Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!
Joining us today is Andrew Farago, is the curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. His latest book, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History (available now from Insight), is the complete, never-before-told story of the enduring franchise—from their humble beginnings in black-and-white comics to their multimillion-dollar breakout success. He is also the author of The Looney Tunes Treasury, and has written for Marvel Comics, The Comics Journal, and Animation World Network. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, science fiction writer and cartoonist Shaenon K. Garrity.
Read on to learn about Andrew’s foolproof, musical-based plan for being more productive!
Here’s a two-parter: If you could go back in time and change one thing in the past, what would it be? And if you could time travel to the future, who or what would you most like to see?
My advice to anyone reading this: Just don’t mess with time travel. No good ever comes of it, and it’s just not worth it. Trust me.
If you could choose your own personal theme song to play every time you enter a room, what would you pick?
I’ve got to go with “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” in its entirety, every single time I enter a room. Just think of all the work I can do, uninterrupted, with the knowledge that no one will ever invite me anywhere for any reason ever again.
Do you have a favorite word?
I’ve always liked the word “subtle.” The letter “b” is just barely there…it’s pretty much a perfect word.
I immersed myself in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for two solid years, and there are probably hundreds of fans who are more dedicated to the Turtles than I am. People with complete action figure collections, comic book collections, tattoos, weekly blogs and podcasts… It’s been incredible seeing the level of dedication that’s out there.
What’s your favorite sandwich?
The Oh-Boy at the Midway Oh-Boy restaurant in Elyria, Ohio. Runner up is the Alaska Burger at Cy’s Drive-In Restaurant in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They’re both a long way from where I live now, sadly.
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?
Definitely Star Wars. It was the first movie I saw in a theater (when I was just over a year old), and I saw Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in theaters, too. In the days before home video, I lived for those rare television broadcasts of Star Wars, usually right around Thanksgiving.
What’s the most embarrassing guilty pleasure you’ll admit to? (music, movies, pop culture, food, drink, etc…all fair game!)
I’m not sure the phrase “guilty pleasure” is in my vocabulary anymore. My official job title has “cartoon” in it, and I’ve spent long hours watching Looney Tunes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, and Saved By The Bell for research purposes.
If you, as a ghost, could regularly haunt one celebrity, author, or literary figure, who would it be?
Wait, I can do that? Is that something everyone can do, or just people who answer this questionnaire? The theological implications are staggering.
List three things you’d like our readers to know about you and your work.
I’m between projects right now, I’m saving up money for my baby’s college fund, and I think editors are the smartest, best people in the entire world. (Call me.)
If you could find one previously undiscovered book by a non-living author, who would it be? Why?
I’d love to see another novel from John Kennedy O’Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces. Most of my favorite authors were fairly prolific, and I’m content to read and reread their works, but every time I hit the last page of A Confederacy of Dunces, I really regret that I can’t read anything else by O’Toole.