This weekend’s star-studded ComicCon lineup generated a huge amount of buzz because of the many guests who made an appearance, held panels, signed autographs and even took pictures with their fans. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is impossible to see every Q&A since many of them take place at the same time but I did make an effort to see as many as I could and while huge stars like Sir Patrick Stewart and Nathan Fillion were present, my biggest highlight this year was attending Charles Martinet’s Q&A. Now to be fair, this shouldn’t come as any surprise given I’m one of the founders of a website called Goomba Stomp and the host of the NXpress Nintendo podcast, but put aside my love for Nintendo, Charles Martinet was by far the most energetic guest I saw in person.
While Charles Martinet voices one of the most iconic characters in global culture, he could probably walk down the convention hall and not receive a second glance from most people who pass him by. The man behind the voice of Nintendo’s Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Baby Mario and Baby Luigi has lent his vocal chords to the world-famous plumber for the best part of two decades. During the Q&A, he spoke about how his career began after he attended Berkeley University (where he originally intended to study international law) and dropped out in his senior year to take acting classes in hopes of combatting his fear of public speaking. From there he earned an apprenticeship at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the rest is what they call history.
Other than the Mario series, Charles has also done work for the video game Cel Damage as the voice of Fowl Mouth, as well as the primary voice work in several educational game games. He also voiced the dragon Paarthurnax in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Orvus in 2009’s Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, and even narrated characters in Super Punch Out. What many people don’t know however is that he’s also landed roles in major Hollywood films including voice work in David Fincher’s The Game, The Dead Pool starring Clint Eastwood and even the little-known gem, The Brotherhood of Justice starring Keanu Reeves. When asked if he had any restrictions on what roles he can or can’t accept he replied saying that Nintendo doesn’t prevent him from taking any acting roles but he does prefer to work in friendly family projects. He voiced his love for food, mostly Italian food, switched back n forth between the voices of many of the characters he’s portrayed and spoke about his admiration for the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto. And when asked what his favourite Mario game is, he replied saying it’s hard to choose since they are all so great but if he to choose, he would pick Super Mario Odyssey. As expected, Martinet couldn’t talk about Odyssey and whenever someone asked a question about the game he politely responded, “what I can tell you is that it’s gonna be great.”
The biggest highlight of the panel, however, came when a little boy stood in line to ask him a question and told the story about how he had been in the hospital for most of the year and ss part of the Children’s Wish Foundation, asked if he could go to ComicCon to meet Super Mario in person. While telling his brave story the little boy began to cry which then had almost everyone else in the room in tears including Charles Martinet, who walked off stage to give the boy a huge hug. When back on stage he smiled at the audience and said, “this is why I do what I do and it’s the best job I could ask for.”
It’s hard to put in words how wonderful this man is, but if you ever have a chance to see him live, do yourself a favor and set aside the time to so. In the meantime, enjoy the three minute interview embedded below.
Speaking of Nintendo, not only was the voice of Mario present at Montreal ComicCon but Nintendo was also on site this year with their own special gaming fest. Families and friends were able to participate in their Nintendo Switch event and test out Nintendo’s latest releases including ARMS, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. In addition to playing Nintendo games onsite, you could also compete for giveaways. Unfortunately, Super Mario Odyssey was not available to play which is disappointing especially given that the game will be released in a few months. Hopefully, Nintendo will be back at Montreal ComicCon next year and in the meantime, let’s hope they organize some other event later this summer to help promote the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch.
That’s all for now. Check back tomorrow for more coverage of Montreal ComicCon
- Ricky D