Recently, I had the immense pleasure to sit down with two highly talented comedians, podcasters, video game and comic book enthusiasts — who also happen to be friends of mine — to hear all the gritty details behind their new Kickstarter project to fund their web series Squatch Watchers. Much of the interview went down NSFW routes, but the rest I have collected here to share with you. May I introduce Gene Shaw and Jason Inman!
Tell me a little bit about Squatch Watchers. What do you want to accomplish with the web series?
Gene: We want to end the Bigfoot mystery. I mean seriously, in 2013, when EVERYONE has a camera on them at all times, this thing shouldn’t be a mystery any longer. Year after year, show after show, all we get is the exact same story over and over. It’s like the porn industry — these people have been making a living for decades and they’re all just making the same exact movie over and over again. Some people meet, they have sex, rinse and repeat.
Jason: I’d make sure you rinse before you repeat in that case! But seriously, we’ve seen the exact same evidence in the Bigfoot community for years now. “Here’s some tracks, here’s some hair (which turns out to be a wolf or a bear), here’s the Patterson Gimlin film and here’s no one ever solving the mystery.”
Gene: As a side note, have you seen the Freeman footage? It’s like the new Patterson Gimlin — it’s really cool. It starts out with this guy just walking through the woods looking at some tracks — Sasquatch tracks — and then he sees the thing. It walks out of frame and he follows it! This is the kind of stuff that I’m talking about. Unfortunately, it’s still a bit of a “Blob Squatch,” but it’s compelling nonetheless.
What the heck is a “Blob Squatch”?
Gene: A “Blob Squatch” is the name that the Bigfoot community gives to any photo or video that’s totally out of focus and just looks like a blurry blob.
Got it! I also noticed you have DC Comics writer Scott Lobdell (Superman) involved. How did he become attached to Squatch Watchers?
Jason: We’ve known Scott for a while now. We’ve done some really cool videos with him and when he found out that we were doing Squatch-related material, he offered to help out! When he started his career, he was actually writing a book called Alpha Flight which starred Sasquatch. He’s been intrigued by Bigfoot ever since that time.
Gene: Scott is a very funny guy as well, so he fits in perfectly with everything we’re doing.
What are some of the challenges that come with basing a series around a mysterious creature?
Jason: The real challenge that I see ahead of us is also the reason that we’re making this series. We have to build our entire project without our main character ever making an appearance. We certainly HOPE that we find him, but at the end of the day, there are some extremely intelligent and resourceful people who have been looking for hard evidence for many, many years with no luck. The one way that we hope to overcome this is to go the other way. If we search an area and find no evidence of Bigfoot, then that’s an area that no one else has to spend time searching. If we do find some evidence, then we’re going to follow it. One of our main gripes with all of the shows and various footage over the years is that when people find some evidence, they’re content with that evidence being enough. If they find a bunch of tracks, they just get some plaster.
Gene: When we find some tracks, we’re going to follow those suckers! If we see a “Blob Squatch,” I’m running that f***er down to get a good crystal clear photo of him.
You guys are known mainly for comic book and film-related comedy. I believe you recently won a Geekie Award, didn’t you? Where did the idea for Squatch Watchers come from?
Gene: Well, it’s actually comic books that got us into this! Jason and I were covering WonderCon this year and, of course, Jerry Ahern was there. We ended up spending a ton of downtime just talking, and Jerry and I realized that we both have an unhealthy fascination with educational television. We talked about virtually every Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Destination America or history type show that there is. From the reality stuff to the speculative alien conspiracy and Squatchin’ shows.
From there, we both started really complaining about how the mystery type shows never solve anything. Not even to say, “Nope. There are no aliens in Roswell, NM.” They just end with, “And the mystery lives on…”
We started talking about the Bigfoot series, which is where I got angry. It’s one thing to be out looking for ghosts, having to rely on little blips on electromagnetic equipment and never really seeing anything. It’s an entirely different set of excuses when you’re showing us footprints and video and hair samples, and then tell us, “But the mystery lives on…” I mean seriously. If you see some f***ing footprints, let your buddy cast them and follow them. If you see a Squatch, don’t hide behind a tree when it walks out of camera range — go get it! It always bothered me that people would have footage of a Squatch and just let it walk out of frame. You follow that sucker until he kills and eats you. Okay, maybe not that far, but still! You follow him!
Jason: So that’s where the idea came from. Within the course of a single dinner, we decided that we could do better. We came up with the concept and the title of the series, and then we decided to drop it on Kickstarter to help us get it made.
Do you have the support of any Bigfoot believers or websites?
Jason: The Bigfoot community is very self-protective. Too many outsiders have come in promising the world and, instead, they just basically mock anyone who believes. When we first decided to actually go out and look for Squatch, we reached out to a few of the scholars who are active in the community and, for the most part, they were very hesitant. That being said, we’ve also reached out to some of the smaller local communities with more success. Currently, some very kind words have been said by the Squatch Museum in Felton, CA, the Bigfoot Evidence Blog and, of course, we have Chuck Testa‘s endorsement.
Gene: I think that once the Squatchers realize that even though we’re mainly comedians, we are actually extremely intrigued by the idea of Squatch and we all believe in Bigfoot, they’ll come around. We’re basically Squatch lovers who are also comedians. Like when Adam Sandler makes a hockey movie, people who play hockey aren’t like, “Oh my god, he’s makin’ fun of hockey!” They’re like, “Awesome! He’s making a comedy about hockey!” We’re doing the same thing for Squatchin’, but we’re also actually trying to put the mystery to rest.
Why should people donate to the Squatch Watchers Kickstarter?
Jason: There are a ton of reasons to donate! First off, if you’re like we are and are either bored with the mystery of Bigfoot, or just bored watching the shows — we’re going to be entertaining AND we’re going to end some of the mystery. We’re not leaving an area until we determine whether or not there’s a Squatch there.
Secondly, we’re comedians. Even if we don’t find Bigfoot, you’re GOING to be entertained. If you’ve seen our other videos, such as the Walking Dead Christmas Special or James Franco’s Wizard of Oz Special Edition, then you already know what’s in store for you. We’re going to make you laugh.
Gene: That, the rewards and there’s a certain member of our team who, on a recent episode of Chuck Testa’s Tuesday Taxidermy Tips, promised that if our Kickstarter hits $50,000, he’ll cover his entire body from the neck down in styrofoam. That alone will be pretty hilarious to see, even if you think that we’re crazy for spending time looking for Bigfoot.
Check out Squatch Watchers on Kickstarter now!