Doctor Who Recap and Review – “Into the Dalek”

(SPOILERS AHEAD!!! DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE EPISODE!)

 

Last week, we got to meet the new Doctor, and this week we get to know him a little bit more; ultimately, we get to see a side of the Doctor we never have, at least in the new series. We were promised a darker Doctor with Capaldi at the helm and he does not disappoint, as this episode had some of the darkest moments and decisions the Doctor has ever made, especially for anyone not familiar with the other darker Doctors from the original series.

Picture Shows: Zawe Ashton as Journey Blue

The episode starts with the Doctor saving a soldier from an exploding ship. After an initial conversation, she has the Doctor take her back to her ship where we learn it is a secret ship, and due to the Doctor finding it, they must kill him until they realize he can help as he is a doctor but they don’t know he is THE Doctor. They say they have a patient that the Doctor could help and proceed to take him to the patient which ends up being a Dalek. If that is not surprising enough, The Doctor has the normal conversation with the initial Dalek which reveals that it is “Sick” by yelling “ALL DALEKS MUST BE DESTROYED!”

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After the credits we are immediately introduced to the new Character of Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) who is a teacher at Coal Hill School, which is of course the same school Clara teaches at. We get a bit of an odd glance between the two as Clara is walking into school and after we are told Danny is a Lady Killer by people who don’t know him and any idea that may be so is shot down immediately when he meets and starts talking to Clara. However, before that happens, a kid in Danny’s class asks if he has ever killed anyone, and especially outside of the military where he starts crying. This is definitely going to be an important part of this character as there was too much focus on it to be forgotten. Clara being the wonderfully cute companion she is, forgives Danny’s initial awkwardness and invites him to take her out for drinks and she is walking away she runs into the Doctor and the Coffee he promised her.

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Of course, this meeting is short and they both head straight to the ship to help the crew with this Dalek. It doesn’t take long for them with some of the crew to shrink down in a special craft made for Doctors to shrink down and combat illness on a molecular level. After just about the trippiest sequence ever in Doctor Who where they exit their craft into the Dalek, it all seems made for molecular-sized beings and a lot safer than the inside of a Dalek should feel. That is, until one of the officers decides to shoot a cable line to get down to a lower level. As the cable stabs into the side, it alerts the Dalek and antibodies show up to remedy the problem. The antibodies surround the officer that shot the cable line and the Doctor, already mad at him for shooting and hurting the Dalek, throws him a pill and just assure the man to trust him. Immediately, the Dalek antibodies kill the man and the Doctor had only given him the pill to track where the antibodies sent his remains inside the Dalek. As the antibodies now start chasing the group and they jump down a shaft and end up landing into a huge puddle of what we learn is protein from people the Dalek has killed; this quickly ends and they end up finding out what the “problem” is.

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The “problem“ ends up being a slight radiation leak which seems to both please the doctor and really upset him as it ends up he is right in arguing that there is no good Dalek, and yet in fixing the Dalek it goes back to normal and of course starts to “EXTERMINATE!” After this, the Doctor is being kind of an ass to everyone in telling them he was right up until Clara slaps him in the face, making him realize it isn’t that the Dalek is pure evil and had a malfunction, but the moral of everything that happened is that the malfunction made a Dalek good. So they then set off to try and bring the Dalek’s memories back to remind him of why he believed humans should live in the first place.

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They head up into the memory banks to access the old memories and try and turn the Dalek good again. As they start that journey, the Doctor realizes in order to get to the memory banks one of the officers must sacrifice herself by shooting cables while the antibodies continue to chase them. We see this officer die and immediately be transferred to “Heaven” with the strange Missy character we saw last episode. The moment with her doesn’t offer much but exactly what we saw last episode with the clockwork robots. After this, we see Clara and Journey, the woman the Doctor saved at the beginning of the episode, go up to the memory banks to access its memories and set it up for the Doctor to invade the mind of the Dalek. Once he does this, the Dalek sees everything he did before to change his mind and then he looks into the Doctor’s mind and sees his hate for the Daleks, which in turn makes the Dalek, now know as Rusty, take out all the other Daleks whom have been attacking the ship saving the crew. The next thing we see, somehow the Doctor, Clara and Journey are outside the Dalek as the ship Aristotle’s soldier come into the room with all the destroyed Daleks.

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As everything is resolved now and the Daleks are gone, Rusty rides away to Davros knows where; but before he leaves he notices the Doctor is sad and asks why he is since they won the battle. The Doctor tells him it is because he saw so much hate in him. The Doctor tells him that he is a good Dalek to which the Dalek replies, “No, you are a GOOD Dalek.” The doctor then abruptly walks out leaving Clara to run after him. As they are getting into the Tardis, Journey runs up asking to travel with the Doctor, but the Doctor turns her away because she is a Soldier, which will obviously cause some sort of conflict with Danny Pink when he joins in on the adventures.

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Ultimately, this episode did not offer a good Dalek story but it did make you realize that, just like Clara says, you don’t know if the Doctor is a good man but since he tries to be, that is what matters. It is an episode that sets Capaldi apart from all of the young energetic and bouncy Doctors we have seen in the new series, and although they all are fantastic, there has not been a certain Doctor that I have even really disliked of all 13 so far. Just like he should, Capaldi is offering us something completely new and although people grew to love Smith I am fairly confident Capaldi’s run will end up being one of the best, if not the best of the modern series. For next week, we get a Robin Hood story in the episode, “Robot of Sherwood,” where somehow the Doctor and Clara travel to a place where fictional characters exist.

 

Overall I would give this episode a B as I enjoyed it and it offered a lot, but I still was left a little confused at a lot of parts and there were slight plot holes. Overall, though, this episode shows what this season has to offer and if all the episodes offer this amount of insight into the new Doctor we al have a lot to look forward to.

 

All Property owned by BBC

Thirteen Things You Didn’t Know (or just forgot) about the Mirage Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series

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Although everyone is used to The Turtles having different colored headbands, in the comics they were originally black and white, and once color was added, they only had red bandanas and their weapons were the only things to differentiate them from one another as far as appearance.

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The first idea was actually just a sketch and both Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman drew one. The original drawings are what would become Michelangelo (my personal favorite). After the initial sketches, they decided to use this idea for a one issue parody. These initial sketches and first comic has now inspired 30 years of comics, television shows, movies, toys and almost anything else you could slap a Ninja Turtle face on. Eastman’s Turtle is on the left and Laird’s Turtle is on the right.

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The run of the four volume series was mostly published by Eastman and Laird’s own Mirage Studios, but Volume 3 was published by Image Comics and is widely considered as one of the worst versions of the Turtles (I enjoy them all, although this one is rather odd). In this version, Splinter became a Bat, Leonardo lost a hand, Donatello became a cyborg, and Raphael has his face burned and actually became the Shredder. Thankfully Mikey at least is able to get out of this series still intact and fairly normal.

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Once Volume 4 started, the series went back to Mirage Studios and completely omitted the Image Comics run. This series actually picked up fifteen years after Volume 2 and was simply titled TMNT although “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was still written under that title. This series has never officially had an ending. There was an issue released this year, four years after the last issue, which was an official #32. It is  still not official whether that story is over.

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Up until the Volume 4, Michelangelo’s name was spelled Michealangelo and was corrected in the last volume of this original run to match his artist inspiration’s name Michelangelo Buonarroti. Even the comical cartoon version of Michelangelo decided to start reading the books when this changed happened.

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With the Turtles outstanding success, especially among independent comics, they had many crossovers with other independent characters. A couple of these included Flaming Carrot (who also had the introduction of the Mystery Men who would later be included in the film of the same name) Usagi Yojimbo (who also has been in all but the most recent animated series) and Savage Dragon during their Image Comics run.

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The comic has very close details connecting it to Daredevil from Marvel Comics and it even has been stated this was the intention as it was a parody issue at first. The ooze that created The Turtles and the toxic waste that blinded Matt Murdock are supposed to be the same thing along with the foot clan mimicking The Hand, and Splinter being a parody of Daredevil’s mentor The Stick.

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This series technically ran from 1984 to 2010 making the whole series last 26 years in length.  Only if you count the issue that was released this year makes the series run “30 years.”  After Image Comic’s 1996-1999 run, Volume 4 at Mirage started back up in 2001, and ran for 9 years.

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The first issues of the series had such small print runs, at about 3000 copies an issue, that they became instant collector items among all comic collectors. Within a couple months the comics escalated in price so much they were selling upwards of 50 times the original price. They continue to be some of the biggest collectors items among a lot of comic fans reaching prices over $5,000.  The picture above shows an issue displayed at Denver Comic Con in a case with a ton of $100 bills.

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Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird both worked on the series only up to  issue #11 together. They worked again multiple times in the future, but their complete creative control did not last long when looking at the complete 30-year history of the franchise.

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The Turtles may have had color on their covers for a while, but the whole comic did not get color until Volume 2 started in 1993. This volume did not last long, as it only went 13 issues with a two year run, but it finally gave us a better idea of the setting and characters by adding color.

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Kevin Eastman sold his rights to the project to Peter Laird in 2000 and then Peter Laird sold the franchise to Nickelodeon in 2009. The Mirage Comics run would end the next year and Nickelodeon would start work on rebooting the franchise in TV, comics, and film. Both Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman continue to work with The Turtles to this day. Eastman is a main contributor to the IDW published comics running now.

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A classic way of publishing TMNT is to have one main series and one off shoot series. The original series started with a one off issue of each Turtle, as well as Fugitoid, a Casey Jones mini series, a crossover with Flaming Carrot, and many others. This tradition carries on today with the IDW series. With this we have gotten some great background to the main stories any fan would enjoy.  It also makes the universe much larger!

Images belong to Mirage Comics and all other owner entities.  

Thirteen Things You Didn’t Know (or just forgot) About Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Animated Series

Get ready to explore every type of turtle (of the ninja variety) that you can handle as we look back at thirty years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles history. What a better way to start than the 80’s and 90’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Animated Series? Ultimately, I feel the Animated Series Turtles in particular are the ones who will always be the distinct Pop Culture reference for the masses. Whether or not the new Michael Bay Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film (out last weekend) or any other incarnation of the four brothers suits you, there are so many Turtle universes out there to enjoy, it is nearly impossible to say that you don’t like the Ninja Turtles. If you don’t like the franchise, it’s like saying you don’t like pizza, which is a personal insult to my four Ninja friends and to me. Without further ado, here are 13 things you didn’t know about the animated series.

 

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The Animated Series started in December of 1987 as a five episode mini series, which is now thought of as Season 1 for the show. These episodes earned the entire first volume of the DVD’s with a couple episodes from season 10 tacked on.

 

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The original miniseries was made due to a plan to produce toys for the franchise by the company Playmates Toys, because the company thought the toys would not sell based just on the comic alone. They asked Murakami Wolf Swenson (initially and after the first two seasons it changed to Fred Wolf Films.) to produce something for TV to base the toys off of. From this venture we gained two of the most popular parts of Ninja Turtles history with the expansive set of figures and the 10 season long television show.

 

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In the Turtles Animated Series, the writers changed each Turtles look. They gave each turtle a different color headband, which were originally all red in the comics, so kids could differentiate between the four of them. Now they are known so well by their respective colors, it is hard to imagine them all having the red headband. In addition, the creators of the Animated Series added the first letter of their names on their belt buckles. The artists added lots of bright popping colors to the screen making for a richer environment, but one that was impossible to take seriously.

 

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A larger change was modifying Splinter’s backstory. In the comics, Splinter was Hamato Yoshi’s pet rat, who mutated the same way the turtles did. He learned how to be a ninja by observing Hamato Yoshi. In the television cartoon, Splinter was Hamato Yoshi.

 

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The dark nature of the comics was gone and this was not the kind of universe any turtle comic fan of the time, or even the creators wanted to see but they were marketing it towards children so of course they had to edit it down.

 

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In the U.K. and other parts of the world the show was actually called Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and Michelangelo’s screen time was cut down due to his use of nun chucks, which are illegal in a large amount of the world.

 

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Casey Jones who was actually not too far off from his comic version, he still was not exactly what you were expecting, but he had the same type of “I don’t give a crap” attitude and other than his Clint Eastwood like voice for the series.

 

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The Ninja Turtles made P.S.A’s. I can tell you what got me this far with not drug problems was the Turtles telling me, say no to drugs and say yes to pizza. This may have caused a rise in type 2 diabetes in my generation, but many of us got through it drug free, which has always been the way to be.

 

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Rocksteady and Bebop were created just for the Animated Series in order to produce more toys. The fan favorites are Shredder’s main thugs and bodyguards. These guys were pretty dumb but also pretty tough because Shredder used mutagen on them and the men they used to be mutated into a Rhino and a Warthog. Initially it seemed the bumbling idiots were not well liked. They may not have even been in the show if the creators had full control. However, over time they have became canon to the universe we all know.

 

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April O’Neil was made into a reporter for the Animated Series. She was originally introduced in the comics as a computer programmer and assistant to Baxter Stockman. Knowing that her origin was not as a reporter proves how much the Animated Series changed what is considered to canon to most people.

 

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Shredder wasn’t in the series for almost two seasons. The Technodrome (Shredder and Krang’s base of operation) was stuck at the earth’s core, Dimension X, and frozen in the Arctic. The Turtles finally banished Shredder and Krang forever by sending them to Dimension X and through a portal, destroying the engines and their portal technology. We don’t see them again until late in season 10.

 

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The new bad guy during that time was an alien named Lord Dregg. This is a part of the series I admittedly do not remember from my childhood. After watching the series again, it is kind of cool to see the Turtles battle more than “normal: villains, just as they did in the controversial TMNT CGI film. Most people saw this change as negative because most people see Shredder as the most formidable villain. Even so, the show lasted longer than just about every single Saturday morning cartoon by this point. With this change they also incorporated more of the darkness from the films and even had footage from the first film in the beginning credits. With the villain and style change it was difficult to handle. Ultimately, the show was canceled after seasons 8-10 only had 8 episodes each.

 

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Despite the huge success of this series, it took three times airing the first five-episode special for it to gain any kind of viewing audience. But thank Splinter it did because we got to have 10 seasons, which for a Saturday morning cartoon is insanely good. I mean Ninja Turtles had two more seasons than Dexter, four more seasons than Lost, and five more than Breaking Bad. The series came out to be just short of 200 episodes with a final count of 193.

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Star Trek TNG Reunion

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Panel NameStar Trek: The Next Generation Reunion

Topic: Most of the cast from Star Trek TNG discuss their time on the show and their experience working with one another

Featured GuestsJonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gate McFadden with William Shatner as moderator

Have you ever had a time where you got together with family for a holiday or a reunion, and sat around a table and had one of the craziest and uncontrollable conversations you could imagine, since you are so very close but never see one another? Well then you most likely know exactly how this panel went. A lot of attendees seemed to think it was out of control, but honestly it did just seem like a bunch of family members getting together with an audience. Shatner tried to control the whole panel and ask questions but with The Next Generation cast feeling so comfortable with one another, he just melded into that and was acting like the crazy uncle to the TNG family.

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Once questions began, we sometimes got full answers and other times they moved on before the entire answer was finished, for example Michael Dorn was asked how he liked working with his fellow cast members as directors. He went into almost each one but ultimately described them using one word, sometimes followed by a story. Dorn said that Jonathan Frakes was loud, Gates McFadden was like a dancer because she had everything organized perfectly and seemed to glide from place to place, and for LeVar Burton he said “No” because of a time Dorn had done a take wrong and the way LeVar told him to change his action seemed like a person rolling up a newspaper and tapping a dog on the head saying “NO.”

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The next question was about how influential Star Trek has been to the world and how it has changed the way we live from our technology to our entire culture and because of this, what are the best inspiring stories they have heard from fans. Gates McFadden told a story about a man who thanked her for helping him in his childhood because he was in foster homes that continually changed so everything in his life changed a lot but the only constant was that he got to watch Star Trek and felt like these characters were his family since they were always there for him. Definitely an awesome story which really gives a different look at how film, television and the entire entertainment industry makes people violent. Another good story that they all commented on was that of an amputee they met who had a wonderful spirit and during his recovery Star Trek and how they portrayed everyone in Starfleet even those with disabilities. The young man credited Star Trek as the reason he had the courage to continue. Now is when Marina Sirtis interrupts and says, “Man… Things just got real, how about a joke?”

If you saw the Gargoyles panel, you may have known what was probably coming and of course it was a joke about the French (hey, she is British, so of course it was about the French) This led to a more lighthearted discussion about what was the worst thing about their experiences on set. Michael Dorn wished his make-up was just for a movie and not a television show, and he mentioned another time his make up ended up with no eyebrows, which if you know Worf you will know how weird that may look. An obvious answer was that LeVar Burton hated his visor, not only could he hardly see a thing, but the actual vizor was screwed into his head to fit and the pad would press right against his temple and it gave him headaches all the time. At this point Shatner leaned over to Michael Dorn and asked if anyone had sex on the set, after a long and awkward pause, LeVar Burton raised his hand and said, “Yes, there was sex, but not between us.”

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Going back to fan questions, everyone was asked their favorite villain and all at once they respinded, “Q”, but quickly Gates McFadden added in that she thought the Borg were excellent and that she would say those were her favorite, then Jonathan Frakes also mention the Romulan leader as a favorite for him. After this we got question like “Why are you so awesome?” to William Shatner, and acting advise, where LeVar Burton had a great answer saying, “Don’t. I say this because I try to talk everyone out of being an actor, because if I do, you were never meant to be.” Definitely deep and 100% true as this exact experience (just replace LeVar Burton with Futurama) is why I stopped acting.

Possibly one of the funniest moments was when they asked the person who asked William Shatner why he was awesome to ask a real question and he asked how old they were. All of them reacted the way just about the way everyone does to that question, children aside, but Marina Sirtis got up and walked up to him and make him correct himself to ask the women how young they were. We then get an announcement Shatner has to leave early to catch a filght, which left me kind of wondering, then why did you schedule him to be here? But the panel continued and the only real interesting things that happened were an anti-bullying conversation where a lot of personal stories were told by a bunch of the cast members where Marina Sirtis said that you should let it bother you, where Michael Dorn quickly added that sometimes it is more than just words, so always make sure you can take care of yourself and try as hard as you can to be peaceful but always make sure to be able and defend yourself.

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The conversation moved to Michael Dorn’s run on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Worf. Marina Sirtis lets out a huge grunt and says ,”Deep Sleep Nine, or as Jon calls it,  Deep Throat Nine.” It basically just covers the, “what is your favorite?” and “what is your least favorite questions we already have and always have at any panel. The panel ended on a sour note as we hear one question is left and some rude woman asked what all the women thought of playing such stereotypical girly girl roles for Star Trek. I don’t really want to go into much more because if you know what Star Trek even is you should know how absolutely ridiculous that claim and question is.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Look! It’s Bruce Campbell

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Panel Name: Look! It’s Bruce Campbell

Topic: Bruce Campbell being classic Bruce Campbell, Q&A

Featured GuestsBruce Campbell

 

The set-up of this panel was different from the beginning; the normal table on the stage was gone and only two chairs remained. There was a feeling of unrest in the air, as if the dead has risen. All that went away when Bruce Campbell came out in his classy three-piece suit and cowboy hat. Bruce came out and said this panel was going to be different because he was going to audition audience members to be the moderator for the panel. Campbell looked around and chose one guy, one girl and an odd guy cosplaying as a guy from Duck Dynasty. He had them all recite the opening monologue from Burn Notice. The first guy fails about half way in, the girl does a much better job but need to pause for laughter a couple times and ends up failing a little after the spot the first guy did, and we get to the Duck Dynasty guy and he takes forever to start, but once he does, he gets in done perfectly. This panel has been a crazy ride thus far, so of course he ends up being Jeffrey Donovan – who plays the lead, Michael Westen, in Burn Notice. After fans start calming down from the surprise, we learn this is Donovan’s first convention and that, as a native Coloradoan, he wanted DCC to be his first con experience.

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This all was in the first five minutes of this panel, so once the audience learns of this, we insisted that Jeffrey Donovan walk around the crowd and ask questions instead of the normal walk to the mic fashion most of the other panels had. This added a whole new level to the con experience because instead of waiting in line for hours to meet someone they are the ones coming to you which had some people freaking out a bit. Once the questions start we get right off the bat what we can expect from Bruce Campbell at this panel. I say this because the panel started with a young boy who asked Bruce to say his famous line, “This is my Boomstick!”, Bruce’s response – as to say he is not the kids dancing monkey and moved on. Now, although a lot of people would find this rude, you should expect from Campbell as he is notorious for being very open and unapologetic with his fans. From he we got questions regarding Evil Dead’s future with Ash which was a bleak and quick, “Don’t hold your breath.” from Bruce.  This led to a question of whether Bruce would reprise the role of Ash in Evil Dead the Musical which was answered with a “No,” because Bruce said he could not sing well, which led to him singing a song from The Fantastiks and then forgetting the lyrics.

Another subject that was discussed at this year’s con more was Xena, which of course brings up Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. A couple people asked about what Bruce’s favorite moments within these series were, where he played Autolycus, the self proclaimed King of Thieves. From Xena, Bruce remembered an episode where Xena’s mind was put into Autolycus’s body and he had to go around as Xena but looking like Autolycus. Bruce said the best part was he got to kiss Renée O’Connor and grab her ass, which he quickly replied, “and not having to grab Kevin Sorbo’s tight ass was the best part of Hercules.”

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A rather interesting question was that of what was Bruce’s favorite line to deliver for any film or show. This was mostly interesting for the story because Bruce said it was, “Give me some sugar, baby,” from Army of Darkness. He explained that it was his favorite because he had a fan come up to him and thank him for it, not knowing what he meant. When Bruce asked him to explain, the man said he was overseas with the military and had that saying translated, and because of this, he used it at a bar later on and it got him laid. So Bruce took credit for that and likes that line best because of it.

Then Bruce fixed his Pocket-poof and made sure that you called it a poof and not a square because pocket squares are for squares. After this Bruce got tired of answering questions so he got up and walked around the audience asking people about themselves which usually ended up with Bruce insulting them in some way until they sat back down, usually pulling a strange Colorado town out from nowhere to reference and make fun of. Not much happened with audience question but that until we were told time was up and since the Star Trek: TNG panel was on next Denise Crosby came running out to give Bruce a hug and make a quick reference to her character in Brisco County and to make a couple flirtatious remarks to Bruce to end the panel with another quick surprise.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Peter Davison

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Panel NameDoctor Who – Peter Davison

Topic: Short discussion between Peter Davison and two moderators followed by questions from the crowd.

Featured Guests: Peter Davison

The first panel for me at Denver Comic Con was that of great actor and of course the fifth Doctor from Doctor Who, Peter Davison. After already speaking to him and getting his autograph earlier, I was rather excite to see this panel as he seemed to be a very awesome person – which always makes being a fan of someone that much better. This discussion started with a couple questions from two moderators leading into questions from fans. Davison seemed to understand fans well and had quite a presence on stage as any actor who has played the Doctor should.

When it came to questions it was rather interesting and actually gave me a lot more faith in Denver after some of the David Tennant and Matt Smith obsessed activity from the past. We had questions of course regarding Who but a surprising amount about another one of his big shows in the U.K., All Creatures Great and Small. Davison went through the always asked questions of Doctor Who actors including, “Who is your favorite Doctor?”, “Who is your favorite Companion?,” among others and he course carries it with the grace and patience you would expect from the Doctor.

One answer that surprised all if not many of the fans there was that there was no importance of who followed who on Doctor Who in the U.K. it is just a character and he was just the fifth Doctor not the guy that followed the fourth Doctor.  Here in the U.S. Doctor Who fandom has sparked quite the odd reaction in that with the new series it grabbed a lot of young girls with David Tennant and Matt Smith, where it feels like the end of the world when a Doctor leaves. When in reality it should be an exciting and wonderful experience and the only person who should be sad is the actor who has to leave the role behind.

Other than mostly Doctor Who questions the panel focused on the Hugo nominated  short film Peter Davison made with fellow former Doctors, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, called the Five(ish) Doctors Reboot where the three of them are trying to find a way into the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Although the short film is delightful Davison spoke of how difficult it was because not only was it meant to be a small thing filmed on his home video camera, but once it became big the entire thing had to revolve around the busy schedule of other and sometime people only had an hour or so to film their role in the film.

Ultimately, Davison is the real deal and seems like not only did he get the job to play the Doctor but once he had, it changed him and made him become that much more like the Doctor.

“Respect My Craft” – Bruce Campbell

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Name: Bruce Campbell

Profession: Actor, Voice Actor, Producer, Director

Notable WorkEvil Dead series, Burn Notice, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.

“Once you look past the hype, actors are nothing more than fugitives from reality who specialize in contradiction: we are both children and hardened adults—wide-eyed pupils and jaded working stiffs.” ― Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor

 

Bruce Campbell: a king among B Movie actors to many, a favorite actor to some overly-obsessed fans to others, and possibly just “that guy from that thing” to others. He can be called many things and be liked for many different reasons among just being involved in a lot of iconic projects. No matter what way you look at Bruce Campbell is a pop culture icon to the extreme and just an overall great guy to boot. Before we learn about craft of Campbell, lets take a look at the man.

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Bruce Campbell was born Bruce Lorne Campbell in Royal Oak, Michigan to Joanne Louise and Charles Newton Campbell. Campbell is no stranger to acting as his father while growing up acted as well as taking up a career as a traveling billboard inspector. On top of learning the craft from his father, Bruce has and older brother, Don, and an older half-brother, Michael Rendine. Growing up, Campbell begun to act and became obsessed with making his own Super 8-type films with his friends. This was where the legend was born; in high school Bruce Campbell met Sam Raimi and an instant best friend type of relationship emerged, combining both of their loves of film. Although Raimi and Campbell did not do much other than student films up into their college years, it was because of one short 30-minute film that would initially launch both of these men into stardom. This film was titled Within the Woods and ultimately was just a short to help try and sell their much larger project, Evil Dead.

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The Evil Dead has become a staple of the horror genre and especially the first two of the trilogy redefined horror and some even credit Evil Dead 2 as spawning the “Horror Comedy” genre type of film that would bring us later classics such as Shaun of the Dead and Tucker and Dale vs Evil. The first Evil Dead film, though, was a love letter from Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi’s to the film industry and man did it pay off because it launched the career of two of the most iconic names in film. This role would end up spawning a semi-remake with Evil Dead 2 in 1987, and an outlandish time-traveling sequel Army of Darkness in 1992. All this has led to the creation of: multiple video-games, a couple different comic books (including Ash saving Obama, Marvel Zombies, and a battle with Freddy and Jason). Evil Dead was recently remade with Raimi and Campbell as producers and no Ash character as a focal point in the film. During the time of Evil Dead’s initial release, Bruce Campbell got married to his first wife, Chritine Deveau, and in their six years of marriage they had two kids, Rebecca and Andy. Sadly they got divorced in 1989 but lets catch up career wise before we get there.

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The next big thing for Campbell was playing Jack Forrest in the first two Maniac Cop films in the late 80s’ to early 90s’; although he is well-known for these films, Campbell is very outspoken about disliking Maniac Cop 2 – not because of any reason other than that it was a bad time in his life because this was when he was going through his divorce. Campbell has even been known to throw a loving insult away at people at conventions when they bring it up. Ultimately, it is just his nature and his dry wit coming to play; people now mention it in hopes of being insulted by him. It wasn’t long after Maniac Cop 2, that Bruce landed himself the role of Brisco County in the short lived but widely loved The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. This show was way ahead of its time being a comedic sci-fi western which paved the way for Carlton Cuse, one of the co-creators, to later incorporate a lot of lost sci-fi plot and ideas for his later project, Lost.

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Campbell got married again a little before Brisco County Jr. in 1991 to his current wife and costume designer, Ida Gearon, when they were both working on the film Mindwarp. This period after Brisco didn’t have many large roles but they were in larger projects including his short cameo as Charles Travis in Congo, the small three-episode role of Bill Church Jr. on Lois and Clark, and then Surgeon General of Beverly Hills in Escape to L.A.. For many years, the biggest and most well known things for Campbell were all television roles but again, the majority were iconic to television. These include playing Ed Billik on Ellen, a guest spot as Wayne Weinsider in The X-Files and his role as Autolycus in both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.

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On top of portraying Autolycus on both Hercules and Xena, Campbell also portrayed his longtime friend and producer of both series Rob Tapert in a Hercules episode where they are in modern times. Campbell also directed seven Hercules episodes and two Xena episodes, which made these series a must see for any Campbell fan. Only about a year after both Hercules and Xena ended, Campbell got another lead role in a series; although, it was just as short lived as Brisco County. This role was of Jack Stiles in the show Jack of All Trades, which was a 19th century action/spy comedy. It was about Jack Stiles, a spy working in the south pacific against Napoleon’s efforts to colonize America. It lasted two seasons, but much like Brisco, it was ahead of its time.

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This all led up to Campbell getting into some more great roles and cameos due to his friend Sam Raimi. Campbell next starred as Roland the Intrepid Explorer, which was a film character within a film in The Majestic, then Campbell started his Spider-Man film cameos in 2002 by playing Ring Announcer (the guy who introduces Spider-Man at the wrestling match), but next came a role of a life time in that Campbell was set to play none other than Elvis Presley. Now when looking at Campbell’s resume you would not think this role would be on there but what if I told he was an old geriatric Elvis, who was still living and in a retirement home with JFK (the late and great Ossie Davis) whom the government had dyed his skin black and they both battle a mummy. Yes people I am of course talking about Bubba Ho-Tep, which is now a quintessential Bruce Campbell film and even warranted action figures of both Elvis and the mummy Bubba Ho-Tep.

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In the coming years, Campbell continued his Spider-Man cameos as Snooty Usher in Spider-Man 2, as well as playing himself in the Mark Hamill helmed mockumentary Comic Book: The Movie. Campbell then moved onto his own project that he had written, produced, directed, and starred in Man with the Screaming Brain. Bruce Campbell has often said this film was one of the oddest and most difficult productions he was involved in mostly because they filmed in Bulgaria. After that massive undertaking that supposedly took Campbell almost 20 years to make, he had a small role in the Disney film Sky High as Coach Boomer, a P.E. coach for super heroes. He also did a lot of voice over work including narrating the Spider-Man video games, The Ant Bully as Fugax, Chicken Bittle in Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, Mayor Shelbourne in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Rod ‘Torque’ Redline in Cars 2.

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When looking at where Bruce Campbell is today, you have to look at the fact that he just finished a seven-season run as Sam Axe in Burn Notice. This has to be the role most people know him from today and has made him a household name for this generation. Not only did he play Sam Axe in the show, but also a spin-off TV movie called Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe. Recently he was also seen as the Winkie Gate Keeper in Oz the Great and Powerful, Dr. Ashford N. Simpson in an episode of last season of Psych. Now ending where it all began, Campbell had a uncredited role as Ash in the new Evil Dead in 2013 in an after-credits scene, and is set to play a character named Ash in Neutron Zombies in 2015.

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Campbell also has written two books titled If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor, which is an entertaining and incredibly informative autobiography, and Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way which is a parody autobiography that makes him a character of himself and pokes fun at the whole entertainment industry. This reinforces the idea that Bruce loves to make fun of himself, even making a film titled My Name is Bruce in 2007 where he plays himself and ends up battling an actual monster – which does not end well. In fact, Campbell enjoyed this idea so much he had the entire set built on his ranch and shot the majority of the film on his own property. Campbell proves by doing this that although he may be a B movie actor, he is a grade A filmmaker – sacrificing his time, his property and his own money to bring the film to life and there is also a planned sequel titled Bruce vs Frankenstein.

 

 

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (Silver Sphere Corporation, MCA Television, Studios USA Television, Boam/Cuse Productions, Warner Bros. Television, Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment, Renaissance Pictures, Sue Schneider_MGP Agency). Join us tomorrow as we conclude our countdown to Denver Comic Con with vengeance, the night, and Batman… Kevin Conroy.

“Respect My Craft” – Jonathan Frakes

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Name: Jonathan Frakes

Profession: Actor, Author, Director

Notable WorkStar Trek: The Next GenerationBeyond Belief: Fact or FictionNorth and South

“If the prime directives [of Star Trek] were followed a little more accurately here on earth, I mean it sounds somewhat Pollyanna, but I think people would certainly get along better.”- Jonathan Frakes

 

Jonathan Frakes is definitely a major force to be reckoned with when it comes to his craft and legacy. Although his list of credits is not as long as you would think it should be, so much of what made this man a legend was done in such a short time among his credits. Frakes was born in 1952 and grew up in Pennsylvania, became a Thespian and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Penn State University. One of his first jobs was to travel to different conventions with Marvel Comics portraying Captain America.

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Around this time Frakes moved to New York and soon became a member of the theater group known as the Impossible Ragtime Theater. After having his first Off Broadway show with this company, Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape, he went on to start staring on Broadway with Shenandoah, while also starting the new role of Tom Carroll on the soap opera, The Doctors. Frakes continued to have a bunch of smaller roles including Kirk Wendover in Fantasy Island, and Brad in Charlie’s Angels. These appearances were usually just single-episode appearances, but it is at this point that the beginning of the legend of Jonathan Frakes starts to come to light.

Frakes gets longer story arcs on a couple series in the early 80s’ including Bare Essence (which originally started as a made-for-TV movie) as Marcus Marshall, then a bunch of the show Paper Dolls portraying Sandy Parris, Falcon Crest as Damon Ross, and one of his biggest projects North and South the miniseries, Frakes did all three of the miniseries for North and South portraying Stanley Hazard. This was a pretty big point but what came next was what everyone knows and loves this man – and his beard – so much for.

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After North and South ended, Frakes got the job that he is most iconic for, and that, of course, is Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation. This role went on for the entire seven season run of the show up until 1994, he had guest roles on Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and even Enterprise (not to mention the four movies: Generations in 1994, First Contact in 1996, Insurrection in 1998, and Nemesis in 2002). What makes it even crazier is he also directed several episodes of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, and also directed the films First Contact and Insurrection. So his Star Trek resumé alone shows you how much this man does, so hopefully his work behind the camera lives up to the legacy as Captain Picard’s #1 officer and ultimate ladies man – like Futurama‘s Zapp Brannigan, except Riker actually gets women.

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Although Riker continued to be a major pop culture icon past The Next Generation running years, Jonathan Frakes also had another more cult beloved character coming up but the this one was for only his voice. Frakes played the villain David Xanatos on the animated Disney show Gargoyles along with a large amount of the Star Trek cast. The oddest thing is Frakes has rarely appeared on screen after his Star Trek days, as far as acting goes.

However, he did end up becoming quite the television director. Frakes has directed episodes of Roswell, The Twilight Zone, Burn Notice, Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, and most recently an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Frakes has said that he feels his directing ability has far surpassed his acting ability which may be true and false depending on which acting and which directing project of his you would be comparing. It’s not that there are any are bad projects, but because they are all so different and spanned out; it is like comparing a lobster and a poison ivy plant on which gets better gas mileage.

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On top of his acting and directing experience Frakes has also done well as a narrator of films specifically documentaries. Frakes has of course been in a whole bunch of Star Trek documentaries and featurettes, but he also was well-liked as the narrator of the documentary Lee & Grant, and the successful series Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. Beyond Belief went for years and covered some of the strangest true stories the small screen had ever heard. More than any other kind of documentary, Jonathan Frakes did supernatural documentaries, which makes sense.

He has the credit of hosting, Alien Autopsy: (Fact or Fiction?), Roswell: Coverups & Close Encounters,and both UFOs: The Best Evidence Caught on Tape 1 and 2. Although those seem to have ended on top of the acting I am sure Frakes will continue to direct TV and work behind the camera trying to help others create a legacy as he has among Television. Frakes also still does small stints in acting including playing a fan of Richard Castle on Castle, an adult Finn on Adventure Time, and as Administrator/ Mr. Francis in The Glades. So we are bound to see his name or face on any show making it better in front of the camera and behind it.

 

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties. Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s founding Scooby, Nicholas Brendon.

“Respect My Craft” – Michael Dorn

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

 

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Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 “Respect My Craft” articles

 

Name: Michael Dorn

Profession: Actor, Voice Actor, Director

Notable WorkStar Trek: The Next Generation & Deep Space Nine, I Am Weasel, Castle

“The character didn’t have any back story. He was a name on a sheet of paper, that was it. I think the third or fourth day of shooting, I went up to Gene [Roddenberry] and asked him what he wanted from this character. He told me to make it my own. I took it and decided that the character was going to be the opposite of everybody else on the show. And the writers took it from there, and Worf became one of the best characters ever.”- Michael Dorn

 

Michael Dorn has been on TV and in our lives since around the mid-1970’s, but before that he grew up in Pasadena California although he was born in Luling, Texas. While living in California he studied radio and television production at Pasadena City College. This led him to join several bands at that time which had him traveling from San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the coming years Dorn had a recurring role of Officer Jeb Turner on CHiPs even with the typical cheesy 80’s mustache and all. He had minor roles in a bunch of TV shows along the way including Charles in Charge, and Punky Brewster, and even had a uncredited role in Rocky, as Apollo Creed’s bodyguard.

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He started to become a rather distinct and welcome face when it came to television, but his career really blew up when he joined the soap opera Days of Our Lives as Jimmy up until 1987 where he decided to quit the show because he had gained a role which would ultimately change his life forever, Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Ultimately, it was just a job and he had no idea the character he would help create or the legend he would become to others.

Any fans of Michael Dorn before, and many after the fact, would never recognize him without the Klingon forehead and epic facial hair. Sure this can cause a problem to a certain degree, as many people who love your craft don’t even know what you look like. However, it also could help him take roles outside of typecasting him in roles similar to Worf. On the other end of it, not being Worf was not a problem because it was a perennial role Michael Dorn played in Star Trek: The Next Generation and the four films made from that series, as well as a regular cast member in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine during season four of the series and this made him the actor who has played the same character the most through the entire span of Star Trek history. So as hard as it may be for some Star Trek fans to hear, Worf is better at Kirk and Picard at something.

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Dorn kept pretty busy while doing Star Trek: TNG and it showed, as he didn’t have many other roles while doing the show up until 1994. This is where Michael Dorn really grew with his voice over acting but most of it was small roles in one or two episodes including shows like Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron, Aladdin, Biker Mice From Mars, and the series Fantastic Four. This led to a major event for anybody that was a Star Trek nerd and a cartoon nerd, which was Disney’s Gargoyles. A good amount of original cast from Star Trek: TNG provided a voice at some point during Gargoyles. Michael Dorn was only a small recurring character, Coldstone, the cyborg gargoyle which made him a quite disturbing, yet awesome, character for a kids show.

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After Gargoyles was dying gown, he got other jobs including Borl and other roles in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and Disney’s Hercules animated show. He didn’t have another huge role until the show Cow and Chicken came along. Many people remember Cow and Chicken but he played a character in it that became so popular he got his own show, which was I Am Weasel. Although his show was not long-lived by any means, I Am Weasel and I.R. Baboon are definitely some huge pop culture figures for my generation and, along with Cow and Chicken, they soon became the next Ren and Stimpy or Rocko’s Modern Life, known primarilyfor being crude, yet still childish and funny.

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Dorn did a whole bunch of voice acting because if your voice finds its way into that community they never let you leave but that it meant in the upmost respect as it is a community I would die to get “trapped” in. This saw him working almost exclusively in video games until the early 2000’s with a run on the animated show Superman as Kalibak and John Henry Irons AKA Steel. A lot of these video games in these years were Star Trek including Invasion, Deep Space Nine- The Fallen, Klingon Academy, Away Team, Gatatog Uvenk in Mass Effect 2, Tassadar in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Maero in Saints Row 2 and Saints Row IV. The most current thing you can see Michael Dorn in is the current Saints Row IV and as the recurring character Dr. Carter Burke on Castle. He has a show up on idiegogo titled Swallow Your Bliss, which is a sitcom set up as a TV Cooking Show and its crew. He is also set to star in a comedic Sci-Fi film titled Unbelieveable!!!!!. This film is also set to star Nichelle Nichols, who would also be producer.

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None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (Photographer Janis Ogata, Paramount Television, Walt Disney Television Animation, Beacon Pictures, Experimental Pictures, ABC Studios, Buena Vista Television, Huffington Post Canada TV (http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/06/michael-dorn-star-trek-worf-interview_n_2821205.html)). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with Neal Adams, comic book artist legend.

“Respect My Craft” – Jim Cummings

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Name: Jim Cummings

Profession: TV Voice Actor

Notable WorkDarkwing Duck, Winnie The Pooh, CatDog

“I realize this is retrospect, but I’ll give everybody a leg up on this one. Do impressions of your relative’s and/ or anybody you just see on TV and if you do a bad impression it’s a new character.”- Jim Cummings

 

Did you grow up watching cartoons in the 90s? Then you most likely already know Jim Cummings and one of his voices is also likely to be one of your favorite cartoon characters. Jim Cummings is one of those voice actors who has been around since I have been born, creating some of the most iconic and well loved characters among the animated kingdom and helping other actors in times of need such as helping Jeremy Irons sing “Be Prepared” in The Lion King since Irons was having voice trouble at the time.

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Jim Cummings grew up in Ohio, but he moved to New Orleans when he got older and started off by designing and painting floats for Mardi Gras as well as worked as a deck hand and played drums and sang in the band, FUSION. He married his wife Stephanie and shortly after moved down to California where he continued to be an working stiff by running a video store, which now do not exist now that Blockbuster is gone sadly. He started his voice acting career in 1984 but didn’t get a credited role until 1985 starting off as Lionel the Lion in the TV show Dumbo’s Circus, and then just the next year, he went on to voice General in the Studio Ghibli classic, Castle in the Sky. His roles started to grow, as well, as did the amount of work, landing him roles in the The Transformers as multiple transformers including: Afterburner, Sharkticon, and Rippersnapper. He also voiced El Capitan in Ducktales. But most people will know him as the replacement for Hal Smith to voice Winnie the Pooh – a character he has voiced since 1988 – and Tigger, too, a role he took over from Paul Winchell as Tigger in 1990 (although Winchell would voice him a couple times later as well). Up until the time where his Winnie the Pooh fame came to be, he continued to voice multiple small roles and some more iconic ones including extra voices on The Little Mermaid and voicing Monterey Jack, Fat Cat and others in Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, solidifying his talent of playing mustached anthropomorphic animals.

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If Chip ‘n’ Dale was not your cup of tea, then hold on to your seats because Launchpad McQuack is flying this ship now, and blasting him to some of his even more iconic roles. His next roles in the early ‘90s including Don Karnage in TaleSpin, the title character in Bonkers, Pete in Goof Troop, Taz in Taz-Mania, Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog, and my personal two favorites: Mr. Bumpy in Bump in the Night and Shredder (in season 7 when James Avery could not), Genghis Frog and additional voices in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oh, and then, of course, there’s Darkwing Duck. This is arguably the point where his career blew up and the point where his voice was heard the most around the world.

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Jim continues to revolutionize the field of voice acting, and his list of credit is almost never ending with over 400 credits to his name and it just continues to grow more and more it seems each day. Once you go into the late ‘90s he still continues to bring some of the most memorable characters from the ‘90s as he plays multiple roles in: Gargoyles, The Tick, Mighty Ducks, Earthworm Jim, The Mask, Freakazoid, Animaniacs, and more. Not to mention major roles as Fuzzy Lumpkins in Powerpuff Girls, and Cat from CatDog, which both even further his credit of being one of the masters of making you enjoy life as we know it when you are a child. Now don’t think he was just an ‘80s and ‘90s guy because, to this day, he still voices Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and the bad guy Pete for almost all Disney projects, including the Kingdom Hearts video game series. He also has created a whole bunch of new characters for this new generation of kids including Ray the firefly from The Princess and the Frog, Hondo Ohnaka from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Karu from The Legend of Korra. Jim Cummings will definitely go down into the voice actor hall of fame with the likes of Mel Blanc and Peter Cullen, especially knowing that all he has achieved is just going to get better and even more great character from him are bound to show every year.

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Cummings is not just a legendary amazing voice actor he also is a great person to boot. He has worked with Make-a Wish Foundation in the past to call sick children who are under going treatment in hospitals, and he does it in the voice of their favorite character. Can you even imagine being sick as a kid and getting a call from Tigger to wish you well and tell you to get better soon. Heck, if that happened to me in 1995, I may have just beaten my Diabetes altogether. So to grow up and have Cummings’ characters be your heroes, and have them contact you is beyond any dream I could have imagined. Even a call from Shredder would boost my spirits up to a un human like degree. Beside his wonderful charity work, he enjoys having fun with fans at various Cons, making headlines when he read lines of Darth Vader’s from the Star Wars films as Winnie the Pooh during a panel at last year’s ConnectiCon. If that doesn’t impress you, it may just be my tummy rumbling for honey but I would find your lack of humor disturbing…

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (Disney, Nickelodeon Network, Peter Hannan Productions). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with big-time nerd and Walking Dead‘s Merle, Michael Rooker.