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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas
Theme music by Good Co Music:
Transcript by Steve, who loves a good martini.
Casey – Gary Cohn part 2.output and Gary – Gary Cohn Part 2
[00:00:00] Casey Allen: Hey, I’m very sorry about that, man. Okay. Um, it seems like the tin can and string that we had set up, um, broke, but, uh, we got some bubblegum and some more string and a few kites and we got it together and it’s good. So we’re actually on the good recorder now.
Gary Cohn: Good.
Casey Allen: Yeah.
Gary Cohn: So what was, what was the last thing I was saying to you?
Casey Allen: So the last thing you were saying, you were telling me about, um, the, how fulfilling it is to be a teacher. And, uh, I kind of went into how my wife, uh, when she gets home in the evening, she will, um, she’ll be working on school stuff till well, after 6:00 PM. And then she can go and be a mommy and, you know, be a wife and all that other stuff.
But I mean, it’s a hard job,
Gary Cohn: It definitely is. [00:01:00] So I think what I’m saying next was that in some ways it was harder. It’s been harder to transition back from being a teacher to a writer and I’ve been having some challenges with it. It’s um, been taking, um, Some, some focus issues, finding, finding my way to being a teacher again is not the easiest thing in the world. So being a writer again, rather.
Casey Allen: Yeah, cause it
Gary Cohn: been
Casey Allen: teaching you kind of have a regimented lifestyle in a way.
Gary Cohn: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And, and it’s structured and, and you’ve got to be on because you have to deliver. And if you don’t deliver, you fail at it. [00:02:00] And it’s every day you have to be there in front of the first class at eight o’clock. And it’s Showtime. I remember the movie, all that jazz, where we should try to replace Bob Fossey and his life is absolutely coming apart.
And I have battled with alcohol is. Ex wife and his girlfriend and, and, and he’s probably got a heart attack coming, but every night he sits in front of the three makeup mirror and gives himself jazz hands and says Showtime. And he goes out and puts on the show and that’s. What you gotta do as teacher KIPP as a writer.
Um, particularly if you don’t have actual pain deadlines in your writing on spec, you know, you’re, you’re writing things that you’re then going to shop around. It’s not the same pressure. [00:03:00] And particularly since I retired with a small pension and social security, I have my basic nuts. You know, I don’t have extra ones.
She’s one of the reasons why I continue to work. And I arrange that for myself. I know myself, and I know that when I’ve got no pressures, I, I revert to my nine year old kid self who just wanted to stay in his room and read comic books and play with toys.
Casey Allen: yeah.
Gary Cohn: so, so I’ve created a life that has. Always at least some small pressures to do something else, some external motivation.
But I also know that if I did absolutely nothing, I’d still make the rent and feed myself and pay my bills. And that makes it even harder to find that inner drive to I’ve got all these [00:04:00] things I want to do. I’ve got all these ideas. I’ve got people I want to work with. How do I find a pattern that allows me to actually do this stuff?
And that’s been hard.
Casey Allen: I hear ya. Yeah. So as, as a writer, like, w what’s your biggest inspiration been lately?
Gary Cohn: Um, a new friend.
Casey Allen: really.
Gary Cohn: Yeah, a friend I met at a comic book convention in D C last year. Who is a self publisher she’s she writes science fiction novels, and she’s very good. And she’s got a great work ethic. She’s got a family I’m 34 years old. She’s got five year old and seven year old. I’m like. She still finds the regular pattern to write her work and, and [00:05:00] produce it.
And she’s got four or five novels done and she can puzzle books and she’s always got something going. And just by becoming firstly met, we had, we went out to dinner with a few people. We had a drink, we talked and ever since we’ve stayed in touch online. Um, so each other, another convention a few months ago, But that friendship has, has been kind of inspiring because I’ve seen how she’s able to do it.
And it’s internal, it’s an internal drive and that’s, that’s kind of inspiring,
Casey Allen: has that, has that kind of driven you a little bit? Just kind of put a little bit of fire under your seat.
Gary Cohn: Yeah. I, a little bit competitive too.
Casey Allen: That’s awesome though. That’s all competitive people. Sometimes competition gets a bad rap because there’s like a negative competition sometimes where, where you can be [00:06:00] competitive, but also take it to the extreme and be a jerk. But a competition gets stuff done.
Gary Cohn: You can have a friendly competitiveness. You can have a friend who, who pushes you. By example to push yourself and that’s that’s competitive fields. If she can do it well, I want to show her that I can do it too.
Casey Allen: there, there’s a, um, a writer friend that I have that, um, uh, I see what they’re doing and I’m like, okay. I need to, I need that fire. I’m going to have that fire. I need to get there. So I try to write, um, when I’m not making winter tubes, I try to write comics. Um, but, uh, you know, I also have to be a dad and all this other stuff and.
Uh, lately you have to replace carpet, which is [00:07:00] not within anything I should be doing. I have no idea what I’m doing, but the crew’s coming tomorrow. So that’s good. I don’t have to worry about it anymore after tomorrow, but, um,
Gary Cohn: I was, I was watching a little snippet of an interview with Joyce, Carol Oates. I don’t know if you know who she is. Um, great American writer. Um, I got a little story about her in a minute too, but she was saying the greatest impediment to writers is distractions. People wanting you to do things and taking your time. And I believe it, but my story is Joyce. Carol it’s is really simple. Um, the guy who arranged for my. Master’s program bull ingredients. Gentlemen are Glenn Wright who, um, he was responsible for many things. He was my mentor in a lot of ways. He was responsible for bringing the [00:08:00] Clarion science fiction writers workshop to Michigan state.
When it lost its home in Clarion, Pennsylvania, he was responsible for me being in the first group of Clarion students. I don’t know if you know about Clarion, but it’s a very, very successful science
Casey Allen: Oh, yes. The writing yes. Writing program. Right.
Gary Cohn: Yeah. And our teachers were people like theater, sturgeon, Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm, um, Harlan Ellison, and only 20 of us.
So we had, and they’d come and stay with us for a week a piece. So it was very, very intimate, very, very, very close. And. They had a lot to do with me learning how to be a writer. And it was professor Gwen rights doing. And then two years later when Dan was a student at Clarion, I was going to assistant. So it was a very big force in my life.
And he was very Bohemian kind of guy. And sometimes if you had nothing else to do, you’d go up. And he had dozens of [00:09:00] students who, who did this, you drop in at Glenn’s place and just show up at his door and. Almost always welcome you unless he was off to do something and your drink. And so one afternoon I showed up at Glenn’s store and he welcomed me as he usually did.
And this is birdie looking young woman sitting on, on his cell phone with a cocktail in her hand who he’s been having conversations with. And he said, well, of course, you know, Joyce, Carol Oates. Right. And I turned into Ralph Kramden. Homina homina homina because this is Joyce coward. This is the woman who wrote a, um, um, um, where are you going?
Where have you been? Um, uh, all these great things and just. Philip Roth and John Updike level American writer, you know, she was in the, [00:10:00] in 1973 or four when I captured her there, she was, if you’d made the 10 greatest living American fiction writers, she would’ve been in anybody’s list. And, you know, Really, it just kind of, she was doing a guest lecture thing, it Michigan state.
And of course, Glen knew her. Christine knew everybody and there she was sitting on the sofa. So I had to drink the two Carolyn.
Casey Allen: that’s amazing. I was talking, I was talking to somebody the other day. You mentioned Harlan Ellison and, uh, he scares, he seems like he would scare the hell out of me. And, uh, it was a, um, uh, a writer, uh, that, uh, was kinda kind of friends with him. And he was like, no, he was the nicest guy ever. He seems so intense though.
Every time I’ve seen [00:11:00] an interview with him
Gary Cohn: Carlin was, and I butted heads that is 21 year old ass, or he’s a 41 year old asshole.
Casey Allen: Oh, wow.
Gary Cohn: butted heads and, you know, the, the old gunfighter syndrome and, and he, he would rise to any challenge, um, whether, and, and create many of them, but he was also very sweet and capable of great grief. Friendships and great generosity, but, uh, yeah, I cut my, my Harlin interactions.
Casey Allen: He seemed like he might’ve had a little bit of a Napoleon complex, but I mean,
Gary Cohn: Oh
Casey Allen: immensely talented.
Gary Cohn: yeah. I did try to analyze him. He was, he was, uh, what he was, but, but I always had this fantasy when speaking of great. With the 10 greatest, second half of the 20th [00:12:00] century American writers. And I don’t know if it ever happened, but I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in a room we’re both Harlan Ellison and Norman Malheur.
We’re holding court
Casey Allen: Oh my God. Yeah, yeah,
Gary Cohn: because that would have I, there was great potential for explosion there. And it would have been hilarious to watch, but never, never saw that didn’t happen. I, as far as I know, was a great piece of journalistic writing that was in all the college textbook for a long time called Frank Sinatra has a cold by
Casey Allen: Oh, I’ve read that. Yes, it was fantastic.
Gary Cohn: and there’s a moment where Frank Sinatra is shooting pool someplace and. Not feeling well and very irritable. And there’s his lab, [00:13:00] mouth young, new screenwriter in the room and he, and this guy always come to blows. And of course it’s Harlan, Harlan was a great teacher and, and, uh, I learned a lot from him. Um, we had, um, our interactions by no means would I ever say he was a friend of mine or I was a friend of his, but you know, we, we were on each other’s radar and that’s, that’s unusual. You know, people, when I, I used to tell people I was in comics, they would ask me the same question.
Do you know Stanley. And my answer was always, that’s not a relevant question. The question is, does he know me? I’ve been in the same room with him. I probably shook his hand. I’ve talked to him, but he doesn’t know me. So it doesn’t matter. You know? And, and with Harland, same question to you, those [00:14:00] Harlan Ellison, both people, if they’re being, if they were being honest, um, they had encountered him, but he didn’t know them.
Hi, new Orleans. He knew me. So, uh, so I was on his radar. So that was nice, I guess
Casey Allen: that is, um, that’s some credentials right there.
Gary Cohn: not he was my teacher and I learned a lot from him and, and we went through trouble wrong a little bit. And then we made up and then we were a little wrong, a little bit. And otherwise I wasn’t important in his life. He wasn’t important in mind.
Casey Allen: I hear ya. So when in regards to the comics, um, you know, you, you, you started with, uh, with your, your buddy, Dan Michigan, and got into com wasn’t anybody really kind of there to help usher you in. Did anybody kind of put you under their wing as, as y’all
Gary Cohn: Oh, yeah, everybody. It was a PC [00:15:00] in the early eighties was, was a school. And the teachers who I consider my mentors were when Wayne taught me incredible amount. Um, Dichter Dano taught incredible amount. Joe Orlando, um, Ross, Andrew didn’t teach me an incredible lot, but he was a lovely, lovely man. And as an editor and the reason he didn’t teach me a lot was because he.
With QVC going and whatever he did, he felt was wonderful. And, and the tougher editor would have looked at the same things and probably not thought they were quite so wonderful. But, um, those three in particular, um, I would go into line with. A bunch of plot ideas for stories for the mystery magazines.
Dan and I had spent would spend an evening on the [00:16:00] phone. He was Michigan ocean in Brooklyn, and I have a pad and write down the things that we came up with. And then I would type up half a dozen story ideas and I go into Lennon. I give them all of them any. Sit there and look at Warren. I say, yeah, this is okay.
Um, how many pages do you need to write this? And I’d say we can do that story in eight pages. We can do an eight page script for that strain. He said, great. Give it to me in five. And, and there was really no bargaining. Maybe I’d get six, but usually if he said give it to me in five, he had a good enough sense to know that this is a five page story, which was what he was really saying is no fat, you know, just don’t put, don’t get whatever would be fat or [00:17:00] padding the story. Cut this thing down to the bone. And that was something that I don’t think writers now learn because they don’t have that, that rigor of you got to do it. This book needs a three page story. I’ve got everything for inventory except of that three pages. That’s that doesn’t have anything filled. Can give me a three page story. Sure. Can you give it to me tomorrow?
Casey Allen: so the, and that’s an art that there is an art to learning what to cut and how to best. Put onto the page, what needs to be seen, what needs to be read and knowing what is just, you know, Just that it’s just fat. [00:18:00] So, uh, I, I run a group called the comic jam and, um, we do one page comic stories based on a theme that everybody votes on.
It’s a way for us to get to know artists and writers, but it’s also a good tool to kind of learn how to tell a story under, uh, you know, w with that type of restriction, because, um, You can, you can keep droning on and on and on like, um, like I’m doing now. Um, and, uh, the story will suffer you if you don’t cut that fat out.
So, um, that’s a hard road to hope for some people. And, uh, it’s, it’s really amazing what. What you can learn how to do in that little amount of pages. I see that you, you did a lot of backup stories at DC, um, specifically in the, a warlord comic, which, Oh my [00:19:00] God. I love warlord. I, um, when I was a kid, I got eight ton, uh, almost a full run of warlord.
And, um, it was there a really rough time in my personal life. And, uh, my, I had an uncle that was just like, you know, what. I’m going to get this kid, some comics. And I got that and a bunch of Jonah hex, which I see that you also did some comics for. So I probably have some Jonah hex and some more Lords with your stories in it.
Did, did you enjoy writing those titles?
Gary Cohn: Here’s here’s what we did in Willard. Um, we, in the neat, um, by the way, it’s, as far as producing a story within the certain range, Here’s the formula. You want your character characters gotta be somebody who’s got a problem. The main character is the person in the story with the biggest problem. Um, [00:20:00] the character tries to solve the problem.
Things get worse. Character tries to solve the problem again, and either succeeds or fails or something comes out of left field and changes the whole situation. Um, something Julie Schwartz taught, taught me is, uh, a story’s gotta have a tick talk you through a script back at me. I dare you bring me a story with that.
I tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock clock is ticking. Time’s running out the bomb under the table. Isn’t going off next week. It’s going off in three minutes. Sense of urgency.
Casey Allen: I feel like I need to be writing notes right now.
Gary Cohn: Oh, okay. But you’ve got this, you know, you got, um, you got the recording, but the formula, the formula for story is the most basic story. You’ve got to write a one page story or a two page or three page [00:21:00] situation, complication resolution. Right. And if it’s a longer story, You can have another complication or several complications, but that’s the one that situation, complication resolution first act, second deck, third deck.
And you can expand or contract that formula as much as you need to, but it needs all those things. Nope.
Casey Allen: Is it any different, like when you’re writing for pros, cause you’ve done some press writing, uh, in writing for comics. Uh, does that formula change any or is that just basic sort of composition?
Gary Cohn: the form of that doesn’t change, but the task sure does. One of the reasons you like reading comics is that [00:22:00] it’s so easy compared to writing prose because. All the heavy lifting is done by the artist.
Casey Allen: Oh yeah.
Gary Cohn: Right? You write a plot, but probably my favorite and most exasperating artists to work with is Paris.
Paris called him. Um, and he and I are coming up on a 40 year friendship at this point. Um, I think, I think we just passed it actually. I think we we’re at 40 years.
Casey Allen: Oh, wow.
Gary Cohn: but my example is I’m writing a plot for Paris who like Ernie cologne and like Ron Randall and all the artists I’ve really liked to work with is a hugely incentive guy who throws in lots of stuff you weren’t expecting and basically riffs off your plot.
So you don’t want to give them a really. Detailed Alan, more kind of plot because that stifles them. They’re very creative. They’re going to, they’re going to do things that I’m going to have to respond to if we’re in plot script. [00:23:00] So in my plot, I’ll write, okay. The apocalypse comes two page spread and now poor Paris has to spend the next three days. Oh four days or however long it is. I’m visualizing the apocalypse. If I have any particular things that I want happening in it, I might give each of those align to, but at the most I’m going to write a paragraph or so, because again, I’m not Alan Moore, I’m not going to write 15 pages describing everything that needs to be in this two page spread.
And, and the, the artist is going to do all the heavy lifting. If I’m writing prose. That becomes my task, what I’m finding. Um, cause I’ve started writing more pros than I, I used to, I wrote three Hardy boys novels and two Nancy drew novels. Cause that was the gig. They came up at one point when I was in the early nineties [00:24:00] and that formula was given, gives them exactly what they want better than they expected and right on time.
And I guess like I satisfied them because he kept asking me divorce and. I have a 10, 10,000 page, 10,000 word, short story in it. Cat wound anthology that was published around then too. I’ve done a fair amount of pros. Um, and I was originally taught as a prose writer, not comics, right. But I got lazy because comics writings will do that for you.
But the problem with comics writing is that here’s a favorite formulation of mine. Artists can fake writing as in writers can fake art. So there are artists like Frank Miller, um, Billy teaching now, not when we met, but now who can do the whole [00:25:00] job really well. They are very good writers and great artists, but most of the people who’ve been artists who also tried to write. Or really just playing the tropes because they’re not really concerned with the intricacies of stories are concerned with the visuals and did not really.
Right. So again
Casey Allen: early image comics.
Gary Cohn: yeah, yeah, yeah. Those guys could do comics and fake stories because the art would cover it up. I can’t. Do anything that looks like an anywhere near professional level art job? I can’t fake that. So I’m utterly dependent on an artist and artists or squirrelly beasts. And, and even, even if you’ve got something that’s great and an artist loves what you’ve got. Because their work is so labor intensive, they really [00:26:00] do need to be paid upfront. And they’re going to go with, they’re going to go with a paying job is so what I started to find. When I’ve come back in, is that all these great ideas that I’ve had for comics, um, I’ve talked to some terrific artists and they really want to do that when push came to shove, they couldn’t.
So I’m looking at all of these things. I’ve got a stack, I’ve got, you know, I’m like an airport, I’ve got all the planes on a holding pattern and, and, and we’re running late on landing them. And I’m looking at them and saying, know, this could be a novel, this could be an awful, and I could do it as an op.
And so I’m starting to figure out how to do that. So that’s what I’m doing because comics projects for fun. And, and I have hopes for some of them Paris and I [00:27:00] had been a very, very slowly. Moving toward a new devil mini-series
Casey Allen: Oh, nice.
Gary Cohn: um, yeah, it’s ours and, and Paris kept sending me pictures of totally revised blue devil.
And after a while it wasn’t looking anything like Buddha looks at the Epic horns. I finally said, you know, DC, Owns this character and they have made no noises to us for a decade or more about doing anything with it. They don’t want us. And this doesn’t really look like the devil. This is some new devil. So we’ve been working on new definitely, which has the bounce of blue devil, but it’s, um, it’s, it’s just exactly like the, to hope a totally different it’s got no story. Connection or similarity to blue devil, [00:28:00] but it’s got all the feeling, all the bouts. So we’ve been working on that, but you know, I was seven years ago and, um, I kinda, we kinda have a publisher who said, when you’re ready, we’ll publish it.
And my plan is for issues. So you tell a complete story arc and set it all up and then we’re done, unless there’s some great reason to do more. And there’s art for two, but the art for second issue really needs a lot of revision. And the first issue is plotted it’s dialogue. A lot of the artists done 28 pages, great stuff, but some of them are completely complete and some of them are, are barely stick figures and gradually starts to evolve.
And when we’ll be ready, I have no idea. [00:29:00] So if I was writing blue devil new devil, the novel, it’d be completely on me. But the joy of doing it just as it’s something that Paris and I are doing together, and it’s, it’s an expression of our friendship as much as anything else.
Casey Allen: that’s awesome. And do you mind talking a little bit about your you’re riding with, with Dan Michigan? Because that, that. It always blows my mind, how people handle the task of co-writing a book, um, and who does what and how they handle each task. And it seems like you guys really are a cohesive unit when it, when it comes to that.
What, what was the origin of that and how did that come about?
Gary Cohn: We were 30 years ago. 35 years ago. I don’t know that we’ve tried it at all since then. So whatever, whatever the magic was, then we’d have long conversations [00:30:00] on the phone one or the other of us would take a lot of notes and whichever one of us. And we’d hash out things like when we put hashing up the world of amethyst and the world through devil, we hammer out all the details.
And then we had these brilliant artists. We had Ernie cologne who contributed a lot to what I was just finally became in Paris, contributed a lot to what blue devil finally became. Um, on barren earth. I had Randall who contributed a lot to what it finally became.
Casey Allen: Ron Randall is just a fantastic dude. Anyway, just all around.
Gary Cohn: Yes. So
when we were ready, one of us would write a plot. And if it was, if we’re doing script, like when we were doing the, the anthology books or when we were doing our first scripts for superhero books, [00:31:00] Sometimes one of us would write the plot and the other would write the script. Sometimes one of us would write the plot and the script, and we’re very dependent on the male.
So we had to be fast so that we could mail things back and forth and I get Dan’s plot and then I would run it through my typewriter. Or I get his script and I would worn it through my typewriter. He’d do the same thing. And then we get back on the phone. We talk about things. If something wasn’t right, or we come up with jokes together and that’s how we did it is it was, and it was with the technology of, of 1982.
So it was phones. And now.
Casey Allen: I can’t imagine how much more cohesive in, in easy. It would be on you guys to do that now with, you know, Google docs and stuff like that, where you can just drop the whole thing into an online file and they could pick it up as you write it. [00:32:00] But I also wonder if that might have changed the out the outcome.
And change the output of what, of what you did. Um, can we talk about amethyst any, because that, that comment is, it seems so much, it seems so much more different than what was coming out at DC at the time. And I think people really kind of caught onto it and it’s people are still talking about it today.
Gary Cohn: And Amy, reader’s doing the terrific succession mini series.
Casey Allen: Yes. Yes.
Gary Cohn: Um, and I would not have said that about the last attempt to redo assist during the new 52, um, artwork was terrific. Um, it was possibly a good story from my, I glanced at the first issue, but it was enough that I want to read it. It certainly wasn’t amethyst. It was something that [00:33:00] had the name amethyst.
What Amy’s doing is amethyst.
Casey Allen: Yeah.
Gary Cohn: I’ve been in touch, I’ve been in touch with her online and then she’s, she’s a fan and it shows she’s, she, she likes what we did and she wants to work from that. She doesn’t want to reproduce it. She doesn’t want to use, and she shouldn’t, it’s 40 years later, but she understands what we’re up to.
And so she’s doing her own take on what we were doing rather than doing. Something that has very little connection. So emphasis when Dan and I was sitting in the bowling green office, we had our teaching office had adjacent desks. There were six grad students in the office and then my work too. And when we’re doing nothing and there were no students coming through, we brainstorm ideas.
We talk about what. Should happen in comics. This is 1978, [00:34:00] 77. And we started saying this, you know, it’s not much for girls. And he had just had a daughter, so it’s not much for girls. What the girls like, what’s, what’s common, fancy girls. And in the process of the conversation we came up with, you’re secretly a magical princess from another realm. Yes. Right. That’s that’s, that’s kind of a common fantasy and common fairytale. True. Your parents. Aren’t your parents. You’re, you’re really the people who have raised you. And so much of the show up been Harry Potter too. Not because anybody who was looking, um, she was looking at our stuff it’s because she was also plugged into the same site guys.
So. Your ordinary parents are not really your parents, your parents, your real [00:35:00] parents were magical and special. I did dad.
Casey Allen: Yeah. I mean, it even goes back to what does it great expectations you had the benefactor that, uh, Uh, he thinks is a PIP thinks is a, you know, well, wildly successful, you know, businessman or whatever. And it turns out it’s not that at all, but yeah, that desire to be greater than, you know, just a common person.
Gary Cohn: right. And at some point and puberty is the onset generally because fairytales are tied into. All of that subtext to all that for you and stuff. Um, where that young and stuff, um, your magical origins are going to come back and get you and bring you back. And then you’re going to be called on a mission and only you [00:36:00] can do it, all that stuff, the hear journey.
So it all flowed. And, and so that became one of the things that we had in mind and we called it the changeling. Cause she’s a changed life and somewhere along the line, and I think it was probably Dave manic. Cause Dave Maddock was the editor who sparked both amethyst and, and blue devil. Um, somebody said to us, do you have something could, is it kind of girly? Gotcha. Yeah, we do. And, and I told Dan about it and. We’re talking about it. And I don’t remember if it happened in the course of conversation or if he came up with this and called me, but he said amethyst princess of gym world. Holy shit, because that allows us to talk. It ties us into all the magical war of gems and it gives [00:37:00] us, it gives us something that’s more than just a generic fairytale, changeling.
And so we started one with that and bannock said, well, who do you want for an artist? And we’re both big fans of the grim ghost. And it happened that the guy who drew the grim ghost was this guy named Ernie cologne who would starting to do some work for DC. Can we have him? He’s great. So that’s how that generated.
And it was designed to be a 12 issue. The series that ended. And so we gave them a 12 issue, maxi series set ended, and somewhere in the process, they said, well, we need a Superman crossover, which
Casey Allen: Oh man.
Gary Cohn: kind of problematic because, because. As far as we were concerned, amethyst was not [00:38:00] in the DC universe in the same way that Moby Dick is not in the Charlotte Holmes universe
Casey Allen: Yeah, and it doesn’t seem like it should be in the DC universe. It’s uh, it’s great as it is on its own.
Gary Cohn: right. The only connection to the DC universe was that she had a wonder woman poster on her, on her wall. But now they wanted Superman in the gym world. So we did a crossover and then we continued on and we were done, but they had a toy deal going on. And the company Kenner said, well, you’ve got to have a comic book.
Otherwise, how could we do a toy? So they said, well, can you do a new series? So now we had to come up with the new series at that point, that coincided with. My, uh, whatever, here’s a Yiddish word for your Michigan. Um, what are my [00:39:00] Michigan? My early mid thirties and Dan am I just, weren’t the magic wasn’t working and we decided, well, let’s each take one of the books.
And I think we made the wrong choice because he got through devil and I got amethyst. And it seemed like the right choice at the time, but I think, I think it probably would have been better with the other way around. And I ran for 10 issues with amethyst and they had sense of where I was going and I was struggling with deadlines and I got taken off the book.
There’s a story to that, but I got taken off the book and it got handed to other people who. I’ve told me that they love amethyst. And I believe that they love Alesis, but what they were doing was not atmosphere as far as I’m concerned. And then it got integrated into the DC universe and she came the word chaos or whatever.
And then somebody said, well, what if gen world is where more [00:40:00] drew comes from? And all of this stuff, that to my mind has nothing to do with it. So, so. As far as I’m concerned, the first 12 issues are our scripture and everything else is Apocrypha with one exception. I didn’t see what, what, uh, the speed with, with, uh, new, new giant teenage people or whatever that book is.
But, um, I’m Brie, Andrew heart’s nine minutes of emesis. Cartoons is perfection to me, even though it’s very different from what we did. Um, it’s not. And that nine minutes is, is the treasure. And now what Amy’s doing seems really good. Um, with Ben to stuff, I know he’s a [00:41:00] great writer and everybody loves him.
I can’t think of anything I’ve ever read of his. But I heard what his central idea was, which was a gym world in vain surf. And my immediate reaction was, well, that’s totally ass backwards. Earth has nothing Jim world wants.
Casey Allen: yeah.
Gary Cohn: and, and, and given what we know of who we are, um, it would be the other way around, right.
To be earth invade the gym world. They’ve got gyms and magic. So, so of course, Um, we would invade them not the other way around, but that’s all I know about that. And I’m just not really interested. And that, that was my feeling about anything anybody did with them assistant to devil was yeah. Okay. The, got it.
The bill Willingham. I read a couple of bill Willingham, shadow pack stories of anybody who’s ever touched. Blue devil. He’s the only one who I think really got the character. [00:42:00] Um, again, the DC machine, they sent him to hell. They killed everybody. They, they made him this really horrible, tragic character.
That’s not the devil. Devil’s this bouncy happy guy who beats up bad guys and says, I’m not, I should be here. Blue devil blue devil was not supposed to be a comic book with much on its mind. It was just supposed to be a romper.
Casey Allen: that’s what I was about to say it, the exact word I was about to say it’s a wrong. It certainly is.
Gary Cohn: As long as we hit Paris, that’s what it was. And once Paris was taken off the book, because he wasn’t beating deadlines, we went through six different artists and six issues, which was brutal. Um, Gil Kane did pretty nice issue. Keith Giffen did two terrific issues. Um, and so on, Ernie did an issue, but at the end of the day, we ended up with an artist who was.
Just competent [00:43:00] and always met deadlines. And because he was not an action artist, he is a moreover comedy artist. We started again with our editors direction, but we started, but also the necessity of the artists. We started to make it more junkie jokey and less bouncy, and it became less and less of a.
Great fight scenes comic with a lot of funny stuff and started to be comic with trying too hard, to be funny and, and has art that just kind of lays there on the, on the page.
That’s that’s my story. I’m blue Devlin amethyst.
Casey Allen: I hear ya. And, uh, um, I’m happy that you’re able to see stuff cause they’re your babies. And I’m happy that you’re able to see the new amethyst, uh, uh, series and. See somebody doing it right. [00:44:00] Especially after new 52 was a disaster all around. That was such a, they handled that thing awfully. Um, uh, but that’s, that’s neither here nor there. I think everybody
Gary Cohn: I had nothing to do with it.
Casey Allen: got messed up around new 52.
Gary Cohn: I had nothing to do with it. I think I saw a few dollars and literally a few dollars maybe tens in royalties because they used my two characters and I don’t think I’ve read a single. New 52 book. Like I said, I looked first issue of amethyst a little bit, and really wasn’t on my radar.
Casey Allen: I hear ya. So after, um, After you did the comics up through the nineties. You, when did the teaching and now, now you’re [00:45:00] retired from teaching and, uh, just, um, going back into writing and, um, are, are you hoping to, uh, uh, do you have any projects like on the slate right now that are, that are in production?
Gary Cohn: Well, new devil it’s creeping along. Um, Ray, Felix and I rate Ray was the art teacher in high school. I worked in and when we learned that we were both comments guys, we said, let’s make a comic book. And it took five years. We did, but we got issue number one of nemesis daughter of night. Um, and between the two of us, we probably printed 400 copies. And occasionally sell them at conventions and talk about doing a second issue. One of these days, it was fun. It’s nice. I like it. [00:46:00] Um, when I was writing for DC, they would publish, they would print tens of thousands of copies of what I wrote. And now that I do it on my own, I print tens of copies.
Casey Allen: Yeah, but, uh, the whole model for, for sales and everything has, has changed drastically since, um, since the eighties, since the nineties. And, uh, especially when you’re a self publisher, uh, and. You know, selling them at cons and online. Um, it’s a big difference. Uh, do you enjoy going out to the cons? I know right now those are, um, uh, not really happening, but, uh, hopefully we’ll, we’ll be back to that.
Uh, has that been an interesting, um, thing for you actually going out and meeting the fans?
Gary Cohn: Especially since most of [00:47:00] them are, are remembering me that that, uh, hasn’t existed for 30 years, 35 years. So I get to remember him with them and that’s, that’s interesting, interesting, and entertaining. Um, and I. Sometimes see a book that I forgot I had anything to do with when somebody wants me to sign it. Um, I get to, I get to talk to people and as you can see, I like to do that and I get to tell stories. And sometimes I get to talk about writing in upon panels with people who are far more successful than I am. That’s fine. I was on a panel. Last year with JMT Madis. And I don’t remember who else, but somebody else with, with, with that level of success, my, my [00:48:00] I’d never met him before.
He’s a lovely guy. I want connection with the badasses that Dan and I finished. I vampire. We wrote, I think 14 episodes by the empire, um, which when I looked back at it, I don’t think it’s all that good, but the Thompson artwork was great. So I enjoy doing that. Um, I have a lot of industry friends who I get to see at comic book conventions.
I try to keep it local and within like a hundred mile radius of Richmond. Yeah. I found a community in Richmond. Richmond has a couple of comics communities. It’s got a more or less mainstream comic book, convention, community built around the Richmond, the VA Comicon series of small. Comicons a really nice, I mean, Brett career’s produces and then it’s got the VCU, um, [00:49:00] much more artsy kind of.
Comics community because VCU has got this great commercial arts program. So the two, the two communities don’t talk to each other, all that much. The VCU community is built around a guy named Tom to Haven. Who’s terrific writer. Who’s just retired. Um, and dining. Chris pitcher has a, has a print ad house.
Where he does really high end good-looking, um, has a lot on their minds, graphic novels, but that’s sort of a different world and I’ve gotten to know both of them and, and sort of bridge both. And that’s fun too. Um, at this point I’m 68 years old and I’ve got nothing to prove to anybody and what I do, I think, [00:50:00] because I enjoy doing it.
Casey Allen: that’s amazing. And, but it’s, um, it’s a little bit freeing to be able to do that. Now earlier you, you said, you mentioned to me that. There was, you know, the, the old Gary con from, you know, comics that you wrote forever ago and then the, the Gary kind of now. Mmm.
Gary Cohn: By the way it’s
Casey Allen: Oh, I’m, I’m very sorry.
Gary Cohn: that’s okay.
Casey Allen: You know, the, the old Gary Kellan and the, the Gary Cohen now, and.
What’s the difference between the two, like, uh,
Gary Cohn: I’ll give you, I’ll give you the old Gary Cohn. I’ll give you the old Gary Cohn in. I don’t know if you saw it. But a while ago, it should have been on Facebook. And then online on YouTube, there was a video of [00:51:00] DC comics having a party in 1984 and a guy who’s acting the role of Jack Ryder is going to this party and then interviewing people.
And they’re all telling him about the great projects that we’re working on. And. Of course it was stage, it was completely stage party. And I didn’t remember this at all. I mean, I didn’t remember being married. I didn’t remember anything about it. And I still don’t remember it, except that I’m watching the video a few times triggered some false memories, I guess.
But there we all were. I mean, there’s more Holtzman and Len and, and pull a cup of bird and I kind of cried a little bit watching it cause it was. There’s Joe Lando and then Victor, Donald quite a bit younger than I am now. And so many of them who are gone and, [00:52:00] um, but anyway, there I was too, and I think I was like fresh out of my marriage.
I was freshly divorced. Um, and I had what, what my, my physical therapist, I, my, my, my, my, um, Physician’s assistant who’s my, my primary physician now pointed out to me a couple of years ago when I went through another breakup and I came in to see her and she said, Oh, you got your, you got your breakup bot. And I had my breakup bod, my breakup boss at 32 or 33 was quite a bit better than my breakup bod is at 66. Um, so I was lean and I was ripped and I, I still had hair pulled dark, and I’m looking at this. Guy’s pretty cute. And he’s a good looking guy and they had this model. Who was, who was, who greets Jack Ryder when [00:53:00] he comes into the DC offices, statuesque brunette, probably about five, 10, about five eight, and she’s dressed as wonder woman.
And so she brings him into the party and everybody’s having cocktails and there’s me. And I do my shtick where I’m. Full of myself and then, you know, arrogant shit about how great I am assist is in blue devil in art, great plans and earth. And then for the next 15 minutes of this video, whoever’s being interviewed in the party, the background I’m talking to wonder woman and.
You can see that I’m selling and not only am I selling, but she’s buying, it’s one of these really animated give and take and deal with leaning into each other and back and forth, back and forth. That’s what it was then, um, [00:54:00] at,
Casey Allen: had game, you had some serious game back then.
Gary Cohn: um, so more than that though, I had this, this. Sense of myself as invincible. Um, at one point, Dan and I were having a conversation with a couple of vice presidents from Kenner toys. And one of them said, um, does he know that toy never happened? But it seems like it’s going to, and he says, so who’s the best writer in comics.
And without missing a beat, I said, we are. A week later, the first Alan Moore swamp thing came out and I realized immediately how long I was about that.
Casey Allen: Okay.
Gary Cohn: But, but that’s, that’s who I was. And, and it took. All the, all the knocks and all the ups and [00:55:00] downs and all the, all the 30, some odd years of life that I’ve been telling you about in this con conversation to turn me into who I am now. And there are glimmers of that guy in there. There were things about that guy that I’m happy are still part of me, but, you know, I looked at him, I looked at him on this video and I said, like a tool.
Casey Allen: but, uh, I mean, that guy made you who you are today. So, um,
Gary Cohn: Um, he, he was a step on a stage in the past, you know, he was a stage in the journey.
Casey Allen: so as a writer now, Um, do you think all of that experience kind of made you into a stronger writer?
Gary Cohn: Um, Sometimes, sometimes the magic works. Um, I just printed a small collection of [00:56:00] short stories and did not in any way, fantasy or speculative or anything, they are loosely semi autobiographical. Um, I had three of them when I wrote, when I was 38, about a guy, a lot, like me and experiences, similar to experiences I had had when I was 18. And then in my forties, two more stories came out about a guy in his early twenties. Who’s riding motorcycles and working on rooftops. And again, both of them are pretty, maybe 80% true. And he’s something like me and. Together. They came to about 80 pages and I said, you know, I’ve got these stories. I might as well do something with them.
I started to talk to a friend of mine about packaging them. And then I heard a cop. I had a conversation with a stranger. He told me a story, very sad [00:57:00] story in being an asshole and a guy with a beautiful wife. And how, how that had not worked out well for him. And in the course of the story, I said, you know, you’ve got to careful what you tell, tell writers, because I might do something with this.
That could be your story, but I might do something with this. And Emma did left September as I was having my friend prepare this room. Book these people who were kind of loosely based on the story I’d heard. And one loosely based on me now all started talking. And so I started to write and 45, 46 pages later. I’m like [00:58:00] 15,000 words later. Their story was done. It was over the course of two months. I think it’s pretty good. So it ended up going into the, the collection. So now the collection is 130 pages long and I printed 50 copies. Um, it’s got a cover. That’s kind of the sepia tone used to be a color picture that my first wife took of me, but.
Over time. It became sepia toned a picture of me sitting on my motorcycle at 28 as the cover and on the back is a picture of me at 65 sitting on my motorcycle. That’s the back. Some things never changed. And for stories, this guy, who’s, they’re all roughly the same character. Who’s 19 years old and doesn’t know shit about anything.
And then the next two stories are about this guy and his. Probably mid twenties. And then there’s a [00:59:00] story where the focal character point of view characters in the sixties. So I’ve got 50 copies and it’s that the printing term is erotic. Um, it’s got errors, lots of printing errors, but that’s okay. Cause there’s only 50 of them.
And I realized that there are three more stories that need to be written about a guy in his thirties. Diane is forties and the guy in his fifties, all semi-automatic biographical. They’re probably pretty, nearly doubled waiting for the book and it’ll be 10, it’ll be seven decades.
Casey Allen: that is
Gary Cohn: that’s what I’m, that’s what I’m writing now.
Casey Allen: That sounds fantastic. Um, I can’t wait to, to actually read that thing. So, um, when that comes out, uh [01:00:00] you’re you’re going to have to let us know
Gary Cohn: well, give me an address. I’ll send you a copy of what he did of the current, the current issue. Um, the current edition lists, the three stories that haven’t been written yet. So give me, give me your Casey right.
Casey Allen: Yes. Yes. I’ll um, I’ll shoot it to you over the Skype and, uh,
Gary Cohn: Yeah. Okay.
Casey Allen: that way, that way you don’t have to have a pen and paper out, but Oh my gosh, that sounds fantastic. So
Gary Cohn: Yeah.
Casey Allen: alright. And. Uh, yeah. Um, I’m, uh, I’m sending it over now.
Gary Cohn: Okay.
Casey Allen: and, um, but yeah, that’s, that’s sounds like a really amazing, uh, amazing group of stories, especially, you know, as it spans the decades and yeah. [01:01:00] Showing the different person that you, the different modes of person you are as, as you, as you age, as you grow older.
And that’s something that, I mean, I w I definitely wasn’t who I was. I’m definitely not who I was when I was in my twenties. I’m in my late thirties now. Um, and, uh, I’m learning that every day as my knees grow weaker and my, uh, uh, as, uh, have been running furniture up and down. Hm. In preparation
Gary Cohn: one of the things
Casey Allen: carpet people to come in tomorrow, I’m realizing my knees are shit. Excuse my language, but Oh my
Gary Cohn: I’ll tell you
Casey Allen: Um,
Gary Cohn: that’s happened here because of this time, when my last girlfriend moved out. She’s with me for five years and she left about two years ago. It’s a big apartment. And the front room was her art studio [01:02:00] and joined to the second room by double doors. And I looked at that, I said, what am I going to do with all this room?
I apartment is twice the size of the apartment I had in New York. So what I did with it was I took all the furniture out and I turned another room into a book room, sitting room. And I covered the floors with puzzle puzzlement. It’s a 30 foot stretch, which gives me a short fencing strip. I put my heavy bag in one corner and this apartment has been evolving into basically a home fitness space.
Casey Allen: okay.
Gary Cohn: And, and I hadn’t really been using it all that much until now. And. Since I’ve started being mostly shut in. Um, I’ve probably been doing more pushups than I’ve done since my twenties, even though I’ve done, I’ve done a [01:03:00] whole bunch of things. It was martial arts. I did yoga, but I’m doing 200, 250 pushups a day.
Casey Allen: Oh, wow.
Gary Cohn: um, I’ve got my old bicycle that I had. I bought in 1971 is my college bike and I’ve been riding around the neighborhood. And what I’m discovering is that bodies have tremendous capacity for renewal, and they’ve got tremendous capacity for rehabilitation. You just have to keep moving. And if you start to move, if you start to do it regularly and with intent, wherever you think you are in terms of.
Telling yourself. Well, I’m just getting old. You can fix it. You just have to,
Casey Allen: Yeah. Yeah. I see. I have two small kids, so my goal is to get back to where [01:04:00] I was so I can, you know, actually be active with them and do stuff. So we we’ve been doing hikes lately. We have a, we live out in the middle of nowhere, so there are a bunch of trails out in the woods behind her house. And we’ve, uh, been kind of.
Well, it’s been really nice down here past you, uh, past few weeks. So, um, because we can’t go anywhere else. We can’t go into the city and be around. People were walking out in the woods and being, you know, being around the, around the Creek and around, uh, uh, trees and, you know, have to watch out for ticks.
But other than that, it’s been fine. But, uh, yeah,
Gary Cohn: Yeah. This is the thing. Pause. And we’re all, we’re all those of us who are capable of reassessment, I think are doing that.
Casey Allen: Oh yeah, yeah, it is
Gary Cohn: think there are a lot of people [01:05:00] who aren’t capable of reassessment that’s problem. Yeah.
Casey Allen: Yeah. And it’s.
Being where you’re at. I mean, you’re, you’re in Richmond, Virginia, you’re right around some of the most prominent voices and, uh, uh, you know, huge politicians in our country. How have people there been handling all of this stuff?
Gary Cohn: Richmond’s a cool little town because it’s dominated by Virginia. Commonwealth university. So it’s a college town and it’s got a zillion artists and creatives, and it’s got the progressive mentality. It’s also primarily an African American town. It’s 55% African American. Yeah. And the dynamic of that, um, [01:06:00] Yeah.
You see, you see a lot of the injustice, that’s all that defines this country, um, in microcosm in the city, but it’s, but it’s a city that’s at least trying. so Richmond is a very different from, let’s say, um, Western Virginia. And because it’s a state Capitol we’ve had, there are demonstrations with people in camouflage with guns, um, what they actually want. I can’t figure out, but
Casey Allen: They want to be brave heart and they don’t have the mental capacity or the wherewithal to actually do anything.
Gary Cohn: Yeah. You know, I, I could part part of the job of a writer is to try to figure out [01:07:00] what people are are about, and also to try to express them without, without judgment and, and try to, uh, sometimes embody them as a storyteller without, without judging them, but letting them be. What they are, and that means you’ve got to be able to understand what they are and, and without judging it.
Um, the same thing with history as a historian, um, far too many. Far too many people look at history and say, well, what are the lessons? And what can I, how can I use this to make a point? And that’s not how you do history. If you’re an academic, what you do is you just have to figure out what happened and why it happened.
And if you make any judgements at all, that’s the very, very last step. And you do it very cautiously intentively. And as a writer, um, you know, as a, as a citizen, I have my own. Feelings and my own opinions on the very strong, [01:08:00] but as a writer, I don’t want to put, I don’t want to write polemics. I don’t want to write, I don’t want to write propaganda.
So if I’m creating a character, I want that character to be true. And if that character is villainous, um, it’s not because I say this is a villain it’s because. The character in the way that character is true to themselves and believable as a real person, um, is in fact villainous, but not in his own mind. One of the, one of the problems I have with comics is that so many of the conflicts of villains, I self identify as villains.
Casey Allen: And it’s, it’s, it’s
Gary Cohn: people in the world do not tell themselves. I’m one of the worst people in the world. [01:09:00] Anyway, like I said, those, those guys show up with guns sometimes and, and the yellow and I steer clear of them and then they go away.
Casey Allen: yeah.
Interesting times we live in. Interesting times, indeed. And, uh, man, I could go on and on about that because those people are my inlaws. So I’m living in the deep South. Uh, those people are your neighbors and it’s, um, it can be unsettling in. Especially knowing like, Oh, you, I see some people who are of that ilk on a daily basis.
And they’re the type of people that would. Stop [01:10:00] everything that they’re doing. If you know, if you’re broke down on the side of the road, they would be the guy that would come out and, you know, hand your ranch and help you out. But at the same time, I don’t know where their head’s at in regards to these issues.
And it’s really unsettling to me. Um, but.
Gary Cohn: you know that there are, there are other circumstances where they would hit you over the head with a rock. As soon as looking at you.
Casey Allen: exactly. Exactly.
Gary Cohn: And that’s that that’s disconcerting because you understand that they’re capable of selfless acts of great generosity. And then as I said, they’re capable of hitting you over the head with a rock without blinking an eye about it.
Casey Allen: So real quick. Um, has it been a culture shock for you? You being in Virginia, like moving, coming from Michigan and then to New York and then to [01:11:00] Ohio. Uh, and then I guess back to New York, has it been a little bit of a culture shock being in Virginia?
Gary Cohn: No, because Richmond is what I really need to do. Well, yes. And also I was used to East Lansing and Ann Arbor and, and in a way, Richmond is, is one of those. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a college town and college towns are real different.
So, so. No, you know, it’s got everything that I’m at least pre pandemic. It had everything that I loved about New York. It’s terrific restaurants. It’s got an incredible arts scene because it’s such an easy city to live in that many, many of the people come out of VCU [01:12:00] art school just never leave. So it’s got galleries and it’s got studios and it’s got this ferment of creativity and it’s got music and it’s got some really nice museums and it’s.
It’s got, I found my motorcycle shop. I found my fencing school. I found the communities that I wanted to be part of. So, so it was actually sigh of relief because suddenly I had a big space where I had tiny cramped space. I’m in a quiet neighborhood where I was in the police that was in the heart of Queens.
And I love Queens. Queens is. There’s a reason why, why that part of New York has been hit so badly with the pandemic, but Queens is a 10 by 10 to a hundred square mile piece of land with 3 million people in it from every it’s the single most ethnically diverse, a hundred [01:13:00] square miles on the planet. And it’s bordered at the South by Kennedy airport and at the North by LaGuardia airport, which is.
You see the problem, of course, because anything that’s going to come into this country good or bad is going to come through that part of New York city,
Casey Allen: Oh yeah.
Gary Cohn: including a pen, including a pandemic said that’s mismanaged. So, so I love the ferment of Queens. The high school I taught in had a hundred students, a thousand students, 43 different nationalities.
Casey Allen: Oh, well,
Gary Cohn: And it was, it was so much the UN that the students did not mingle by ethnicity or race or religion. They mingled by affinity. So the jocks were 47 different [01:14:00] nationalities. Of jock and they were, they were the community of jocks and the, the computer nerds were 43 different nationalities, computer nerd, and the, and the goths and so on. They weren’t, they weren’t differentiated by, by the background.
They were differentiated by what they liked.
Casey Allen: Did they give you a little bit of hope for the, for the future, seeing that.
Gary Cohn: Nope. Yes. And no, you know, I never got used to the ideas that, that. People from every, every nationality, people, 16 year old people and every race included. We had Tibetans, we had, we had Africans, we had East Eastern, Eastern Europeans. 45% of our students were Latino, but they were from all over Latin.
America of 20% were, were African American, but. [01:15:00] Except for the nerds who did not use this language. Um, they all, they all call each other by the end word, instead of guy in some in one way. That was a great democratization, I guess, but I never, ever really, really could quite get used to it.
Casey Allen: as a guy from the South, I’m going to stay away from this, this part.
Gary Cohn: Mmm. In most ways. I love that part of the world and I loved it, but I thought it was Sophie all the time in my apartment if I left the windows open, but parking is constantly filthy. Um, there’s noise all the time. Getting anywhere was an Epic journey. My, my commute school was I think even my miles and on a really, really good day, it would take me 45 minutes.
Casey Allen: Oh my God. [01:16:00] I can’t, I can’t imagine, um, just being around that many people, uh, at all kind of freaks me out. Um, just because, I mean, like I said earlier, my, my closest neighbor lives, um, uh, about 400 yards away, 500 yards away. Um, so like we don’t.
Gary Cohn: That’s freaks me out. That freaks me out, but because you know, in space, no one can hear you scream
Casey Allen: Oh, yeah,
Gary Cohn: in most of New York city at most, most of the time. Um, if you’re yelling help, help, help. There are people who hear and, and there’s usually people who show up, um, in, in the middle of nowhere, um, you’ll help, help, help, and the crickets respond.
Casey Allen: well, and that’s one thing that kind of. I have a nuanced view on the whole, the gun debate, [01:17:00] just solely based on the fact that if I have to call the sheriff, um, it’ll take them a good 30 minutes to get out here. By the time he gets out here, whatever it was going to happen has happened. So, um, but I’ll also, I’ll say.
I don’t think that anyone in the world should be able to get whatever they want. I think there should be, uh, you’re you should be able, you should have to sign up for these things. Anyway. Yeah, we live out in the middle of nowhere. Deer come up in our yard. Um, we had, we had, uh, a group of about five deer running around our backyard the other day, like dogs.
They were just happy little deer running around. It was the craziest thing. So, um, my wife, uh, Took a big old thing, apples out and started throwing them out in the yard. And then the next morning when I was drinking my coffee, I saw a deer out the yard picking up an Apple. [01:18:00] So, um, that’s always kind of cool.
Gary Cohn: That’s good. As far as guns go. Um, I’ve never owned one. I’ve never been in a situation where my having a gun would’ve made the situation better. I have no problem with guns. What I’d have problem with is fetishizing them.
Casey Allen: Yes. And, and making it into a fear, totem that that’s a term I heard the other day that hits the nail on the head. Like, just because you you’re scared of something. Of, you know, anything really, and having that, it’s not going to solve the problem. Um, but if, if you, if you know how to use it, if you’re competent with it, um, and know when not to use it, that is, uh, you know, that that’s a different situation altogether, but just having, it’s not going to make you any more safe.
Gary Cohn: You know, I [01:19:00] have a fear for hammers because over the years, I’ve. Build things. And I, I like knowing that if I need to build something, like I just, I built a frame that I, yesterday I built a frame that I can strap onto my heavy bag and it holds a fencing foil at arm’s length. And suddenly I’ve got guest stone who I could fence with. and, and I like knowing that if I need to build something, I’ve got a hammer, but I’m not going to make a. I’m not going to venerate my hammers. You know, I’m not going to a very nice average, but I’m not going to build my life around the ideas that I own hammers. When I need a hammer. I know how to use a hammer
Casey Allen: It’s not an extension of your personality, which I think some people, uh, the, the most egregious of them do [01:20:00] and it’s
Gary Cohn: something. I
Casey Allen: Those people are awful.
Gary Cohn: Yeah. Or something that I use to define who I am, which is even worse than an extension of your personality. Um, it’s a, it’s a four, four purchase personality
Casey Allen: all right. And an extension of your manhood, which is.
Gary Cohn: It’s one of the reasons why, although I’ve written motorcycles for 45 years, I’ve never owned a Harley.
Casey Allen: Really, I was going to ask what you rode
Gary Cohn: I’ll try and find Bonneville though.
Casey Allen: that’s one thing that, um, my, my, my dad used to ride a Harley Sportster and, um, It, some of those guys that becomes, definitely becomes who they are. I’m a Harley rider. And they, they think that there’s some type of bad-ass NIS attached to it. When, uh, no, your, your, your, your name is Steve and your accountant during the [01:21:00] week on the weekends, you get on your Hartley, but Monday through Friday, you’re an accountant.
You’re not a Harley rider.
Gary Cohn: Yup.
Casey Allen: But Gary, it’s been amazing talking to you, man. I, I, I feel like I could like chew your ear off, just talk and talk and talking all night. Um, so I, I think for, for your sake, I need the
Gary Cohn: It’s time to call it a Brit.
Casey Allen: what the hell was that?
Gary Cohn: Good. Um, I’ll be interested to see what 45 minutes he pull out of this. Cause we’ve been at this for about two hours.
Casey Allen: Oh man. Uh, I’ve, I’ve really enjoyed talking to you. Thank you so much for chatting with us. And, um, I can’t wait to read, uh, Read your collection of stories because it, it, it sounds fantastic. Um, you, you guys, Gary con uh, [01:22:00] is, uh, an amazing writer check out his stuff. He, he created gym world. He created an amethyst.
He created blue devil, uh, go out there, find his works, uh, and, um, hopefully soon we’ll be seen yet a con because, uh,
Gary Cohn: Please please say that he co-created these things
Casey Allen: Yes. Yes. I’m. I’m, I’m very sorry. Co-created with Dan in Michigan. Uh, both Jim world
Gary Cohn: and Ernie cologne and Paris Collins. Okay.
Casey Allen: yes. And, uh, me and Paris. Paris is an amazing artist as well. Oh my gosh.
Gary Cohn: me say something about that. There are writers, um, couple of them I know in like who claimed to be the sole creators of comic books and. If you’re a writer, you cannot be the sole creator of the comic. Um, whoever the first [01:23:00] artist lists, whoever first visualized that comic is your cocreate, or because you could not have done it without them. And so anytime I do anything, the artist I generate the thing with, uh, They are they all my complete partner and at least my equal in, in the origins of whatever we’ve produced. Okay. That’s that
Casey Allen: Gary. Thanks again, man. And, um, we’ll, uh, we’ll send you a link when this is up. Uh, if, uh, if you have anything coming up for us, let us know, and we’ll be more than happy to put it out on our social media. Uh, thanks again, man.
Gary Cohn: Okay. We’re good.
Casey Allen: all right. Yes, sir. Thank you again. And I’m sending you the rest right now. Alright. Be well, mr. Cohen.
Gary Cohn: You too.
Casey Allen: Alright, thank you. Goodbye.