Like most dads, Steve Blum is a superhero. But Blum isn't just Grill Master or Piggy Back Pro, he's the voice of Wolverine on the popular Nick Toon special, Wolverine And The X-Men. We already loved Wolverine for his claws and totally rockin' outfit, but we liked him even more after talking to Blum, the voice behind the superhero.
Do you have two different voices: superhero voice and regular Steve Blum voice?
Steve Blum: Heh heh! -- Hopefully I still have my own voice in there somewhere! I do a lot of different voices, so sometimes I'm not sure what the "real" one is anymore. Kind of like having a circus in my head and needing to let the clowns out once in a while so they don't tear down the tent. Wolverine is definitely deeper and angrier than my normal manner of communication. I'm actually a nice guy. No, really!
Do you ever use the superhero voice on kids to freak them out?
SB: Not so much -- the only kids I can freak out with my voice are the young ones -- and that's just cruel. Out of context, most people just think I'm a dork if I do crazy voices in public. At conventions -- they love it -- the weirder and scarier, the better.
What kind of superhero is Wolverine for kids? Why do they like him?
SB: As a kid, I loved the idea of a superhero who didn't fly, and though he had some extraordinary abilities, wasn't the "hands on the hips," impossibly virtuous superhero that just couldn't exist in this world. (And of course, what kid wouldn't want Adamantium claws!) He's flawed. He's got issues. I think it's been relatively rare for American animation to depict the real and painful circumstances that can mold a life. I was raised to push down all of that stuff and pretend like everything was perfect. I think everyone wants to feel like they belong. Wolverine would never want to be a role model, but in a weird way, was one of the best for me.
As I got older, and especially as a teenager, I realized that I resonated with Logan's anti-establishment mentality. He's not afraid to be honest about his fears, his anger, his resentments - human emotions that we all deal with in our own earthly experience. I'm also drawn to the irony of a man who can heal from any physical injury, yet, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, he's a lost soul trying to find purpose and some sense of peace. Odd for a feral beast-of-a-guy with huge claws!
Do you ever feel like you are Wolverine, or do you feel pretty separated from him as a character?
SB: Other than the lost soul part, not really. I think I'd be committed to some sort of asylum if I truly believed I had an indestructible skeleton. The characters that I voice all represent pieces of me - sometimes in unexpected ways! They cause me to learn something new about myself almost daily. I'm certainly no superhero, but working with so many personalities has given me some interesting perspective on the world.