John Zuur Platten talks St. Mercy from Image Comics!

John Zuur Platten stopped by to chat with Melissa about his new comic book from Image Comics, St. Mercy. They geeked out about comics, video games, and more!

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John Zurr Platten

Melissa: [00:00:00] This is why their country and I’m Melissa searcher sitting on the show. I get to chat with a writer, producer, and designer here to chat about his new comic St. Mercy, John, sir. Platin welcome

John Zurr Platten: to the show. Thank you very much for having me looking forward to it.

Melissa: Yeah. Thanks for being here. How are you doing today?

John Zurr Platten: I’m doing pretty good. I though I just had a major move in my life, so everything’s been a little bit chaotic the past month, but things are starting to get back to normal and settling down and yeah. Yeah. It was kind of crazy trying to do that while launching the comic book, but it’s overall been challenging, but

fun.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. So when you say move, you mean like, did you relocate to completely? Yeah.

John Zurr Platten: I live in Southern California, but I moved to another part of Southern California and I’ve been I’ve been in so Cal all my life. I’m a Los Angeles native and and where I moved from, I lived there for 23 years. So you, you realize how much stuff you collect in one place for any length of time?

Melissa: Look like [00:01:00] much until you start boxing it up, right.

John Zurr Platten: Yeah, I feel like I’ve got two more moves in me one more month for my final house and then 1600 rounds. This is the two moves I have left. So

Melissa: nice. Do you plan on staying in the LA area then for

John Zurr Platten: I’m an LA boy? I was born and bred here. And you know, I’ve been in the, been in the business for about 30 years now, so it’s just, it’s, I’m just kind of anchored to this reality for a number of reasons, you know, the.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah, no, that makes sense. That’s kind of where, I mean, the majority of all that stuff happens and I mean, of course you can always fly and drive and stuff like that, but I’m sure it’s way more convenient to just be like, okay, I’m an hour away or 30 minute.

John Zurr Platten: Yeah, exactly. You know, there’s a lot of remote work happening and depending on what you’re doing in the business there are additional hubs that you could, that you could be in if you’re in the games component of the business, which is where I do a lot of my bread and butter work, you can be almost [00:02:00] anywhere, but there’s, you know, there’s huge hubs in Austin.

There’s huge hubs in Northern California. You know, there’s places overseas in England in, in Romania. There’s lots of places you can, you can make and, and work on games where you don’t have to physically be saying Los Angeles, but, but yeah. You know, for better or worse, you know, LA still remained to the hub of pretty much everything.

Melissa: Right? Yeah. I find it interesting actually that there seems to have been ironically. A lot of remote, you know, opportunities that have come up because of, you know, the pandemic. And I think in the past where, as you were saying, a lot of people had to try to get themselves to LA or New York or London.

Now there’s all these new opportunities popping up as people realize, you know, there’s, there’s still people at home and and you can still get, we’ve proven to ourselves. We can get stuff done with zoom and online. You see a lot of that.

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. I mean, it’s, there’s a lot of amazing work that people do, you know, fall around and there’s a tremendous amount of untapped talent that now [00:03:00] hopefully it’s starting to get access to, you know, to, to places where they can share their work.

What, what is interesting about St. Mercy was the artists that Helio ROHO, he and I have never. You know, we, we did entirely remote interaction with each other. He’s located in Spain and you know, his, his English is solid much better than my Spanish, but still somewhat limited. And so a lot of our communication happened remotely via, you know, emails and, and back and forth on, you know, ideas and concepts that we would share via visual visually through like a Google drive.

That’s how we, that’s how we sort of interacted. And. You know, he would send me ideas and I’d send him back notes. And then, you know, short time later I would get a reaction to those notes. And so, fortunately for us, we, we sent pretty well. He got my vision that I had, and then he just sort of ran with it.

And when he started to really expand upon it, you know, he created more [00:04:00] than I could have imagined. So I felt I was in really good hands. And so, and so that was, that was kind of the, one of the joys of working on, on the, on the title was that, you know, I had somebody that I could trust to really bring it to life visually

Melissa: bringing you two together, or did

John Zurr Platten: you actually that was Matt Hawkins at top Cal.

So Matt and I have known each other a long time. He and I are also friends, looked a guy named rich neighborhoods. Who’s one of my partners in epitome. And when we talked about the book Matt read. The script and like the script quite a bit. And he said, you know what? I, it would be really smart of us to get a, a Hispanic artists to do this.

And I said, yeah, I’m fully on fully support that. And And he said, there’s about three people that I can think of off the top of my head that I think would be really good for this. And Emilio was, you know, right at the very top was his first choice. And so he sent me some links, so teleos worked and I, [00:05:00] I you know, looked it all over and I thought he’d be awesome.

And so what happened was, is Matt said, okay, I’m going to send a Teleo. You know, I’ll send them book one and see what his responses. And you know, I was expecting like, you know, okay, 3, 4, 5 days, maybe a week, maybe a week and a half, two weeks, I get a response. And he sent it to a Twilio at like eight o’clock in the morning, our time.

And by noon until he had already responded and said, I want to do this book when I have to do so. That was like, I was like, oh great. You know, he was, he really liked the story. He loved. He loved. He loved the bank and mythology elements of it. He was super excited about it. He’s a huge fan of Mesoamerican and south American history until it just kind of hit him on a number of levels and he likes westerns.

So what’s the thing. Yeah. So it was like, perfect. Okay. Let’s, let’s get going. And it just turned out to be one of those kind of magical things. You know, he just, he turned out to be exactly the right artist. And so it was great to see him start to bring it all together. Super exciting for me cause I’ve worked in a lot of mediums [00:06:00] where I’ve written stuff and then I’ll go and, you know, do recordings.

Like I just finished writing Jurassic world evolution, which will be out in November. And it’s super exciting to go into the recording studio and, you know, Listen to Jeff. Goldbloom do your dialogue is like an amazing experience, but I’ve never had, I’ve never had the experience of seeing somebody visualize my words and put it into art, you know, put it into graphical format like this.

And so this is your first comic. It is. And yeah, and so it was just, it was just such an exciting time. I made I’ve written 80 video games. I’ve written feature films, I’ve written some television. I’ve done a lot of streaming stuff. I was one of the original people at Niantic creative Pokemon go.

I’ve had a really interesting career of interacting in a lot of different content and a lot of different ways. But I’d never done a comic book. And so this was an exciting and exciting process for me.

Melissa: Yeah. How did you approach that as far as writing? I mean, cause it is, it’s a [00:07:00] similar medium in so many ways, but it’s also extremely different, you know, writing panels versus script writing.

You know, how did you approach that? Was it a different process?

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. So it did, it was kind of a two-step process. Like people who started comics would have done it differently than I, and I did it, but my comfort zone is writing in screenplay format. So like everything that I write, I usually end up writing and final draft and you know, all of my games and any other content that I write usually ends up.

Like I’ve done some animation shorts a couple years back for Skybound. All of that stuff is done. In screenplay format. Okay. That’s what I’m most comfortable in. It’s where I, it’s the way my brain works. And I can write very quickly in that format because I I’m just, you know, I’m, it’s a language that I know and speak.

So what I decided was for the first draft of St. Mercy, I was going to write it in screenplay format and I’m going to write it as if it was being shot for television or film. So that, that way I would at least be able to communicate the visuals and get all the dialogue down and all of the [00:08:00] story arts could be something I would be comfortable generating.

And then and then I, I sent that to Matt to read and, and Matt said, yeah, I love it. It’s great. It’s cool. But you need to put this on to comic book format. These guys, like, I can’t hand this to an artist, right. Because I need you to now go back and go through the process of getting this comic book format.

And I was like, okay. Yeah, I know I had to do. So then my second draft was basically a conversion into the comic book format. And for people that write screenplays, you know, one of the first rules that you learn in screenplay writing is your, you don’t direct on the page. You know, you leave that to other, you leave that to the director, you’re there to provide the imagery.

Provide the setup and the scene you’re working on characters, but you’re not necessarily calling out shots, right? You’re not saying wide shot to cross two or something like that. That’s not your job, but in comic books, you have to call it the shots. So you are directing on the page. I went through that process and then, you know, and did what I felt was a really solid [00:09:00] job of, of putting the visuals and writing the panels and making sure all the words would fit within this context of the panels and that sort of thing.

And then and then when I handed it off to the Twilio until you’ll kind of use that as the foundational elements of what he wanted to do. So if I said, you know, seven panels on the page and Tuscaloosa is going to be big on the left-hand side of the panel, you know, he kind of started there, but then, you know, then he just kinda ran with it.

So, so, so when I got it back, you know, it wasn’t necessarily a panel for panel the way I had, I had written it out, but it was so much better than I just kind of went, okay. You know, we we’ve got a rhythm here and let’s just go with it. So, yeah, but it was a really, you know, it was a really fun challenge for me.

I, I was, as a writer, I was. Challenging myself to do things I haven’t done before. And, you know, I’ve written a lot of, you know, dudes with guns and it was fun too. It was fun to challenge myself and try something different

Melissa: inspired St. Mercy, like the story. And, and for those listening, you know, just tell us [00:10:00] a little bit what it’s about without giving away spoilers.

John Zurr Platten: Sure. So say mercy is basically a story of two young heroines sort of separated by time. One is named Tasca Liska, and she’s a young girl who was in the process of preparing for the, the capita culture, which is basically the child sacrifice of children during Incan society. And the thing about that is that she’s actually looking forward to it.

She’s excited by it. This is a huge honor, and it’s going to be good for her people to be sacrificed to the inking gods. So she has a completely. Sort of look or outlook on it. And then you might say from a modern perspective where you think, oh my God, they’re sacrificing children, but back then it was something entirely different.

We forget that you know, people in the past really had a much more active, spiritual. And people today. So that’s sort of like their reality and their spiritual reality. And those, those really went hand in hand. So anyway something goes horribly wrong during the ritual and the, [00:11:00] the gold gets cursed and that gold ends up being needs to be sort of watched over and protected throughout time.

And so we advance forward in the story about 500 years. Can we meet Mercedes Oro and her and her father are basically the current protectors of the goal. They, they, they, they basically hide it and then pass it off to another generation. And in, in the Western reality of her story unfortunately a villainous character gets into the, gets into her mission where they, where they take care of things and and discover the.

And that leads to chaos and trouble that continues throughout the rest of the, throughout the rest of the book. So I tell everybody it’s kind of like a traditional Western story until the demonic children’s show up and then everything kind of goes off the rails. So, yeah, so, the, the, the inspiration itself, I’m a huge fan of westerns.

I love westerns great Western, so forgiven to open range, classic westerns, like Heinen I’ve always been a fan of [00:12:00] westerns. Cause I think they’re kind of like the American myths myths kind of writ large, you know, and. And although they’ve kind of fallen out of favor now, they’re kind of coming back and I, I I’m really happy about that.

I love the horror genre and so I wanted to do something that had horror and terror elements in it. And I wanted to, I wanted to tell a story that was outside of like the classic for, you know, what expected, what you expect from a hero standpoint and a story like this. You know, it’s really easy when you’re the hero and you’re 300 pounds and, you know, you’re built like the rock and, you know, you’ve got, you know, you’ve got access to every weapon you could possibly imagine.

That’s, that’s one kind of hero. But to me, the real heroes are the ones that have to do it based almost entirely on. Willpower almost entirely on their inner strength rather than their outer strength. And so I thought, okay, well, I want to make these heroes, somebody that [00:13:00] if you saw them walking alongside, never met them in a room, you wouldn’t necessarily believe they’re capable of what they do in the store.

Yeah. You know, to me, that, to me, that was, that was the kid. That was really the key element that, that, that drew me to start putting it

Melissa: together. Yeah. Well, and the character arcs can go so much deeper in that sense too, when, like you were saying that it’s not just this big burly guy who’s just stomping around.

I think it’s people get more attached to characters they can relate to and, you know, insert.

John Zurr Platten: Oh yeah. I absolutely, you know, I, you know, I, I always have fun writing characters that. That that go through a journey and that basically where they start and where they finish, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to predict it, you know?

And that’s, and that’s true for us as humans, you know, it’s true for everybody, you know, everybody is on their own character, you know, and, and where you are today is not someplace, you might’ve imagined 10 years. Right. And [00:14:00] so, you know, I kind of enjoy the process of trying to figure out you know, what is the logical progression of this character story and where they would go.

And then what’s the surprising, unexpected twist perhaps that, you know, you should have seen coming that, that really elevates them to an entirely new place. And both of these characters have that Tuscaloosa and mercy both kind of go through that journey independently and then strangely together.

Melissa: Yeah. Well, and her last name is Oro, which, you know, means golden Spanish. So that’s kind of like a destiny kind of a feel, right?

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. I mean, it was one of those things where I was playing with it. I was kinda like, ah, this might be too on the nose, but then I, the more I thought about it, the more I thought, no, that would be like almost this kind of character basically.

Kind of thumbing their nose at, at cat the potential threat by saying, you know, Hey, we are the goals. Yeah. So, [00:15:00] so it was just kind of, it was kind of fun. The the character herself I wanted her to I wanted her to be a character she’s not necessarily quiet or demure. You know, she’s living in, she’s living at a time and in a place where children became adults much faster than they do today, you know, a child that could work the fields or that could help around the farm, or that could do manual chores or learn a trade, became an adult at a very early age, you know, 150 years ago, a hundred years ago you know, children were working in factories, children were fighting orders.

It’s an entirely different societal structure. And so I thought I could have fun with that in, in the Western setting, by letting mercy both function as a sort of a teenage teenage young teenage girl, but also as an adult woman when the, when, when the needs required it. And so, yeah, so that, that, that also played a role in, in kind of, in [00:16:00] kind of that character and, and and pushing that a little bit in your face quality about.

Melissa: Did you incorporate anything from like your love for westerns? You know, anything that like that’s her age or anything like that?

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. Well, the, the villain, the Western villain is a character named Frank Denton and Frank dent to me is he was one of my favorite characters to write because I like writing villains.

And I like writing interesting villains, you know, people often say, well, Dylan’s are the heroes of their own stories. And I think and, and a lot of people say, well, heroes, villains don’t necessarily realize their villains. And, and for me, Frank knows he’s available. He kind of, he kind of takes up perverse joy in the fact that, you know, he has a gun and he can do what he wants.

You know, there’s a kind of freedom that he enjoys because of who he is and because of what he’s going to do. And, and he totally embraces that. And so for me, I [00:17:00] really love interesting. Western villains. And I really wanted to you know, to incorporate one into the story there is a lot of kind of gunplay, there’s some classic, you know, stuff you expect in a Western, including the, the, you know, the, the standoffs there’s shootouts, you know, there’s the equivalent of a duel that happens one of the books.

It just not necessarily the way you might think it would, it would go down. So I’m kind of playing with those, those, those tropes, right. I’m playing with those things you expect. Even, you know, you could, some might say they’re cliches, but it’s how you pick it’s how you do the cliche. That makes it fun and interesting.

And so, yeah, I had a blast.

Melissa: That’s awesome. You know, speaking of villains you know, that’s what you had said that something I say all the time villains are that the heroes of their own stories. It’s one of my favorite quotes. There, there was another character you worked on in, in a video game Riddick who, you know, initially to the audience’s perception [00:18:00] hype was sort of, kind of painted as a villain in the very beginning.

And, and of course we know now that he’s very far from that. What was, what was that experience like from a gaming perspective? I know gaming is huge part of your career and and just playing with that world and, and the villains

John Zurr Platten: in it. Yeah. Riddick is at Riddick is an amazing character, too. To develop and to write for, you know, you, you have to give all credit to then, and VIN does a fabulous job with the character.

He knows the character inside now. And when we go on record, then doing Riddick dialogue, it’s always, he always elevates it beyond any. I tell everybody, like, as a writer, I can get you 80% of the way there, but you really need, you really need the actor to take it to the finish line, have their, his talents and skills are what elevate the work and actually make it come to life.

Which is what kind of, I discovered with comics. I could get it so far, but I really needed to tell you how to bring it to the finish line. And so that, that truth holds very much for that character. Riddick is a really [00:19:00] interesting character because he is sort of an anti-hero villain, you know, Hiro, depending on the situation he finds himself in a Riddick is a survivor more than anything else.

So the thing about the character is that if, if he can survive and bring you along with him, he’s willing to do it. But if it’s you or him, it’s going to be, you. Right. He’s he’s first and foremost, he, he has a sense, an inner sense of what’s right. And wrong. But just because he has that inner sense doesn’t necessarily mean he’s always going to act on.

And what we told everybody early on is that the way you define Reddick? Cause he never says pleaser. Right, right. That’s that’s basically how, you know, you’re writing rated correctly when he’s never put in a situation where he has to says, please, or thank you. And, and Riddick rarely asked for things.

He usually just demands [00:20:00] them or expects them to be done. So if he needs a door open, he’s not going to say, could you open that door? It’s just going to say open the door. Right? And so once you, once you start to get into the mind of the character, then you start to understand how it works. The thing that, the thing that VIN has done beautifully, and I think it’s combination of his acting and the writing.

Cause you still find yourself being empathetic to the character. And that’s because. Usually Riddick is the worst of the bad guys in the worlds of bad guys. He finds himself. Right. Right. So the way you make it, the way you make a villainous character or a character that would otherwise be a villain. And I don’t see Riddick really, as a classic dilemma, he’s more of an archetype anti-hero.

But, but the way that you make that work is you make everything that he’s fighting against even worse than he is. Right. And that right. And that is sort of where you get into the slams and you get into the world of where Riddick and yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s [00:21:00] a really super fun character to write. I’ve written a lot of Rick over the years.

I’m hoping then does another one. Yeah. And and the games themselves were absolutely who to, to work on.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. I know. It’s, it’s definitely, I mean, he is ridic essentially. There’s like kind of imagine anyone else to play him and the French fries.

John Zurr Platten: Yeah, the fun thing that’s so crazy is when you meet VIN and pertinent person, he’s the sweetest, nicest most down to earth guy you possibly need, he could be teaching you know, classical history in any college in the United States.

I mean, he’s that, he’s, he’s, you know, he he’s been a big D and D player forever. And so he, he he’s very much inspired by creating worlds and creating characters and creating mythologies. And he, he delves deep into it and has a real understanding of it. But he also knows where his bread is buttered.

Right. And so, you know,

Melissa: so,

John Zurr Platten: you know, in person he is, I’m not saying they’re [00:22:00] two people, but in person needs kind of what persona. And then he’s got his onscreen persona, which is, you know, more larger than life comic book, style character. Yeah, he’s one of my favorite, he’s one of my favorite celebrities and talent.

Yeah,

Melissa: I bet. Well, and it makes the process I’m sure. Easier and more enjoyable. I mean, not that none of them are. I mean, they’re all enjoyable projects. I’m still here, but you know how you have that special one that you’re like, you have to go to work.

John Zurr Platten: Oh, yeah, no, I love, I love being in the booth with them too when we’re recording, because the way VIN records, it’s usually when you’re doing a voiceover recording, you’re going line by line.

Right? So you’ve got, you’ve got basically a section of dialogue you’re covering you’re usually has, if, if you’re reaching this point in it, it might even have an address associated with it. And that address is basically a place in the database where this line of dialogue fits. So you can fit it all together when you’re making the game.

So the scripts look somewhat different than a standard script, but you might have. 50 or 60 pages of just the character doing line after [00:23:00] line of July. And usually when you record them, you go line by line. So you get that line. Did you two or three takes? Okay, we’re good. Moving on. But within fields, just go three or four pages, we’ll just do, we’ll just do the line and then he’ll do another line and I’ll do another line or do another line.

And and you just kind of get on the ride and you’re like, oh my God. Okay, here we go. And he’ll go about three or four pages deep. And then when he does that, he’ll go back. And he has a couple of voiceover directors that he works with. One name Jack has really good guy. And he’ll go, Jack, I’m going back to this line.

Boom. And you know, and Jack will be sitting there writing notes as he’s, as has been as doing it and everything that Jack has written a note on. He doesn’t even have to tell him because then it goes, okay, I’m coming back to that line because they know it, they just know. Right. And so he’ll come back and he’ll, he’ll do it.

And then, you know, and then there’ll be four pages in and he’ll stop and he’ll take a break and have a sip of water. And then, you know, kind of look at the glass, looks through the glass, it made her go. And this event, VIN diesel impersonation, I’m about to do, but he’ll go, you know, [00:24:00] Hey Johnny, I’m making it look good.

Right. And I’m like, yes, sir. Moving on. I feel like I’m just trying to keep up. I’m just trying to stay on it, you know, but. You know, that’s one of the reasons I like to be in the booth is, is you know, I want to be there to support the actor and, and just to align isn’t working, or if something is unclear, I want to be sure that I can answer it or I can address it.

Right. So if somebody doesn’t like a line of dialogue or it’s just not quite working for them, I’m always like, Hey, let’s not, let’s not even try it for us. This, you know, let’s talk it through, I’m hearing to rewrite it and I’ll rewrite it on the fly. And you know, I, because I feel like that really, you know, their work is the work that’s seen in her.

Yes, my work is too, but my work is, is embedded in somebody else’s performance. And so, and so I want to make sure that the top level performance is as good as.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t even realize that for the longest time. Until I started, you know, interviewing creators as yourself that the writers were actually there in the [00:25:00] sound boots with them.

I just thought, you know, they just kind of go and, you know, you’re done writing and you go on your Merry way. So let’s, I think that’s really cool that

John Zurr Platten: I often voiced direct my own stuff that I write very often in the game of voice directed, horrible, or sit alongside the voice director. And I just always tell, I just tell everybody I say I’m not precious about a single one.

You know, I I’m here to collaborate with you. And if at any point in time you’re not comfortable with something that’s being written or said, you know, let’s put the brakes on it and let’s fix it. Sometimes I’m working with very famous people who have worked on characters for years. You know, Jeff Goldbloom has been doing, you know, Dr.

Ian Malcolm for 30 years now. So. Yeah. And he’s a blast to work with the personality you meet, the person you meet in person is exactly the same person you see on the screen, or you seen him. He’s just a really genuinely sweet guy. He has that [00:26:00] energy. He has that kind of like sort of fun, a little bit of chaos everywhere he goes.

That’s just, it’s just it, it’s amazing. And, and it’s infectious, you know, he kind of gets you going to but anyway you know, he’s been playing that character for 30 years. I’m not going to tell him that I know better than he out of point. You know, he’s been very respectful of all my writing.

In fact, he told me, you know, which is true. He says, you know, you’ve written more Dr. Ian Malcolm than anybody else, because, you know, in the last film he was in bookends, he was in for four pages of the script. But That being said, if, if he reads a wine and he goes, you know, I don’t think Malcolm would see it this way.

I’m like, okay, let’s, let’s have a conversation, let’s get it fixed. You know? So you, you just want to do that with, with talent. You know, I find that one of the. Specifically artists. One of the things that, that artists sometimes have a harder time with when they’re getting started in the businesses, they don’t realize that it’s okay to collaborate.

It’s okay to let somebody [00:27:00] else play with your toys. If people are respectful with your toys and, and you know, you have the right boundaries in place, you’d be amazed. What happens. Know at the end of the day, if an actor makes my lines sound a hundred percent better, I still get credit for the script.

Hey, that’s a great line. I wish I had written them well, as a matter of fact, nobody knows. I did know. I mean, that’s, that’s, that’s part of the process, you know, and I think people get a little bit nervous and a little too precious about something when they’ve created it. And you have to be willing to let go is not the right word, because are the right set of words because you’re not really letting go.

But what you are doing is you’re trusting other people to bring their talents to them.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. That is something that people have to learn over time. You know, in the beginning you do become overly attached to your, to your words. But yeah, once you let people in especially people that have experienced as well, you know, it can just like you were saying, make it even better.

John Zurr Platten: Absolutely. You know, there’s so many things that I’ve done over the years that I thought, oh, this is really cool. [00:28:00] And then somebody else jumps into it and they just elevate it to another level. And, and, you know, that’s trusting people to to, you know, exploit the talent, stay out. You know, I am not, I am not an actor by any means.

I know good acting when I see it. Right. I know talented actors when I hear them. Or when I see them perform and I respect the craft enough to say, okay, let me step back and let them do their thing. And then if it’s really not working for me, I’ll jump in and say, Hey, you know, could we try that again?

Nine times out of 10, I’m never, I’m just like excited and thrilled to, to, to let them do their thing. Yeah. And it kind of worked that way with St. Mercy too. It’s the same thing. It was like, I, I sent me a lot of early art and sketches and then he kind of gave me the same sort of speech and it kind of gave me the trust, me speech, but I was already trusting him anyway.

And I said, yeah, just run with it. See where it takes you. And. And, you know, he was funny. He was, he would send stuff back, [00:29:00] he would send back panels and stuff, and I would react to the panel and say, oh, it’s really cool that you broke this into four because it kind of mirrors you know, Tuscola Cisco’s necklace.

And he would write back and he’d say, dammit. I thought I was, I thought I was doing a good job hiding that. That’s exactly what I was thinking. I’m like, okay, no, we’re, we’re vibing. We’re on the same. You know, we’re on the same way, please.

Melissa: Yeah, you’re starting to get to know each other’s like creative, a little quirks and everything.

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. I had asked him about, you know, these color shifts, because one of the things for me that I thought was kind of cool about the book and I read it, and then it actually in the outline for the book, I said, I want the book to have these two worlds. I want it to have these bright blue, green, gold world of the ink pens.

And I wanted to have this kind of orange, brown, black, you know, tan world of the Western. And then kind of seeing the juxtaposition between those two realities, I thought would be really cool in the book. And when. [00:30:00] When Twilio started to, to put the, put the color palette together he shared with me if the first color palette and I was like, Hmm, not quite, but before I could even even email him back, he sent me a color of the second color palette and, you know, no way, ignore that first one.

Nevermind. Nevermind that first one, I liked this one much better. And when he show me the second one, I was like, yeah. Okay, perfect. You know, you got it. So yeah, he was, we were kind of in that same mind-meld, you know, reality. So,

Melissa: and therefore issues. Right. Is that, so this

John Zurr Platten: is for issue arc. It definitely gets crazier than, or do you read, so each of the books?

Yeah. I wanted the books to. Both be exciting, but also to build right, this, this is a story that’s building to a crescendo and, and, you know, I think one of the mistakes that a lot of creatives make is, especially when they’re writing things that are more myth oriented or, you know, action oriented is they just keep beating people [00:31:00] over the head with nonstop set piece action components.

And at some point in time, you lose interest. You know, you’re, you’re, you’re not getting any chance to meet the characters. You’re not getting a chance to take a breath. You’re not getting a chance to get any of the any of the you know, emotional bonds that you want to have with these characters before you set them off onto, you know, a car wreck.

And so what I wanted to do was have the story kind of build over the books and it does, it gets progressively more intense. It gets progressively more violent and Anybody you think that’s going to potentially make it to the end of the book may or may not make it now? Yeah, that was for me was, was another big thing.

I didn’t want to, you know, again, you know, with the idea that, oh, I’m reading this book, so therefore everything’s going to be good with these characters that I’ve met in book one. Well, maybe right.

Melissa: And that’s something that, you know, I think, you know, back years and years ago, probably 10, 20 years ago, you know, that was something that just didn’t happen.

You know, nobody ever killed off main characters. It was [00:32:00] like sacrilege. And how, I mean, you know, starting with like Ned stark from game of Thrones, you’re like, wait, what are they can’t how can they do that? And now it’s become kind of a norm where we know that none of our favorite characters are safe anymore.

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. And I think that that’s what makes it, the story is more intense, you know? The idea that somebody has plot armor, that they can always survive a story is, is to me sort of boring and it’s, it’s. It’s cooler and more interesting. And I think ultimately creates a better story for the reader when when they can both anticipate things that are happening, but also not see it until it stops them in the face.

And so, that, that to me is I, I, you know, I want the reader, I want the folks that are, that are picking this book up. I want them to be engaged and I want them to enjoy the read and, you know, be amazed by the art and, you know, dive into the world. But more than anything else, I want them to be entertained.

And so, you know, I’m trying to write a book and, and all [00:33:00] the writing that I do at the end of the day, I’m trying to entertain you. I’m trying to create a situation where you’re being engaged in something that you’re enjoying, because at the end of the day, It’s fun. It’s fun to read. And so that was my, that was my, my primary driver, not only in this book, but in anything that I, that I work on is ultimately you’re giving up some of your hard earned cash.

To to be entertained. And I feel my job is to tap dance as best as

I

Melissa: can. Yeah. Well, especially now, too, there’s just so many choices, right. I mean, there’s everything, movies, TV, books. So yeah, and people are a lot more protective over their, their time as well. Yeah. You definitely have to grab people right away to get them to sit down and devote that time.

John Zurr Platten: Okay. Yeah. And I didn’t want to find it. I didn’t want to approach it from sort of an arrogance or a, you know, a point of view of, you know, you, you should read this book because I’m relatively new to the craft of comic books. You know, I’ve been writing [00:34:00] for 30 years, but in this comic book genre, I’m a new artist.

So I wanted to make sure that I was delivering something that I felt was true to what I do creatively, but would be something that hopefully would engage people and get them to go, you know, Okay. Let’s, let’s see where this let’s see where this guy goes with his stories. And the fact that it was published by image, like, to me, that was just amazing to be you know, Anton gala of course, but you know, to be under the same imprint is as Todd McFarlane is Mark’s industry is kind of like, it just kind of blows my mind.

It kind of, and you know, it just kind of blows your mind when you go, oh, wow. Okay. You know, and I’ve played with lots of big people in the past and have been fortunate to work on a number of huge properties, but there was something kind of really awesome and special about that. Yeah.

Melissa: It’s like starting with the, you know, one of the best in the business essentially, and knowing that you’re in good hands and that, you know, every part of the process from like, you know, creating to distribution is going to be professional and smooth.

John Zurr Platten: Absolutely. And they were [00:35:00] super supportive. And everybody at Topco is amazing. You know, Everybody that helped on the book you know, from the PR people to the editors to Matt himself everybody that was working with me and helping me sort of craft a book and get ready to go. They were all to a person super supportive.

All of them liked the story. They felt it was something different, unique and interesting. And yeah, I have nothing but nice things to say about everybody in the process.

Melissa: Now, you know, now that you’ve had this taste of you know, comic book life, uh what’s what’s next? Are you going to work on another, another call?

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. So, interesting. Funny, you should say that. So about, about literally 30 minutes before we started talking, I wrote the end on the next set of comics that I’m, that I’m working on. Thank you. So it’s going to, it’ll be another, a four book. It’s another interesting and unique story. More mythical and more set in present day reality.

It is insanely violent and horrific. It’s [00:36:00] kind of, I can’t really tell you what it is without telling you what it is I’m not allowed to, but it’s, it’s, it’s it’s definitely more in the horror action genre. And yeah, and, and everybody that’s read it so far has basically told me that it, that it’s both interesting and cool and great, and that I’m insane.

And I went back, all of those things can’t be true. So

it’s some of it, it’s some of the craziest most intense most over the top writing that I’ve done, but it’s, it’s, I think it will be something that will resonate with people when they get it in their hands. And we’re in the process right now of working through getting the artist on board and then, and then we’ll get started on it, hopefully for like a mid next year release.

The first book will come

Melissa: out. Oh, that’s exciting. And that’s going to be three.

John Zurr Platten: Yes will be another top-down image book. Yes. And then hopefully depending on how St. Mercy goes, we’ll hopefully have a series too. You know, so far the, the, the overall the overall expectations for the book are being met and exceeded.

So. So [00:37:00] that’s been good. The reviews have been generally positive which has been fantastic. And yeah, and it’s just getting people getting people to pick up the book and read it and get it in folks’ hands. But yeah, for a, for an, for an unknown IP, from a new comic writer you know, I don’t think we could have asked for more and certainly I am incredibly grateful for everybody that’s been involved in the process, but also incredibly grateful for everyone who’s picked up a copy and added it to their pull list or, or decided to go ahead and sit down and read St.

Mercy for themselves. You know, ultimately they’re the, they’re the folks where we’re to, we’re trying to reach and, and the success or failure of this of this really rest with them. And so, so far it seems like it’s going pretty well and I’m, I’m excited.

Melissa: Awesome. Awesome. And you know, just real quick, I noticed that you did also, you brought a book or co-wrote a book on, on how to get into, you know, game designing and, and all of that and the craft of, of game designing.

You know, what, what advice would you would you give to, to those who are, are trying to get [00:38:00] into that industry?

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. It’s, it’s a tough nut to crack. So I’m currently in the games business. If you’re looking at AAA titles, if you’re looking at games that are being done, like call of duty or Assassin’s created, or.

Fears of war or horizon zero Dawn. All of those games are either being written or designed by in-house people or by folks that have, you know, a lot of credits very hard to break in to the big, you know, triple a publishers and studios developers. It’s really hard to break into them now. However, the indie market has exploded.

And that is really where a new creative confined their place. There are a number of smaller, independent, independent developers that might have a team of say, you know, eight to 10 people that if you reached out to them and said, Hey, you know, I’m a creative, I love to write. I love to design. I would love to do anything I could to maybe help you bring your [00:39:00] project to life.

That’s the that’s the door in today is through the indie market, a small app developers people that are developing games that are independent games that are ending up on steam. Those are ways to, to get in today and what you need is you need a portfolio. So if you want to run. You need to have a sample of writing that you can share with people.

If you want to be doing game design, you need to have your equivalent of a couple of design documents that you can, you can pass along. Somebody can, somebody can look at it and go, okay. I think I see what you can do here. A lot of folks that are, that are, that, you know, say I’m a writer, okay. Show me some of your work.

Well, I’m kind of, I’m halfway through a script. No, I need to see content. I need to see samples of your writing that I can look at and that I can read. And I can understand who you are as a creative, what your voice is as a writer. So if you, if you’re contemplating doing this step one is start building a portfolio of content.

And the great thing [00:40:00] about the great thing about the internet and the tools that are now available is that the gate that used to be close to you is now. Wide open. In fact, it really doesn’t exist anymore. You can put up your own website and, you know, there are thousands of people have their own website where they have web comics up that they create themselves.

You know, I was fortunate in that, you know, I spent a lot of years in the business and have a lot of contacts, you know, lot more writing credibility than say some other folks. So when I was able to settle down and say, I’m going to write a comic, I was able to actually you know, burst through a lot of doors that other people might not have been able to get through.

And having relationships with people, you know, near the top of these, of course, you know, I don’t kid myself that certainly helped quite a bit. But I had to earn that, you know, I had to go through the process of earning those relationships and, you know, that was a long, long time of doing the very things that I’m encouraging other people to do, which is, you know, start the process today.

If you really want to do this of building your [00:41:00] portfolio, what are the ideas? What are the stories that you want to tell, get those written up and get those into a place where people can see them and then start reaching out and building a network of folks that, that you might be able to help. If you go to a unreal website or if you go to a Unity’s website, they all have forums where people are making games, you know, and you can jump into those forums and go, Hey, I’m a creative, I’d love to help you.

What can. Let me send you a sample of my writing. Let me, you know, that’s, that’s the process by which you, you find your way in. I started, I started as a as a tour guide at universal studios. That’s how my career began. And while I was a tour guide at universal many years ago, while I was a tour guide, I would come in on my day off, put on my tour guide uniform so that I could go anywhere I wanted on a lot.

And I would walk around the lower lot and pass out my resume to everybody I met. Wow. Literally. Wow. And I did that. I did that. I did that for a year. I mean, I literally walked into production offices [00:42:00] and I’d walk on sets and do everything else because it was kind of like the tour guide uniform was kind of an all access pass and you could pretty much go anywhere.

And I just had this heavily padded resume, like music videos I’ve made and a script I tried to write and, you know, and but I, I, I, everybody had me, I give it to them and And it took about a year, but after a year they, I got a call and they said, Hey, can you come be a PA on the show that we’re working on?

And I was like, yes, who dropped everything and started as a PA. And for those that don’t know, PA’s production assistant, which is a fancy term for gopher. Yeah, exactly the lowest of the low. So I started at the very bottom. My first job was microwave and popcorn on the side of this. Wow. That’s what I did.

That was my first job. I literally stood there and microwave popcorn for like two hours so that everybody on the second I popcorn and that was, but that was great. But that’s how I got in. Right. That was now I was in now I was meeting people. Now I was talking with actors. I was talking [00:43:00] with production people.

I was talking with producers. I was talking with writers. I was handing the director of fresh popcorn. Right. And so now. Now you start to have interactions with them, and now you start to build a network

Melissa: and you become like an actual person to them with a story, not just some random person that passes by.

John Zurr Platten: Correct. And, and you’re now a face and they see you’re working hard. So, you know, yes, my first job was microwaving popcorn. It was the best damn popcorn I could microwave. And it was, everything was clean and neat and tidy. And I was as fast and as efficient as I could be. And, you know, and I was friendly to everybody.

And so, yeah, you know, so now they’re meeting this kid and I was a kid back then they’re meeting this kid and the kid looks young and eager and willing to help. And you know what? I’ve got a project I’m doing next week and I need somebody to help me on that. Why don’t, why don’t I. And that’s how, that’s, how it works.

That’s how you find suddenly, you know, and then you blink and then you’ve got a hundred credits behind you and you go, whoa, how did that happen? [00:44:00]

Melissa: Well, and I think it’s important to, for people to know your story and similar types of stories, because you know, a lot of times you don’t see all of that, you know, behind that.

You don’t, you never see behind that. So you just kind of see someone sad. They’re so successful. They’re so famous. They’re so whatever. And then a lot of people start to think, oh, well, maybe it’ll just happen overnight to me. You know, you don’t realize that, like you had to start at the

John Zurr Platten: bottom. Yeah. And you have to, you know, you forget that there’s a grind, you know, show me any famous person and I’ll show you somebody who was grinding for awhile, even if they were, even if they, you know, became sort of instantly famous you know, I guarantee you, I can show the grind that they went through to get where they were.

And that, and that holds true in, in any aspect of the entertainment business. You know, the entertainment business is intentionally an arms length business. They intentionally try and stiff arm you and keep you out. And the reason for that is because literally millions of people wanting to get in.

Right. So, [00:45:00] so it’s overcrowded. Like I said, I, I’m extremely fortunate and, and, and, and, you know, very grateful that something like saying mercy came out from you know, from a big imprint. And, and I realized that that, that, that to a certain degree, I’m privileged as a result of that. But, but there was a huge grind that sat behind that, that got me to that place.

And so what you have to remember for every business that you’re in that already, that you’re trying to get in it. And the entertainment business is that. There are literally people standing, waiting to take your place, you know, praying to take your place actively working against you to try and get your keys away so they can take your place throwing

Melissa: you into traffic now.

John Zurr Platten: Exactly. And because of that, it tends to be tends to have an exclusivity that goes along with it. People that do well in the entertainment, entertainment space are very richly, rewarded, not only creatively, but financially. And so, yeah, so there is a, you [00:46:00] know, there is a desire for people to find their way into it.

But I tell everybody, I said, you know, if you come here you can talk about the entertainment business, the game business, the music business, the TV business, and publishing business to comic book business. Everybody hears the first word. They all hear TV, they all hear music. They all hear film.

They all hear comic book company. Here is the second word, which is business and business is such a big component of what we do that you have to be real. You have to be realistic with your expectations. And you have to realize that the thing you’re chasing after is not just a creative endeavor, but it’s, it’s a business endeavor and, and you have to, you have to plan an activity.

Melissa: Yeah, a hundred percent. I’m an author. And I think a lot of people that are not in my business you know, they, they know I’m an author. They see my books come out, but at the same time they don’t understand like what I’m doing all day. And so I think there’s this sort of disconnect that they don’t realize that, you know, I’m running a business.

I’m literally getting up every morning and [00:47:00] working eight to 10 hours a day. So, you know, when I can’t just drop everything to go do something, it’s, it’s still a job. And I think that’s a huge misconception about that.

John Zurr Platten: Yeah, absolutely. And when I tell people like with me, you might feel the same way, but it tends to hold true for almost all writers is that you know, as a writer you’re never truly on, but you’re never truly off, like, right.

And people say how, you know. How was it being a writer, you know, like how many hours a week do you write? And I say, I write 365 days a week. And I write, you know, I write 24 hours a day because the truth is, is that even if you’re, when you define writing, there’s all kinds of ways you can define writing.

But for me, people think of writing, they think, oh, you’re sitting at the keyboard banging away. But the truth is, is so much of writing is all about the process of contemplating the thinking of working out stories in your head. I’m doing research of, you know, waking up at two o’clock in the morning. It’s the perfect line of dialogue and you have to go, you know, get it down that, that never, that never [00:48:00] stops.

It’s always with you. And so, I don’t know how it is for you, but many times I’ll be up with my family to dinner with friends. And suddenly I’ll realize I haven’t said anything to him for 20 minutes because I’m sitting there, you know, eating my, eating my, you know, chicken enchilada. But what I’m really doing is I’m writing.

Melissa: Yeah, no, I always say that when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. That’s one of my quotes. Yeah. And I

John Zurr Platten: think, I think, I think writing is a process. You know, people, I think people confuse writing with keyboarding typing if you want to. But I think people confuse that, oh, that’s writing. No, it’s not.

That’s the, that is one of the moments of writing, you know, that’s kind of at the tail end of the process before that there’s so much that that’s come, that’s come. That that was valuable and important that you had to do. You had to do research. You had to think about it. You had to work scenes too. In your head, you had to do outlines, you know, you had to take copious notes.

I have literally, you know, 30 pages of notes on what I was thinking about with St. Mercy. So you go [00:49:00] through the process of, of doing all of that and then you go, okay. Now I feel like. Yeah, well, that’s,

Melissa: that’s a little thing you have. I mean, I have notes on my phone. I have notes in notebooks and post-its all over the wall.

I mean, everywhere. And, you know, it can be a snippet of music that like triggers something I want to write or an art painting or something like that too,

John Zurr Platten: you know, an image can fire it. And you know, the great thing about the technology that we have with us in our lives now with with cell phones smartphones is that, you know, every smartphone has an app where you can take notes or you can, or you can record a message to yourself and.

You know, I used to keep little post-it notes with me in my bag or in my back pocket. So I’d always have a way to do it, but now I just, you know, open up, keep notes on Google and say, okay. And I can just riff. And then when I get home, I can open it up in my browser and it’s all sitting there waiting for me.

And then I just copy paste that into final draft and I can start working. So, so yeah, that’s, that’s something that is part of the process. So if you’re a [00:50:00] creative, you know, embrace the fact that you’re entering, you’re entering to this really unique occupation, but the occupant, the occupation is not just a job.

It’s a lifestyle. It’s you, you become a thing, you know, people say, what do you do for a living? I say, well, you know, I’m a writer, but it’s nothing. I don’t do it just for money it’s because it is how I live.

Melissa: Yeah. It’s not just about yeah. Accolades and money. It’s it’s because I literally can’t imagine doing anything else.

So you won’t let me not. Right. You know what I mean?

John Zurr Platten: Absolutely. And, and, and, you know, most writers have, you know, a love, hate relationships with the process, but, but but if you really are true about it and you really want this to be your career it’s something you have to accept. You have to make that commitment.

And then once you make that commitment, you’d be surprised how fast it can become you know, Exciting and thrilling to be, to [00:51:00] be doing, you know, there’s that thing of going to the gym. And if you go to the gym for 30 days, eventually it starts to like being on the treadmill.

Melissa: And there is no having to

John Zurr Platten: figure that one out hasn’t worked for me no matter how many times I’ve tried, but with, but with, with writing, the more you write, the more you start to enjoy being on the treadmill, the more you start to get excited about.

Like there’s, for me, it’s super exciting when I can sit down and I know that. You know, I know it’s in my head and rather than trying to write it, it’s almost like I’m doing I’m doing transcribing and the character, the characters are sitting there and they’re talking and the scenes playing out and my job is just try and keep

Melissa: up with them.

Yeah. A hundred percent. And then it ends up going kind of in a direction that maybe you didn’t really intend to begin with and surprises you, you know, and, and people always say like, oh, your characters like our characters come to life, essentially. Not that we’re not crazy. We realize that they’re, they’re not real people, but when you’re writing, it’s you get into the zone, it’s almost like a trance-like state.

I think,

John Zurr Platten: no, [00:52:00] I I’ve. I’ve had many characters say many interesting things on the page that just happened. And, and, you know, and it’s because they’re sort of a fully realized being that just happens to exist inside my head and they, they want to talk, you know, and when they want to talk about. Yeah. And to the extent, to the extent that I can, that’s also what I’m trying to get as much of the documentation of what they’re saying.

And, and, you know, and two, it’s also about momentum. So once I’m working, I like to have as much momentum going as possible and what will slow a lot of people down in their writing processes, they can’t figure something out. So they stop. And that’s the worst possible thing you can do when you’re, when you’re writing and you get to a point where you can’t figure it out, just leap over it and get to another part, you know, and keep going, because I guarantee you within that session or within a couple of sessions after you’ve done that you’ll have figured out the problem you have, and then you can just go back and do deal with it.

Yeah.

Melissa: That’s so true. That’s so true. Yeah. You have to just sometimes [00:53:00] put a little place Marger and skip back.

John Zurr Platten: Oh, yeah. Like a lot of my scripts when I’m writing them, there’ll be, you know, scene, scene, scene, Astro, gastric, gastric, figured this out later, Astro gastroparesis, keep going. And I just, and then, and then what I know is I’ll be able to go back a day from now, or maybe even later in that session, you know, or 15 minutes from now, I’ll go up.

Wait. I know. But yeah, once you get into that, once you get into that groove in that rhythm, and once you’re, you know, once you’re airborne, you know, don’t land until you’re ready, you just, you just keep, you know, do whatever you can to stay in the sky until, until you, you reached that point. And I don’t have a, I don’t have a general target of, of, of pages.

I try and hit on a daily basis or something. I think that, to me, that feels a little counterproductive to the process, but, but I know when. Right. I know when I’ve written a session to the point where I’m like, okay, this is good. I can take a breakdown. Yeah,

Melissa: yeah. Or, or when you get to that point where you feel kind of drained and you’re starting to the IM the words are blurring and you’re like, okay, I’m not going to really write [00:54:00] anything of any quality right now.

So let me just stop for the day. You

John Zurr Platten: definitely get a little loopy. You know, when you, when you’ve had a long writing session, it almost feels like you ran a marathon, you know? And because there isn’t a specific amount of mental energy that you’re putting into the process that, that physically drains you just as if you’re.

You know, engaged in, in, in physical exercise. And so, yeah, so you have to kind of realize your own, you know, your own limits and where you’re comfortable and then where you’re like, okay, I’ve done it enough,

Melissa: definitely changes over time. I think, you know, at the beginning I went from writing. You know, 2000 words a day.

Now I am up to about 6,000 and you know, and it’s, it’s become, I mean, it’s still exhausting of course, but it’s like you were saying, it’s like a training yourself. Like your brain is on, you know, muscle. Is that in a sense? And I think, you know, to piggyback on what you were saying, just treating it like a business and then, you know, keep practicing and keep writing and just like don’t give up essentially.

John Zurr Platten: Yeah. And don’t be afraid to learn, you know, that’s the other thing is people get very precious [00:55:00] about their writing that they’re doing initially. And if your writing is bad, that’s okay. But the point is is that you want to get better, right? So don’t, don’t build bad habits by saying, okay. So today, you know, I have to write a thousand words a day or I feel I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing as a writer.

Well, if you’re writing a thousand bad words a day, Doing anything but harming yourself. So what you want to be doing is like, okay, I’ve written this now let’s start the process of getting feedback. Let’s start the process of evaluating what I’m creating here. Go to trusted friends and family and say, can you read this for me?

And give me the honest truth. Don’t pat me on the head. Don’t be nice and say, oh, this is really interesting. No, tell me this is good. Or it sucks so that I can learn, you know, then you can start to build on that process. People I’ve met some really talented writers who write great dialogue, but don’t know how to arc a story.

And so, because they can’t actually put a story together, their dialogue is [00:56:00] kind of meaningless, you know, it’s like, it doesn’t matter how good it is. You’re not putting it in the story I care about. So you’ve, you, you kind of learn your strengths and weaknesses. Work on those until you get something together you feel confident about.

But yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a journey, you know, don’t expect it. Don’t expect that the first step is going to be heroic journey. It’s going to take awhile,

but if you really want to do it, it’s, it’s, it’s really one of the most rewarding crafts you could imagine. Yeah,

Melissa: I agree completely. And well, you know, thank you for coming on and sharing your story with, with all of us. And I’m excited to get to see like what else you are going to create in comics, because this is like your new, you know, your, your new

John Zurr Platten: avenue.

Yeah. It’s definitely been a fun one. I’m still doing a lot of video game work and I’ll have some more video games to announce, but yeah, Jurassic world evolution too, will be out November 9th, I believe. Got some of [00:57:00] the great cast is in there frontier development system. Done phenomenal with the game.

I think everybody at universal has been terrific. So it’s going to be a really cool game. And yeah. And then look for St. Mercy book too. We’ll be out this month in another week and a half. Definitely Once again, super appreciative of all the readers out there who are picking the book up and hopefully you’re enjoying it.

And and Alyssa, it was great to get a chance to talk with you about, about the craft and, and I hope we will be able to connect again in the

Melissa: future. Yeah, I do too. You’re welcome back. Anytime on the show, especially you know, to talk about whatever you’ve got coming out, or if you just want to cover.

Craft you know, I’m open to that as well. It’s been super fun chatting with you, and I know that you mentioned issue two comes out September 20 seconds. And and then I know that there’s I’m going to post a graphic on Twitter cause it’s got some dates for the third and the fourth issue as well.

So people can keep on the look at it. And I know you’re you’re not really active on Twitter, but I saw that you’re on an Instagram so people can follow [00:58:00] you on Instagram.

John Zurr Platten: I’m just spending I’ve, I’ve just realized that Twitter has worked. People go to get fired. So

it’s just a little too toxic for me. I am also on Facebook. I’m the only Johns or platen on Facebook. So you can find me there. And if you want to a friend, me, I. I’m, I’m basically willing to friend anybody until such time as they give me a reason not to. So, so yeah. So, and if I can answer a question, you can always, you know, message me through either Instagram or Facebook and say, Hey, I’ve got questions about what you did and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Melissa: Awesome. That sounds great. Well, thank you again for coming on. I really appreciate it and I hope we get to chat again soon. Awesome. Looking forward to it. All right. Take care.

John Zurr Platten: Thanks Melissa.

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