Sick Geek = Future Health Nut

I've been sickly all my life, and it's time to find out if that's because I'm just a Fuller who can't help but be puny, or if I'm actually partially responsible for what ails me. Either way, this sick geek is going to try to transform herself into a health nut in the year 2009.
"I'm sailing!"


Martin Bower's Model World

Bower with Ray Harryhausen

I recently emailed with Martin Bower, UK-based model-maker extraordinaire. This man's IMDB page doesn't do him justice. He's worked tirelessly in the film industry as a model-making wizard. You've seen his work time and again, even if you didn't know it.

He can’t tell us about his current, super-secret L.A. projects, or he’d have to kill us. (Assassinated by studio ninjas, perhaps?) But he can talk about his new model-making magazine, a bit about Ray Harryhausen, and why he still prefers to spell things the British way.

Martin recently released his new quarterly magazine, "BOWERHOUSE: Martin Bower's Model World", and is currently nearing completion on volume 2. Learn more about it here http://scifimodels.org.uk/

While he's busy making promotional rounds, I wanted to give him the chance to say what most interviewers choose to edit out.

To me, that's the good stuff. The best stuff. And it's all right here.


Bird Diapers and Mary Blair

Because Gmail is very scary and reads my emails, there was a hilarious advertisement at the top of my email for bird diapers.

Bird. Diapers.

This amused me greatly because I had just emailed my friend Jen explaining the plot from my Tiki Room script. Which may be the one and only time I have ever talked about birds in an email. Ever. Technology doesn't miss a step.

Speaking of Disney, allow me to segue into the Mary Blair portion of the blog.

While watching the special features on Disney's Cinderella, I was introduced to an artist named Mary Blair. Her work felt intensely familiar. Then I remembered a Disney book I owned as a child, illustrated by Blair.

But her work would feel familiar to anyone who grew up watching Disney films. Many of their animated classics are based off her concept art. She worked for the mouse house, almost solely doing just that, or so I gathered from the 15 minutes or so of special features about her.

Her art appeals to me very much. I like the colors, the Al Hirschfeld exaggerations common of the era, the shapes, the composition...I find her style appealing in almost every way. When I look at Mary Blair's paintings, I instantly want to create. Doesn't even matter what. I could sit down and write, or even pick up a brush again. 


Searching For Badejo

Did I ever tell you I went looking for Bolaji Badejo? The man who was in the suit for the original "ALIEN"? Well, I did. I never found him.

It was my first ever pitch to Geek Monthly and ended up as "Elegy For The Men In Suits", centered around Ben Chapman. But I STILL want to find him someday. Rumor and legend have it that he's just a nice small town bloke who got down to the business of living after the film.

But I did find someone else, a man named Martin Bower. I don't know how I found his name, I just did while digging around on the internet. I emailed him to ask him if he knew how to contact Badejo. And like an ignorant wretch, I had no idea who he was initially.

I mean, looking back I can put two and two together. As something of an "ALIEN" buff, I knew the main model maker was an English man named Martin, but it just never crossed my mind that that's who I was speaking with.

So we started communicating via email. He was extremely polite, we chatted about lots of things. Then I realized one day that he was the HUGELY famous modelmaker responsible for the Nostromo in ALIEN, as well as a blue million other classic sci fi models like the original "Tripods" from the BBC "War of the Worlds".

He even sent me a load of pictures of his models, his home, and the time RAY HARRYHAUSEN came to visit. None of which I feel comfortable sharing, but I assure you, they are amazing. Think of one of your biggest idols, someone who was responsible for a great artifact of your childhood...like the ship builder from "Goonies" or the guy who made the "Millenium Falcon", now imagine if you two were emailing and he was showing you pictures from his family album.

This brings me to a larger point. It's wonderful to be a geek. It really is. We really do have ALL the fun. In my case, my complete social ignorance kept me relaxed enough not to freak out. If I was all cool and yuppie, I probably would've been like, "Fna fna, I'll have my people call his people." Instead, we just got to talk like normal people. Nothing pretentious, just chatting.

Our shared love of pop culture, and its various niches, allows us geeks to connect with people that we technically shouldn't be able to. He had every right to tell me to bugger off...I was some piddly little freelance writer asking for him to help me get to someone else. But he treated me with respect, we even sort of made friends...he shared his family pictures with me. All because we shared a HUGE love of all things science-fiction.

That same type of phenomenon keeps happening to me. People who I think are so cool that they're in the stratosphere are talking to me like it's no big deal. And it's not! (See: My total freak-out over Doug Jones.) And I'm starting to feel comfortable with that. Because geekdom is a ticket that can get you across all kinds of barriers where prejudice normally stands...income, success level, gender, and velvet ropes, both real and imaginary.

Martin is now presenting a quarterly magazine! Would make an excellent Christmas gift for the sci-fi geek in your life