The Simpsons Folder

Highly informative and original fan site, offering carefully selected information about The Simpsons with special photos, drawings, graffities, videos and other intriguing bits of content you won't find elsewhere.



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Fan Interview: Graham Dawson

This document is done

Could you tell us something about yourself, where you live, how old are you?

Alright, I’m 23, male (with a name like that what lese could I be?), I live in a small town called Stalybridge, near Manchester, England. Right now I’m kind of between jobs, waiting to go back to university in september to do an MSc in Creative Media and Technologies at Bradford.

Hobbies off the net?

Most of my hobbies involve some kind of internet access, but I do have quite an interesting in making model boats. I’ve just finished one for my uncle, a replica of a real boat that he owns. I think he’s going to put it in a case. I also write – a lot – and I’m currently working on a novel, as well as sort of developing some ideas for comic-books.

I also do 3D graphics and animation, a fair bit of photoshop frippery and I’m a bit of a whisky connoisuer. And, finally, I watch Science FIction shows. My favourites are Stargate SG1, Futurama and Farscape, though two of them have been cancelled…

Who is your favorite character on the Simpsons and can you explain why?

Well, I would have said Lisa not so long ago, but I’m starting to change now. In one sense she’ll always be my favourite but, looking back over the earlier seasons, I’m realising that Marge is oe of the often unsung heroes of the show. She’s a sort of glue that holds the whole family together. In fact she sort of reminds me of my own mum… which is possibly a bit freudian if you think about it for too long.

How do you see future of The Simpsons?

ALthough my wish is that they might return to the glory days, I doubt that will happen now. It might improve, but the show we knew and loved is gone for good now. Pessemistic, I know, but sometimes you have to know when to move on.

What is your favorite episode?

Everyone I know says Last Exit to Springfield so I’m going to pick Lisa’s Substitute, just to be different… heh.

You are owner of website The Groening Fanworks Central. Could you tell us what is your site about?

Oh, well… an *easy* question. I think it’s best if I give a potted history. About… 5 years ago, maybe a bit longer, a guy named Adam Pulver decided to start reviewing people’s fanfiction. All was fine and dandy. Then I came along, wrote an epic that got a lot of good reviews – though personally I thinkit was just average – and suddenly I’m getting to be buddies with this Adam guy. I started my own site in the meantime to host some of my pictures and writings, back when I had the crazy idea to make a simpsons comic… then I expanded to host other people’s drawings, called myself a fanart site, and next thing you know my site is merged with Adam’s. The beast was born.

I was nerdy and stuck with the place. I think Adam went off and got a real life.

Who/what inspired you to create your website in first place?

That’s a good question. I mean, I’ve always felt like quite an outsider in this whole community thing, but I do remember the early days of LETS and Evergreen Terrace. Mostly I was inspired by the idea that anyone, and I mean *anyone*, could get in to this whole internet thing and make a half-decent site. One thing I did avoid was the flashing text and all the typical nebie mistakes. I read up on how to do it first before making my site. Probably the only intelligent thing I’ve done in the last decade.

Where are all these scripts coming from? Are visitors of your site submitting them to you or how it works?

Ah, the scripts. Yes, the site basically exists on other people sending in their stuff. These days most people submit their fanfiction through the forum, whereas it used to be by e-mail. Eitehr way I or someone has to manually put the script in to the system and set it all up. I’m working on a new system that lets people upload their scripts and pictures straight on to the server, so that should let me have a break now and then.

What is a difference between fanscript and fanfiction?

There isn’t much of a difference really. A fanscript is something that’s basically written out in script format, as if it were an actual production script for the show. Or that’s the idea. Fanfiction is a more general term that covers scripts, regular writing, poetry… you name it.

Have you noticed has any scenes/plots and/or quotes of the scripts appeared on the actual show, The Simpsons ever?

Oh, many times. I’ve noticed ideas from all kinds of scripts appearing in episodes. It’s difficult to actually prove though, and it would be too costly to pursue even if the authors in question *wanted* to. Most of them will be conicidence. There are only so many ideas in the world after all.

Your site also collects fanfiction. Do you draw also?

Yes, I do draw now and then. I’m not as prolific as I used to be. Back in the day I’d be cranking out one or two drawings a day, thought most of them were rough and sketchy. THese days most of my drawing is original art. I don’t spend so much time on fanart anymore, but I still do the occasional piece.

Do you visit often on other Simpsons sites on the net?

Not often. When I need reference images I’ll visit one of the big grab-pic archives, but to be honest I’ve really lost interest in the whole thing. Most of my net time is spent finding or visiting special effects and programming related communities and sites.

Do you have any favorites?

Well, at one time, Evergreen Terrace, just for all those weird and wonderful sections that kept appearing. Alas, no more. Sometimes I’ll drop in to for references but, again, since I@m loosing interesti I tend not to visit places like that. Oh yes, and The Simpsons Folder, which is a prime source for all the very best information and niftyiness you could ever want. Can I have my money now?

If you could change something on the Simpsons, what would it be?

These days? Everything. Mostly I’d want the characters to be a little more down to earth and realistic, like they used to be.

What kind of computer system do you use?

Which one? *g* At the moment I have 2.5 computers (the half is one that I share with my brother when he visits). Ihave a laptop, it’s an AMD something or other from Time, and it’s about 3 years old. It has metallic paint that transmits a steady current of about 1.5 milliamps in to my hands when it’s switched on, which gives me a nice buzz but probably isn’t healthy. I share that one with my fiancĂ©e. The half-computer is basically an internet gateway and file server. It’s running linux. My main computer is a big old AMD athlon XP 2200+ with 512 mb ram, lots of huge hard-drive space and some crappy old Geforce 3 graphics card in there. It works for video editing and rendering, as long as I don’t try to use it wne it’s doing the actual processing stuff… and it’s great for pshop, but I desperately need to upgrade so if anyone wants to help, just send $5 to happy dude, and the address that will appear after this interview.

Describe your desktop. What do you see around your computer?

This is a nifty one. I’m using a shell called Geoshell at the moment… oh you mean my *real* desk! Sorry. Well, I’m in a big basement room with a load of computers and desks all around the walls. I’ve got lots of CDs stacked up around the place, loads of paper everywhere (so much for the paperless office eh?). There’s a great personally signed picture of Gigi Edgely, who played a character called Chiana in the scifi show Farscape. Then there’s my nifty computer sound system which I salvaged from an old hifi. Way down the desk, a scanner-printer-faxer-probably-coffee-machine-as-well thingy that I havne’t used for ages… more paper, more CDs. Basically a big pile of paper and plastic.

Any final comments?

Yeah. Wait… no.

Well that was fun eh?