. And we seriously cannot wait.
The hilarious musician / comedian took some time to answer some questions for us. Read on to learn more about what to expect at his show and to find out where he’ll be spending most of his time while here in Philadelphia.
Be warned, you might not be able to find the place.
Last week I got the chance to speak with Bill Moseley, in anticipation for the Exhumed Films screening of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 he is hosting over at the International House this Wednesday, March 6 at 8:00pm. The event will be a rare 35mm screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with Bill who played the iconic Chop Top in the film. I’m a huge fan of Bill’s work and when I heard he was in town working on a film I had to interview him for the event.
I hope you enjoy this chat with Bill, we talk about not only the origins of Chop Top and what influenced the role, but also his thoughts on the evolution of technology in genre films as well. I would like to thank the folks at Exhumed Films for making this happen. (more…)
In anticipation for the Oscars on Sunday I chatted with Wendy Weinberg an associate professor of Film/Video at the University of the Arts, who in 1993 was nominated for an Oscar for her thesis short documentary film. It was really interesting to get a local perspective on the Oscars, from someone who experienced the event firsthand. I hope you enjoy this very down to earth look into the event from the perspective of a Philadelphian documentarian. (more…)
Geeks are everywhere. Ask four people what “geek” means and I guarantee you’ll come up with four different answers. There are comic geeks, A/V geeks, marketing geeks, gamer geeks, food geeks, science geeks–the list goes on and on.
While their casual social graces and tendencies towards showmanship might count bartenders out of your geek equation, they fit perfectly into mine. And besides, this city has no shortage of really geeky bartenders so I think it’s time we all got to know each other. I mean, a geeks’ got to have someone to talk shop with over a fresh brew, right?
Jonn Klein, owner of The Dive (7th and Passyunk) and Watkins Drinkery (10th and Watkins), worships classic dive culture and 90’s television. His bars are populated by a diverse population of regulars that are starkly loyal to his libations. He is comfortably rough around the edges, a natural storyteller and dons an iconic set of unapologetic mutton chops. You can’t really miss him.
“I grew up watching Cheers when I was a kid and I always kind of wanted to be Sam Malone–minus the alcoholism and career in professional sports.
But for my whole life, I thought I was going to be a doctor. I did all sciences in school. I went to Berkley for molecular and cell biology and it wasn’t until the last moment that I decided that I absolutely didn’t want to be a doctor. I dropped out and walked away from all of that. I moved back to Philly and got back into the restaurant business full-time.
The more I did it, the more I loved it. And the more I loved it, the more I realized that I actually did want to be Sam Malone, for real,” says Klein. (more…)
Hearing Adam Teterus tell me his backstory reminded me a lot of the opening montages of a quirky romcom. The young protagonist moves to Cleveland for a girl, gets a funny job making videos for a strangely niche video game website, has a bad reaction to Cleveland; moves back with the ‘rents and then off again to Texas. Then finally, our our young protagonist found his own way back to Philadelphia and into the coworking community.
Adam likes to talk a lot. He is a former BTMM major at Temple and secretly dreams of becoming a voice actor for Galaxy Express 999. He is charming and quick on a joke but, more prominently, extremely passionate about coworking and community development.
Adam is the point-person at one of Philadelphia’s most popular coworking spaces, IndyHall. He spends most of his days tending to the space, giving tours and managing the Hall community. If you have ever talked to someone at Hall, you have probably talked to Adam.
He makes it a point to say hello and goodbye to anyone that walks into IndyHall. (more…)
Last week, Rob spotlighted the awesome Meat America project by Dominic Episcopo. You might have spotted some of his art around Old City, and soon, you’ll be able to get it in a collected book.
This week, Dom is our Geek of the Week.
A graduate of the University of the Arts and a resident of Fishtown, Dom’s runs a commercial photography business out of his home, where he collects vinyl, pottery, and antique butcher cleavers (which you’ll see in the book).
Read on to learn about Dom, his photography, love of meat, and more. (more…)
Philly’s Retro Peel Productionsare on a roll. Their Philly based web series My Ruined Life has recently returned for a second season of ennui/character-based laughs that builds on the momentum of the first.
Writer/director/producer Lee Porter was recently kind enough to take time from his increasingly busy schedule to speak about My Ruined Life, how the series really comes into its own in this new season, and getting mentioned on Twitter by Questlove of The Roots.
How do you feel about the reception that My Ruined Life has received so far?
The reception to MRL has been really great. In just our first season, we were named “Best Web Series Shot in Philly” and “Audience Favorite (Web Series)” by FirstGlance Film Festival. It’s always nice to hear that your friends and family like your work. But getting recognition from an unbiased national film festival, based out of Hollywood? That really made us feel legit, assuring us that we’re onto something here.
All the Philly sites, including Geekadelphia, were really awesome about getting the word out last year. That meant a lot, too, as we were the new kid on the block. So the immediate love was greatly appreciated and heart warming.
Did you approach the second season any differently from the first? Where would you like to go with these characters from here?
The second season definitely has a lot more substance to it than the first. First of all, we added a new character Kristen (played by local actress Kristen Egermeier) into the mix. We learn more about Nate (played by local actor/comedian and Web series host Nathan Holt), his job and his relationship with The Man in Tuxedo with Beard (played by local comedian Greg Bailey). Brian (played by local actor Brian Cowden) continues to steer this comedy ship, so to speak, while getting much more animated by all of the wackiness around him. We have multiple cameos of recognizable Philly faces, too. So there’s a lot more going on this season than just two guys on a bench, waxing poetic about baby wipes.
What we’re doing with this series, at this point, is a challenging tiptoe, comedy dance along a balance beam. On the one hand, our loyal audience understandably wants to learn more about these characters and be invested in some sort of journey. On the other hand, we’re still growing our audience base, so we need to make our episodes, even in this second season, accessible to brand new viewers. Combine all of that with the short attention span of Internet viewers, and it’s definitely a balancing act. I’m confident that our second season offers much more depth than our first season, while, at the same time remains easily accessible to brand new viewers.
Someday, hopefully, given the resources and a larger audience, we can expand on the depth and plot. At the same time, they’re two-minute comedy bits. So we simply want viewers to recognize and feel connected to us, and we want to make people laugh. (more…)
Mark Robinson is a Philly boy who’s been neck-deep in comics for most of his life. From his childhood invention of the gonzo super-team book BATTLE TEAM FIVE through his currently running live-wire mini-series I LOVE TROUBLE, Mark is a fountain of cartooning ideas and passion for his medium.
His art is swooping and breathless, a blend of silver-age thunder and modern manga flash. After a decade of work-for-hire for major companies such as Marvel, DC, Vertigo, IDW, and Top Cow, he is now unleashing a slew of creator-owned books through Image Comics. We spoke with Mark over the weekend while he enjoyed an ice-cold orange soda.
Tell me about the origins of “I Love Trouble.”
Back in October 2010 I went to NYCC and handed a sample packet of my work to someone over at the Image booth. Took a shot in the dark and about a month later I received an email from Eric Stephenson asking if I would be interested in teaming up with a writer (Kel Symons) that had been attached to a new series proposal. That new series became I LOVE TROUBLE, a four issue mini series that after more brain storming and creating went down, became a 6 issue mini.
You use a lot of charts, maps, labels, sound effects and wordless sequences in I LOVE TROUBLE. What draws you to this kind of inventive storytelling?
I went to film school for Animation and I think it started to happen there. When I would create my storyboards I would drop in sound effects here and there just to give myself audio cue notes for sound production that was to come later. These “footnotes” became more technical when I started studying more of Eisner’s work. I am not really a fan of the computer programmed comic book fonts that you see in most comics. I find them too static and my work really doesn’t jive with that stagnation too much…
So I went for something that I always wanted to do and that was incorporate my own sound effects and “special effects” within the art work itself. It makes it more lively and comic booky fun for me… not to mention it’s old school and that’s how comics were made when I was reading them. I am really into fourth wall breaking in comics. Meaning, I want to let the reader in and give back their ability to imagine the story within the cracks of the story even if it’s not really the story at all. (more…)
Philadelphia has a vibrant local comic book scene and artist Jamar Nicholas is an integral piece of that community.
Nicholas’ adaptation and illustration of FIST STICK KNIFE GUN, Geoffrey Canada’s memoir on young adult violence, has won many awards and is taught in schools around the country. Nicholas himself is an educator, teaching at local colleges.
We talked with Jamar about his newest projects, his geek obsessions, and Philly of course. Read on!
Tell me about your most recent projects, the webcomic DETECTIVE BOOGALOO: HIP HOP COP and the comic adaptation of Geoffrey Canada’s FIST STICK KNIFE GUN.
My webcomic, DETECTIVE BOOGAOO: HIP HOP COP was a weekly comic strip I began eons ago in 2002 (That’s 40 years ago in internet-time) for filmmaker Kevin Smith, on his site MoviePoopShoot.com, famous for being the website from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, but so many people actually tried to visit the site online, that Kevin made a real place.
The quick and dirty elevator pitch is: break-dancing Detective gets superpowers, – fights super villain rappers. It goes deeper than that, but that’s usually all I need to get a raised eyebrow. Boogaloo is my love-letter to Hip Hop, and is at its’ core the ages-old Cain and Abel story, with a rap wallpaper. In 2006 I moved the strip to www.detectiveboogaloo.com but has been on ice for a few years. I plan on bringing it back with new content in late spring of this year.
FIST STICK KNIFE GUN was an amazing story by educator Geoffrey Canada that I had the pleasure of adapting and illustrating into a graphic novel, shining a light on Canada’s childhood in the South Bronx in the fifties, growing up and being trained to survive in the streets of a violent city – where that fight begins on your front stoop, against the kids on his block.
I like to call this project ‘The Secret Life of Boys’, who are taught at an early age that to exist outside of the sanctuary of home, you must fight. The problem is, that societal violence is at a point now where young men don’t fight anymore, they solve their problems with guns. It won several awards in 2011, and was also on the YALSA Great Graphics for Teens book list, as well as being taught in several schools and universities in the classroom.
I also have a podcast about being a professional comics artist called COMIC BOOK DINER, which I host with my two virtual studio partners John Gallagher and Rich Faber. I also do product reviews and interviews for DRAW! Magazine.
Beyond that, I’m also a professor at Moore College of Art and more recently had my second term teaching Writing for Comic Books at Drexel University. I spin a lot of plates on tiny, tiny sticks! (more…)
Last week I got an opportunity to interview Andrew Greenblatt, the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Film Society, and chat with him a bit about their plans for The Roxy Theater. Ever since they announced they were taking over the space in Rittenhouse Square last October, I have heard a lot of things about what folks thought The Roxy would eventually come to be.
It was a great conversation. Read on and find out what the future holds in store for not only this great little theater, but The Philadelphia Film Society as well.
I know there were some rumors going around during the Philadelphia Film Festival as to when The Roxy would be finished, care to give us an update?
The target month is March, which is really only 7 weeks away now.
There has been a lot more work than we anticipated; I guess this goes with any construction project. We have been still raising money as well, so we have been slowed down a bit by that and we have a lot more to go.
But I would still love to get it open in March, so that is my target, sometime in March hopefully.
I know you have said The Roxy will be the home for both the Philadelphia Film Society and Festival, but exactly does that entail exactly?
The Roxy will operate as a typical first-run theater, so it will be just showing two films at time. It may do split-runs as well; we will have to see how much we can do that with smaller films.
But we will have one off events, some educational classes, we will look to do midnight screenings and we will also be doing some retrospectives as well. Stuff that we have spent the last three years doing at other venues; we are going to try and do at The Roxy as much as possible.
Now there could still be some bumps with that. We don’t know how distributors are always going to respond to having interruptions in their runs. I guess it depends on the size of the distributor, but we are going to work with them to make it possible.
That is on the outset what we are going to do with The Roxy.
Then of course we will use it for the festival, we will be using both screens and it will probably be the primary ticketing outpost leading up to the festival. We really hope all this will bring some other stuff to that neighborhood as well. (more…)
It seems as if Pat Shand’s name is everywhere you look if you are a fan of Zenescope Entertainment as of late. In the last year he has gone from writing a handful of one-shots and annuals to working on two of Zenescope’s biggest series, the smash hit Robyn Hood and the massive event miniseries Godstorm. He was kind enough to answer a few questions via email about the two series and what’s coming up next.
So, what is the abridged version of the History of Pat Shand?
Act One: He is born.
Act Two: He learns to read, and never stops doing so. Reading and writing become inseparable. He goes on a journey to find himself. Comes out confused. Dramatic music, tension builds, etc etc.
Act Three: He triumphs! He gets his dream gig of working on IDW’s Angel comic, and then keeps on with the writing and nails a few jobs at Zenescope. Then, an even bigger dream comes true when Zenescope lets him write for them full time. Catharsis, big action sequence perhaps, and maybe even a wedding.
Okay, no more third person – ever again.
Is writing comic books something you always wanted to do for a living?
Writing is always something I wanted to do for a living; I always pictured writing in all mediums, and I’ve done a decent job of making that happen thus far. I’ve had my plays performed off-off Broadway in NYC, am currently submitting films I wrote to festivals, have a collection of prose anthologies in which I’ve been published, and (best of all, but don’t tell the others) comics! The art of making comics is the finest of all creative methods, because it’s this marriage of text and visuals that, unlike film, allows readers to ingest the story at their own pace. I can’t think of a more primal and involved way to read a story than comics. (more…)
Welcome to this week’s Geek of the Week, where we highlight the fun and creative people of our city. This week, we’ve interviewed podcaster/anthropologist/archaeologist Jill Weber and scientist/engineer/robotics-reseracher Evan Malone (Founder of NextFab Studio). Together, they’re also the restaurateurs behind Jet Wine Bar and REX 1516.
You two are quite an eclectic pair. Jill, how does your experience with anthropology and archaeology affect your day-to-day? How do you think it affects your everyday outlook? Evan, same question but with your areas of expertise: physics and mechanical engineering.
Jill: Archaeology absolutely rounded me out as a person and enabled me to better interact with people. I’m most comfortable with logic and predictability – neither of which describes culture or the course of human history.
Evan: I find myself studying the objects and systems around us to discern how they were produced and what the intent and constraints were. I’m frequently amazed (appalled?) by the unbelievably low cost of complicated products that require enormous resources to produce: from extracting and refining raw materials, to design and engineering hours, to shipping parts around the world to the lowest cost labor force for assembly. I’m still a little unsure of the net of the pros and cons of all of this, and of what I would do if I were sure… (more…)