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Armageddon Q&A - Steve Blum

1)   Is this your first time at Armageddon Auckland?
Nope, I was there in 2006!  VERY excited to return!! I know I love New Zealand and have no expectation but to have a great time with the people there!

2)  What are you looking forward to seeing again?
I particularly love the geothermal features of the north island.  We've driven a lot of it.  (South Island too!)  This will be our third trip to Auckland and it never gets old!  Kind of feels like a spiritual homecoming. Respect for the land seems to be a terrible, stupid fight in the United States.  There are factions there who would be very happy to destroy ecosystems if there is a buck to be made.  It seemed that everywhere we travelled in NZ, the message of preserving natural resources was loud and unwavering.  I also love the fact that you guys have no poisonous animals there!  Makes hiking much less stressful!  And we're fascinated by the Maori culture.

3)   How does the convention circuit differ here from abroad?
The odd thing is, in terms of the fans and the subject matter, it's very similar to the larger cons in the US, but with a more laid back attitude, plus the bonus of that magical Kiwi accent!

4)   What are you working on / what projects are you involved in at the moment?
Right now, the only projects I can talk about are Transformers Prime, Naruto Shippuden, Stitch (the anime!), and a bunch of stuff for Marvel.  I'm also working on about eight other big original animated cartoons projects, almost two dozen games and about six animes that I'm not allowed to talk about yet!

5) What's the strangest (and publishable) request you've ever had from a fan?
To sign their baby's head.  Recently I was asked to sign a Taser gun, a very large black bra and a breathalyzer.  Two guys also asked me to father their baby earlier this year.

6)   Conversely, what's the nicest moment you've ever had happen to you at a convention?
One of the best moments I can remember was in fact in Auckland in 2006.  A brawny, heavily tattooed Maori man approached my signing table and told me that his Autistic child barely spoke until he saw one of the Animes I voiced  (I think it was Digimon?). In fact he seemed unable to communicate or really have any quality of life.   One day, something clicked and the child suddenly began to take an interest in the show. The family began to watch the show with him and somehow it opened up a connection that they didn't think was possible.  The child began to speak, and is now high functioning, has friends and feels like he has a place in the world. We actually stood there and cried together.  The dad came back the next day with his wife and kids and we all hugged.  One of the most touching moments of my life.

7)   Armageddon's also about the costumes - what's the best and worst costumes you've seen while attending a convention?
Ha ha ha!  The worst (and also in a sick way, the best) might have to be Man-Faye or Sailor Bubba -very large, hairy guys dressed as Faye (from Cowboy Bebop) and Sailor Moon, respectively.  Disturbing, yet memorable.

8) What's the biggest myth about an event like Armageddon and how would you dispel it?
That it means the end of the world?  And yet, here it comes again.