Comic Media Expo 2014 Recap: Q&A Session with The Guild’s Amy Okuda & Sandeep Parikh

Image by Claire Adams courtesy of Geek News Network

Comic & Media Expo 2014 kicked off their first annual event Oct. 17-19 in the Mesa Convention Center, showcasing cosplayers, genre authors and local comic artists. The brand-new convention also scored notable industry leaders like Marv Wolfman and Jay Fotos.

Since Educating [Geeks] was scheduled to present the panel, “Getting to Know ‘The Guild,'” we naturally had to support The Guild stars and CMX guests, Amy Okuda (Tink) and Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo). In the first of two scheduled Q&A sessions, fans learned more about the actors than perhaps anyone could have anticipated. Some notably illuminating facts about the gamer-geek series:

Sandeep Parikh, writer/director/actor, portrayed The Guild fan-fave, Zaboo. Photo: WatchTheGuild.com

Sandeep Parikh, writer/director/actor, portrayed The Guild fan-fave, Zaboo. Photo: WatchTheGuild.com

  • Wil Wheaton does not like flying beetles. Not one bit.
  • Okuda didn’t know what tater tots were prior to joining The Guild.
  • Parikh really learned how to fishtail braid, and offered to braid a cosplayer’s hair to prove it.
  • Okuda’s character is based on The Guild creator Felicia Day’s feisty, gamer friend.
  • Parikh most enjoyed The Guild’s Bollywood music video, “Game On,” which he wrote.
  • So-called wellness shots in smoothies lead to instant cleansing. (The conversation instantly dissolved into potty humor from there.)

Even though, according to Parikh, “The Guild is dead,” the audience was interested in their upcoming projects. Okuda listed a number of series and films, in which she is credited, that will be out in the coming months, including MTV’s teen series Awkward; The Wedding Ringer, with Kevin Hart and Josh Gad; and Hello, My Name is Doris, with Sally Field, Max Greenfield and Peter Gallagher.

Parikh introduced the original, extended pilot for the new web series, The Real Housewives of Horror, on which Parikh serves as a director. The series is written by actress Brea Grant, best known for her roles on Heroes and Dexter, and is executive produced by G4’s Attack of the Show creator Kevin Pereira.

Amy Okuda's character Tink is featured in the limited-run comic series based on "The Guild." Image: Dark Horse Comics

Amy Okuda’s character Tink is featured in the limited-run comic series based on “The Guild.” Image: Dark Horse Comics

As was announced in September, The Real Housewives of Horror will be an official series on The Nerdist’s Youtube channel. Parikh confirmed that the horror-comedy series will produce five more episodes in addition to the pilot, which received quite a few laughs from the audience during the panel screening.

After the episode concluded, Parikh apologized to Educating [Geeks]’s roving photographer Devon, since his young daughter was in the crowd during the less-than-kid-friendly episode. “Welcome to adulthood,” Parikh declared.

In addition to RHOH, Parikh mentioned that he’s currently developing a series with writer Ed Brubaker of Captain America: The Winter Soldier fame. That project is currently at a cable network, with nothing quite firmed up, but Parikh is slated to star. (This TV industry nut is crossing her fingers for them!)

When it comes to The Guild’s pop culture impact, Parikh mentioned that he’s received feedback from fans who watched the show while they were going through chemo and other difficult life events. Recognizing that he has his own “comfort shows,” Parikh considers the opportunity to impact other people in such a way to be “the pinnacle of working in this field.”

Overall, Parikh and Okuda seemed to have a lot fun together during CMX, and they kept the panel moving. Below are a few great dialogue exchanges between the pair:

Okuda: “Remember when Vince [Caso, Bladezz] didn’t know what a landing strip was?”
Parikh: “And then we showed him… And let’s stop talking about landing strips… Now!”
Okuda, to a young passerby: “Hi, child!”

Okuda: “I liked our scene with that writer guy.”
The audience/Parikh, horrified: “Neil Gaiman?”

Okuda mentioned that Parikh was mortified to wear a butterfly costume in his scene with comic emperor Stan Lee.

Parikh: “It wasn’t boner-safe!”
Okuda: “Stan Lee isn’t boner-safe.”
Parikh: “He does love the ladies.”

Parikh later attributed Lee’s immortality to the fact that he truly loves life.

And there you have it! Okuda and Parikh were great sports with attendees of the new convention, and Parikh graciously gave the con-organizers kudos for their first year. Here’s hoping Parikh’s series gets picked up, and that Okuda one day gets a shot at what she considers to be a dream gig: Orange is the New Black.

Did you check out the Comic & Media Expo’s first event in Mesa? What was your favorite panel or guest? Let us know your thoughts on the convention – and The Guild – below.