Jason David Frank from the Power Rangers franchise will be in Oklahoma this weekend to make signing appearances Saturday, Sept. 18 at Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman and Sunday, Sept. 19 at Tulsa’s Shadow Mountain Comics, 6125 S. Sheridan Road.
The Norman store appearance will begin at noon. The Tulsa signing will begin at 1 p.m.
The actor and martial artist took questions in advance of his visits.
The Power Rangers TV series debuted in 1993. Why do you think the franchise still hits a sweet spot with people 28 years later?
“I think there were a lot of life lessons the show had that people could relate to. Tommy was evil and then turned good. Twenty eight years later, I still have people tell me when Tommy turned good it helped show them they could still turn good even if they were bad and it inspired them to turn their life around. It’s something that people can still relate to today.
“It was a show that impacted kids watching it. Now those kids are grown up with kids of their own and they’re sharing Power Rangers with them. I think today’s adults that grew up with Power Rangers are going to find that relatability with my new character, Erik Reed, in ‘Legend of the White Dragon.’ It’s a more mature role and my character deals with regrets, depression, confusion in life, he’s in his head, past traumas that stuck with him. He deals with a lot in life that fans who are now grown up are dealing with. Despite the challenges, Erik Reed keeps fighting and pushing forward through the obstacles to a better future. I’m really excited to share my new movie with my fans.”
You’re an 8th degree Black Belt. Did your passion for martial arts come before or after appearing on the Power Rangers TV series? “I started karate long before Power Rangers at 4 years old. I walked by a dojo as a child and it looked cool so I wanted to try it. I’ve been training for 44 years. Not only did I learn how to protect myself, but I learned to live by the codes of the dragon: brotherhood, dedication, respect, cooperation, discipline, confidence, attitude, self-respect. Martial arts helped me a lot in life and I wanted to share that with others. I opened my first dojo at 18 years old. I created my own style of martial arts called Toso Kune Do (The Way of the Fighting Fist). I currently have Rising Sun Karate Schools in Texas and California. I also have an online training program TrainMeJDF.com for people who want to train, but don’t live near one of my schools.“
You’ve been a guest at cons in Tulsa before. Cons are starting to come back, but some celebrity guests have taken the initiative like you are doing and are making solo appearances around the country. Are you e in Tulsa and Norman this weekend. Are youon a tour or just making a couple of side appearances?
“I created the Power Rangers Protection Program during the pandemic as a way to still get to meet up with my fans but in a safe manner while helping out local comic book shops. It was hard for all of us to stay home quarantining when the pandemic first hit. This was a way to get out of the house for a mental health break and have some fun during this time.
“I have a safe curriculum that uses an app so people don’t wait physically in line; they wait virtually and only come in when their number is called. Everyone wears masks and practices social distancing. This program brings people, including new customers, to the comic shops. I sign a bunch of stuff to leave behind to the comic shops for free. I’ve left about 300K in signed merchandise to comic shops. I’ve been to about 100 comic shops since July 2020 and ended up extending the JDF PPP into 2021. Even though cons have been coming back, I’ve only done a couple. I really enjoy helping out comic shops and plan to continue to do so.“