Grab an egg roll and join comics writer/editor Jim Salicrup as we discuss the illustrated postcard which convinced Marvel Comics to hire him at age 15, how John Romita Sr. caused him to change his name the first day on the job, what he did to enrage <em>MAD</em> magazine's Al Feldstein, his late-night mission to secure Stan Lee's toupee, what editor Mark Gruenwald had in common with Bill Murray, why the 1970s' <em>X-Men</em> revival was like <em>Amazing Fantasy</em> #15, how he convinced Todd McFarlane to stick to Spider-Man (which eventually led to a blockbuster new comic), the possible connection between Stan's love of crossword puzzles and the famed Marvel Method, and much more.
Grab a slice of pizza with A. T. Greenblatt and eavesdrop as we discuss the writing workshop-induced panic which caused her to begin writing her latest Nebula Award-nominated story, how the Viable Paradise workshop helped kick her writing up a notch, why she prefers Batman to Superman, the importance of revisions, critique groups, and community, what's to be learned from rereading one's older work, why she's a total pantser, her love of Roald Dahl, something she wishes she'd known earlier about the endings of stories, how much of writing is being able to keep secrets and not explode, and much more.
Bite into BBQ with Zig Zag Claybourne as we discuss how creators can self-define their success to avoid jealousy and despair, why he's always preferred Marvel to DC, how he'd annoy his family with his love of the original <em>Star Trek</em>, the two professors who showed him he could be a writer, why the title is the soul of a story, the most important pointer he received after reaching out to romance writer Beverley Jenkins for advice, why he does some of his best writing in the bathtub, how dialogue reveals character, whether his wild duology will ever become a trilogy, how to survive toxic fandoms, and much more.
Grab a slice of pie with podcaster Gil Roth as we discuss his surprising (and my unsurprising ) guest with the greatest number of downloads, the advice John Crowley gave him about his potential writing career, how a guy who used to memorize X-Men comics got turned on to Love & Rockets, the way we process the deaths of former guests, the song he wants played at his memorial service, how to get often-interviewed guests not to regurgitate their favorite soundbites, why no comic book movie beats the first <em>Superman</em>, how he became the publisher of every letter Samuel R. Delany wrote in 1984, why readers thought he was the secret identity of another writer during his days reviewing for <em>The Comics Journal</em>, the Italo Calvino quote which has kept him going through the pandemic, and much more.
Savor Stan Lee's favorite sandwich with comics writer Jo Duffy as we discuss why she knows what Superman will look like when he's 100, the many reasons our kid selves both thought Marvel had D.C. beat, the genius of Marie Severin, how I may have inadvertently been responsible for her getting a job as an Assistant Editor in the Marvel Bullpen, what it was like to work with Steve Ditko, the firing she still feels guilty about 40 years later, how she approached the challenge of writing <em>Power Man and Iron Fist</em>, the letter she wrote to Stan Lee after the death of Jack Kirby, the two-year-long <em>Star Wars</em> story arc she was forced to squeeze into a few issues, the best writing advice she ever got, and much more.
Nibble hors d'oeuvres with award-winning writer Mary Robinette Kowal as we discuss the temporal differences between puppetry and science fiction conventions, how she transitioned from writing magical Regency novels to the Lady Astronaut series, why unlike many writers, she reads her reviews (albeit selectively), the reason she's able to write relationships between reasonable people so well, how she constructs a science fiction mystery, why it's so important she likes her characters' clothing when she picks a project, the meaning of science fiction itself within her science fiction universe, the way she uses sensitivity readers to make her work better, how a novel is like a clear glass pitcher, and much more.
Settle in for bagels and a schmear with comics retailer Joel Pollack as we discuss what the pandemic has done to the comics shop business, the comic his mother bought him which changed his life, the card game which led to him getting his first piece of original art, how his run-in with a young Howard Chaykin convinced him he wasn't cut out to be a professional comics artist, what opening day was like at the first of his Big Planet comic book stores, the biggest sales event he's seen during his 35-year retailing career, what inspired Bernie Wrightson to draw a freaky issue of <em>Swamp Thing</em>, how he fights back against the Comic Book Guy cliche to makes his shops welcoming places, our joint distaste of slabbing, why he doesn't like doing appraisals, and much more.
Savor spanakopita with Nick Mamatas as we discuss why there's a generational divide when it comes to what potential readers might think his upcoming novel <em>The Second Shooter</em> is about, our joint Brooklyn heritage and history with professional wrestling, why he threw away the first dozen stories he wrote, the reason Marvel Comics was always better than DC, his encounters with the famed monologuist Brother Theodore, the first bad book he ever read, the way having been a journalist helps him collaborate without killing his co-writers, why work for hire assignments can be difficult, how we feel about our refusal to pick a genre lane, and much more.
It's time for cookies and conversation with writer/editor/publisher Ian Randal Strock as we discuss what he said upon meeting Isaac Asimov which caused the Grand Master to refuse to write him a limerick, why he prefers <em>The Princess Bride</em> novel to the movie, the reason his father advised him not to name his publishing company after himself, why the 1,000-word short story is his natural length, the question editor Stan Schmidt asked before purchasing his first story for <em>Analog</em>, the essay which so thrilled him he felt compelled to start his own magazine, the most difficult aspect of running your own publishing company, why ending a story too late isn't as great a sin as starting one too early, how his fascination with presidential trivia began in the bathroom, and much more.