Welcome to another edition of our Really Dumb Pop Culture Questionnaire. As its name might suggest, it’s a fun and frivolous way for creators to share their most asinine opinions on all things pop culture. Because being dumb doesn’t mean something still isn’t valuable. (Usually.)
For this edition, we quizzed artist/illustrator Emei Burell, who most recently released We Served The People, a gripping chronicle of her mother’s life growing up in 1960s Communist China. Burell’s work has also appeared in Studygroupcomics, The Nib, and The Believer, among other publications.
For even more of Burell, be sure to follow her on Twitter @emeiburell.
If you had to cast Sylvester Stallone in something you wrote/drew, what would it be? And why?
I know very little of Sylvester Stallone outside of Rambo (he was Rambo, right?) but I’m pretty sure I would put him in some wholesome slice of life kind of story. I just love the contrast of some mean looking character who’s really hardcore but loves to indulge in an unexpected cute hobby — like embroidery or baking!
What’s the one film or song title that could describe your life?
One song/film to describe my entire life? That’s hard… but as I’m a huge musical fan, a song that comes to mind (that I feel describes my life for the past five years or so pretty well) is “My Shot” from the Hamilton musical.
Who would make a better roommate: Martian Manhunter or Daniel Plainview (from There Will Be Blood)? And why?
I don’t know either of them so I’m just gonna choose a completely different character — Frankie (from Grace & Frankie). She seems like a chill person to get up to shenanigans with!
If you had to have a best friend from popular fiction, who would you choose and why?
I’ve been playing a lot of The Witcher 3 lately (and I binge watched the TV series), so I’d choose Geralt. I know he would have my back in a pickle, we could go on some awesome adventures together and he could be my training buddy! I’ve recently been trying to build some muscle so I think he would a an ideal buddy-coach.
What major city in the world would you choose to be a Superman-like superhero? And why?
I’ve always wanted to live in Tokyo, so it would have to be there! First, there’s not a lot of crime in Japan so I could chill a lot, and then whenever I wouldn’t be fighting giant amphibians I would be enjoying eating tiny ones. Yummy!
Your favorite film character cooks you dinner. Who is the chef and what are they serving up?
It’s for sure Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the Sister Act movies) and I think she would be serving me her favorite dish: cheesesteak with fries and beer.
What’s the perfect song for baking a pie?
For me it’s obviously the song “What’s Inside” from the Waitress musical.
Who do you want to direct the film of your life story? And what kind of film should it be (horror, rom-com, etc.)?
I recently watched “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and loved it, so I would want Céline Sciamma to direct the film of my life story as well – but with a twist: the co-director would be Wes Anderson and the genre musical comedy.
Your tombstone has to bear a famous song lyric — which one?
I would want something positive, that lightens the heart of whomever reads it. No song lyric comes to mind but a quote from Gandalf does:
“The journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take.
The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.
White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
You’re a supervillain — what’s your one power (and why)
Mind-control I think — it feels like the least bloody and least physically demanding on. (I’m very lazy!)
Would you rather draw/illustrate exclusively with your feet or only be able to use the colors green and pink?
Only using green and pink, easily! I love those colors and it would mean that I don’t have to think about picking a palette ever again!
Who would you rather open a business with: Alf or Magneto? And what kind of store?
Magneto for sure! We would run a scrapyard together (if that counts as a store?) It would have no operating costs what so ever because of his powers — and I’m already imagining all the fun things we could build in the scrapyard using what people dumped.