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Secret Identities – The Bruce

 

 

I ask fwooshmembers questions.

 

They answer them.

 

the Bruce "There’s something mind-blowing in the custom galleries on an almost daily basis. "


Where does your username come from?

My (real) name is Casey Bruce. In college, some friends took to calling me "Casey The Bruce," after the Scottish historical figure Robert The Bruce. This was only a couple years after Braveheart, and Robert The Bruce is a featured character in the movie. The name stuck, and once I started internetting regularly, I took to using "The Bruce" as a handle.

Where do you live ?
Seattle, WA.
 
Where do you work?

I work for a daycare/Boys and Girls Club-type of place for kids with disabilities. The kids I work with have a wide array of disabilities, both physical and developmental – from autism to cerebral palsy to just general developmental delays.

Do the kids rotate out every once in awhile or are they the same kids year after year?

The kids at my work stay consistent throughout the school years. We have a very wide range of ages. Our youngest is 7, and our oldest is 18. A lot of the older students have been attending the program since they were in elementary school. Kids come and go a bit, of course, due to families moving or schedules/needs changing, but the group stays fairly consistent.
Who is in you family?

My wife and I. I also have two parents, a mother-in-law, a father-in-law, a stepmother-in-law, assorted aunts and uncles, two grandmothers, one grandfather, and one grandmother-in-law.

What are your future plans?

As far as personal life goes, my wife and I are trying to expand our family (have a baby, in other words). We’ve been trying for a few months now, and nothing yet. I’m sure it’ll happen, though.
We’re also looking into the possibility of buying a house some time soon.
Jobwise, I’d like to enter the field of politics. I’m currently looking into where the best place is to get started. Currently, I’m thinking school board, since I have a lot of experience in the educational field. I’m also trying to figure out if I have enough experience to try for something like City or County Council.

Ever end up in a hospital?

A couple of years ago I was in for pneumonia that wasn’t caught soon enough. It was a short stay, luckily. The most interesting medical story I have, though, is the time when I dislocated my right knee playing air guitar.

What is that story?

In college, at a small post-concert "party," some friends and I were hanging out, listening to music, and just being silly. Poison’s "Nothing but a Good Time" came on, and one of my friends starting playing air guitar. Another friend went and stood behind him, putting his arms out, thus creating the illusion of a four-armed air guitar assault. I felt the need to get in on this, so I stood behind the second guy, now making it look like there was a six-armed air guitarist in our midst. That went on for a little while – the guy in front bent forward, so the two of us behind him bent forward, the guy in front bent backwards, so the two of us bent backwards. he bent back even further, so we each had to bend back further still. This proved to be too far back for the backmost one of us (me). I felt a snap, and immediately fell down, sending the other two air shredders cascading down on top of me. Once we all unentangled ourselves, I looked down and realized that my knee was now on the side of my leg. We called the paramedics, they came and carried me away in a stretcher. I was then in a full-leg cast and on crutches for three months. Let that be a lesson to all.


Do you customize?

As many of the people reading this probably know, the answer is yes. I’ve been a customizer for about five years now. Wow, has it really been that long?!
I work very slowly though, so I don’t have as voluminous a collection of finished products that somebody like Glorbes or Cal (or most other customizers) have. I generally have a few in-progress pieces on the workbench at any given time. For me, it’s never a matter of coming up with an idea, my problem is always seeing the project through to the finish. I still have a couple of pieces that I haven’t completed yet that I started more than two years ago.

What do you think of fwoosh?

It’s the first website of its kind that I’ve ever spent this much time on, so needless to say, I think it’s a great place to hang out. I feel as informed as I’ve ever been on any and all action figure news. There’s something mind-blowing in the custom galleries on an almost daily basis. And I really can’t say enough good things about the trading post.

Do you cook?

I cook very little. My wife is an excellent cook; it’s a big hobby of hers, so I generally don’t need to cook much for myself. My mom is also a great cook, and taught me a lot before I went away to college. I’ve retained that knowledge, and can pull it out when I feel up to it.

What is in your collection?

Currently on display are, in order of the size of the collection, are Marvel Legends, DC Universe Classics, G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary, and some various others, including Indiana Jones, Mezco’s Hellboy figures, some of the Legendary Comic Book Heroes, and NECA’s TMNT. My customs are sort of mixed in where they best fit.
Not on display, but in my storage room, are a bunch of Star Wars figures (both old and new), the Four Horsemen’s Masters of the Universe (I’ve got the complete collection of those), a lot of the original Playmates TMNT figures, and some of the Buffy/Angel figures from Diamond Select.

Where do you vacation? Where would you like to vacation?

My wife and I are both such homebodies, and we both work so much, that we don’t end up doing a lot of vacationing. When we do, it is generally to visit close friends from college that have moved to other parts of the country. I’ve been to Austin, TX a few times, so that’s probably my most common vacation spot. We just got back from Los Angeles, where we spent Thanksgiving weekend with some friends.
Places I’d like to go include New Zealand/Australia and Nepal/India – I have a friend who’s from Nepal, and I’d love to visit there with him some time, preferably after the political situation there takes a turn for the better. Also, I’ve only been to New York once, and not for around 10 years. I have a few friends that now live there, so that’s another trip that would be cool to do.

What other sites do you visit?

Aside from email, Fwoosh is easily where I spend most of my time online. I’m also on Facebook quite a bit, and I am a casual poster on the Erik Larsen section of the Image Comics forum. One of my favorite sites is the home of Jess Nevins’ comic book annotations, where he’s got the complete annotations for Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Kingdom Come, and more.

What do you spend your money on?

Food, gas, bills, and other pretty standard stuff, really. I spend a lot on action figures – lately I’ve had much better luck online than I have in person. I haven’t been doing as much "hunting" lately, so I’ve probably been saving gas money.
My wife and I are both big readers (comics and "normal" books), so Amazon and our local used bookstore end up with a lot of our money, too. I’ve been trying to get a lot of the wonderful archival stuff that Marvel and DC have been putting out in the last couple of years. I recently bought and read the entire Fourth World Omnibus library by Jack Kirby – really great, epic stuff. I’ll now probably end up buying the other Kirby Omnibus books, too.

What do you think of the Watchmen movie?

I think it’s not really necessary. Watchmen is a perfect comic book. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons did things in Watchmen that could not be done in any other medium (the pirate comic, the "Fearful Symmetry" issue, and others).
Conversely, a movie like, say, Citizen Kane, probably wouldn’t make for a very good comic book. Even if somebody really creative like Alan Moore or Will Eisner or Chris Ware were working on it, it most likely would not be anywhere near as memorable as Orson Welles’ movie.
For me, the story itself in Watchmen has always been secondary to the way Moore and Gibbons tell the story.
That said, all that I’ve seen of the Watchmen movie looks fantastic. I think Zack Snyder is a talented director, and it looks like he just may be pulling this off. It looks like it might very well be a worthwhile adaptation of the story told in the Watchmen comic book. It will be difficult or impossible to adapt some of the storytelling techniques that make Watchmen what it is, but it could be an entertaining movie nonetheless.
Of course, I have some fanboy complaints, too – I wish most of the actors were a bit older, and I wish Nite Owl’s and Ozymandias’ costumes did not look so much like some of the big-screen batsuits we’ve seen in recent years. Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, and The Comedian all look perfect, though, and I actually think I prefer Silk Spectre’s movie costume.

Do you like any other Alan Moore stuff?


I own and/or have read a lot of Alan Moore’s work that’s readily-available here in the states, and have enjoyed all of it on one level or another. Watchmen is my favorite of the bunch (which most of you probably could have guessed), with the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series ranking second. Next I would probably put his run on Swamp Thing, which is just great horror stuff, and was so unlike anything else DC was publishing at the time. I also love V for Vendetta and Top 10. Tom Strong was fun, and his work on Rob Liefeld’s Supreme and Youngblood comics is brilliant and underrated, but also suffers from having inconsistent art (in terms of both the style and quality of the artists working on them). There’s plenty of his more obscure work that I haven’t yet read, though.

Here’s a personal top ten of Moore’s work:

1. Watchmen
2. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (all three volumes so far)
3. Swamp Thing
4. Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
5. Batman: The Killing Joke
6. V for Vendetta
7. Supreme (and the other Liefeld-owned projects: Judgment Day, Youngblood, and Glory)
8. Tom Strong
9. Top 10 (and the follow-up series Smax and graphic novel The Forty-Niners)
10. 1963


Have you ever taken a Rorschach test?

I haven’t, but I would kind of love to. That scene in Watchmen is one of my favorites. According to my wife though, Rorschach tests aren’t generally used much these days, and are not regarded very highly by the modern psychiatric community. She was a psych major, so I’d take her word for it.

  What is “Hurm”? How is it pronounced?

"Hurm" is something Rorschach says throughout Watchmen. I’ve always just pronounced it as if it’s a word that he’s saying under his breath. My wife thinks it’s more that he’s clearing his throat, though. I’m curious to see how the movie interprets that.

When is the movie coming out? Are you going to see it on the first day?

March 6th (I didn’t know it off the top of my head – I had to check). And yeah, I’m sure I’ll see it opening weekend, at least. Especially if it plays at IMAX.
(editor’s link: http://www.thefwoosh.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=99&t=56071)

Do you think they will make a Bubastis figure when they make the Watchmen action figures to accompany the movie?

That would be cool, definitely. GrownNerd and I both made Bubastis customs when we did our Watchmen figures.

Didn’t Ozymandias make action figures of himself and his friends?

There was a plot point about Adrian Vedt’s toy company manufacturing prototypes for figures of himself (Ozymandias), Bubastis, Moloch, Rorschach, and Nite Owl (and also Nite Owl’s ship). He didn’t feel right about using the likenesses of the other individuals due to his conflicting feelings toward his former friends and allies. He told the toy company not to move forward, and instead only make action figures of himself and Bubastis. The drawing of the Archie toy (Nite Owl’s ship) looks like it would make for a great vehicle/playset. How about it, DC Direct?

What of the Legendary Heroes action figures do you own?

Let’s see, I have SuperPatriot, the Savage Dragon, Ann O’Brien, Monkeyman, Conan, Wraarl, and Madman. I had Star, but I gave him to a friend because I still prefer my Star custom. I also had a few others that I bought mostly for the BAF pieces, and have since traded away.

What are your thoughts on that short lived action figure company?

In the period before DCUC took off, and Hasbro first started doing their MLs, I think the LCBH figures were the best on the market. If they had hung in there, I think they could be rivaling DCUC as the favorite toy line amongst many collectors.
I think they could have been more successful if they had focused on a few more "tentpole" figures in their first couple of waves – for instance, there was absolutely no logical reason to put Conan in a two-pack. The two-packs were (and always are) awkward for stores to display. Conan could have helped anchor the line as it established its brand. I could go on, but we’ve all had this discussion before, so I’ll stop there.

Who do you think they should have made?

I loved the prototypes for wave 3. As I’ve said before, I think that Vanguard figure was the best 3D representation of Erik Larsen’s art I’ve ever seen. I also would have loved to have seen Invincible, Red Sonja, the Rocketeer, Martha Washington, Grendel, Cerebus, the Maxx, Marshall Law, characters from Astro City, and some of the old pulp characters, like John Carter, Tarzan, or the Lone Ranger. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen figures modeled after Kevin O’Neill’s art would be amazing, also. And of course, more of the supporting cast members especially from Savage Dragon and Madman, that would have been excellent.

What is wrong with you?

I am 29, but I sometimes feel that I have the back of a much older man. I blame it on a variety of things.


Thanks the Bruce!

 


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