BlabberingCollector: What made you want to join YouTube? When was this?
Az: I watched a content creator called TotalBiscuit, and I used to play a game called World of Warcraft. He used to do videos about it, and he was very outspoken like I am. And I liked his stuff and was like, “Hey, this is maybe something I can do!” I was sick and tired of working for the man. I was working a job in sales. It was a starting company, and I was doing really well! Every time I did better, they would make it harder and harder for me to earn money. Then, they did a restructure and made it even harder to get a bonus and all this kind of jazz. And I was like, “I’m the one flogging myself here, and they are the ones reaping the benefits of it.” I thought, “If I don’t do something with my life, I’m going to be in an office for the rest of my life. I can’t do that. I can’t have that! I need to make a play.” So I gave this YouTube malarkey a go. I think I can talk; I think I have something to say! So I created a World of Warcraft channel, which is HeelvsBabyface.
And I thought YouTube was going to be a lot easier than it was. I thought you would make a video and just plop it up there and come back a day later and have thousands of views, and everything is great and wonderful! I did my first video, and it was atrocious! You look back and just laugh at how bad it is. I came back about 24 hours later, and it had, like, 36 views on it. I was like, “Oh, this is going to be tougher than I thought!” I did have some savings put aside. The whole plan was, we go until we can’t go anymore. I would rather take a risk and bet on myself than go back to an office and have a basic salary and flog myself to get scraps of bonuses. There were some very rocky patches along the way, and I certainly fell down a few crevices, but I’m here ten years later, which is crazy.
BC: Ten years? That’s amazing! How did you find Nerdrotic and Geeks + Gamers?
A: My path of content creation was a bit winding. The first five and a half years of it was World of Warcraft, maybe the odd Final Fantasy video here and there, and then I couldn’t do it any longer. I went into streaming video games only. That didn’t work out. I was on my last legs. I thought I might have to go back into the rat race. I was like, “I think I did okay; not many people can say they were on YouTube for five, nearly six years.” And then some video game news broke, and I did some videos, and they went viral. People were bringing in a new audience, and I was like, “Hey, do you mind if I make this [channel] a [broader] spectrum of video games because that is what I am interested in?” And the audience was like, “Yeah, yeah, go for it!” So I broadened my horizons; I sort of ditched WoW, and just focused on gaming in general. That started off really well; things started to kick off again! I can’t remember the exact details, but because I did streaming, I would talk about the franchises that I liked, like Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc., and I think that was when the first advertisements for the Batwoman show came.
BC: Your favorite show!
A: My fav! God, that’s made me a lot of money. Or it was people saying, “Hey, Doctor Who is back, and the first episode, “Spyfall,” wasn’t terrible. Will you review it for us?” It was one of the two. So I was like, “Okay.” I reviewed whichever came out first. Bowlestrek was reviewing Doctor Who, and I would watch his videos because I wasn’t watching Doctor Who. And he followed me on Twitter, and he was watching my stuff as well. We passed pleasantries back and forth and whatnot, and he had talked about how he was doing these podcasts talking about Doctor Who. I wasn’t into podcasting at all then. I was just doing videos and streaming. When “The Timeless Children” dropped, I was flipping out. I was speaking to him about it on Twitter, and he said, “I’m about to stream right now!” And I was like, “Put me on the team, coach! I’m ready! I want to talk about this.” What I didn’t realize was that he wasn’t referring to his channel; he was talking about Gary’s. Because I wouldn’t invite myself onto other people’s channels. And Bowlestrek was like, “Oh, I’m going on Nerdrotic’s channel.”
I had watched Gary’s videos before – not religiously, but I had seen a lot, particularly about Doctor Who. I knew who he was! So I was like, “Oh, alright, don’t worry about it; sorry!” And Bowlestrek is like, “No, don’t worry; I’ll have a word with him and see if you can come on.” And then, half an hour later, he sends me the link saying, “Come on!” So I came on Gary’s channel to talk about “Timeless Children” with him, and that’s the first time Gary and I had physically spoken. I think I was quite well-behaved. But I still had my little moments of ranting. After the show, Gary invited me onto Friday Night Tights. I think this was when it was just Gary, Jeremy, Odin, and Comix. I was the guest. After that FNT, Gary said, “It was great having you; I’d love to have you back!” And I replied with, “Sure, I’d love to; message me anytime!” And the following week was a new guest, but then, the week after, Gary asked me back. I think that was it. Every week it was, “Do you wanna come back on?” I think it was, like, nine weeks into FNT, and Gary said something along the lines of, “We keep inviting HeelVsBabyface on; we’re not letting him go.” He was like, “Do you want to stay on permanently as one of the hosts?” So big thanks to Bowlestrek, who I do love to pieces.
BC: What are your (internet) goals for the rest of 2022?
A: Ohhhh. Umm, I gotta get my toy channel going. I was about to get some things done with it, but then I got COVID. That really curtailed the things I wanted to do there. I definitely want to get that going. I had a complete cleanup of the house; it was literally a toy warehouse, just boxes and boxes of unopened toys, LEGO, Hot Toys, etc.
BC: You didn’t get rid of them, right? They are in storage, right?
A: They are in storage; don’t worry. Instead of my house being a warehouse, there is an actual warehouse doing its job. My green screen might be coming up soon. I got some content ideas. YouTube is reactionary, so goals always change. I don’t know; I’m just so grateful to still be on the platform and still make a living through my content. That, in itself, is just a blessing. I try not to push things; I try not to assume things when it comes to YouTube. I just hope what I do is enough to bring people in. I’m steadily growing; I’m not doing an explosive growth, and I’m okay with that. I like that. I like being grounded.
BC: Keeps you in check. I’m actually really excited for your new channel. I love toy and item reviews, and there are so many YouTubers out there who give fake reviews because they are paid to do it. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a big Harry Potter fan.
A: I’ve heard the lore. The castle lore.
BC: *Laughs* And I’m just like, “No. If it’s crap, tell me why. If it’s good, tell me why it’s good! Stop being fake!” I want honest reviews. Do you know when you’re going to release the channel?
A: *Looks at calendar* Yes.
BC: *Chuckles* Fine. Growing up, what was your favorite IP?
A: Uhhhh… Star Wars.
BC: Who was your favorite character?
A: Luke Skywalker. I’m old. Growing up, my favorite films were Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Just a fact; I didn’t have a great childhood, so I found a lot of solace in fantasy and escapism. In the 80s, I don’t think you could have better franchises than those two. One was literally in the stars far away, and the other was some mega Chad just going around seeking and hunting treasure. I always liked that archaeological story. I was a big, soppy kid for that.
BC: So you love The Goonies?
A: Love it! Such a great story!
BC: “Hey, you guuuuysss!”
A: *laughs* It’s funny because I watched it for the first time in a long time about a year ago, and I was like, “I can’t remember all this swearing in The Goonies.” I love all these coming of ages movies where you, in your mind, have created something magical and wonderful.
BC: How were you introduced to comics? What was your first comic book?
BC: If you could go on an adventure with any character from any IP, who would it be?
BC: Of course. *Laughs*
A: *Giggles* The adventure would be in my bedroom as well. There are lost treasures in this room! “Why are there rose petals in the room, Az?”
BC: How did that get there?!
A: How did the champagne get here? What is this music?
BC: *Laughing* You have a whole fantasy going on, and I’m going to interrupt it by asking you about LEGO.
A: *Even more laughter.* Tifa!
BC: Is there a specific series within LEGO that you prefer building?
A: Castle! Castle LEGO is my one true love. One thing I was lucky enough [about] was, I couldn’t lose my LEGO because it was always too big to move anywhere, so my mom stored it in her garage. So, a few years ago, my mom asked me to come pick it up because she needed space. I was already taking a sofa of hers, so I got three massive totes full of LEGO. And one of them was just pure LEGO castle, and I’m like, “One day, I shall rebuild you.” In a few days, LEGO will be releasing a brand new LEGO castle set, and I cannot wait. I think I’m going to stream the build.
BC: This might be a dumb question; what is your favorite thing to collect, and do you have a main focus?
A: Umm… Oh, no. Wow. This is tough. I’m into so many, like Witcher, Transformers. If I could only pick one… this is so tough! Hot Toys can be from any franchise… I think my favorite thing I used to collect was comics. That was what I used to get the most excited about. But now, I’ve got my finger in so many pies; I don’t want to make my children unhappy by giving one a piece of chocolate cake.
BC: You can just say you can’t answer that without your lawyer present or something.
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah! I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it might incriminate me.
BC: Is collecting your favorite hobby?
A: I do my Warhammer building; that can be really therapeutic and enjoyable. You keep trying and trying; you just get a little bit better. It’s rewarding. I take great enjoyment out of looking at my collection and posing them, like Bumblebee and Superman. Playing video games gives me pleasure, building LEGO, just displaying stuff! I don’t know! I’m lucky. I’m a lucky man.
BC: What is your favorite video game, and what kinds of games do you enjoy playing most?
A: My favorite genre is RPG. My favorite video game of all time is The Witcher 3.
BC: I’ve actually never played any Witcher games. I’ve got a whole list I need to get through.
A: *Pikachu face*
BC: If a woman was to make you a sandwich right now, what would you want on it?
A: God damn, that is a beautiful question. Right now, I’m in a light mood because I’m drinking some fresh orange juice, and that is really heavy on the stomach. Fresh tomato, iceberg lettuce, drizzle of mayonnaise, honey roasted ham, on seeded batch bread.
BC: You had me until you said seeded bread, and then I was like, “Ugh.” How do you keep your private life separate from your internet life?
A: I don’t talk about it.
BC: Easy enough! What would you say is the most stereotypical British thing about you?
BC: What is your favorite Disney film and why?
A: I hate Disney! I always have. Even the cartoons.
BC: Is there a reason?
A: Yeah, even as a kid, I’ve always felt this demonic presence with Disney.
BC: Dang! Foreshadowing.
A: I always felt this malevolence with them, always phony and fake and artificial.
BC: Alright, good for you for sticking to your guns. What is the worst TV show you’ve subjected yourself to for your viewers?
A: I think it would have to be the one season of Discovery. Like with Loki, Batwoman, you scream around, and you shout, but with Batwoman, you wanna punch her in the face and yell, “Stop it!” I just couldn’t do any more Discovery after the one season. That hurt me just as much as it hurt you.
BC: What do you do to unwind?
BC: How do you ignore the haters?
A: I know this sounds a bit pompous, but very easily! I have thick skin; I can take it. I can take insults. But what is probably more pressing is that I don’t know these people. They don’t have any effect on my life. I don’t associate with them in any way; they don’t pay my wages; they aren’t my neighbors. So why let yourself be affected by people who have no effect on your life whatsoever? Now, if a friend of mine said, “You’re a poopy pants,” then I would be like, “Woah, let’s talk! What have I done? Let’s work this out.” If it’s just a rando, it’s meaningless; it doesn’t matter. If it was a fan who had been there for a long time, then I would talk to them. Regular haters make you famous. The more channels that make hate videos and tweets about you, invariably, all they do is bring more people to your channel. Some will come to your channel and hate on you, but a lot will be like, “Actually, I kind of understand where you’re coming from, dude.” And you’ll get a new subscriber! Haters are literally nothing. They give you exposure; the more exposure, the better. There hasn’t been a single hit piece article from the kind of circle of people I hang out with. Not one. And the reason is because they got nothing!
BC: Do you have anything to say to your fans and followers?
BC: Favorite Doctor in Doctor Who?
A: Peter Capaldi. He had bad material, but he is incredible.
BC: Hogwarts house?
A: Castle. Uhhhh, Gryffindor?
BC: Yay! Me too! We can go together. *Laughs.* What would be your lightsaber color?
A: Uhhhhhhh, blue.
BC: Narnia or The Shire?
A: The Shire, but I like Narnia.
BC: Packing or shoveling snow?
A: Shoveling snow.
BC: Favorite cheese?
A: Ooooo! Brie.
BC: Not Brie Larson, though.
A: No, not Brie Larson.
BC: Would you rather eat mud or go vegan for a week?
A: Go vegan for a week. I’m not eating fucking mud! Who do you think I am? Crazy weirdo!
BC: *Laughing like a hyena* Favorite cuisine?
A: Uh, I do like Chinese.
BC: If you were stuck on an island with 1 FNT member, who would you want it to be?
BC: Pineapple on pizza?
BC: Ugh. Favorite film?
A: Ooooo! That’s impossible to answer!
BC: You must choose!
A: Oh man! Fucking hell! Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
BC: That’s my favorite Indiana film. Automatic transmission or manual transmission?
BC: Favorite composer?
A: Oh. It’s a toss-up, but I’ll go with Tchaikovsky because of the 1812 overture.
BC: The sun or the moon?
A: The sun.
BC: Favorite Robin Hood film?
A: Robin Hood: Men In Tights.
BC: Yes! Do you have an innie or outie?
T: What is your favorite doll? (Favorite Hot Toy?)
Twitter: Can you go on an epic rant about me not liking Dr. Pepper?
T: Why are you a fan of Spider-Man?
A: Why are you gay?
BC: I got news for ya’; that means you’re gay.
A: Spider-Man Peter Parker is great! He’s a kid who has superpowers but just wants to live a normal life. At the same time, he understands that this power does come with responsibility – the responsibility to help people. He is a good, grounded hero, Spidey.
T: Many of the most popular versions of Superman don’t need to eat, sleep, or drink. When we see these Supermen sleeping, aren’t they committing involuntary manslaughter, since they could be out saving someone during that time?
A: No. Put this into realistic perspective. Why aren’t you in jail for voluntary manslaughter? You have the ability to stop people. Being a hero isn’t obligatory. This is the deconstruction question of a hero. A hero can’t be there all the time. A hero can’t replace you, the people, can’t replace morality. That is not the job of the hero. The job of the hero is to selflessly help when they can. Putting demands upon a hero removes the selflessness from them. So, no, not at all. Superman is a man, hence the “man” after the “super.” A man that does super things… still a man! Even though somebody can do something, you don’t have the right to place the demand on them to do it.
B: That was elegant.
T: Please say “Hawt dawg.”
T: What movies/shows/series will you be reviewing next?
A: Jayne Theory and I are going to be back next month with She-Hulk. I’m going to review, maybe this week, 1Up with Ruby Rose, which is the Gamergate girl power video game film, and it looks so bad that I must cast my meme eye upon it and destroy it. I would also like to do the same to They/Them.
BC: Oh, I thought you were talking about Demi Lovato for a second.
A: Oh, no, Demi is now a “she/her.”
BC: Yes, I heard about that.
A: I say this with love: I think Demi is kind of retarded. She’s not all there. She’s arguing over muffins and cookies and shit.
BC: Yeah, and aliens. She’s out of touch.
A: I think the drugs have done their jobs on her brain.
T: What would be your theme song?
T: Will you play Mario Kart with the rest of the crew?
A: Probably not, because it’s ridiculous o’clock in the morning for me. And that game, I’ve seen, it gets very loud, and I don’t think I can get that loud at that time.
T: How do you handle the pressure of being so HAWT?
A: We all have to deal with it in our own way. I do have outreach centers where people can come in and talk about how me being so hawt has affected their lives.
BC: Ah yes, very gracious of you.
A: It is very gracious of me. A lot of people can’t focus because they are too busy looking at the light, you know what I’m saying? Because when you look at the sun, Blabs, you’re going to burn your retinas. That’s all I’m saying. When you look at the sun, you’re going to burn your retinas.
T: Who should Dr. Rachel Lindberg cosplay as next?
A: Rachel has big tits, so we have to take advantage of those, hey! Why don’t you do She-Hulk? A good She-Hulk?
BC: Yeah, put Disney in their place!
T: Do you want to play D&D?
T: Did you go to university? If so, what was your major?
A: I did! I went for two years, and then I dropped out. I was doing journalism, believe it or not; creative writing and journalism. Hated it. Hated the place, the people, everything about it! I wasn’t planning on dropping out, but I went back home after the second year had ended. I went back home and met a girl, and I was like, “I ain’t going back.”
BC: “I’m staying with you!”
A: Yeah, that lasted just as long as the summer holiday, so you know… But it made me realize I didn’t want to go back.
T: Xray Girl wants to know who is filthier: XRay or Pierry?
A: Sofie’s Choice. Pierry is really filthy. He’s, like, a real dirt bucket. But Xray… she will make an innuendo out of something that you’re not even trying to be funny with! You’ll be like, “Just made myself some fresh orange juice,” and she will be like, “You squeeze that juice out of it!” And you’re like, “What? Where did that come from?” And she will be like, “What?” If they had a filth-off, it would be mutual destruction.
T: Have you read Berserk?
A: I haven’t got it yet! I have all the digital files sent to me, so I could if I wanted to, but I pre-ordered these in hardback, and I thought they were meant to be ready last September. But no, they still haven’t arrived yet.
T: Why does your cat shit in your house so much?
A: Not that much!
BC: I remember your cat shat on your modem, and you couldn’t get online.
A: She pissed on the modem. Can we please get that correct? She pissed on the modem and killed it. She shat under my desk when I was sleeping. So, I came into the office, and there was a fucking turd where my feet would be.
BC: You stepped in it?
A: She does it when she’s really mad at me.
BC: It’s like a breakup, Amber Turd style.
A: Well, I think her litter box got a bit out of control. She was just like, “I’m going to start shitting here until you sort out my litter box. This, up in here, is my new litter box. It’s called your fucking office!”
T: How do you like your tangerines?
T: Favorite novel? What are you currently reading?
A: I can’t say what I’m currently reading. It’s nothing spicy or anything like that; I just can’t say!
A: Yeah, I’m NDA up to the eyeballs. But my favorite author is Raymond Chandler, and I love Philip Marlow private eye books. Farewell, My Lovely is probably my favorite.
T: What football team do you support?
T: What is the best chapter of the Space Marines, and why is it the Grey Knights?
A: Death Guard, and it’s Death Guard.
B: Okay. I don’t know what that means, except Warhammer.
T: What do you enjoy most about being a content creator?
A: It is very self-rewarding. When you create a video, and you say your piece, and you know you literally have tens of thousands of people watching it within 24 hours, that, in itself, is just so rewarding. Being able to say your piece is incredibly rewarding, having a platform to say it on. We’ve lost several people along the way, and YouTube has enforced people along the way out of here, but you know, we are still here on YouTube, and we still do FNT. And it’s just great to connect with people who are also in agreement that our franchises are in big trouble, and we need to unite and be vocal. It is also majorly satisfying to see a billion-dollar corporation come after you when you’re a dude in a room with a web camera. We shouldn’t even be a blip on their radar. Who cares what that little guy has to say? We are doing our shit. So, that makes you feel, “Okay, so we’re rattling a few cages.”
T: Do you plan on doing anime and/or manga reviews in the near future?
A: I did a few anime reviews, but there are no plans. Too busy!
T: What is the first thing you would do if you were in charge of Warner Bros.!?
Thank you, Az, for your time! You can find Az on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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Always love hearing from Az!