And just like that, another New York Comic Con is in the rearview mirror.

And just like that, another New York Comic Con is in the rearview mirror.

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Talking “Monster On The Hill” with Rob Harrell at NY Comic Con 2013

monster on the hill

During this year’s New York Comic Con, I had the pleasure of interviewing cartoonist Rob Harrell, whose all-ages graphic novel Monster on the Hill is hitting shelves this year. It’s a fantastic, fun story with wonderful illustrations (especially when it comes to the weird monsters), and it really impressed the heck out of me. It’s the sort of book that would make a great gift for any young readers, and I’m looking forward to the day I can read it to my daughter.

Here’s the video of our interview:

You can watch more of Newsarama’s video coverage of New York Comic Con on their official YouTube channel.

Nerding out with IDW’s “Transformers” team at NY Comic Con 2013

transformers livio ramondelliI was in Manhattan again this year for New York Comic Con, producing TechMedia Network’s video coverage of the show for the third consecutive year. (If you’re not familiar with TechMedia Network, it’s the home of Newsarama,, and various other cool sites.)

I also managed to host a few interviews myself, including this group interview with Mairghread Scott, Livio Ramondelli (who illustrated the piece seen here), and Andrew Griffith, three of the creators behind IDW’s fantastic line of Transformers comics. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I’m kind of crazy about Hasbro’s robots in disguise, so this interview was basically just a fun opportunity for me to geek out with the creators responsible for some of my favorite characters’ ongoing adventures in the comics world.

Here’s the video from the interview:

You can watch more of Newsarama’s video coverage of the show via their official YouTube channel.

That time I talked to Splinter about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…

tmnt - splinter

A while back, I had the pleasure of interviewing veteran voice actor Rob Paulsen about voicing Donatello in the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” animated series on Nickelodeon. It was a fun little chat, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk with another member of the TMNT cast last week. Hoon Lee is an up-and-coming actor who’s done some work in front of the camera and as a voice actor for a few video games, including “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” He’s also playing a regular character on the “Banshee” television series, and voices Master Splinter in the “Ninja Turtles” cartoon.

Our conversation about TMNT covered a lot of ground, and Lee had some interesting thoughts about how this iteration of the character differs from previous versions in the television series, movies, or games.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Newsarama: There have been some different takes on Splinter in the various incarnations of the series. In some, he’s more of a background character, offering advice when needed but keeping to the shadows. In others, he’s been like just another member of the team, on equal footing with the Ninja Turtles. How was this version of Splinter described to you, and how do you see his role in the group?

Hoon Lee: One of the first things they told me is that they wanted a Splinter who was more vital and younger. They wanted a Splinter who was physically capable. There were a number of reasons for that, and it told me a lot of things, whether they meant it to or not.

One of the first things it told me is that this is a different kind of teacher. It’s one thing to go into a learning situation with a teacher who can only teach you theory. That’s different from a teacher who can show you technique. When you see something demonstrated for you at the level of proficiency you’re expected to achieve, it means something different and tells you something different, and it gives you something different to shoot for. In some ways, by making Splinter more capable and physically demonstrative, it also raises the game for the Turtles, and changes their level of proficiency. That was something that came to me as I saw more of the episodes. You believe that these Turtles could’ve learned a high level of technique because their master is capable of a high level of technique. And by making everyone more dangerous, you allow the villains to become more dangerous to match that. So the stakes go up.

Dramatically, it also changes things, because it allows Splinter to go above the surface and take a more active role from time to time. And because he can do that — because he’s capable — it begs the question of why he doesn’t do that all the time. And those are questions that can be explored now instead of answered by his physical state.

You can read the rest of the interview at, in which we talk about his background with comics and cartoons, how he gets into character, and lots of other fun topics. It was a relatively short interview, but I really enjoyed it.

I watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special with The Doctor and Neil Gaiman. That actually happened.

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012Sure, Christmas is a big deal and all, but let’s be honest: the event we’re all looking forward to the most each December is the premiere of the “Doctor Who” Christmas Special. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you trace back the history of the holiday, you’ll discover that Christmas was actually invented as a way to celebrate the special episode of “Doctor Who” that airs between the Fall and Spring seasons.

I was fortunate to get an early peek at this year’s Christmas Special, “The Snowmen,” and as if that wasn’t enough of a treat, I watched it in the same room as the Doctor himself, Matt Smith, as well as showrunner Steven Moffat, actress Jenna-Louise Coleman (The Doctor’s new companion), author Neil Gaiman (who’s written a few episodes of the series), and John Hodgman (nerdy author and actor and all-around nice guy). I can now say from experience that seeing Smith, Gaiman, and Hodgman sitting down for breakfast together is both a little surreal and something that actually happened in my life. And I’m not going to lie: I spent most of “breakfast” trying to come up with something to say to any one of the three aforementioned people and came up with nothing. Zilch.

But hey, here’s an excerpt from my spoiler-free report on “The Snowmen,” which I wrote up for Newsarama:

Sontaran Comedy
You’ll see a side of the potato-headed, ultra-militaristic race of aliens that you haven’t seen before in this year’s Christmas Special, with a surprising dose of comedy from an unlikely source: a Sontaran. Not exactly known for their keen sense of humor, a Sontaran not only plays a big role in the episode, but he also provides many of the laughs to be found in “The Snowmen.” In fact, this particular Sontaran is one of the main reasons the 2012 Christmas Special is one of the funniest Doctor Who episodes of the modern series.

Familiar Faces
“The Snowmen” continues the time-honored tradition of bringing some fan-favorite characters from past episodes back into The Doctor’s life for a new adventure. If you’ve seen the teaser for “The Snowmen” that debuted online recently, you already know who those characters are – but you can get another look at them by re-watching the 2011 episode “A Good Man Goes To War.”

You can read the rest of my “Doctor Who” review/preview over at, but I will say this about the special, too: it’s the funniest episode of the series that I’ve seen since “The Lodger.” While it’s not quite as good as the “Christmas Carol” special from a few years back (which is one of my favorite “Doctor Who” episodes of all time), it’s one of the best of the modern series, by far. I’m looking forward to watching it again when it airs later this month.