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Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
7. What is the strangest thing you have in your house?
I have an antique fire helmet hanging on my wall. Some people might find that strange, but I love it.
14. What is your “guilty pleasure”–it can be a comic, a TV show, a food, etc.?
I guess it’d be my DVD collection of 80s TV shows. There’s good, Emmy-winning stuff like Magnum, PI and Wiseguy, but there’s also indefensible stuff like Hardcastle & McCormick and Riptide — stuff that I enjoy, but that I can’t objectively say is particularly “good.” I sometimes feel like I was born a little too late. The kinds of shows that were popular in the 80s — especially the stuff Stephen J. Cannell was doing — shows with a high concept and wisecracking leads is the kind of stuff I love to write.
20. What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?
I don’t scare too easily and I’m not crazy about your typical PG-13 slasher movies … but I think the scariest recent movie was probably Frozen, which was a 2010 movie written and directed by Adam Green about three kids who get stuck on a ski lift, high in the air, overnight. The resort has closed and no one knew they were on the lift (because they sneaked in) and they’re stuck there as a storm rolls in. Do they risk freezing to death? Should they jump? It’s a really cool, unsettling high concept movie. It’s not perfect — but it was pretty effective.
As a kid, I used to get super-scared of those 1970s Bigfoot movies. But I’m over that. Mostly.
23. What’s on the desk around your work area?
Let’s see… I’ve got my iPad, a little notepad, a “Doctor Who ‘The Flesh’ Goo Pod” that my fiancee bought for me on a trip to Scotland. It’s a TARDIS with goo inside. I’ve also got a couple copies of the Near Death TPBs that I need to take with me for some meetings I’m having soon. There’s a yellow highlighter that I toss up in the air when I’m thinking about a story problem. There’s a corkboard with a calender and some photos and postcards tacked to it. One of the photos is of me and Nicole Snyder (co-creator of Ringer) standing with actor Christoper Cousins, who nerds may recognize as Ted Beneke from Breaking Bad. We used him in an episode of Ringer, and all the writers are big Breaking Bad fans, so it was a particular thrill to get him.
26. What is your best childhood memory?
My dad was the fire chief of the small town where I grew up, and I have a lot of memories of fireman stuff in my childhood. Most little boys want to grow up to be a fireman, so it was particularly cool to have a dad who was a fireman. I remember going to the station with him on the weekends to wash the firetrucks, and I remember the “fire phone” ringing at all hours. It was a volunteer company, and this was before pagers and cellphones, so if someone called the fire department, the call would be routed to all the homes of the firemen, and the phone would ring this long, constant ring until you picked up — it was like a party line. Whoever answered first would talk to the
caller, and everyone else who answered would just listen, so they’d know the address of the fire. So I remember that old, long ring of the “fire phone.” One of these days I’m going to write a story about firemen.
30. What hobbies or interests do you have outside of comics?
Well, as you’ve probably guessed just by reading my other answers, I’m a big TV nerd. I’ve got a pretty big DVD collection and I watch a lot of TV. I also run daily, I enjoy reading mystery and thriller novels, and I love to travel. I prefer road-trips to getting on a plane, just because I like the sense of freedom you get with driving — you can pick up and go whenever you want.