My interview with Alex Wer: aka "The Pumpkin Geek"

by Darth Danno
on 2017-11-08, 08:22:08

Got to sit down and chat with Alex Wer on Sunday, Oct 29th at WalkerStalkercon Atlanta, and I always knew him to be a nice guy. Well, after chatting with him I now know he’s a SUPER DUPER nice guy and if there’s a Nobel Peace Prize for pumpkin carving, he should definitely get it, and if there isn’t a NPP in that category, then they need to create one and STILL give it to him! But enough of my yammering, here’s what HE had to say:

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WHEN DID YOU FIRST START CARVING PUMPKINS? 2009

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA TO DO THIS? I had carved my wife’s business logo into a pumpkin for an event and I got 35 orders that night. Now at the time, I was in the mortgage industry, and when she said she had all these orders, I thought they were people wanting to refinance their house or something, not for carving pumpkins.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO CARVE A PUMPKIN? It takes me @ 3 hours to do a small one, and 4-5 hours to do a large one.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER THAT YOU’VE CARVED? I don’t have a favorite; I just love doing things that I’d never considered carving. I like being introduced into new fandoms.

WHO WOULD BE YOUR FAVORITE CELEBRITY THAT YOU’VE BEEN COMMISSIONED TO DO A CARVING FOR? Ming-Na Wen. After sending her her pumpkin, she sent me back autographed copies of Mulan I & II, and 4 different autographed pics. Then she calls me up to say that she talked with Marvel and got me a one-day clearance to come watch the filming of "Agents of Shield" so she could actually meet me and get me to autograph her pumpkin.

WOULD YOU CONSIDER HALLOWEEN TO BE YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY? No, Christmas.

HAVE YOU EVER GOTTEN ANY STRANGE AND/OR UNUSUAL REQUESTS TO CARVE INTO A PUMPKIN? Yes, the late comedian Sam Kinison.

ABOUT HOW MANY PUMPKINS DO YOU CARVE IN A YEAR? Now that this is my full time job, @ 500.

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WHAT IS ONE THING YOU’D LIKE THOSE WHO VISIT YOUR WEBSITE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND/OR YOUR WORK? I’m a perfectionist. If people are willing to spend that much money on this, then I have to exceed all of their expectations. I want repeat customers.

ANY AREAS YOU WOULD LIKE TO EXPAND INTO FOR THE FUTURE? No. I’m "The Pumpkin Geek" for a reason. I believe I’ve found my niche. I like getting to know people and finding out why they like and want my work. I would like to get into corporate work however, contracted for doing these carvings for Marvel, Disney, Lucasfilm, etc…

ANY FAVORITE STORIES YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? A woman had asked me to do a pumpkin of the two brothers from "Supernatural". I did, and as I do with all my clients, before sending it off to her, I sent her a picture of what it looked like. She said she liked it, but I felt as if she wasn’t thrilled with it. So I asked her if there was anything she wanted done differently, wanted me to change, etc…and she said the carve I had done was of the boys from earlier on in the series, and they now looked different from what they had in the past. I asked her again if she wanted me to change it and she said no, as it was a gift for her husband and would see what he thought. Well I later heard back from her and she said that her husband actually liked their earlier looks as opposed to their present one and that I absolutely killed it! So they were both very happy.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT CARVING A PUMPKIN? I find an image online that I like and from that, create a template that I sketch onto the pumpkin and then carve it.

WHERE CAN FANS COME SEE YOUR WORK IN 2018? Go to the WizardWorld site, I’m going to be doing 6-7 of their shows. Plus, more WalkerStalker cons and Heroes and Villains conventions.

ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT DOING A STAR WARS CELEBRATION? I would love to!

In closing, there are two stories that I’d like to share, One was that he told me he had a fondness for BB-8, and then I told him about the new droid that will be appearing in "The Last Jedi", BB-9E. Shortly after he returned home he sent me the picture of the carving that’s with this article. The second story is that after my interview, Alex was asked if he would mind coming to the WalkerStalker green room as Lauren Cohan "Maggie" on "The Walking Dead" had seen his work, was very impressed with it, and would like to meet him. At the time she wasn’t even aware the pumpkins lit up! So upon seeing them in their full and regal splendor, placed an order for one! Hopefully Alex will be able to give us a preview upon completion.





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