Ever since we kickstarted Mutant Reviewers back into gear last month, fans and writers have been coming out of the woodwork to say hi, catch up with each other, and even add brand-new content to the site. We’ve been talking together over on the official Mutant Reviewers Facebook group, and I thought it would be a good idea to invite any of the former writers to share what they’ve been up to over the past decade or so. So settle back and get to know us all over again!
After letting college and its endless shenanigans pull him away from regular Mutant Reviewing, Kyle returned to one of his first loves: comic books. The novel he’ll someday write about his post-university years working at a comic book shop in southern California will be epic and feature charming illustrations at the start of each chapter.
Eventually, the promise of developing his own writing skills drew him to Boulder, Colorado, for a MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University and a new gig working at the awesomely independent Boulder Bookstore. He remains in Boulder, working in both event management and for multiple nonprofits, and watching an insane amount of movies, especially of the horror variety.
Louise left teaching, vowing never again to work with children or animals. She relocated and within eight months (!) took up teaching again (and just to prove you should never say never, acquired two large retriever dogs). She also took over a group of Girl Guides, ostensibly as an act of good citizenship, preparing young women to take their place as leaders in tomorrow’s world, but really because she herself never got to go when she was a kid and she just wants the badges. Louise still thinks books are the best thing but, like a lot of people, has taken up running and now thinks that’s pretty good too.
Lissa is back in the lab, using her powers of science to try to save the world. (Seriously- she works for a catalytic converter company in a division actually called Clean Air. There’s no subtlety here- just a lot less lasers and explosions than she pictured when she was a kid.) She and Duckie are still happily married with two kids, who are no longer cute and cuddly but are old enough to write for this site themselves. Given that they watch more movies than she does these days and think they are pretty funny, that might not be a bad idea. She gave one hour a week to Scouts (HA!!!), which totally paid off when her den named themselves the Fluffaluffakin Spartan Narwhals for their Klondike competition. When Lissa gets bored, frustrated, or doesn’t know what to do with herself, she goes running. As result, she’s run eighteen marathons. Maybe she needs a new hobby.
The last few years I’ve been doing more in pro wrestling than any other time in my life. Well, until covid. I just joined the Facebook page under my wrestling name, ‘Al Tubbs’, and that has all kinds of photos and stuff. I’ve also dabbled with acting and I still make some comedy videos. And a pro wrestling Facebook livestream with some of my friends on Tuesdays. Still a single dad, and I have a part time job now, so I’m fairly busy! Life has been good though.
In the aftermath of a serious health crisis, Sue ran a bucket list audit of Paths Not Traveled That Should Have Been. Subsequently, she acquired a college degree which promises to have her paying off student loans until she’s 112. Switching careers from pumping gas to public service has been an interesting change of pace. She’s adjusted fairly well , although she hasn’t quite worked out what ‘business casual’ really means. “Not all superheros wear capes,” she says, “but I do. It’s the only way to hide all the flab and wrinkles. At least I can pass off my hair as ‘silver’, right? Right?!” In her spare time, she’s still writing, has acquired a strange fascination for Red Dead Redemption 2, works as a scribe for her dog and liege King Tedward of Fluffernut (First of His Name) and is working out the logistics of a controlled binge watch of all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in… well, some kind of order.
In the fullness of time, the infamous Spawns of Mutant 1 and 2 broke out in acne, drivers’ licenses, higher education, and career paths. Not necessarily in that order. The metamorphosed Spawn of Mutant 1 serves in the Navy, does something technical with electronics, and speaks in a strange amalgamation of military and gamer language that his mother does not always (okay, does not usually) comprehend. This is not actually a new phenomenon. Spawn of Mutant 2 is a world traveling biologist currently working tirelessly to save endangered Scarlet and Great Green Macaws in Costa Rica. Except for the occasional YouTube video, we’d believe she’d gone feral. We’re still not entirely sure.
Since 2014, when Al traded his groovy cult movie blackbelt for a 9-5 job with full medical and dental benefits, his life has been one of eerie normalcy. He works at a local university as an academic advisor for students in the graduate program. He lost most of his hair and is watching the remnant turn a suspicious shade of gray. He fell in love and, in 2018, got married to the most tolerant woman on the planet. Together, they bought a house and are mere months away from becoming first-time parents. It is both wonderful and terrifying.
When Al isn’t busy hurtling towards middle age, he can usually be found playing or thinking about new board games, loudly celebrating new comic book movies, and (of course) arguing about Star Wars. Because these NIMRODS on the INTERNET don’t understand that THE LAST JEDI was the best thing that happened to the franchise in THIRTY YEARS until JJ Abrams RUINED IT because Disney is full of COWARDS! … … I’m sorry, what was I saying? Oh, right. Al also co-hosted a podcast with his friend Natasha on the UNspoiled Network during their coverage of Hannibal and Justified. They are available where ever fine podcasts are sold and you should totally check them out.
Al is excited to see The Mutant Reviewers re-animated in 2020! This site was a big part of his evolution as a writer, as a movie-goer, and as a fan of unwatchable schlock. Long live the slime green!
Mike still loves to draw and has an Instagram for his stuff (https://www.instagram.com/mikedohertyart/). He can still be seen periodically stalking the Mutant offices trying to relive his glory days and also find the ballpoint pen he left on his desk. He spent a year working at the Harkins Theater in Scottsdale Fashion Square (the swankiest theater in Arizona) and got to see all the movies for free while also seeing what it was like to be a guy in his 40s working with a staff consisting almost entirely of teenagers (actually pretty fun). He’s currently an IT tech support monkey asking people daily if they tried turning it off and then turning it back on again (they haven’t). He got married ten years ago and while furthering his line has not yet been in the cards, his household has been blessed with a rescued cat christened Gallifrey who loves to cuddle but also starts screaming for wet food at approximately 7am every. Single. Morning. At the age of 42 he now knows what quinoa is and enjoys it thoroughly.
Mike is still on a quest to enlighten the masses about the wonders of cult movies like Rockula, Six String Samurai and Back to the Beach and is excited to see MRFH re-emerge to reclaim its former greatness, as it will be seriously easier to write about movies and TV shows than it has been so just invite random people over to his house to watch them with him.
He recently bought an Xbox One.
If you’ve been following my infrequent posts on this site, you more or less already know what I’ve been up to: it’s this right here. I’ve been workin’ on the ol’ webshow, when time and technology allows, and, every now and then — GASP! — even reviewing things the old-fashioned way.
Seriously, though, folks, while not much has changed in my personal life over the past few years, I have been hard at work on a number of creative projects, a few of which have even made it to fruition (for instance, I’ve written a few short plays which have been performed locally). Nothing really big has made it past the editing stages yet, but I do have some fairly ambitious stuff in the works, and when/if any of it lands, I shall let you know.
PoolMan (although now he’s been demoted to just Sean) has spent the last ten years moving comfortably into middle age. He’s changed careers (and believe it or not, writes for a living now, although it’s technical writing, not ranting about Kevin Smith movies) and has finally realized his dream of a daily commute that doesn’t involve at least one bridge, something he hasn’t enjoyed since high school. He put down kickboxing and took up distance running, and has completed several half marathons. He is now happily settled down with the loves of his life, his wife of 16 years and his 8 year old son, who he named after a comic book character, but will deny it if said wife of 16 years comes asking, so be cool. Plus, he’s got a cat, so he’s got that going for him.
The past decade or so has seen a lot of transition as I’ve left my 30s and gone into my 40s. I’ve had four kids, gone through seminary, been ordained as a minister (twice!), lost 50 pounds, become a professional writer on an MMORPG website, and accepting a calling to be a senior pastor. I’m still a goofy nerd in many ways, although there’s one big change from the Justin you used to know: I don’t really watch movies any more. Gasp! I know, I know, but the truth is that my time is more limited these days, and I usually use my spare time for gaming and reading (not to mention writing for fun and podcasting). I do enjoy sitcoms, mostly because they’re more easy to consume in little 20-minute increments than two-hour movie sessions. But I’m still very proud of what we’ve done here at Mutant Reviewers, excited about the future of the site, and grateful to each and every one of our wonderful writers for collaborating on this project.
Drew has spent the last decade embodying the cliché “The days are long and the years are short.” After getting married and having two kids, he has hazy, indistinct memories of four years working, going to law school at night, and being constantly stressed and irritable. Now a fully-accredited law guy, he spends his days writing things far less entertaining than movie reviews, and catching up on all the films, TV shows, and video games he missed during “the Dark Times.” (Did you know Aquaman and Doctor Strange got movies?!) He is currently hard at work annoying his daughters and avoiding the “COVID 15.”
After graduating college in 2010 and becoming a “real adult,” Courtney has worked as a freelance videographer and editor, camp counselor, film studies teacher, and librarian (gotta love that gig economy!) She’s moved around from Manhattan to North Jersey (very different from her native South Jersey, obviously) and, most recently, Chicago. During this time, she’s developed new hobbies like running, reading nonfiction, traveling on a budget, going to the movies alone for a weekday matinee, spending money to see Broadway shows and then complaining that she’s broke, and Facetiming with her little sister about the most recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. But the most important development in Courtney’s life has been fulfilling her “Cool” Aunt destiny with three nieces and a nephew, all of whom are already funnier and cooler than she could ever dream of being herself.
Finally, here’s something that was posted by Lissa’s husband “Duckie” on FaceBook:
“Here’s us 11 years ago (according to Facebook… but I am calling that fake news). MRFH, in a video rental store (remember those?). That’s me, poking my head up behind the racks with Sean, Drew, Lissa, and Sue.”