Lou Ferrigno, the Original Incredible Hulk, at Rhode Island Comic Con this Weekend

By Jason Harris

Lou Ferrigno.

Lou Ferrigno. Photo by Jason Harris.

Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk, is in town for the fourth Rhode Island Comic Con, which starts this afternoon and runs until Sunday, November 8. We sat down at the Dunkin Donuts Center to talk about bodybuilding, the Incredible Hulk, and being the personal trainer for Michael Jackson.

Ferrigno discovered weight training 52 years ago at the age of 12, he said.

“When I was a kid, I was really skinny. I was just obsessed with power. I wanted to be powerful. I discovered weight training and I knew it would make me feel good about myself.”

Ferrigno wanted to be a hero like Hercules. He would watch old Hercules movies, then want to be a modern day gladiator or some other heroic character from the movies or comic books.

“I would fantasize about being the Hulk because of the way I was built.”

One day, he received a phone call about auditioning for the role, which at the time was being played by Richard Kiel. Kiel played the character of Jaws in two James Bond movies. The reason behind the switch was because director Kenneth Johnson’s son was on set one day and said Kiel didn’t look like the Hulk in the comic books, Ferrigno said. They contacted hundreds of people, including him, to audition.

“They called me, I went down for the screen test and immediately they hired me. And the next day, I was filming. In 48 hours, I went from bodybuilding to show business.”

Everything he did for the role came naturally to him, Ferrigno said.

“When I did the pilot, I used a lot of the animalistic behavior the way the character should be.”

One of his favorite moments on The Incredible Hulk was meeting Cary Grant, who came to the set with his nephew to get a picture taken with him.

“I was excited because he was one of the top movie stars in the world. That was one of my exciting moments because of the fact I was well respected.”

Ferrigno enjoyed working with Bill Bixby, who he considered “a very talented actor.” He was a fan of Bixby’s television shows The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and The Magician.

“I learned a lot from him. He was an icon. I was excited to learn from him and watch him.”

Ferrigno’s portrayal of the Incredible Hulk ended in 1990 with television movie, The Death of the Incredible Hulk, but he has continued with the character by voicing him in the UPN cartoon and in the current Marvel movies that started with The Incredible Hulk in 2008. The job was given to him after the director heard him say “Hulk crash” and “Hulk smash” at New York Comic Con seven to nine years ago, he said.

In the last few years, Ferrigno has been on Celebrity Apprentice and in an episode of Star Trek Continues.

“It was great because you’re on a show with a bunch of egos, celebrities,” Ferrigno said about Celebrity Apprentice. “I’m glad I raised 100,000 for my charity [the Muscular Dystrophy Association]. It taught me what it’s like to be with other celebrities. It was fun, but the hardest thing was no one wanted to be fired so you’re forced to look at other people’s faults. That was tough.”

Ferrigno did mention that “Donald Trump is a loose cannon.”

“I was very tense because you’re in the boardroom three times a week. You have to be careful how you conduct yourself. So with me, they were afraid of me, because when we were in the boardroom I just spoke my mind.”

Ferrigno has always been a fan of the original Star Trek so he was happy to play slave trader Zaminhon on Star Trek Continues when Vic Mignogna asked him. He wasn’t happy with the makeup, which took five hours to apply, he said.

“I knew I wanted to play [the character] because it was against type. I enjoyed playing that character.”

His upcoming movie Instant Death will be released next April. You will see him do things in the movie that audiences have never seen him do before, he said.

“I would say it’s my best work ever.”

Along with his acting, he continues giving advice about being a person’s own personal trainer at his website here or being a personal trainer to stars like Chuck Norris and Mickey Rourke. He was also Michael Jackson’s personal trainer for 20 years, which came about because he was a good friend of Jackson’s doctor.

“He learned a lot from me and I learned a lot from him,” Ferrigno said about Jackson.

You can meet Ferrigno at Rhode Island Comic Con this weekend. Find out more about the convention here.

Pictures from the October ChaseCon 2015

By Jason Harris

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Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Author Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo.

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Aquawoman.

Aquawoman.

Bonnie Piesse (Star Wars: Episode II and III).

Bonnie Piesse (Star Wars: Episode II and III).

Jack Skellington.

Jack Skellington.

Marty McFly and Doc Brown.

Marty McFly and Doc Brown.

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Xena: Warrior Princess.

Xena: Warrior Princess.

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Artist Paul Castiglia.

Artist Paul Castiglia.

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Dr. Who

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The Joker.

The Joker.

Harley Quinn.

Harley Quinn.

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Jim Martin (The Great Space Coaster).

Jim Martin (The Great Space Coaster).

Saratoga

Saratoga Budo.

Rika Muranaka.

Rika Muranaka.

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Artist Dan

Artist Dan Nakrosis.

Freddy K

Freddy Krueger.

Wrestler Curt Hawkins.

Wrestler Curt Hawkins.

Michael and Diego Mongue, the creators of Awesome Robot.

Michael and Diego Mongue, the creators of Awesome Robot.

The Silence.

The Silence.

Pictures from Vermont Comic Con 2015: Part II

By Jason Harris

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Actor Scott Schiaffo, the Chewlies rep in Clerks.

Me with actor Scott Schiaffo, the Chewlies rep in Clerks.

Steampunk Dorothy.

Steampunk Dorothy.

The Incredible Hulk.

The Incredible Hulk.

A zombie.

A zombie.

Rochelle Davis (The Crow).

Rochelle Davis (The Crow).

Deadpool and friend.

Deadpool and friend.

Loki.

Loki.

Artist Dan Parent.

Artist Dan Parent.

Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and Spawn.

Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and Spawn.

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Author Matt Spencer.

Author Matt Spencer.

Artist Jay.

Artist Jay Mooers.

Wednesday Addams.

Wednesday Addams.

Me with Wolverine and the Montreal X-men.

Me with Wolverine and the Montreal X-men.

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Wonder Woman and friend.

Wonder Woman and friend.

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Brimestone.

Brimstone.

Pictures from Vermont Comic Con 2015: Part I

 

By Jason Harris

Vermont Comic Con held it’s second annual convention this past weekend. It was bigger and better than it’s first convention in 2014.

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Characters from Alice in Wonderland visit VT Comic Con.

Characters from Alice in Wonderland visit VT Comic Con.


Mutants ready to protect the convention.

Mutants ready to protect the convention.


Violet Parr and friend.

Violet Parr and friend.


Princess Leia and V.

Princess Leia and V.


Author Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo.

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The Baroness and Deadpool.

The Baroness and Deadpool.


Me with actorBrian O' Halloran.

Me with actorBrian O’ Halloran.

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Iron Man.

Iron Man.

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Comic book writer Joe

Comic book writer Joe Caramagna.


Harley Quinn.

Harley Quinn.


Actor Nicholas Brendon and me.

Actor Nicholas Brendon and me.


Stormtrooper and Emperor's Royal Guard.

Stormtrooper and Emperor’s Royal Guard.


Work release inmates from Orange is the New Black.

Work release inmates from Orange is the New Black.

Pictures from GraniteCon 2015: Part 1

By Jason Harris

The 13th Annual Granite State Comic Con took place in Manchester, New Hampshire this past weekend. They had guest stars from the movies and television along with artists, authors, and cosplayers. It was a great weekend. Here is the first entry of pictures from the convention.

Author Stacey Longo.


Jason Voorhees.

Jason Voorhees.


Han Solo in carbonite.

Han Solo in carbonite.


Black Widow and Spider-man.

Black Widow and Spider-man.


Rocket and Star Lord.

Rocket and Star Lord.


The Black Panther.

The Black Panther.


Kylo Ren.

Kylo Ren from Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.


The Disney Princesses.

The Disney Princesses.


Actress Cindy Morgan (Tron).

Actress Cindy Morgan (Tron).

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The General Lee.

The General Lee.

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Harley Quinn and The Riddler.

Harley Quinn and The Riddler.


Ghost Rider.

Ghost Rider.


Yellowjacket.

Yellowjacket.


Deadpool.

Deadpool.


Actor Noah Hathaway (The Neverending Story).

Actor Noah Hathaway (The Neverending Story).


Artist Sara Richard (Jem and the Holograms).

Artist Sara Richard (Jem and the Holograms).

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Artist Paul Ryan (The Phantom).

Artist Paul Ryan (The Phantom).

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Iron Man and Wonder Woman.

Iron Man and Wonder Woman.

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Me with Dawn Wells (Gilligan's Island).

Me with Dawn Wells (Gilligan’s Island).

Discover Books and Boos Press

By Jason Harris

 

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Books & Boos Press first came on the publishing scene in 2013 with the publication of Secret Things: Twelve Tales to Terrify by Stacey Longo. This collection of wickedly entertaining stories will compel you to lock the doors, keep the lights on, and ponder what it might be like to embrace the darker side of human nature. Everybody has secrets. Sometimes they can kill you. These twelve stories will have you wanting more from this author. In 2014, two of Longo’s stories were included in the anthology, Insanity Tales. This anthology also includes works by Dale T. Philips, Vlad V., and Ursula Wong.

In 2015, this Connecticut based press published My Mom has MS by Longo in February and Where Spiders Fear to Spin by Peter N. Dudar in May. Dudar is a  Bram Stoker Award® Finalist. Acclaimed artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell illustrated the book.

These books will be available at the Books & Boos table at Connecticut Horrorfest this Saturday in Danbury, CT. Longo will also be on-hand to sign her books.

Books & Boos Press announced in June that they will be publishing works by Dan Foley and Rob Smales. This is a press to keep your eye on in the future.

A Night with William Shatner

By Jason Harris

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Actor William Shatner was a guest at the Middlesex Community College Celebrity Forum 2015 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA. Shatner was interviewed by Patrick Cook, executive director of public affairs. 2015-06-11 19.47.47
Shatner is an award-winning actor, producer, writer, recording artist, and philanthropist. During the almost 75 minute interview, he spoke about Star Trek, Boston Legal, his friendship with Leonard Nimoy who passed away in February, and death. You could tell that he misses Nimoy who he had been friends with for over 50 year ever since filming Star Trek. He talks about Nimoy’s death as memories that have faded away. He also mentioned his charities and his new reality series, Better Late Than Never with Henry Winkler, George Foreman, and Terry Bradshaw.

If William Shatner comes to your area, go see him. You won’t be disappointed. There is always a chance a captain’s chair will be in the lobby so you can try it on for size. Find out about his appearances on his website here.2015-06-11 19.39.46

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Pictures from the April 2015 Super Megafest Show Part 1

By Jason Harris

The first ever April Super Megafest,  three-day show, took place at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center this past weekend. Below are pictures from the show.2015-04-17 16.19.20

Rae Dawn Chong (Commando).

Rae Dawn Chong (Commando).

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Larry Wilcox (CHiPs).

Larry Wilcox (CHiPs).

Erik Estrada (ChiPs).

Erik Estrada (ChiPs).

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Author Stacey Longo and the Nestle Quik Bunny.

Author Stacey Longo and the Nestle Quik Bunny.

Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

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Helen Slater (Supergirl).

Helen Slater (Supergirl).

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Author Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo.

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Wrestler and Actress Ashley Tramonte.

Wrestler and Actress Ashley Tramonte.

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Interview with Author David Price

by Jason Harris

 

Author David Price at the 2013 New England Author Expo. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author David Price at the 2013 New England Author Expo. Photo by Jason Harris.

David Price is the author of Dead in the USA. He resides in Massachusetts. His new story, “Necrophone,” appeared in the online sci-fi & fantasy magazine, Buzzy Mag, today.

JH: How did your adventure in writing come about?

DP: Well, I’ve always loved reading. I was a huge comic book fan, and later moved on to Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brian Lumley and many other speculative fiction writers. In my freshman year of college, I absolutely aced Composition 1. I was undeclared, and my professor suggested I become an English Major. That’s really when I first started thinking seriously about becoming a writer.

JH: What was your first published work?

DP: I had a short story based on the haunted experiences in my life published in a collection called Tales from the Grave.

JH: Do you have a specific writing style?

DP: The most frequent comment or compliment to my writing is that it’s “page-turning.” I’ve also been told that I do particularly well with dialogue. I don’t tend to bog down on details or describe a scene for very long. If you like extensive, detailed descriptions, I’m probably not for you. If you like stuff that moves along, I might be your guy.

JH: What year were you published?

DP: 2012 was the first time I saw myself in print, other than an online article or two.

JH: Have any real life instances influenced your work?

DP: Oh sure, I’ve put many of my real life experiences in my work. In my story “Necrophone,” coming out in Buzzy Mag in March, I mention cliff jumping at a quarry.  That really happened. Actually quite a bit of that story is based on my relationship with my grandfather, as I wrote it shortly after he died.

JH: What books have influenced your life the most?

DP: Hmm, my life or my writing? The Stand is my favorite book, so it’s certainly influenced me. The works of Stephen King have changed the way I see the world, at times. Some of the ideas in the Dark Tower series will always influence me, I think. And then of course, there’s J.R.R. Tolkien. The fact that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are the main influence for the Dungeons & Dragons game is important. D & D is the inspiration for the series of epic fantasy books I am currently writing.

JH: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

DP: Stephen King, hands down. Even when his stories don’t quite hit the mark, he has the way of always getting me to care about his characters. I don’t think I write much like Stephen King myself, but I am always conscious of trying to get the reader to care about my characters.

JH: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

DP: Well, J.K. Rowling isn’t that new, but I consider the Harry Potter series pretty much revolutionary. I’m a big fan of John McIlveen, having recently read his collection, Jerks. Bracken MacLeod is an up and coming writer, as anyone who is paying attention to the horror and crime markets will tell you. Kealan Patrick Burke writes so beautifully, that I doubt I’ll ever equal his style.

JH: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

DP: As I said, “Necrophone” is a short story that will be published online in Buzzy Mag on March 27. It’s about a man who discovers a phone app that allows him to communicate with the dead, in this case, his recently deceased grandfather. Other than that, I’m putting some more polish on the first book of my epic Lovecraftian fantasy series: Lightbringer.

JH: What was the last book or piece of work that you had published? What was it about?

DP: Last year I had my essay “Shark Bait” published in the collection, Phobias, from Hidden Thoughts Press.

JH: Do you have a ritual before you write?

DP: Not really. I’ve used music at times, usually Tool or Puscifer. Sometimes I drink coffee, sometimes wine.

JH: Do you have any advice for other writers?

DP: If you don’t have the stomach for rejection, this might not be the business or hobby for you. I wasn’t ready for all the rejection, to be honest. I mean, I knew it was part of the business, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be to handle at times. That story, “Necrophone” that I’ve mentioned already? That was rejected more than ten times. I finally sold it to Buzzy Mag, making it the best paying story I’ve sold to date. You just never know. Stick with it and try not to take it personally. Just keep writing, keep improving, and keep submitting.

JH: Are you going to be signing anywhere in the near future?

DP: I will be at Super MegaFest in Marlborough, MA, April 17-19, Anthocon in Portsmouth, NH, June 5-7, Necon in Portsmouth, RI, July 16-19, Granite State ComicCon in Manchester, NH September 12-13, and possibly Necronomicon in Providence, RI, August 20-23. That’s all for now!

You can follow David on Twitter here and find out about David on his website here and on his Amazon page here.

Connecticut Author Participates in Bacon Academy’s Annual Arts and Crafts Fair

By Jason Harris

Bacon Academy held its third annual Sleigh Bells Arts & Crafts Fair at Bacon Academy in Colchester, Connecticut. This year Hebron author Stacey Longo was on-hand selling and signing her books including Secret Things and Pookie and the Lost & Found Friend.2014-12-06 09.28.56

Author Stacey Longo holding her book, Secret Things.

Author Stacey Longo holding her book, Secret Things.

She also had a number of anthologies she has stories in at her table. One of the anthologies was Insanity Tales, which was published this past October.

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