Book Review “The James Bond Omnibus 003”

Author: Ian Fleming
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: April 3, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

James Bond is the longest film series to date and is continuing that trend when the 23rd Bond movie hits theaters this November. Well, this book let’s travel back to the original comic days created by Ian Flemming. It celebrates James Bond and his adventures in comic strip form. If you are fan of James Bond, this is a real treat and great addition to the series.

The book is softcover but has a really strong shiny cover. I love the paper quality too since it feels like an old newspaper. Includes inside are seven of 007’s most thrilling and dangerous missions: “The Harpies”, “River of Death”, “The Golden Ghost”, “Fear Face”, “Double Jeopardy”, “Starfire” and “Colonel Sun”. These stories look glorious in black and white and are real page turners.

Personally, I have never read Bond in comic form before so this a real treat for me. It hard to believe but it is just as thrilling and exciting to follow the comic as it is the movies. Since this book is actually the third volume in the series, I would definitely recommend checking out the first two as well. I will also be looking forward to future installments from Titan Books as we get closer to November 2012 and the latest Bond film.

Be sure to check out our reviews from “The James Bond Omnibus 001 and 002“.

Interview with James Tupper

James Tupper is currently playing the role of David Clarke in ABC’s hit show “Revenge”. Last year, he co-starred with Jim Carrey in “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with James about working on “Revenge” and what we can expect this season.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to the character of David Clarke?
James Tupper: I had seen some of the pilot prior to my scenes being shot. Madeleine Stowe, who was nominated for a Golden Globe this year, is on the show and I realized that every scene required me to be in bed with her. I figured I could probably swing that [laughs].

MG: How much information did you receive about the show’s plot prior to working on it?
JT: We only get the script we are shooting at that time. We shoot our scenes and then piece all the details together. Phillip Noyce who has directed a bunch of great films actually directed some of the pilot. To be able to get that caliber of director was really great. Phillip is one of those guys that is on another level.

MG: Where you able to work with Emily VanCamp at all during the season so far?
JT: I get to work with her younger self. [Laughs] We haven’t crossed paths yet but I would be worried about her because she’s kick ass.

MG: What can we expect from the rest of season one?
JT: There is an incredible downhill crash and every character has something going on. I feel like when I am reading the scripts each episode feels like it’s a season finale. I wish I could tell you more of what is going to happen but I just can’t. I will tell you that some people end up in jail.

MG: How does working on “Grey’s Anatomy” compare to working on a show like “Revenge”?
JT: “Revenge” has all this energy going on and it feels like I am working with the next generation of actors. Everyone is young and full of energy. When I worked on “Grey’s Anatomy” the show had a real ensemble feeling led by Patrick Dempsey. The acting was very deep and everyone on that show really knows how to work a scene. It has a totally different feel.

MG: How was it working with Jim Carrey on “Mr. Poppers Penguins”?
JT: I had to go to set the day before just to meet Jim because I knew I would be nervous. He is an icon. He is a guy that is funny all the time. Jim really understands comedy. When I first met him he slapped me on the back and asked if I like to be called Jim or James? I figured because he was Jim Carrey, so I decided I would stick with James.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2012?
JT: I just finished shooting a film with Jessica Biel and Gerard Butler called “Playing the Field”. That should be out in a few months. It’s a really funny film. I play Jessica Biel’s lover. No one is going to believe that Gerard Butler can take a woman away from me. [Laughs] I don’t think America is ready to see that.

Etta James dead at age 73

Etta James, whose version of the 1941 standard “At Last” is one of the most popular recordings of all time, died today from complications due to leukemia. She was 73. She passed away just three days after bandleader Johnny Otis, who discovered her, passed away.

Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, she was raised by an almost absentee mother who told the young girl that her father was the famous pool player Minnesota Fats. Years later she met him but he never admitted or denied being her father. Due to her mother’s many problems James was mostly raised by Lula and Jesse Rogers, family friends who owned a rooming house her mother used to live in.

She was performing in a female group known as the Peaches when Otis spotted her, advising her to rearrange her first name and become Etta James. The two co-wrote the hit “Roll With Me, Henry,” which was a reply to the popular Hank Ballard and the Midnighters’ hit, “Work With Me, Annie.” Her first “big” song was the ballad “I’d Rather Go Blind,” which was later covered by such singers as Rod Stewart, B.B. King and Beyonce’, who sang it while portraying James in the film “Cadillac Records.”

In 1960 she signed with Chess Records and released her debut album, “At Last!,” at the end of the year. In 1961 the title track was released as a single, reaching #2 on the Rhythm and Blues chart and #47 on the Billboard Hot 100. “At Last” would become her signature song. She stayed with Chess Records until 1978. In 1993 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming one of only thirteen women inducted as a solo performer.

CD Review: James Durbin “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”

James Durbin
“Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”
Wind-Up
Producer: Howard Benson
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” is the first release from American Idol: Season 10 contestant James Durbin. The album is being released via Wind-Up records and features 11 original tracks produced by Howard Benson. The iTunes digital version of “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” features two additional bonus tracks not included on the CD release.

Not being a fan of “American Idol” I am at times a little unfamiliar with those involved with the show. In this case I had heard of James Durbin but I still wasn’t too sure what to expect from his album. Upon my first listen I was immediately drawn in. “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” features a collection of songs in a variety of styles all of which seem to really fit Durbin’s voice perfectly. Tracks such as “Everything Burns” the hard rocking “Higher Than Heaven” and “Outcast” featuring Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars were definitely personal favorites. The album has a great flow while showcasing producer Howard Benson’s keen ear. Fans of “American Idol” will definitely want to pick this album for their collections. While those not familiar with the show or with James’s work will also want to check this album out as it really is great piece of work and has a little something for everyone.

Track Listing:
1.) Higher Than Heaven
2.) All I Want
3.) Love In Ruins
4.) Right Behind You
5.) Love Me Bad
6.) Deeper
7.) May
8.) Screaming
9.) Outcast
10.) Everything Burns
11.) Stand Up
12.) Liberate (ITunes Bonus)
13.) Back For More (ITunes Bonus)

Also be sure to check out our interview with James Durbin located in the interview portion of the site.

Interview with American Idol’s James Durbin

James Durbin was a contestant on season 10 of “American Idol”. James recently released his debut full length album titled “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”. Media Mikes had a chance recently to talk with James about his experience on the show and what it was like singing with Judas Priest.

Adam Lawton: What was the “American Idol” process like for you?
James Durbin: I originally auditioned for season 8 of the show however I was not in the right spot mentally at that time. I just wasn’t there what so ever in my life. During my time between the two auditions I started a family and really got my life and my priorities together. I was working at a Domino’s pizza and had put in for the day off so I could go an audition. No one knew that I wanted to be a singer. Everyone figured I was just going to be one of the joke contestants so my boss said I couldn’t have the day off. Two days before the audition the owners sat all the employees down and told us they would be closing due to not having any more money. Everyone was laid off and we weren’t doing very well financially at the time. My fiancé and I went to San Francisco and waited and waited to audition. I just ended up going for it and never looked back. I had no idea what things were going to be like once I finally got on the show. You do a lot of waiting in between rounds for your chance to sing and then it’s over. The show is almost like a marathon.

AL: Did you start off auditioning for the main judges?
JD: You actually have 3 pre-auditions before you are in front of the cameras. All that they really show on TV is the final round of auditions and tons of people in the stadium. They never show the first round where upwards of 20,000 show up to sing for 5 seconds in hopes of getting their opportunity.

AL: What was your initial reaction when you were told you would be singing with Judas Priest?
JD: I was told right after I sang “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” during the Top 24 guy’s week. Judas Priest had contacted the show stating they really enjoyed my performance and if I made it to the finale would I be interested in signing with them. I thought holy crap! It’s Judas Fucking Priest and they want to play with me. I was in complete shock. I still am.

AL: What can you tell us about your album “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”?
JD: The album is being released via Wind-Up Records and was produced by Howard Benson. The title comes from me looking back on moments in my life that I thought were disasters. However after meeting my fiancé and having a child those things that bothered me from the past I can now look back on them and see the beauty and the pain. Those events made me who I am today.

AL: What was the recording process like for you?
JD: Everything on the album is entirely new material. I enlisted the help of some writers who wrote songs specifically for me. They call it personalized song writing. All in all I finished the vocals in two and a half weeks as we were working with a deadline in place. I finished way ahead of time. The process of recording was really fun and learning about everything related to recording was great. I had never done anything of this magnitude before.

AL: Can you tell us about your involvement in the film “Different is the New Normal”?
JD: I was asked by a production team if I would be interested in talking to a young man by the name of Ariel Small. Ariel has tourettes syndrome and was in the process of making a documentary about himself. I immediately jumped on the opportunity. The film isn’t just about tourettes but it brings life to tourrettes and makes it well known. Ariel was inspired by me to make this film. I really respect that and am very honored. Meeting Ariel and seeing how much insight he has for such a young man was great. The title of the film actually came from one of my quotes.

AL: What are your plans for 2012?
JD: Surviving the Apocalypse. (Laughs) I am going to just keep living my dream of being able to sing and make a living by doing so. This really is a dream come true. Huge thanks goes to everyone who has helped me in the process especially my family and fans. I owe everything to my fans. I am working on securing the right tour for 2012 as album sales have been going well so knock on wood things will keep going well.

Audio Interview with James Arnold Taylor

James Arnold Taylor is currently voicing Obi-Wan Kenobi on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. The show is currently airing its fourth season. He also was the host of Star Wars Weekend in 2011 at Walt Disney World, also where he performed his one man show. Media Mikes was able to get James Arnold Taylor to answer a few questions about “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, “Johnny Test” and his one man show as well. It is a must listen…trust me!!

Media Mikes – James Arnold Taylor Interview (November 2011) by Mike Gencarelli

Interview with Andy Mackenzie & James Duval

Andy Mackenzie & James Duval are co-starring in the film “Sushi Girl”, playing the roles of Max and Francis (respectively).  These guys were so passionate about this film during our interview and it is rare to see such devotion to a film.  Media Mikes chatted with Andy and James about their roles and what it is like working with such an all-star cast.

Mike Gencarelli: James, tell us about your role of Francis in “Sushi Girl”?
James Duval: Yeah, I play Francis and I am part of the old core group members of this group of professional criminals. I play the shifty one in the group, so to speak [laughs].

MG: Andy, tell us about your role of Max in “Sushi Girl”?
Andy Mackenzie: Max is honestly surrounded by all these badass guys, except Max is probably the most badass. He is the guy that shoots first and doesn’t even have time to ask questions later. He has somewhat of a brain and he actually is somewhat multidimensional with his relationship with Mark Hamill’s character in the film. We push buttons all throughout the film.

MG: What drew you to work on this film?
AM: I read the script the first time and I tried to picture who was going to be the actors playing these characters. First off, I pictured Tony Todd because he is the pimp and it would be perfect. Everyone brought so much to the table in a completely different way than you can ever imagine. It just keep getting better and better every day.
JD: Absolutely it just kept growing. Andy was actually signed on to this film before me, like a year and a half ago. I knew Tony before just from the business and I knew who Andy was but never met him. So I was really excited to sit down and looking forward to the rest of the casting. At that point they hadn’t locked the characters down for Fish (Noah Hathaway) and Crow (Mark Hamill) yet. This was an opportunity to sit down a do a real good character piece with the script that Destin (Pfaff) and Kern (Saxton) has written. It is absolutely dynamic. I learned a lot from working across Tony Todd, who just has this presence. Then when you throw in the color of Mark Hamill and Noah Hathaway, honestly it doesn’t get better than that. When you think of Mark Hamill, you really don’t even know what he looks like anymore besides he does a lot of voice work. All of the sudden he shows up at our last table reading with a character completely out of a comic book [laughing]. It was the funniest, scariest and creepiest thing…all at the same time. It turned everything around that I was doing or thinking. I thought now I have to react to this guy [laughs]. Everyone knows Mark and Noah so well from growing up with them in films, but to see them come and deliver on this film is really what acting and making movies are about. This is a character breaking role for Mark Hamill and you will not look at him the same way again.

MG: You both sound so inspired about working on this film, it is really refreshing.
JD: It is just a dream come true. We are working with really dynamic actors that are really some of the best in the business but we also have a really great dynamic script. It has fleshed out character development and twists and turns. As an actor getting to play that is just a blast, you can not ask for more when you are making a movie.
AM: Exactly what Jimmy said, definitely a dream come true. Imagine growing up, you are watching “The Neverending Story” or “Star Wars” or “Candyman”. All of the sudden you walk into this room and all of these guys are in the same room as you and you have to be a badass [laughs]. That is where the inspiration is but how can you actually be a badass when you are surrounded by all these badasses [laughs].

MG: What would you say was your most challenging aspect working on the film?
JD: Every actor wants to shoot as chronological as possible. This was shot over 18 days and the real challenge was that after 7-8 days, you are left exploring and figuring out who you are. You want to go back in time and known that something prior was going to happen and changed a relationship. We spent a lot of time on set and even off camera talking about who these characters really came from. Once you see the movie we are right there in this middle of this crime. You are left wondering where we all came from. We are constantly exploring and seeing where we could take these characters. The film basically takes place in one night with some flashbacks.
AM: We were trying to do the chronological aspect the best we could but then there was a couple of occasions when we had to jump way forward and catch somethings. That was the big problem during those moments, we really didn’t know who we were at that moment and that is when we needed to go back and try to find out.
JD: Can’t talk about the budget, but we didn’t have a lot of money or time. We had to move fast and in the sense of doing so you are jumping from scene to scene quickly. You have the camera setup jumping from shot to shot without changing, so you have to be really on the ball with what was going on.
AM: What I meant to say with the biggest challenge was sitting around the table right next to a hot naked chick with only sushi covering parts of her body…that was really hard [laughs].
JD: Cortney Palm, great young up-and-coming actress, was really amazing having to sit there 15-18 days in the same position. She is going to blow you guys away. I think there are some parts of this film that we can’t say but it is going to go down in cinematic history. The visual shots and certain scenes are very memorable and it is really exciting to be a part of.

MG: James, What is the deal with “Mondo Holocausto!”?
JD: I know we were planning on doing it a couple of years ago. It is still in pre-production and I just received an email from the director, so it might be moving forward again. It was put on the back burner for a while. It was going to be down in the style and spirit of the 70’s Mondo campy horror films with badly dubbed over purposely. I do not know if it would work but I love the idea and the concept. I saw some test shots with the actors voice dubbed and I couldn’t stop laughing. I thought it was incredible. If we are fortunate enough, I hope he gets the money and we still get to do this film.

MG: Andy, do you still get a chance to work on your music as well as acting?
AM: Yeah, I am still playing drums in a band. Everyone is currently busy with other things so we haven’t been playing live recently. It is such a great outlet for me and I totally need to get back out there.

MG: You both have a few films in the works, so what’s next?
JD: I actually just finished filming my first script that I wrote with a friend of mine. It is a totally different film that “Sushi Girl” and it was great writing it. We really explored the characters in the film. We started editing this week, so we will see how it goes. I am really excited. I also have a film that I produced that premiered at Raindance Film Festival in London, called “The Black Belle”.
AM: I have two films in post right now. One of them is called “Knifepoint” that just premiered at Fantasia in Montreal and next it is moving to Chicago Horror Film Festival. There is another film I did which is also hitting the circuits, called “American Joyride”. I also just did a Civil War TV pilot called “Reconstruction”.

 

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CD Review: The Elves and Ronnie James Dio “And Before Elf…There Were Elves”

The Elves and Ronnie James Dio
“And Before Elf…There Were Elves”
Label: Niji Entertainment
12 Tracks
Running Time: 53 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

If you are expecting the Ronnie James Dio on this album that we knew and loved, you might be a little disappointed. This is a very blues-fused album with very early recordings from metal legend Ronnie James Dio. The Elves were formed in the late 60’s and are categorized as a mix between Rock, Honky Tonk and Blues. This album features 12 previously unreleased tracks from 1971 and are collections of both studio and live tracks. I definitely enjoyed the album and it definitely shows a different side of Dio that I never knew.

One of my favorite tracks on the album has to be “Stay With Me”. It is very catchy and very well orchestrated. The album runs a nice strong 53 minutes and delivers pretty strong from beginning to end. The music reminds me of a mix between “The Who” and “Grateful Dead” and a twist of the blues. This album just proves how much range Dio really had and he definitely nails it on this album. Although these tracks are 40 years old, the quality is quite notable especially since Dio’s Wyn Davis remastered from the original tapes.

Track List:
01. You Shook Me
02. Stay With Me
03. Four Day Creep
04. Buckingham Blues
05. Wakeup Sunshine
06. Driftin’
07. Smile For Me Lady
08. You Felt The Same Way
09. Simple Man
10. Drown Me In The River
11. Cold Ramona
12. Little Queenie

Interview with James Hong

James Hong is best know for his role of Lo Pan in “Big Trouble in Little China” and Hannibal Chew in “Blade Runner”.  Kids might know him as the voice of Mr. Ping from the “Kung Fu Panda” series.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with James about his classic roles as well as what he is currently working on.

Mike Gencarelli: Did you enjoy voicing Mr. Ping in “Kung Fu Panda” series?
James Hong: Yes I did, very much.  There is one scene I liked the most where Mr. Ping says to Po, that “You will be gone, you will go to a place with strange noodle, strange people…don’t go”.  He encourages him to go and then names a whole bunch of circumstances not to do.  That was funny scene.

MG: You are also reprising that character again in “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness”, what can you tell us about that?
JH: I am working on that now.  I just finished three episodes.  They are all very good.  I think people are going to be very pleased.  Some of the episodes has a lot of Mr. Ping in it which I am very thankful for.

MG: You are no stranger to voice work, you also voiced Chi Fu in Disney’s “Mulan”, how was it voicing a character for Disney?
JH: I am another kind of crabby old guy, who is very fussy and so forth.  I actually saw some of it throughout the drawings.  I thought it was some of the best graphics I have seen in animation.  Each frame was like a painting.  They incorporated a lot of the Asian feeling as well.  I am very appreciative that I was involved with that project.

MG: You are known best for your role of Lo Pan in “Big Trouble in Little China”, can you believe this film is still around and finding new audiences?
JH: I just has this huge cult following.  Lo Pan still lives.  Never dies! [laughs].  He is still floating around in the universe…looking for the girl with the green eyes.  When I find her I shall marry her! [laughs].

MG: What was the best part about working on that film?
JH: One day I was walked on the set and I saw the underground tunnel set with the water channel running through it and the monster jumping out.  It was a fantastic set.  In those days, it wasn’t popular to use a digital sets.  That set was an actual set and what amazed me is that each arch that was in the tunnel got smaller and smaller and smaller so that it looked like it went really long.  Actually though it was a series of hand made smaller arches leading into the distance.  I was amazed at the wonderful work the set director had done.  I said to (John) Carpenter, “Wow, this set should win an award”.  He said “Well how about you”.  I was very impressed what he thought of my acting as Lo Pan.  Of course none of us got any awards from the film [laughing].  But the award I think is with the appreciation of the fans.  The fans somehow latched onto that character and the whole film.  That has rewarded me 100-fold for my performance.

MG: You are in another cult classic, “Blade Runner”, playing Hannibal Chew, can you reflect working that film?
JH: It was a totally different feeling working on this film.  To me that was a memorizing film.  It just hypnotizes you.  You watch each frame and you get drawn into it.  Ridley Scott has that know-how of just sucking you into his film.  People really got into that film, almost like its part of their souls belongs to that film [laughs].  My character created the replicants in the film.  To make the eyeballs was something the character dreamt of doing.  Once he saw his children wearing his eyes, he was flabbergasted.  Even though he dies at their hands, still they were his creation.  He died in his glory in a way.  I enjoyed working on this film for sure.

MG: What other projects do you have planned upcoming?
JH: I just did another film called “Safe” with Jason Statham.  That movie is being released in October or November, I believe.  I am the head of the mafia in the film.  It is all done in Mandarin.  It is a fun evil part [laughs]. Another film I did, is a younger teen adventure called “The Lost Medallion”, which is going to also be released really soon.  In another month I will also be on “Funny or Die”.  That is really cool, you will love it.  It is a segment called “Fleshlight”.  Of course I also have the TV series “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness”, which should be airing in November.  I am actually looking to produce my own films.  I want to produce an anthology series called “Dark Tales by James Hong”.  If you or any of your readers have any good stories feel free to forward along a synopsis and we will go from there.  I would even encourage any filmmakers if they would like to make their own short film, I would consider incorporating it into my series.  So that is pretty cool!  I will be sort of like the Asian Vincent Price [laughs].

 

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James Hance’s Relentlessly Cheerful Art Giveaway [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED BUT DON’T WORRY WE WILL BE DOING MANY UPCOMING GIVEAWAYS FOR JAMES HANCE’S RELENTLESSLY CHEERFUL ART IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Relentlessly Cheerful Art artist James Hance has created the brilliant book titled “Wookie The Chew”, wonderfully mixing “Winnie The Pooh” with “Star Wars”. He not only created the amazing book but also prints of the illustrations as well.  If you are a Star Wars buff like me then you will need to check this giveaway out.

To showcase our recent interview with James, read it here, Media Mikes would like to giveaway TWO copies of the Wookie The Chew book as well as a few prints. *THIS JUST IN* JAMES HANCE HAS AGREED TO PICK ONE WINNER AND CREATE AN ORIGINAL PRINT FOR HIS FAVORITE MASH-UP ENTRY ONLY AT MEDIAMIKES.COM. ENTER YOUR COMMENTS BELOW TO GET A CHANCE TO WIN. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know what your favorite movie/cartoon mash-up would be. This giveaway will be open until Tuesday August 23nd at 12pm, Eastern Time. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

Click here to read our interview with James Hance. You can also view more of James’ work for sale at his official website, here.

 

 

 

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James Hance talks about his art and his book “Wookie The Chew”

James Hance is the genius behind Relentlessly Cheerful Art. He has created many great pieces of art by mashing up his childhood favorites, whether it be cartoons or movies. James has already created the brilliant book titled “Wookie The Chew”, wonderfully mixing “Winnie The Pooh” with “Star Wars”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with James about his work and what existing projects he has planned next.

Also check out our giveaway for James Hance’s Relentlessly Cheerful Art, click here to enter top win some great prizes.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s start with Wookie The Chew, how did you create this wonderful book?
James Hance: I had a dream about it, woke up and all the characters were there. I knew exactly who everyone was. I just recently decided that C3PO is going to be rabbit but I’m not entirely sure what to call him. Maybe Threepit? Christopher Robin was always going to be Han solo. I posted a few pictures on Facebook to see if anyone would dig it and people really got into it. I did a few and someone jokingly asked when the book was coming out, so I wrote the book.
.
MG: Why did you choose to do the pictures inside the book in black and white?
JH: I wanted to keep in theme with the early E.H. Shepard Pooh illustrations. Also my printing guy would’ve charged 2x as much for color! [laughs] Once the trilogy is finished I’ll release them as a single full color volume.

MG: So you have plans for another book “Wookie The Chew”?
JH: I am about 2/3 of the way through episode two right now and I’m releasing new prints to coincide with the story. The first one was loosely based on Episode IV, the second book will be ‘When We Were Very Jedi’ and the third, ‘Now We Are Sith’.

MG: Tell us about the animation clip for “Wookie The Chew”, are you planning turning it into a feature also?
JH: Billy Allison and I put that little sequence together as a promo for the book, prints and upcoming audio book. We wanted to let the reaction to the clip determine whether or not to go ahead with something more feature-length. There’s been an amazingly positive response so far in such a short space of time and it was so much fun to put together. Now it’s just a case of working out the logistics of making the movie. Lucasfilm have been amazingly good about this so far.

MG: You have a lot of work inspired by “Star Wars”, my favorite is ‘Force By Northwest’, tell us about your inspiration?
JH: “Star Wars” has been a huge influence, as you can tell. Jim Henson and George Lucas practically walked me through my childhood. As a kid I’d constantly be doodling, on any flat surface I could find. I remember drawing Link Hogthrob (Pigs In Space) piloting an X-Wing and being ridiculously proud of it. I should really do that one again, that’s gold!

MG: Tell us about your latest prints inspired by “Firefly”?
JH: “Firefrog!”. People kept requesting “Firefly” art but I’d never actually seen the show. Eventually I picked up the box set and washooked. Half way through the first episode I was plotting out each character and their Muppet counterpart. I was posting my progress pictures on Facebook and it started this big snowball of suggestions and amazing feedback. I’m very happy with how it went.

MG: What is your first step in starting a process for a project?
JH: I’ll usually sit down with endless coffees and watch the movies or episodes of whatever it is I’m working with. I don’t really mash-up anything that I am not passionate about. I’ll sketch like a mad thing through the movie (I often take a sketch pad into the cinema and doodle in the dark. That sounds a bit weird, actually) and then go online and and source pictures for inspiration and just go from there. It’s really just me in my pajamas watching cartoons and eating
cereal all day. That’s the dream.

MG: What has been your favorite artwork to date you have created?
JH: One my personal favorite pieces has to be “The Creation of Muppet”. Kermit and Jim as Adam and God, with Jim surrounded by various Muppets. That was a 4ft x 2ft painting, It took about a week and I’d add a few characters in each sitting. I’m really happy with how that turned out. It was hard to let the original go when the time came!

MG: When are you going to start selling originals on your website? How about work for hire?
JH: I take commissions as and when I can but I’m pretty busy with
writing and the Chew series right now. I’ve put together a lot of
digital art and t-shirt designs lately but these past couple of weeks
I’ve actually gotten back to painting. I forget how much I enjoy it
until I actually have the brush in my hand!

MG: What are you currently working on now?
JH: I’m currently writing book two of the ‘Wookiee The Chew’ trilogy, I’m also working on ‘The Timelord At The End Of This Book’ which is a Doctor Who / Sesame Street parody. That one’s had an amazing response so far. I’ve finished the writing, onto the illustrations now. Then there’s a ‘Star Wars’ / ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ book in the works, the Wookiee The Chew movie, etc. I’m planning on hitting the conventions all of next year so I’m working hard to have an abundance of relentlessly cheerful art to take with me.