Greg Miller, along with Colin Moriarty, Tim Gettys, Nick Scarpino, left IGN in early 2015 to create their own channel called Kinda Funny. Kinda Funny has provided the internet amazing content from gaming, comics and entertainment news.
This weekend, Rooster Teeth’s annual RTX took place in Austin, TX. Greg Miller, Timy Gettys and Nick Scarpino were among the esteemed. Geeks with Wives had the opportunity to sit with Greg and chat about Austin, Food and Comics.
Geeks With Wives (Danny Benavides): I really enjoyed your panel earlier.
Greg: That’s good, man. You never know with the panels because people are so used to listening to us and intently listening. It’s one of those things like if you make a joke and no one laughs. It’s like I can’t tell if I’m doing well or if this is just us.
GWW: So one of the first things I saw you had done when you got to Austin was go to Pluckers. Was that your first time?
Greg: The first time I ever went to Pluckers, it was one of those surreal things because it was the first time we ever came to Austin, and we went with iJustine, Freddy Wong, and Tim Gettys. I had met Freddy a few times in passing at that time. Now him and I are bros, we just went to Gus’s. Back then, I had just barely met them at the first day of The Gauntlet. So then it’s just like “Hey guys, Wings are my thing,” then all of a sudden you sit down and all of a sudden I’m like I’m at this weird Pluckers restaurant with internet royalty and I’m just someone on The Gauntlet. I didn’t know what was happening, you know what I mean?
GWW: I know you are are also a huge fan of Oreos. Did you know they served fried Oreos there?
Greg: I did not know this.
GWW: Yeah well, they have this contest there where they basically cover fried Oreo’s in their hottest sauce, which is called “Fire in the Hole”, and if you eat a certain amount I think you can get a plaque on the wall. It’s, I guess, the best of both worlds.
Greg: Haha, “I guess the best of both worlds“.
GWW: Would you considering doing something like that?
Greg: No I’m so over the food challenges, that’s a young man’s game. I won a wing eating contest at Mizzou at Wild Wings and this was before the Blazin’ challenge. Back then I had stuff to prove, you know what I mean, I really thought that was the thing. And I always get into these arguments about Team Fat where people are like “Well why don’t you and Colin settle it in an eating contest” I’m like “No,” I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to be horribly uncomfortable all day long. It’s not worth it for me. Now I say that, of course, then I go on Hot Pepper Gaming and eat a hot pepper every three weeks.
GWW: Do you have any go-to places whenever you are in town?
Greg: Yeah, we have already been knocking them off the list. We went to Torchy’s Tacos last night, I love Torchy’s. We freaked out because we were at SGC two weeks ago and found out there was one there in Plano and we were like ‘What?! There’s a Torchy’s here?’ Then we got an Uber out there got there right before they closed and tore down some Queso. We hit up Gus Fried Chicken today. Frank’s is on the agenda for tonights dinner.
GWW: You sending someone to wait or going early?
Greg: Why because it’s going to be packed?
GWW: Oh yeah!
Greg: See, last year it was me Christine, Scott Lowe and Cindy and we walked over to Gus at 12:30 and it was empty. Today we walked over at 11:30 and there was a line out the door and I was like “Goddammit, everything is changing, everyone knows everything!”
GWW: A few days ago you mentioned you were cast in a video game, any chance you can give us any hints on that?
Greg: I can’t. It’s not a huge role. I’m not going to be the star or anything, it’s an ensemble cast. I might have a total of about 5 lines in the game but it’s a cool first step. This shows that I can do it, you know what I mean, if more people want to put me in stuff. It’s one of those things where Kinda Funny is priority number one, it won’t even be one of those things were I’m like ‘Hey guys, I’m taking a break from Kinda Funny to go do 3 months of Last of Us 2.’ I’ll never be able to do that, nothing super in-depth but to do little stuff, I’d love to do some cameos.
GWW: How did the process go, did they just approach you and ask you to be a part of their game?
Greg: Yeah and once it’s done, I’ll be able to tell the whole story on it. They basically asked if I wanted to be a part of this and I was like ‘Uh Yeah!’
GWW: So did you reach out to Nolan North or Troy Baker for tips?
Greg: No, I gave them tips quite a bit. Haha.
GWW: Haha. You are clearly a big DC fan, I wanted to know which current DC runs are you keeping up with?
GWW: Ever since Babs?
Greg: Yup. I’m sure it’s a lot of things but ever since Babs for sure. It was just that refreshing take I needed. I remember when the New 52 hit and Gail Simone was writing Batgirl, I thought it was great in the beginning but it was starting to feel a lot like regular Batman.
GWW: Did you read the recent Batgirl Annual #3?
Greg: With Grayson? Yeah, That one was really really good. They know what they are doing with that character. It’s funny, you look at that, Gotham Academy and We Are Robins and all that stuff and it’s a really great idea. Diversify.
GWW: It’s interesting you bring those up, I love all three of those series. I’ve seen on boards and stuff of fans either loving these versions or hating them. Things said like “Oh this is hipster Batgirl.”
Greg: Yeah, but that’s just people being haters. Sure you all loved Batgirl when it was more dark and batman-y but the numbers weren’t great so I’m sure for them it was like they either cancel the book or go in this new direction. I imagine the buzz they have gotten around it, good or bad, has upped the sales. I’m definitely picking it up now.
GWW: I agree, it’s on my pull list as well. I actually introduced my fiance to Batgirl #35 when it was first released, at that time she wasn’t much of a comic reader, and she absolutely loves it. She actually cosplayed the new look with my son as Damian.
Greg: Dude! That is awesome. That is so cool, did you show Babs that picture?
GWW: She did and she loved it.
Greg: That’s phenomenal. So yeah, Batgirl. I’m also on board with the new Superman. I’m still not sold on it yet.
GWW: How do you feel about him losing his powers?
Greg: It’s fine, It’s cool. It’s one of those things where i can’t have it both ways. I can’t be like some things should be sacred, then say change everything, everything needs to be changed!
(Nick Scarpino, also of the Kinda Funny team, makes a brief cameo.)
Greg: Did you just get a new shirt?
Nick: They gave it to me bro, and this hat!
Greg: Haha, I got a text from Christine earlier, which was “Can I borrow $20, I want to buy a Filthy Casual shirt. They offered to give it to me for free but I want to support them.” Then Nick just walks in like, “They gave it to me!”
Greg: So Superman, yeah. The whole problem to me was that the whole Superman story from the jump hasn’t felt like Superman to me. It’s an interesting story, interesting dude, I really love him and Wonder Woman. Actually the book that I have enjoyed the most consistently was with him and Wonder Woman but Superman just doesn’t feel like Superman to me. I can’t put my finger on it. His motivations. The Kents aren’t there. It’s just something is missing. Maybe it’s Lois. Maybe I was just so connected to red trunks Superman. All that said then, they get to this point and it’s like ‘Okay it’s interesting, let’s see how they go with it.‘ I like the idea of ‘People sure are bored of the same ol’ shit so why don’t we do something different? Why don’t we do what they are doing with the Bat book.‘
GWW: Exactly. Another example of this was the recent addition of Spider-Gwen to the Marvel Universe. That’s a perfect example of this type of change working beautifully.
Greg: I tweeted about this before. I finished the latest Spider-Gwen, I was so into it that I stopped, opened notepad and wrote a letter to the editor, which I haven’t done in forever. I wanted to tell them they are killing it with this. I totally expected to pick it up and have it be super traditional and she is Spider-Gwen and she is in love with Peter Parker and Green Goblin is after her and so on. Then you jump in there and there is all these new things like The Mary Janes and it’s great. I really don’t know what to expect in the next book.
GWW: …and Daredevil working for Kingpin.
Greg: Yeah exactly, this is the alternate universe stuff, I’ve always wanted and rarely got.
GWW: Through IGN, Kinda Funny, and all the people you have met in this industry, who is someone you would love to collaborate with?
Greg: It’s funny, when we were leaving our panel, we came off the elevator in the back and Ray walked by. We talked and we know each other. It’s one of those things where we just have never done anything on camera. Working with him would be great. Angry Joe who is in Austin as well. One that always breaks my heart is Boogie Francis and we can never get it together. It’s like, I don’t want to do a weird one-off podcast in the corner of the room with the camera and it’s like the Game Over Greggy show but it’s not the Game Over Greggy show. I want Boogie to be on the real show.
GWW: So based on your recommendation, I decided to give DC Universe Online a try. I actually came across an older IGN article you wrote about how the real fun starts after level 30.
Greg: Well right now, I would say the most fun I would have is playing alone. I’m a single player dude, multiplayer is fine, it’s just never my thing. Once you pass level 30, when I wrote it for sure, you have a crew and you are going to go out on your alerts and your raids every week. But like right now, I would love to jump on DCO but I’m so behind with the crew I used to run with and all these different things. If they made single player that would make it competent and have a shot and getting gear and stuff. Now it’s like if you do a raid you get 100 tokens or whatever but if you do a solo mission, it’s 10. I’m like, ‘well fuck’. I don’t have time.
GWW: What advice would you give to people who want to provide a quality commentary on the things they love, from films to comics and entertainment?
Greg: I always talk about consistency. So what that means if you say I post every Tuesday at 9, then you need to post every Tuesday at 9. Also, be on message with what you are talking about. If we were to miss hosting one of the shows at 6am for whatever reason for the gamescast, people at 6:30 will be like “Where is the gamescast, is everything okay?”. Then it’s also, if Batman V. Superman type of big news happens, I immediately mass word my responses. That’s what people know me for, that consistent message that I am the DC guy, I don’t try to be the comics guy. Because you are going to come at me and ask me, ‘Did you read the new Spider-Verse?’ My answer will be, ‘Um no. I read the Spider-Verse we are in. but other then that no.’ That’s that trade off, being consistent and being specific. What are you talking about? What is your niche? For me, when getting to IGN, the story always goes is I went to journalism school, i got the degree and i thought i would be able to just go anywhere, anywhere I wanted but no one in the industry would take me. I got a job at the paper and after a year of that they gave me a video game column and block because I had asked for that so much. i used both of those to take national, if not global video game news, and localize it to my audience. So if you were in Colombia, Missouri this is what you are reading. You are not reading my NCAA review of it, you are reading the fact that our football coach looks fat in the game when he is not fat in real life, why is that happening? Thats the thing with IGN, I submitted 13 submissions to IGN. The first twelve didn’t even get a courtesy of a rejection letter. On the 13th, I was contacted, interviewed, and hired all within 24 hours. Overnight, my life changed. So when I got out there to sign the documents and make it official, I thought, “What the fuck? I’ve been ready to go for a year and a half” and they were like “Well you didn’t prove you could do it yet, but in that final six months when you got that column, when you got that blog, you showed that you knew your stuff. You should you had opinions on it. You could eloquently state them. You could do all these different things. You proved you can do this job.” So that’s what I tell everybody now, if you want be IGN, or Kinda Funny or whatever, you need to be creating the content you believe it, you need to be consistent and you need to be doing what you want to do. I remember when I wanted to work at EGM more than anything and they were hiring a new reviews editor and to send it two examples. I remember cracking my knuckles, writing my first two reviews and sending them. I bet I got laughed out of that office, I’m sure. Not that anyone would remember now, right? But that’s what I am saying. If you want a podcast now, you would be podcasting, if you want to be doing Let’s Plays, you would be doing Let’s Plays. There will be a million excuses. A million excuses every day. “Oh, my camera is not good enough but I’m going to get this paycheck and get a good camera.” Or “Oh my audio quality blah blah…” Fuck all that shit. Just do it. The whole point of it is, right now, you guys are seeing it first hand I’m sure, I could have just been sitting over there eating by myself right? Somebody could walk right up to me with a camera, set it up and say “Hey, let’s talk”, and I would be like “Alright, what’s up?” That is not normal response. That is a response, like a muscle, that I have been training and flexing for a better part of a decade now. When you hear podcasts, you think Beyond or Gamescast now but when I was in Colombia on my friends Short Attention Gamer podcast and the mic is in front of your face and you are like how do I breathe, how do I sound, is that getting picked up? There are all these things that are different parts of the puzzle until you are there so you can’t say I want to work at IGN but only write reviews on your whole portfolio and then get there. Because once you get there, they are going to say that you have great reviews but then they may want to do a camera test then you are going to flatline and you are not going to know how to project or they say let’s do a podcast, you aren’t going to know how to interact with somebody and play off each other. My final year at IGN, a whole bunch of spots opened up and that was the tail over and over again. They were great at one part but didn’t know the other pieces. So if you want to do something, go do it now. If you only have 7 subscriptions on youtube, and you think it’s not worth making youtube content, you are wrong. Don’t try to make money off of it, you are trying to get experience on it. You are trying to level up your character in real life. Just put all the bullshit excuses aside and go make the content you want to make.
GWW: Wow, that was a great response.
Greg: Sorry, it was longwinded but it always breaks my heart when people say “I want to do what you do.” Then I ask, “Oh great, what are you doing?” Then they just say, “Oh, nothing.” That’s a huge problem. This shit, as you know because you guys are putting shows together already, is backbreaking and thankless and infuriating but then there is that “Oh man, it’s out! I’ve done something! It’s out there and complete and it’s got warts and all but it’s mine. I did it!” Then you do it again and you get better at it and again and again.
GWW: Thanks Greg for taking the time to chat with us. I know you joined us for the Games Podcast back in February but it would be great to have you on the Geeks with Wives and Capes podcast in the future.
Greg: Sure, man. Shoot me an email. We still have a lot to catch up on but maybe in the future we can do something on Batman V. Superman or something.
GWW: Take it easy, man.
Greg: See ya, bud.