Book Review — ‘The Guild: The Official Companion’
W/ introduction by Felicia Day!
As I said yesterday, this week (August 4-10) is YouTube’s Geek Week, and I feel comfortable naming Felicia Day as one of modern Geekdom’s famous faces. The actress/writer/director has been in a myriad of amazing geeky productions, from “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog” to her roles on “Eureka” and “Supernatural.” She also has her own channel on YouTube called Geek & Sundry (which you should check out if you haven’t already done so). But one of the things Ms. Day is probably most well known for would be her work on/role in “The Guild.”
If you’re a fan like I am, you’ll be pleased to learn that Titan Books has put out “The Guild: The Official Companion,” 160 pages of behind-the-scenes info, pictures, stories and interviews with all the cast as well as the directors, producers and other folk who have been involved over the years in the production of one of the first major web series.
For example, I learned that the “Game On” video (which I featured in my “Top 10 Geeky Songs” article) was Producer Kim Evey’s baby, but it was Production Designer Greg Aronowitz who knew how to get the crew a real live elephant.
Also, fun fact, the part at the end of the video where Vince Caso (who plays Bladezz) is singing that long, sustained note, that’s actually Sandeep Parikh’s voice. In the book, Vince says, “…I had a lot of people come up to me and go, ‘Oh, my God, great job with the end of ‘Game On’. It was so funny,” which is pretty funny, because I definitely thought that was him singing. Turns out it wasn’t. (Still, kudos to Sandeep.)
And that’s something I liked about reading “The Guild: The Official Companion”–the way everything was in the actors/producers/directors’ own words. We got to hear from Wil Wheaton about how he and Felicia first really began their geeky partnership; that Sean Becker (the director) is a big fan of Neil Gaiman and the pair had a conversation about Batman for a good 45 minutes while Mr. Gaiman waited for his cab one day; and that Stan Lee’s improvised lines made it into the final cuts of the show. (Of course they did. He’s Stan Lee, for goodness’ sake.)
Really, “The Guild: The Official Companion” is the story of “The Guild” by the Guild. Sandeep Parikh, Felicia Day, Jeff Lewis, Robin Thorsen, Amy Okuda and Vincent Caso each take their turn at telling us what it was like before they got onto the show, how it was in the beginning, and how it grew into the phenomenon that it became. Back in 2007, Hollywood had no confidence in something like Felicia had created–a niche product full of references that “mainstream” audiences wouldn’t understand–but with a mixture of passion and dedication to her subject matter (and a built-in following of the gaming world), Ms. Day was able to tell a story to gamers from a gamer.
How could she fail?
If you like, you can get a copy of “The Guild: The Official Companion” from Titan Books here. And be sure to check out Felicia’s channel, Geek & Sundry. (While you’re on YouTube, maybe you could pop on over to Geek Smash’s channel as well…?)
So who’s a fan of “The Guild”? Be sure to sound off in the comments below, fellow geeks. Let us hear you!