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The smoke has cleared and the dust settled on the Toronto edition of 2010 Comic Con, brought to you by Wizard World, and FANGORIA was on the scene to weed out the horror content, which admittedly wasn’t overwhelming. Still, those who did attend were genuine cult figures and we got up close and personal with a couple of them.
Held at the Direct Energy Centre in the heart of downtown this past weekend, the con saw an appreciative crowd, plentiful vendors and animators and guests who were enthusiastic, outspoken and interesting. Friday saw us speaking with genre-fave actor Doug Jones, he of PAN’S LABYRINTH, HELLBOY and indeed virtually every picture that Guillermo del Toro has his hand in.
FANGORIA: How did you find yourself becoming the go-to guy for creature work?
DOUG JONES: I didn’t seek it out; I didn’t think that one day I wanted to be that guy. When I first moved to LA, being that I have a mime background, I wanted to be a sitcom star, a goofy, funny guy on a half-hour format. But since I’m really tall and skinny, my build and small face lend themselves really well to having stuff glued onto me. I did the “Mac Tonight” commercials for McDonald’s for three years—27 commercials for them—and I didn’t complain in the makeup; that’s the big one. People remember that and pass your name on, and all the people in the industry start knowing you.
FANG: You saw a lot of face time in the ads for LEGION as the Ice Cream Man. They’ve been selling the movie with that image…
JONES: Yeah, I was shocked. That was a 90-second cameo; I’m barely in the movie. It’s a showcase moment in the film. They came looking for me specifically. The director, Scott Stewart, bless his heart… I show up on film with my own face, then I morph into this monster, but he wanted to give the fanboys a little Doug-Jones-without-makeup treat to start off the scene. It was very sweet of him.
FANG: How hard is that stuff on your face and skin?
JONES: On HELLBOY II, which was six months of 18-hours-a-day work, the chemicals in the glue and the removers, the latex foam and the not breathing…it was hard. No allergic reactions, but by the end, my skin had dried out so much. in the winter months by the end of our shoot, it was getting colder and drier and I was cracking. But my skin holds up pretty well, thank heavens.
Saturday saw us crossing paths with noted WORLD WAR Z and THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE author (and son of Mel Brooks and the late Anne Bancroft) Max Brooks…
FANG: What’s happening with the WORLD WAR Z film?
MAX BROOKS: Well, you would know about as much as I do, so probably the best thing would be to ask them directly.
FANG: “Them” being…
BROOKS: Plan B, Brad Pitt’s company, Paramount, Marc Forster, the director, the writer…they would know a lot more than me, I’m just the guy who wrote the book.
FANG: No talk of collaboration with the screenwriter?
BROOKS: No. I had lunch with Marc Forster a little while ago, and he’s very excited and really wants to do this, so let’s hope something comes of it. You know how long it takes to get a movie made.
FANG: What can you tell us about the ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE graphic novel? Is this the beginning of an ongoing association?
BROOKS: Maybe, you never know. It’s certainly done well enough to warrant another one, but I’ve got other projects I have to focus on right now, so maybe when those die down I can come back to it.
FANG: Can you share?
BROOKS: Yeah—I have a G.I. JOE series coming out called G.I. JOE: HEARTS AND MINDS, and that’s debuting in may.
FANG: What made you go down that path?
BROOKS: I just love G.I. JOE and wanted to do something with that, so I submitted a story and they were really excited and gave me my own miniseries.
Also in attendance (as seen below) were actress Melody Anderson of FLASH GORDON, TV’s MANIMAL and Gary Sherman’s chilling DEAD & BURIED, GHOSTBUSTERS vet Ernie Hudson and most of the cast and crew of the upcoming SAW VII (including Costas Mandylor and Betsy Russell, pictured), which is being lensed once more in Toronto, this time in 3-D. While the lack of a crowd was somewhat disappointing, the Toronto Comic Con had its moments and is certainly still a work in progress. If there’s another one next year, we’ll be there.
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