clay n ferno

Meet Clay Fernald of League Podcast & Do617 in Brighton

Meet Clay Fernald of League Podcast & Do617 in Brighton


Today we’d like to introduce you to Clay Fernald.

Clay, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been in and around the Boston music scene for many years, from all ages matinee shows at The Rat to attending concerts at Fenway Park for my day job at A few years ago, I became obsessed and an early adopter of social media technology, I have been on Twitter since the days of the flip phone. In 2005, The Boston Phoenix (RIP) put me on the cover for being the ‘Most Popular Man in Boston’ — according to the social networking site Myspace.




Matt Dursin is a comic book writer as well as the founder of the League of Ordinary Gentlemen Comic Book Podcast (LeaguePodcast). Dursin has written comics before, but taking the knowledge of his Comics Experience writing classes combined with his film-making degree from Emerson College has led him to applying himself to his latest project, green lit by Kickstarter
: Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century #1. Fellow League member and Earth Prime Time comic book correspondent Clay N. Ferno interviews his close friend about his experience getting the project together, Robin Hood’s modern Merry Men, and the ridiculously high cost of medical expenses these days.

DIGBOSTON: Start with the origin of Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century!
DURSIN: This goes back to the Andy Schmidt (IDW, Hasbro) Comics Experience writing class I took in 2009. The first class assignment was to write a 5-page story with a beginning, middle, and end. I had this idea in my head because I wanted to make a screenplay out of it.

I had been writing scenes for the screenplay for many years. It was a classmate that suggested that we don’t know if they are good guys until the end … page 5.

Tell us about this Robin, the setting he is in. Does he use a bow and arrow? What is he stealing?
He doesn’t steal gold! I figured, “What do people need?” Because of my own health issues through the years, I always think of the cost of medications and medical supplies. “How would you even pay for this without insurance?”

What if this Robin Hood steals medicine and gives it to people that don’t have health insurance or can’t afford it or don’t have a job. That’s what people need these days.

In the traditional Robin Hood, he was just giving money to the poor. Now, who is richer than the pharmaceutical companies these days?


If you go back to serfdom and the knight class and the royal class of the medieval period, the gap is just about the same from the 99% to the 1% in modern times.
Spoiler here: in issue 2, he does actually steal money. Without giving away too much, there is someone that needs money and Robin Hood makes the decision to steal money, but it is a decent to a darker turn as he gets deeper into it. I was kind of inspired by Breaking Bad.

Every issue isn’t going to be a robbery; different things can happen.

Are there more characters from the old stories than the familiar Robin Hood who will show up in your comic?
There’s Robin Hood, The Merry Men, Little John, Will Scarlett, of course the Sheriff is the bad guy. Maid Marian of course—the lady friend of Robin Hood. She is not a maid, obviously. She’s a nurse and one of the people who knows where the medication needs to go, she knows where the supplies are that he can steal.

She’s the inside maid.

It’s basically Sherlock—not to compare my little comic book to one of the greatest shows ever!

Go for it!
That’s Sherlock Holmes in modern times.

Although when did Sherlock actually debut? I think I predate it with my 5 pages in 2009!

It’s the same idea. The character is one you know, and a story you can identify with. This Robin Hood uses a gun; it’s not bows and arrows.




[Kickstarter page]



Stan Sakai created the rabbit ronin Usagi Yojimbo nearly 30 years ago. Usagi may seem familiar to hardcore fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for his guest appearances there. This weekend, as part of a special event and samurai exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Sensei Sakai and game developer Mike Levine of HappyGiant are slated to talk about the first Usagi video game in over 25 years, Usagi Yogimbo: Way of The Ronin (iOS / Android). We spoke with Mike about what to expect about from the game, the exclusive MFA Samurai Saturdays level, and about working with a master of the comic book form by way of bringing this fun side-scrolling sword and slashing game to market.

DIGBOSTON: Hi Mike – Thanks for coming! Can you tell me please about HappyGiant and what your role is there?

MIKE LEVINE: HappyGiant is my company, most of the company and myself have been in the games industry for 10-20 years. I worked for LucasArts in the ’90s for most of it and worked for some startups out in San Francisco. I came back here and started my own companies includingPileated Pictures, which was well known in Massachusetts for working with Hasbro and other properties. We were lucky to make some money and we’re now focused on mobile and the new company, HappyGiant.

Have you been a developer for a long time, or writing games for that long?

At LucasArts, I worked in the art department, constantly developing new techniques to create art. I would sit between really amazing artists and the programmers and we were in the middle making it all work in the games.

I’ve been a writer, designer and art director. We’re a small company so we all wear many hats.

Is this your first mobile game?

No, we’ve been doing it for a few years. We slowly crawled into it. We’ve done Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters and last summer we did the app for The Dictator film. We are also known for our high end pet sims Dolphin Paradise: Wild Friends. There’s another one that just came out, Orca Paradise: Wild Friends. We did Orca at the same time as Usagi. We used the Unity game engine to make both the games.


Very cool. Can I ask…are you a comic book fan?

Yes I am.

Usagi Yojimbo No. 1 - Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo No. 1 - Stan Sakai

Have you been a Usagi Yojimbo fan for as long as I have?

Probably not. I grew up reading comics, now my kids are reading my comics. I was a heavy Marvel guy, Walt Simonson’s Thor, Frank Miller’s Ronin and Dark Knight Returns. I read all the Lone Wolf & Cub books. I knew of Usagi, but don’t remember reading it. The story goes that a couple of years ago, my friend brought me 5-6 Usagi books and urged me to read them.

As soon as I started reading them, I couldn’t put them down, I read one after the other. When I got to Book 10 or 12, I decided, “This needs to be a game”!

It came together very smoothly with Dark Horse and Stan and getting in touch with them. I like to think when things are meant to be, things go smoothly, and this was one of those cases.