Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Announcing Our New Blogger, Kevin Alvir!

As we roll out our re-launch, we are excited to announce today a new member to the Buffyfest team! Our new blogger Kevin Alvir is a huge Buffy fan, comic book fan and all-around funny guy. He will be the boss of all things Season 10 here on Buffyfest, amongst other things. Check our our interview with him below where we discuss his favorite Buffy moments (Kevin is a rare Season 4 lover!) his awesome band The Hairs and his webcomic, American Cheese.

Please join us in welcoming Kevin to our humble internet home…..

Buffyfest: Kevin Alvir, we are so excited to have you on board as our new blogger and dedicated Buffy Season 10 comic lord! Can we be so bold to ask, what attracted you to this role at Buffyfest? 

Kevin Alvir: Thank you for the warm welcome!! I am excited to join the team. I was excited about Buffyfest because surprise I am a big fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show and I enjoy the comics. I have a lot of thoughts about Buffy and I just felt like I'd want to share them.

Buffyfest: How did you get into to the Whedonverse and what do you love about it?

KA: I got into the Whedonverse a few years ago. I did watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer [the film] when it came out in theaters in 1992, opening weekend. I know that version of BTVS was not what Joss had in mind, but still the idea was There! Anyways - I was recommended to check out the show by a trusted friend and became a believer. I had seen a handful of episodes while it was on and liked them. But I think I needed to watch the show from start to finish to get the thrust of the characters and the story.

As for what I love about it, Buffy specifically - I think you have everything in one show. It's funny, scary, romantic, girly, butch, action packed, character driven, serious, ridiculous. It just feels really complete to me.

Buffyfest: We love the OG Buffy movie around these parts too. Respect the Swanson. So Kevin, you are the songwriter and lead singer of the critically-acclaimed Brooklyn indie band The Hairs. For those not-in-the-know about amazing music, why don't you give them a little schooling on your rad band?

KA: Why thank you!! Yep, I make music. I like to think of it as weirdo pop songs that I treat as if I were Joni Mitchell or something?? I guess I'm just trying to speak my mind through odd lo-fi pop noise. I think of it as a platform for my comedy and my stories filtered through my musical brain. I am working on a new solo project that I am not ready to talk about. But The Hairs have music out there on the internet and on iTunes and record labels. It might be up your alley. Also we have some music videos that I'm real proud of. Check it out, Yo!!! 

Buffyfest: You also write notable webcomic American Cheese, give us the cheddar on that, will you?

KA:  THE CHEDDAR of American Cheese - well I started doing it last year. I had been a comic book fan since I was a kid. I've always wanted to do comics. But I have ideas that are better for music or some other platform. ANYWAYS - It's a place where I can come up with characters that I feel are some extension of me and have them go through little adventures or tell jokes. I was surprised when I came up with just one comic - and now I have like 80 comics amassed in the past year? 

credit: Kevin Alvir - American Cheese 2013
Buffyfest: Singer, songwriter, comedian, illustrator & comic writer…you're a quintuple threat. Where does all this creative energy come from?

KA: This makes me blush. All this creative energy??? Where does it come from? If I can lay on my shrink's couch. I guess I've just been absorbing all these ideas for the past 30+ years and always feeling like i couldn't or shouldn't participate. And I got tired of sitting on the sidelines and keeping my mouth shut. I just wanted to do my own thing and get my own ideas out there. I have a love for comics, music, comedy, acting, and telling stories in general. So I just wanted to get out there and speak my mind before...I die or something….

Buffyfest: What comic books did you like growing up?

KA: As a kid, the comics that really got me were Peter David's run on X-Factor, Incredible Hulk, and Spider-Man 2099. When those comics were released - those were my favorite times of the month. His writing had a lot of character and had a certain charm. I am also a huge fan of the Batman animated series from the 90s - the stories by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm still have a lasting impression on me.

As I progressed, my tastes got a bit more alternative. I got into Neil Gaiman's Sandman and all of those related titles, Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol, The Invisibles and Animal Man. The Watchmen (of course - everyone says that). Then I got more "indie" with Madman by Mike Allred (whom I am glad to see becoming the superstar I always thought he was). I also read Strangers in Paradise, THB, Bone, Tales of Beanworld, SIN, Atomic City Tales, Hate, Eightball, Milk & Cheese, Flaming Carrot, the Spirit. I know there were so many more.

I know I got into a lot of the Dark Horse / Legend imprint and any Slave Labor Graphics, Fantagraphics, Kitchen Sink, Tundra, Vertigo comics.

Nowadays: I like Lose by Michael DeForge, the Adventure Time stuff, Sex Criminals, Saga, Young Avengers, She-Hulk, FF (until it ended)

Buffyfest: Your thoughts on Joss Whedon's take on The Avengers?

KA: You know I was not really a fan of The Avengers (comic book) as a kid. It seemed like "too much." I barely read comics as a child. I only looked at the images. I think the look of it was a lot of colored costumes, muscles,and no reference point of why they were all together.

However, these new movies really simplified what these characters' existences were about. They made them relatable. I knew Joss Whedon would definitely nail it. He made something that - much like Buffy - was really ridiculous and action packed - seem very real and relatable. I like the personalities that they've forged in the movies. Captain America has an air of tragedy and a lack of home. Iron Man is fun because he's so cocky and also kind of a fuck-up. Thor is well....a strong guy that is a fish out of water on Earth, and the Hulk - who is the rage problem superhero.

Anyways - I am excited to see where Joss takes Avengers 2 and how he'll humanize these characters that used to seem so wooden to me. If anything - it's about the characters and where their situations take them.

Buffyfest: As a long-time comic appreciator, how do you feel about the Dark Horse Buffyverse comics? I love the idea of extending the show past its' run and giving it life in comics. I think that is a really cool idea. The comics are really enjoyable. I am more partial to certain seasons and issues more than others. I like how the series has evolved through the comics. I am excited to see where they take Season 10. The feel of it so far really takes Buffy some place familiar and kinda new.

Buffyfest: Finally, what's your favorite Buffy moment?

KA: My favorite Buffy moment. There are a lot. I mean I liked seeing Buffy go to college in Season 4. She wasn't so sad and actually had a lot more fun. Season 5 was my favorite season of Buffy. Although Buffy having fun is great. I do like seeing her go through the ringer. (Not a pun regarding that show SMG did a couple years ago on CW.)

But my most FAVORITE: I loved "Who Are You" - where Faith and Buffy have a "Freaky Friday" experience. I was floored by the amazing impersonations that Eliza Dushku and Sarah Michelle Gellar did of each other. But I thought it was cool to see Faith (while inside Buffy's body) get a sense of how people saw her. Faith started to realize that her biggest enemy was herself. I have seen the good guy / bad guy brain switch happen before. But I liked how complicated and real it was in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer world.

BTVS Season 4's "Who Are You"
Kevin, thanks so much for joining us, we're so happy to have you on board! And readers, check out The Hairs and American Cheese - and of course upcoming posts of Kevin's on Buffyfest where he'll be reviewing the Buffy S.10 comics and so much more...

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