Sofa, So Good: Ashens Interview

Comic Con is attracting a new type of guest. No longer is it just a place for comic creators, artists and TV stars. Now it is starting to attract the stars of YouTube. In the case of Ashens you may be more familiar with his hands and brown sofa than his face, but that didn’t stop a long queue of fans lining up to meet him at Comic Con.

Ashens is a self-proclaimed professor of tat. On his channel he reviews all kinds of cheap plastic rubbish that many of us would overlook (much of it from the local pound shop) and less than appetising food products. As well as being one of Britain’s best known YouTube stars he’s also created a YouTube movie featuring MCM crowd favourite and Red Dwarf star Robert Llewellyn. 

MCM Buzz caught up with the man from the brown sofa to ask about his time as a guest at MCM Manchester Comic Con.

How would you describe your experience as a guest at the MCM Comic Cons?

“Exciting! Fun! Eye-Opening! Exhausting! Other words with exclamation marks after them! 
It’s always great to meet so many people who are interested in your work.”

When did you first begin to realise that audiences would be excited to meet you in person?

“We first had a table to promote our movie Ashens And The Quest For The GameChild. It was hidden away in a corner and most people couldn’t find it, yet we still had a healthy stream of people wanting to talk about tat and tell me I look like Simon Pegg.”

Do you think that we will see an increase in guests that self-produce via YouTube or similar services?

“That’s a tough one to call.  I would hope so as it’s a great way to connect with fans and potentially reach a new audience. But they have to find a way to make it work for them financially, as expenses soon add up if you have no income from the event. And some creators are understandably intimidated by meeting hordes of people!”

What drew you to make a movie?

“Opportunity! We produced a 10-part sci-fi webseries called The Proxy for a sponsorship deal, and realised we had access to a talented crew of people who could potentially make something on a bigger scale. I’d had ideas running through my head for years and this was the perfect time to make them a reality. And if you see an amazing opportunity, and don’t take it, then you are a big twit.”

You worked with Robert Llewellyn, a crowd favourite at Comic Con, on the film. How was that experience?

“Brilliant. Not only is he a great actor but he’s also officially one of the world’s nicest people, which may go some way to showing why he’s such a crowd favourite! We’re currently in the planning stages of a sequel and we’re hopeful that he’ll return in an expanded role.”

Have you ever become seriously or partly ill from a product you’ve eaten on your show?

“Not yet! The trick is to eat very small amounts. However my collaborator Dan is more sensitive to bad smells and tastes than I am, which has led to the induction of a technicolour yawn.”

What is the most memorable item you’ve reviewed?

“Probably the Internet Troll: a knock-off He-Man figure with a space invader drawn on its chest and a grotesquely screaming troll head, complete with a massive shock of pink hair. I couldn’t forget it if I wanted to.”

Any future plans?

“I’m currently working on a book called Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, which showcases some appalling lesser-known video games released for home computers in the ’80s and early ’90s.  We’re looking to get working on a movie sequel soon, and of course my YouTube channel will continue to host tat-related brown sofa adventures.”

Will we see you at Comic Con again?

“Hopefully! I’m looking to put together an hour-long show with some friends for October’s con, rather then the Q&A sessions I usually do.


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