During our adventures at Wizard World Philly we ran into Lou Iovino and Evan Young, the creators of the mind-bogglingly complex and awesome graphic novel The Last West. After getting funding for the first volume on Kickstarter, the second volume has surpassed its goal and i for one can’t wait to get my grubby mitts on it.
Watch these two super passionate (and insanely nice) dudes talk about their project, then go pick up the first volume over on Amazon, Comixology, or wherever else you can get comics.
Stay tuned for our review of The Last West Volume 1 coming soon! Spoiler alert: it’s really, really good.
"Any last things for any struggling voice actors out there?"
Tumblr site Fuck Yes, Troy Baker made a GIF sequence of our interview with voice actor Troy Baker. He’s done a million different voices for all sorts of anime, video games, and more. Most recently, he voiced Joel in The Last of Us and Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins.
He’s a super rad dude and kind of reminds me of Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil. If you missed the interview when it originally went up last month, check it out below.
Man. I wish I could win the lottery so Albotas could travel and make sweet videos like this all the time.
INTERVIEW: Rebecca Sugar & Ian Jones-Quartey Talk To Us About Their New Show ‘Steven Universe’
Rebecca Sugar has gone from an Emmy and Annie Award-nominated writer, minstrel, and storyboard artist on Adventure Time to the first ever female creator to get her own show on Cartoon Network. I got the chance to chat with her about the new show along with the series supervising director Ian Jones-Quartey. Check it out in the vid below and stick around towards the end for a sneak peek at an upcoming episode of Steven Universe!
And if you couldn’t make it to New York Comic Con, here’s a clip of Rebecca Sugar playing her ukelele and singing some songs with the crowd and special guest Donald Glover.
Steven Universe premieres Monday, November 4 at 8p.m. ET on Cartoon Network.
A Little Bit On ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ [VIDEO INTERVIEW]
At New York Comic Con I got to interview voice actors Roger Craig Smith (Batman), Troy Baker, (The Joker), and Warner Bros. Games Montreal Creative Director Eric Holmes about one of my most anticipated games this year, Batman: Arkham Origins.
Find out why Roger Craig Smith will never use his Batman voice to order pizza, who Troy Baker thinks is the sexiest vixen in the Batman universe, and what Eric Holmes and his team have done to give fans a Batman game like no other.
Rotobox Vinyl Anatomica is the intersection of giant robots and custom designer toys. But this team isn’t just about the robots. Their customs are reinterpretations of classic Japanese and American pop culture icons from Gachaman to Ironman. With an incredible amount of attention to detail and extensive use of self-fabricated parts, Rotobox are at the top of the customizing scene.
Hit the link for our interview with Rotobox Vinyl Anatomica.
Sekure D was awesome enough to shoot a video with Albotas and talk about his custom sneakers and vinyl toys. We talk about how he got into painting his own sneakers, the process of customizing, the vinyl toy world, and a whole lot more. Check out the video below, and don’t forget to hit the Like button and subscribe!
Albotas Parties With ‘Regular Show’ Creator JG Quintel
Okay, so it was less of a party and more like a phone interview, but it totally felt like a party, so that’s what it will always be in my memories.
Regular Show easily ranks among the upper echelon of greatest cartoons of all time. It airs on Cartoon Network right along the equally radical Adventure Time and has become a hallmark of the station.
Now in its fourth season, the show centers around the mega slackers Mordecai (a blujay) and his best friend Rigby (a raccoon). They work at a park where they get yelled at by their boss (Benson, a gumball machine), seek out advice from the park’s handyman (Skips, an immortal Yeti voiced by Mark Hamill), and fight off monsters, aliens, and other evil things that they accidentally summon/create/piss off. Each episode is a smorgasbord of 80’s action/sci-fi/comedy/geeky goodness with references to everything from Weekend At Bernies to Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead.
You know, regular, ordinary stuff for a kid’s cartoon.
ALBOTAS: Regular Show has a pretty crazy cast: talking vending machines, ghosts, an old guy with a lollipop for a head. Who would you say is your favorite Character?
JG Quintel: I’d have to go with Mordecai because he’s a lot like me. He’s pretty much who I was in college. Muscle Man makes me laugh too.
Mitch “Muscle Man” Sorrenstein. He doesn’t really get mom jokes.
One of my favorite characters on the show is High Five Ghost, and he also has a brother, Low Fives. I’ve always wanted to know, since they’re ghosts, how did they die?
That’s not something I’ve really thought about yet, but I’m glad people care enough to question it!
Regular Show has lots of video game references. Mordecai and Rigby are often seen playing a Sega Master System and even the episodes themselves feel like video games with almost every episode ending with a boss battle. Is there any chance of a Regular Show video game in the near future?
We’re constantly sharing ideas with Cartoon Network. I’m sure that most people would look the other way but I think there’s a lot of stuff in the show that would translate well to a video game.
Mordecai and Rigby have faced a rogues gallery of bad guys in the show’s four seasons. It was especially awesome to see all the villains come back in the Dr. Whovian season 4 premiere Exit 4B. Do you have a favorite bad dude that stands out among the rest?
I really like GBF (Garret Bobby Ferguson). I think he’s hilarious. It’s funny because, you know, there’s so many cool villains on the show, but most of them just end up dying by the end of the episode, so they’re all just wiped out. When we came up with that episode for the premiere - it was like “Ah! We can bring ‘em all back!” I’m glad that we got to get a little more mileage out of a lot of those villains.
Garret Bobby Ferguson - an evil ex video game champion from outer space based on Billy Mitchel.
What is your secret weapon?
Hrm.. As far as the show goes?
As far as life.
Life? Oh my God! You have to, I guess, just do what you want to do. Don’t worry about what other people what you to do because you just gotta do what makes you happy. I think that translates well into making shows. Just make what you want to see and hopefully people will want to watch it.
Final, and possibly most important question: If you could be any food, what food would you be and why?
Mmm. Mhhhm. Mhhhm. Maybe a hamburger because it has all the essential food groups if the order is made properly and can be quite delicious.
Regular Show: Party Pack DVD is available RIGHT NOW and new episodes air Monday nights on Cartoon Network.
For the first time ever, the popular IndieCade festival of independent games made its way to East Coast this past weekend. IndieCade has been going on over on the West Coast since 2009 and is considered by many to be the Sundance of video games, so I was pretty pumped to see it for myself.
It wasn’t quite the spectacle I was expecting. It was basically an open rec-hall sized room with a bunch of tables with computer monitors and iPads on them. Very few of the games on display were accompanied by anyone attached to the projects, so I started wondering just how badly these indie devs wanted people to know about their games. I also started wondering if I wasted a perfectly good Saturday and $200 in bus/taxi fare.
Thankfully, after doing a few laps around the main room and eyeballing computer monitors and TV screens from over people’s shoulders, I discovered a few gems.
Below are two videos of developers who were bodacious enough to answer some of my dumb questions and talk about their games.
This is definitely a game that should be experienced at least once by anyone who appreciates video games as an art form. Huge thanks to Brendon Chu from Blendo Games for taking the time to speak with us for the vid. Be sure to keep an eye out on his upcoming retro cyberpunk game, Quadrilaterial Cowboy. If the official description doesn’t have you sold, I don’t know what will:
When you have a top-of-the-line hacking deck armed with a 56.6k modem and a staggering 256k RAM, it means just one thing: you answer only to the highest bidder.
And now for videos that I didn’t take, but trust me, these games are awesome.
Rob Davis from Playniac was awesome enough to speak with us about his iPad racing sim that’s actually way more about micromanaging your finances and racers than actually racing. At first glance I expected just your standard Mario Kart ripoff. What I got instead was something more akin to Game Dev Story.
It would actually be pretty interesting to see this game’s financial system implemented in other genres - RPG’s for example: buy some weapons and armor using your credit card, and if you can’t make your payments on time, your gear gets repo’d mid-battle! Okay nevermind, that actually sounds terrible.
I fell in love with the PS Vita version of this game when I played it at NYCC last year and was pleasantly surprised to find a PS3 version on display at IndieCade East. This is from Drinkbox Studios, the guys behind one of my favorite Vita titles, Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!! It’s a MetroidVania style game that requires a certain finesse in stringing together melee attacks to navigate through levels. You can also bounce between dimension a-la Mighty Flip Champs. Mix that all up with some sweet mariachi chiptunes, amazing character designs, witty dialogue, and multiplayer co-op and you have an instant recipe for me not getting anything done ever. Sadly, no one from Drinkbox was around to talk to while I was there. Bummer.
This was hands-down the game that drew the biggest (and loudest) crowd. Sleek minimalist multiplayer sports action. The kind of game that makes players yell at each other while onlookers cheer them on.
This was the game that stole the show for me. You basically just have to manipulate a puzzle on a 2x2 grid by zooming in & out and interacting with the levels. The artwork, the level design, the intricate precision of thought that went into each puzzle design - it’s brilliant and you should probably just stop whatever you’re doing and go download and play the free demo.
There were a buttload of other cool games on display, but there were a zillion other people crowding around and waiting in line to play them, so I had to squeeze in whatever I could before catching the bus back home. Head on over to the IndieCade site for a full list of games that were on display.
Hopefully I’ll be able to stick around for all three days next year as I can definitely see this sort of thing growing over the years. Plus, we really just need more cool geeky shit to indulge in on the East Coast.
Ro-Bear was gracious enough to brave the icy February wind chill during Philly’s 8Static to speak with us about how he got into chiptunes, his chip pop/rap group Kill3r Whale, and where he sees the chipmusic scene going in the future.
Shawn Smith, founder of Shawnimals, was awesome enough to do an interview with Albotas after a grueling signing session at NYCC 2012. Hit the link to read about the origins of NinjaTown, the art of plush, and Shawn’s days of writing for EGM.
Armed with a cup of tea, cream, and a few lumps of sugar, Matt JOnes, AKA Lunartik, has taken the designer toy scene on a caffeine-induced tour through his unique mind. With a background in product design, his clean lines combine with a fun and endearing toy: Lunartik in a Cup of Tea. The figure has seen many variations, from its full size editions, to a mini series. This month saw the release of both Lunartik in a Cup of Tea Mini Series 2 and the Brew It Yourself Loose Leaf kit. Hit the link for our freshly brewed interview with Matt JOnes.
FUBAR - An Indie Comic Anthology About WWII & Zombies.
FUBAR is an anthology of collected short World War II themed zombie comics by various artists. Lots of violence, lots of gore, and even more originality. Steve A. Becker, the book’s creative director, was awesome enough to spend some time with us at Wizard World Philly to fill us in about this popular indie comic series.
TADO is made up of Mike and Katie, graphic designers from England. What do they do? The more apt questions is “What don’t they do?” From pillows to custom Mega Munnys to custom Mini Coopers, TADO have had a part in pretty much any medium you can think of. And they’re quite possibly the first to blend designer toys with night lights with their upcoming Chuppi line. Hit the link for our interview with TADO.
Once upon a time your humble Albotas editor-at-large liked a band called On Broken Wings. Once upon a time he was inspired by the t-shirts of Johnny Cupcakes to launch his own t-shirt line. He would call it ALBOTAS and it would stand for A Little Bit On The Awesome Side. But then, blogging turned out to be way more fun (and way less of a hassle) than making t-shirts.
Enjoy our interview with the dude semi responsible for this site existing.