Steve Orlando – Kill a Man and Commanders in Crisis writer!

Today we are joined by the Steve Orlando of comics, Steve Orlando! This guy is something else and such a pleasure to talk to. Kenric and John had a great time chatting with him and really hope to get him back on to have a deeper conversation about comics, his career, and representation!

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Steve Orlando – Interview

 

[00:00:00] Steve: but anyway, so let’s roll. You

Kenric:  guys. Ready? You ready? You ready, John? Let’s do it. Let’s do it. All right, guys. Welcome back. And today it’s super special. he is a. Well, he is known for America. He’s an American combo book. work for Batman has  worked on Marsh and man Hunter.

He has been nominated for a glad media award for his writings on Midnighter Steve Orlando. Thank you so much for coming on.

Steve: Yeah, man. Thanks sir. Folks. Thanks for man.

Kenric: Yeah, I know. So this is great. You have, you got a new book coming out and I believe in correct me if I’m wrong, it’s going to be out in.

October

Steve: is that right? Yeah. So come kill a man is a new book and new doing with aftershock and, that is out. man, I believe the, I actually have two books out in October. I’ve killed a man and I’m launching an image book called commanders and crisis. And carp is the 14th. I believe killer man is out the week before.

right before national coming out day. So it’s almost like we planned

Kenric: it. That’s awesome. [00:01:00] That’s awesome. Tell us the synopsis of killer man. I’ve read the, the details from aftershock, but what is it about, how did you come up with this and where did the inspiration come from?

Steve: Kill a man is about a, is about two men, two UFC fighters that mixed martial arts fighters for copyright reasons.

They fight in the EFC. But it’s about two combat sports athletes. one of whom in the 1990s, when MMA was just blooming, was one of the only out fighters. And he gets all the slur in the ring. He loses because it accidentally kills the guy that he’s fighting in the ring. And we flash forward then to 20 years later.

And now the son of that, dude who was killed in the ring is like the counter McGregor for a moment. he’s had shit. He’s a big talker. He’s up and coming. He’s basically stolen. Rick flare’s gimmick. and the day before his title shot, he gets captured fish and outed at his presser. This is everything he loses his whole.

his [00:02:00] kids, his shot is in question. His entourage goes away, his family abandoned some, how could they not after all one of those types of people killed his dad and his family. So how dare he? And so the only person this fighter James belly has to turn to. To retake his title shot is we save your main, the man that killed his father.

And so this book is about their journey, training, retraining, and figuring out what the fuck it means to have the only person in your life that actually cares about it should be the guy that murdered your father.

Kenric: Right. Right. Is this inspired by true events? Correct?

Steve: well, yes, the Broadway inspiration for the Xavier main character is a meal.

Griffith was a boxer bisexual boxer in the sixties who had this exact scenario happen. Wow. he was fighting this other guy, slur started to fly and he either hit him just right. Or he lost it, kills the guy in the ring and he’s become he’s been lionized by the queer community and in many ways, rightfully We all like to have a catharsis of art. I just wish I [00:03:00] could punch that motherfucker in the face, sometimes. Yeah. But that he’s, he’s written books, Howard in boxing at the time up until his passing a couple of years ago, revealed that it’s, as you might imagine, killing a person is not as cut and dry and easy as it seems.

So he was haunted by it. So we wanted

Kenric: to be.

Steve: They both talked about that. And not just the righteous anger, but the regret and the backwash of doing, committing an act like that, whether or not you were in the right quote unquote and also to create as much tension as possible. So this is both a, Phil and I stepping up to the plate and doing our Rocky type story.

I’ll love things. We love things like a fighter. We love things like creed. We love things like heart, which is actually a mixed martial artist, but good image for me, man, a while back. the thing that struck us with something like creed, which is a heavy inspiration for this from a character and emotional standpoint, even if it’s about martial arts is.

in the seventies, Rocky colorblind to being Italian, not going to college, he was the [00:04:00] underdog and he was somewhat society said, well, you don’t get to achieve, you don’t get to win. And when we updated that and created in 2015, yeah. It was like, Oh, now, community of color, get someone to stand up to them and say no, you can go the distance.

The world tells you that it’s going to be shitty and hard and you don’t get to win. But here’s something that tells you can win and you can be a champion. So we wanted to do that, for queer leave, it’s a story I wish I had seen when I was, 10 or 12 or pick your age, when I was younger, right.

all this fuck now. But back to the day, I couldn’t use inspiration. And so we want it to be just like, as raw, authentic and real as possible. And that, by the way, is what I’m call writing with Phil, And also I am working with Alec Morgan on the art, Edward human Midnighter, he practices mixed martial arts, still practices, mixed martial arts.

I’m a huge coward. but my, what I bring to the table is my character work. my story of craft and the fact that I’ve lived the other side of character’s life, I’ve lived the coming out experience, [00:05:00] examining my own, like internalize. Or homophobia and toxicity. I’ve lived working through that.

look, we just want to tell the best damn story we could as possible. We hope that it connects with queer audiences. We hope that it connects with mixed martial arts audiences. And so far it has, we did probably one of the only comics writers that did mixed martial arts podcasts promoting this book because they read it and said, yeah, like I didn’t know what to expect coming into this, but it’s just real as fuck when it comes to the combat sport side.

Good. I didn’t think I’d be ready to in a rooting as a straight guy for a gay character, but I get it. Yeah. And like that, I couldn’t, that’s chef’s kiss to me, if you don’t know what to make of this story, but you give it a try and you connect with it for any number of reasons. that’s our goal because with all these things cause any, so we’re ready, even something like midnight or when I’m on wonder woman.

Where you want to be authentic, but look, these are stories about people, the story about humans and the way you break barriers, the way you make connections is by taking a character in a world that a reader thinks [00:06:00] is unrelatable and putting that story forward to me like, no, actually here’s why it’s relatable.

Here’s why this person you think has nothing in common with you actually does. And so we’re, that’s what things like this fight narrative can do. And, every time we give this book to someone, that’s what happens and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Kenric: Awesome. So it sounds like you got something in the book that almost anybody’s going to have a relationship to.

you have the big, the small versus big, you have a coming out story, which is great because I don’t know. You tell me because as a straight guy, I never, when I read a book and it has a gay character in it, I guess I’m lucky. Cause I grew up not worrying about it. You know what I mean? I never cared about it.

I have, I’ve had lots of friends and I’ve never had the thought of. Should I’m supposed to hate this person because of this, I’ve had a lot of friends in my life that were like that I exercised as I got older because realizing the toxicity that it brings. [00:07:00] Okay. But how important is a book like this for somebody that may not have an understanding that we’re gay or not?

We’re all just people and going through a scary time of. coming out and then losing everything because of it. And you guys are showing it in a real possible way and probably much more because it’s not a token character. It’s a character that is, it’s a deeply part of his psyche and a part of his character development, which I don’t think you get in a lot of mainstream comic books.

You don’t get that development of what each side of somebody happens.

Steve: Well look, I think that the thing is I’m not here to shade anyone else, but then when I craft a story, when it comes to the has queer themes, like the important thing to me is that. we are telling an authentic story.

it’s easy to become a pedantic. It’s easy to become to make you feel like we’re talking down to people who aren’t like us and look like there’s a lot of, we get shit [00:08:00] on, any marginalized community is shit on any marginalized community has plenty of justified anger at the same time.

Real authentic stories are what build bridges and are what show people that they can relate. yeah, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on in this, but the aim is just to tell the true story of this person in this world. and when you do that and it would, it feels real. That’s how you make those connections.

I think if I set out. I think if I set out to tell a story about how hard it is being in the closet, like rather than just having to tell a story about these characters, that’s leading with an agenda, right? You’ve got to lead with character. And I always, midnight or, and agenda is a loaded word.

I shouldn’t say that, but that’s leading from a craft standpoint, I should say, that’s leading with clot and not character. And the fact is you gotta lead with character. Cause that’s what people, that’s what people relate to. And then it happened. like my, I’m very thankful for Eagle picked up Marsh and men, a hundred people who picked up Midnighter, and I’m thankful for the queer readership on both those books, but you know what?

I have a lot of straight readers [00:09:00] on those books to it who didn’t know what to expect from Midnighter. And the key is that you just have to. Tell stories that are again about well-rounded full characters, because I’m more than just the bisexual person. I’m more than just a Jew. Like I’m more than all those things, but people are a collection of attributes.

So when you are so focused in, on one aspect of character in any way, yeah, it becomes, if you’re saying tokenism and that’s bad for the obvious reasons, but also those are not real. People are like, So then that propagates a further serotypes, that must be what actual group people are like. There’s some up just by their sexuality and it’s a whole fucking horse show.

that is, it’s just not helpful. Like I’m not going to say and looking. And my sales storytelling is only one style of storytelling. There are great books that talk about, any, the stories of a community, whether it’s queerness. Any type of community in a vastly different way than I do.

The important thing to me is that are they [00:10:00] authentic? there’s a difference between I don’t relate to it cause it’s not mine. Right. And it feels inauthentic. I guess the best example is just randomly, since we’re talking about this, like Harley Quinn breaking glass, I love that book, but the queer characters in that are nothing like me and that’s fine.

they feel lived in, they feel real. And if I was a bigger egotist and so I’d be like, well, this doesn’t fit my exact experience. And this representation must be, it must be wrong. No was all wrong. They’re just different people. And you would never, because guess what, there’s this many kinds of queer person has many times as black people, as many kinds of any person as it is.

People in the mainstream. So we just need to tell authentic stories. And that’s the goal with things like killing man. I’m doing a gay horror book at a aftershock as well that I think to that, and it could not be more different. and yeah, like it’s the goal is just to tell these well-rounded.

Full stories. Yeah. That’s how you get those things across. And that’s not, [00:11:00] honestly, like that’s why creed is such a big influence on me and all my work, because you know what, as I said, I’m a huge fucking coward. I’ve been hit in the face three times in my life and that’s it. And I’m not a boxer, but related to, in that movie, even though it’s nothing like boxing, like he’s got an easy life.

He’s, he can, you just coast. he has this thing in him that he just has to do that. No one else in his life understands and any has to, it is fighting, but he has to fight for it. he has to give up his privilege at his job. He has to give up at first, his mother, his home to move to Philadelphia and.

I saw that and I was like, okay, this is about boxing, but it’s really just about having this thing that you need to do. And as someone who took 20 years trying to break into comics, I started when I was 12 and I didn’t break until I was 29. I know what that’s I go into my day, everyone in my life told me to quit.

My parents told me to quit. all my professors told me it wasn’t a real job. There’s not a person in my life that isn’t told that didn’t tell me to quit. And mostly like him. I was like, cool, go fuck yourself. [00:12:00] and that drive is relatable to me. Even if I’m never going to get a boxing ring, I don’t have to do that, but I have something, for me when a story is that authentic and that true, that’s what happens to me.

I’m just invested in these characters. And even if I’m not living their exact life, I can still relate and apply. And that to me is what we should be doing.

Kenric: That’s awesome. How much research went into the, the mixed martial arts aspects?

Steve: My researcher was called co-writing with Phil Kennedy Johnson.

Kenric: So he was able to just go ahead,

Steve: I’m joking, but not and I’m not trying to say Oh, Steve has to bring anything to this book. No, Steve brings a lifetime of researching the geisha to this book, but the point is I’m a huge mixed martial arts fan, but. I looked at this as an opportunity because the story was so important to me that yeah, there are certain things that I know.

I, have I’m like a four out of 10 on, [00:13:00] and like having never been in a mixed martial arts ring, that’s one of them. And I brought Phil in because this is about, yeah. You’re telling the best story possible. We’re good friends. And he knows their shit. And he does this shit. he was sending me a video of his five year old kid hitting the bag last night.

He like, he lives it. So honestly, it sounds like a cop out for me to say, Oh, that’s what Phil’s here for it. But that’s also literally what collaboration is. It’s knowing and trusting your co-creators to do what they do fucking best. yeah. We broke the story together. And when it’s fighting your training scene, Phil was the lead on that.

When it’s a relationship or emotional scene, I was the lead and then we switched back and revise, but. Everything, every person who reads this book and says, Oh, this is the most authentic, mixed martial arts shit. That’s cause Phil knows that he’s doing an analysis. If he’s doing, I know enough to get out of the way and let them do what they do best.

Kenric: Awesome. So what came first for you did knowing a meal Griffith story and wanting to write something and then seeing create, and going and being inspired to go. I need to write this or was [00:14:00] it, I have an idea with mixed martial arts and then finding out about a meal.

Steve: No. I knew about Emil Griffith. I knew about him for a long time, because his quote, I kill a man and people cheer me, but I love him, man.

And people say that’s a sin. That’s where the title of the book comes from.

Kenric: Oh, that’s awesome.

Steve: and I knew for a long time, but for a long time, this was a boxing idea. And it wasn’t until I started talking to Phil and realizing that we could add another layer and talk about something that is up and coming in, when it comes to combat sports and mixed martial art.

Split that, that extra layer was added. So the story a bit around in my head, probably 2015, but the like solidifying interim, under the main narrative, and actually adding that second layer of. of the son having a train with, the Griffith of character. That’s all relatively recent.

Yeah. And that gives me goosebumps. It’s like Phil, we sat down and we’re like, how can we make the story as hard as possible? And it’s really, it’s like creed. If instead of Rocky, he had to train with him. Ivan Drago, like how the fuck that [00:15:00] even work. Right. Right. And that’s where, that’s where you hypothetically a good story come from.

It’s not by making things easy for your characters,

Kenric: right? when you gave the first synopsis and you put that twist in that literally gave me goosebumps. I was like, Oh my God, that’s gotta be tough.

Steve: I can’t even get along with my neighbors and they have not killed a single person in my family.

Kenric: How has the aftershock treated you?

Steve: average dog is great. they, you, we sign up with these mid thirties, I should say, upper, mid tier companies. I’m not going to drop them off it’s Marvel and DC, and then there’s other people. But the point is like you when you set a set out as a creator, the deals are almost all the same, but what has always made aftershock stand out to me is how decisive they are when it comes to the creative side of a book, they, I’ve never.

Honestly outside of image where your own boss, I’ve never had a company that is so supportive. When it comes to content to me, and it’s so free as a creator, yeah. They deliberate a lot about a book during the pitch process, but once they say, yes, they’re like, we’re out of the way, man. We’ve [00:16:00] already decided we’re going to do this.

and that’s when the decision is made and a lot of companies, that’s how it goes. They make the decision, but then they want to nickel and dime you creatively and things like that. And that’s not them, when I have a book I’m like, all right, I know that we’re going to, look.

There’s things in a man that have never been shown, in a book before, when it comes to both the MMA experience and the queer experience. And then the scale horror book that’s coming up even more, they’ve never played and they’ve never flinched. Once they decide they’re on board with something, they were like, yeah, do your thing.

You’re going to make it the best thing possible. And if we didn’t believe we could do that, why would we hire you? So it, to me, that’s how a creative enterprise should function and they crush it all the time, not just with me, but. stuff, Zach Thompson, lot of chant, tons of books that capital’s books they’re fucking, it’s a great company, from a creative standpoint.

And this is not the only thing you’re going to see for me in that I’ve done dead Kings with them. Last year, there are one, two, I think three books, one of which has killed a man. And two of which are four books, sorry, [00:17:00] 300 announced books with after shock right now. And like it’s because of, I have a great idea.

They’re always my first stop, because if they say yes, I know I’m going to be able to tell the story. Exactly.

Kenric: That’s awesome. Well, Steve, I think we’re at a time where you need to get going. I know you’re a busy man and

Steve: I’m going to run. I, we can run 10 minutes more cause we want to do a half hour, so cool.

Kenric: I just didn’t. I wanted to be respective of your time. So what’s next. Once you kill him, man is out. You have your horror story. Can you talk about the horror story yet? Or is it something that’s I can

Steve: please, I can tease all this stuff. I can make announcements because that’s, so the one thing is I’m doing, doing a couple of OGs there and that’s one of the reasons I can make announcements because even though we’re deep in it, it’s probably not going to be until 2021.

but yeah. I have such a good time genuinely, in collaboration with Phil Johnson on killing me, man, that I brought a couple of their current projects, to aftershock. And one is this gay horror book, which is, inspired by it’s. [00:18:00] It’s inspired by Peter Thiels madness and also get out.

So I’ve been saying it’s gay. Get out starring Peter Thiel. And I’m just, again, super excited for that car. Writing that with Steven Fox, excuse me, who just likes filet, is a friend. And I was like, why don’t we, why don’t we take our strengths and amplify them exponentially. I know I’m good at, but like in the two books we’re covering together, one is why a fantasy and I’ve never done that before.

So yeah, I’m going to bring everything I do great. Which I consider. I’m not going to be. Hold myself over too hard, but I consider myself to be a, an idea person. I like weird books. I’m a, I came up on the doom patrol type shit. Nice.

Kenric: I love doom patrol,

Steve: but Fox used to be a young adult editor at random house.

So why would I not? he wants to learn more about writing comics, why not work together with him and make each other better. So we have a white feminist coming out and then he also is of my friend, creative friends, just a huge, horrible. So again, why not? Take this core idea that I have bring him in and amplify it as much as possible.

Why not give you [00:19:00] guys the best possible thing you can? And that means sometimes teaming up with people. So we have the gay horror book. We have wild fantasy book and we also have a book. that to me is one part Curt Swan. And one part neogenesis having gallium. I’ve teased that as well online, and that’s a mini, so I don’t know exactly when that’s coming up, but probably before the others,

Kenric: neon evangelic.

Steve: Well, here’s the thing, here’s the thing of late. I actually didn’t watch it until it came on Netflix and I’ll take the L for that, but then I started watching it and I was like, this is fucking great. but it’s me. So I was like, this is fucking great. How can I make it about Superman? Right. And so yeah, that’s what I mean.

You’ll see the conceit of that book probably when soul sets come out, but I teach it actually, I’m working with Patrick Piazza, Luna. Who’s this Italian artists. want to have Dillon dog one half Chris Samnee, he’s a great fucking artist. And so he’s involved in that. and those things are all going to be out within the year.

but I’m all over the place I’m doing.

 

it

Kenric: sounds like you’re just a Jack of all trades when [00:20:00] it comes down to writing

Steve: stories. well, I’m a Jack of all having rents.

Kenric: Well, you chose comics, so it’s not like you make a ton of money, so you gotta keep going.

Steve: But, yeah, no, but also, since I decided to go freelance, so like I’m doing some small stuff in DC, hopefully some words, some small things and Marvel, my book got an old, I got pandemic blocked, the least of my worries.

Kenric: Do you like being freelance or do you. is that going well for you? Does that sit? Does that feel good for you? It’s you know,

Steve: it’s one does that better than the other. Cause I have a lot of great friends that are still honestly subcontract, but I’ll say this it’s very different, probably working, I probably working three times as hard as I was at DC, but I’m also one third is stressed.

and so I think that’s gonna come through in the books, in a way that’s very positive.

Kenric: Do you mind very much love working creator owned. More than licensed products or do you really love working in that license? Because I we’ve met with people who love [00:21:00] working, okay, we had Kelly Jones on, he did a couple creator owned and he loved doing them, but he missed the collaboration so much.

He couldn’t wait to get back into DC and Marvel stuff simply because of the collaboration.

Steve: Well, Kelly’s not wrong. I’m not going to sit here, but it’s different for everybody, yeah. and I don’t think I’d like one more than the other when work for hire and licensed stuff is working, it’s not better or worse.

It’s just different. because here’s the thing like, and it doesn’t always work or, somebody, there’s egos and bullshit game of Thrones politics at play at any on any license deal. But. When it’s working, you get a thing like Martian Manhunter or Batman shadow, and like that’s licensed work that feels like creator own to me.

Like it’s extremely collaborative at the same time. You’re getting to add to this 80 plus or in the case of the shadow probably 90 year plus now mosaic, story. And that’s a huge honor, I’m the lead story in wonder woman’s seven 50. That will only happen to one person on the planet.

Me I’m one in 7 billion. Right? So [00:22:00] Yeah. I’m not

Kenric: I to think about it too.

Steve: Yeah. I’m not going to shame that I’m incredibly lucky. but at the same time, it’s different, when I’m working on a thing like, commanders in crisis and image, which is where I’m basically going to be putting all of my non-super non Marvel or DC superhero work going forward, I’m my own boss and it’s can we do this?

And then I would just say, yeah, We can do this. Like there’s no, like there’s no Oh, is it going to anger? Some other creator. Oh, how’s it going to affect things politically? No, I can just fucking do it like that had that has its own benefits as well, obviously. but again, yeah, like lifestyle, as I said, it’s, there are highs and lows and I guess that’s the answer.

Yeah. But when we’re, when license stuff is clicking, it’s also great. And because that’s a mouthpiece and that’s something that can basically never be ignored or countermanded or overruled. Like I have characters that I’m going to play with in commanders and crisis, where I’m going to get to tell the stories to be Frank.

I couldn’t tell a DC because DC is a billion dollar company, [00:23:00] owned by at and T and that’s fine. That is not a complaint. That’s what goes with the territory when you do work for hire. so I’m going to be pushing an I’ve noted. I have thunder woman, that rhymes with the character. that’s what, I can do my weird story.

Can I ask that at the same time saying something if wonder woman will always be loud right than saying in a crater on foot. Yeah. Batman will always be louder than saying it in, with tonight Watchman. Or something

Kenric: good night.

Steve: I just want to be clear with the pun in that name.

Kenric: I just

Steve: love it. So like it, it really, it’s just different and there’s pluses and minuses to both. but I bird right now, I’m loving it after being worked for higher and rightfully so having to answer. to 15 different, to D the own, the corporate quarterback,

Kenric: there’s executive editors and everything in between.

Steve: and it is very freeing, if I want to show someone’s Dick in my book, like I, [00:24:00] I’m not going to be on bleeding. Cool. Estrella was,

Kenric: that was the funniest controversy of all time. I was like, you guys are going to show Batman’s weighing in. You’re not going to, you’re not going to assume there’s going to be any kind of not, I don’t even want to say it was upward just, but people making fun of it and, or having fun with it.

You know what I mean?

Steve: Part of it is weird to me. Cause it’s as if these, if it’s as if there’s a class of people who thought that Batman didn’t have a penis, it’s, he’s the fucking Megatron, but. But, hell at least we acknowledged the Batman’s Jewish. All right. We did that accidentally.

We didn’t even reply.

Kenric: I love it. I got one last question for you and then I’ll let you go. If you don’t mind when you’re sitting writing for, and this is a question broadly for any other writer, and maybe you can give them some advice how to, how. What is the best way to respect a [00:25:00] sexuality, gender class, and maybe culture.

It’s a hard question. I understand, but I was hoping maybe you can shed a little light, cause I know it’s hard for some writers that will write about something and then they think they’re being super respectful and then they get, and then Twitter happens.

Steve: well, it’s actually not a hard question.

I’ll ask you the work. if you are in the community, then you have a leg up, but that also isn’t a blanket. Excuse, like I’m one bisexual person. I do not know, everybody’s experienced. So the one thing is Do the work, if you’re not part of the committee and if you’re not part of the community you want to work about or write about or work with, then you got to speak to people and do the research.

And for some that means, one on one conversations for some that means sensitivity readers. There’s no one answer, And realize that what we do is a bigger responsibility than you think, we’re in these trenches thinking it’s just comics, but for someone that’s going to be their first comic and the first time they’ve seen themselves in that book.

So it’s enormous. It’s not just [00:26:00] comics. And so with that responsibility means, yeah, if you are, the, the stereotypical straight CIS white guy, there’s nothing wrong with that. But you have to do more work than someone from those communities. And that’s fine because you know what, like research is part of our job.

So do the work, respect that these are liberal experiences for people. Like the biggest thing that drives me crazy is there’s a class of craters that says, Oh, well, I can, I can write a woman despite being a man, because I can write Superman. I’m not an alien. We’ll go fuck yourself, aliens or not.

Yeah. And that’s the difference? Realize, to be Frank, yeah. I realize the difference between aliens and actual things. there is a different way. These are people’s real lives and you should respect that. And that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t engage in and try to push these stories forward.

It just means you have to do the work. and also. Don’t try to tell these polemics that somehow speak to this matter, bro. we’re yeah. We’re experience because it doesn’t exist. we felt the pressure on Midnighter cause it was the [00:27:00] first time at Marvel or DC that a book had a gay leave and there’s always there.

It’s Oh, I have to write something that appeals to everyone. Well, that’s literally impossible, as we’ve talked about on this there’s as many. Take your pick there’s as many stories from that, the black community from the Latino community, from the trans community, as there are in the straight community.

So there is no one story and thus it can’t be written. And when you try to, all you get is focus, group vanilla bullshit. So don’t do that, do the research and try to tell stories that are authentic and true about one character, whoever you’re talking about, because that’s all. People really need and deserve.

They deserve the passion and respect that human gets and to be depicted as such. So yeah, it can be a lot work, but it’s actually a really simple answer and uncomplex answer. Yeah. I know that these are real lived experiences and show the respect and show the passion and drive. If you want to tell these stories, [00:28:00] it’s not as simple as writing about Krypton, right?

That doesn’t mean it’s not important. and it doesn’t mean you should be afraid of it. It just means that you have to know what you’re doing, and that isn’t a controversial statement. it’s pretty

Kenric: cut

Steve: and dry. Yeah. The same time it applies to most other jobs like, being able to do, I don’t know, if you’re a mechanic being able to work on a Dotson doesn’t mean you can work in every single car without reading manual.

So I don’t really think it’s controversial. That’s actually a

Kenric: really good analogy. If you weren’t going to Datsun, we’ll go look at Google. We’re going to Chevy. It’s a lot different.

Steve: Yeah. And so I don’t actually think it’s that controversial. I just think you have to realize, realize what you’re doing and yeah.

After that, Yeah. There might be some blow back. And here’s the thing. If there is, get out of your ass, because even if people are hurt, they’re hurt mostly not because of you specifically. I would guess again, I guess be careful, but they’re hurt [00:29:00] because we are answering. even we as creators, like me as a creator, Even if I have my whole career and I never fuck up or just, I’m going to fuck up, everybody’s gonna fuck up.

we’re still answering for Scott Lowe. Dell’s like transphobic bullshit. Right. You’re still answering for everybody that looks like us. That is fucked up before. and that sucks by the way, but that’s also the way it is. Right.

We’re still answering for the fact that North star was half fairy. 10 years, or that fucking, freedom ring was a gay character in Marvel that got died by having a spike shoved up his ass. Well,

Kenric: I didn’t know. And it’s crazy.

Steve: Not that well thought out. No. and that’s, we have to realize that, we are, we’re not just these islands.

And so if someone, if we do fuck up, we have to listen. Our job is to listen. and, there’s just so much fun comics and listen, I’m a massive Megamind ego myself. So I got it. I say this from experience, but when someone has an issue with [00:30:00] well, look, internet gets fired and they might be saying you’re a bad writer.

And they might just say that we’re a bad writer again, I guess the proper on. But I think when I thought in the past, what I’m really saying is that your story was your story. Like you were bad at depicting my experience. And so that’s different. And just saying, you’re a shit writer and so you should listen and that’s how we get better.

And again, that seems like a crazy thing to say, but in any other scenario, if you fuck up, you listen and learn. I realized that does seem like a controversial statement sometimes,

Kenric: but it shouldn’t be, I think you nailed it. Do the work. It’s very cut and dry don’t, don’t just. Look over things, especially if you’re, especially, if you’re, like you said, if you’re a CIS white male, you do have to work a little harder on understanding certain aspects.

I definitely, I wouldn’t understand half the shit that comes up. I’d be like, well, I can understand it from a sociological point, but I can’t commiserate [00:31:00] with someone who’s experienced that is completely different than my own. that’s why I don’t ever question people that with the trans community or when it comes down to race and racism, I don’t question and what people are saying, because how can I commiserate?

all I can do is listen and then look and use my eyes and my ears to see and hear what people are saying and be like, Oh, that’s fucked up. Yeah. Yeah, I think me as a whole needs to do better. And if I’m going to write about things. Then I, like you said, I need to do the work to make sure that I represent

Steve: it correctly, have some empathy.

And that I realized is that’s a controversial statement in 2020 as but as we can’t even manage to put a fucking mask on, which, by the way, this is one of the panels, like we’re a fucking mask. If anyone will say that this is an idiot, I’m sorry, like

Kenric: we’re fucking masks, right?

Steve: I don’t know.

It’s just crazy to me. I genuinely can’t wrap my head around that, like

Kenric: the fucking thing to stand behind. [00:32:00] Right? that’s your line in the sand? Not wearing a mask, get the fuck out. Are you serious?

Steve: Well, again, I just can’t like all, like I’m not even gonna get into it further. cause I’m not gonna make this a whole political thing.

Like I should say this, whether you agree politically or not to care if your fellow citizens fucking live or die. get out of your own way. and also this is a superhero podcast. They all wear fucking best. So be a cool, come on. Exactly.

Kenric: Be cool. Steve, thank you so much for coming on, man. I love talking with you.

I hope I can convince you to come back someday. Cause yeah, this is refreshing. I’m not even kidding. It’s been a fun. It’s very awesome. I love the levity and I just, I love the honesty and I really appreciate it.

Steve: I’m happy to be on.

 

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