Today Melissa is joined by Gene Hoyle to talk about his comic Dulce, Nerd Nation Presents, and writing for comics!
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Gene Hoyle Interview
[00:00:00] Melissa: Our country podcast today on the show and welcome comic book provider.
Thank you for being here. How are you? Awesome. What part of the country are you in?
What was that? Sorry, I didn’t catch that.
Okay. Awesome. So you are having some interesting weather right now, I guess
Gene Hoyle: one word. Yeah.
Melissa: Okay. All right. So we’re going to jump right into it. You’re a cognitive writer with, um, you’ve been with nerd nation for awhile. Um, how long have you been writing comics?
Gene Hoyle: I did in 2014, I guess I’ve been writing them kind of all my life, but I never, I never had the confidence to go ahead and [00:01:00] let other people see what I wrote.
Um, I was almost 44 before I published my first.
Melissa: Oh, wow. Okay. So that’s comment. I, you know, I’m an outsider myself and I was 35. Um, when I got my first book published.
Yeah, exactly. You can always have a second career later in life. Um, especially with writing, I think, and I’m sure you agree with this. It’s not really a career that has an age tap on it.
Gene Hoyle: Not for the most part, as long as what you’re writing, um, comes from your experience. You’re not trying to be a hip kid at 60 then.
You’re I think you’re okay.
Melissa: Yeah, exactly. That’s trying to be with the young lingo. Yeah, well, let’s talk about and what makes sure that I’m pronouncing this right? Uh, Dulce.
Yeah, let’s talk about that. [00:02:00] It is, uh, Saifai uh, I had a chance to read the SES that me and it was fantastic. Uh, it has time-travel giant psycho bunnies. I mean everything you could possibly want and a good, uh, Spotify comic. What, when can you tell me about that? How did you start that?
Gene Hoyle: Um, actually a friend of mine, Eric Cockrell, I has a studio called studio or Bo that’s.
His publishing company is out of a call lifter and a few other things that he’s a man. He wanted to do this idea about a workplace comedy set in an alien base. And we talked about it a little bit and he liked my idea. So, you know, we tried to do it together. Uh, and we, we assembled an amazing team and we put out issue one and two issue three we’ll probably be out at some point in 2021.
Melissa: Okay, perfect. So there’s sort of two issues and you put 20, 21. And how does the story evolve as the issue? Like [00:03:00] what is the arc and theme that you’re aiming for?
Gene Hoyle: In th in this birth are, we’re really trying to establish the world. Um, although you will see once you get into issue two, a little bit and way more initiatives, three, um, there is a theme of, of love loft.
Um, strangely enough, you’ll see that most of the characters in the story have lost, um, someone very, very close to them. And even though it’s a comedy is pretty light, we do get into that theme, especially with our main villain who was introduced to number two, the bank teller.
Melissa: Okay, well, that’s awesome.
That’s great. I think it’s important to do that ballot. You know, you have, uh, certain, uh, comics that are really dark, that insert humor. So if you have something that’s more campy and humorous, it’s for you to add those emotional moments and dig a little bit deeper, but I think that’s great that you guys are exploring that.
Gene Hoyle: We try to keep it, um, try to keep this particular book light, but again, I can never write totally [00:04:00] light. So I have to kind of dive into my feelings a little bit to really get a store that I like. And I found that I liked these characters a lot. And even though, you know, one of them was an ancient fear, God, and one of them was an alien.
I still have fun writing.
Melissa: Awesome. Awesome. Now tell me about that anthology that you did. Um, for nerd nation, I was reading just a little snippet about. Um, your, uh, contribution to it. I read something about zombies and an apocalypse
Gene Hoyle: nerd nation presents is actually an anthology title. Um, when I did my first book, which was gateway runners in 2014.
I also want him to, to help other people get published for the first time, because doing my first book, I realized, man, it’s a process it’s not easy. And a lot of people probably give up before finishing yet. So nerd nation presents an apology where we accept submissions from pretty much anyone of any experience type.
And, uh, for the most part, you’re going to get published in this book, unless there’s, there’s a real issue with quality, but even then, I [00:05:00] mean, we try to work with you and make it happen because that book is about publishing new talent. And we want to keep that going forever. That’s
Melissa: great. And actually ties into another question.
I was going to ask you on what advice would you give, you know, newbie. Uh, comic book writers, people that, you know, don’t necessarily know how to begin or how to start. So, um, would that be something you would, you would suggest they do or what would be the first steps if someone wanted to get into comic book writing?
Gene Hoyle: I think the first step is to find the story that you’re, you’re passionate about writing, even if it’s a funny lighthearted thing, you know, it’s something that you really want to write. Um, give it down. Uh, if you’re, if you’re an artist, find a writer, came up, come up with a story and then make it happen.
You don’t have to, um, have, uh, as Kickstarter with a $20,000 goal, you don’t have to, um, go to San Diego. Comic-Con just make the book, make sure that making books is your priority. And there’s only three courses out there too, to find help for how [00:06:00] to do that. And, um, that’s what nerd nation presents it all about.
Melissa: That’s awesome. I think that’s great that you guys are helping people get started. I oftentimes, and you know, any publishing industry, uh, people feel like they’re kind of lost in this sea of, you know, people. So I think that’s really great. Um, where on that, what’s the website that they could find for that.
Gene Hoyle: Actually, if you’re looking to be part of notation presents, the best way is to email me. My email is gene splice, 71. I yahoo.com. Um, that is the absolute best way. Unfortunately, we don’t have a dedicated website. Wait, right now there, we have a nerd nation website, but it’s not currently active. So the email is always placed to get me, let me know who you are and what you want to do and we’ll make it happen for sure.
Melissa: great. Awesome. And, um, you have actually been writing contracts for a long time when you first got started. Did you have anyone that helped you out as far as a [00:07:00] mentor or anyone specific that kind of steers you in the right direction? Well,
Gene Hoyle: when I wrote the script for gateway runner one, um, I kind of had a few people that helped me look at this grip.
One of them was a woman named kitty Pierce, um, kitty and her at the time, husband, Aaron. They came in and they were not the original creative team on the book. It was supposed to be me writing and I, another woman, uh, doing the art, but the Kickstarter we did failed. Totally. It was, it was a disaster.
Everything that could go wrong with a Kickstarter went wrong because I didn’t know what I was doing. Um, and with Aaron and Kitty’s, um, encouragement and their skills, they hadn’t done a book either, but they, but Erin knew the, you know, the digital part of it, which is a really tough part of making comics.
Putting it all together in the right size and shape and getting it to those, to the printer. Um, they helped me with that. We did a second, uh, fundraiser, which was wildly successful because we learned from our first one. Uh, so learning from your failures is [00:08:00] a very important part of being an indie comic, uh, publisher or writer.
Melissa: Absolutely. Yeah, definitely trial and error. I’m sure. Um, so, but the topic of indie comics is really become almost mainstream the topic itself in recent years. Um, what do you think is appealing to people now with indie comics used to be like, you know, the big traditional publishers. Why do you think indie comics was making such a great class at the moment?
Gene Hoyle: I think, I think there’s a, it’s a, it’s a cycle. Um, I know in the very early eighties, uh, indie comics also had a big boom. They had the black and white boom that included like that turtles and books like that. Uh, but there was also a, a thriving, uh, color market for books. Uh, comico first, uh, eclipse, there were a bunch of companies out there and I think we’re seeing that again.
And it’s bigger now because you have any comic can be made into a movie. If someone, if someone [00:09:00] buys the rights to it, and that was. This is kind of a little fishing pond that directors and producers are looking into, and that is putting more eyes on it. Um, plus I think some of the Mo excuse me, quality, uh, leaps in books in a long time, some of the books that are coming out from the indie publishers are as good or better than the stuff the big two are putting out.
Melissa: I agree. Yeah, definitely. I’m actually I’m with an indie publisher. And, um, I have to agree. I mean, they’re just, the quality is so great that you actually can’t even really tell the difference anymore. If you look at two covers next to each other, uh, you can’t tell which one is MD and which one is traditional for the most part.
Um, so I think that’s great.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah, the, the line is blurred and do it yourself stuff is, is becoming bigger and bigger and that’s, that’s terrific. That’s only good for the industry.
Melissa: Absolutely. Yeah. Do you think comic con had a hand in this. Getting people closer to the [00:10:00] writers and illustrators and the people that are actually starring in the shows better that the comics have been made from.
Do you think that helps at all? I
Gene Hoyle: think it absolutely helps. I’ve Comicon and other Comicons around the country, I think are really important. I know why I’ve hosted a number of, um, panel for indie comic people to get started. And that whenever I do an indie comic panel, the room is fault. There are tons of people that want to do it, and aren’t sure how to do it.
And you know, a con is somewhere where you can go and you can meet people that are like you and, and hopefully keep up and get the information that you need to get you started. Uh, plus it’s it’s terrific. I mean, being an artist dally to me is like being a rock star. I love it. It’s fan.
Melissa: I know, it feels like, you know, it’s funny at Emerald city.
Comicon is like my favorite, uh, concert audio. I go every year and this year was my first year that I was supposed to go with a pro path, you know, and I was super excited about it. I thought on the [00:11:00] pronoun and of course it’s a pandemic year and it gets canceled and. I CA I can see the past and everything, but I thought, Oh God, like maybe not share it just wasn’t in the cards.
But, um, questions are amazing.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah. I’m hoping the pro passes for people that have finally gotten them this year and couldn’t go, we’ll transfer over the next year that they definitely need a bunch of us. Sorry. I hope they do that.
Melissa: Absolutely. Yeah, no, I mean, it’s only right. I think all these people that, you know, had their hopes and dreams resting on it.
So, you know, it’s, it’s unfortunate, but I think the concept be even bigger and better when we do get back to normal. I think there’ll be some change as it’s not going to be the selfies and, you know, people shaking hands as much. But I think that, you know, the, the content I think will be better and better.
Gene Hoyle: Absolutely. I think, um, this downtime is giving creators a lot of time to make
[00:12:00] Melissa: books. Yeah. There’s this great app coming out right now. I mean, just, you know, shows and comics and books that are coming out and it just. Is allowing people, I think that time and space, you know, that we, we don’t have, uh, in normal times because you know, a lot of people are, um, I don’t know about you, if you, if you have like a separate job as well, like, do you have a day job as well?
Or do you just write comics?
Gene Hoyle: Uh, right now, I am not working and that that’s due to health issues in 2016 actually had a burst brain aneurism and almost died. Um, but look, I will snap back from that, but I’m, I’m not able to work, unfortunately.
Melissa: Oh my God. That’s terrible. How are you, how did you recover from that?
Gene Hoyle: It was an interesting journey. Um, it’s weird. A friend in 2011. Uh, I saw an article on a website about a kid that had been to a convention. And, um, he had had an aneurism the year before and he talked about comics that saved him. [00:13:00] Um, and I immediately contacted this guy cause it seemed like someone I’d want to talk to and we became good friends.
And ironically in 2012 we did a book, um, uh, raising awareness for bringing in there. So then four years later I’d have one. Um, and so luckily for me, I had a lot of the knowledge. Um, you know, what to do afterwards. I mean, you know, a lot of it was out of my control, but having someone like my friend , who was the person in question, uh, around to kind of emotionally help me through it, even though he was on the other side of the country, uh, made a big difference.
And plus I have, I have some of the greatest friends in the world and they were all there for me. Uh, the nurse actually yelled at us in the hospital because people were visiting me and we were laughing and having a good time, which apparently was again, Wolf’s.
Melissa: No fine in the hospital. No, that’s great.
It’s good to have a good support system. Has that affected your, your writing schedule as well, or, um, has it allowed you more time to actually reflect and write more? [00:14:00] Uh, a
Gene Hoyle: little bit of both. Um, there are days, you know, unfortunately where I just can’t even do much more than get up and, and go out the motions of each day.
Uh, but then there are days right. When I get in that neck groove, you know, you’re a writer, you get into that thing where you’re just on fire, you just move in and get story coming down. And that is when I feel the most help. I really, really makes a big difference to me. I think writing is probably saving me emotionally from all of this.
Melissa: Yeah. It’s very therapeutic. You know, that you, a lot of different things, whether you’re writing something. You know, funny or, or side, I do believe it’s very cathartic process. Um, but you know, a lot of people that aren’t writers don’t understand, uh, you know, it’s, it’s quite a process of like, leave me alone.
Don’t talk to me. I’ve got to write this out before I lose it and go through that, that process. Is that, what is your practice like? Is that similar? Do you have to be like shut the [00:15:00] doors? No music, or do you like to have background noise?
Gene Hoyle: No, I don’t like any background noise. I like to as quiet as possible.
I know a lot of my writer, friends do, they, they talk about their, their playlists when they’re writing. And I really see that, um, I do, if I’m gearing up to write a specific theme, though, I will listen to some music beforehand to kind of get in the mood. You know, if I’m doing actions, listen to some fast stuff, and if I’m going to do a real fad scene, I’ll listen to some ballads and get all weepy with which, uh, which I do a lot.
And. But when I’m actually sitting down to write, I like to silence. I really do, um, me and maybe my cat next to me and nothing else. Oh yeah,
Melissa: you have to, you can’t, you’re not a real writer unless you have a cat.
Yeah, no, I totally get that too. I have a lot of writer, friends who like to go to coffee shops and which is great if that’s what works for them, but I suicide. I would just be looking at everyone and like, you know, people watching and I’d get totally distracted if I didn’t have [00:16:00] complete Wyatt.
Yeah, exactly. Um, alright, well, uh, you mentioned, uh, another comment that you worked on, it was labyrinth. Is that correct? Yes.
Gene Hoyle: Labyrinth of bones actually was very interesting. I started writing it, um, in, in 2015 and I got a little distracted and then, then I had the inner rhythm and, um, I was determined after the inner and when I was sitting in the hospital, you know, it’s, it’s a scary thing because, uh, a brain aneurism there’s about a 40% survival rate.
So I really beat the odds. And I thought to myself, I have to show myself that I still. Am capable of doing things. So I’m going to finish lab or at the bone, I’m going to get my friend David Johnson jr. To draw it and we’re going to put it out. And we did. Um, and we did a fundraiser for it and it did well.
And the book came out and people liked it. And labyrinth was, is actually my most, uh, commercially successful book. Um, and you know, cause we got it to a lot of places. Got it to a lot of people. [00:17:00] Um, I did a six, six different locations signing. Um, it’s six different comic stores. And then I can best small library convention all within the space of a couple of weeks.
And it was hard. It was physically taxing, but I wanted it to feel to it. And labyrinth bones is a book about loss and, and reacting to loss and maybe the wrong way. Um, the main character Gil he’s lost his wife in the terrible circumstance, which didn’t need to happen. And so he’s on a mission of revenge.
But, um, he realized that he should be on a mission of justice. So the, the, the book is kind of a journey into his soul to see what she, what she chooses to do. Uh, and it’s a, um, it’s, it’s set in a mythical world sort of sword and sorcery type world. And so
Melissa: it helped
Gene Hoyle: me get through a lot of my personal demons.
So I was in directing.
Melissa: That’s awesome. Yeah, I know. That’s what I was going to ask you if that was that in like a contemporary setting or a to provide to it. [00:18:00] Oh,
Gene Hoyle: yes, very much so for three, which is not, not something that I’m a huge fan of. So it’s odd that I ended up writing it, but I just had this idea of this, this labyrinth made up of the bones with victims that was ever changing.
And to me, once I had
Melissa: that’s really, really cool. That actually reminds me of one of like our lock and key type of vibe.
That’s interesting. Um, so is he like a superhero or what does he have? Like magical powers like wizardry? No,
Gene Hoyle: his, his wife was actually, um, a spell caster. She, um, She brewed spells. And she had, she had like the big, uh, the big bowl, you know, the, the collagen and she was, she made itself, but it was nothing, nothing.
So fantastic. It’s like shooting bullets out. It was mostly like, um, healing, spells and things to help crops grow. [00:19:00] And he was just a soldier. He was a very simple soldier and he went off to fight for his land. Um, and while he was gone, uh, it turned out that the King wasn’t paying, um, the soldiers, families.
So his wife was pregnant at the time, began to starve, and she went out the bed and begging, begging in this particular, uh, bland Parson was against the law. So they throw her into the library and she died there. So, um, he came back after, you know, fighting and giving his all, and watching his friends die.
He comes back to his wife and child being dead. And so he decides he’s going to go into the labyrinth in a, in a kind of a whole scheme to. To stop this from ever happening to anyone again.
Melissa: Oh, wow. That sounds really interesting. Where, where can we, um, read that? Is that on Amazon? Is it at your local? Um,
Gene Hoyle: um, it w it was not in the diamond catalog though.
If you’re in South Florida, you’ll find it at quite [00:20:00] a few stores here. Uh, unfortunately I am in the process of setting up a store for all of my books, but it’s not active, but again, if you, if you’re interested in the copy, write [email protected] Um, I can, I can get that taken care of. I am set up with square so I can, I can do transactions.
I just don’t have the site up right now. Um, now, by the way, I forgot to mention Dulce, which we talked about earlier is available on Comicology. I’m hoping for the rest of my book to be available on there this year as well. Oh, that’s
Melissa: great. Yeah. It makes it more accessible for sure. Now, are you, um, I have to ask her when you’re talking about a spell caster, are you a gamer at all?
And he played any tabletop games or video games that maybe influenced you.
Gene Hoyle: I played a few video games here and there. Um, I do play D and D on occasion. I’m not a hardcore D and D person. Although I am in, in a virtual campaign right now with some friends, um, I was in a campaign last year with my son, which we hope to continue [00:21:00] this year.
Um, but, um, I guess. Growing up around in the eighties as a kid, um, there was a lot of eighties fantasy movies, and I really liked some of those stuff like crawl and, um, East master. So that stuff was always there with me. Um, you know, Willow and all those terrific movies. And I think that’s influenced with me, although I’m way more of a science fiction
Are you okay? What’s your, what’s your favorite movie?
Gene Hoyle: Um, That’s moving by favorite movie of all time is the last star fighter, which is kind of a cute side. I mean, I love that a lot. I’m also a star Trek fan and star Trek with my first fandom and through star Trek. I think I really built up, uh, that my moral, my moral system of, of what kind of person I wanna be.
And so star Trek has always fascinated me in that it was able to do that as well as sell fascinating stories. And that that’s probably responsible for. I [00:22:00] love all things. Science fiction.
Melissa: Are you a star Wars fan as well? Or I like
Gene Hoyle: star Wars. Uh, I don’t like it nearly as much as I like star Trek. You know, if it’s good, if it’s gonna be a battle between the two I’ll pick star Trek anytime, but I do like star Wars.
I love, I love, um, I’m not, I’m not sure. I love the Jedi as much as I love, like the bounty hunters and stuff. I liked that that dirty lived in world of the star Wars universe.
Melissa: Yeah, that’s sort of like grainy almost has like a post-apocalyptic feel to it. Um, yeah.
I feel like people are either star Wars or, or teams, star track. I rarely meet people that like, though to be honest or that are like passionate about those.
Gene Hoyle: I, I try, I try very hard to not, um, Not put those labels on myself as a fan. I want to like everything. I really do. I mean, it doesn’t always happen.
There are things that absolutely five, but I try to give everything a try and plus as a, as a kid, [00:23:00] um, I was introduced to star Wars. I missed the first movie in theater because I would have been sick when I came out, but I did get a hold of the, the comic book adaption of the empire strikes back, which led me to see the movie.
And I became a fan at that point. So I guess star Wars has been a part of my life for a long time, too.
Melissa: Yeah, it’s interesting how things that we don’t even realize sometimes will actually Infosys influence us in our writing. You know, you’ll be writing something and then think, Oh wow. That’s, that’s kind of similar to, you know, something I read when I was a kid or maybe something I watched on television and you don’t even realize it, you know, until it’s kind of like you’ve written the scene or whatever.
And then you see those influences after.
Gene Hoyle: Yes. And then as long as it’s just an influence it’s okay. Uh, occasionally though, when I was first writing, I realized every once in a while I’d write something and I’m like, that’s a good line. Where’d that come from in my head? And then I make sure it’s not aligned from somewhere else, you know?
And that’s a trick, but it doesn’t happen very often. [00:24:00] So I’m usually all right,
Melissa: well, that’s good. We don’t want to copy anyone. I know it’s so hard. There’s so many ideas out there that have been recycled so much. Um, that it, it is hard to come up with, you know, a fresh concept and, you know, for you, you know, how do you kind of go about that as far as like, I want to put a new spin on something in that, but still, you know, kind of, you know, much to like the genre
Gene Hoyle: itself.
To me, it’s all about, um, the idea itself and the way that you can, you bring that idea to life because, um, there are very basic ideas. Let’s say the zombie, the zombie, uh, story. Um, it’s very basic right now. I’m writing on, uh, uh, I’m writing a version of it. That’s so different than anything you’ve seen before that it’s not going to, um, it won’t compare to those.
That’d be almost like a different Donner all on its own. And that’s because what I had to say about Tommy is so different. Um, and it’s your personal voice? That’s like, I I’ve avoided for a long time putting out a [00:25:00] superhero story because I love superheroes. That’s what I grew up on. And it’s a big part of my life, but I didn’t have anything to say about the genre.
Uh, and then I found out that I did and I wrote a few stories and I think they were okay. They haven’t come out yet, but they will. Um, but yeah, it’s about, it’s about having something to say within that genre.
Melissa: Yeah. Well, that’s the thing is, um, you can write something that’s similar, but everybody’s voice, like you said, it’s going to be different.
You’re going to tell the story from your perspective. And, um, and you’re not going to have the same perspective is even sober, you know? Um, Whoever, you know what I mean? It’s just, it’s going to be their own take on it. Um, and I think, especially with the zombies genre, there’s, there’s not a lot of runners, you know, for me, it’s always been George Romero.
Um, I mean, of course I love the walking dead stuff too. That’s been fun, but I think it’s really hard to come up with a fresh take on zombies. So my hats off to you, if the manager. No, let’s just do that. That’s great.
[00:26:00] Gene Hoyle: The, um, this is also a book I’m working on with a friend, a guy named Shawn barber. Who’s done a few books.
He’s really good. He has a, um, Oh gosh, I’m blanking it’s company now. And I feel really bad.
Melissa: Right. We can add it in later.
Gene Hoyle: Exactly. He actually came to me with this idea, uh, and it’s, it’s a completely science-based thing. It’s way less dummies and way more batch. How can I describe this? I can’t give away too much because we’re still in the process of making the book and it’s not my, you know, so I don’t want to say too much, but it’s completely science-based approach to it.
And it’s not about just survival. All of that’s there. Of course. Uh, and it’s a theme that I seem to go back to. A lot in my books had lost, um, the main character in his book has had tremendous loss and, um, she’s, she’s working her anger out through it. I, and I found that to be, to be very interesting that, you know, she’s, by doing the, her main mission in the story, um, [00:27:00] she’s, she’s working out this, this grief that she
Melissa: has, which makes it become more relatable to people, you know, when, cause everyone can relate to law.
So I think that’s. That’s really cool, really important. You know, that you kind of weave that into your story and make the character kind of come to life in a sense, make them more authentic.
Gene Hoyle: I totally agree. I didn’t characterize everything in a story. Um, you could have the greatest concept in the world and then you could build the greatest world there ever has been.
But if you don’t have characters that are at least somewhat relatable, even if they’re villains, even if they’re ancient beer gods, like in Dulce, um, you know, there’s. There just has to be something there, small part of them that you’re like, Oh yeah.
Melissa: Okay. Yeah. Well, yeah, absolutely. And I think that, you know, a character, like you said, whether it be a hero or a villain, you know, every character has to want something and fear something and you know, and then all the plot conflict [00:28:00] stuff is.
Kind of just to get them to run around and deal with those fears and motivations. But, um, I definitely think, you know, even, uh, I really appreciate it, good villain, you know, like a really good multi layered villain
Gene Hoyle: and that, and that makes a story. I really, I really feel that it’s important for the villain to be almost as relatable as the hero in some cases, um, obviously their actions.
Preclude them from being heroes, but you, you want to understand where they’re coming from? I think one of the greatest examples in comic book history is Magneto. When Chris Claremont decided, you know, this is the only survivor of his family from a Jewish concentration camp, it gave you a whole new concept of who that character was and what he was about.
And I thought that was fantastic. And I’ve taken that with me in the, my writing. Um, no villain should be one dimensional. There shouldn’t be a villain who just out to rule the world. There’s gotta be a reason he wants to rule the world and what’s next what’s next is to rule the [00:29:00] world. How do you know
It’s like, what’s the purpose of it all? What does he really want? You know, because yeah. And I think that that’s changed a lot in the, and in writing and books and comic books as well. You know, I remember as a kid, I’m 41. I remember growing up, you know, the eighties. But the villains were always Wyatt, you know, the crazy tackling laugh and there was bad because they were bad.
And I actually like, um, you know, for example, when they read, did the, um, not read it, but they did that fairy tale, retelling of Maleficent from sleeping beauty. And, you know, as a kid growing up, you just think she’s this evil queen who, you know, wants to hurt would be for no reason. And the movie gave her this backstory, you know, about this heartbreak, but, and she went through and I just thought that was brilliant the way they did that.
Gene Hoyle: Absolutely. And I think even, even characters that are just completely remorseless and, and re redeemable, um, can have something that you can relate to. Paul is walking dead. Meagan [00:30:00] is a beach on of a gun, but, um, they do mention, you know, he has had lots of stone. They don’t get into it as much as something do, but it’s there.
And you know, his, his anger might come from a place of pain, but he’s really just trying to survive and helping other thing. I mean, his, his means for doing it are wackadoo, but he thinks a good thing for people.
Melissa: Yeah, no, I think that’s the right example. And I know, like I heard Chris Hardwick mention this on his show, talking about where if we had come into the walking dead series from Meagan perspective, we would have been, we would have seen him as the hero and Rick and the others.
As the villain. And it was just really, because of the way they dropped this into the story and how they told the story through, you know, Rex perspective that Meagan became the villain, but you could easily switch, you know, the perspectives around and we would be rooting for me again.
Gene Hoyle: Absolutely. Um, [00:31:00] Rick wrecking company, they did some nasty things, do some things that would in most stories make them the develop.
So you’re right. You’re absolutely right. It’s all about perspective and. You can even tell a story from a villain for perspective and make him seem like a good character.
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. I thought that was brilliant writing on their part, um, as well, but, um, it would be interesting. I’d love to see that like as a spinoff, like Meagan version
Gene Hoyle: be food, that would be cool.
I actually I’m currently watching for the first time fear, the walking dead. Um, I actually I’m, it’s weird. I’m finding myself liking it a lot. Although I’m in season four right now, and they’ve done, they’ve done this thing where they’re almost totally reinventing the show and characters are dropping off like left and right.
And then it’s kind of strange to me. Also, the only thing I don’t like about fear the walking dead is when, when characters leave, it’s sometimes very fast and, um, you don’t have time to do a final episode. There’s someone. I can’t remember what it was guys in the end of season [00:32:00] one. And then season two, they’re like, yup.
He got hit by a truck off, off. I’m like what? Killing me.
Yeah. But the, um, their dangers, uh, cowboy character in the fourth season, uh, you know, he’s like tutor and he’s he just this amazingly lovable guy. And he’s the reason I’m still watching the show, uh, because you, he does not fit into this post-apocalyptic Dobby world. He’s just such a person. And I hope he able to stay that way.
I got to keep watching and find out. Yeah,
Melissa: I agree. I think I really liked the sensor and I think it’s tear for did save the show because like you said, the first few seasons with Madison and her kid I’ve really loved watching all of that, especially when they got to the like kind of the ranch farms thing.
And they had the, um, the battle with like the native Americans and. Um, and I went to the actor that [00:33:00] was playing the, the guy that was running the farm, he from sons of anarchy. And that was just such a great season. And then, like you said, it’s just start killing people off really quickly. And I do think that the cowboy character I’m totally spacing on his character name right now, but he kind of saved the show really.
Um, because I was borderline like, okay, I don’t think I’m going to watch this anymore. It’s getting strange, but he’s a great character.
Gene Hoyle: His name is John. That’s very simple. They didn’t go
Melissa: quiet. I
Gene Hoyle: remember that because the, the woman he loves the woman he’s searching for when he first showed up, her name is June.
So it’s June and John. So that’s why I remember
Melissa: that’s very easy to remember. That’s a great show. Um, and you’re in season four, so yeah, you have in. Are you wanting to get on that?
I think late next week.
[00:34:00] Gene Hoyle: Yeah, I think so. And it’s interesting because the pandemic has gotten me to watch a lot more stuff. So I’m spending a lot more time at home, uh, being, being a person with the and stuff. I can’t really go out. Uh, so I’ve been home for a lot and I get to write and that’s terrific, but I also get to watch a lot of stuff.
So stuff that I. I skipped the first time, like fear the walking dead. I’m finally getting around to it and I’m finding it. I’m loving it, especially in this off season where there’s not a whole lot of new shows on, I mean, you get the boys, but, uh, there’s not as much as normal, but I’m able to watch shows that I wouldn’t have watched
Yeah, same. I feel like there’s, there’s really not a lot on TV right now, except for maybe like Netflix, the three big stuff. And I’m, I’m discovering new shows too. Like I just finished Yellowstone the great show, by the way, if you haven’t seen it point we watch it. It’s a yellow stamp. It’s um, it’s not magical fantasy at all.
It’s just about a family, um, in Yellowstone and I think it’s [00:35:00] Montana. And it’s Kevin Costner. He produced it and the stars in it. And it’s just about this kind of a ruthless, wealthy family. Um, and they’re, it’s kind of crazy. It’s kind of like the cowboy version of sunset RV, to be honest. It’s very, yeah, it’s a really cool show.
I definitely recommend it. I think it’s screening on like peacock networks or something like that, but yeah. Yeah, right.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah. I’m watching Lovecraft country, which has been amazing. It’s crazy.
Melissa: Oh, I want to watch that. I have that on a saved on my list.
Gene Hoyle: You have the, you have the horror element, but also added art.
This, this is a show about, um, you know, racism during that period of time out, how a black person has to live and what they had to deal with on a daily basis with this order veil over it. And it’s, uh, It’s really, really interesting when the characters are neat and they’re, well-developed, I’m really [00:36:00] happy with it so far.
Melissa: Okay. I think there’s, it just started, I think, right. It just aired like there’s a few episodes. Maybe.
Gene Hoyle: I think, I think, I think I may have watched five episodes so far, so I’m not sure when this is going to air, but at the, at the time there were five episodes. Okay,
Melissa: awesome. No, I will definitely check that out.
It’s on my list and I’ve just been like, But like I said, writing, and then like you were talking about like, we want to write, but we also want to catch up on TV. And so I have this like as long TDR list shows that I just didn’t have time to watch, you know, during normal, normal times, I’m trying to catch up on everything.
And, um, strangely enough, I’ve been watching some reality TV, but I never went I’ve done before, but it’s kind of like mindless fodder, you know,
Gene Hoyle: I understand my son and I, my son’s 13. Um, and we’ve been watching seasons of, um, hell’s kitchen. It’s fun. It’s fun watching Granby yell at people, but it’s a great time.
Melissa: You feel [00:37:00] good at it,
Gene Hoyle: but I I’m like you, I’m not a reality show fan at all. Um, all I will admit to watching the first season of survivor and big brother, but after that I dropped
Melissa: out. Yeah. There’s a lot. I’m watching big brother right now. And it’s so far, it’s not that great of a, you know, not great of a season.
I’m like every week. Why am I still watching them?
Gene Hoyle: I understand.
Melissa: Yeah. But I think also it’s really strange. I don’t know. I like to ask people this question when you’re just because of like the current events that are going on, when you’re watching a show, do you find yourself kind of lynching a little bit?
When you see people like too close to each other, You know what I mean? Like you’re like, Oh my God, what are they doing? Oh, wait, someone’s gonna pan down it.
Gene Hoyle: I haven’t made that connection in my mind yet. Like, it hasn’t clicked for me, although I do wonder, um, in, in 10 years now, when hopefully this is all a terrible memory, will there, um, [00:38:00] a bunch of movies out taking place during this year where everyone’s wearing masks and they’re not hanging out together.
And like, will we see that, you know, love during the pen? Well, Netflix, I’m wondering if that will happen. I’m almost certain that it will, and I’m looking forward to seeing that.
Melissa: I think that it will definitely happen. I think that we’ll definitely see some interesting, just different ways that they’ll be filming, you know?
Cause they’re, they’re trying to, like you said, film during COVID and. Um, there’ll be less, I think intimate scenes and less of those, um, you know what? I have all the extras in the background at like the baseball game or whatever. I think we’ll see less of those. Yeah.
Gene Hoyle: And you may see more CGI because that’s a, that’s a great workaround for some, you know, some fight scenes and stuff like that where people can watch each other.
Melissa: exactly. It’s so strange time now.
[00:39:00] So you, so you were, um, a podcast host, Bree, not like at some rate.
Gene Hoyle: It was am. I started a podcast in 2010 or 11, uh, Boatner nation. I did it with a gentleman named Don honor, uh, who has since passed away. But after we left, I got a new provost, uh, speak Don later, the gentleman I was talking about earlier, and then we did it for a few years and we stopped.
Uh, because, you know, work stuff. And then when I picked it back up, pick it up with two of my closest friends, um, Kurt and Jack, and we did it for a few years. We stopped again due to family stuff, but we want to pick it back up again. So hopefully learn nation radio. We’ll be back soon. Um, and if you’re interested in listening to nerd nation radio, it’s on pretty much most of the podcast, aggravates that you’d find out there, Apple, Google, um, all that stuff
Melissa: we’re running.
Well, and it is, it just, isn’t a, a pop culture in comic books or comic books, [00:40:00] or just your stuff. Like what kind of being students tackle,
Gene Hoyle: uh, pop culture is a big part of it. Um, I tried to do as many interviews as possible, cause I really liked doing that. Like talk to you right now is make me happy. Cause I love interviews no matter which side I’m on.
Um, and I try to comic book people and I try to get as many Indian people on as possible and hopefully follow that up with, uh, Uh, interview with someone in the big two, um, because that would draw people in. And then in the interview, I’ve been really lucky that I was able to get some really big people go.
I interviewed Dan Berman, uh, you know, probably weeks before Rick and Morty. I probably bought them just before I shut up. But, um, people like that and I found that it’s not an easy thing to get people onto the show. It’s really just a matter of most of the time waiting until I have something to
Yeah. No, exactly. Well, that’s great. I am excited for you to start that back up again. I will definitely listen,
[00:41:00] Gene Hoyle: but then when you’re promoting your next book, I’ll interview you.
Melissa: Oh my God. That would be so much fun. I would love that. But, but
Gene Hoyle: with the show, I try to do different things. I like back in the day when I was doing interviews, I also tried to find people from weird walks of life.
I interviewed champion of the world at one point. Interesting thing I interviewed. Um, you did, are you aware of the movies? That room?
Melissa: I have not seen it, but I, I definitely know about it and I don’t want a bunch of awards. Yeah.
Gene Hoyle: I was able to secure an interview with the female lead to that, and she was wonderful.
Melissa: She was such
Gene Hoyle: nation about her experience with, you know, with filming that. Filling such a movie.
Melissa: I bet that was really strange experience for her. I can’t even imagine I haven’t seen it, but I know like the premise of it and it just very dark emotional movie. I see. Must have [00:42:00] been carrying that character with her for a while afterwards.
Hard to shake up.
Gene Hoyle: The thing is though, I w I guess she’ll understand it when you watch it. Cause it’s really hard to explain, but it’s, it’s emotional, but, but it’s really poorly done. Um, the divine, like the actors weren’t bad, but everything else was just so bad about this movie. Um, it, it does have a reputation for being the worst movie ever made, and I think it lives up to it.
Melissa: I did not know that. I thought, I think she was a critically acclaimed, but, um, so you’re saying the movie now overall is like not well done.
Gene Hoyle: Well, yeah. And th th the guy did the guy named Tommy wiser. Um, he was the romantic lead. And, and once you, if you ever see him be like Google search him, that’s who you are.
That’s a silly concept right there. Um, but, um, It’s also tremendously bad, accurate. They made, um, about the making of a room called the [00:43:00] disaster artists.
Melissa: Oh yes, yes. I was supposed to have James Franco thing, right? Yeah.
Gene Hoyle: Yes. And it was, uh, it was really good. That’s worth watching before you watch the movie at Delphi thing.
Melissa: Oh, well, I remember watching clips of that and thinking like, this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.
Gene Hoyle: Oh, it is, the movie is so bad. You’re laughing at it. I actually, I discovered that movie at MegaCon, which I mentioned to Florida in 2011, they were airing their airing in at night and people were watching it.
I was like, I’ve got to see this because I’ve heard so much about, and it lived down by location.
Melissa: Oh my, I will to, I definitely have to see it. That’s because, you know, I can’t resist now bad movies that are so bad. They’re laughable.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah. And th this one, just, it just, and choices were made that I don’t understand.
I think I probably could make a better,
[00:44:00] Melissa: like students would probably be better.
Yeah. I was actually watching, um, so Halloween is like my favorite time of year. So I’m trying to like, watch all my favorite and I wanted to kind of go back and watch some ones that I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. And I started watching Elvira mistress of the night for a second. And it was so bad. I, I, I don’t remember it being that bad because I was probably like 11 when it came out.
Um, but it was just like literally, you know, fall out of your chair, laughing so bad and like how it got made and everything.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah, it’s silly. And it’s funny. And it was, I think there was an attempt to time to make Elvira this big, huge, iconic character. And I’m not sure if she ever quite got there, but, um, but yeah, it’s funny.
It’s, it’s worth watching just for the comedic value. Yeah. I
Melissa: worked for about half of it and I’m like, [00:45:00] okay, I’m done for the night.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah.
Melissa: That’s I’m like, Oh, the next one.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah. And the timing, uh, you remember moving to be so good when you’re a kid and then you go back and you watch it. And you’re like, okay. I like this on the wall.
Melissa: It’s disappointing. Yeah. There another one I loved when I was a kid like mannequin with Andrew McCarthy and I think same speed or, you know,
Gene Hoyle: yes.
I saw that in meters. I remember that. Oh my gosh.
Melissa: It was a great movie when I was a kid. And then we watched it not that long ago. And I thought this is kind of creepy actually. Like this is a strange con
Gene Hoyle: and, uh, the wacky friend character was just, uh, uh, just a total stereotype. And I was like, ah, I
[00:46:00] Yeah, no, typical 80. I mean, there’s some eighties movies that like, you watch them now. And you’re like, Oh, this is just a. You know, fantastic. Cause when I first saw it, uh, but uh, yeah, some of the other ones that kind of like, okay, I was definitely 11 when I saw this. Absolutely.
Gene Hoyle: I, I love movies and that practice that that’s the period where I started going to movies a lot.
I was, I was born in 74, 49 now and my decades for watching movies that. I did it a lot. I was probably at the movies once or twice a week. I loved it so much. And, uh, yeah, so I always have a fondness for eighties movies, but you’re right. Some of them aren’t so good.
Melissa: Yeah. A lot of them are, but, but there’s so many good ones that makes up for it.
You know, we got like, you know, when Nancy was stone and the breakfast clout and the animals fire and you know, all, um, those things definitely make up for it. And those are just as brilliant [00:47:00] as they were. I think. You know, not magic is still there when you watch it.
Gene Hoyle: Okay. That’s a tough thing when you’re doing a movie or writing a book or that set in modern times, or even, uh, to, to make it seem like it fits in this time, but not be cheesy and corny about it.
And that’s hard. Um, because you know, if you’re, if you’re maybe not a writer, that’s not so in touch with what’s going on in real life, you’re going to do this, this almost a parody of what you’re trying to do. Right.
Melissa: Yeah, no, absolutely. It’s, it’s hard to capture, um, and make something time with, um, I feel like there’s just a handful of, uh, books and books that you can read now.
Like it’s not even though maybe the time period was different when it was written, but the theme. Uh, and you know, almost cryptically some of the issues because history tends to repeat itself, um, you know, seem to be still relatable when you read certain, certain novels or watch certain shows, you know, like you can kind of like, Oh, this is [00:48:00] actually happening again.
Now we’re in the future. Yeah.
Gene Hoyle: Fortunately, most of the time, that unpleasant stuff, but not always.
Melissa: Yeah, no, exactly. A lot of it can be really fun sale. Like, you know,
Gene Hoyle: Sure. Like something like Ferris Bueller’s day off as timeless. Um, I think people watch that today and they still understand everything in it.
And that’s a, it’s a fun movie, you know, maybe they’re wearing funny clothes, but that’s about it.
Melissa: Right. So, and if you wait too long and I know it’s close actually to him back in style.
Yeah, exactly. I was just watching Ferris dealer the other day. It’s on TV quite a bit, and I thought it makes me smile.
Gene Hoyle: It’s really a great movie. And, uh, yeah, I, I love it. I absolutely love it. It’s funny. There there’s a wacky fan theory out there that, um, Ferris is a, a, [00:49:00] um, a product of Cameron’s imagination.
Gene Hoyle: yeah. Crazy fan theories that, you know, are obviously not true, what they’re funding to explore.
Melissa: Yeah. I liked that very actually like he was just probably pronated him the whole day.
Gene Hoyle: Well kind of like a fight club thing, like Cameron needs to find the gut and that’s how he did it by, you know, creating this, this friend character.
That was almost perfect. I mean, jeez. Ferrous is absolutely perfect in every way. Everyone loves him except for his sister. Right.
Melissa: She faced them, but yet she’s still kind of saved behind at the end, you know, like with the principal and everything. Not very fast speed. If I go to bed
Gene Hoyle: adventure during the day, kind of gave her common ground, I think.
Melissa: Right? Yeah, no, that’s cool. I thought movie was great. I wish they would do sort of like a, not as people that maybe do some kind of like reunion type of a movie, like a. You [00:50:00] know, I dunno something not to ruin the original, but it would be fun to see that task back together. Again,
Gene Hoyle: I thought about that. And then, then I realized that I probably don’t want to see that because in my opinion, what happens in the future is Ferris is probably a used car salesman now.
I mean, cause his, his main, his main gift is being a BSR, you know, you can kind of, and I think it’s probably Cameron that’s successful.
Melissa: Yeah, that’s terrible. Yeah, no, you’re right. You probably either used car salesman or, uh, or like a stockbroker or something or an insurance salesman,
Gene Hoyle: something like that.
And I think he’s probably not happy with his life and in, in my, in my like, version of this, this, this movie, he would come back because he’s not happy with his life. So he wants to try to have more good day with his two friends.
Melissa: Yeah, I think, have you watched them over [00:51:00] no, I
Gene Hoyle: haven’t. I personally, I’m not sure why,
Melissa: like the best thing I’ve seen in forever sound good. It’s literally like making you that let’s solve that. We’re talking about. Um, literally this puts you right back into that feeling like when you’re in the theater, watching karate kid and they’ve done such a great job than honoring the memory of it yet, like, um, creating a completely different story essentially.
And the fact that, you know, they’re all involved in it. I think it’s. Really really well done. And, um, I’m like obsessed with it. I can’t wait. There’s two seasons on Netflix and they’re coming out with a third one, I think next year that you have to watch for this building. Yeah. I
Gene Hoyle: really, I really been meaning to, and I’m not sure what’s been holding me back, but it’s, uh, this, this time has given me a lot of opportunities to watch stuff, so I’ll probably see it soon.
[00:52:00] Melissa: I liked
Gene Hoyle: it. Um, I don’t know if I was like huge fan, but I did
Melissa: it. Yeah, no, it’s it’s great. Uh, Johnny Lawrence is the, as we were talking before about like the hero and villain switching roles, Cobra, Kai does a really good job about, um, giving you the story in hindsight, through his memories, um, as Daniel, that resell being almost a villain in his world, you know, so we’re watching karate kid and we think, Oh, Johnny Warren is the thankfully.
Now they’re all grown up and. Um, yeah, we’re getting to see like a different perspective and it’s really interesting. Cool.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah. I’ll definitely have to check that out. I love stories that twist expectations. I try to do that and with my stories.
Melissa: No. Yeah, I do. I love that. Awesome. All right. Well, I should let you go.
I’m sure you’re super busy. I needed to take that to writing. Um, I’m so happy to chat with you. You’ve been so great, which has [00:53:00] been really fun. Um,
Gene Hoyle: I’m really excited to have been on the show and you were wonderful. I love the answers out of me that I didn’t expect that I liked
Melissa: that. Oh, awesome. Thank you.
I mean, it’s a lot. Thank you. I’m really excited to get the next issue of . So that’s coming out next year. I’m very excited about that. And I’m going to look for a lab or in some phones, or we can email you see that labyrinth of them. Right. And that was,
Gene Hoyle: there will be a sign up at some point. Deemed light and that’s S E L I C E [email protected]
That’s the best place to find me. Perfect.
Melissa: I’ll put that in the show notes as well. That way everyone can see that after. Yeah. Well, thank you so much. And, um, it’s just really been a pleasure. I’m really excited to read more of your work. And I think it’s really cool what you’re doing with nerd nation to help new writers.
So that’s awesome. People can email you about that as well. They want to get involved in comic books. Yeah. [00:54:00] Yeah. That’s awesome. I’m really excited about that. I think that’s such a great thing for people in the industry to have, but the creative. Sort of mentor or like touchdown they can go to. So you got that foot in the door, so that’s really awesome.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah. Can I have real quick chat out in here? Like I should have mentioned them earlier. And I have, um, basically from, from my second book on, I met a gentleman named Michael Wagoner. Um, and we worked together on the, this whole Starbucks that, you know, the aneurism awareness book, but, um, we became friends later on and.
He has been my anchor and all of this we’ve um, we’ve done every book I’ve done since my first two he’s been involved in. Um, and he’s, he’s been amazing. He does work for, um, lucky comics. He’s the, um, the creator of a LD Abloh as a Wolf who they prime fighting Luchador. Um, he’s really great. He’s a great guy.
And he [00:55:00] deserves all the credit in the world for all he does for, for indie publisher. Oh,
Melissa: that’s great. That’s so nice to have someone like that in your corner.
Gene Hoyle: Yeah.
Melissa: Yeah. Cool. Well, let’s keep in touch. I’d love to have you back on in the future. Um, I enjoyed talking to you the night, so let’s definitely keep in touch and Todd again.
Gene Hoyle: Thank you very
Melissa: much. Very welcome. It’s so nice to meet you, Jean foil. Welcome and have a great night.
Gene Hoyle: All right. That was great. Thank
Melissa: you. You’re very welcome.