Ron Marz talks DC’s Endless Winter!

Ron is back with to talk about DC Comic’s Endless Winter! This is Ron’s third time on the show and we hope to have him back for many more!

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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas

Theme music by Good Co Music:

Ron Marz and Kenric Regan.output

Kenric: [00:00:00]

[00:00:00] Guys. Welcome back. I’m Kenrick as always and today on the show. We’re super lucky. I believe he’s been on before with mostly Jeff, but it might’ve been Casey.

[00:00:10] Ron

[00:00:10] Ron: [00:00:10] Marz. Thanks for joining man. Hey man. Thanks for having me. Yeah.

[00:00:15] Kenric: [00:00:15] How was your, how, how

[00:00:16] Ron: [00:00:16] how’s your day going? My day is going the same as every other day.

[00:00:22]That’s just, you know, that’s the cycle we’re in right now. So so I sit in my office and I write comics which, which, you know, is kind of what I did pre pandemic, but I could actually leave my office pre pandemic. So that, that, that’s the only, that’s the only new wrinkle here. Do you find yourself walking your neighborhood more now?

[00:00:43]I actually, I actually walked anyway, like we live. Oh, did you live? Yeah, we live around the Lake. So so the there’s a loop of, you know, about two and a half miles around this Lake. So I would, I used to walk that every day until the, until the snow showed up. Yeah. Yeah. So I was, yeah, I was out, you know, walking fairly often because, you know, once, once the lockdown came in, I’m in upstate New York I couldn’t go to my gym anymore.

[00:01:10] So you try to get exercise any way you can. And I, I still, I haven’t set, set foot in my gym in. Since March, I guess. So hopefully, you know, hopefully there’s a, there’s a vaccine appointment in my future at some point, and I can get back to doing that sort of stuff, but yeah, just taking a walk, trying to get a set of barbells you know, you do what you can.

[00:01:34] Yeah. I went with the bands,

[00:01:36] Kenric: [00:01:36] so I’m extremely overweight right now and I’m kind of hating myself and this. I don’t really hate myself, but you know what I mean? This, this pandemic has made it worse, right? So I’m not going places I’m not as active and various, you know, kind of just sitting around.

[00:01:56] Yeah. Well,

[00:01:57] Ron: [00:01:57] it’s, you know, it’s we all got a different lifestyle thrust upon us. I mean, I was, I was at the gym six or seven days a week. Every week and then all of a sudden Oh, you can’t do that anymore. And in fact, my, my gym is, is still closed. It’s still, they never, they never opened up again. So yeah.

[00:02:16] I mean, you, you end up really missing the routines that you had that you didn’t even realize you had. Yeah,

[00:02:24] Kenric: [00:02:24] well, so I just got the band, the high resistant bands, because I want to do weight because I like lifting weights. But the high, the high resistant bands man are good. Have you seen, have you checked those out?

[00:02:37]Ron: [00:02:37] No, I, you know, like I, I ride, I walk around the Lake, I ride my stationary bike and got some weights in. But it’s, it’s, I, I found that it was a whole different thing. You know, my gym was literally 10 minutes of, well, my gym is literally 10 minutes from the house. Yeah. However, the doors are locked.  So, you know, but just that, just that daily.

[00:02:58] You know that daily ritual of going in there, we’re going out for an hour on, on occasion, stopping at the local brewery and having a beer on the way home, like all that stuff has gone. So, you know, so like, like I said, it’s, you know, every day is the same as every other day. You just, you just. Fight your way through it.

[00:03:17] And, you know, thankfully I’ve got enough projects on my desk that I’m, that I’m, you know, always fully occupied, but it does feel a little bit like you’re like you’re on a treadmill, just not the good kind in the gym. Yeah.

[00:03:31] Kenric: [00:03:31] Yeah. Well, you got a big project going on right now and endless winter. Can you give us a lowdown?

[00:03:36] Ron: [00:03:36] Yeah, we just we just finished up endless winter, which was DCS December crossover written by me and Andy Lanning. And it was you know, the, the goal was to do a big justice league story that, that lasted the month. So we did all nine issues. Of the crossover were written by myself and Andy landing.

[00:03:58] And you know, it was, it was more of a, a throwback crossover and that it ha you know, beginning, middle and end. The whole thing was over in five weeks. And you know, th the goal was not to you know, everything you know about the DC universe is wrong, or now everything will change. The goal on this one was just.

[00:04:19] Look, here’s here’s 200 pages. Tell us a fun superhero story. And we, we, we had a ball doing it and worked with a magnificent array of artists on on all the issues. And and a great, you know, and a great team of people in editorial at DC to keep, you know, to keep the trains running on time.

[00:04:41]We did nine issues and they all came out when they were supposed to, and it was, it was a grind, but the whole thing was a pleasure to we’re really, you know, we’re really proud of how the whole thing came out. How, how did the

[00:04:53] Kenric: [00:04:53] story come about? Where, what, what was the. No, what is the source material and maybe not source material, but what was the combination in your mind that said, Oh, this is going to be cool.

[00:05:03] Ron: [00:05:03] Well, the, the, the source material was really, you know, like we, we ripped off Hans Christian Anderson and like Viking myths. That’s, that’s where, you know, Yeah, we’re all good stuff comes from. So yeah, I mean, we, we ended up talking to DC about a, a winter crossover. That was a really a winter crossover, like leaned into the season and all that.

[00:05:24] It wasn’t just a random story. So we took some inspiration from from North mythology. We took inspiration from some Hans Christian Anderson tails and ended up coming up with this. I, I actually even hesitate to call him a villain, but the, the antagonist of the whole series is a character called the frost King, who has his origins in the 10th century in in Viking Rome, and ends up coming back to to the world in the present day.

[00:05:56] So Really that the seeds of it are, are mostly from Andy landing. And then Andy and I started to tick around different aspects and figure out how, how it could expand into the modern day. And you know Andy’s one of my best friends and we love working together. So It’s kind of a process of trying to one up each other.

[00:06:18] We get on, we get on Skype calls every day and kick around ideas and, and, you know, the whole thing is, is kind of a, what about session? Like, well, what, what about, what about Viking justice league in the, in the 10th century? Well, what if, what about swamp thing being part of that justice league? You know, so it’s.

[00:06:37] It’s a lot of fun. I mean, obviously it was a lot of work and it was writing 200 pages of material in, in a fairly compact amount of time. But. You know, look, these, these are superhero comics. They should be fun. So so we had we had a ball with with the whole thing and hopefully there, you know, there’s some themes underlying all of it of.

[00:07:00] Of isolation and family and just kind of some of the stuff that we’re all going through now, certainly the, the fact that we’re all, you know, all locked down in a pandemic and, and missing the things that we normally get to do. All of that stuff is kind of. You know, plays under the the overall plot, because that’s what, you know, we were all going through when we were doing the thing.

[00:07:26] So it’s not heavy handed, but there’s, there’s certainly aspects of that in the story.

[00:07:32] Kenric: [00:07:32] Yeah, I was, I was, I was literally just going to ask you if there is a parallel between what we’re going through now and what you guys wrote and. Yeah, that’s great.

[00:07:40] Ron: [00:07:40] Yeah. And we tried to, you know, again, it’s a, it’s a big superhero story.

[00:07:44] So, you know, at face value, it’s the justice league fighting ice monsters. That’s the, that’s the short version and, you know, that’s, that’s what the story, that’s what the story is. It’s, it’s a big bombastic superhero adventure that takes place in the winter and, and. Beyond that we did try to deal with those themes of, of isolation and separation, even depression to a certain extent, but you know, not in a, not in a heavy handed over way, just kind of.

[00:08:19] Trying to layer that stuff in. And when you do that, I think it helps. It helps. It helps give the story a spine. You, you know what themes you want to come back to as you’re, as you’re constructing the plot. And so hopefully, you know, hopefully it turns out that and obviously it’s a thing for the audience to decide.

[00:08:37] And, you know, it turns out that there is this big bombastic fund superhero story, but there’s some other stuff underneath that you can also sink your teeth into. Yeah.

[00:08:46] Kenric: [00:08:46] I like that. What’s next for you. Do you have anything next that you can actually

[00:08:50] Ron: [00:08:50] talk about or are we still secret world nowadays? Yeah, everybody’s, everybody’s particular about when stuff gets announced.

[00:08:57] So I’m doing, let me see, I’m doing some stuff for heavy metal right now, right? I mean, like, literally right now I’m writing dialogue for this heavy metal story. So I’m doing a I’m doing a serialized story in heavy metal magazine called swamp God. Oh, cool. And which is. A civil war, era horror story.

[00:09:17]And then later this year there will be a there will be a separate heavy metal comic series that I’m writing called world traveler, which is, which is Sort of quantum leap with all of the cool science fiction and fantasy stuff you read as a kid layered into it. So those are two things I’m doing a original and original, the graphic novel with Rick Leonardi at a Naval Institute press called blue angel, which is sort of military adventure with a superhero twist to it.

[00:09:51] Yeah.  We’re finishing up the beasts of the black hand volume two that I did for ominous press, me and Matthew Dow Smith and Paul Harding. So that’s getting done right now and then Oh yeah, Andy, Andy landing and I are, are actually co-writing another another project, but I can’t tell you what it is because we signed NDAs.

[00:10:13] Kenric: [00:10:13] Oh, Well, just the fact that it’s again, but

[00:10:16] Ron: [00:10:16] it’s, but it’s cool. And I think if I mentioned more than that, they’ll be really upset with me, but it’ll be out later this year too, man. How,

[00:10:26] Kenric: [00:10:26] where does your, when you sit down to write, because sometimes I like to sit down and write, but you know, I’ve tried to write a few books, but I get like a chapter in and then my brain just and you are just doing a lot, I mean, you just mentioned.

[00:10:40] 10 different projects that you’re working on?

[00:10:43] Ron: [00:10:43] Well, I mean, that’s the, the, the real answer is I have no other job skills. So my, my job skills are basically making stuff up. Right. So but you know, I’ve been, it’s been working for, you know, for 30 years, so it still goes on. But it’s, you know, it’s the thing that I do and I don’t, you know, I don’t look that gift horse in the mouth.

[00:11:06] There’s always, there are always more ideas than you ever have time to get to, frankly go back to them some other time. Yeah. I mean, it’s, that’s sort of the nature of, of being a writer is you’re always juggling different projects or at least it’s, it’s, it’s my nature. I know now that the industry has sort of evolving into more more original graphic, novel content.

[00:11:30] And, you know, I think there are probably some people that are, you know, that do one book at a time and just. And that’s how they work, but you know, doing, doing monthly comics or serialize things like the heavy metal stuff you’re always juggling different books. And I kind of liked that because if.

[00:11:49] You know, if project a isn’t working on the day, you sit down to do it. You can, you can move over to project B and get something done on that. It’s, you know, it’s not like a, it’s not like a faucet that always flows that, you know, it ebbs and flows at different rates on different projects. So. Ideally, you know, you’re, you’re doing a few different things at once so that you can you can work on whichever one is flowing best.

[00:12:14]The, the down, you know, the downside of that is sometimes you have days, like, you know, like today, frankly, where you need to work on literally three different things at once, because they’re all, do they all need to be. They all, they all need their deadlines pushed a little bit forward. And those are the days that, that I find to be the most, you know, frustrating or distracting because you don’t feel like you’re making enough headway on any one thing in particular, because you have to do three pages of this and four pages of this and, you know, five pages of the other thing to just to just keep all the, all the plates spinning.

[00:12:49]But look, those are, those are first world problems. It’s, you know, it’s a blessing to have a number of different projects. You know, the ones I just told you, some other ones that are, that are sort of on the back burner and we’ll, we’ll be getting work done a little bit later. But you know, I constantly tell people this is to me still the still the best job in the world and I love it.

[00:13:12] Oh, that’s awesome. When did you

[00:13:15] Kenric: [00:13:15] figure out actually. You, you talked about the people going more towards those graphic novels and I’m noticing, I guess maybe since for the last 15 years or so, it’s really seems like series are really pushing the trade paperback happen. Right?

[00:13:33] Ron: [00:13:33] Sure. And I’m

[00:13:34] Kenric: [00:13:34] curious what, cause you’ve been in the business for a while that you’ve seen it while it was old school.

[00:13:38] Like I started reading comp books in the late seventies, early eighties, and the big crossover events were these huge events, like fall the mutants and. You know, crisis on infinite earth and all that kind of stuff that we’re against multiple titles. And sometimes they got put into a book most of the time.

[00:13:53] I think they did not not at my local comic store anyways, but how do you feel, do you like the way it was in the eighties and seventies doing what you’re doing now with a serialized kind of version, keep going forward, sometimes having that crossover event, or what do you think of these mini arcs that they’re doing to put into

[00:14:10] the

[00:14:10] Ron: [00:14:10] TBB.

[00:14:12]I mean, ultimately we need to be doing these things in as many different packages as possible, you know, single issues, digital, original graphic novels, collected additions, oversized hard covers all of it. We need to be doing as much as possible to get the material into the hands of people that that might not show up at the local comic store.

[00:14:33] I mean, I was, you know, it wasn’t until I was in college that I figured out that there was such a thing as a comic bookstore. You know, I just was you know, I was a kid that pulled comics off a spinner rack when I found him. So. You know, I, I think the I think that look more people, I think, want to read what they perceive as a book, you know, a collected edition or, or an original graphic novel.

[00:14:57]Then they do want to read a comic especially now when we’re, when we’re sort of trained as consumers to be a binge society. We want, we want the whole thing right now. You know, to, to the point where like, people are pissed off because they can’t get. All the episodes of the Mandalorian at once.

[00:15:14] They have to wait a week. Which I think is actually awesome. Like I love the fact that it, you know, did they do one a week and, and we have to wait and then it extends the buzz for two months rather than a weekend

[00:15:29] Kenric: [00:15:29] it up. W because when Friday comes Saturday, you’re talking, you’re getting on the phone with your buddy and you guys are talking about the Mandalorian.

[00:15:35] If you. You only get that once, if you do, if you bend

[00:15:38] Ron: [00:15:38] it all at once, it’s totally appointment TV. And I really liked that that aspect. But like as far as comics, you know, you get, you get 15 or 20 minutes enjoyment out of reading a single issue comic, and then, Oh, by the way, you have to wait 30 days before you get the next chapter.

[00:15:55]That’s not how we consume things anymore as a society. So I think. In order to appeal to as many people as possible, we need to be doing collections and original graphic novels. And you know, where people want to walk into a Barnes and noble right. Pull a book off the shelf, then want to, you know, go into fat Jack’s common crypt and pick up a stack of, of single issues.

[00:16:19] Yeah, I think so. I think we should have, we should have everything we should have. We should have as many different packages for as many different readers as possible. Yeah. I,

[00:16:28] Kenric: [00:16:28] I think it makes it easier for me to pull something off the shelf. That’s like a single volume and give it to somebody that they can actually jump in right

[00:16:38] Ron: [00:16:38] away.

[00:16:39] Oh, yeah. I mean, look, I I’ve worked in this business for 30 years and I am mostly a trade reader now because I just, I don’t have the time to keep up with the books on a monthly basis. So keep up, you know, I, I really, why is that? I was buying, I was getting books like weekly from from a comic shop.

[00:16:59] Yeah. And then not reading them until I had a stack of six or seven of the same title anyway. Yeah, so, and, and then I would end up going to buy the trade paperback collection, you know, so there, they were getting my money two or three times as it was That’s like, so, so, you know, like there’s certain stuff that I, I, you know, I will go and get the single issues and I’ll stop at my buddy’s comic shop and, you know, grab things.

[00:17:25]But I just, I spend more time sitting at my desk, writing comics than I do, going to the store and buying comics. So I, I tend to be much more of a trade and hardcover consumer. And I feel, and obviously that’s anecdotal, but I feel like if that’s the position that I’m in and I’ve worked in this business for 30 years I think that’s probably the position that most people are in where they’re, they’re looking to get.

[00:17:53]They’re looking to get the, the trade paperback collection or the, or the hardcover collection. And look, there’s nothing, you know, there’s nothing more delightful than going to the comic shop because you really dying for the next issue to come out of whatever, whatever it is, the Hellboy or Ragnar rock or Daredevil or Batman.

[00:18:11]I think that’s, that’s awesome, but not a lot of people are going to be able to do that. So so let’s make sure we have packages available for, for all of those people. So I

[00:18:22] Kenric: [00:18:22] like it. Yeah. It’s kind of cool. When you, especially when you follow a book, Like, I don’t know. I liked it when I was a kid. Cause I didn’t under, I understood that they came out on Wednesdays.

[00:18:30] Actually. Wasn’t always Wednesday. Might’ve been Tuesday for a while. There

[00:18:34] Ron: [00:18:34] it was when I, when I first found when I first found a comic shop and for probably even like up to the point where I, you know, became a pro and I was doing stuff. Yeah. I think I probably wrote my first comics when I was 22 or something like that.

[00:18:50]It used to be Fridays. Like Friday was new comic book guy.

[00:18:54] Kenric: [00:18:54] Yeah. I just going in and walking in and not realizing when, like I had the titles that I always love to read, like spike. I was a Marvel guy growing up. Right. So it was always Spider-Man Punisher. And X-Men, those were the three that I left and new mutants.

[00:19:10] Those are the ones I really, really loved. And I loved going into the comic store. Every. Every week. And then when one of those new ones came out for one of those titles, I’d be so excited because I wouldn’t know that they were coming. You know, I just knew that it was sometime this month I have a new, one of these is coming up.

[00:19:28] And so then to see it, you know, I, I, I missed that kind of. Excitement for it. It’s not quite the same. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:19:35] Ron: [00:19:35] I, you know, I was, I actually talk about this sometimes with, with other pros and there’s there was a certain excitement too, when you’re a kid and you go to the, go to the spinner rack in the drug store or the seven 11 or the, for me, it was, it was generally, there was either a deli or the supermarket and it was just sort of, you know, it was random.

[00:20:00] Maybe, maybe you would get the next issue of Avengers that you were waiting for, or maybe it would not be out yet. Maybe it would have come out and they were all sold out and you had to pick up an issue of Thor instead. There was, you know, that, that random quality to it almost made the thing like a treasure hunt.

[00:20:16]Which I think is why I, like, I love going through quarter bins at, at shows. Like I’ll, I’ll wander away from my table and, you know, be picking through quarter bins or dollar bins for stuff that, that I know I have, like, I know they’re in a box downstairs, but for like 50 cents, I’m totally willing to, to, you know, rebuy that issue of, of Hawk world by Tim Truman, just cause it’s really cool.

[00:20:41] The, the, the magic

[00:20:42] Kenric: [00:20:42] mini-series from 1983, I’ve purchased that whole mini series no less than five times.

[00:20:49] Ron: [00:20:49] Oh, yeah, it’s the, you know, we there’s, this, there’s a certain aspect of, Oh my God, I can’t leave this here. I have to, I have to get, and then, you know, invariably walk away from a walk away from Michelle, with this, with a stack of books and go one, like, how am I getting, how am I getting this stack of books home?

[00:21:07] You know, now I’m going to have to check a bag. This sucks or for right. But also you just, you know, there’s also an aspect of, you know, I’ve got all these cool books. I should give these to somebody. So somebody knows how cool these books are. Like somebody who’s never heard of these issues of Marvel fanfare.

[00:21:25] I should find a way to get these into somebody. You gotta, you gotta read these. These were incredible.

[00:21:33] Kenric: [00:21:33] You know, I don’t know. I’ve been a big comic fan, my whole life. That’s kind of funny. I’m 46 now. And I still get excited when I’m reading something new, you know, or eating something old that I didn’t get to read. Like I just read the Sandman series for Neil Gaiman, like three years ago. I remember when it came out.

[00:21:50] I remember a lot of people be into it, but I didn’t read it. So going back and reading it now, it’s like, wow, this really is good.

[00:21:57] Ron: [00:21:57] Yeah. What, what was I thinking before? Right, exactly. I think I was 13 when it came

[00:22:02] Kenric: [00:22:02] out and I remember a lot of girls being into the character death. And a lot of them were, you know, and then it was, it was pretty funny, man, and going back and reading it now, I was like, I totally get it.

[00:22:13] I don’t know why I didn’t read this. This was really good.

[00:22:15] Ron: [00:22:15] Yeah. You know, there’s, there’s more and more good stuff coming out. And it’s, it’s been interesting for me to see sort of the, the evolution in the last three decades where, you know, when I broke into the business, It was basically, you know, there was Marvel and DC and dark horse and a couple of other indie publishers, but it was basically, you know, it was basically stories for boys.

[00:22:38] It was, you know, superhero stuff. And then, you know, science fiction, fantasy, just a fairly narrow range of stuff that appealed to, you know, like. Little boys from 14 to 45. And, and now obviously there’s a much, much, much more diverse, wider range of material. So which, which obviously means we have a much wider and different, more diverse audience which is one of the reasons we’re, you know, we’re selling more in terms of dollars.

[00:23:09] We’re selling more comics than ever before. But you know, now there’s so much stuff coming out that, you know, there’s constantly stuff that I’m, that I’m missing and then go, and then I go back and go, Oh, you know, this really cool book came out like five years ago and it’s still sitting on my to be read pile.

[00:23:27] And I finally realized, Holy shit, this came out five years ago. Like whenever I’ve been doing,

[00:23:35] I got to ask you, you

[00:23:37] Kenric: [00:23:37] get to college, you go through that. And then you get out of college and you decide you’re, you’re a writer. I mean, obviously you already knew this in your heart that you’re, you need to write. What made you feel that complex was w there was one for you and what did your parents think when you said I’m going to write comic books for the rest of my life.

[00:23:56] Ron: [00:23:56] This is what I’m going to do. Well, I, what made me, they decide comics was for me as Jim Starlin said, you want to write comics? And I said, yeah, that sounds good. Cause I was, you know, I was buddies with Jim and, and still am obviously. Yeah. But you know, we were friends and I, this was, you know, just after I graduated from college.

[00:24:17] And I was working at the the local newspaper in Kingston, New York, my hometown, and you know, so working as a journalist. So like I’ve never really had an actual, real job other than writer in, in the entirety of my life. So so I copy edited Jim’s first prose novel for him. And, you know, obviously these were, I was friends with Jim Starlin and Bernie rights and Dan green, you know, sort of the, the nest of comic book creators that lived in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York.

[00:24:50] And I copied it to Jim’s novel forum and he said, And he said, Hey, you know that you did a really good job. Did you ever think about writing comics and you know, the, obviously you think about writing comics, but that’s not like a real, you know, there’s no place to apply to do that. And, and at that point, this is like 1990, maybe even 1989.

[00:25:10]When we started to have this discussion like there were there’s, there was no, obviously no internet, no. And real, no real self publishing, small press. Any of that stuff. It was either. You somehow found your way into working for Marvel DC or one of the smaller publishers for you? Like you made your own comic and Xerox copies and sold it out of the back of your car.

[00:25:34]But you know, Jim said, do you want to try writing comics? And I said, sure. And Jim showed me the ropes and co-wrote a few issues of. Silver surfer with me to, to show me the ropes. Cause that’s the book that he was writing at the time. And then and then, you know, Within a year, I guess, of, of doing my first comics work.

[00:25:56]Marvel turned the silver surfer, monthly title over to me, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. And as far as my parents, I, I actually didn’t tell them, like, I didn’t, I didn’t tell them that I was writing comics. Did you

[00:26:07] Kenric: [00:26:07] not want to sell them or you just, it just didn’t come up. Well, it just

[00:26:11] Ron: [00:26:11] like it.

[00:26:12] I don’t know. It just, I felt like I knew that I was going to do this. Yeah. And that the comics were going to come out. So like, it was easier just to like, to just walk in the door one day and say, here’s this comment I wrote. I love it. And so, yeah, so th their, their first yeah, their first inkling that I was doing comics was when I handed him, you know, an issue of silver surfer that had my name on it.

[00:26:37] Did they like it? Yeah, I mean, I don’t think they really like, got it. I didn’t know what that was silver surfer was, but they thought it was cool. And, you know, and in a lot of ways I was surprised because you know, I had always written and I had been, I’d actually like worked at the worked at the newspaper.

[00:26:57]Since I was like between my freshman and sophomore years in college, I got up. Part-time job at the newspaper and just held onto it while I was in college. When I, whenever I could. So, I mean, I was, I was a writer. I was a professional writer on it. I was like an 18 year old kid working with, you know, veteran journalists who had 25 years in.

[00:27:18]And that was hugely formative for me to like, understand what the job was and how to be a professional. And. Deadlines and working, you know, working every day to get your stuff done. And it was that there were big lessons for me that I still depend on from those years. So, you know, I think, I guess my parents thought it was cool, but they weren’t terribly surprised.

[00:27:42] Yeah. And you know, and eventually they, you know, they kind of came to, came to grips with the fact that, Oh, you can actually make a living doing this because I, I held onto the, to the newspaper job for a year or two and did both. And then, you know, and then, and then honestly, when, when royalties started to roll in from Marvel, it was like, I don’t need this other job.

[00:28:05]You know, cause that was the great boom time of the nineties and, and frankly, every book was selling just, just crazy numbers. I think that my first issues of, of silver surfers sold like 300,000 copies of piece. So which is, which is a mind-numbing number now. But, but then it was, that was, you know, that was fine.

[00:28:26] That was like a, that was like a top 30 book at that point. That’s silver, silver surfer.

[00:28:31] Kenric: [00:28:31] That way. I think it started in 87. That volume. That was a great series. Wonderful job on that book. It was, that was a lot of fun

[00:28:39] Ron: [00:28:39] reads. Thanks. I mean, that was my, that was my on the job training. And certainly most of what I did on that series was, was me following in Jim’s footsteps.

[00:28:48] But it, it allowed me to, you know, it allowed me to figure out that I could do this and that that. I could, I could pick up somebody else’s toys, which is essentially what, you know, what’s essentially what you do when you work on Marvel stuff for DC stuff. Have you ever heard anybody put it that way?

[00:29:07] You’re ultimately, you’re playing with somebody else’s toys in their sandbox and Sometimes you have very free reign and sometimes you have, yeah. You know, fairly tight parameters that you have to hit, because again, you’re, you’re playing with somebody else’s toys. Yeah. So so I think in retrospect, I didn’t realize this at the time, but in retrospect, my my taking over silver surfer as Jim went off to do the infinity gauntlet which is of course the story that nobody’s ever heard of ever again.

[00:29:37] Right. Yeah, and I certainly didn’t get turned into two movies that made like, you know, billions of them. So so when Jim, you know, when Jim turned the book over to me and I, so my first, my first solo writing stuff was trying to work within the infinity gauntlet parameters w you know, working within tie in issues and, and Trying to tell stories, you know, in, in between other stories, essentially as this huge crossover was going on in Marvel.

[00:30:11] And I didn’t realize at the time, because I was just, you know, really excited to be writing comics, but that was it. Terrifically opportune moment for me to learn working in a shared universe and, and how you need to how you need to fit into the fit into the overall storyline. That’s that’s being told that how you, how your crossover books need to brush up against other stories, but not ruin other stories.

[00:30:37]It was all great training for me. And, you know, that’s what I did at the beginning of my career. And you know, certainly a lot of those skills got put to use on endless winter to where you’re, you know, you’re borrowing other people’s characters, you’re borrowing their books for the month and, and you want to tell your story, but you want to make sure that you don’t step on any toes while you’re doing it right.

[00:30:58] Kenric: [00:30:58] Or ruin anything for the next book to come out. That you’re not on.

[00:31:02] Ron: [00:31:02] Yeah. I mean, it’s it’s I was going to say, it’s, you know, it’s like, you’re all at the doors and pulling in the same direction. Someone who is less kind might, you know, might point out that, well, that’s what galley slaves do too. But but that’s, you know, that’s very, that’s very tongue in cheek.

[00:31:18]It’s You know, it’s, it’s just a necessary skill. If you’re gonna, if you’re going to work at Marvel or DC work on star Wars any of the other franchises that are out there you are I don’t want to say you’re a hired gun because that, that doesn’t, you know, that doesn’t sound as that makes it sound worse than it is.

[00:31:37]But you are being hired to do, to do a specific job. On a specific character and you do have you know, you do have a fair amount of latitude a lot of times, but, but you also, you’re part of a team. You don’t just go off and do what you want and, and let, let everybody else pick up the pieces. Do you have a genre that you prefer over

[00:31:58] Kenric: [00:31:58] others?

[00:31:59] Or do you like to write you just like

[00:32:01] Ron: [00:32:01] to write? And so I really don’t. I mean, I know like a lot of, I know a lot of writers sort of have their thing and they, they, you know, they want to they want to do the thing that they do, right. They want to I’m a horror writer or I may hard-boiled detective writer or, or I do, you know I do Duke, I do deconstructive superhero stories.

[00:32:25]And I, it’s never appealed to me to just do one thing because I. I want to do, I like to read all sorts of stories, fiction, nonfiction, any genre, like I’m interested in everything. So I want to write everything and I want to I want to stretch different muscles because different genres kind of force you to stretch different muscles.

[00:32:48] And I liked that aspect. I like being able to work on different things. Both from like what we said before about, you know, if story a isn’t working today, maybe you can work on story B and if those are two different things so much the better, because you’re, you’re, you’re obviously again, stretching different muscles to do that.

[00:33:08]But I just, I want to be able to tell different kinds of stories. I want to be able to tell Superhero stuff and science fiction stuff and historical adventure, you know, newer stuff. There’s, you know, with the, I guess with the exception of, of, I don’t know, I was going to say funny animals, but I, I don’t think I’d turn my nose up at funny animals either.

[00:33:29] Cause it’s just, it’s, you know, it’s all fun. It’s all just you know, it’s all just you making up stuff and yeah. I still, I feel like that if I’m ever bored with what I’m doing, it’s my fault. It’s not the fault of the material. Right. Right,

[00:33:44] Kenric: [00:33:44] man, last, I’m going to last question, cause I know you’re a busy man.

[00:33:47] Cause you, you told us already how much you’re working on today and it’s one of those days that you need to make some headway.

[00:33:52] Ron: [00:33:52] Is there a character

[00:33:54] Kenric: [00:33:54] or a book out there that is something you would love to work on that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

[00:34:01] Ron: [00:34:01] You know, I’ve, I’ve been able to again, play with most of the toys, the toy box at like Marvel and DC and I’ve you know, I had the chance to write a bunch of star Wars stuff and I’ve written Conan.

[00:34:13]So I I’ve scratched most of the itches, at least once even stuff like like the Phantom or you know, Turok dinosaur Hunter, I’ve done, you know, I’ve gotten to do even the shadow. I got to, you know, I got to write a shadow one shot. So I’ve gotten to. Play with almost everything that I’ve ever wanted to at least once, but my answer to this is always the same one is that if I got to do, if I got to pick one book to sit down and work on for a longterm basis, it would probably be Tarzan.

[00:34:46] Oh, interesting. I haven’t heard that name in a long time. Well, it’s, you know, I grew up with that stuff. I grew up with Andrew Rice Burroughs and, and John Carter and Tarzan Carson and Venus. So and I, you know, I’ve got to write, I don’t know, a year of John Carter, which I just love doing for dynamite. But, and I’ve, and I got to write cars in As in a Tarzan Batman crossover with DC and dark horse which is one, it’s still one of my favorite projects ever, but I, I love the, the more sort of fantastical aspects of Tarzan.

[00:35:19]I’ve been to Africa a number of times, so I, you know, I feel a connection there and Tarzan has such an amazing comic book history and comic strip history, you know, right. From right from the beginning of the character. That it’s just something that’s always appealed to me. And I, and I know it’s a, I know it’s an artifact.

[00:35:36] I know it’s a throwback to a, to an earlier in a lot of ways, more innocent time. And and, and to an Africa that doesn’t exist and doesn’t, and hasn’t ever really existed. Right. But You know, to me, Tarzan is, you know, is, is as much about Africa as it is about dinosaurs and Los Roman cities and, and, you know, space aliens invading the jungle and all that kind of stuff.

[00:36:00] So that’s the, that’s still the one that, that I wanna scratch that edge again. Oh, that would be

[00:36:05] Kenric: [00:36:05] cool. You can become your Magnum Opus.

[00:36:10] Ron: [00:36:10] Well I have done some stuff for Edgar rice Burroughs and can we’re, there’s a, there’s a few Tarzan things on the back burner. So maybe someday,

[00:36:20] Kenric: [00:36:20] well, Ron, thank you so much for taking the time out today, man.

[00:36:24] It was wonderful talking with you. Hopefully we can get you on again soon because man, you’re, you’re, you’re a wealth of

[00:36:30] Ron: [00:36:30] knowledge. Oh, thanks, man. I, yeah, I mean, let’s, I’m, I’m happy to do this again cause you know, I don’t think we’re going to be leaving our houses for at least a few more months. So let’s, let’s schedule another one and we’ll we’ll do that.


Author: Spoiler Country

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