It’s your first day at the weekend convention and on a whim, you decide to start at different end of the con floor than you usually do. Your smile widens with each passing booth as you fall into the familiar sights and sounds of HeroesCon
It takes a good bit of time just to make it up the first aisle as you stop and chat with all the artists and creators you’ve seen before. A few hugs and laughs later and you know you’ve got to get on your way or you’ll never cover all the ground ahead of you…
And then, just as you are about to turn the corner, a booth, a little different than the rest, catches your eye. Other than the vibrantly colored outfit the Artist is wearing, he’s surrounded by black and white, and once you realize it’s actual newspaper, you are awestruck and plant yourself in front of the booth, in wide eyed wonder…
This was my exact reaction to seeing the Front Page Free Press booth on, our, aisle 1 of HeroesCon. As we walked up to the booth, Mike, the artist, greeted us very warmly and told me us bit about what we were looking at, because I don’t think I could speak very well at that moment. You see, the writer in me is very old school and swoons over the idea of things that take a little too much time and patience for most of the world. Finding out, via Mike, that these were actual pressed pieces on actual newspaper made my little nostalgic heart SUPER happy.
So what were we looking at here? Well, Mike, takes a story idea rolling around in his head, in large part zombies, and creates a fictitious front page news spread about it! Brilliant, right!?
We certainly thought so!
Mike was SUPER COOL enough to circle back around and answer a few questions for us, take a look!
WGGs: It’s no secret we were pretty blown away by your booth at HeroesCon. I really love the idea of sharing creative stories via front page articles, that happen to make a really unique piece of merchandise. How did you come to this venture?
MP: It all started with my love for zombie films. The idea has been seen in so many films and TV shows. The concept was born from that classic scene in so many zombie films where a post-apocalyptic world is inhabited by the violent, cannibalistic undead… the streets are empty, cars are abandoned, zombies shamble through the area and then the camera zooms in on a newspaper, exclaiming the chaos that has occurred. I thought “That is so neat. I would love really love something like that to display!”. That is when I crafted my very first crude Front Page, featuring a zombie outbreak in my own hometown. This was a dream come true!
After I showed off my the mock-up, I quickly realized that other people also enjoyed and wanted one. From there, I acquired and taught myself how to use proper design and layout programs. I then did a round zombie photoshoots with some very patient friends. With some layout magic and photo editing, the first Front Page was officially born.
WGGs: I see via most of these articles that you are a horror fan, which I imagine make a great subject to create an article around. Do you have a favorite “thing” to write about or replicate?
MP: I really enjoy expanding the genres of Front Page Free Press, and I’m really excited about moving towards some officially licensed content to work with, but it all began with zombies. I absolutely adore creating localized zombie outbreak papers for each city that I visit. I really enjoy researching locations and creating the lore of the hypothetical outbreak scenario that I’m creating. Even if it’s only tiny tidbits or photo captions, it’s fun to create a special story for people in each city.
WGGs: How long has this been an interest for you? How long have you been able to make it a career?
MP: Wow…I’d say that the interest in this goes back to me as a teenager. I have always liked weird, obscure display pieces. Everyone can buy a poster, but I really liked props, collectibles, and other unique items to show off. I remember being so proud of my red Swingline stapler (from Office Space) because it so obscure and you had to be a fan of the movie to get a smile out of it, and there were a lot of random collectibles that I wanted that simply didn’t exist (or within my price range). After watching Dexter, I built my own blood slide case to display, I crafted my own antique-looking 1800’s vampire slaying kit, I’ve built multiple variations of proton packs, etc, etc, etc. Front Page Free Press was a similar story, where I wanted something that didn’t yet exist, so I made it exist 🙂
WGGs: This was your first HeroesCon, what was your favorite thing about it?
MP: I have heard tales of HeroesCon for years! I was really happy to find that I was able to go this year, let alone have a booth. HeroesCon was a very neat experience. I really appreciated that it was a pop-culture convention centered on creators, rather than celebrities. The art appreciation was unlike any other convention that I’ve been to. I’m absolutely looking forward to coming back next year.
WGGs: If you could write a front page article about your life, past/present/future, what would you write about?
MP: I would love a Mike Pierce Front Page, thought it would likely be a boring one 😂 I would probably like to see a controversial future Front Page written about Mike Pierce being arrested for being a vigilante, even though I saved the city from destruction. I think that’s a turn that my future could take 🙂
WGGs: The zombie apocalypse HAS happened…are you a survivor or do you let it take you?
MP: Yay bonus round! I could never let the zombie apocalypse simply take me. I would definitely be on the survivor side. I often daydream of the opportunity to live in a zombie apocalypse! Realistically, I don’t know how long I would last, because I’m notoriously “too nice” to strangers…but I think I’d harden up a bit in the apocalypse. I think it’s a scenario that I would thrive in though. I have spent many days and nights discussing exit strategies, safe traveling plans, and secure defense ideas with friends. I’m ready for it. Bring it! 🙂
You can find Mike on Facebook and Instagram @FrontPageFreePress
on Twitter @Frontpagefp
and online at http://www.frontpagesfreepress.com
Mike made a HeroesCon exclusive front page dated for the last day of the convention…naturally, I had to get it 😉
We’d like to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Mike for taking so much time to chat with us at the convention and for being such an amazing interviewee! We said it there and we will say it again…We ADORE You!!