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Monday, March 8, 2010

The Shrunken Revered Head (of Rondo)!

Cheney's wicked blog is up for a RONDO AWARD!

Max Cheney is an adored figure in our genre. He's smart, kind, generous and funny as hell to be around. All of these qualities are hardwired to his acclaimed blog: THE DRUNKEN SEVERED HEAD.

Now three years old and still drunken, Max's blog is a virtual Horror-town-square of info and entertainment. Genre news, anecdotes, inside scoops, unique pics of events and even cocktail recipes are standard entries at this kitchen-sink blog. Max even featured lil' ol' ME in a Forry-memoir last Halloween!

If the excellence of this blog wasn't enough to warrant a trophy, Max has been so supportive of fandom in general and many of us personally. He is also a bona fide Forry fan and nephew! Don't take my word for it. Just visit Max's blog and you'll be convinced. I hope you'll consider giving Max your well-deserved vote for:
  • 15. BEST HORROR BLOG - The Drunken Severed Head (Max Cheney's Unique blog about it all)
Vote here: RONDO AWARD BALLOT. Max and I will be at WonderFest in Louisville, Kentucky this May, 15th-16th 2010. The Rondo Awards are presented at that incredible Con. I'm a guest this year! Do yourself a favor and come out and play with your monster cousins!

Meanwhile, here's a nice chat I had with Max about his life, Blogoraphical stuff and the importance of the Rondos:

Horror heavyweights Tim Lucas, Max Cheney and David Schow

Joe Moe: Hey, Max! Aside from being a Monster-magnet, what was your inspiration for starting your blog?

Max Cheney: I discovered I could telepathically control my cat to type faster on the keyboard than I could peck out messages with my nose. This was before I got a used prototype android body originally built for the head of Walt Disney. (They got rid of it cheap because it had a rather bulgy fuel container around the midsection and a tendency to jitterbug at random.) Also, I had long been in love with the online community of classic horror film fans-- I met my wife there! I wanted to increase my presence and get to know more folks.

JM: I should have known it would have something to do with cats and Disney. How has your blog evolved since that very first post? Has it lived up to or exceeded your expectations?

Max: It's longer than it used to be. And I'm not sure it's lived up to ANYONE's expectations! But, okay, seriously: It's lasted longer than I thought it would, and I've been floored that it has been nominated in the Rondo Awards each year and done decently well in the voting each time. It has led me to discover some kind and interesting people from all walks of life. They're found in my links, in the interviews I've done, and the comments I get. I'm grateful.

JM: The popularity of your blog has helped to make you a beloved figure in genre fandom. Well, that and your loveliness as a human being. How has that affected you?

Max: ME? A beloved figure? You musta been smokin' somethin' POWERFUL when you thought up these questions! [Note: Kids, we don't condone the use of whatever I was smoking when I thought up these questions - Joe] Though I do have a photo of Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas and and author David J. Schow making goo-eyes at me! But you're a nice guy to say that, Joe, and getting to know interesting fellow horror enthusiasts like yourself HAS affected me greatly. I'm more aware how lucky I am to know so many warm, smart people who share this interest in the weird, the wacky, the macabre and the monstrous. And I'm immensely pleased that the film blog; Cool Ass Cinema complimented TDSH by describing it as being like Famous Monsters magazine for adults. I never really expected any of this.

JM: Adults? Never heard of em'. Y'know, receiving the Rondo for "Monster Kid" last year was an honor I'll treasure forever. What would winning the Rondo Award mean to you?

Max: An end to years of therapy. And that the voting is rigged. Okay, really, it would mean I'd no longer have to lower my eyes in the presence of such past winners as Jovanka Vuckovic, except to pass my gaze over her attractive figure. Okay, really truly it would mean encouragement. A visual reminder to strive to be more creative with my blog and in my future writing goals.

JM: Ha! Straight, gay, animal, vegetable, teamster, blob - no matter. EVERYBODY loves Monster-Sis Jovanka (maybe this year's Monster Kid! Nudge-nudge). Assuming that "blog-master" isn't the end-all to your ambitions in the genre, what are some of your dreams for the future?

Max: I have in mind producing a CD that will interest classic horror fans and an article for one of the major genre magazines. Hopefully both will appear this year. Also, after testing the waters with my short, improvised mostly-in-a-few-days film The Drunken Severed Head Show, I'm planning on working on something more elaborate and thoughtful. And to have time in my old age to read more Shakespeare.

JM: Ah, Shakespeare! The man who wrote King Lear! I dunno if King Lear ever wrote back...(thanks Uncle 4e) So, where do you think blogs (including yours) are headed in the future?

Max: That's an excellent question. Blogs have increasingly become more like websites than the personal online journals they started out as. And they've multiplied like the rats in Willard! (Or maybe the rabbits in Night of the Lepus.) I think they are increasingly going to become blogs with multiple contributors, and ads may appear on more and more as the rules for internet access becomes increasingly influenced by large commercial interests. As for my blog, it will experiment in the year to come with narrow-focused theme weeks or months where I can get more detailed on some subjects that fascinate me, and include more interviews and more posts on genre artists. But the same love of odd news, cheap humor, beautiful women and enthusiasm about Boris Karloff, Frankenstein's Monster and Forry Ackerman will continue.

JM: And so, dear pal, say it with me!

Max & JM: Forrest J Ackerman Shall Not Die!

JM: See you in Louisville at WonderFest, Max. Here's hoping we both get a little head there (a Rondo statue, that is).

[Max Cheney is a Monster Kid originally from the hills of north Arkansas, who now lives in Pittsburgh with his wife Jane, who he married on Halloween in 2005. He's been a teacher, an actor, a plainclothes security guard, a caricature artist and a flunky at a funeral home. Now he's an online head in a pan, who enjoys being one of the moderators of the Universal Monster Army boards!]

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