Theo, Ernest, Jan, and Eva. They’re the latest literary darlings to hit the blogosphere, the core of Jesse Gordon’s new SuperMegaNet series—and they’ve taken a few moments out of their busy schedule to talk about SuperMegaNet, jockettes, and life in general.
What is SuperMegaNet all about?
Theo: Well, a lot of things.
Ernest: Good answer.
Jan: Yes, very concise.
Theo (glaring): Hey, lay off. What I mean is, SMN—that’s short for SuperMegaNet—
Theo: —isn’t about any one thing. Sure, there’s the back story about four kids who get tangled up in each other’s lives after installing a beta program on their computer. The first few episodes set this up, but after that it’s kind of more about life in general. The SMN thing is just the springboard on which Jesse presents his ideas regarding life and technology.
Ernest: It’s also an excuse to shit on us as much as possible.
Eva (nodding): Jesse likes to embarrass his characters. Look at anything he’s done and you’ll find a naked person somewhere along the way—though I suspect he’ll keep us in our undies since we are playing 12-year-olds.
Jan, you’ve already had two underwear scenes, correct?
Jan: Yes. The first time was when I was downloading into Theo’s room and Ernie decided to prank me. The second was when I was sleeping and Eva kind of spied on me.
Was it embarrassing?
Jan: Oh, very. In situations like that I just keep reminding myself that it’s fiction.
The SMN ensemble has made it through five episodes and one “spacer”. Do you think you’ll make it to ten? Twenty?
Ernest: Reader response has been abysmal so far. Clickheads, the last blogfic I worked on, was an instant hit because you knew what it was all about from episode one. The writers did that on purpose—they knew how to get the most out of their online readers’ brief attention spans. SMN is like, “Whatever, whenever.” I think that’s the official tagline, too. Five episodes in and even I’m wondering where the hell it’s going. To be honest, I don’t think we’ll make it past episode six. Jesse is known for not finishing what he starts. But I’m there for him until he calls it quits. And if this thing works out, it could be really cool.
Is it safe to say you’re a pessimist?
Ernest: I’m a realist. People often mistake that for pessimism.
What’s it like being professional characters?
Eva: You never know what’s next. One day you might get a call to play a 40-year-old housewife, the next they want you to be a middle-schooler. You have to dye your hair, or you have to gain weight, or lose weight, or regress age-wise—or go forward 20 years. It just depends.
Ernest: I did some work for Terry Pratchett years ago, and I’ve become typecast as the fat kid ever since, though sometimes I get to play characters that don’t “wobble,” if you get my drift.
Jan, you too have done this sort of thing before, haven’t you?
Jan: Yes. I played the part of John in Heroes’ Day.
Also by Jesse Gordon.
Jan: Yeah. I guess he liked what I did, and so he asked me back for SuperMegaNet.
What was Heroes’ Day like?
Jan: It was tricky. They wanted me to be sort of the tall, dark, and handsome boy. I had to be smooth, but I had to be uncertain as well. I also had to work out a lot—I had to look like a gymnast. I did a lot of my own stunts, and all of my own accidents (laughs). But I got to kiss the girl, so it wasn’t all bad.
Can you give an insight as to what’s in store for SuperMegaNet 1.6 and beyond?
Theo: New characters will be introduced—Jack SQL, for one. He’s a kind of disembodied AI that’s part of the SuperMegaServer. And some leftovers from Heroes’ Day who’ll be playing Eva’s so-called “jockette” friends.
Ernest: I hate jockettes.
Ernest: They’re too cocky. All that training and competing—they don’t know how to turn it off when they’re hanging with you at the pizza joint.
Theo: Do jockettes even go to pizza joints?
Eva: No, they stick to Jamba Juice.
Ernest, does your apathy in this area affect your on-page relationship with Eva?
Ernest: No. Eva’s a jockette, but she’s cool with us. Summer, her best friend, is the overbearing know-it-all.
When will we meet her?
Ernest: Never, with any luck.
SuperMegaNet deals a lot with cyber life. How computer-savvy are you?
Ernest: Theo’s actually a geek, no shit. He’s got this laptop bag he carries around with him. Between blog entries he plays MMORPGs. Jesse decided to use his actual screen name for the series.
Eva (snickering): He reads a lot of Megatokyo.
Jan: He thinks he’s l33t.
Do readers have to be l33t in order to “get” SuperMegaNet?
Ernest: Not at all. As Theo hinted, it’s really just about four kids growing up together in an unusual way and working through their problems. Theo’s got insomnia issues, and his mother is a tree-hugger—and his dad is Chinese. His mother is Russian. Me, I’m battling with obesity. Eva has a crush on Jan, but he’s clueless. And so forth.
Sum up SuperMegaNet in one word.
Eva: Um…net? (laughs)
Jan: Damn. You guys took all the cool words.