Blatant Manipulation

Since today was the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. original Japanese release, I busted out my NES to celebrate and tried to run through the game the way I always do: No warps, whole thing, front to back! Then, I felt strongly as though I wanted to report on the experience.

I was a little rusty off the hop but got back into the old rhythms soon enough. First man lost was to a flying fish in 2-3, but rather than killing the momentum early I kept a good pace afterward and built up a few extra lives.

World 5 then proceeded to clean me out. Momentum was dangerously low, lives were being lost to very silly mistakes. Somehow I persevered and with a healthy amount of luck I ran the entirety of World 6 on one life.

World 7 granted me one extra man due to coin collecting, which I lost by the final castle anyway. 7-4 is a little notorious to me because it’s one of those areas that you need to run through in the correct pattern or be doomed to repeat forever. Of course I could not remember the second area’s pattern. I tried a few things unsuccessfully, and when the timer hit 99 and the music picked up pace I panicked and started running more or less at random.

Somehow, almost upsettingly, this worked and I barged right on through. I have no idea what I did right but I quickly finished off the world.

So, 8-1 and one life left! Also, I’m tiny mario! Would I sally forth, carried onward by unbelievable luck? Nope! The last Mario was used up about thirty seconds into the level, and that was that.

Happy Mario’s Birthday, everybody!

Interesting Times 4th Birthday Belate-o-splosion!

It’s finally here, performing for you! It’s a little late (the actual site birthday is, as you know, June the 6th) since I was out of the country BUT I am finally ready to officially unveil the 4th Season Birthday Surprise,

A year ago my friends and I got together and made the intro to the unaired Interesting Times television sitcom. “Unaired” because **spoiler alert** it was never a real show in the first place. One of the most common bits of feedback we got was that people wanted to see a whole episode. I brushed it off because that’s a lot of work and because I was afraid that the concept would be much better than the execution.

But round-about February my friends actually got on board with the idea, and then they convinced ME, and wouldn’t you know it over the next few months the crazy thing got done.

Today’s special thing is therefore one entire episode of Interesting Times the series, starring me and my pals and with original music and a studio audience and special effects and everything. I am proud to say that we all worked really hard on putting this show together and I hope you enjoy it very much. Watch it below!

Interesting Times s01e07 – “Creativity Issues” from Nathan Fehr on Vimeo.

(This isn’t the end, oh no! In the coming weeks I plan to release a special edition package for download, including a commentary track, scans of the original artwork, music and perhaps more?? Stay tuned for details)

As always and with all sincerity I want to thank you, the readers, for helping make all this possible. This is all so much more fun when people interact with the site in the kind and witty and surprising ways that you do. Here’s to Season 5, belatedly kicking off tomorrow!

Interesting Times 3rd Birthday Surpriseabration!

Today marks the 3rd birthday of my comic, and I suppose now’s as good a time as any to tell you all about the failure of Interesting Times – The Series. Never heard of it? That’s because it was never aired, cancelled outright before we could even finish filming the first episode.

About half a year ago I was approached by a major television network to begin work on an outline for the first season of a sitcom based on my life and comic. We embellished a bit, to be sure, but in the end I had something that I was pretty proud of.

The backstory to the show was that I was engaged to a beautiful lady and writing my comic for a big-city newspaper. My fiancee and I have a huge argument, however, and we break it off. Despondent, I move back to my hometown, partly to get away and also because I can easily write my comic and send it in over the internet. While there, I meet up with old friends, make some new ones, and continue to have hilarious adventures and circumstances. The end of every episode would feature me summing things up in comic form, like “Doogie Howser MD” and of course there would be recurring tension as my old flame tries to get back into my life. Wacky neighbours, Very Special episodes, we had it all. It was going to be a hit.

We were going to get a nice spot on a weeknight on the FOX network, and things were really rolling along. However, tragedy struck because of another show that wasn’t cancelled: “Dollhouse“. When that show was announced to have a second season, FOX executives became enraged by the fact that they had apparently forgotten to cancel a Joss Whedon show before its time. Looking to vent their fury, they turned and canceled our production when all we had to show was a title sequence.*

I did manage to save that title sequence, though! Presented here for the first time anywhere, please enjoy the fruits of our labour and join me in reflecting on what might have been. And, from the bottom of my heart, thanks to all readers and well-wishers for supporting me and getting a chuckle out of my work for the last three years and six-hundred-thirty-five comics. Fourth season begins Monday, and you’re all invited!

YouTube Link!

*please note that I bear no ill will whatsoever toward Joss Whedon and his work, and in fact found Dollhouse rather enjoyable.