Interview with WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes

WWE Extreme Rules Preview

Interview by Bill Jones – Images courtesy of WWE

Cody Runnels, better known by his ring name Cody Rhodes, is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, a fact he played into with the multi-generational stable The Legacy. Cody Rhodes cut his teeth in the WWE in tag team competition with Ted DiBiase, but in recent years, Rhodes has made a name for himself as a singles competitor poised to be a main eventer. He has had great feuds and even better matches with the likes of Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Booker T. But his current feud sees him up against the 7-foot 441-pound Big Show, upholding the time-honored pro wrestling tradition of fighting a giant, in this case a giant who beat him Sunday, April 1, for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.

Rhodes will get his rematch Sunday, April 29, at the Extreme Rules pay per view, held at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. (Chicago). Rhodes was kind enough to take 15 minutes out of his busy travel schedule Thursday, April 26, to chat on the phone about the upcoming show and his career, delving into his mask, video games, his father, Chicago, twitter, the return of Attitude Era Superstars, dream matches, mystery stipulations and, of course, the Big Show. (more…)


Title: Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart

Format: Three-Disc DVD Set

Studio: WWE Home Video

Rating: ★★★★½

Review by: Bill Jones

It’s no secret that WWE Home Video has been unashamedly mining its archives for as many DVD and Blu-ray releases as it can possibly get out on the market. But more often than not lately, the company seems to be hitting its marks when it comes to these releases.

One of the latest and most fantastic is the first in a presumed series titled Greatest Rivalries, this one focusing on the feud between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Most wrestling fans are readily familiar with the infamous Montreal Screwjob, but before things got to that point, these wrestling superstars had a great feud, and this three-disc DVD collection outlines that feud. (more…)


Fear Itself

Interview with Writer Matt Fraction

Interview by: Bill Jones, Matt Peters, Archie Easter

Introduction and Transcription by: Bill Jones

There is nothing comics publishers and fans seem to love quite as much as a big summer event. And this year, Marvel’s camp has tapped Matt Fraction to take the lead writing duties on Fear Itself. Issue #1 of the mini-series hits shelves today, Wednesday, April 6, promising plenty of Marvel favorites, an epic storyline and plenty of spin-offs. We caught up with Fraction Sunday, March 20, at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in Chicago, and figured there’s no point in us telling readers all about the series when we can have the writer himself do it. Fraction also discusses the Iron Man films, his involvement with the second video game, what it’s like to be chosen for a comics event, going from the comic shop to the con floor and a Spider-Man “thing” he’s had in mind. (more…)


Pads & Panels’ Bill Jones and Matt Peters caught up with World Wrestling Entertainment’s Monday Night RAW announcer Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler on the verge of his first match at WrestleMania. As The King prepares to take on fellow announcer Michael Cole, he talks about going into his first WrestleMania, getting a couple title shots, his favorite announcer to work with, and his passion for comic book art. The interview took place Saturday, March 19, at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) at McCormick Place in Chicago. A special thanks to The King for taking time to do the interview after a long day of signing and illustrating.


The Walking Dead

Interview with Robert Kirkman

Interview by: Bill Jones

Robert Kirkman may be one of the greatest ambassadors to the comics medium alive. As a writer, he has created the best ongoing zombie series comics have seen in The Walking Dead, carved his own space in the realm of superheroes with the popular Invincible, and has tackled the horror-meets-superhero genre with The Astounding Wolf-Man. All of this while keeping control of his properties through the creator-owned publishing model of Image Comics. That is all, of course, in addition to his work at Marvel, where he became known for his run on Ultimate X-Men and launched the Marvel Zombies series. He also earns cred for starting his career with a concept as awesome as Battle Pope.

In addition to juggling a number of comics franchises, Robert Kirkman has been hard at work in the position of executive producer of AMC’s television series adaptation of The Walking Dead, set to debut this October, directed by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile). Kirkman took some time earlier this month to answer some questions about his long-running zombie series and delve into the gory details of the upcoming show. Kirkman talks about seeing his comic come to life as a show, his philosophy on adaptations of his work, AMC, working with Frank Darabont, how fatherhood influences his work and what fans can expect from both the show and comic. (more…)


On Thursday, April 15, 2010, Lionsgate held a red carpet premiere for Kick-Ass at AMC River East in Chicago, Ill. Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Chloe Moretz (Hit Girl) walked the carpet. Pads & Panels’ Tom Braaksma got a chance to ask them each a few questions. Bill Jones films and edits.


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Yes, you read that right. Today, we bring to you a very special interview with 5-time Pro-Bowl Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs. But the Chicago Bears? Linebacker? Pro-Bowl? “That’s football stuff!” you proclaim. True, it is football. But Mr. Briggs also happens to be a huge comics fan. We’re not talking about “got caught on camera once looking at a Spider-Man comic” kind of a fan. We’re talking about real deal comics enthusiast. So much so that during our hometown comic convention, the inaugural Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (better known as C2E2), Briggs hosted his own “dream panel,” talking to fans as well as some of his favorite comics creators. He’s a proclaimed Top Cow fan, and the publisher actually printed a variant cover of The Darkness featuring Briggs this month. That’s the kind of comics fan we’re talking. So it was our honor to catch up with Briggs following his panel to talk about his love for the medium, as well as his newly launched , the . Bill interviewed, and Tom filmed. Go Bears!


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So one of the requests we had with our recent survey to readers was video content, specifically showing readers/viewers events we attend, so that someone who didn’t get a chance to attend PAX East might be able to glean some of the joy we had traveling out to Boston for the mega-community expo. Or at the very least, they’ll have a chance to see what it was like. So what better way to start our series of PAX East coverage than by offering unedited the press Q&A conducted by Penny Arcade creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (Tycho and Gabe) Sunday, March 28, 2010, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Mass. It was a press-only event, so only a handful of people were actually in the room, but we had the chance to ask a few questions, hear the responses to more, and most importantly for our readers, record it all.

Tycho and Gabe start by talking about the inaugural PAX East, including a great story about someone dressed as the Left 4 Dead Witch. But the duo also strays to the differences between “lesbian” and “gay,” the fate of their video game series On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness and what it was like to reflect on nearly 12 years for their latest book, a retrospective. The audio has the tone of microphones in a huge auditorium, as we did not have a direct feed to the audio from their mics, but we tried to make sure all the questions and responses were clear. Just turn the volume up a bit, and enjoy!

Also, on a small personal note, we really enjoy what these guys do, from the comic, to the Child’s Play , to the community expos, to gaming. We think you should go give them a good rating on TIME’s “100 Poll.”


Just wanted to post a few quick updates for the fine regular readers of this awesome site…

First of all, we’re well aware that Pads & Panels picked up many of you through the last contest, which included Mitch Clem’s Nothing Nice to Say. Thought it was worth mentioning that the interview I did with Mitch is now up at GraphicNovelReporter. Mitch is a great guy and his comics are awesome, so check it out. (more…)


skte2ps3pftfront_1_Skate 2

Interview with associate producer Chris “Cuz” Parry

By: Bill Jones

While longtime skateboarding game standby Tony Hawk took a break last holiday season, EA followed up its critically successful 2007 skating debut with Skate 2 this January. Building on the series’ more realistic approach to skating, the team improved upon its innovations and tossed in a few new tricks (both figuratively and literally). EA associate producer Chris “Cuz” Parry – who is a skater of 30 years, a character in the game and part of the core team that started building Skate roughly five years ago – got on the phone  in February to talk Skate 2. (more…)