By now you’ve probably heard that we’re taking over Father’s Day, transforming it into National GeekDad Day. On top of all the other things already going on for the day, we thought it would be fun to talk to some of our favorite people at one of our all-time favorite entertainment companies about what Father’s Day means to them. The great folks at Disney were, as usual, more than happy to oblige, coming through with some great interviews and quotes, in addition to a lot of good stuff about upcoming shows we can expect to see.
First up is the new cartoon show Motorcity. We’ve really enjoyed this show since it premiered a few months ago, and the episode “Vendetta,” which premieres tonight at 9:30pm ET/PT on Disney XD, looks to be just as good as the preceding episodes. The show’s creator, Chris Prynoski, isn’t a dad yet, but he will be next month, so we think he’s entitled to celebrate. His plans show a sensibility that many GeekDads can subscribe to:
As a soon-to-be father, I can only hope my son will develop a taste for the finer aspects of geek culture. When he’s learning to crawl, I plan to place a Boba Fett and a Jar Jar figure on the carpet 12 feet in front of him and see which one he chooses;
Another show we enjoy, and which I’ve written about a few times, is Fish Hooks. The show’s creator Noah Z. Jones is a geek dad, and had this to say for National GeekDad Day, which expresses a sentiment I think few dads could fail to understand:
My kids have had a giant impact on of Fish Hooks. I’m sure if I wasn’t as deliriously tired and sleep-deprived as I am, the show wouldn’t be nearly as crazy!
The new 24-hour Disney Junior channel is getting in on the Father’s Day action in a gentler way, by way of an epsiodes in their Quiet Is… series of shorts titled “Dad Reading.” The short will premiere on Disney Junior on Father’s Day, June 17, at 8:25pm ET/PT, but you can see a sneak preview of it below!
The series’ composers William V. Malpede and Rick Garcia told us about the inspiration they got from their fathers while growing up:
I remember, as a young boy, the adventure of cold, snowy, nighttime bear hunts in a Chicago suburb forest. Dad said I just might see a bear… and I still remember that adventure of imagination!
My dad was a cowboy and an artist, and told vivid and incredible stories through his artwork. I’ve had the opportunity to live out every single one of those stories in my imagination.
Marvel Universe on Disney XD is doing its part to make Father’s Day geeky by having a mini-marathon of Ultimate Spider-Man from 11:00am – 2:00pm ET/PT, leading off with a new episode titled “Freaky” which includes an appearance by Wolverine. Interspersed with the episodes will be installments of Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada’s Master Class, short bits in which he teaches his daughter and the audience how to draw various Marvel characters. Joe was kind enough to answer some questions about fatherhood’s effect on his work and what Father’s Day means to him — my thanks to Cecelia Nguyen at Disney for asking the questions for me, and for asking one of her own, as unfortunately Joe’s schedule and mine had no free time in common. Enjoy the interview below, and keep reading for more Disney awesomeness:
GeekDad:How do you think being a father affects the way you approach your work?
Joe Quesada: Well, one of the ways it’s really affected my work is when my daughter watches me draw, she sometimes looks on in amazement and sometimes looks on in frustration, because she’s eleven years old, and I’ve been drawing my entire life right now – many decades more than she has. So she gets frustrated because she can’t draw exactly the same way I can at her age. So it’s really taught me, when describing and teaching kids or other artists my methodology of how I draw and how I go about things, to try to demystify the process and try to tell them that it’s OK. You know, as a kid I used to get frustrated, too, when I would watch professional artists working and I’d think that I wasn’t any good at it. So I try to let other people know that you all have to start at a beginner’s spot, and sometimes that’s frustrating when you see people who are really good at what they do, and they’ve been doing it for decades. So it’s definitely affected me in that manner.
GD: In what ways does your daughter inspire your work?
JQ: Well, obviously her youthful eyes. I see the things that she gets excited at, and it reminds of when I was that age, and those things used to get me excited. Obviously the things that get me excited today are something that a grown adult gets excited by, within the projects that I do. So she’s really helped me keep that childlike sensibility to my work, and allowed me to pay more attention to that, and to realize that there are many more kids her age looking at my work than adults looking at my work.
GD: What kinds of projects do you like working on with your daughter?
JQ:You know, I like it when she asks me, in particular, to help her – to teach her how to draw something. A few weeks ago we were working – she really wanted to learn how to draw buldings and shapes in perspective. So we were learning perspective, which is not easy – it’s a very tough thing to do. Once you learn it, you get the knack for it, it really makes your drawings come to life.
GD: Do you have any special plans for Father’s Day that you can share?
JQ: Yeah, actually, my daughter got me tickets to see my favorite play – which is supposed to be a surprise, but mom told me.
GD: You’re going to pretend to be surprised though, right?
JQ: Oh, absolutely. She was very happy, she got me tickets to a Broadway show: Jesus Christ Superstar.
GD: What’s your favorite Father’s Day memory?
JQ: Wow. I think my favorite Father’s Day memory was my first Father’s Day. My daughter wasn’t even a year old, and just being a father for the first time and celebrating the day. That’s always the best one. But, you know, every year it’s the hugs – that’s my favorite part.
Keep reading for info on my personal favorite Disney TV show, and how it’s doing the Time Warp again.