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Man Child – Video Interview
John: [00:00:00] All right guys. Welcome back today. We have a returning guest on the show. He was back on with me in December of 2018.
Talking about his book. Lifeline is coming back to talk about his new book out on Kickstarter now called Manchild. Nander. How are you doing?
Nandor Fox: I’m doing great, John, thanks for having me on and I can’t wait to talk about new this new book.
John: Yeah. You sent me the synopsis over Twitter on a message. And I read through it.
I looked at the, I looked at the preview pages sent me and I was very intrigued. I want you to go ahead and tell us about the book, what it is and what people can access back from it.
Nandor Fox: Yeah. Man-child is an homage to the silver age of comics, the Marvel age of comics. It’s primarily dedicated. To Stanley and his vision for superheroes in, in the sixties and so on.
And it was really a burst from my needing to celebrate him. I really wanted to do something for him. Especially after his passing, I. It was one of those things where [00:01:00] you’re like, you know, he’s getting older and with, with any celebrity and someone you’ve, you know, that’s been there all your life that you’ve seen all your life and someone that I grew up, you know, just seeing age and, and enjoying everything they’ve done.
And then for someone to pass and it’s just like, Oh man. Like it just really hit me really hard. And and I know I’m going to feel that way, you know, with everyone now because I just, he was one of the first people that, you know, Influenced me and given me a part of my childhood that, you know, I would never have without, you know, superheroes and what the characters he created along with, you know, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko and everyone.
And so that’s, that’s where it really came from. And the story itself it’s really cool because when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to do something for Stanley. I just, I, I had to do something. Yeah. I wanted to celebrate his life and everything that he’s brought me.
And so [00:02:00] man-child really came from that desire. And the story itself is really neat because it’s two stories that alternate between each other and, and, and one of them takes place in a silver age. Superhero universe and the other takes place in modern day with like modern day comic book fans, and specifically this one character named Rufus.
He was like a super nerd and like Stanley. It was like his, his favorite, you know, creator. And of course they’re all different, you know, pseudonyms and different names for these people. But you get the idea that everything that I’m trying to say is about what, what I’ve felt and what I experienced.
When Stanley passed and also just what it means to be a comic book fan nowadays, and how superheroes in the medium has changed since their inception. And then when he reinvigorated it in the sixties and then, you know, to now in modern time. So, it’s really all encompassing the joy and love of superheroes and how they’ve [00:03:00] changed over the years.
John: So it sounds like this it’s a very personal story for you. Yeah,
Nandor Fox: yeah, yeah. It, it is. It was something that, yeah, like I, I wasn’t expecting to write. And then you know, it’s not something that I had an idea for. I, I really didn’t want to do superheroes because everyone does them. And also, I didn’t know if I could.
Do you have anything that would really resonate with people? Just because you know, all the best characters have been done in a lot of ways. And my, my first series seasons is sort of superhero, but there’s a lot of, it’s a lot more grounded and a lot more I’d say. A blend of, of supernatural and action in that compared to a superhero story and, you know, no one’s running around in a costume or anything.
And so, and I always wondered, you know, how, I don’t know if I could do that. And so, when this happened with, with his passing and with. Just as need. I felt to celebrate him. I was like, [00:04:00] well, what would that even look like? And that really challenged me. I was like, what, what could I do if I were to do a superhero story?
And I was like, well, I want it, I want it to be a tribute because I think, you know, superheroes are so nested in nostalgia. And I thought the best stories that you could tell if you’re trying to create new characters, I think should be you know, analogs or at least. Pointing back to where you know, these superheroes actually came from and the story has taken me to places.
I never thought I’d go. And it has actually made, like, made me rediscover my love for the superhero genre that I like. I’m finding out even deeper why I love superheroes. And it’s it’s been really like, just crazy because it was something I didn’t expect to do.
John: Nice. So how much, how much of you is reflected in that main character?
How much, how much of you is as like, are people going to read and know? Not, maybe not know, but you’re going to know. Is, is straight from like [00:05:00] representing you as yourself?
Nandor Fox: Yeah. Well, there’s a, there’s a scene in the first issue where Rufus the main character in the present day world. He’s at work and he’s working a retail job and he works at a toy store and which is sort of a little ironic, you know, play on the man-child idea of, you know, this, this grown man is like working in a toy store, you know, with all these kids and selling all these toys and everything.
And he’s He gets this call from one of his buddies. And the, the, the person keeps trying to text him and also try to call him. And and he can’t pick up because he’s at work. And then finally he picks up his friend calls the the work line and he picks up the phone and answers it and he gets told.
This story’s version of Stanley has passed and that’s exactly what happened to me. I was, I was working, I had no idea that he had had passed. And then one of my friends kept texting me and was like, telling me, like, dude, like pick up your phone, like all this stuff, [00:06:00] because. You know, I gotta tell you something like all this big news.
And then everybody started texting me and telling me and calling me. And I was just like so overwhelmed because you know that they knew how much I love superheroes and comics and Stan Lee. And so it takes place on November 12th, 2018, and Rufus gets a call at his work. And that’s, that’s completely kind of, I wouldn’t say, you know, a scene by scene word, word for word, what happened, but really, really?
Yeah. Is what kicks off the story. And it’s something that, you know, happened to me personally,
John: so interesting. So he died to kind of like wrap this around. He died about a month before we were aired. The episode of lifeline with you on the, on the podcast. Did you already know you wanted to do this? Would you in your own life find that you wanted to do something for Stanley way back then?
Nandor Fox: No, I didn’t. I didn’t at all. It was, it was really in 2019 that I started. Thinking about it. And I actually, I wrote the first issue [00:07:00] in like mid to late 2019, and I sat on it for a while. And then does that, cause I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it. And then I was working on seasons of course, and, and other projects.
And so I let it sit there and that was also hunting for the right artists for it too. And cause I really. Really needed someone that could capture that vintage retro style. Some, some people just can’t David’s,
Nandor Fox: not, yeah, it’s just no one. Really. Yeah. Yeah. You don’t see it as often, you know? And so I sat on it for awhile and I wrote the first issue in a, in, and I loved it.
I thought, you know, this is a great first issue, but I was like, it’s nothing. If I can’t do anything with it, you know, kind of make it, make it something. Yeah. And then finally late last year I started writing again and getting it all figured out. I’d been brainstorming and writing notes and stuff, but I really started scripting it hard.
And so. So, [00:08:00] yeah. Now, now I’m here. And I was like, I, I was waiting for the right time to do a campaign for it and to, to share it with everyone. And I feel like it’s, you know, I mean, it’s, it’s been a part of my life for the last, you know, a couple years, but it, it’s, it’s crazy that we’re finally getting to this point where I can talk about it and then share it with everyone.
John: So, you talked about as mentioned there about finding the right artists. How, how has, how did you, how did you find someone that could capture what you want?
Nandor Fox: Yeah. So I found J Mazar he’s the artist for the book and he, he pencils, inks and colors that he does it all, which is really amazing. And that’s something that’s really important to me whenever I work with other artists and creators, I really like finding, I like keeping the circle small as possible because sometimes, you know, things get lost in translation or when you’re trying to keep track and talk to so many different people it gets a little harrowing just to like keep track of everything.
And so yeah. When I found him and, and we I, I found him through an art forum, I think it’s called digital webbing or something [00:09:00] and yeah. And he had posted he’s. He actually does more more like new AR stuff. And a lot of his pages were like kinda more crime based. Like a Shawn Phillips Chris Samnee type of you know, look at black, you know, black and white and very new are.
And, and, but, but it was, it was that, that captured me because I was like, this is classic, like this, like the way. And what really got me was the way he drew women. He there’s a certain style of how artists used to draw women, you know, in the sixties and seventies. Now there’s very old fashioned, but.
Wearing wearing dresses and suits and different, you know, attire and, you know, Pearl necklaces and things like that. And I was like, oh, this is a guy. Like, this is just a guy. And, and I I kept bothering him for a while and trying to like, get him to agree with it. Cause, cause he was like, why are you choosing me?
Like, I don’t do a ton of superhero stuff. And I was like, well, [00:10:00] because on his website he has a few. He has like a black bolt a Spiderman, I think a few different superhero, like, pinups, you know, kind of stances. And I saw those and I was just like, ah, man, like, like I just, I gotta, you know, keep pestering him and bothering him about it.
And, and I remember one of his emails was like, He’s like, well, since you like, really believe in me and like, I believe in that I can do this, you know, I think it was a little encouraging to him that someone was like, you can do this. Like, I want you for this. Like, I don’t see anyone else to do this. And so, yeah, like that’s how I found him.
And we did some, you know, some character designs together and that was something that was really new for me in developing A costume with someone so back and forth and making sure that it was something that he could do. And also that was, you know, classic, but still really striking for like modern audiences and nothing too gimmicky.
I that’s been one of the hardest parts about it when, when creating and making it because [00:11:00] there. There’s a lot of people that love just the old stuff, you know? And then there’s a lot of people that love just the new stuff or can’t get into the old stuff. So like trying to bridge that has been really, really interesting.
John: It’s it’s to balance because you’re, you’re not, you’re not wrong. A lot of fans either like one or the other it’s few fans that find themselves actually enjoying both. I mean, a lot of fans out there who will buy the older cars. But they don’t, they buy them for nostalgia. They buy them for value or they buy them for collecting and they’ll buy the newer stuff too.
But define the fans like myself. I love silver age stories. I love golden egg stories. I love to give one of your stories because it’s history, right? It’s is you’re reading a point in time where things were vastly different in this country. And then silver are great because a lot of them are just so insane that it’s like, you have to laugh at them.
I love comparing the, the DC solve race silver age, because there’s so incredibly different. Yeah. One of them is like, so ridiculously funny and like, [00:12:00] it seems like they were just basing their complete kind of book off of somebody having idea for a cover that would be, that would be DC. And then Marvel, it seems like they were, they were attempting to it.
And in some, in some ways, succeeding, in some ways, not attempting to build this giant unit. But doing it like issue by issue, not like a big map. It seems like in the sixties, Marvel’s like, let’s create all these characters. Let’s bring them together, but we’re going to figure it out as we go. And this was some, sometimes it works really well and sometimes like things get lost in it.
And it’s just that whole, that whole. Trial and error of figuring things out of that silver age era was is, is what I love. And then I, you know, I also, I read modern comics too, and eighties, nineties too. I read all of it, but a lot of fans find themselves. I find a lot of readers. They, they like a certain era of comics.
There’s people who were to stuck in the nineties. There was a comics right now and don’t realize the nineties is probably one of the worst areas of comics ever. And a lot of the creators who created the nineties will also tell you it was one of the worst areas of comics ever exist. Not because [00:13:00] the creators were bad, but because they were pushed by marketing, not by creating.
And so yeah, it’s cool that you feel, if you could find a way to bridge that the modern and the classic and do it in a way that’s respectful of the classical stuff, which it sounds like you’re doing, I always, I haven’t read man-child yet, but I do look forward to reading it when it comes out. If you’re successful and able to do that, you’ve, you’ve got kind of a beautiful thing in your hand, right there.
Nandor Fox: Yeah, I I think so too, it’s kinda been dawning on me. The, the more that I’ve been investing my time in it and writing it and figuring out the themes and the kind of things that I want to say with it. And, and the beauty of looking at where, where this all started you know, where superheroes and the American art form of comics.
Started and it’s made me appreciate, you know, just so much. More of the history of comics and, you know, I’ve been reading more will Eisner than I ever have. I’ve been reading more the more, you know, more than I ever have. And I’ve been reading about all these obscure characters, you know, that were created by Joe Simon and [00:14:00] Jack Kirby in the early days of the golden age and all that stuff.
And I was reading more like golden age Batman and wonder woman than I ever had. You know, just so many things that I wouldn’t really. Yeah.
John: There’s so much bondage in those books, like so much unintentional yet intentional sexual bondage and go down to one of them woman. That’s like slip through all the sensors back then, because nobody thought about it.
But you look looking at today’s eyes. You’re like, man, he was into some kinky shit. Yeah.
Nandor Fox: Yeah. I know. I know. It’s crazy. Looking back on it and trying to put yourself in, you know, maybe, maybe a young girl’s head back then reading those and not, you know, it’s completely different. It’s just like, wow, like this is crazy.
Just like how much that’s another thing. Just how much history is behind those stories and behind those creators and with with man-child something that, that also kept me from continuing to write it because I, I wrote the first issue and sat on it for a while. Was I [00:15:00] needed to know more like I needed to do more research.
I didn’t want to just. You know, half acid and just be like, yeah, I know what this is all about. Or like, you know, I know, I know what the silver age of comics was. And so I read like three or four Stanley biographies and I listened to different interviews. He did and listened to other people, talk about the history of comics and, and things like that because I wanted to get as much information as I could with.
You know, paralyzing myself with, with everything that I could do. Cause there’s so many things that you could spin on and kind of do Easter eggs and riff on and stuff. But it it gave me like such an appreciation for the people and the creators behind all these stories and, and thinking about what, what really sparked the fire for me to continue this story in a ride.
It was just the idea. A grown man, like Stanley, who always wanted to do the great American novel, you know, he wanted to write a [00:16:00] novel and he never got to do that. You know, he wanted to write the big boy books, you know, the adult books of like capturing, you know, all the, the literacy, you know, profession and, and all the people that, you know, really want those just adult books and, and.
But he ended up doing comics and it’s just like, it boggles my mind because he, and, and back then, you know, it was even more of a stigma of like, and he felt that he felt that throughout a large portion of his beginning of writing comics was like, people aren’t going to take me seriously. Like, this is not a serious profession.
This is not something that I want to do. And, and he would say that he’s like, like, you know, I don’t, I don’t want to do this. Like the rest of my life. And I just think that’s so interesting and, and how, you know, adults make these comics, you know, for, for kids at the start and how they’ve changed and how the idea of loving these [00:17:00] characters has changed because we’ve grown up with them and you know, they’re not just for kids anymore.
It’s it’s so I don’t know the psychology behind that. I find really, really fascinating because they had no idea. They were creating and, you know, they created pop culture.
John: It’s it’s, it’s crazy thinking about what they, what he did and what everybody else around him did. I mean, standard industry is so young and working for his uncle, his company, you know,
Nandor Fox: as a yeah, yeah, yeah.
He was like 19, 19 years old.
John: Yeah. I mean, Rhoda’s first issue of captain America at like, I think 19 or 20 or first captain America. You know, then he didn’t write a lot more stuff for a little while, but then, you know, he was part of the whole. You know, the whole research is a comics in the early sixties and that him and Jack Kirby basically, you know, revitalized comics that were dying out exactly.
Is it, you said you read a lot of interviews or there’s a lot of it was with him and other people. Did you ever read into the interviews with Jack Kirby talking about Stanley?
Nandor Fox: Yes.
[00:18:00] That’s actually something that is. I wanted to touch on and hit on in man-child. So you’ll see. There’s actually a character that comes up to Rufus in the first issue and is like, why? Like, like why is this such a big deal at Stanley dye? Like he was a thief, you know, so there’s, you know, there are these, yeah.
Like there are people that really think that there are some people that are so on Jack side or so on stands. And in doing all this research, you know, I found out just how much of a collaboration it was and, and how there were lines, you know, that, that they didn’t know they were crossing because they were S they were figuring all this stuff out together.
And, and yeah I actually got. This book, that documents all the different Stanley and Jack Kirby kind of interviews about each other and, and about their creation and stuff, and super informative and really, really interesting. And it pains me, you know, because all the things that Jack Kirby, all the hurdles he had to go through to like get his [00:19:00] original art back to be recognized yeah.
For, for all his work and then how much he put of himself and the characters, you know, With his anguish and anger at Stanley and, and, you know, with with Mr. Miracle and, and doing you know, funky Flashman and all that stuff. Like it’s, it’s, it’s really interesting.
John: It is. It’s interesting. It’s like, I.
I never picked a side on who, like, who I said is, you know, is Stanley the truth or Jack Curry. I always fall back on. The fact is they’re both lying. Neither one of them, either one of them is a sole creator of any of those characters without Jack Kirby’s designs, they don’t exist. And without Stanley writing or writing over it, they don’t exist.
Now. I do think the one that I do think that is true and I’ve read from multiple sources on this, but about family. He wasn’t actually so much of a writer of the comics. He was so much of an idea person that the artists would then go and take the idea and make a full issue. And then Stanley would write over top of it, which [00:20:00] he says like Ditko and Kirby and them should absolutely be given co-write co-write core writing credits and all those issues.
But it’s still, it still falls back into if it wasn’t. You know, both of them together, those issues wouldn’t exist, that they wouldn’t exist without that Spiderman would not be Spiderman without Ditko, but it would also have a spider and without Lee and the wouldn’t be the X-Men without both Lee and Kirby.
Like if you just take one of them out of it, it won’t exist. The best example that I’ve ever seen is there’s pages of, of, of fantastic four that exists with original pages that have, because Kirby would draw them out based off of what Stanley would say, like, Hey, give us a sheet here that I want to issue.
You were reading them, do that. Type of thing. Yeah. And then Kirby would take that and he would write out and he would draw an issue or two or three, or however many would take tell that story or make it bigger. And he would write dialogue. He would pencil and dialogue and story notes on the back of the pages.
And there’s there’s pages that exist. We can read what Kirby wrote and then you can read what he wrote and they’re vastly different over the same artwork and, and the [00:21:00] no disrespect to Jack Kirby. But like what he wrote was like, So out here that people wouldn’t understand it, it was like high friction, high Saifai, but not the best.
Saifai from one of them, from what I’ve read and what Stanley wrote was more stuff that was appealable to the mass public right. Of creators and the, the, the, at anybody out there, who’s a huge career fan is going to be like, no, you’re wrong. That’s fine. I can be wrong. That’s okay. But the best thing that kind of kind of says that, that that’s probably what happened and what Kirby wrote was probably not.
The best in terms of selling it to people and still if Stanley was nothing else, but a great marketer, he was one of the best in the world ever. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. That Kirby’s Genesis stuff from tops comics before he passed. It’s not good. I’ll just say not good. Right? It’s it’s not good. It’s definitely not fourth world, which was like his pinnacle of scifi stuff you did, but
Nandor Fox: yeah,
John: it’s, it’s funny.
People put so much on [00:22:00] Stanley and Stanley did so much for the world for comics. I know, I know much, but I think honestly, my personal opinion, I think Stanley’s credit is misplaced. I think Stanley should be given credit for being the voice and the face of comics to bring it back from the brink of destruction and bring it into the popular world.
I think that is way more important of his legacy than his writing and creation. Because if he wasn’t there pushing people to buy comics, pushing those really shitty cartoons in the sixties, pushing the, the next level. I mean, they’re shitty because they are, but they’re still great. And then they’re, they’re great in their own way, but they’re also crap, you know, not that they didn’t did not stand, does not stand up and that’s, and that’s fine.
But if those wouldn’t existed, they wouldn’t, he wouldn’t have been pushing the Spiderman TV show in the seventies and sixties and the Hulk shows and, and getting. Out of just being you know, a funny about publisher and promoting all over the world and becoming this face of comics for not just expand, [00:23:00] but for the world, you know, coming into his seventies in the nineties and his eighties and stuff, when he got older and still being this force of, of, of good for comics, we wouldn’t have comics and pop culture to do today.
And I think that’s a bigger legacy for Stanley than anything he created. Now, you can’t discredit what he created in 60. Cause those things are huge things. But if you continued pushing things, even after he left Marvel, we probably wouldn’t have the MCU.
Nandor Fox: Exactly, exactly. Like, like everything that he was a part of, he was essential in getting that done.
I mean, like, if you just want to call them like the producer, it’s like, you know, without him and his ability to, like you said, marketed and you know, he would go. Individual colleges and schools, and talk about Marvel comics with college students. It’s like, that’s, that’s mind blowing to think about doing that back then, because, you know, nowadays we re we really do see it as, you know, an art form, but back then you had to go through so many [00:24:00] different hurdles and, you know, being accepted for, you know, what, what do you have to say to, you know, our next generation and our kids and stuff and all of the.
Themes that he was able to bring about with all of his stories, with great power comes, great responsibility and all of these you know, terms and, and, and the legacy of, of being a hero and what that means and bringing it down to earth, you know, and, and. You know, after Stanley and the Marvel age of comics, it’s like DC was like, oh crap.
Like we gotta do this too. And, and yeah. Yeah. They all were, you know, they were working off each other, which is really interesting too. And learning about that, but yeah, I just, I was so. Cause that was something I, you know, I’ve, I’ve really given a lot of credit to Stanley growing up. You know, everyone talked about Stanley Stanley.
It’s like, that’s just what people say. And then as I got older, I started to appreciate Kirby and Dico and the other artists that were part of them. And I was like, yeah, like these guys need more credit, but it [00:25:00] doesn’t mean you, you just steal it all, you know, from, from Stanley it’s like you’ve given them what they deserve and you know, you appreciate them for what they do.
And I just, I really get a little irked when people just bash one or the other. It’s like, it’s like, no, wait a second. You know, this is, and I’ve noticed that, you know, and being a comic creator myself, I noticed just how much of a collaboration it really is and how like, you know, I’ll think of this idea and I’ll do, I’ll do my own page layout and I’ll send it to my artists and be like, this is what I want.
This is what I’m seeing in my head. And the artists will go by that, but he might change like one panel. It’s like, well, you know, is that considered more my, you know, or more his, or, you know, without that one panel would that, you know, break the page, would that ruin the page? It’s just, there’s so many, you know, different ways of looking at it and you can’t just, you know, see it as black and white and go, you know, this goes here and this goes here.
It’s, it’s crazy. Just how much [00:26:00] of a collaborative, medium it is. And a lot of people have to, you know, understand that it’s the writer and artist. And without the other, I know there was a, there was actually a Twitter thread, a trending thread that was going around on Twitter, where people were debating that like what’s more important, the writer or the artists.
And I’m just like, You know, without each other, what are they like? It’s just not, it’s not the same.
John: A great, a great example of that is, is going back to the nineties, right? Yeah. Making it look fancy and flashy was everything and writing suffered. Not that there wasn’t great writers in the nineties. Cause there are some, there, there are some great stories and writers that came out of the nineties, but raw in mainstream comics, what was selling was people draw was the fancy art and the collector spreads of people thinking they could make millions of dollars off of comic books again, but it was art was pushed.
Everything up is art, art, art, and he had a lot of books come out by people who. Like [00:27:00] artists who thought they could. Right. Right. And I mean, they’re amazing artists, but their writing is super sub-par or writers or super amazing artists getting some writers who is cheap and an a book coming out. That was the, you know, that, oh my God, this looks great, but I just can’t fucking read this, you know, and it’s suffered and the best books out there, like you can have, I’m a firm believer and you can have an amazingly well-written book with shit art and it still.
But if you have an amazingly drawn book with shit writing, it’s still bad.
Nandor Fox: Yeah. Yeah, no, you’re right. You’re right. I’ve I’ve read it.
John: Yeah, exactly. The best books are ones that have you have a writer and an artist that meld together to where you don’t see it. You can’t, it’s hard to divide up who did what?
And it, they blend together as one. That’s the pull to get out there. And a lot of those artists. Marvel books that Stan Lee did with Ditko and with Kirby and the rest of the crew there. And with, you know, Dick Ayers and all of them back in the day is a lot of, it was a huge collaboration, no [00:28:00] matter what anybody fucking says out there, it was a giant collaboration of.
Stanley was an idea, man, and a producer and a marketer, the artists, the artists were like, they were like the director of cinematographers of the book. They would take, it would push it through to make, to get all the visuals in place. And the lead would write dialogue over the top of them. And sometimes the artists would also help write dialogue too.
It was a huge collaboration to make those classic amazing stories that, yeah. Yeah, that, that a lot of this stuff today is still solely based off of what they did back in the sixties. And you can’t discredit either side of that coin, whether it was the leader, rightly as the writer or artists of Kirby or whoever was drawing up there’s Hughes together.
And that, that same formula holds true to every book today. That’s still good. That’s good. Like if you look at, if you look at Dave cock rooms and there, and then Chris Claremont’s. Like in the book they did with all the artists they work with, those are amazing. Are the writers, they were amazing because of the collaboration between everybody, on those books, any book that collaboration, I mean, look at the nineties with the Dan Jurgens and Brett raiding [00:29:00] and that, and, and, and, and, and Jerry Conaway and that crew who did all the Superman stuff and told what is now still one of the classic Superman stories that does a Superman and everybody thought, was it a gimmick at the time?
It was however, it was, it gave me, it was done really well. And I know people, people for a long time in the nineties that had been making fun of it saying, especially people who weren’t DC fans were like, oh, they just put over sales. Well, yeah, they killed them for sales, of course, because they knew they make a lot of money off it.
However, they also didn’t print a Superman book for four months after he died. Like they killed him and then didn’t print him in books, four. Like they, they, they play that game. I, they, I think they should have done it for longer. They should have, like, I suppose, like just cancel them for a year and fuck with everybody out for like a year.
Yeah, I get it because it’s a huge moneymaker, but I still, I still say that they told the death of Superman is a really good, tight story that tells an emotional story about Superman and Lois lane and his passing and yeah. It’s in that wouldn’t have happened without all parties [00:30:00] involved. And the debt Superman was, you know, was Brett breeding.
Dan Jurgens, Jerry Conway. Sorry, not checking to make sure. Jerry Ordway, sorry, not coral castle. Let me, let me Simon San and all that crew create a whole, that whole big story. And with all of them working together on that, you wouldn’t have this thing that reads like one cohesively written.
Nandor Fox: Exactly. Yeah. I, I think that’s so true and that there are times where I’ll get you know, I’ll get a page back from one of my artists and I have you know, dialogue point in that, for that image, but, but I’ll edit it because I’m like, you know, I think, I think something needs to change with what he’s saying, just with how the images.
And so I’ll change it to, to really make sure that they go hand in hand again. And it’s like, without the artists doing it the way he did, I wouldn’t have changed it, you know, but, but it’s because he did that, that I changed it, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s things like that where someone can’t go well, who deserves that more?
It’s like, well, actually it’s we both [00:31:00] do, you know, it’s, it’s ours. It’s not just, you know, one person and you know, for the, for the people that can do it all. That’s awesome. And like, keep doing that. And like, that’s, that’s amazing, but people don’t. You know, think of Todd McFarlane and go, you know, man, what a great, you know, vocabulary, what a great writer that he just, you know, like has made these epic stories.
And I’m not saying he’s a bad writer at all, and he’s an amazing person, you know? I mean, he does so much for the industry and I think he’s one of the. Closest people to ever get to like a Stanley status in comics, you know? Yeah. I mean, I mean, you know, it’s like, honestly, when people say like the big two, like I’m like, nah, it’s, it’s the big three now.
Like, I mean like image comics is really not, you know, it, it doesn’t deserve any less credit, you know? So.
John: Yeah, we just had taught on couple weeks ago and he’s, he’s a really cool guy and he had some knowledge to share on the show. If you haven’t heard that one, yet you or [00:32:00] anybody listening to this right now?
I definitely checked it out. Cause Todd McFarlane has ease. He’s got a lot of insights and it was funny in that is Kenrick asked him about mark McGwire. Cause you know, Todd bought whatever and it’s a funny story update, but they don’t get along anymore. You know, it’s, it’s easy, he’s a talent. You can never, you can not deny that McFarland’s one, an amazing creator and amazing artist.
And he has done something. Noah, I mean, spawn is, is, is a runaway success. Whether, whether you enjoy spawn or not, you cannot deny the success of spawn. I mean, it’s over, this is the night early nineties and yeah. It’s it’s a it’s, it’s, it’s an incredible journey for respond to go. And for someone to come out of.
I mean, obviously he was very successful at Marvel and DC before image, and then to take that success and, and be one of the founders of image, like, like Eric Larson and there’s that crew. And then to still be successful, you know, this many years later through the rockstar, I, by far none, he’s, he’s a [00:33:00] rockstar.
So it’s like he, and he’s what I love about McFarland. He’s done some stuff in his past. So I’m like, eh, about, but what I love about him in general is that he is so willing to help people. Like he posts, videos on his social media of like how to draw things, how to create things, how to shade things, how to, how to, how to draw comic book, eyes, how to do so, how to do certain things.
And it’s like, does his willingness to share this information without like, you know, he’s, he’s not trying to make money off of it. You know, I used to, I used to work on Facebook. And about how to draw stuff, because you know, I’m an artist as well, and I’m like, you would show me something. I already knew how to do, but he would show me a way to do it.
That was faster and more efficient. And I was like, wow, that’s, that’s amazing. And it’s like, yeah, like five minute videos of how to do shit. And I’m like, you’re, you’re just giant in the industry. You have no need to actually be able to share with anybody. You can, you don’t have to do this and you’re just doing it because you want to that’s I respect
Nandor Fox: the hell out of it.
Oh, yeah, yeah, me too. Like, like every, every interview that I’ve heard [00:34:00] and, and everything that he has to say about what it means to be, you know, a creator slash entrepreneur, basically as like so helpful and has helped me like break through some doubts and some feelings of going into, I’m not going anywhere.
Like where, where is this actually headed? It’s like, and then, you know, I’ll listen to Todd and I’m just. Thank, you know, like I needed that, like that, you know, that’s something I really needed. Yeah. And I love the people that do that and that give back and, you know, he’s, he’s one of the best, like, I love everything that I see that he does and, and I love how he is still.
So fricking passionate. It’s crazy, you know, he’s just such a passionate person and you need that, you know, you need that encouragement and to see people like that still in the interview. So
John: reason to a good question, kind of off topic from Europa, but on top of to our current conversation here Stanley is, is kind of a once in a lifetime person, [00:35:00] a crater, a marketer.
I mean, as we said, you know, you can’t, you can’t deny his impact on the industry over his long, long, long career. Do you think we’ll ever have anybody else who is at his level? It has the effects he has, or do you think part of his longevity of, of, of becoming this legendary person is because it’s, it’s not only him and what he did, but right place, right.
Time and industry.
Nandor Fox: Right. I, I think he’s one in a million. I really like, I really don’t see anyone coming up to. You know, to be there, you know, except, you know, someone like Todd, if, if he, if he did something crazy, you know, and, and just completely changed the way we think about comics. Cause I think that’s really, the biggest thing is, is someone with that personality and that passion and the creativity to do all these multi multitudes of things.
And just to be like a joy to [00:36:00] like listen to and be around, you know, I mean, like Stanley is so infectious. Like anytime I, I watched him talk and he’s just so much fun and so funny and charming. And I think he really is a product of his time. And I think that’s what makes the sixties and silver age comics, you know, so special is because.
They cannot be made today, you know, that is really cutting and, and I think, you know, no one can be Stanley again or, or because, you know, it was because of how he grew up and the things that he went through and the people who, you know, he knew And I think, I think everyone would just go probably, you know, if there was someone who was, who was that famous and, you know, I’ve heard some people say, you know, even Robert Kirkman, you know, is kind of on that that you know, Ascension or that rise to like becoming that.
And, and I, I mean, that’s awesome. Like I want everyone to, you know, get as much success as possible, but I think there’s something. Just you know, unconventionally genius about Stanley for his [00:37:00] time that I don’t think we’ll really get again.
John: Well, because we’re never, we’re never going to have that time and comments again.
Right. For, for that, for, for the environment of what happened in the sixties to happen again, comics have to crash like verse in the nineties, right? I’ll call her. They have to get out of the movies. We have to go back to a time where comics are for kids and people. Don’t. As much and have somebody to come and re re-injured it that I think the oh, one I’ve met, I’ve met Stanley before he passed, he was an incredibly nice guy super fun to talk to.
And I’ve met Robert Kirkman, also an incredibly nice guy, super from the talk to Kirkman is like one of the nicest, like big names. Celebrities in comics I’ve ever met, that was just down to earth and a great guy to talk to. I had drinks with him at Comicon for a full time. Wow. Yeah. And the, the, the only person I can think of who could say is somewhat as.
Influential as far as what’s happened in comics for as Stan Lee. And he’s not even in comics, but it’s what he did with the movies. That’d be Kevin foggy and [00:38:00] gotcha. And that’s, if you like extrapolate out Stanley to comics and then Kevin foggy to super heroes in movies and TV, I think he is probably the only person.
That’s on that level because of, because of, I mean, superintendent was, were doing okay before the MC they wouldn’t do it. They were good. They were fun. Darknet was great. You know, some of the bands were good, but DMC was like to take this thing, things already exist and do it the more of a way, which is essentially what Stanley did in the sixties.
Let’s do it tomorrow. M kind of changing the way superhero movies and TV shows function in a way. And I mean, he’s not, obviously he’s not in comics, but it’s, that’s part of the pop culture of comic world. And I think he’s the only one that would kind of currently fit that mold too, to some degree, but he’s yeah.
Nandor Fox: Almost like a spiritual successor. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, I get that. And and I th I think I wish he would have more output because I love everything that he’s done and he’s one of my biggest inspirations, but Scott McCloud and the way he did it, you know, [00:39:00] in, in bringing comics to the next level of, I think, you know, analyzing and storytelling and, you know, I, I think he was one of those voices.
Without him, I think comics too. Wouldn’t be where they are.
John: Well, over the last three or four decades, I would say I’m things when, I mean, love him or hate him. Franklin Miller. If he hadn’t existed, as Daredevil, Daredevil would not move into what he is or with Batman, love it or hate it. And I’m kind of on the, not liking it side because of the long-term effects of what he had about me.
Yeah, we hadn’t done that with the dark Knight rises. You know, we wouldn’t, we wouldn’t really have the tripling effects of, of Batman becoming so big in the world. True. I mean more of a dark character. I mean, you can trace that back to Neil Adams in the sixties and seventies, taking Batman back from the goofiness of the DB show and the comics, and then Neil adamant in detective making him more of a detective and a dark night.
Push that forward to, you know, over time it got, you know, he became more of a dark night and then [00:40:00] Frank Miller takes him and makes him this really dark character. That’s not trusting of anybody. And it does that story. And then Alan, Moore’s the killing joke and those, those, that kind of timeframe, Batman to be what he is today and all those things existing, making it to where, you know, Scott Steiner can do quarter vowels and it, and it fits in because of Corvallis woulda come on in the eighties, it would have.
You know, too cerebral it’s too darkest. It’s it’s too violent. And in the 80 to 70 eighties, that, that was that wasn’t who Batman was, but it is who Batman is. And the evolution of all these key points along the timeline for like these different characters, different stories that push us to where we’re at now and push us to where if they didn’t exist, it.
We wouldn’t be where we’re adding an, a lot of that can tie back to Stanley and Caribbean Ditko back in the sixties, if they hadn’t done what they did, a lot of this stuff. And a lot of those people that we respect and we read nowadays would never have PR probably would never have gotten into college.
Nandor Fox: yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s so true. Like, I mean, I can’t even [00:41:00] imagine the amount of people that would have went off to different career paths and did different things. And, and one of, one of my favorite things kind of that was kind of a mind mind-blowing thing to think about. One of my friends told me was.
Like, where did all, like, he, he posed this question to me of, you know, where did all the artists go? And he’s like, they want it to comics, like, like a lot of the greatest artists, you know, like Alex Ross and those people that could have went on and did you know their stuff in galleries. And I know Alex probably has galleries and things like that, but you know, they went to comics.
Like comics is like the place to go. If you’re an artist and to like, share your love for storytelling in that way. There’s so many people that yeah, if they hadn’t read that series or that comic from that creator, like completely different and same with me, I mean, as a writer, like I wanted to get into journalism or, or do you know, maybe, maybe like a scifi novel or try to like [00:42:00] get, you know, get my feet wet in the novel world.
But when I started thinking about it more and kind of what I wanted to do as a writer, I just. Man. I love art so much and I love comics so much. Why can I do this? And so I was like, I want to do comics. Like, I want my words. I want people to read me. In comics and, and to appreciate what I have to say in comics.
And, and so, yeah, like that’s that that’s, and that’s all because of certain writers that I read there, there are comic books that have moved me and touched me more than, you know, a novel or a movie or whatever. And I was like, man, I want to give that to people. And if it wasn’t for those writers, then you know, I wouldn’t be here.
John: I, I, I fall in the same boat. There’s, there’s a lot of comics I read as a kid that if I hadn’t read them or they hadn’t been around, I’d have been exposed to them. I probably wouldn’t have gotten into doing comics. You know, I mean, if I hadn’t picked up you know, Superman in the early nineties and [00:43:00] Wolverine and that whole Larry Hamill Wolverine series, when I was coming out and read those and gotten into X-Men cartoons and continued on, you know, reading Batman and stuff, I would never want him to get into doing comedies.
I wouldn’t care, you know, because those things, those stories, just resident, I mean, silly as they were, whatever. And you will look at them. I mean, looking at 20 foot level of the air, it’s a kind of book about a guy in tight spot and drawing, you know, Yeah. There’s so many nuances of storytelling of characterization would think it’s, it’s funny.
Cause people who don’t get comics and think they’re childish, even there’s, there’s still people today who think that even though there’s comics are so much better than that, like, oh, well it was just a guy or a girl in tight spike and crime. Yes. You’re not wrong. It is some guy or girl dressing up in a funny costume and fighting crime with powers.
Sure. But that’s not the. Yeah. I know the point of a comic is not the fight with the bigger guy and bad guy. It’s, it’s everything behind that. It’s the nuances of the characterization of their secret identity or of their, their friends and family or, or what the bad guys actually don’t do. And thinking there’s so much more [00:44:00] than just like me punch bad guy.
It’s it might. My best example of that is anybody who reads Superman and doesn’t understand. That Superman comics are not just there to show him being strong. They suit the nuance of Superman is his, is his attempt to be human and as a town, or will you see the best in humanity and the best Superman stories out there?
The ones where he doesn’t throw a punch or it doesn’t, it doesn’t have to be. And that’s the point of Superman. He’s not just a big blue boy scout who can do anything. Is that? Yeah, he could destroy. But he doesn’t and he doesn’t want to. And he constantly has to take himself back from, with his strength to not hurt people when he’s saving them.
And that, and it’s not just a man. It’s like, I mean, you can say the same thing for like Spiderman or any superheroes. They have to watch it because they swear Spider-Man swung and grabs me at full strength or they’re getting cut in half. Like they’re just, they’re done, you know? And it’s like, that’s the beauty of comics.
Like, yes, we have these fantastical fights and these [00:45:00] drawings and there’s all of this. Magical powers going around and that’s awesome. And that feeds my nerd rage and what I love, but that’s not why I love the comment. I love the comics because of the characters and how they build things. And the emotional ties they put into things and, and how they connect things back and forth.
And how you read a story about, you know, a good guy fighting a bad guy, but if you read the underneath of it, it’s about racism or it’s about sexism or social topic they’re tying in there and some beautiful weather. You don’t realize what you’re reading is something that’s like commenting on social stuff.
That’s comics. That’s what I love about comic books.
Nandor Fox: Yeah. As, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found like, I still love the action scenes and I still love watching the characters, you know, face their arch nemesis and stuff. But man, like life has become so much complicated as you get older. And so when you read these stories and you see those characters grow through some of the same, day-to-day boring things that we all go through.
The mundane thing. [00:46:00] And. Like, those are so much more interesting to me and relate to me more, you know? Cause it’s like, I’m not gonna, you know, I can’t, I can’t web sling, you know, I can’t, I don’t have super strength. And so as you get older, yeah, yeah. I always, I always try, you know, I always try to use the force when I’m walking into, you know, a Walmart or target and trying to like get the automatic doors to, to go.
Yeah. It never, it never works, you know? And But, but then when you read a comic now, as I’ve gotten older and I’m just like, you know, I still love all the action and all the, all the flare of it, but it’s those human moments in those personal moments where you’re like, wow, you know, like that, that couldn’t have been told in any other way.
It’s crazy to see people that are so special, you know, quote unquote, special that have these abilities. Go through some of the same things you do. And that’s, what’s so inspiring because you’re like, man, if they can do it, you know, I can do it. And if [00:47:00] they are struggling, when they’re so special and when they have all these abilities, then you know, that makes sense.
Why I’m struggling too. And like, how can I overcome that? And that’s what makes superheroes just. I don’t know, is it something that is only unique to them and what they can do? Yeah. And, you know, the, the idea of it, well, personality, you know, having, having this, you know, secret identity and wearing a costume and what it means to like wear a mask, you know, and, and all of those themes that can go with it.
And, and how, you know, people are always wearing masks, you know, in different ways. And, and there’s a lot of Yeah. There’s a lot of ways to take that and to inject that in so many creators have. And that’s something that I’ve tried to and want them to touch on, you know, kind of going back to man-child of just like looking at superheroes from all these different angles and seeing this grown man who’s overweight lives in his parents’ basement.
He’s still a Virgin. He like is just. [00:48:00] Going nowhere, but he loves these characters and it’s like, what, what can you do with that? And like, how can you make this relatable, you know, with people and show that character feels some of those same things or have those same fears and all of that. And I just think that’s something that Stanley league on that Stanley and Marvel comics, you know, specifically brought to the table.
John: You’re not, you’re not wrong. And I think there’s a beautiful way to bring us all back to the beginning of wrap this up, to bring back to your man-child comic. And we’ve had a great conversation today about anything from, from, from man-child to Stanley, to, to creators and stories. And I really hope every other listening and watching this on YouTube goes and checks out.
Man-child on Kickstarter. It’s, there’ll be links in the show notes below. Nanda. Is there anywhere online and people can find you that you want to plug before we go today.
Nandor Fox: Yeah, for sure. I’m, I’m on you know, Facebook, a non-referral Schaffer. You can find me on there. I’m on Twitter at non-core Fox Schafer [00:49:00] and Instagram you know, it’s just my name on like all the socials.
I also would love to encourage people to go to my YouTube channel. I started a YouTube channel in January. It’s called foxhole comics and they can subscribe there and I. Usually weekly videos. And, and I talk about I have a series called the art of writing comics, where I look at my favorite comics and just go through them page by page and talk about what I love about them and like why this works and, and talking about just the orchestration of a comic.
And then also I do different live streams and unboxings and things like that. So, yeah, foxhole comics subscribed there. The awesome. You can always, you know, just reach me through there or through social media. And yeah, I hope I hope people check out man-child and one other thing I wanted to mention real quick about the campaign is being able to work with some Marvel and DC artists on the book.
And that’s been something that has been a lifelong dream dream of mine to be able to work with some pros. And so for people that are looking there, you know, [00:50:00] they can, they can find some really great bearing income.
John: That is that that is awesome. I look forward to, to reading this when it comes out and I hope every out there listening gets our copy and reads it.
Cause it sounds like a great read and thank you so much for coming on again. I look forward to your next project.
Nandor Fox: Thanks John. Yeah, this is great to be here.