Jim Krueger – The No Ones! Earth X! Justice!

Today Kenric is joined by the incredible talented Jim Krueger!

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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas

Theme music by Ardus

Jim Krueger – Video Interview


[00:00:00] Kenric: All right, guys. Welcome back today is super cool because he’s worked with well, I don’t know if he’s up and coming, but he’s an amazing artist named Welby and he’s worked with the great Alex Ross. And I know for a fact that he’s a lover of Shane black, like myself, and he’s got a, he’s got a new thing from cave pictures publishing That’s coming out soon called the no ones or

Jim Krueger: is it out?

It’s actually out. Oh, perfect. It’s like when, when I did the podcast with with Kevin Smith recently, he was like, I got so many people who just ordered from me on my Instagram.

Kenric: Nice. Jim Krueger. Thanks for coming on. Spoiler country, man. Yeah.

Jim Krueger: So happy. So happy to be on. I appreciate it. I really do. Thanks.

Thanks for giving me a chance to show off my Marvel masterworks collection. That’s awesome.

Kenric: That’s awesome. How long did it take you to get all that

Jim Krueger: years

Kenric: and years and years? Yeah. When did you buy your first one?

Jim Krueger: Wow. I think the first [00:01:00] one, which one is it? I bought them. I was buying when they first started coming out and then I got rid of them all.

Sold them all. Like, I don’t know. There were like 20 of them. And then I ended up going back and getting them all again. And now I just keep on getting up. It’s like, I probably have three or four pristine collections, like, Oh, this is a collection that defines me. Masterworks is one of those like, Oh, so grow.

Kenric: Do you remember those Marvel books from like, I think it was the late eighties where they would be square bound and there had like a grayish silver color and they would have, it would be like the X-Men and then they were, they would, they wouldn’t like. Do the whole story, but they would give synopsis for all the distinct, like one through six would be in book one and they would give us an opposite of everything that had like

Jim Krueger: indexes

Kenric: or something.

Yeah. I had those, I love them. That was the only way. So cool. Yeah. That was the only way I’m going to know all this [00:02:00] stuff. Like, go to the comic store. You can’t talk to somebody. That’s been reading books since the 1970s and they read the same book 20 times and they’ve done it for each one. And then you go and you try to say, Oh yeah, I’m doing this.

And they just blast you out of the thing because you got everything wrong. You know,

Jim Krueger: I would, I would hate to be on a stage where like Kirk music or Mark Wade, or these guys who have read every Marvel and DC comic book ever published.

Kenric: Wow. There’s so many hours, so many hours. I can’t even begin to do it.

So, no. One’s you did with Welby. I, I. Does he always go by? Well, B cause

Jim Krueger: it’s kind of his, his art name is his real name is just this long Norwegian. And so he goes by Welby. Yeah.

Kenric: It’s kind of cool because if you look it up, there’s like, if you look up his real name, you can find his real name pretty easily.

But if you look up just Welby, there’s like no pictures of him [00:03:00] or nothing. And it kind of creates this air of mystery, which yeah.

Jim Krueger: Awesome.

Kenric: From comics. I can’t wait to

Jim Krueger: work with them again. Like this, there’s almost a shorthand already in which like, it’s not like, like a lot of artists I’ve gotten to work with so many great people, but you know, you do something and then it comes back better or more interesting or

Kenric: scared.

Yeah. So where did the, where did no one’s come about? How did how’d you even come up with that?

Jim Krueger: Well, the idea of the idea of no one’s is it’s a group of celebrity superheroes who. You know, they’ve got it all. They’ve got it. They’ve got it made. Everything’s good. And then you know, they’ve got their own action figures, their own paparazzi, their own, this and that.

Like, like they are worshiped, they saved the day and we loved them for it. Anyhow, they accidentally killed an innocent bystander in a while they’re fighting terrorists and they’re like, who’s the media finds this, we’re going to lose our we’re going to lose a fortune. [00:04:00] And so they hide the body and they bury it and secrets.

And then the next day they wake up and no one’s ever heard of them before. Oh, weird. So even when you look at, look like at the first issue cover, it says no. And then there’s a period, like the abbreviation of number. So it says like the number ones, and then the second issue that dot that period begins to fade all the way as like, no matter what they do, it gets forgotten.

No matter they’re forgotten. It’s like all of reality is constantly in this state of wiping their presence, almost like, program on a computer, you know, no matter how many times the virus comes in, the computer is always dealing with it and, and reading it. And so what it does to this group is half the team sees this as a chance to really change the world and really impact the world while the other half just wants their lives back.

And it turns into this conflict between these former teammates, but no one will ever know. [00:05:00] Glimpse of it and then immediately

Kenric: forget it. Where can someone, if they wanted to pick it up, where can they go? Can they go to the LCS? Or,

Jim Krueger: I mean, I don’t like it came out of, as, as you said, cave, pictures publishing you, can we get it from their website?

Or, you know, if people want to reach out to me on Instagram, you know, I usually just sell it at cover I’ll sign for free and pay the

Kenric: shipping, I guess. Oh, you can get it on Comixology right now. But, and I like comics, I think, you know what it is. I like the concept of Comicology. But I still prefer in hand, you know, opening it up, smelling

Jim Krueger: it, reading it, you know, the big, the big common companies did a, did a study on digital versus like holding it.

Did they really, what they found, what they found is that you retain only about 70% in digital. Compared to compared to like a book. Oh, that’s interesting. [00:06:00] And I wonder, I wonder if that’s because we tend to read a digital comic faster. Yeah,

Kenric: yeah. You just kind of flip through it,

Jim Krueger: you know, like, like you’re not even paying attention, but, but like with a book, you know, if the writers is doing their job too, they’re even thinking about turning a page as a scene change or taking a breath, you know, and all that sort of thing.

And I think digital is just, we read it faster. So it might not be a computer

Kenric: versus a book. I’ll read a lot of digital, mostly when people are coming on and they they’ll they’ll send me an advanced copy, then I’ll read, I canceled my Comicology cause I just wasn’t, I wasn’t using it.

Jim Krueger: You know, I think I had it just to have copies of my own stuff so that if I went somewhere, I could show it to somebody.

Yeah. That makes sense.

Kenric: Yeah.

Jim Krueger: But then just, I don’t even know what happened to that iPad. Yeah.

[00:07:00] Kenric: You know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve had the privilege to talk to tons of people like Jerry Conway. And we had Tom board on, which I know you worked with. I actually wanted to ask, how was it, how was it working with Tom?

Because didn’t you work with him? He was your editor for

Jim Krueger: earth X, right? No. Ironically it or his ex began with Marie J bins now editor in chief of PC. And then I think it was Pally. Wyman took over after that. And did the rest of the book or the rest of her

Kenric: running the whole show

Jim Krueger: then I think Tom S like one of their.

Uber editor’s like, we like all the editors at Marvel. I feel like they’re so overworked, like doing too much at once when I worked because I was on staff for a while, years and years ago there, it, you know, the editors had five bucks now. I think they’re all editing like 10 books a month or 12

Kenric: a month.

That’s so much. How do, how do you [00:08:00] even get through the day?

Jim Krueger: Yeah. Well, I guess you call it Mark Wade and Curt music a lot who have read every single comic book. And what happened to that issue?

Kenric: You know, can you believe it’s been, what, 20 years since you did earth X now that’s crazy.

Jim Krueger: Is that weird? Yes. It feels like a completely different era.


Kenric: different life. Yeah, because you’re coming in on the tail end of the nineties for that book.

Jim Krueger: Right. Like, I think I was writing it 99 and the first either the first issue or the first collection came out in 2000. And what was it

Kenric: like because you worked with Alex Ross on that book. Yeah. And that guy is amazing, but he, but I don’t recall him being Alex Ross then, you know what I mean?

Like, I feel like Alex Ross, like kingdom come just stratified.

Jim Krueger: Oh, well next was after kingdom come. Was

Kenric: it after it? I thought I could have sworn [00:09:00] out. Oh, you’re probably right. I’m not even going to question you. I thought, because I thought a kingdom come was 2005 for some reason in my head. I always think 2004,

Jim Krueger: I think that’s justice together again.

That was just so

Kenric: yeah. So, what was it like when you’re getting, getting these things back? You’re, he’s putting pictures to your words and you’re just like, I can’t even begin to imagine somebody. Who’s good. That’s, that’s my thoughts

Jim Krueger: when I see them well, and that was especially, that was especially the experience of justice because Jonathan, you know, drew or decks.

But yeah, it was just, it was, it was an amazing time, you know, and even the scripts, it was like, I would write the script, send it over to Alex and Alex would be like, yeah, it’s awesome. Turn it in. Like only thing we’ve ever done together that Alex didn’t have notes for me on,

Kenric: Oh my God, what is it like when you get a job with DC and they’re like, we need you to do 12 issues. Do they [00:10:00] have today? Did they like outline some of the things they wanted you to have? Like some, some hooks for other things,

Jim Krueger: or what was really interesting is I think I rewrote issue one of justice, like eight, nine times what never rewrote any of the others.

And that was because DC wanted justice to be part of their all-star thing. They were wanting it to be more of an origin. And the whole thing would seed to be now let’s do a really serious super friends. That’s not an origin story at all. So, so it was like they kept on pushing and pushing and pushing.

And then finally the editor who was really cool to us, joy Cavaliery he was like, you know what, I’m just going to go back to that original script and I’m going to float it to a couple of people. And so he floated it to a couple of people like Paul Dini and others, and they’re all like, Oh, this is a great [00:11:00] script.

What’s wrong. And then it just went from there. But I remember one of the One of the things that

Kenric: you have a Roomba going a vacuum?

Jim Krueger: No, but I have a candle here. Maybe that’s it. I don’t know. It sounds like I hear two. I’ll be right back.

Kenric: Okay. Take

Jim Krueger: your time.

I don’t know. It seems like it may be gone now, so it’s okay. I remember, I remember Dan video was, you know, the big guy DC. And at that time he was like, you know, this argument that you give Luther because the first, every issue is narrated by someone else. And the first issue is narrated by Luther and then all the narrations after that are one or the other members of the justice league.

I remember dancing, you know what Luther’s argument is too good. He needs to be more of a villain. He needs to, you know, think about how he’s going [00:12:00] to stop these heroes every day. And we were like, but isn’t the classic. Like I think it was like, isn’t the classic thing that the villains, the hero of his own story is didn’t, shouldn’t one of the world’s smartest businessmen have a legitimate reason to hate the heroes.

And so that was, that was the argument. But then after that first issue was settled, it was just like, okay, this is the story. Yeah.

Kenric: That’s cool. What did did Alex give you any pointers of what he would like to see or like, I want to be, can you write a scene for this type of art? I want to do I have this thing in my head?

Jim Krueger: Yeah. Well,  wait, laid out the book and the pencils on the book before Alex painted on it. And there were some very specific things that Alex wanted in that series, for example he had the idea of how. Like the three villains, including parasite would take out Superman at the end of issue four and Superman crying for [00:13:00] help.

Like he’s like, yeah, that’s, that’s that, that’s that scene as we’re taking part F as, as the heroes are being attacked. And I was saying, well, let’s, let’s have a godfather moment where the villains are all telling the world about how they’re going to save it and make the world a better place and stuff like that while other villains are just taking out the JLA.

Right. You know, and then there’s a battle. I want to say an issue nine or 10, that Alex had a very specific choreography of that, that he had envisioned. And I think there might be a 10 page sequence in that battle that he laid out before I even wrote it. That’s interesting. Yeah.

Kenric: Yeah. Now 20, roughly 20 years later, it’s September of 2020.

You guys. Go back and do a prequel to earth X,

Jim Krueger: which was a blend with that. It was so much fun.

Kenric: Was that your first time working with Welby as well?

Jim Krueger: No. No ones was my first time working with [00:14:00] well-being. Alex knew about no one’s and so

Kenric: I it’s bad information. I know ones I thought, well, no, one’s just came out in January, February.

What was the

Jim Krueger: trade? The trade, what the issues had come out and then big deal of trade. Eventually

Kenric: hate being, I hate being, having wrong information that just drives me nuts.

Jim Krueger: And certainly marbles X is sold a lot better than no ones, but it’s discovered. And I’m like, when I’ll I’ll do a store shop signing or something like that come up and they’ll be like, like, no one’s is like foot soldiers. It’s like, this is one of my favorite things about what you’ve done, stuff like that.

So, so it’s fun. It’s fun. I’ve always had like this collection of like really big hits and then really small little underground cult things.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. With how important and how honored were you to receive that 2010 glad award?

Jim Krueger: Yeah, that was cool. That was really cool. I [00:15:00] totally forgot about that.

Kenric: It out of nowhere.

Jim Krueger: Yeah. Yeah. It was just,

Kenric: yeah. Yeah. It was just, I haven’t, I’ve never met anybody. Who’s gotten a word like that, you know? So I had to ask

Jim Krueger: it’s crazy because I mean, sometimes I’ll get these awards and it’s like, I won’t get a trophy or anything. I still don’t have an Eisner. Trophy, you know, DC’s always like, DC’s like, no, no, no, we’re going to, we’ll make sure we’ll make sure.

And then, you know, the stop asking, you’re just like, okay.

Kenric: Eisner though, an Eisner actual physical award to show off. I mean, that’s a big, that’s a, of all the, the awards that they offer in comic book, world. That’s the one, right? Yeah. That’s the one that like, Oh my Sally field moment. Yeah.

Jim Krueger: Except I think I’d be like you don’t really like me. [00:16:00] This is all

Kenric: lies. You guys are totally being sarcastic.

Jim Krueger: Very funny. Connie, San Diego comic con

Kenric: what are you reading right now? Are you reading anything interesting that people should know about,

Jim Krueger: Comic wise? Or book? Yeah. You know, I just got this.

I’m so excited. I’m so excited. I, I feel like like, definitely this is, this is an old man thing, but I’m starting to, I’m starting to get into new are like, I’ve always liked the film, but Brian de Palma has a new book out DePaul. Like it’s like one of his movies are

Kenric: snakes necessary

Jim Krueger: and I love the title.

I love that cover. So there’s that. And then they just did hard case books just did a collection of all the Ray Bradbury, like crime stuff.

Kenric: Nice, nice.

Jim Krueger: And so I’m like so excited to grab that stuff. Oh, and I should show you this as. Because I just got this [00:17:00] too, and I haven’t read it yet, but I’m so excited, too hard case also did an adaptation of this.

Oh, no way. Yeah. So, and you can find them really cheap on eBay. So, or wherever a different book sites,

Kenric: the nice guy is, is so good. That movie was such a shock.

Jim Krueger: You’ve got to equal that he wants to make, but you know, I don’t think it made that much money when, when it came out,

Kenric: but it had to have made more like, for lack of a better term, when it went to video,

Jim Krueger: I would have, I would hope so.

I would think so. Yeah. Is

Kenric: everybody, I said, you got to watch the nice guys has loved

Jim Krueger: that movie. Oh yeah. And it was like another kiss, kiss, bang. Bang made me happy. Yeah.

Kenric: Yeah. How good. This is a perfect segue. How good is Shane black in your

Jim Krueger: mind? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Like so funny and was so much hard.

Yeah. Like, like everyone on his writing. Yeah. Like, like even, even, you know, the moment where the guy’s like, you will [00:18:00] never be happy. And at the end, sorry, this is a spoiler, but it’s not really part of the story. And it gets smeared on his hand. So it says you will be happy. It’s like all those moments and he’s such a bad dad.

And yet there’s such love between he and his daughter. And, you know, even the line that he says to to Russell Crowe at the end, where he’s like, well, at least you’re drinking again.

Yeah. We’ll roll. And then breaks it in such funny ways that I’m always like thrilled and laughing.

Kenric: When did you become a Shane black fan?

Jim Krueger: Well, I grew up with so many of his movies, but I wasn’t really aware of shame black with lethal weapon. Like that was, I was too young. I was too like, you know, right.

Predator. Right,

Kenric: right.

Jim Krueger: Predator. But, but I [00:19:00] remember in lethal weapon, the part where the bad guy car turns over and stuff like that, the whole audience was silent. And I had gone with my dad to see it. And my dad gets really emotional. We use with bad guys. And so the whole thing is quiet. And my dad’s like you sucker SLAs was so gripped with that.

Kenric: He’s like,

Oh, I love it. I love it. I went and saw, so not a she black one, but the what is his name? The guy that did I see dead people. The M O and M night Shyamalan. And it wasn’t, it wasn’t that one, it was the alien one. Signals think, geez, man, I am out of it today. Yeah. So when, on my birthday, when it came out, it was me and my brother and a friend of ours named Mike and we’re sitting and we got there a little late, so we had to [00:20:00] be near the, the near the front of the theater.

Right. And as we’re watching the movie and the movie is great, I love that movie, but you know how the tension and that movie mountains yeah. In the living room and he’s talking to his brother, right. Does it Merrill. Yeah, brother marrow. And then the classic line swing away. Merrill swing-away comes in, but they’re doing this thing where everything mounts, depression, nobody in the theater is saying anything right.

And the, and the tension is just mounting and mounting and they, the first time you actually see the alien, isn’t the reflection of the TV. Yeah. The TV comes into view. The reflection has some random lady way in the back. Just starts screaming.

the whole theater just erupts in laughter. And I’ll never forget it because it was [00:21:00] hilarious. It was, it just, all the tension broke. The movie was, was like, I don’t know. It was much more. What’s the word I’m looking for more, more. It wasn’t so tense. You know what I mean? It was just much more

Jim Krueger: limp. He has a lot of humor to it too.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. It was so funny. I’ll never forget that whole,

Jim Krueger: I had a similar moment at the end of Blair witch, where, where I had watched it and that movie is creepy. I mean, it’s a movie I get like, it’s really powerful and it’s it changed it, it gave it to the ending, hombre, filmmaking, all that sort of thing.

But there was this guy who got up from his seat and he’s like, no, no, man, no. And he just starts walking up and down the aisles as the credits are rolling. No, no, no, no.

All right. I got go man.

Kenric: Awesome. What is your favorite Shane black movie? So people know Shane black is [00:22:00] responsible for like lethal weapon, kiss, kiss, bang, bang, the nice guys. Ironman three lethal weapon, two. One of my all-time favorites when I was a kid, the monster squad, the last boy scout

Jim Krueger: and more. So I am not going to choose between nice guys and kiss, kiss, bang, bang.

Right? Those are my two FA two favorites. Maybe

Kenric: since like 2006, I think I’m going to

Jim Krueger: watch. But if I were to choose something, other than that, I have a lot of love for long kiss. Goodnight.

Kenric: That’s what I’d like. Like I would literally play the likes. I worked at a video store and so when the lawn Kisker night came out, I was all about that movie.

And I would take my in 1998, I had taken my cell phone. I ended up a brick cell phone. You know what I mean? Those old Nokia ones. Wow. I do my voicemail. And then I, I push it up against the, the the whole Samuel Jackson seen when he’s breaking in on the the judge that’s having that thinks he’s going to have sex with the joke with the hooker.

And he [00:23:00] comes in, I would take that whole scene on my phone for my voicemail. And as people come in, they would hear if you’re an ass fucking fan.

Jim Krueger: Oh, that movies, that that’s also one of my favorites, Samuel Jackson roll ever done. I know it’s like, he’s not a tough guy at all. And by the end of it, by the end of it, what he’s on, is it Larry King, Larry cakes show at the end, he’s coming off almost like Barney Fife, right? Like there’s such a ridiculous mess to his character movie.

He’s so likable. Yeah.

Kenric: Oh God. It’s just, there’s so many one-liners in that movie. I was quoting it for years afterwards. Oh yeah. Oh, well, I watched a couple of your interviews. And you said in one, how much do you like Shane black with the, I don’t think the guy heard you what you were saying where he doesn’t know any black, because I was like, Oh, I can’t wait to talk to him.

[00:24:00] Jim Krueger: No, I mean, of course nothing’s happening like that right now, but I’ve gone to Shane black festivals here. He’s talked and he’s, you know, talk in between movies. And like the last one I was at, they, they played last kiss, goodnight and kiss, kiss, bang, bang, whether like half hour thing in the middle or more where he just talked and talked about his life and choices he made and regrets and like, he’s really, he’s really vulnerable in a way.

That’s, that’s

Kenric: strong. That’s cool. I kind of feel like he’s, he’s kind of like the Martin Scorsese of buddy cop movies to me. Yeah. You know what I mean? Generative about yeah. His writing is so more. It’s just so honest. I don’t know how else to put it. You know, when I watch a Shane black movie, I just know that I’m not going to get

Jim Krueger: placated.

Yeah. And his [00:25:00] scripts are really fun to live to, to read because you know, possibly breaking out of the script, he’s like, this is the mansion I’m going to, the party is the mansion I’m going to buy. When you buy this script from me, that’s fine. It’s that kind of interaction where it’s just like, like there are lots of scripts that are just not fun to read at all.

Yeah. Reading and stuff like that. And it’s good for study and all that kind of thing. But, but his always, his scripts are as funny as the movies end up being.

Kenric: That’s awesome. I love hearing that. I know that makes me want to go and try to, because you can download some of them, right. I

Jim Krueger: think so.

Kenric: Yeah. I think it makes me want to go and try and check them out.

Cause I’ve never done that. That’s cool. So you’ve been writing for a long time. I know you did advertising as well, which is a completely different, medium, completely different beast. But I imagined that you were able to use some of those skillsets and transfer them over into writing, [00:26:00] but as all writers need, they need that.

They need that feedback. I’m going over and you gave a wonderful set of advice that I heard. And you said, if someone’s giving you feedback, don’t take the bad feedback when they’re telling you what to do, what they would do, because then they’re just

Jim Krueger: feedback. Like you, like, it’s really important to seek out a critique, like a critique.

That’s good though. Right? And when people tell you what they would do with your script, they’re not giving you a good critique right there. They’re pretending they’re going to confuse you. Yeah. And it’s going to pull you out of your story and then you’re going to be like, Oh wait, maybe my story. Isn’t good.

Maybe I should do their persons. And that’s going to like, just drag you away from the heart of the thing you wanted to tell and spend all this time in the first place. Yeah. So, yeah, you need to find people who will give you the kind of critique where they’re going to one, [00:27:00] understand the story. You’re trying to tell.

Right. And then they’re going to be able to tell you if something isn’t working, they can even make suggestions of how to make it work. But that suggestion, it better be in line with the story you’re telling to the point that you hear. And you’re like, Oh, you know, like, like the right notes. You’re just like a, writer’s going to be excited about it.

They’re just going to be so grateful because someone read this thing that they’ve been a slave to for so long. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But at some point, at some point in the process, I think like the pride we stopped, like the pride isn’t in ourselves, it becomes a pride in the project. Right. So if a note makes it better.

Then you’re just great. Is it

Kenric: D do you ever, do you ever worry about running under the part of being the next Amadeus? Because when, and I mean, I’ll preface it by this. Have you ever seen that [00:28:00] movie? There’s the scene where the King comes up and says he was falling asleep, saw the area’s completely happy that this is happening, right?

Because he’s, he wants to get rid of Amadeus because he’s, this guy is brilliant and he hates it and they said, well, there’s just too many notes.

Jim Krueger: Right. Just take out a couple of, and it’ll be perfect. And a

Kenric: couple of, so, and I, I kinda think of that when you get good notes, good criticism, we should say, right.

Like good criticism is good because I think some people have thin skin and they can’t take the criticism. It’s like, no criticisms is to help you get better. Not about if, if they’re, if they’re talking about you perfectly, that’s one thing. But if they’re just saying, Hey, I don’t understand this. Or, or you have too much going on.

And, and, and. I can’t get through this. I think that’s good. But do you run the risk of having too big of the ego, the Amadeus ego? You know, we’re no, no, I have just as many notes as I require no more, no less.

Jim Krueger: Well, [00:29:00] you know, I think there is important time, even if it’s internal and not external, or if it’s to yourself and not audible where you can hear someone and just go you’re wrong.

Yeah, definitely. And that’s necessary because I mean, I even like a lot of times when I’m teaching writing, I’ll be like, I’ll say, what’s the thing about this script. That if you had to change that one thing, you wouldn’t even do the script anymore. Right. You’d be so lost because that’s the one thing that you built it on.

That’s the one thing that you made. Sure. No matter what, that, that this is going to be there. The thing like, like for example, I have a Peter pan project. Okay. Near and dear CQL all that kind of thing. And there is a moment that if I wasn’t allowed to have that moment, I’d just be like, okay.

Kenric: Everything around this [00:30:00] one moment.


Jim Krueger: Yeah. And I mean, there are lots of moments in there, but, but just, it’s a little moment of dialogue that that’s.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. I I’m working on something for myself right now and I’ve, I’ve never been a big writer by any stretch. I took, I did stuff in college and, and the things that I’ve done, I have one thing that’s been published and it’s only three pages long.

So I’m by no means a professional or anything like that. But I am working on a project and it’s called a supernatural baby detective. It’s just about a guy that I want him to be a hard-boiled 1940s style, private detective. Right. And then he gets killed by the person that he’s invested that he’s investigating, trying to capture.

And as he dies an entity, whatever, have you comes and have them be reborn. And when he’s reborn [00:31:00] the gift that the entity gives him his memory. So he, his whole past life that he’s, he still has the exact same attitude, the same, all the same memories. You know? So now he’s dealing with being a, three-year-old wanting to get back into this investigation, able to talk, able to walk, able to talk because he has all of the, his life experiences are still his life experience.

He doesn’t there’s no, it was my past life. No, it’s still my that’s my, my life experiences. So now he’s dealing with meeting his mother, his new mother, right. And then having the same love that he had for his new, that for his old mother that he has for his new mother that he did for his old mother. And he’s trying to reconcile that and I’m trying to make it funny because it’s so absurd.

But then I put myself in that position. I started thinking, but this would be so weird and you would have these weird feelings and you would have these weird things coming across, you know? And then when I give it to people

Jim Krueger: really charming, actually

Kenric: they give you all these, these advice. And when I heard you [00:32:00] talk and gave that advice, I was like, Oh man, I just pushed all a lot of stuff away.

And then I, I texted my partner and I said, Hey, man, I got to write everything out first before I have you take a look at it. Because the first thing I gave, I gave him my first act, which was just really, really rough. You know what I mean? And the first thing he said, he goes, well, I’m going to rewrite this to, to, to just to flesh it out.

And in my mind, I’m like, Oh no, I can’t, I can’t do that. And then when you said that it made

Jim Krueger: so much nuts. No, that’s good. Like, but I mean, the goal like writing as, as you know, writing is so hard and those first number of times, especially, you know, with. Just what people write and how they tweet. And, you know, I mean, if you write long enough, you are going to get tough skin.

Yeah. Because people crap all over you on the internet or at least they crap all over me. My

[00:33:00] Kenric: writing, what is something that you’ve written that just got scathing reviews from, from the fan base that you were like, Whoa, wasn’t expecting that at all.

Jim Krueger: Yeah. I don’t know. I, I find that I like lots of myself, polarizes people.

Yeah. Like the people who love earth X, they love marvels ex people who didn’t. Or who didn’t know earth X and our reading marbles X. And I wrote all of Marvel’s ex before the pandemic. So the fact that this mutant virus hits is changing people, right. Is there a cure? Is there not gonna be a cure? You know, it’s dangerous to go to grocery stores, all these things that, that turned out to be true in the pandemic.

I mean, there were some people online that were just like, this is a really bad taste.

Kenric: You’re like, really? Nope.

Jim Krueger: I was like, I tried to be as tasteful with my words as possible, but yeah, [00:34:00] this is, this is what it is and who would have known and what Marvel would Marvel have even wanted to have us do this prequel. Yeah, well, they know who knows. I mean, that’s, that’s timing at the same time and you know,

Kenric: I would contend that.

It’s great timing. Yeah, I did too. I mean, I mean, I’ve read Creighton Orrick. Have you read that book? No. Create an org. I can’t remember the author’s name. She’s Margot Bennett, something like, I think it’s Margot Bennett and it’s about as genius kid. And, and but it’s told from this, from the viewpoint of his buddy, that’s not a genius guy and he creates a virus and it kills all of it kills everybody, but his buddy that he was giving the antidote to, and, and that he had created this whole other race of sub species.

I don’t know, like plant like creatures and he lived with them for a while and then he goes off and then he ends up finding other people. But it’s, it’s an interesting story. I read that in January. Cause someone said, Hey, you should read this. [00:35:00] And then I get finished with it. And I’m like, and then a month later, Everything gets shut down.

I’m like, are you kidding me?

Jim Krueger: I mean, I’m in LA. So everything is really still very shut down. Yeah. It’s like, it would fun to visit family in Wisconsin because you could eat indoors. Of course it’s really cold. So what else are you going to eat? Right. You know,

Kenric: what’s the difference between mega IP and minor IP?

Jim Krueger: The difference between mega IP and minor, right? Yeah. You were talking

Kenric: about it on an interview and, and I was like, what does he mean by mega? I guess, I guess the only thing I can think of was if we’re working on Marvel that’s mega IP,

Jim Krueger: right? Maybe it was, was it when I was talking about this, this lunch I had with, with this awesome director and he told me how comics are like, film are like, TB [00:36:00] gave me this, this, this piece of advice that has stayed with me forever more.

And he said, you know, there are two things that, that every new story with an existing IP have to have, first thing is your story has to advance. If nothing, advances people, aren’t going to feel like this is a ride worth going on. It’s like, you know, it’s like, Something new has to happen and stuff like that.

But the second thing, and he did that was that he said that was so important as he said. And you have to remind people why they love this in the first place. Yeah. Why they love this IP in the first place. And so not only do I think about that every time I’m writing captain America or Spider-Man or Superman.

But it’s also a way in which I judge IP. Yeah. You know, it’s one of the reasons, you know, that, that I think like the star Wars stuff that SQL’s, weren’t as [00:37:00] loved as, as people wanted them to be. It’s like somehow some of the pieces of the story, they didn’t resonate. I know that JJ Abrams talks about it being a like an  factor, but I don’t even think it’s the  as much as it’s.

Touching on a theme or touching on the reason we love this in the first

Kenric: place. Right? That’s yeah, that’s good. I think,

Jim Krueger: I’ll never understand why, why they, they set up in the sequels. Ooh. Let’s tell the deaths of the three main heroes of the trilogy of like Y Y

Kenric: yeah, yeah,

Jim Krueger: yeah. What is your, I love it all.

Did you?

Kenric: Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of the one, two and three that came out in the nineties. I was,

Jim Krueger: huh? I like him because of you and McGregor obiwan I’m like that. He was great. So his story is so interesting and

[00:38:00] Kenric: great. Yeah, he was great. And I thought that overlay was a good, was a good story, but it just didn’t look, I was three when, when star Wars came out, you know, and then I remember seeing it in the, the the rerelease of it.

That’s how I remember watching it in theater was the release right before empire. And then my whole family, my dad took all of us to empire. And then I remember I was what return came out in 83. So I was nine years old. And that was, that movie was made for me. You know what I mean? I’m nine years old. I was going, I went and we live right down the street from the theater, like half a mile.

I was in Washington, which is a tiny town. And so I was able to walk to the theater and see it as much as I wanted, because it was seventy-five cents during the day to go and see return of the Jedi. And I saw it like, I don’t know how many times and those, those first trilogies, but I was of the age. And maybe, maybe for me, it was more of a nostalgia.

You just said that for you. It was, it’s not an established thing there. Maybe for me, it is because when I watched star Wars one, two and three, I liked you and McGregor because I [00:39:00] love you and McGregor and train spotting. And so what mom in, in this, I was like, Oh my God, this guy is so good. And. But it didn’t speak to me the same way that the first three did.

Right. I dunno. Maybe it’s just the

Jim Krueger: age thing. I think now I think the problem, if, if I could, if I could do my thing, like whores brands. Yeah. I think the problem is that no one wanted to cheer for Anna can Skywalker for three movies.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. You’re probably right on that one.

Jim Krueger: It’s like, don’t make me don’t why are you making me love this guy?

He’s going to become Darth Vader. He’s going to become, you know, the Hitler of outer space. Do not like I don’t care to cheer for this guy. It’s it’s like we should have gotten, I wish he had been Darth Vader by the end of two. We’re halfway through to, well, if we had seen the darkening faster and all that sort of [00:40:00] thing, Then we would have had, the third movie would have been all Darth Vader versus obiwan, you know, would’ve been amazing.

Kenric: Yeah. He should have been more jaded from the beginning. Right? Like I can, this small auntie was, he was so like loving and like nothing can get him down when here’s his mom a slave that’s basically saying yes, take my son. And there was no feeling of that. You didn’t have a sense of a loss. Like to me, that would have twisted me up inside of that.

My mom said, take my son.

Jim Krueger: I know,

Kenric: I know it doesn’t matter. The conditions I’m living in, I would have been like, what are you talking? Like

Jim Krueger: once, once he’s even a little older, why isn’t he going to try to rescue his mom then like all this time? And yeah, there’s a lot better, but I have problems with the original trilogy too.

You know what I, I appreciate that. Luke wants to try to bring his dad back. Yeah. But up until that point we’re told over and over, don’t give it to the dark side. There’s no coming back. Don’t give it to the dark side. There’s [00:41:00] no coming back. So they established that rule. So, and it would Luke killing Darth Vader.

We needed that. And we wanted that from beginning of the movie, in one, we didn’t want a redemption

Kenric: story. You should have that, that whole redemption thing should have been killed in the Swansea de GABA when he slices it open. And he sees himself as Darth Vader. Yeah. And, and he’s, and to me, that was a lot of people say that’s a, that’s a, that’s a foreshadowing that he, that, that fader is his, his father.

But to me, I felt like I felt that that was more Luke killing the evil inside at that point, like facing that inner demon, knowing that he could end up like Darth Vader and now he’s, he’s killed that and he’s moving on and yeah. And I think at that point that should have killed that whole notion of, of the redemption of Vader.

Jim Krueger: The other thing that’s really interesting related to Disney world Disneyland is [00:42:00] they used to have Kylo wrens there and the different members and just painted it all to Mandalorians because no one wants their picture taken with the guy who killed Han solo. Right. You know,

Han’s dad that’s even worse.

Kenric: That’s hilarious. I didn’t even know they were doing that.

Jim Krueger: And so now it’s all Mandalorian, which is so much better. Anyhow. Yeah. That makes

Kenric: sense. I would, Mandalorian is so good. My, my seven year old, she loves, we got her, we got her, their thing for Christmas, the Yoda or the baby.

I can’t remember the child’s name now. They, they actually named the child, which I think was a

Jim Krueger: mistake. Oh, by the way, you know, it’s also really funny that that I just noticed. So I did a story in this sours tails. It’s mace Windu issue, issue that has, and it’s the smallest little picture. There’s like a little baby Yoda in here.

And now this thing is [00:43:00] so expensive online. Is that more for 70, $80? Yeah. A little panel with this little baby Yoda and like a nursery. And they’re like, you know, or whatever

Kenric: you want. I watched before you came on yesterday. Last night they might be dragons. And I got to tell you, dude, that was a lot of fun of just like this guy, kinda, it felt like a very scattered he kind of reminds me of Michael Douglas and falling down.

Jim Krueger: Yeah, no, that’s a great call.

Kenric: And I was just like, Oh, that’s, that’s hilarious. And then, and then when he kills the guy at the end, I was like, I can’t believe he killed the guy, but then when you hear the line, I don’t want to spoil it for everybody. It was like, Oh my God. That was perfect.

Jim Krueger: Thanks for lots of that.


Kenric: That a,

Jim Krueger: so much fun, anything that we had, we had so many problems like there, because I had, I had, you know, the, the [00:44:00] last scene takes place in this underground this underground parking facility. Right. And so the only way I could use that facility was I was using any student credit. I had anything, blah, blah, blah, was to do it after hours when no one parked there anymore.

So we’re shooting this thing, like two, three o’clock in the morning. And then because of the lighting that we had, we blew, we blew the fuse and. No one spoke Spanish on the team. So we ended up, we ended up running, finding like an all-night hardware store in New York. I bought a couple thousand feet of extension cord, which we then like drop down the, like some sort of shaft.

And then we did it with a couple light bulbs shot that last scene with light

Kenric: bulbs. But I wonder if that worked out better though, because you had that lighting, that was just [00:45:00] that classic kind of just lighting the face of, of the the antagonist,

Jim Krueger: you know, I really wanted. That scene, that seemed to feel dungeon.

Like now we’re in the Dragon’s layer and that kind of thing,

Kenric: but it was great, man. I, it was a lot of fun. I thought it was cool. I was like, I, in my mind, I always, we always want to do commercials for the podcast. Right. And so I have this whole thing where I want to do a infomercial style commercial and then we’re spoiler country.

And if you ever look at the logo it’s  and then our tagline is in an oceans of podcasts. We are through live. And so we want to have, yeah, we want to have overlays of like  coming through and making it kind of creepy, but weird in a, like a church of Bob kind of way, you know?

Jim Krueger: No, that’s really cool. I’m seeing Uber story.

Oops. That I’m about to write a cocoon. Cool.

Kenric: So for a major publication can talk

[00:46:00] Jim Krueger: about, or maybe not that one, but I can talk about the first time I worked with this group, they’re like, It’s a big book. I mean, yeah, the book that’s coming out, the first one is, and I think it’s out towards the end of this year or maybe next, I mean, part of it’s linking it with the pandemic of when we’d done again, but there’s a book coming out called Cape fear which mixes superheroes with for Oh, nice.

And so I did, I did a story for it about, basically about a villain who’s now incarcerated, who tells the story of how he killed a superhero. And then the superheroes ghost began to possess him to do good things. And it took apart the mafia of organized crime as a result. That’s hilarious. And it’s, it’s really fun.

And you know, I’m very careful with like copyrights, but when you read it, you know, exactly. Who I’m talking about.

[00:47:00] Kenric: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Jim Krueger: We can’t wait. Like I’m working with them on, I already finished that story. Now, the next one I’m doing for them is a twist on the Dracula mythos. And by the way, that first book, I mean, there’s a Neil Gaiman story in it too.

There’s like, it’s like, I’m excited about this whole new era of writing short stories and pros and stuff like that. I even grabbed the Ray Bradbury crime book, but that’s all his early short stories and those

Kenric: anthologies can be so much fun.

Jim Krueger: Sometimes. I just don’t want to read a really long book, but I want that experience of reading.

I want that experience of, you know, imagining visually. What’s going on while also being inside a

Kenric: character.

Jim Krueger: Yeah. There’ll be another story down the road as well. That’s

Kenric: cool. I’m excited. I, I love the cut-through limits though. It’s just because it’s just so weird [00:48:00] and you know, you can do anything within it that you really want to do and you can come up with a way to explain

Jim Krueger: scary.

Yeah. It’s genuinely scary. It’s not like it’s more like, Japanese whore, like the thing gets its grips on you. There is no happy ending.

Kenric: No, no, I don’t. I can’t think of an HP Lovecraft that actually has a happy ending.

Jim Krueger: There was 2008 D a lot of how I learned how to write comics came from doing British comics or reading and loving British comics.

Nice. There’s a 2008 thing that I think Gordon Renny wrote that Frasier Irving. One of my favorite. Artists to ever come out of 2008 D drew Equinox. And it was like a league of extraordinary gentlemen of these guys who, who thoughts? Cause Gulu like creatures and it like, it was like Houdini and Ford and what’s his name?

Who wrote the Sherlock Holmes books and like, [00:49:00] sir Arthur, Conan. Doyle. Yeah. Yeah. And they it’s like, cool,

Kenric: this is cool. I want to check that’s 2080

Jim Krueger: while ago, but they did a collection called Necker knots and they’ve done a number of Frazier urban collections. And it might even be in one of those,

Kenric: check it out.

I’ll look at it. I’ll look it up. I, I always some time to time I’ll like Google Catheline movies to see what’s out there. There was actually one that was actually it wasn’t, I mean, it was pretty, pretty good. What’s called underwater with cure with Kristen Stewart, which I didn’t even know it was out.

Jim Krueger: Yeah. I didn’t see that.

Kenric: But even though it was a thing until the

Jim Krueger: cage cut-through Lu movie, which, you know, Oh, the shape out of color or you’re out of shape. I genuinely love watching a cage movies. Can you see Mandy? Oh, ox. Yeah. Multiple clients. So

Kenric: you have that the it was so weird. It was all that red and so much rent.

And at first I thought [00:50:00] it was, I’m like, Oh, okay, here we go. I’m going to get annoyed by this. But it makes that movie.

Jim Krueger: Oh yeah. That, that ended like that ending shot is he’s driving away and it looks to his right. And she’s there and he’s just, no, he’s crazy. It’s a happy ending. Kind of. It’s just satisfying it.

Revenge will bring your loved ones back,

Kenric: but it’s such a satisfying ending, you know, poet is. Yeah. And it’s like, Oh, and then when he, Oh yeah, I can’t even say anything. Cause if anybody wants to watch Mandy, which I highly suggest you do

Jim Krueger: Mandy’s Mandy’s worth watching.

Kenric: Well, Jim, we’ve been at it an hour already. I know. Awesome. It’s so weird.

It’s so quick.

Jim Krueger: We started talking about Shane black.

Kenric: Well, I knew when I looked that up, you’re going to be an easy interview. Then we’ll have to pull a lot of things out. One thing I learned with talking with you is you love comic books. [00:51:00] One thing I learned when I researched you was I love the fact that there is multiple YouTube videos of you showing off your, some of the collections that you have and talking about the books, like the new gods and love of Oh, so much.

Yeah. Kirby, we need more. We need more writers like you, that, that have a very, you love the genre. You know, some people do it for them because they’re, they’re talented enough that they can do it and actually make a good amount of money doing it. But I feel like no matter what’s going on in the world, we’re always going to have Jim Kruger doing some type of book at some point.

Jim Krueger: Oh, that’s so sweet. I can close with an embarrassing, my most, what I think is my most embarrassing comic book moment trying to break into the industry. Oh, I love it. Let’s do it. Never cared.

Kenric: Oh please.

Jim Krueger: You know, I was, and I can’t believe I did this. I mean, it’s just so, Oh my God. Why, why would I do this?

You know, or why would I think this is a [00:52:00] good idea? You know, remember when Tom McFarland started writing Spiderman. And everyone was giving him grief at the beginning because he was becoming an, a writer. He was, he was figuring out how to do it. So everyone’s giving out a hard time and I’m like, Oh, I need to prove myself.

I need to prove myself. So I took each page and like shot it up to an 11 by 17. Okay. Each page of the book. And then I whited out all the word balloons. And I rewrote it in my words, like Spiderman, like waited in line and gave it to Todd in case he wanted someone else to write.

Kenric: Wow. What was his reaction?

Jim Krueger: Shame, shameful, like same Henri all the way. What was my. I look, I think about every time I think about that [00:53:00] story I cringe at someday, someone’s going to bring me like the first issue of foot soldiers or something, or the runner or high cosmetic after it’d be like, you know, I just thought like some different words would be better.

So just in case you ever want to work with Selvin, Jim? Here

Kenric: it is. Oh my God. You know, what’s funny is you’ve never, if you’ve never actually repeated that as if he ever hears about it now and goes, I remember that kid.

Jim Krueger: I know there’s a reason why I never hired Jim Krueger was

Kenric: wow. That’s that’s hilarious, man. That’s that’s balls. That’s some serious balls. They take it too,

Jim Krueger: because I didn’t even know. I wasn’t even thinking about how procreate I was being or disrespectful I was being, it was just the exuberance of wanting.


Kenric: I love it. That’s like, I don’t know if I would ever [00:54:00] do that, but I’ve done some pretty embarrassing things,

Jim Krueger: you know, but you know, that’s actually, that’s actually a good way for people to practice.

Kenric: Oh, I bet

Jim Krueger: why don’t do a comic book or scan your stuff in and you know, why not all the letters and then go back in and rewrite it.

You know, it’s almost, it’s almost classic Stanley Marvel style. Neil Gaiman

Kenric: talks about that in his masterclass books, which is free. You can go onto that mat, that whole masterclass thing. Yeah. Check out Neil Gaiman stuff. And he talks about doing exactly that. Getting a book of paper. And drawing out the boxes and writing in you, maybe you don’t know how to draw, but you can write in the script and you can do all that and get everything and have a visual idea of what your comics should look like and how it should flow.

I think that’s great advice.

Jim Krueger: Yeah. So,

Kenric: all right. Well, Jim, thank you so much, man. This was awesome. Yeah, it was a blast. Thanks convince you to come back sometime. [00:55:00] Yeah, I would love to. I mean, we can go over some more. Shane black, maybe we should pick a movie and just tear it apart.

Jim Krueger: Paint black one. I would never want to tear it apart.

Kenric: Well, not tear it apart. Break it down. I should say.

Jim Krueger: Oh yeah. I feel like, you know what? I feel like if we did commentary to a movie while watching it, I would be like Kurt Russell commentary, because I’d be just be laughing the entire time being like, Oh yeah. That bad commentary

Kenric: might be the best way to do it.

All right, Jim, thank you so much. Awesome. Thank you.


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