Radio Dead Air

Okay kids . . . first, let’s start with an apology.

My roommate was in charge of taking care of the cable bill. He was already behind for last month, and intended to get this month’s bill taken care of upon arriving back from Dragon*Con. Unfortunately, he was in a car accident on the way back. He’s fine, aside from some bruises and bumps (and amazingly smashing his head through a window with no ill effects; apparently, Dragon*Con hats are somehow indestructable). However, he was out of town in a Macon hospital, and out of work for that same period. Long story short, bill got missed and service was turned off until today. So that’s why this didn’t get posted before now. Here’s a sincere apology to everyone who was waiting for this report.

There’s mroe tales of woe involved here; I’m going to have to offer a sincere apology to Dean Haglund, Pete Abrams and Robert Picardo. You see, on the trip back from Atlanta, I decided to begin transfering files from my MP3 recorder to my laptop. All was going well as I was driving along, until I began to smell smoke. I look over to see weird blue-green flame fickering ever so gently out of the back of the MP3 recorder. Hastily, I knocked it to the floor and dumped half a can of Monster on it. Upon examination, I discovered the battery to be bulging and discolored. The good news here is that most of the interviews transfered; however, I lost most of Dean’s interview and all of Pete Abrams and Robert Picardo’s interviews. This is going to leave me especially in the doghouse with Pete, as this is the second year running I’ve had techincal difficulties with his interview. I’m going to email the man and beg him for a do-over with a phone interview, but there can’t be any promises there as he’s really busy between the comic and his newborn. I also feel bad about this because of how Dean bent over backwards for us at the convention, but we’ll get into that later.

So, first off, for those who want to skip the report and get straight to all the wonderful interviews, I’ll set the links above the cut. Right click on them and choose “Save As” to listen. In no particular order:

Anne and Todd McCaffreyThe Dragonriders of Pern Series –
Voltaire – Ooky Spooky Singer/Songwriter/Artist/Filmmaker Extrarodinare –
Gigi EdgleyFarscape‘s Chiana and now involved with Blue Shift
Ego Likeness – Very awesome band –
Cherie Priest – Author and interesting lady –
Tim RussStar Trek: Voyager‘s Tuvok, among other projects – Also check out the online special episode of Trek he worked on, Of Gods and Men.
Brad Dourif – Long time actor with roles in Star Trek, Alien: Resurrection and The Lord of the Rings
Ethan PhillipsStar Trek: Voyager‘s Neelix, as well as now appearing on Pushing Up Daisies
Robert Picardo (can be heard in the Ethan Phillips interview) – The famed Doctor of Star Trek: Voyager, as well as Agent Woolsey on Stargate: Atlantis –
ALSO: Please, please please give a look for Robert Picardo’s new horror thriller coming soon, Sensored. You can find information on it here. I definitely want to see this thing.
Jennie Breeden – Hard-working, kilt-blowing webcomics artist –
Pete Abrams – Creator of the webcomic Sluggy Freelance (I’m including last year’s interview here.)
Dean Haglund – Langley of The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen (Included here is this year’s partial inteview; previous interview is here.)
Also for Dean, check out his invention: the Chillpak, winner of the Silver Medal in the 2007 Inventor’s Expo Geneva
David Franklin – Captain Bracca of Farscape fame –
Michael Dorn – Worf of many an episode of Star Trek over eleven years –
Peter S. Beagle – Brilliant and charming author of The Last Unicorn, among many other works –
Rogue – Long of Cruxshadows fame –
Robert Llewellyn – Best known as Red Dwarf‘s Kryten, he gives up the big news about the return of the show in this interview! –
Dominic KeatingSecond part here – Lieutenant Malcolm Reed of Star Trek: Enterprise
Carrie Henn – Newt from Aliens, now a schoolteacher in California
Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick – The creative minds (and some of the voices) behind The Venture Brothers
Trace BeaulieuMystery Science Theater 3000′s Dr. Clayton Forrester as well as the voice of Crow, now working on Cinematic Titanic
Michael Hogan – Colonel Tigh of the new Battlestar Galatica
Also check out Michael Hogan reading Paul Quarrington’s King Leary here.

In addition, the Dragon*Con Edition of Crosswire is here, and Glas sprung a mic on me and interviewed me, for some reason. That’s here.

Anne and Todd McCaffrey: Every time I get to talk to these two, it’s a privledge. I grew up with the Dragonriders series, and I still remember the books fondly. Even though it was the end of the weekend and Anne had been going for four days straight, they still gave me time to talk . . . in front of their very loyal and devoted fans, no less. The woman’s a legend and her son’s well on his way to being one in his own right.

Brad Dourif: Talk about a heavy hitter. This man is an actor’s actor . . . he’s done so many roles in so many movies I’m fond of that it makes my head spin, and on top of that, I can remember him clearly in damn near every role. It’s a talent to leave your stamp on a work that way, and talking with him it was evident that not only does he love his trade, he takes it very seriously.

Carrie Henn: It was really fascinating talking to this woman, considering that she’s the same age I am. That means when she was a kid running around from monsters in one of the biggest sci-fi/horror flicks of all time, I was a kid hiding behind the couch watching her. She’s moved on since then, but she was still incredibly willing to talk about the experience and even seemed a little surprised I wanted an interview in the first place!

David Franklin: This was my second time talking to David, and he’s just as friendly and down to earth as I recmembered him. It’s hard to believe someone this affable was playing such a stiff and dark character in Farscape, but I guess that just means he’s good at what he does.

Dean Haglund: Ah, hereby hangs a tale.

I’ve known Dean since my first go-round with Dragon*Con in 2004; oddly enough, he was the first interview I ever worked up the courage to snag while doing this gig. Ever since then I’ve made it a point to talk to him. For one, he’s a flat out riot and following him around on party patrol in 2005 was something I’ll never forget. For another, he loves his fans. He loves what he does. So I asked Dean a little favor, to which he not only agreed but did so with enthusiasm and a little mischief . . .

Dean does a one-man comedy improv at these cons based on The X-Files. It’s just plain hilarious, and includes a lot of very disturbed and entertaining audience participation. Now, I knew one of my listeners (Vic) would be proposing to another of my listeners (Miranda) at Dragon*Con. I asked Dean if he would mind being Vic’s wingman on it since both were fans of his show. Not only did he jump at the chance, he incorperated it into his improv and recorded the whole event on DVD.

She said yes, by the way.

Folks, this is a guy who really loves performing, but just as much loves the folks he performs for. I can’t ever thank him enough. I think I owe him my firstborn. Or someone else’s. We’ll see if he calls that favor in someday.

Trace Beaulieu: This one was a surprise to me, as I didn’t even know he’d be at the event. It was a surprise for him to, because as he put it, he didn’t even know who he was that day until I reminded him. Fortunately it all came back, and I got some great MST3K recollections from him. It was awesome to meet and talk to a guy who made me laugh like mad for years on end.

Pete Abrams: This guy was the man who started it all when it comes to webcomics. For over ten years, Sluggy Freelance has been on my daily reading list on Ye Olde Interwebs. This was the second year I got to talk to him, and the second year I seemed to have been cursed: his interview was one of the ones I lost when my MP3 recorder burst into freaking flames. Last year I had to do a second take as the mic wire died on me, this year there’s fire. I also wasn’t able to get him an MST3K autograph as Trace had already left by the time I got back. So I have to write him an email, apologize, beg forgiveness and hope he’ll find it in his heart to give us a phone interview when he’s able.

Voltaire: I love talking to this man. Not only is he just fun to watch on stage, and not only is his music great, but when I interview him I get to see how excited he gets about the work he does and how much he loves it. It’s just fascinating, because you can tell behind his eyes he’s thinking all the while about how he’s going to present his next project, and what the project after that will be. Not only that, he does about three hundred concerts at Dragon*Con. I think there’s five of him but I can’t prove it.

Ethan Phillips and Robert Picardo: Here comes another story . . .

Ethan Phillips has done a lot of things, most notably his role as Neelix on Voyager. He’s a very nice guy and talks about his craft with a real warmth for what he does. So as I’m in the middle of this . . .

Robert Picardo creeps up behind me . . .

. . . and thus begins a Vaudvillian hijacking of my interview that made the air turn blue. You’ll have to listen to it to understand what I’m talking about, but all I could do was stand there, dumbfounded, and record the whole thing.

I’d also like to make it clear these two are long time friends, which comes from the seven years they both put into Voyager, and the contents of the interview are entirely in good fun. I’m very sad that I lost Robert Picardo’s seperate interview in the fire (which sounds so weird to say), so just do me a favor, visit the link to his new film above, go watch it, and enjoy it. He gets to play the bad guy this time. I love to see Robert Picardo act, so this promises to be really interesting.

Jennie Breeden: Jennie was one of my chance interviews in 2004, and I’ve made it a point to speak to her every year since. She’s a charmer, not to mentioned damned smart and determined to do what she loves: draw for a living. And if you want to see a devoted fanbase, check out The Devil’s Panties readers any day of the week. Also, I adore her simply for being chaos on two legs:

The yearly kilt-blowing, which consists of Jennie and a battery-powered leafblower versus any and all kilted men at Dragon*Con, has become the stuff of legend. She’s like walking mischief in flamey stompy boots. I always have fun chatting with her.

Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer: What, you don’t watch The Venture Bros? How can you not? These two are part of the force behind one of the most irreverant, geeky and entertaining shows on TV today. Watching them do a panel is always great, and then having the chance to talk to both of them after they ran a marathon autograph signing was very kind of them. If you haven’t seen the show, hit the link above and watch some of the free episodes on Adult Swim’s site. Then go buy a freaking DVD already!

Michael Dorn: This was one of those interviews I was genuinely intimidated by. Michael Dorn’s been someone I’ve watched on TV for all of my adult life, and what geek among us does not know and adore Worf? In spite of my apprehension, he was really relaxed and happy to do the interview. This one was a rare treat, and I hope you folks listening enjoy it, too.

Robert Llewellyn: Ah, Red Dwarf. Many was the late Friday night I caught this show on the local PBS affiliate after a night of gaming or just out hanging around. I grew to love it over the years, as did many others. So when I got a chance to talk to Kryten himself, I jumped at it. Not only that, having him repeat his announcement during my interview that his October he and the entire original cast will be working on BRAND NEW RED DWARF? It’s moments like that which make this whole radio thing worth it.

Tim Russ: Not only is the man a long time fan of Trek, not only did he work hard to make his Vulcan fit in line with the series for himself and the fans, but he’s still working with Trek today. Go check out his website and check out the online episode he worked on with many other Trek legends, Of Gods and Men (link above).

Dominic Keating: This was a bit of a treat, as I hadn’t known he’d be at the con. I enjoyed Enterprise, even with its rocky moments. I loved watching Malcom and Trip’s back-and-forth over the course of the show, and getting a chance to talk to him was a pleasure.

Gigi Edgley: I don’t get crushes on celebrities, but if I did, I’d have one on this lady. She’s just a fireball of energy, be it on screen or in real life. She’s pleasant, approachable, always upbeat and definitely in love with what she does. Go to her website and check out her new project, Blue Shift

Michael Hogan: No pictures for this one, and here’s why . . .

I’d been working my butt off to talk to someone from Galatica this year, seeing as it was the final season and you guys definitely love it. However, these folks had lines backed up from here to last week and back. So when Jared Bentley, the fellow who was assisting Michael for the weekend, called me and said I had a shot at talking to him, I couldn’t refuse. However, at the moment I’d just raced over to get in line for Dean Haglund’s improv show (where Vic would be proposing to Miranda). It was nearing the end of the day and both Kathryn and I were getting dead on our feet. So I asked Jared when I could get the interview.

“Now,” he said.

Crap. “Where?” I asked, innocently.

“The Hilton.” Which was two blocks away.

So I sputtered out a bunch of gibberish to Vic, told her to tell Kathryn where I’d gone as she was in the bathroom as the moment, then raced over at about MACH 2 in the direction of the Hilton. I made it in less than two minutes, to which Mr. Hogan seemed a bit shocked. None the less, it was a hell of an interview, which I’m happy to bring to you folks, including his thoughts on Tigh, the Cylon revelation, and how he’s worked on his character over the years.

Ego Likeness: Go listen to their music. Seriously. That’s the best thing I can tell you, because these guys rock.

Peter S. Beagle: I love The Last Unicorn; to this day, it’s one of my top five favorite novels just for its tone, its wit, and the story it tells. Go check out his website, keep an eye out for the sequel, and if you’re going to buy the DVD, ONLY BUY IT FROM HIS SITE. There have been some royalty issues over the years, on which he gets the bad end of it. If you get the DVD from him, he actually gets some of the proceeds he deserves.

Cherie Priest: You like the Southern Gothic? You like the Horror? Then you need to be reading this woman’s stuff. In addition to being a talented writer, she’s also a great lady to listen to, so take the chance to hear her talk.

Rogue: The Cruxshadows has been on our playlists for years, with good reason. Have a listen to Rogue talk about the band, and also some of the recent ups and downs they’ve been going through.

Other moments:

First, from the parade . . .

Klingons on motorbikes. Kind of like Vikings, only with ray guns and lobsters on their heads.

Yes, kids, that’s a late 70′s/early 80′s American car converted into a Klingon Bird of Prey. I got nothin here.

Halo armor. These folks take this crap seriously.

It’s a Resident Evil thing. You wouldn’t understand.

ZOMG! HERBIE! IT’S HERBIE! IT’S . . . I’m way too excited about this, aren’t I?

Yes, there was a freaking pirate ship on the streets of Atlanta during morning commute. I can only imagine the phone calls: “Yeah, guys? I’m gonna be late for work. There’s a pirate ship on the turnpike.”

I don’t know whether to be impressed that the folks from the Stargate fandom got an actual military truck for this event . . . or scared as to where and how they might have obtained it . . .

Also around the con:

Sauron! Why’s he here? Probably looking for this:

Yes. It’s the Eye of Sauron. On legs.

New from Kenner! Goth Black R2-D2! With real clove cigarette action!

Now that is a freaking Doc Ock costume.

A nice set of Wonderland Costumes, as well as some Watchme–

– what the hell? Again? You know, for a stationary object, the Tower of Sauron sure does move the hell around a lot . . .

Last but not least and without comment, a wookiee and the “yupyupyup” muppet . . .

. . . who, seconds later, teamed up with a half-naked fat man to devour the crowd.

Other things:

The Guardian Vagina: A statue on the corner of one of the hotels was supposed to likely be a modern-art rendition of a male lion complete with mane, but it looked like nothing so much as a sphinx with a vagina where the human head should be. It really, really hurt the brain. Seriously.

Destroying Karaoke: One of the hotels that Dragon*Con was based out of had karaoke in their bar . . . that resulted in bleeding ears and pain in the dark depths of what I laughingly call a soul. As this aggression could not stand (man), I took it upon myself to reduce this situation to rubble. I dropped the Manilow on them. It was all tears and screaming after that.

Hard Rock Hell: We attempted to join Vic, Miranda and a number of other folks for dinner on Friday for Vic’s birthday. The results were cover band after cover band feeding us horrible renditions of horrible songs (over and over again!), and an accoustic singer who wouldn’t have been bad if someone had properly balanced her sound. As it was, it was like unto demonic chipmunks stabbing loud icepicks into our brains. All this while trying to eat dinner . . . and speaking of, a beer and a plate of potato skins ran me $20. I got off light; poor Jared was charged over three hundred dollars for his meal due to a glitch with the computer. The Hard Rock is dead to us, and we shall never speak of it again.

Overheard on the street: “When I die, I wanna come back as a leotard!”

Overheard at the gaming tables: “Dude, are you seriously going to fuck that donkey?” “Yes. Yes, I am.”

And, of course: Car on fire.

Now for the words of thanks . . .

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the following people profusely:

Star Roberts, as well as Charlene and Dorie from Dragon*Con Media Relations: The folks make it all possible, and helped us out with our work so much I don’t even know where to begin. If not for them, we wouldn’t get to do this every year. They’re as awesome and supportive as people get, and from the bottom of our hearts here at RDA: THANK YOU!

Jared Bentley and Jason: These two gents worked as assistants and helped coordinate things in the Walk of Fame. If not for Jason, we wouldn’t have gotten a hand here and there, and if not for Jared in particular, you wouldn’t have the fantastic Michael Hogan interview available. Every little bit helps us. Thanks to both of you and everyone else on the team with you.

Kathryn Branton: Wow, this girl is a hard worker. Without her, we’d have no pictures and we’d also have an exploded Nash. I’d like to add she did all her work while a hurricane was looming over her hometown. I don’t know how she kept it together enough to keep me sane and on track for the convention, but she did. Couldn’t have done it without her, period.

Glas: This tells you how tired I was today: I completely forgot to thank Glas for running around on feet that underwent recent surgery and still got interviews for me at the con. Sorry man, and thank you.

And finally, one last time:

Dean Haglund, for being a friend to us, for going above and beyond the call of duty for any guest at any of these events, for stepping in to provide an unforgetable moment in two people’s lives: you, sir, are a prince and a gentleman. For myself and my listeners, a humble and heartfelt thanks.

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