John Hageman Jr.
Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Once I was known as Angry Johnny…. and I had a grandmother that would refer to me as “Hey You”.
My grandmother had four kids whose names all started with the letter “J”. Janice, John, Jim, and Judy. So a lot of the time when she’d get flustered, my name would be “JohnJimJanJudy *flustered sound* SCOTT!” so I can relate.
Fremont, CA “The Mont!”
Favorite city and why?
Paris. It has a vibe that many would deem rude. I, however, know of its secrets.
I hope to go someday and discover its secrets myself.
December 10th in the year of our lord 1975…. 37 years young.
How would you describe yourself physically?
As a tall Paul Giamani with hair.
Who’s Paul Giamani? I tried looking him up on Google but they kept trying to give me Paul Giamatti.
I spell check nothing! That’s the guy!
Ah, the plot thins.
And here I was thinking there was someone out there named Paul Giamani.
There is, he works at the Shoe Stop at the mall.
Of course he does.
As a tall Bilbo Baggins. NO Frodo. NO Bilbo. Bilbo.
The first thing people notice about you is…
Possibly my scowl, as many do not approach me socially.
Hair Color/Eye Color/Race?
I am of hetero descent.
Religion, if any?
The Church of Carl Sagan… BILLIONS and BILLIONS strong!
Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
Not really, no. I am pretty squirrelly about health issues. Meaning any small pain or change triggers a panic attack at times. I’m also weary of what’s beyond the stars. I believe there much we don’t know and that at any moment chance and theoretical physics will have its way with our world.
Did you mean “wary”? Because being “weary” of what’s beyond the stars makes you sound like the protagonist of an H. P. Lovecraft story.
To that I would respond… BOTH. Nervous about it and quite tired of being nervous about it. Again my spell check is the broken.
Do you smoke/drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I don’t smoke anymore because it tastes like shit. I do enjoy an occasional oat soda or local pino. My most awful of habits is to watch DIY or Food Network shows and verbally abuse the folks on those shows as if I could destroy their will and crush their psyche from atop my modest furnishings.
I’m that way when watching Wheel Of Fortune or Jeopardy! That’s why I don’t watch those shows anymore. It gets expensive throwing your remote control at the TV all the time and having to replace them both.
I had this evil laugh when the wheel stopped on Bankrupt. Specifically for those smug players who were well ahead and got greedy. Also, I enjoy the slow and dry “No, I’m sorry” delivered by Alex Trebek at a wrong answer.
I spent, like, half an hour trying to find the Burnt Reynolds / Sean Connery SNL Celebrity Jeopardy to drop the link in here for reference, but for a few years, when I’d play video games, I’d name my characters “Below Me” because it made me chuckle whenever they’d have text dialogue boxes. Actually just for StarCraft. My RPG go to name is SATAN because that also makes me chuckle when they’d plug it into text dialogue boxes.
“I’ll take the penis mightier,”
Current occupation / Dream job:
Currently I am one of many fork and spoon operators in sector 7-G. My dream job would be to work for myself doing either comics or an animated show or movie of my own creation.
Why don’t you do that then? The “Dream Job” part, obviously.
It’s kind of like staring at the instructions for an IKEA project, I don’t know where to begin. I think the fact that I have kids and that I gotta earn creates a roadblock in my head sometimes. I do feel closer and closer to this goal with each project I take on.
I know that feel. I do music, writing, art, and dozens of reviews, but none of it has really taken off for me yet. I’ve made a little money at and recognition for some of it, which I suppose I should be grateful for considering how many people are out there doing stuff completely unnoticed and unrewarded for their efforts. I still don’t make enough each week that I can afford to give up my day job. Each year it gets a little better, and if you keep consistently working and promoting yourself and your work eventually you might get to where you’re looking to be. The worst thing you can do is to give up though. You never get anywhere giving up on your dreams. Unless your dream is to be Hugh Hefner. That job’s already taken.
When I come home from work I like to kick back with the wife and kids… get a little family time in. When I’m not doing that I’m up at all hours making ART my friend. Whether it’s my own webcomics, webcomics for others, painting or other odd jobs I can do to further my name and career in order to work full time as an artist from the comfort of my own home.
What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Well first off I’d like to stress that zombies are not real. In my opinion it would be the same as an outbreak of leprechauns… BUT in the event that I’m totally full of shit, I would stay low and unseen, strike from the shadows & for God’s sake don’t trust anyone outside of family.
Dude, God isn’t real. I’m much more expecting the inevitable zombie apocalypse than I am the “Second Coming”. Unless the inevitable zombie apocalypse IS the second coming. The Bible said that the dead would rise from their graves, it just didn’t say how exactly.
And who’s to say the Four Horsemen aren’t riding in on unicorns?
I was actually going to mention that. You know what they say “great minds think alike” or whatever. I figured there was enough atheism in my comment to turn off any Christian readers, but, fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.
Weapon of choice:
Oh I gotta go with the lightsaber. Red blade of course.
“Reach in there and take out my lightsaber. The purple one. The one that with “Bad Mother Fucker” engraved on the side. What? Say “What” again motherfucker! I dare you! I DOUBLE dare you! Don’t make me force-choke a bitch!”
Sorry… I get carried away sometimes.
Do you have any special skills?
Geez… uhhhh…. With so many talented artists out there (bastards!) I would have to say that my sense of color is usually what sets me apart. I use a lot of them and I have even been given some side work coloring other peoples comics. When I look back on my own work, I noticed that my color skills can mask some of my more weaker art skills. But I am always learning and growing for sure.
Hey, always lean on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. I’m just about the exact opposite when it comes to art. I can’t blend colors for shit. But that’s why I tend to use grey scales and adopted an almost “color-by-numbers” / cell animation approach to my work.
Now see that technique fascinates me.
It’s always the skills you have that you take for granted and the skills that you don’t have that you envy. At least that’s what I’ve noticed. If you want to check out what I’m doing with the technique, you can click through to my Etsy. I’ve got a few of my stencil-based portrait-style paintings up for sale on there. http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScottLefebvreArt
I took a gander, very cool m’friend!
Glad you dig it.
I know the stuff there is WAY underpriced, but that’s the price my stuff moves at these days.
Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I did a 5 year stint at Ohlone Community College in Fremont. During that time I took almost every art class in the catalog and some I took twice. From there I transferred to San Francisco State to study animation. To study animation there, you had to go through the film department which started the semester passing around an 8mm camera amongst a class of about 300. Since I had to commute at least an hour every day to get to school, I decided that was a waste of my time and transferred to San Jose State. The animation program was stellar there, and the semester and a half I spent there was very educational until my loan fell through. I dropped out for about a year and half before taking a certification course in Desktop Publishing at a trade school that no longer exists to learn how to use all the Adobe programs. It lasted 3 months. And that was the end of my formal education.
Yeah, but learning the Adobe suite is just about all the education you need. I learned the basics of how to use Premiere in about a half a day at a friend’s house and I’ve been creating music and videos with the Adobe suite and Adobe clones since.
That’s how I felt after I took the Adobe speed course. At the time I thought I would never need to learn anything again.
If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
The only loan I had to pay off was the $3,000 for the trade school. Which I indeed did pay off many years after. It was a proud moment. Currently, I am paying off my wife’s loan which is much, much steeper.
Any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
No pets. We did have a cast off Jack Russell terrier with mental health issues for a couple years. Eventually we moved and had to re-home him to a non-farm or ranch type analogy.
What is your favorite animal?
The ferret. They are nature’s wise ass.
They totally are! I LOVE ferrets, although I could never own one. I couldn’t handle everything I own smelling like ferret sex pheromones forever. On the other hand I LOATHE prairie dogs. They’re total fucking dicks.
Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
As George Carlin once said… “I don’t have pet peeves, I have major psychotic fucking hatreds” And one of them would be people who have no special awareness in public places where human traffic is heavy…. stores and venues of that nature.
Maybe “spatial” awareness? Although it would be cool if people had extra sensory perception in public places. I would totally go out more often if I could have telekinesis or telepathy or something like that.
It’s hard to come off all intellectual and shit when you spell like this…. Ha ha ha
I get what you mean, but I do a bit of spelling/grammar editing on interviews when necessary. Mostly spelling errors and “Its” vs. “It’s”. After the “Giamani” Incident I figured I’d just let it lie. It’s funnier that way.
Favorite/Least favorite Food:
I have completely lost interest in food. Cooking it, eating it and most especially talking about it. This whole foodie movement has me wondering if I should just sustain myself on a type of protein paste as seen in the films The Matrix & Robocop. I will say though that I am currently enjoying a delightful trail mix I discovered at the local Target. It includes various nuts and blueberry raisins.
I feel the same way about pooping. It’s such an annoying waste of time, especially when I’m working on something. I just wish my body would figure out a way to get rid of the stuff it can’t use without me squatting and making awful smells and embarrassing sounds.
I do my best work on the bowl.
I get caught up on my Twitter feed. There’s a reason Twitter rhymes with “shitter”.
I also get a decent amount of reading done. That’s why I prefer hard copies of books to PDFs. I’m not going to sit in my Fortress of Solitude with my laptop on my lap. I don’t want to get fecal bacteria in my laptop’s ventilation fan. That just doesn’t sound hygienic.
What is your favorite quotation/motto/saying?
“Man who conquers other men is strong, man who conquers self is all powerful” –I first heard this quote from Chris Benoit during an episode of WCW Thursday Nitro in which his Four Horsemen took on the NWO…. However, given the nature of his demise, I’m gonna go ahead and assume he pulled it from someone else. Though I know not who.
Laughed. Out. Loud.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
The best thing is my wife and kids. I’ve seen way too many miserable people not to appreciate what an incredible partner my wife is. We are almost always in snyc which makes every other aspect of life that much easier to handle. We’re like Burt Reynolds and Dom Delouise N’Shit.
Yeah… but who’s Burt and who’s Dom? Inquiring minds want to know!
“Cannonball Run”?!? Geezus did I just date myself?
No, I definitely got the reference. I mean, which of you is Burt Reynolds or Dom Delouise between you and your wife or do you take turns wearing the costumes?
We don’t have set rules. I guess it just depends on the day.
What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
I could name a few things…. but then in the moment I suppose anything could be the WORST thing. I have had many challenges but they were all character building and have made me strong. How’s that? Was that good?
That’ll do. It sure beats a lot of the one word answers and inelegant dodges and glib answers I get from some interviewees.
Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Yeah sure. But it all reads like a John Hughes movie.
Yeah, but I LOVE John Hughes movies!
Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
To my knowledge? No? But if I did, someone, somewhere would have that story.
What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I like to think I haven’t done it yet. I’m still going. I would say my kids, but I didn’t do that, my wife did.
Well, you kind of helped.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
The worst thing I’ve ever done was attend a midnight screening of Battlefield Earth. There are no words to describe how terrible that film is. Second to that was paying Netflix to send a copy of GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra to my house…. I will never forgive or forget.
I think I’ve watched about ten minutes total from either or both of the G. I. Joe movies. I don’t care how hot their Baroness is, I won’t actively participate in the molestation of my childhood. It was bad enough getting acquaintance raped by the Transformers movie.
Michael Bay should play Unicron in the next movie because he just fucks everything up.
If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
I don’t know if I could physically kill someone. I’d much rather kill their spirit. Break their will. Torture them by making them realize all their choices and actions have done damage others. And I suppose I’d start with Dick Cheney. Although I’m sure he’s not the worst.
I like the way you think, sir.
What do you do?
I’m a cartoonist. Since 2006 I have been producing a weekly web comic called Social Vermyn. The story follows the adventures of an “angry” person as he struggles to fit in and swim alongside the other fishes. For the most part I make comics but I also find time to paint. I use acrylics mostly and prefer to paint on harder surfaces such as wood. 2012 was the year of the skateboard deck as I painted over 20 for various co-workers. I have also participated in many arts shows here and there around California. I like bold colors and bold lines. When I was in college I became super fascinated by stained glass windows and much of my style has sprung from that inspiration. My style has been described as very “cartoony” which took me a while to embrace. I use my cute images as a contrast to the subject matter I cover in my comics and paintings. Mostly because I find it funny, but really I don’t know any other way.
That’s how I kind of fell into my art style too. I’d love to be able to paint like Drew Struzan, or Boris Vallejo, or Frank Frazetta, but I just don’t have that kind of talent. Even when I try to do stuff like that, it never comes out the way I want it to. My hands always fuck it up when my brain tries to make them do something really great. No matter how much I try disciplining them, it never takes and it’s really hard to get your hands to punish themselves. For some reason they seem a lot more interested in sexually abusing me, which I’d be fine with if it weren’t for the lingering shame.
You always start with something you WANT to do… but then I realized “I am, what I am” and just built my art on that. But I totally hear you…. I would try and draw certain things and just get super pissed and walk away.
I’ve got a Suspiria painting I’ve had on hold for about three years because it started to get away from me. Some day I’ll get around to revisiting it, but until now it’s just a constant reminder of how sometimes good paintings go bad.
I’ve started paintings and came back to them like a year later.
We can’t be the only ones that do that. I’m sure it’s a common problem for artists.
How did you get started doing what you do?
When I dropped out of school and my life started to settle with the wife and kids, I got a wild hair in my ass to find my place as a cartoonist. I was determined to create a comic strip I could pitch to newspapers for syndication. I got a HUGE artist’s block because I could not come up with a family friendly idea I liked. I then discovered the world of web comics which was really inspiring because there was SO much talent out there doing what ever they wanted. At the same time I met an artist by the name of Nik Caesar who was making art like a machine…. He offered his services as a web host and about a year later I started posting comics online. Nik was also putting together group art shows through his Scary Art Collective which I started putting work into as well. I’m reading this back and it doesn’t seem like much but I feel like a jackass trying to embellish it for the sake of embellishment…. I’m sure more pointed questions could flesh this out….
No, I totally understand. Actually, coincidentally, I just shared a pic Nik took of my paintings hanging in Mantiques. Technically speaking, this is the first time my work has ever hung in any kind of gallery so it really is a big deal to me, and if it happens to sell, even better! I can always make more paintings! I’ve found that in the art community, like-minded people are able to find each other through the magic of the internet and the people that are willing to work together to help each other out do better than toxic self-centered assholes that burn bridges. I mean, I started this interview blog because I couldn’t get anyone to interview me to promote the crowd-funding campaign for my post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic novel-length book project. I just started going into the friends lists of my imaginary friends and adding all of the people that seemed like they might be writers or artists or actors or film-makers and if they accepted my friend request then I shot them an interview request and then went through their friends lists. In about a month I went from around 250 imaginary friends to over a thousand and I’ve completed over 60 interviews and the blog has over 3,500 registered page views. So it’s been a pretty ridiculous success. Plus although I sometimes bitch about it being a drain on time and effort I could be putting into my own projects, I always say “A rising tide raises all ships.” and helping other people to promote their work and giving them a bit of free exposure has been an excellent networking opportunity and a chance for me to get to know some really interesting creative people. Plus there have been personal benefits. Lou Rosconi just designed album art for my ANTICHRISTMAS EP because I put out a request and he liked it. Nik Caesar put my stuff up in his gallery / consignment store. Black Mass is going to include me as a featured artist in the second issue of ADHD. Luke Cooper provided an illustration for the sample chapter for my post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic novel-length book project and I’m probably going to try to find him some cash to pay him to illustrate the rest of the book as I get it written. And whenever I interview an author they usually offer to send me PDFs of their books so I’ve got free reading material to last me the next year or so. So, yeah, although this whole interview blog is a rather aggrandized form of altruistic procrastination against working on my own projects there are benefits to doing it, even if they’re not directly monetary in nature.
Now if I can only talk some people into including my stuff in some group shows maybe my art career will finally take off because my stuff is pretty decent and I’m not charging nearly what I should for it and I still only sell a painting or two a month. I know that there are probably some artists out there that want to kick me in the teeth for complaining about “only” selling two paintings a month, but I sell my work for about $20 a piece because otherwise they don’t sell and I can’t exactly support myself on $40 a month.
What you’re doing is awesome. Because I’ve felt the same way with regards to the interview/review process. Getting your stuff out there and getting people to care is the most important part of what we do. Those are ALL quality people too. Always looking out. The way it should be.
What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Just get started!!! I wasted so much time telling myself “It’s not ready, it has to be perfect”. Sure you want to put out the best work you possibly can to be taken seriously as a professional, but, really, just getting started and getting a schedule and a body of work going is the most important thing. Once you start and continue, the work improves on its own. Looking at what other people are doing and seeing what it is about their work that attracts you. What kinds of things you’d like to incorporate to make your work reflect exactly what you want to be putting out there as an artist.
What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
For the most part it’s been Social Vermyn. This has led to many side projects which I have going on now. I did take part in a show honoring Charlie Sheen and his journey down the rabbit hole. He currently has all 6 of the pieces I did for the show due to his gracious act of buying ALL the pieces from the show. And I also have a couple of paintings on the set of a Bay Area show called Creepy KOFY Movie Time (CKMT).
That’s amazing! I keep hoping that Paul Williams will buy one of my Phantom of the Paradise paintings, but, so far, no luck. I also did a painting of Asia Argento and I don’t know who the buyer was, so maybe they bought it and gave it to Asia as a gift, but if she’d let me know that would be really cool.
The funny thing is, Charlie came into the gallery and did this video where he looked at all the paintings. He mused over Nik’s a bit I think. My paintings got there late. The gallery owner, Bill Schafer, was supposed to go to Charlie’s house and go over the details of the sale or whatever. CHARLIE’S HOUSE. But because Bill is a stand up guy, he waited until AFTER my stuff arrived to make sure it got in the show. Fucking awesome experience all around, and I got a poster from the show signed by Charlie,
Love that Bill Schafer guy. I don’t even really know the guy and I dig what he’s doing. Plus he plays a mean game of Scrabble.
Bill’s a bad ass.
I don’t doubt it.
Outside of Social Vermyn I’m currently doing the art for a monthly webcomic called “Spiders are from Mars, Butterflies are from Mercury” with Eric Tolles. I do pages for a comic anthology honoring CKMT for the character Slob. The main thing I am working on is a graphic novel with writer Justin Sane for Slave Labor Graphics.
Ooh! Slave Labor! Congrats man!
In many ways it hasn’t sunk in. But Slave Labor is huge for me. Many thanks! I hope it does well, it’s pretty damned funny.
What are you watching?
Late to the Breaking Bad party, Derek, Godfather trilogy, Venture Brothers and the Star Wars the Clone Wars TV series.
Breaking Bad is SO good! I’ve seriously watched the whole thing around three times. The end of the fourth season is just EPIC!
Don’t ruin it!!
Wouldn’t think of it. Ruining that show with spoilers is definitely a penalty worthy of the death penalty.
What are you listening to?
Currently listening to various scores by Hans Zimmer. I find his General Zod theme helpful in kickin ass at work.
I’m glad you’re the kind of artist that uses music for inspiration! I don’t get the ones that don’t. I wrote a whole novel listening to nothing but Through Silver In Blood by Neurosis to get into the right mind-state.
Music is everything! I’ll even listen to Kesha and imagine some funny ass scene in a movie involving a homeless dude in a Starbucks doing a dance number.
We were sharing a beautiful moment there and you had to bring Kesha into it.
Only for comedic purposes! Her music really has nothing to offer the human race
What are you reading?
Mostly articles I shouldn’t read about fucked up shit that shouldn’t be happening. I am not a book person, sadly.
Ah well, we can’t all be book people.
Tolkien / The Hobbit
Anything by Depeche Mode.
I was working on a remix album of nothing but trying to put my favorite Depeche Mode songs back together after taking them apart into samples and remixing them.
I still want to do that, but until I’m independently wealthy I have to focus on stuff that I can actually turn a dollar on. But someday I’ll get it done. I’ll try to remember that we share an admiration for the work of Depeche Mode when and if I actually get it finished.
That sounds bad ass… I once bout a 2 disc compilation called Trance Mode. It was all their songs done in Trance music, so fucking cool. Love stuff like that. Gotta keep that shit alive. There is NO new music as cool as them anymore. Well hardly any.
Like I said, I’ll try to remember to keep you posted.
If I forget, just check here every six months or so and some day I’ll have it done.
Least favorite band/song?
So many…. I dunno… Nickelback.
Desert Island Music/Movies/Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
Black Album – Metallica
Violator – Depeche Mode
Debut – Bjork
Odelay – Beck
Soundtrack to Starman
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The Big Lebowski
What About Bob
Silence of the Lambs
George Carlin: Last Words
The Art of Harvey Kurztman
Flowers for Algernon
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Stand up comedy…maybe… as of now I’m too much of a bitch to get on the mic.
I did a couple open mics, trying to break into the local stand-up scene. If you think being an artist is viciously competitive, wait till you try your hand at comedy. The audience at those open mics is all other aspiring stand-up comics. So they hate you if you’re funny and they hate you if you’re not, and they just hate you because they hate you because they’d rather be up there on the stage and hate you for being competition. It’s fucking vile, and despite a couple of the other better comedians at those open mics telling me I had some solid material and to keep coming back, I gave up on it because I didn’t want it badly enough to have to deal with earning my bones by being a performing monkey in front of audiences made up of a couple dozen unfunny hacks that are palpably radiating a barely concealed hatred of everyone else. It was just toxic.
I’m glad you shared that story. That sounds fucking awful. How would you even get through your material with all that negative psychic energy flowing around?
I’m always so amped before I go on, I just barrel through the material regardless. If someone starts booing or whatever I’d just use that. Not that anyone ever boos, but they definitely talk amongst themselves which is really fucking distracting, but you have to earn the right to their undivided attention. I mean, fuck it, I’m already on stage and I’ve got the mic in my hand, so I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to have my say, and when I’m done, I’m done. Regardless of whether or not the audience liked it, at least I went up and did it, which is more than a lot of people can say. I don’t want to die with a whole lot of “should’ve” left behind. I’d rather die knowing that at least I tried and failed.
When you say a couple of open mics… How many times have you actually done stand up?
Twice. I meant “couple” literally. I know that I’m good at it and I have a lot of potential to be a great stand-up comic, but it’s really tough to break into it when “everyone thinks they’re a fucking comedian” and all you have to do is have the confidence to stand, hold a mic, and talk into it. Maybe once I get my writing career on track and get my driver’s license reinstated and get a vehicle I’ll start hitting some open mics again, but for the now, it’s not worth the time and effort to waste my time and effort to throw pearls before bitter swine.
Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Kenny Chopsin / George Carlin / Daffy Duck
Who is Kenny Chopsin?
Ahhhh!!! Nik Caesar found this awesome documentary called “I Like Killing Flies” It’s on Netflix, and it’s awesome. He owns a diner and is a fusion chef. You eat what he cooks, you don’t order food. One of his personal philosophies is that every person’s duty in life, is to realize that they are a piece of shit. He’s brilliant!
I hate to be that guy again… but Kenny Shopsin maybe?
What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
The best job has been any job where I feel totally in control and capable at any and all tasks… but then that emotion fades and it becomes a hell of my own making. Every job has been this way with the exception of Fast Food work. That, children, is the devil’s toil.
Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Can’t think of a one…. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask.
Yeah, the first-pass survey is pretty thorough. And whatever I miss in the first-pass I tend to catch in the later passes.
Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
I see you got to a couple people before me…. Aidan Casserly, Mel Smith, Michael Casica, Manuel Martinez, Philip Vose all of whom can be found on Facebook.
Cool! I’ll try to remember to find them in your friends list, although if you want to play matchmaker and do the “Suggest Friends” thing I would be much obliged.
Got any questions for me?
How long have you been interviewing people? Best interviewee so far?
*laughs* Good question!
I worked for eighteen years in the field of mental health, and half of that time I worked as a counselor, so I’m pretty used to having to ask people questions to get information to put into reports, because paperwork is how those places get paid for the most part.
Specifically for this interview blog, I’ve only being doing it since October 1st. So it’s been almost two months and I’ve done over 60 interviews and have around a hundred pending out there waiting for people to finish the first or second pass.
It’s my philosophy that I’ll interview anyone that’s interested in being interviewed to promote their work, as long as they’re willing to answer the first-pass survey in a timely manner and get me back the second pass survey which is a lot easier in a timely manner also. But you’d be surprised at how many people don’t get around to it in a timely manner. You’d think people don’t want to do a little typing to promote their work.
I hate having an interview out there and know that the interviewee is just sitting on it, but most of them come back if I just ignore them and quit expecting them to come back.
For the first couple weeks I’d send people reminder messages and I don’t do that anymore. I figure, fuck it, if they can’t be bothered to follow through and don’t want the promotion, then fuck ‘em. More time for me to work on my own projects.
I also haven’t been sending out nearly as many interview requests as I finally have people starting to come around and ask to be interviewed. In the first couple weeks I easily sent out well over two-hundred interview requests and since I’ve only managed to complete a little over 60 of them, it’s pretty obvious that most of them are still out there, floating in the aether. But I can’t be bothered to worry about it. It is what it is.
I don’t know if there’s any one interview that was the “best” one, but I tend to prefer the ones where the interviewees take the questions and run with them, rather than when they either provide one word answers or short phrases. The whole thing is supposed to be a conversational format, like we’re internet pen pals, so if the interviewee doesn’t give me much to work with in the first pass, then the second pass is going to suck. That’s just how it is.
I had one guy give me nothing but one word answers straight down the line, and then when I spit it right back at him without follow-up questions he was, like, “I thought you were going to ask follow-up questions.” and I, politely, said the polite version of, “Yeah, Assface, I was going to. But why should I bother when all you’re going to do is give me another bunch of one word answers? It’s a waste of my time, your time, and the time of anyone reading the interview. So why fucking bother? Garbage in. Garbage out. I didn’t even know who the fuck you were before I sent you an interview request, and now I don’t fucking care. Thanks for wasting my time and effort and best of luck with your future endeavors.”
My favorite interview was probably the one I did with Mike Resnick.
I read his book “The Wild Alien Tamer” when I was ten years old and I reread it so many times I literally read the covers off of it and till it fell apart. I was interviewing someone else and she made a joke about being raised in a space carnival and I remembered and recommended the book to her. I used to try to find the rest of the books in that series every time I went to the library as a kid, but then I gave up for a couple decades because no one ever knew what the fuck I was talking about. Then, on a whim, I decided to look him up on Facebook, and not only was he alive, to my surprise, but he had a Facebook and accepted my friend request and let me interview him, which I really appreciated as I know that if you’re already well established this interview is a waste of your time. People already know who you are, so why should you bother wasting time answering questions for a blog that only gets about fifty hits a day? And most of those hits from friends and acquaintances of the people being interviewed. But he was really cool and it was really pretty exciting to get to interview someone whose work I was so obsessed with when I was growing up. Plus he sent me the other books in the series and I can’t wait to rip into them but my “To Be Reviewed” files keeps growing and I get new review requests every day so I have no time for reading anything that I want to read for personal pleasure. I try not to bother him in FB chat as I don’t really have anything to say to him. But it’s really cool to know that someone whose work I admired was so cool to one of his fans. When I decided to start up an interview blog, I made a big list of people I wanted to interview. I filled a sheet of yellow legal paper with names. I’ve still got that sheet of paper around here somewhere and I can cross off a few names, but they were mostly people that I already knew through Facebook.
I’d love to review Henry Rollins or Jello Biafra or Kevin Smith or David Lynch or David Cronenberg or Clive Barker or Stephen King, but to guys like that I’d probably come off like a trifling high school fanzine guy. I don’t really have journalistic credentials, per se. I mean, I do, but writing for a coupe defunct horror magazines and a few dead horror websites isn’t really much of a resume. But maybe one day word will get around and I’ll be able to get the attention of whoever I want to interview. One can always hope.
That being said, I truly do appreciate everyone who has consented to being interviewed, and even moreso those that have actually followed through with the interview process.
So, yeah, thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
I love the format! That’s an impressive body of work. On behalf of all the artist’s out there, I thank you for giving us a forum. I went back a read a couple of your earlier posts to see what to expect just to avoid giving crappy answers. I’ve been interviewed before on late night local TV and I bombed… it got easier after the 2nd or 3rd but yeah you gotta be able to articulate yer words if you want people to understand what the hell yer working on and getting the message out there. Congrats on your endeavor! I respect anyone who works in mental health. Misunderstood element of human nature that needs quality people.
Who died and made you King of the Artists?
But, in all seriousness, I appreciate your appreciation.
It’s not the least I can do to help promote other people’s work, but it’s pretty damned close. If all that ever comes of this is I make a few new acquaintances and maybe have a few laughs I won’t consider it a complete waste of time and effort on everyone’s part.
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote. All of them.
I wanted to mention that I’m driving around with a picture of Victor Vermyn on my car with info on my website…. So if anyone is in the greater Bay Area keep an eye out
John Hageman Jr is a cartoonist/painter from Fremont, California. His life changes feel like epic movements of tectonic plates brushing against glaciers with all the awe and human notice of a Starbucks opening. Through out time many have gawked in his direction wondering…. “What the HELL is he doing over there?” Comics and painting are his Rock to push up hill. Racing the reaper to the top before the work is done. He will be survived by his loving wife, three children & a dog he had no business adopting. May they remember him for his mistakes, for they are educational and entertaining.
About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here: theendoftheworldisnighbook.blogspot.com
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here: www.facebook.com/TheEndOfTheWorldIsNighBook
Check his author profile at: www.amazon.com/Scott-Lefebvre/e/B001TQ2W9G
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here: http://burntofferingsbooks.blogspot.com/
Check out his electronic music here: soundcloud.com/master_control
And here: master-control.bandcamp.com
Check out his videos at: www.youtube.com/user/doctornapoleon
Check out his IMDB profile here: www.imdb.com/name/nm3678959
Follow his Twitter here: twitter.com/TheLefebvre or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here: thelefebvre.tumblr.com
Check out his Etsy here: www.etsy.com/shop/ScottLefebvreArt
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre
E-mail him at: Scott_Lefebvre@hotmail.com