Category Archives: Interviews

Interview: Aly Malchaka

At Wizard World Comic Con Nashville 2017, Day 1, Scott Asher had an opportunity to speak briefly with Aly Malchaka (of Aly & AJ (Disney) stardom as well as a reoccurring lead role on iZombie (2015) as Liv’s BFF Peyton Charles) about trasitioning from child star to adult star and faith in Hollywood.

As I introduced myself to Aly I was surprised by the graciousness she showed as she welcomed me to the interview and even shook my hand – something most celebrities don’t do. My first experience with Aly was in the film Cow Belles (2006) – a Disney TV movie that my then young daughters made me watch over and over. My daughters love Aly & AJ (even now as High Schooler and College student!) One of the things they liked (and my wife and I did too since we are always looking for wholesome entertainment and good role models) is that both actresses were Christians.

Scott: My daughters would love to be here right now!

Aly: Awww.

Scott: One of the things my daughters told me that was great about you as a role model was that you and your sister are Christians. Is that true?

Aly: Yeah.

Scott: So, what’s that like being a Christian in Hollywood?

Aly: I think it’s a rarity, but we’ve always been very outspoken about our faith. It’s just one of those things that, you know, it doesn’t necessarily affect anybody because if you’re just cool with it and you’re fine… no one’s really ever bothered me about it. Everyone can have their own beliefs and we can all be cool with that.

Scott: Have you ever had to turn down roles because of your faith?

Aly: Uh, sometimes. Rarely. It’s never really been anything negative for us. If anything it’s been a positive.

Scott: Thank you. You guys were childhood stars and yet, you’re not doing drugs and stuff…

Aly: [laughed] No.

Scott: How did you successfully transition from child star to adult star when it seems like so many people didn’t make that change well?

Aly: I think probably because AJ and I have always been very close and we rely on each other. It’s helped, you know, in not getting us off that path. Obviously, we are not perfect – we’re humans – but we always try to hold each other with a certain amount of accountability. I think, yeah, having each other was a really important part of us staying focused on our craft and not getting involved in all those other things.

Scott: Thank you so much! I appreciate your time.

Interview: Lou Ferrigno

At Wizard World Comic Con Nashville 2017, Day 1, David Mason had an opportunity to ask Lou Ferrigno a few questions specifically about Pumping Iron, the 1977 documentary featuring Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his time as the Hulk (TV and TV movies).

David: Thinking back to your time working on the Incredible Hulk – how was that experience for you as far as going from Pumping Iron?

Lou: The Hulk was fourteen hours a day of makeup. An hour and a half to take it off.

David: I read that Arnold was up for that but he wasn’t tall enough or big enough?

Lou: No, I was better for the part. I was a lot bigger.

David: I saw that the two of you at the reunion [Pumping Iron: the 25th Anniversary c. 2006]. Do you and Arnold keep in touch at all?

Lou: I see Arnold all the time.

David: I am a big fan of the [Hulk] show. I heard you were going to make a fourth?

Lou: Yeah, but then Bill [Bixby] passed away [in 1993]. The name of the show was going to be “The Revenge of the Hulk” but Bill passed on.

David: Thank you very much!

Live Blog: Day 2, 2017 #WizardWorld Comic Con


Welcome to BookGateway.com’s Wizard World Comic Con Nashville 2017 live blog! Join me (Scott Asher @ashertopia) David Mason (resident comics-know-it-all), and David Warren (photo and videographer) as we blog everything that happens on during Day 2 of Comic Con Nashville 2017! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BookGateway and #WizardWorld! Video will also be posted next day on our YouTube channel. On tap today: Whedonverse cosplay, Saturday morning cartoons, Batman the Animated Series, Star Wars cosplay, Harry Potter, Firefly cast reunion, and more!

(CLICK ON TITLE TO VIEW LIVE BLOG)

Live Blog: Day 1, 2017 #WizardWorld Comic Con


Welcome to BookGateway.com’s Wizard World Comic Con Nashville 2017 live blog! Join me (Scott Asher @ashertopia), and David Mason (resident comics-know-it-all) as we blog everything that happens on during Day 1 of Comic Con Nashville 2017! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BookGateway and #WizardWorld! Video will also be posted next day on our YouTube channel. On tap today: Opening thoughts, CinemaSins, DC Cosplay, voice actors, writing fantasy, and more!

(CLICK ON TITLE TO VIEW LIVE BLOG)

Candace Patton Q&A Video #WizardWorld Comic Con Nashville

BookGateway.com Highlights from the Q&A with Candice Patton from CW’s The Flash from Wizard World Comic Con Nashville on 9/27/2015.

Candice Patton (CW’s Iris West, The Flash). Raised in Plano, Texas, Candice continued her childhood dream of becoming an actress by attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.F.A in Theatre. It was here that she was scouted by The Young and the Restless for a CBS Soap Star Contest and flew out to Los Angeles to briefly join the cast. Candice finished her college education at SMU and moved to Los Angeles shortly after.

Moderator: Jenna Busch is the founder of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on G4’s Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, NPR and Al Jazeera America, covers film/TV/gaming/comics. She’s currently a co-host on the entertainment web series Most Craved. She’s been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology and Game of Thrones Psychology, moderates and appears on panels at cons around the country and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony voice overs that give one nightmares.

**Details taken from Wizard World press releases. See http://www.wizardworld.com/nashville2015.html

Firefly w/ Staite & Baldwin Q&A Video #WizardWorld Comic Con Nashville

BookGateway.com Highlights from the Q&A panel with Firefly’s Jewel Staite and Adam Baldwin from Wizard World Comic Con Nashville on 9/27/2015.

Adam Baldwin is an American actor known for his roles as Animal Mother in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Ricky Linderman in My Bodyguard, Knowle Rohrer in The X-Files, and Marcus Hamilton in Joss Whedon’s Angel. He also established a cult following as Jayne Cobb in the series Firefly, the movie Serenity and for starring as Chad Shelten in Day Break. He starred as John Casey on the NBC comedy-spy series Chuck, was the voice of Breakdown in the animated series Transformers Prime and played Captain Steven Harris in three episodes of Law and Order: SVU.

Jewel Staite most recently starred as ‘Raquel’ in the CW series “The L.A. Complex,” which premiered in the Spring of 2012. Prior to that, she was seen starring in the Hallmark Channel telefilm “Call Me Mrs. Miracle” opposite Doris Roberts. This premiere was the highest rated Hallmark Channel telecast of the year. Prior to that, Jewel was seen as ‘Dr. Keller’ in the SyFy Channel hit series “Stargate: Atlantis.” Her stellar work has earned her rave reviews, as well as recognition from The Gemini Awards (Canada’s prestigious equivalent of our Emmy) with a nomination for ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role’ in 2008. This was followed up with a nomination from the Leo Awards in 2009 for ‘Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series.’ Jewel made her 2005 feature film debut in Universal Pictures “Serenity,” Joss Whedon’s adaptation of the FOX science fiction television series “Firefly,” of which Jewel was a series regular. Jewel played the ship’s mechanic ‘Kaylee,’ a sweet, happy and sensual farm girl who loves life and is a genius at fixing anything.

Moderator: Jenna Busch is the founder of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on G4’s Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, NPR and Al Jazeera America, covers film/TV/gaming/comics. She’s currently a co-host on the entertainment web series Most Craved. She’s been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology and Game of Thrones Psychology, moderates and appears on panels at cons around the country and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony voice overs that give one nightmares.

**Details taken from Wizard World press releases. See http://www.wizardworld.com/nashville2015.html

Dukes of Hazzard Reunion Q&A Video #WizardWorld Comic Con Nashville

BookGateway.com Highlights from the Dukes of Hazzard Reunion Q&A panel from Wizard World Comic Con Nashville on 9/27/2015.

The Duke Family — cousins Bo ( John Schneider) and Luke (Tom Wopat), assisted by their cousin Daisy ( Catherine Bach) and their uncle, Jesse (Denver Pyle)– fight the system and root out the corrupt practices of Hazzard County Commissioner Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and his bumbling brother-in-law-Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best). The show became an instant hit, never failing to win its time slot during its original run on CBS for seven seasons from 1979-1985. The Duke boys, a pair of ‘Robin Hood’ types complete with bows and Dynamite arrows, are assisted in their adventures by their car, an orange 1969 Dodge Charger named ‘The General Lee’. The Dukes of Hazzard is set in Georgia, and the show’s southern influence is felt throughout. Country singing superstar Waylon Jennings performed the famous theme song to the show (Good Ol’ Boys), and acts as The Balladeer, narrating the adventures of each episode. Furthermore, many of the plots revolved around the Dukes’ history as an ex-moon-shining family. The story followed Bo and Luke until season five, because during episodes 87 through 104, their cousins Coy (Byron Cherry)and Vance (Christopher Mayer) replaced the boys while the went on to join NASCAR Circuit. Bo and Luke won, but returned to Hazzard after great season at the NASCAR Circuit. Innocently naive Deputy Enos Strate, though technically a member of the law under Boss Hogg, strives for justice and fairness, while also having a major crush on Daisy. Ace mechanic Cooter Davenport helps the Dukes along the way, and Deputy Cletus Hogg, though not as honest as Enos, subtlety assists the Dukes escape from ‘Hogg justice’. The series had an extremely successful run in syndication beginning in 1996 on TNN, the Nashville Network. This led to a resurgence in the popularity of the “Dukes”. Two reunion movies, featuring the surviving members of the cast, aired in 1997 and 2000. The show currently airs on CMT (Country Music Television) and in the summer of 2005 experienced another huge revival with the film version, starring Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Willie Nelson and Jessica Simpson. A Prequel was Made in 2007 and shown in 2 weeks on ABC Family in 2008 during the summer.

**Details taken from Wizard World press releases. See http://www.wizardworld.com/nashville2015.html

WWE’s Roman Reigns Q&A Video #WizardWorld Comic Con Nashville

BookGateway.com highlights from WWE’s Roman Reigns Q&A from Wizard World Nashville Comic Con 2015 on 9/26/2015.

A star defensive tackle at Georgia Tech, Roman Reigns wrecked offensive guards for both the Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars before becoming a WWE Superstar. The hulking powerhouse brought his smash-mouth gridiron style to WWE’s developmental system, NXT, where he left a long line of tough opponents in crumpled heaps. But it was at the 2012 Survivor Series that Reigns made his greatest impact.

In the heat of a Triple Threat Match between WWE Champion CM Punk, John Cena and Ryback, Reigns hit the ring alongside fellow WWE NXT competitors Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins and unleashed a merciless attack on the mighty Ryback. Tearing at the beast like a pack of hungry jackals, the young competitors ruined Ryback’s opportunity to win the WWE Title and drove him through a ringside table.

Rumors that the group was working in collusion with The Straight Edge Superstar quickly spread, but those ties were strongly denied when Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose sat down with Michael Cole for an interview. Branding themselves “The Shield,” the band of upstarts in black tactical gear claimed that they weren’t in WWE to aid Punk, but to halt injustice. From then on, the group targeted anyone and everyone they saw as an example of said injustice, with Reigns slowly emerging as the trio’s juggernaut. At Extreme Rules 2013, Rollins & Reigns bested Team Hell No to win the WWE Tag Team Titles, later targeting Daniel Bryan on multiple occasions on the orders of WWE COO Triple H and his corporate Authority.

Reigns didn’t even suffer his first pinfall until nearly a year after The Shield debuted when he was eliminated by The Usos in the first-ever 11-on-3 Handicap Elimination Tag Team Match that pitted The Hounds against Bryan and his locker-room supporters. Despite losing the WWE Tag Team Titles to Cody Rhodes & Goldust, The Shield remained a dominant unit until CM Punk attempted to turn the three Superstars against each other and nearly succeeded.

Reigns’ next and potentially greatest step came in the 2014 Royal Rumble Match when he eliminated a record 12 Superstars from the contest, including a mutinous Ambrose and unsuspecting Rollins, and came in second before he was last eliminated by a returning Batista. The next night, though, The Shield were prevented from earning their way into the Elimination Chamber Match and challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Title when The Wyatt Family interfered in their qualifying bout, handing the DQ victory to Daniel Bryan, John Cena & Sheamus. WWE COO Triple H later granted the enraged Shield a request to face The Wyatts at Elimination Chamber. After a couple of weeks of circling each other, the two factions finally came to blows at the end of the Feb. 17 Raw.

But at Elimination Chamber, The Hounds of Justice fell in a hard-fought battle to The Wyatt Family. Further infighting cost them a rematch eight days later when Rollins abandoned his teammates to make a statement, but once The Authority was revealed to view The Shield as “expendable,” The Hounds turned on their handlers and unleashed hell, destroying WWE Director of Operations Kane and The New Age Outlaws in one of the most dominant showings in WrestleMania history at the 30th Show of Shows – one that saw an unbelievable double-Triple Powerbomb on the Outlaws.

Despite Triple H’s efforts to stop The Shield by re-forming Evolution, The Hounds prevailed again at Extreme Rules in an incredible battle between two of the most dominant factions in WWE history.

So persistent was The Shield’s resistance that The Game re-formed Evolution with Randy Orton & Batista to combat them, but at Extreme Rules, The Shield emerged victorious, thanks in no small part to a gravity-defying effort by Rollins. Even then, however,The Hounds weren’t done with Evoluton, as Reigns, Rollins & Ambrose went on to shut out all three members of legendary faction in a brutal No Holds Barred Elimination Match at WWE Payback. Even though Batista quit WWE the next night, the evening still threw the future of The Shield into question, however, when Rollins attacked Reigns and Ambrose with a steel chair and seemingly allied himself with Evolution.

The next week, Reigns and Ambrose vowed revenge and proved their continued strength by teaming with John Cena to defeat The Wyatt Family, but it was on June 16 that Reigns made his biggest statement yet, maneuvering his way into, and winning, a Battle Royal that entered him into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match at Money in the Bank.

Reigns would come close multiple times to retrieving the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but to the Authority’s delight did not come away with the championship gold. He would, however, get another chance when The Game placed him into a Fatal 4-Way for the title at WWE Battleground, but came up just short when John Cena retained.

**Details taken from Wizard World press releases. See http://www.wizardworld.com/nashville2015.html

Strong Female Characters Panel Video #WizardWorld Comic Con Nashville

BookGateway.com Highlights from the panel on Strong Female Characters: What They Are And What They’re Not from Wizard World Comic Con Nashville on 9/26/2015.

Moderator:
Jenna Busch is the founder of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on G4’s Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, NPR and Al Jazeera America, covers film/TV/gaming/comics. She’s currently a co-host on the entertainment web series Most Craved. She’s been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology and Game of Thrones Psychology, moderates and appears on panels at cons around the country and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony voice overs that give one nightmares.

Panelists:
Writer, editor and publisher Renee Witterstaetter is the author of “Nick Cardy: The Aritst at War,” “Excess: The Art of Michael Golden,” “Tex: The Art or Mark Texeira,” the children’s book “Kerry and the Scary Things,” and “Dying for Action: The Life and Films of Jackie Chan,” among many others. In addition to on-going film work, she is the President of Little Eva Ink Publishing and Eva Ink Artist Group, which represents artists and writers in comics, storyboards, fine art painting and more (www.evainkartistgroup.). Renee is also one of the producers of the “Creator Chronicles” DVD series with Woodcrest Productions, featuring interviews with major industry creators such as George Perez, Bill Sienkiewicz, Michael Golden, Joe Jusko, Matt Wagner and many more.

Genese Davis is an American author, host, columnist, and media personality. She is the author of The Holder’s Dominion, a next-generation thriller heralded as a breakthrough novel by Publishers Weekly. Her writing expertise expands across various genres including thriller, fantasy, gamer-lit, and new adult, as well as screenplay, playwriting, and video game lore. Davis is an in-demand host, speaker, and moderator for TV, radio, web-series, conventions, academic fairs, publishing workshops, and literary and entertainment expos. Davis is a featured columnist at MMORPG.com, and she is the founder of The Gamer In You. She was awarded the iGR Woman of the Year for her outstanding efforts in debunking stereotypes and for bringing the video game industry the first new adult, gaming-thriller, The Holder’s Dominion.

If you’re not familiar with Jacque, it’s probably a good bet you’re at least familiar with her name, Nodell, as in Martin Nodell. That’s her grandfather. Yup, the story of how Jacque got into comics started way back in 1940, with the creation of the Golden Age Green Lantern. After being toted to countless comic book conventions as a child, it was only natural that Jacque wanted to contribute to the comic book industry. After a brief stint lettering the Ape Entertainment series Super Human Resources, Jacque put her academic training to work by starting the popular site, Sequential Crush — a blog devoted to preserving the memory of romance comic books and the creative teams that published them throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Jacque’s writing has been featured in the new Rosy Press anthology Fresh Romance, and the Oni Press romantic comedy, Ares & Aphrodite: Love Wars. She was also featured on PBS’s History Detectives, and has been called a “must-read for anyone with an interest in American pop culture of the era.” In addition to blogging, Jacque is currently working on her first book about the romance comics that will be out this spring.

Janet Lee (artist, the Return of the Dappermen)

**Details taken from Wizard World press releases. See http://www.wizardworld.com/nashville2015.html

Live Blog: Opening Night 2015 #WizardWorld Comic Con Nashville

Welcome to BookGateway.com’s Wizard World Comic Con Nashville 2015 live blog! Join me (Scott Asher @ashertopia) David Mason (resident comics-know-it-all), and David Warren (photo and videographer) as we blog everything that happens on opening night of Comic Con Nashville 2015! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BookGateway and #WizardWorld! Video will also be posted nightly on our YouTube channel. On tap tonight: Strong Female Characters roundtable, Roman Reigns from WWE, cosplay and a bunch of quick hit interviews with artists and writers. Coverage starts at 9/25 at 6 pm Central. Tune in for updates! (OPEN THIS PAGE TO VIEW BLOG)