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The Boys Presents: Diabolical At WonderCon 2022



It’s kinda nice to talk about stuff, because for so long its been NDAs and secrets, so yeah it’s good to finally talk

Im Giancarlo volpe, supervising director of the boys diabolical

Q – not having talked about things for a while, I think that plays into how we got this animated series, can you talk a bit about how you ended up going with the animated series as opposed to the live-action, as a spinoff

A – oh, so It was very much because of the pandemic, the boys season 3 schedule was delayed shooting schedule because of the world being shut down, Eric Kripke and Seth, and Evan all collectively wanted to give the fans something to chew on while they’re waiting for season 3.

Me – and we are SO grateful

A – I’m glad to hear that! So god bless animation, this art form that I chose, it didn’t really slow us down these last couple of years, we were available and ready to go, so we made some cartoons! I saw a couple of people online saying, they made this instead of season 3?! And its like, obviously not! That implies that they like somehow trained the crew of the boys to like animate instead of  like film! So that was happening in tandem, in fact, there were times when we couldn’t get Eric on the phone cuz he was busy on the set, you know, we’ve been doing both!

A – there were a couple of notes we got, saying like don’t explore that, we’re going to be exploring that in season 3 (live-action) so we don’t want to like repeat ourselves, or contradict ourselves, so there’s a little bit of overlap but I don’t fully know what happens in season 3, I mean I have a couple of ideas, like contextually from like the directives we got, so I’ll probably be surprised too! There’ll probably be a couple of moments where Im like, oh, that’s why they made me cut that line, you know, so that’ll be fun!

Q – each of the different episodes had a different animation style, how did that come about?

A – I want to say, you know, that some of that pre-dates me being hired, but as I understand it, Seth and Evan and Eric were like, lets make this like Animatrix, lets make this like I don’t know if you remember Spike and Mike’s twisted animation festival –

Q – (most of us) we do!

A – so something like that, but in The Boys universe! So lets make it feel like it was eight different filmmakers, with their unique voice and style, and so the writers kind of all came up with their own ideas, and had a short description, yeah this one should kind of feel like anime, and that one should feel like this and that, and then later as we hired directors, they helped visualize what that would like and how to pull that off under a very compressed schedule.

Q – at this point are people running to work with The Boys? We’ve got people like Kumail Nanjiani and Awkwafina writing and voicing in here, was the show reaching out to certain people and if so, how did they choose their collaborators?

A – there’s clearly some kind of network to draw from, for sure. Friends of Seth, I’m sure that was a factor, like a list in his cell phone or something, we were also given a list of celebrities that are fans of the boys, like a friendly reminder like hey, Method Man is a huge fan of the show – we didn’t get Method Man but like that, you know?

Q (me) –  So there’s 8 episodes and you obviously can’t say which ones your favorite, but which one was the most work?

A – ooh the most work, man that’s a good question. The Awkwafina episode for example ran long, she gave us so many wild lines in the record that it was hard to pick which take to use, so we were like trying to use ALL of them and the episode was like 18 minutes long or something, we had to cut it down to make it produce-able, so that was challenging. I think also there was a little extra attention on “1 plus 1” because it was so faithful, Eric has since then dubbed it canonical to the series, that went through several rounds of making sure it all worked correctly. I remember that one was like the last one we shipped and we were all tired and like ughhh gotta get this one done!

Q – Well that’s the episode that you wrote and that Simon co-directed, on top of it feels very canonical to the show, is there a reason Eric allowed it to be covered here (in The Boys Diabolical) as opposed to the live-action show?

A – I think it was originally conceived as a kind of what-if? Scenario, maybe this could be Homelanders origin, to Simons credit I think he did such a great job that Eric was like, Im convinced this happened, it all fits, it all works, this is canonical. I thought that was really cool.

Q – Lets take a moment to talk about the (cancer) episode, it was so poignant and powerful and you don’t expect to see something like that in The Boys universe, what inspired that, it was really beautiful and sad.

A – I would imagine that Andy, he chose that subject matter so there must have been, I can only assume, we didn’t pry that he’s got a personal story (with cancer), I think a lot of us do. And just wanted it to be an interesting hook – can you use Compound V to cure cancer? At its core it’s not a cynical take on The Boys universe, and I say this with affinity, The Boys is kind of a cynical take on corporations and power and greed and all that, this is like a flip on that, what if you could use power to actually help people! And it’s a really beautiful episode and I’m so happy with that, especially the way Steve Vaughn directed it, I’m really proud of that one.

Q – is this something you can see people doing in future seasons, like trying to bring less of the cynical and more of the personal explorative stuff?

A – Do you mean in entertainment in general or specifically on The Boys?

Q – Specifically on The Boys.

A – Good question. I mean, I’d like to think that resonates with everyone, like oh yeah we could also do that and it could make (the show) that much richer, if you had moments of like, “I could actually help someone with my powers”, you know, a little more contrast with Homelander’s assholery.

(Everyone laughs)


I’m Simon Racioppa, one of the executive producers and the showrunner of the boys diabolical.

Q – I’m gonna start you with an easy one – in every panel we’ve had little kids come up to the microphone and ask, is this appropriate, can I watch this? So what is your target audience, would you say?

A – I don’t have kids so I’m probably the wrong person to ask this question! LOL Everyone should see it! No, it’s mature in both language and content, I think parents should make their own decision about that, and I would definitely say it is not a kid’s cartoon.

Q – Can you talk a little bit about getting Simon Pegg to come onboard? He voices Hughie finally on the show, so …

A – So when we’re putting the episode together, Garth Innis wrote that episode, and the goal was always to make it Garth’s version of The Boys, so Eric Kripke developed the series for live-action for the Boys and that’s his version, we wanted to do Garth’s version, which is where it came from. So if you’ve read the original comic books, you know the character Hughie looks like Simon Pegg, he was based on Simon Pegg, Derek Robertson who does the art has come out and had conversations with Simon Pegg, and Simon is aware it’s based on him. So Simon is of course a friend of the show, he appears on the show (plays Hughie’s father), it was just a no-brainer. So much so, that we were saying if Simon can’t do this for schedule reasons, we’d just take the character out of the episode. We weren’t gonna have anyone else play the Hughie in our show. Luckily when we talked to him, he was like, absolutely I will do that, and then it was just scheduling. He was outside of London at his home, we sent a studio record session,  and there was a remote group that went up there and installed it for him, this was still a deep pandemic, so they come into your room and they set up a microphone and blankets and stuff and then they leave and you wait for 15 minutes and then Simon Pegg can come in and record safely. And he (Pegg) was so happy and so great to work with, cuz he was like, I thought I would never get a chance to play this character because I’m too old now, and he’s like, this is my chance to do it. He was amazing.

Q – Did any of the other voice cast members say I gotta come on and do this person or that person?

A – Jason Isaacs, who played Billy Butcher in Garth’s version, as well, was really excited about playing that, if you’re familiar with the books – Karl (Urban) was not available, there were scheduling issues, we have a very tight schedule on the show, so we couldn’t afford to wait very long if someone wasn’t available. So we had Jason Isaacs come in, and I think someone had brought him the comics and was telling him, you need to play Butcher, this is like you on a page. So when we came to him, he was like absolutely, I will do this again. And he was great, he was like, I’ve got this no problem, cuz we were all like well the characters got all this -, and he was like, I know. And then he would just DO it and we’d all be like, yes, exactly, the perfect south London cockney accent, because that’s where he grew up.

Q – Did any other actors reach out to you to participate on the show?

A – Uhhh, well we had some actors we knew were fans of The Boys, so the mothership show, we call the main show The Boys the mothership show, had people talking to them who wanted to be on the show, so like Kumail Nanjiani we knew was a huge fan of the show and had been asking about getting involved in it in some way, so we reached out to him and his wife and were like yeah, we’d love to be involved! So usually we went out to, we have a great casting director Linda Lamontagne, who was excellent at like approaching actors and giving us a list of people she knew was interested in being on the show or would be right for the roles, so yeah it was just a matter of working with her.

Q – You guys are essentially starting to build an MCU-like universe –

A – The VCU, the Vought-CU!

Q – The Vought Cinematic Universe, yes, what other kind of like styles, when we were talking to Giancarlo, he was talking about like he saw it a bit like the Animatrix, what kind of other stories would you want to tell in this sort of format? You have such a broad variety to work with!

A – Yeah well, I kinda see The Boys Diabolical, I mean if we’re lucky enough to get a second season, as a kind of grab bag of different aspects that you wouldn’t see in the mothership show. So we don’t want to either repeat anything from the mothership show, and we don’t want to repeat anything we’ve done in season 1, it has to be new, new material. I think it would be great to do some international stuff! Obviously The Boys is set in New York, but Vought has its tentacles around the world so, there’s stuff happening in Asia, there’s stuff happening in Australia, there’s stuff happening in Russia. It would be great to do like a Vought “what’s happening in the rest of the world” during the mothership show, when we’re just seeing what’s happening with Homelander and the crew of the Seven in New York.

Q – So you’re asking what if? Basically

A – Yeah!  We would call it, cuz I think “what if” is trademarked, we would call it, “what else?” LOL

(Everyone cheers)

Q (me) – So you have a whole series of episodes, each one a different tone and style and everything, you obviously can’t say which one is a favorite because you’re not actually supposed to –

A – Thank you for recognizing that, everyone always asks me which one’s your favorite and I’m like, I love them all!

Q (me) – Right! So, which episode would you say you had the most FUN doing?

A – Oh my gosh that’s a great question – okay so, I wrote the last one and obviously there’s a lot of fun in writing an episode too. But I would say the most fun one was actually Awkwafina’s episode, which I know was very divisive episode, some people love it some people absolutely hate it, but like putting together the soundtrack for that, we commissioned an original Japanese pop song for that episode, so that was really fun.

Q (me) – That’s super cool! Who was the artist?

A – So we had two composers, Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson, the composers from Cobra Kai, they were unbelievable, they were like we know exactly what kind of tone you want, we know what you need for this episode, so they came on board and pitched us some music and we were like, yes! And then the director for that episode, Madeleine Flores, also was a big fan of like Japanese pop music. So she introduced us to a couple of things, she was like it would be great if we could get this band Necry Talkie who is an actual Japanese pop band, and we licensed their music and they’re in the show. So that one was really fun putting together because I learned a lot about other artists that were not in my normal sort of purview.

Q – You said you wanted to do a second season, do you have some ideas already for those, were there some (ideas) lingering leftover from this season?

A – So funny enough, there weren’t a lot of ideas lingering, because what we did was, when we knew we were going to be doing 8 of them, we started going out to the 8 writers, like Andy Samberg and the Glazers and people like that and we just started filling up the slots one by one. We stopped when we had 8, so there weren’t like lost episodes or things we started but didn’t finish, each one was assigned once per the 8. I don’t want to repeat ourselves, that’s the biggest thing. I want it to be brand new, no repetition, and stuff you haven’t seen anywhere else.

Here’s to starting a petition for The Boys International!

(cheers all around)

(The end)

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Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy



Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.

The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.

I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.

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Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?



Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!  



Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.

So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.

The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.

Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.

First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.

Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.

Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.

Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.

To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!

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