We have a fun trivia question this week, and it leads to updates on what we’ve been listening to lately.

Al visited the fan expo while Stephen was at a local author conference. Hear about both and why they were worth attending.



What was the 2nd all female group to hit #1 on the Billboard charts?




the I really should clean up my office and make it so that it’s a more beautiful backdrop than you can, but I’m so used to hiding behind oh, I’m in near the pyramids. That’s where I am. Yeah, that’s the thing.

Stephen: You notice I’ve got my muses up here. There we go.

I’ve got weird Al and Charlie Brown and MacGyver and Stephen King and Brahm Stoker and Ed Golan Poe. And somewhere I’ve got Jessica Fletcher, but she fell and I can’t find her. So I’ll put her up there as soon as I find her. That’s a

Alan: very good set. We have a couple not Funko Pops, but Bobbleheads that we have collected.

Like you said, it’s Shakespeare, it’s Einstein. You know what I mean? Yeah. The whole smarty set downstairs. That one has ’em up here, but

Stephen: that’s cool. Okay, so we both had cool weekends, some cool stuff. But before we start, I have a trivia question for you. Okay.

Alan: I have one for you as well, Billy. Oh, no.

Okay, great. Something.

Stephen: All right. So here’s mine. Who, what or who was the second all female group to reach number one on the billboard? Top 100

Alan: singles. Something Motown, the Supremes, the shells,

Stephen: the number two, not number one, not the first week. Okay.

Alan: So was there a, let’s see, Peter, Paul, and Mary, unfortunately Peter, Paul.

How about more, something more modern, maybe the Runaways or the Bengals, or the Did it, is it, am I moving too far into the future? What? I’m not gonna give you a

Stephen: clue cause it’ll make it too easy.

Alan: Let’s see. Alvin and the Chipmunks. No, that’s okay. No, I give,

Stephen: You were you were, your guesses were really good.

So you said the Supremes, they were the first Okay. Back in the sixties, but there wasn’t another one until early mid eighties with the Gogos, so I should’ve

Alan: just kept going. See that? Yeah. Yeah. You would’ve got it. Yeah. You would’ve given me the hint. I would’ve started spitting out girl names, et cetera.

Yeah. Ok.

Stephen: And yeah. Cause, but that’s like almost 20 years difference between them hitting number one. It’s just it seems weird to me because love The Supremes obviously. I love Motown. The baseball. And I love the Gogos. I thought the Gogos had some good albums. I liked their stuff, back in the pop 80 days.

Yeah. Yeah. But it’s just, it’s weird that, to me, an all female group it’s 20 years between the first and the second one that hit I, I don’t know, it just still seems weird to me.

Alan: There we go. And I agree. There should have been somebody in that fifties, forties, let’s say 20 year period, 20 year between sixties and eighties that somebody else would’ve come up.

You know what I mean? Okay. Especially a group. I don’t know, there’s been, like Carol King must have had a number one, but a single artist instead of a group. I’m trying to think of the other, Joan Baez, there’s any number of people, Jon Mitchell, they broke through Joni Mitchell. Exactly.

Stephen: Okay.

And when you mentioned the Runaways I’m surprised that they didn’t get that high, but they, they were short. Relatively, and, Chrissy Hein or Joan Jet went on and had plenty of fame as the leader of the Black Hearts with the black

Alan: hearts. Exactly. Yeah. So that’s, maybe Runaways is one of those group that it spawned all the other people that came out of the runaways to go do other things.

Something like that. Sometimes that group, nowadays the boy bands often have, the NSYNC or the new direction or whatever. Then somebody breaks out of it. Aah. It doesn’t matter. You know what I mean? It’s kinda funny. I don’t, I never try, I don’t listen to a lot of them and I don’t try to know a lot about them.

But you’re just so pounded with the publicity and the ever presence on, in the world of entertainment, you can’t help but learn about.

Stephen: It’s kinda, I mean it’s funny cuz those. There is some talent in there. I, give them that, but they are completely a corporate entity created to have a couple big hits, have a big couple tours, make a lot of money, and then they move on and, that’s why they rise and fall so quickly.

Usually Justin Timberlake or Bobby Brown or, some of those others, you get one guy out of it or something. Yeah. But they’re so corporate. And it’s funny because you get all these people that are like, yeah, I don’t listen to that junk, those corporate bread bands, blah, blah blah. So were the Sex Pistols, they were solely created to be Malcolm

Alan: McLaren was.

Exactly. And especially Colin and I were just talking about that, there there’s a documentary out now about like the birth and growth. Rap and hip hop and that kind of music, if you will. And anything else, it’s hard to be like edgy. Fuck the police angry for 40 and 50 years, right?

Do grow up. And even the new groups that come into work in that space, they don’t necessarily have the life experience. And I shouldn’t say that. There’s all kinds of still incredible injustices about young black men do not have it easy in the United States of America. When I get pulled over and it’s like, what do I have to pay for my ticket?

I’m not fearing. Keep your hands on the wheel, right? Good Lord. Don’t do anything that’s gonna get you shot even on camera, et cetera, et cetera. So having said that, the the kind of stuff we were talking about like Motown has all kinds of things that are, that have been, they grew over the course of time and, but, and even then there were still, there was great artists there, but there definitely were.

Bengalis behind the scenes running it as to the hit makers, there were backup bands that worked on every one of the albums. Yeah. The wrecking crew and you know what I mean? Exactly that. The wrecking crew. And so it’s really hard to find if and nowadays that really seems to be a big thing, authentic music.

It’s a guy on a guitar and he really wrote it, or it’s a band and they really did Slave Away in the garage, started as teens were in the bars, got a few breaks, et cetera. There’s so many examples of where someone was plucked out because they had the sound and the look and then they bought a bunch of songs that would make it, you know what I mean?

That it’s always it’s not always apparent that really isn’t their music, but they’re really good at portraying the kind of pop star that they want to be, and I don’t, I wanna, I don’t wanna get into the discussion of it cuz I’m not critical necessarily in that way, but it definitely is one of those ways in which the public at large.

There’s big Wizard of Oz curtains up, and we do not see all of what really goes into Yes, the hit record and,

Stephen: and you mentioned the rap thing, and it is funny. It’s yeah I’m gangsta and I’m down in the hood and stuff, but I live in a $5 million mansion and have a gold swimming pool,

Alan: Next to a dentist and a stockbroker

Stephen: curtain.

Yeah. That doesn’t work like that anymore. It’s talking about inauthentic, right?

Alan: I just, I we almost digress, but it’s worth it here. One of the things that I’ve been doing lately is, I have always, the reason I’ve accumulated so many CDs is because in my mind I always had the get it for under $7.

You find it on sale, find it a lately they’ve been having even better bargains where think it’s Columbia. They have a vast catalog of old stuff and instead of it just going on to Spotify or various different music services, apple, and They put out a little box set that’s five good albums from a group and they recreate the album.

It’s a little, sleeve. But then of course, depending on whether the album had like lyrics on it, you really gotta break out the magnifying glass to read on a little album this side. But one of the joys of that, I don’t think I’ve become super nostalgic, but some things that I haven’t heard on the radio forever, it’s a delight to hear.

Windy by the association or Summer breeze by Seals and Croft and some of these things. They were pop confections, but their beautifully crafted and their perfectly, it’s a perfect little three minute thing, right? Blood, sweat, and tears was actually not just a confection. They had excellent musicianship and excellent songwriting and so forth.

And David Clayton Thomas, now his voice, there were other voices as well, but man, when and when you look at like the first or the second album, they weren’t like, oh, it’s one hit and a lot of filler. They had five hits off this album. Five things went to number one spinning wheel, and when I die and all this kind of stuff.

I think that I’m appreciating different kinds of music. I’m at the Prague end where it’s like, gimme the 22 minute epic. But I also really like where it’s just perfectly catchy and perfectly emotional, and that voice is great and they highlight the voice, but the musicianship perfectly serves the song.

There’s craftsmanship for the people who were in the Brill building and knocked out perfect Broadway musical after album, after, jingle advertising jingle. They knew what they were doing. They were great at it and I’ve been delving into that. I got Mata Hoople, I got, like I said, the Association I I bought and they’re like $4 a cd.

These are like 15 to $20. So when you get five albums, like I know that they’ve made their money. They don’t need to get any more money off of these. But it’s a bargain to me to get five albums that I might even have one or two of them, but for three bucks a pop, I’m willing to save. Please give me 10 Santana albums.

For 40 bucks, and that kinda stuff. So I’ve been filling in the back catalog, and in some ways if things are, because they weren’t my favorites, I don’t have a lot of them at all. But then if I’m gonna have it, I don’t want it just the greatest hits. I like when artists had out that they actually, they chose the songs, they chose the song order.

Really, it’s not really a concept album, but it was meant to have dynamics to the album. Yes. There was a reason you flipped over from side A to side B and they had another punchy opener on B. And so I’m just enjoying this little for relatively inexpensive. I’m filling in my catalogs that if I really want to hear David Bowie or something like that, I can hear all of ’em.

I can get, especially when they have. Interestingly, they’re not always only their best selling albums. It’ll sometimes be David Bowie had a number of things that weren’t as commercially popular, but I like his more obscure stuff. So it’s wow, I’m really getting a Latin san instead of Ziggy Stardust.

But I like that music anyway. I’m right. I love this going on to Amazon and saying, wow, there’s 30 things that I want here. I’m gonna have to paste myself cause I don’t wanna spend $600, but I’ll spend a hundred and then another a hundred and then another a hundred and keep on

Stephen: getting things and Amazon’s really nice and stuff about that because they’ll definitely start feeding you more of those if you’re buying ‘

Alan: em.

And That’s right. True. The recommendation engine is now popping things up for, hey, if you like seals and croft, then you probably like bread. You know what I mean? And once in a while the recommendation is you might cream it. No, I’m not buying things named after food because the music sure isn’t the same from bread to cream.


Stephen: And the crazy thing about a lot of that classic rock type of music Yeah. Like you said, is it’s a lot of things you may have heard, not known who it was, or you may not even have heard ’em, but they were hits, they’re just not like the top 10, top 20. They may have gotten to the top 40 and peaked at 32 and fell, but then there were like six of ’em on the album.

And then their next album had four or five and their next album had four or five. And they all just kinda a little bit enough for like classic rock people to oh my god, there’s a million hits here. But a lot of people may not have heard ‘

Alan: em as much. That’s right. And also this is interest.

An artifact of the times. There used to be quite a difference between the am and FM stations where every am everything really was three minute songs and a lot of advertising and happy DJs and stuff. And when you started to get album oriented, rock a r Moron FM and stuff like that, and you get the real version of it.

So for instance, anybody who’s ever heard Amy by Pure Prairie League loved that song, but before it kicks in, it has like a two minute instrumental guitar intro. That’s beautiful. And so when you hear it on the album, it’s this is the song that they wrote. And then radio said, we’re not gonna get people staying on the station if we have this beautiful, ethereal thing.

And I just discovered that Steals and cross. I’m, they have either, it’s either Hummingbird or one of their songs, same thing, it’s not the radio version. They have a very nice intro to it that always got locked off. And it’s that’s the real song then. I really like the longer version.

So I’m having fun with it. I’m discovering. Things from 15, 60 years ago that I did not know. And that’s kinda

Stephen: cool. That’s, you don’t get that a whole lot after you’ve listened to so much stuff. And a lot of those, like we were talking about the hits, but a lot of those albums Exactly. You’ll hear a song, you’ll hear a song that’s wow, that I’ve never heard it, it wasn’t a hit.

But that is fantastic. I love that song. Stuff that people may not know unless they Absolutely.

Alan: Listen, I could start naming some of those cuts. Yeah. It, I will continue to buy these eventually I’ll exhaust myself cuz I don’t need everything, you, you couldn’t pay me to buy a Pablo Cruise album, they might have had one or two good songs. And I really like Eddie Money, for instance, but Colleen really doesn’t, and so I don’t have it in the house because if it goes down the stairs from, from Skynet and she hears it, he’s what’s that? I, she actually never does that, but I it’s okay to not have every bit of music if you know that if you ever slipped up and played it in the car, she’d be like, oh, I hate

Stephen: this. You do still have Spotify, so you could always jump on Spotify to get an Eddie money fixed.

Alan: That’s right. And in fact, I’m aware that I’m bucking the trend.

I’m still buying atoms instead of digits. And if I really wanted to hear a lot of seals and CROs, I really could just say, give me that playlist Apple. Give me that, that channel and so forth. And yet I of like always, I don’t want to hear only the hits and I don’t want to hear what they curate for me.

I want to hear what the artist was trying to say. And I, maybe there’s an illusion there that they always had producers. They always had people saying, you gotta have a hit and we’re gonna do it in this order. So it might not. Exactly my illusion of, oh, that’s what Seals and Croft really wanted it to be.

And yet if I’m trying for it, I’m pretty sure that going to their actual album is gonna be anything better than the curated playlist that people nowadays have. Exactly. Exactly what I mean. They have it B to Z, they have it most popular first or whatever else it might be.

Stephen: And I got a buddy who he’ll buy the cd.

He has thou a couple thousand CDs. He just has tons of CDs and an album will come out, he’ll buy the new album like Extreme. Just came out with a new album and it’s pretty damn good.

Alan: Honestly, I just saw, like I’ve Al, I love Gary Sherron’s voice and I love New No Betten course guitar playing. Yeah, he is the most Like underappreciated, absolute talent shredder, et cetera.

Yeah. So Porto Graffiti, he, they have three albums that every single cut on the album is good. They’re just not well known. And so same kind of thing. Waiting for the punchline is fantastic. So I’m glad that they’re still going. Yeah. Cause when Sharon went join Van Halen for a while, it’s oh, is that the jazz of the group?

And they was, they worked the

Stephen: part for a while. But they kinda, it killed them cuz their two big hits weren’t shredders. So people would get the album and go, what the hell is this stuff? But the music, it’s

Alan: more than words, which everybody was expecting. And then they’re getting, get the funk out.

It’s wow, that’s,

Stephen: that’s a great song. But they said the new album, he’s yeah, I’m gonna go buy the album. He’s I’ll stick it on my shelf. It may not even come out Shrink wrap. And then he goes and listens to it on Spotify. He’s I’m doubly supporting the band that way. And I don’t have to worry about always physical media.

I can put it on my playlist and listen in the car, cause like cars now don’t come with CDs, they, isn’t that

Alan: true? They got the port, they got the USB port or Bluetooth. Exactly. I’ll another shout out, Steve Stevens, who was the guitarist for Billy Idol, has a couple great solo albums.

One called Floo. A Gogo that just, it’s one of those albums every time I listen to, it’s I think I’m gonna hear that again right now. You know what I mean? I so much I don’t listen to this often enough and I hardly ever do that where I wanna get the fatigue of hearing something. I don’t put something on repeat.

And yet him, Thomas told me there’s certain things it’s like, It’s, I just want to immerse myself in this cuz it’s so good.

Stephen: Great. And I like having my office out here because if I really am concentrating but I have music going, I can turn it up a little bit and doesn’t disturb anybody, absolutely. Yeah.

Alan: It’s beautiful for old guy. I still regularly crank things to 70, yeah. When you’re coming up on certain passages in E L P or Genesis or whatever else it might be. I really want to hear Apocalypse nine, eight at an apocalyptic level.

Stephen: If it’s too loud, you’re too old and turning it up to 11, spinal Tap is coming out with a sequel with all the original cast and

Alan: director.

I read that and I can’t wait. Crazy. You know what I mean? I, that’s crazy. That really was, if not the first, absolutely. One of the first that was really big successful of the documentaries, where it has all the aspects of a documentary, but they’re making fun of the thing that they’re supposed to be documenting there.

And but gentle fun. It’s not savage. And they’re all such talented improvisers and so talented musically. Like I have all the Spinal Tap albums because they’re actually like, they’re perfect for that flower people sixties thing and they’re perfect for the big bottom, hair rocker and stuff like that.

Yeah. What a, what an amazingly talented bunch of guys. Very

Stephen: cool. So

Alan: I haven’t seen enough drummers blow up yet, some,

Stephen: right. Yeah. So speaking of all this pop culture, You went to fan expo? I was possibly going to go and I ended up skipping for something that was really great. But tell me how was Fan Expo?

Alan: So I actually hope you don’t mind this. I will reverse and say please cover yours first, because once I get to talking, I might be wood.

Stephen: We, we,

Alan: we went to a very cool writer’s

Stephen: conference, right? Yes. So shout out to the Cuyahoga public library. They do a writer’s conference every year, but the last couple years has been a little hit or miss, and I think one year it was virtual, like we’re all used to for the last couple years.

But they have the I, I believe it’s the only writer’s center for a library in Ohio, right there at the Lindhurst U South Euclid Branch Library. Okay. So we have a great writer’s center. They get some great things going on, great authors coming in for talks and workshops. And I didn’t know they were doing it this year.

And I happened to go to a workshop a month ago and they handed out flyers. I’m like, oh my gosh, you’re doing the conference. I didn’t see it. Sign me up. You’re coming right up. Yeah, exactly. Ok. And what, and it’s always fun. Lots of, talks and workshops, things to learn. I think I’ve hit that point though, where it’s yeah, I’ve heard all this before.

I’ve heard these talks and, that type of thing, but Okay. The reason I really wanted to go was one, couple reasons, insidious reasons. The main librarian there that runs all the writers stuff. I met her through a couple other authors a couple times, and so when I went to the workshop, she goes, you look really familiar.

And I’m like, yeah, I know Jay Thorn. I’ve been here for workshops and Oh yeah, okay. I’m like, okay, good. Now I’m in her. So now every time I see her, I’m like, Hey Lori, how’s it going? Now she knows my name. I show up at things. So it’s that when I say, Hey, I’d like to come in for a panel or a talk or something, it’s much easier, absolutely. That,

Alan: that’s what networking is all about. Yeah. Just in not on the outside, but you’re at the campfire now and they’re gonna be happy to work with you cuz they’ve seen, you’re knowledgeable, you’re a pleasant company. You get there on time little bit.

Stephen: You know what I ok.

So my other reasons for going was because they have a writer in residence every year they have a different writer in residence. And this year, the writer in residence, I did my event, I was at an event at Reed Memorial a couple months ago with her, and she was on my podcast just recently. So I was like, oh my gosh, Abby’s the writer in residence.

I don’t think she mentioned that. I gotta go and say hi to her. Okay. So now you know there’s someone else plus then a friend of hers. She recommended. I just interviewed and it was a great talk. It’s like this 78 year old lady first book, and she doesn’t know much about publishing and all that, but she’s really excited.

Yeah. She used to be a middle school teacher, so we had so much to talk about, and she just, I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m so excited to be on a podcast and I can’t believe, it was one of those, so that’s wonderful. I’m like, that’s exactly what my podcast is for people who have spent time with a book and have things to say, but nobody would talk to ’em just because who are you?

So I saw her in person and she was just, ah, talking to all her friends, oh, this is the guy. And I’m like, wow, cool. So there was that, but then on top of that, this is just a whole crazy influx of things happened. So a couple years ago when I was still married, we started a podcast with a couple friends and Colin about crypts, and there were four of us talking about it.

And we found out, there was a guy in Fairmont that wrote a book called, it Came from Ohio, and it was about cryptids and stuff in Ohio. So I shot him an email and said, Hey we’d love to have you on the podcast. He’s I’m really busy. I don’t have time for podcast. Hit me up later and maybe we’ll do that.

Obviously the whole podcast fell apart. But recently one of the guys that works down at the comic store, who I’ve known since we were young, since he was a little kid, I was in scouts with his brother. He was in scouts after us. He’s eight years younger or something. He sent me a link and I’m like, oh my gosh.

I know that author, the author was actually talking in front of the house in Columbus state House on a topic. And I’m like, I know him. And so I sent him an email and said, Hey I don’t know if you remember me but we’re both friends with Adam Koss. And he goes, oh, interesting. Because what he was talking about was about scouts.

My other friend who is now the scout master, I sent her the link. She goes, oh yeah, I know him. In fact, we just had dinner with him like two weeks ago, and I sent him another email. I said, oh my God, this is crazy, dude. I said, Jamie? He’s yeah, we’re good friends. I’m like, oh yeah, she’s the scout master now.

He’s wow, that’s weird. So he was at the conference and he did a talk, and I walked up to him and said, okay, I’m here to meet you. And it was like, wow, this is just all it, all that stuff just hit all at. So it was nice

Alan: to, it’s wonderful when that happens that it’s not just a tenuous connection.

It’s, we’re like, wow, everything is webbing together here. That’s very cool. When

Stephen: that it was one of those, if there is a supreme being, if we are being guided, I’ve got enough signs, I need to meet this guy because we’re being told we have to, just go with it. So if, know, when I think

Alan: about that, of course, I don’t think there’s anything supernatural out there, but what I say is, it’s a good story.

Why did you end up. Because this person who I knew from sixth grade mentioned it, and then I saw it like, in, on a book cover in a bookstore. It’s that is a good idea. And just I don’t want to be the fool that like, if there are any things such as omen sport, sign from above.

I was aware it, I listened and I saw the pattern. That’s why I’m doing it. I have all kinds of things that I’ve done on a whim. Like, why did I go to Banff? Because the name made me laugh out loud. Who names the place Banff? Isn’t that night crawlers, teleportation noise, you know that?

Yeah. And and shame I’ve done, when I’ve done cross country trip, it’s like I wanna stay in Alala because I want to tell people I stayed in Alala. Ever

Stephen: heard of it?

Alan: That kinda thing, you so it’s cool to just acknowledge there’s all kinds of reasons to do it. Why not say, This is gonna make a good story as to how I decided to go forward with this.


Stephen: And it was it was nice. And then Max Books was there and they had a thing set up and I was talking to them and and I was doing the same thing. I’m like, oh, so where are you? I’ve been wanting to get up there. You do stuff with local authors. I love that you’re here just talking, getting to know the guy.

Hey, what’s your name? Oh great, good to meet you. I says I’m going to stop up sometime. I said, thank you guys for being here. They’re like you’re welcome. Appreciated that. So again, now I’m stuck in their head. So now I gotta make a trip up there and say, Hey, remember me?

I’m that guy from there, cuz they do a lot of local author stuff. So it’s, I’m getting to know him and it’s not just insidious for my own purposes because I’d rather support companies that support local authors and Absolutely companies that do things, that help me because. I push people to them.

It’s that mutual benefit thing. So it just all around was a great thing. Plus they had their standard library book sale and I picked up a couple books for my mother for her birthday coming up that she didn’t have. And it was just a nice day. Really good. The Abby gave her talk.

It was fantastic. It was weird too. This man, if there’s any other authors listening, I, I don’t know if Bill listens, this doesn’t apply to him. Okay. But I, there’s a lady there that I had seen three years ago. I haven’t seen her since because I haven’t been to anything cuz they canceled most of it.

And at the time she had been working on her first book for four years and she was there and she was still working on that first book. And she just wants to get it right and perfect it and she’s editing it and it, I understand that. I’ve now known lots of people like that, but. Is the goal to write the book and enjoy that, or is the goal to publish?

Alan: That’s right. You have it written and have it be up there.

Stephen: Yes. And because from everything over these years I’ve been doing this. Now it’s not getting that one book and getting it perfect. It’s getting many books out. That’s where you get the popularity and the sales and all that. There’s the words of wisdom for the week for authors.

If you’ve been sitting, working on your book, re-editing, re-editing, re-editing, and it’s time to release it and move on because you will learn way more by working on that second book, or third book or fourth book. Then you will just redoing the first one over and over. There you go. And you, and believe me, it you work on the book and it goes like this.

And that’s how good it. In the first year or whatever, and then as you work on it for five more years, it only goes up a little bit

Alan: better. Diminishing returns. That’s exactly right. Very much perfection is the enemy of excellence.

Stephen: Absolutely. You know what I, okay, so there you go. It was a great day.

I really loved it. I appreciated it. I would love doing the talk also, but it was one of those conflicts that we run into with all the stuff we wanna

Alan: do. I hear you. I’ll tell you. I did my talk, and if ever we do it as a panel, I absolutely have to transform it because I got through all my material with two minutes, over 45 minutes, there’s no way if we would’ve been chatty or adding other things, all three of us you mean there’s part one, you’ll have to keep that in mind. Exactly. It. So it’s the fan expo for Cleveland Fan Expo bought Wizard World, and then Wizard World was like the comic-Con, and there’s now big network, so it makes sense.

Certain consolidation in the industry means that when people are gonna be asked to do these kinds of things, it’s I think, more attractive to go to the cast of Star Trek, the cast of Dr. Who, the cast of the office to say it’s not a one shot. We’re gonna take you in 6, 7, 8 different cities around the country.

They all have fan bases. We’ll put you up, we’ll have you on the panels, you’ll get a chance to. Hopefully it’s not only like Vampiric, it’s not, the fans are gonna it really is still I think a nice fan experience. There’s not like weird stalkery stuff there and some. I’m jumping around because there are multiple aspects of this.

For instance, yes. I’ve never been a big photo op and signature fan because prices are ridiculous for a two minute interaction no matter how wonderful and famous and beloved the guy might be or gal. And so I don’t like that aspect, but the fact that there are some people that even in the middle, all of all, that they’re not being mercenary about it, they’re happy while they’re wandering the show floor.

They get a quick shot to, to give you real interest to questions on at the interviews and the panel discussions and stuff like that. Got to hear Christopher Lloyd, he’s one of those guys that has like half a dozen, eight indelible characters. Yeah, some of the best stuff of all time to have been.

I’m taxi. Yes. And in one flow over the Choo’s Nest and of course, back to the Future, doc Brown and was a villain in the Star Trek movie. And just as you work your way through it, it’s cool to see how much he’s appreciative. He’s getting a little bit older, so sometimes he had to be prompted for the names of characters and all that kinda stuff, but he still has wonderful anecdotes to share about those kinds of things.

The voice is still there. He can sound like Uncle Fester perfectly, to rot, that kind of thing. And he might have been like one of the, there was even latest Star Trek version with Ethan Peck and Anson Mount. They were there, they’re not at the Shatner Nemoy level.

They’re playing Pike and Spock. So it’s interesting to hear them and to hear what’s being done in the Star Trek universe and stuff. But there’s levels of fame, if you will. Carl Weathers was there, Apollo Creve from the Rocky movies, but he was only doing photo ops. Didn’t really, if they had an interview session, I think it was, it might have been like right opposite my talk and so I couldn’t go to that.

But also some they have. It is, it covers much like our podcast, all kinds of aspects of decry and nerdy. So they had anime and manga, they had animation they and voiceover artists from animation, which is really cool to see the faces behind Spun Box Square cancer

Stephen: or something. Colin loves that.

He’s got so many voiceover actors that sign his stuff. Exactly. Especially the Turtles. That’s his big collector thing

Alan: now. Of course. Exactly. Science fiction, fantasy comic books and for these having started off with comic book conventions and they’re started to be Star Wars, star Trek, supernatural, that kind of stuff.

Now it really is all those things. And so comic books relatively are a little sliver of things going on, so it was interesting, my talk adventures in the comic book, multi. Was the most comic book oriented thing they had going on there. So we’re talking about comics and the history of comics and what makes comics cool and they had panel discussions and interviews and stuff like that and lots of good information, but nothing was as informational and as focused as, it, I was very proud to be like, I guess I’m like the standard bear, I’m still carrying the torch for. Let’s talk about comics and how you should read more of them. And they are more available because they got ’em in the graphic novels and the album edition then, you can get on Comicology and see all kinds of 40,000 out on Marvel, dot com nowadays or whatever.

So my presentation went really well for, it was opposite 10 different things, primetime 11 o’clock on Saturday morning. And yet I had two dozen people there and I love it where like when you go to a Metha thing, when you go to comic book, You might know a lot, but you don’t know a lot as much as everybody else in the room, right?

So I had people that were happy to chime in with cool little anecdotes and tidbits and corrections, I thought, I think this is, the Gotham City is portrayed by Tim Burton. Oh no, that’s Ryan Kugler’s version. It’s thank you very much. I’m, I’m happy to learn that.

And so that went really well. I got a chance to meet Jim Shooter Jim Caif Fiori Tom Grommet, all kinds of other comic book people I think I wanna stop by at their booths are going to the panel discussions. Cleveland has a treasure, a gentleman named Mike Stan Giacomo, who was like a longtime columnist for the Plain Dealer and wrote many times about comic.

1500 columns over the course of 30 years. Wow. That’s pretty cool. Yeah. And so he knows lots of people in the industry and was often the panel leader, the guy that would interview and then, get questions and stuff like that. There we go. And so he now have gotten to know each other over the years, cuz we’ve been to many of these things and we acknowledge that, we’re, we know a lot about these kinds of things. I guess here’s a, a little bit of what you were talking about with the networking. Wa one of the panels when they were, it was about, one was about Superman and his history and one was about Cleveland and it’s source of comic books and so forth.

And honestly that. Not as well put together because there’s a number of people that showed up on the panel that said, so what’s the topic of this one? They really hadn’t done much prep. Oh. But then by talking through things, we were able to say it was Siegel and Schuster. And then, Brian, Michael Bendis and his posse were here for a while before they moved to Portland.

And I had a chance to mention Ted Sakura and the cool stuff that he’s doing with the Palma and punchline and tap dance killer. Good. That when I read the comics and you Can, I’ve been to that coffee shop and stuff, and Jim Sch said I’ve seen that guy’s work and it’s a breath of fresh air. I love him.

It’s like Jim Shooter knows who Ted Seora is, and I had a chance to, it’s

Stephen: It’s like it’s, you told Ted,

Alan: speak up for your friends and then you’re not it’s not obscure. Some really high quality people know of his work and appreciate it. So then I mentioned that to Ted at his booth out on the floor, and it’s funny, I thought, I was like, how cool is this?

But he actually at one point had been at a convention where he had met Jim Shooter and on one of his album editions, there’s a poll quote from Jim Shooter saying something pretty much like that. A breath of fresh air or something. But nonetheless, I wasn’t doing that because I was pumping Jim Shooter to get him to say that again.

I really had no idea that they knew each other. And wherever I had a chance to chime in with a little bit of comic book, a little bit of Cleveland, ask a Cool, for instance, I went to, one of the things, they have a sketch dual where they have couple artists and people throw out things they’d like to have drawn and then they have door prizes, tickets that you get.

And then they give those things out and I kept throwing things out and the guy was like, I never get a chance to drop, do Doc Savage. I’ll be happy to do Doc Savage or the

Stephen: Shadow Oh, does that all the time. Yeah. You know what I mean? And so I

Alan: just. And I had all these great suggestions. I didn’t win anything.

So I’m like watching Doc Savage walk down the aisle to the lucky recipient. It’s oh, if I win something then I can trade with them. Maybe they’ll do it. I got B kiss. So I made a contribution, but ah, guy did not, I was not lucky. Oh walking the show floor. So Colleen came with me on Saturday and she had never been to one of these before.

Saturday was a mob scene. They, I think that they’re probably in that 15 to 20,000, maybe 18 to 20,000. They’re very attended. And Colleen doesn’t like it that much because then it’s all elbows and belt buckles for her, especially in costumes, don’t always have great peripheral vision, so you don’t when get

Stephen: run over by a storm group, don’t have

Alan: nerves in hard in the face, that kinda thing.

Applets, but I had a chance, of course to do the running commentary with her of. Here’s what I like. There’s all kinds of things, like the show floor is full of everything. It’s got t-shirts and it’s got art and it’s got swords, and it’s got books and all that kind of stuff.

And as opposed to when it was a Comic-con, I really pretty much stopped at every single booth and pulled out my want list and went through like the Mads, the thunder things I was perpetually looking for, because they’re not easy to find. So we got a chance to get her a cool t-shirt with the Cleveland Guardian logo, that we’ve got the Guardian instead of the Indians.

And it was, I’ve seen things that were like, I don’t know, they weren’t as good. This was actually brightly colored and at the right profile, like three quarter profile. And it really is that’s a great shirt of. Moose size. Al, you’re in a comic book place and you’d think they’ve seen comic book fans, right?

Shouldn’t they regularly go to three x and four

Stephen: x? God damnit,

Alan: a lot of them still stop at two x. Wow. It’s four it’s three x but it’s five bucks more. And t-shirts were not inexpensive. They’re like 25 or two for 48. Oh thanks for knocking two bucks off of 50 bucks.

Stephen: So anyway, so one thing you can’t say though I’m just in case you like did, don’t say to Colleen, Hey, after June you could come to a lot more of these cuz she may not retire so early, then she may rethink that.

Alan: What I did say was, I, when I was, I did more of the sh i, I really fit the show floor in amongst other presentations and things that I was doing.

And so Sunday was much less populated but they still had things had not been so pillaged and sold through that there was not a lot left. And so I might invite her back on Sunday when it’ll be easier on her right than, it’s not me carving a path, the big tank in front of her, but that we can actually.

Kinda walk next to each other. I mentioned, I, one of the things, there, I have my little, come here. He’s adorable or she, yeah. Okay.

Stephen: He’s a piece of pain.

Alan: I love, undiscovered authors, they have all kinds of independence and often they have a book or even a series of books that they’ve written.

And the place that they best can sell them is at a place that’s gonna be appreciative of high fantasy of science fiction. I regularly, I break my $7 rule and I’m willing to do the 10 and the 15 and the 20 cuz I wanna support them and I want them to encourage them, and I had all kinds of great fines.

So that’s why when I threw you a text mentioning, Hey, I got some prospects. Yes. Now the pimp is gonna send a couple, I think interesting people your way. Nice. Because I had nice conversations with people. It wasn’t just, the sale of the book, it was, tell me a little bit about it. Tell me about how you came to write this.

Why out of all these cool things here, would I pick yours? And I like people that can really immediately perk up and go, wow, I da da. And they’re just full of passion and enthusiasm and knowledge and I just love that. So I really did invest that place is a very dangerous place for my wallet.

Yes. So hundreds of dollars later of, hardly any, I didn’t buy, I think I bought one kind book series called Calico that’s like a superhero that fights back against animal abuse and

Stephen: I’m Oh, I saw that last year they had that. Yeah, I’ve, now

Alan: there’s fixed issues. A couple issues. Yeah. bought the bundle.

I hadn’t seen, I didn’t see that last year. And I bought tens depth and I wish I had the stack in front of me. Maybe next time I’ll do, the. Show and tell. Yeah. Some cool books I bought a cool little, so they’re doing amazing things with 3D printing nowadays and of course that’s coming into this field.

So I got a cool dragon that’s all articulated. Do you know what I mean? It prints where it’s already joined together as links and you can do multicolors depending on what, how sophisticated your printer is. So I got a very cool, or in fact him, I do have, I already brought him up to the desk. Here’s my cool articulated dragon find and he’s all spiny.

And they told me he was fluorescent, but I haven’t seen that yet. Like he’s not, he looks glowing cuz he’s orange, but I haven’t turned off all the licensing, so I’ll have to see whether I bought a dragon in a poke, I’m hoping that I still haven’t put him down there. I didn’t buy any t-shirts.

They, an odd thing is that they almost always have had that year’s t-shirt and because I kind of wanna represent for. Fan Expo or Wizard World or Cleveland. I’ve got the cool one, it looks like the M t v astronaut and I got another one where it’s a really cool mandala pattern, and yet I didn’t see that this year.

So no, no t-shirt to take out into the rest of the world for me. But regularly, I, so I’ve learned to bring along my, my shoulder bag so that instead of having bags where I’m carrying ’em, and they’re eventually with the weight of what I’m buying, cutting into your fingers. So I had my bag so full that it was like, I gotta switch shoulders because it’s really digging in on this side with how many books and stuff.

I, I wadded into it and luckily everything got home safe. I didn’t put a book into a book, sometimes you do that. I triple. Yep. I, so got swag. I. Wonderful. Lots of good presentations, like I said, about comic books, about animation. Went to, I’m trying to think who else I saw interviewed Emily Swallow, who plays the Armorer on the Mandalorian.

She was there,

Stephen: she was God’s sister on Supernatural.

Alan: I was just gonna say and sometimes I go with the blurb that they put in the program, but then I’m like I know her from previous things. She was on The Mentalist. She was, there’s some people have had, sometimes they they embrace the genre and they have a long career.

Not in movie movies, but in genre TV and movies and I love finding that out. And sometimes because they’re buried under a costume, you don’t even know it. You know what I mean? How would you know what she looks like from the armor Mandalorians Never take off their armor. That kind of cool thing. Peter Weller was supposed to be there as the last program four o’clock on Sunday, and something happened with his flights, or at least that’s what I was told, that he had to bug out early.

Oh, he would’ve been cool. Really looking for, I love not only Robocop, I love Buckaroo Boni. That’s one of those cool quirky movies. They never made the sequel and they should, and I just was, he’s made a point of working in odd, interesting things. He’s hardly got a conventional career, if you know what I’m trying to say.

And I had a nice time with the little bit of celebrity fawning. They did an interesting thing. They, instead of having one costume parade, if you will on Saturday night, where they actually have judging and prices awarded, I think they’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really hard to pick who’s got the best Beetle J use versus the best final fantasy character versus the be, so they had. Collections of things where everybody gets together that’s wearing Star Wars or Star Trek or Supernatural or whatever else it might be. And so it’s fun to see all of the trench coats, all the semi, semi l is that, it’s very fun. And I I got not enough pictures.

There’s Coplay everywhere. It used to be that was maybe like a quarter of the people. Oh, it’s, people were mundanes and kinda kept, yeah, it’s everyone, the young and the old, and really like some things it’s so easy to dress up as Harlequin. You just kinda like wear shorts. And some people, they really put the work into excellent costume, excellent makeup, little LEDs running along because they’re cyborg out or something like that.


Stephen: You know how big cosplay has gotten. I was at a. Hobby, was it a hobby lobby? Yeah. And they had a section? No, they have the hanging down from the ceiling. Here’s what section this is so you can find what you’re looking for. They had one that said d i y and it was for people building their robots or whatever, but right next to it was cosplay and they had a whole section at Hobby Lobby just for cosplay.

Alan: Yeah. I’ll tell you, I, when I didn’t go to any workshops this time about it, but often I did. And they have people that talk about it really is like the golden age for being able to do that kind of stuff because the materials, the material science that’s gone into being able to make. The foam that you can carve to look exactly like armor, but it doesn’t weigh 80 pounds like armor and the all the different glues and paint and lacquers and how to make an make it articulate so that you can move in it, not just, sometimes when you see a furry costume and they got the big head on, it’s to make those eyes move, it’s really an involved thing, but they’ve figured it out now.

So they had all kinds of, and even like little kids, a kid dressed up as Chucky that was like, disturbingly good. You know what I mean? Kinda stuff. I just, everywhere you looked, it was like beautiful people and goofy people and that kind of stuff. And I think I mention even mentioned this on one of my Facebook posts.

I don’t know why this is, but I’ve got a weakness for like fishnet or pattern stockings. And so I’m not a dirty old man, I just don’t do that. But when someone walks by dressed as the black in area, it’s I’m struck dumb for a moment and then I recover.

Stephen: You know what I mean? Colleen hits ya.

I’m just determined to not be that Yeah.

Alan: That guy. And yet there, there’s some people that they really, the costume is authentic. They look beautiful or handsome in it, and it’s funny, I should say, fishnets, they’re not just for the ladies anymore. So you see sometimes guys that look perfect, Jesus in Fishnets is just as, you know what

That’s funny. I just very fun to see how many people are taking that as an opportunity. You’re like a little bit of roleplaying games, you, if you wanna be, not yourself. It’s a great opportunity to do that. I’m gonna be not the big tank of a fighter, but I’m gonna be the agile thief and people are doing that there too.

Stephen: And I’m gonna say this cuz I’ve pointed this out for these last half decade or decade, whatever. We got this huge push for diversity and inclusion and stuff. And I have said many times that come to the nerds because we’ve had many more people that are much more inclusive and don’t, and enjoy the diversity and encourage it and it’s much safer it for your, get your geek flag on, you know what they say.

Absolutely. People that wanna do the cosplay, but we’re always afraid to do it. But they’re seeing now that it’s embraced, now there are elements that still look down about it. And I was laughing. Oh my god, I’ve been laughing so hard because I was at the Streetsboro Flea. And there were these old guys there, and they had a box of baseball cards, old baseball cards, and they’re going through ’em.

And then they had some like toy model cards. And I’m looking at ’em going, you know what? Those are the same guys that since high school teased the nerds about playing Dungeons and Dragons, having their, their their cards for old the Pokemons or whatever, and their toys and stuff. But they have toy cars and they have cards that, like, it’s no

Alan: difference.

They have boutique about different things. That’s exactly right. You know what I mean? It, I, it was a, another wonderful thing about the con and, and Ben really needs to adopt this. They have, of course there’s a a consent agreement. You know what I mean? When you walk in, you say, okay, I’m in public.

And people will take pictures of you, but it says, please ask before you take pictures of someone. Please don’t touch there. That co cosplay is not consent. I’m not here to be pawed. I’m not here to be, so e everyone was very respectful about, can I take a picture? If you’re, if it’s a group thing, don’t interrupt what somebody else is doing.

They’re going through comic books and don’t they’re shopping for, know, the next thing. It was, it’s really wonderful to see It is a safe place for it. Generations of people, every race, creed, color, religion, sex, variations thereof. Very cool. You do get the exactly right. Go get your, let, get your geek flag on.

You do get place that.

Stephen: Yeah, you do get an occasional person that is, is rude and inconsiderate and inappropriate. You don’t have that no matter what, but you also have a lot of people that will jump in and defend and say, Hey buddy, back off. And that’s exactly right. And including that, the thing that I’ve noticed more recently that people are much more accepting of is Wonder Woman, power Girl, whoever.

They don’t have to be these skinny little things. You get bigger women, you get all colors of skin tones and stuff doing just about anything. It doesn’t matter.

Alan: Yeah. If anything that’s a very, I think that’s been a trend in my viewing for 20 years now, where they do Hey, that’s a female Deadpool, or That’s a man.

Oh, that too. Yes. Wonder Woman, or whatever else it might be. And it’s still done wonderfully very well. And so it’s if that’s their opportunity to say what it would be like to be, not bat woman, right? But bat and as a woman it’s very cool to see the boldness, the love, the work that went into doing something that’s really well done about that kind of stuff.

Very fun.

Stephen: Very fun. And you can’t embrace the multiverse without accepting that this is a possibility within that multiverse. Exactly that.

Alan: Loki’s not only Loki’s an alligator. Loki. Yes. So exactly.

Stephen: And that show’s coming back soon. I can’t wait. Because I really liked that first series, you know what got me with that show?

Jumping O over to it real quick. I liked it. I liked the M C U. I was watching it and I thought it was good, but suddenly I forget. Episode three, maybe I’m sitting there and it just hit me. I’m like, oh my God. Loki is Dr. Who, this is a series of Dr. Who it’s stories. And I was when, and then I viewed it a little differently and I actually enjoyed it even more.

I’m like, this is like a great Dr. Who story, but using lo. So that was a revelation

Alan: to me. Boy, segue time. Have you heard the latest about Dr. Who? I just read and I hope this is true. The 14th doctor is gonna


Stephen: David 10. Yes. Going for a short time. For a short time.

Alan: But still they’ve never done that before.

They’ve never had a doctor return. And of all the doctors they could pick, especially the modern doctors, he’s a great choice. Yeah. You know what I mean? So I was very excited. We had the classic, conversation after Saturday’s thing. We went to a party for a friend’s 65th birthday party and there was multiple generations there.

And so me and another geek were talking across a lady that was like, I don’t know, I don’t understand a single word of what you’re saying, of our regeneration and time lords. And who the hell is David Tenon? And. You probably could have heard of him. Cause he’s not only a doctor who he’s been in Brun Churchs, he’s been in all kinds of other things now.

Oh yeah. But it really was that level of enthusiasm carried over from the Comic-Con to be like, there’s still some people here that they loved, supernatural, Dr. Who, that kind of stuff as much. Of course they had the Ghostbuster’s car and they had the supernatural car. They had a, I don’t think they had a Batmobile if they did not, didn’t see it.

And they had huge gaming areas, gaming is a big thing there. So they had console games and shared computer games and stuff like that. Multiple Cleveland institutions had a presence. So they had the Cleveland Public Library and they had the Cleveland Asian Festival. And just, it was like a bizarre, you don’t know what’s gonna be around the next corner, down the next aisle.

And some things it, I said this to Colleen and it’s really true. My interests are often so varied and I’m ous that I started to say this. I used to go boost to Booth and look at every single concrete place to see if they had treasure. It’s a joy to go up to a place that has, okay, they have anime glass pictures, none of which I recognize or matter to me.

Oh my God,

Stephen: I can just walk past it.

Alan: I can just, I don’t have to look at every single thing here. So as a way of getting through the toe floor in less than 10 hours or whatever it could be, I happily dismissed the action figure section. The manga, and anime made into big, they also, they have a lot of artists that are doing knockoffs of existing art, but what I want is the guy who really drew Iron Man.

I want a sketch from him, right? And so I, some things really look good and I don’t mind that, but I’m, that might be something that I need to do. I’ve stopped collecting comics because of getting to retirement, financial safety and so forth. But I still read ’em, I still get ’em from the library and stuff like that.

When I go to these cons, I think what I’m gonna start doing is going to the artist cuz they regularly do sketches for 50 to 500 bucks. But if what you get from them is unique, nobody else in the world has that thing. I’d be happy to have some of those things up on my walls, perfectly preserved behind glass so that the sun doesn’t do it and the air doesn’t do it right.

And like later on it’ll be, wow, you have the best sketch of the Red Hulk I’ve ever seen. Yes, thank you very much. I specifically asked for Doc Savage, I, that kind stuff. So it gives money right. To the artists cuz there’s also artists are not always they don’t, even if they have a long career, when they stop drawing, they stopped getting paid.

You know what I mean? There’s all kinds of people there that have been a amazing contributors, both writers and artists to mythology that we love. And yet now they’re not getting work. Mike Gustav, who did Justice Machine really wonderful, but like lives in Akron and does most of his. Comic related income nowadays is from cons, where he is doing sketch work and stuff like that.

Cuz he’s still a great artist, but hasn’t hooked up. And if anything, even if he had hooked up and he did for a while now general relationally, not anymore. They’re looking for the next hungry, 20 year old. Yes, I can turn out a page a day, I can do five pages a day and run multiple series and stuff like that.

So for those I don’t know like titans of the industry that are now retired, I’m happy to say you can still do amazing stuff and I would love to have something from you. So I’m gonna start doing that more. I’m, I’ve never been a big original art collector. I think Colin has some right, but Oh yeah, I don’t, yeah I don’t have hardly any.

And maybe I will that’s one of those things. That’s cool. Now that we’re into retirement, I have a little bit of money and for something that I would love to see up, Colleen has a great statement. She often says, when we see like ugly art, it’s I wouldn’t wanna see that out of my window every day.

Why would I wanna have it on my wall right next door to an ugly scene outside? I don’t wanna live next to a sl heep. So that’s what I’m looking for is I’d love to have some artwork that every time I looked at that I was pleased. I remember that interaction. I love that character. I was happy to help that guy or gal out.

It’s very cool. So maybe that’s my next thing.

Stephen: Speaking of was Tom Zeller there?

Alan: Yes, he was. Oh, in fact, yeah, he, in fact, he was doing a panel right when I finished Adventures in the comic book multiverse. And I think I met, I first met him when we were doing the Mike d pub quiz. 20 years here in Cleveland.

So of course we recognize each other and had a nice exchange and stuff like that. He had a booth there, his is it like love and capes, right? He has multiple theories

Stephen: and things like that. Yeah.

Alan: He got a number, a good number of visitors at him and stuff like that. And, Good for him.

He’s another guy that I had

Stephen: talk to, last year at the fan, sorry last year he was supposed to be at the fan expo, but he had a booth, but he never showed up. I’m not sure why something, still may have been Covid Re he did this for me. He did two book covers cover.

Yeah. And I printed that out. I have a nice, big copy of that I wanted to give to him as a thank you for doing it. But last year he wasn’t there and I missed him this year.

Alan: Got it. It, my guess, there’s certain Cleveland fixtures, that kind of stuff, and I’m sure he’ll be back because he continues to do well in the industry, it there was another person also there from pub quiz that we recognize each other. It’s like small world, to go back to that first thing, it’s just amazing how many people. Had a wonderful time. Nice. Colleen really enjoyed himself. Just that, that’s I’m not sure if I got to every single thing I should have mentioned, Hey, if Some celebrity, some person that I should have talked about.

Sorry I didn’t, but just that it all pours out. I’ve had times where I wonder whether I’m not buying comic books anymore. Is this really still my thing? Is it for me? But because it’s expanded to so many other geek, geek them things, and because I think I still have the right attitude, I’m not like it’s not the only thing that I enjoy.

I’m not fawning over people. I don’t want people to be weirded out by, my stalking them or anything like that. It’s all, overall, it’s a wonderful place. And we talked about this for innocence, for safety. They do have they have horror comics and there’s a horror element there as well.

But everybody there seems to know that it’s make believe. There’s no people that are looking to be like, I’m gonna open fire because I’m so unhappy with my life. Not an element there that I could see. You know what I mean? When they’re dressing up in cosplay, and in fact they even had this, when you go there, you have to get what you have as part of your costumes checked, right?

To make sure that they have a rule at the Huntington against, there’s no live weapons, there’s no access you could really use on someone. that kind of stuff. They have to be full, they have to be as authentic looking as you want ’em to be. But no, you can’t go nuts in the crowd.

So I really like that aspect of it, that it’s still a place of haven of safety and innocence and enthusiasm and I never for a moment felt endangered or that guy looks a little shady kind of a thing, you know what I mean? It just you can’t get that in a 7-Eleven in

Stephen: some parts of the true or

Alan: Walmart, yeah. So I just, it that’s a joyful thing about that. So I will go I think April 12th to 14 for next year I do intend another. Victor Dandridge, who is one of the guys that often he’s been, was programming previous. And that’s how I first got in to be doing these kinds of things. And now he’s often the interviewer on various different panels and stuff.

So I have that connection, that name to drop. And I think that he’s one of the guys that does it not only here in Cleveland, but tours the country with fan expo. So I’m thinking I could do this in Chicago, I can do this in Columbus and Detroit and Pittsburgh, and I’m trying to think of the other city’s Buffalo.

Anything that’s within reasonable driving distance it, it gets you in free. I got the weekend pass for giving my talk and I wouldn’t mind doing that. Like now that Colleen are about to be retired. Yeah. And we’re gonna have enough of the time that little bit. Wow. I can be on the convention circuit and we’ll go to Chicago for the three days of the show and then we’ll hang out three extra days, right?

And do the magnificent mile and things that I, let’s go to the cool museums in the cool zoo and places that Colleen and I still love doing and it’s just an excuse. We’re here anyway. Let’s hang out and see our friends. You know what I mean? Let’s go to dinner and if anything, there’s people that often, when I’ve talked about going to Lake City Chicago things, I have a lot of Chicago area Mensa friends, cuz I was there for so long and they’ll say, I want to go with you because I want to hear your running commentary.

They’re like, I gave to Colleen of all this stuff. I go back to the very first thing I was really on for the talk. I gave so much great information and I was. Not glib, but well worded. And all my little asides were like, acknowledged with nice nods because you’re talking to the group that gets it and they got my jokes and I, it was one of the best talks I’ve ever given.

Did I record it once again? No. I need to learn to bring along the tripod and the phone and set something up and capture some of this because my portfolio shouldn’t only be, Hey, I know Victor or I know Tasha. It has to be watch this and see if you think this would be good for you. And I have done really nice talks.


Stephen: pretty good at this.

Alan: Yeah. Yeah. And so that’s my next step is to start to capture that

Stephen: Keep me in mind if you are doing a talk on any, any of the plethora you have. If it’s a date, time and place I could get to, cuz I’ve got a digital camera now, I upgraded. And we can set it up and run it and record it and very easily have it already digital and be

Alan: good to go.

Exactly. And I’ll tell you what, since I had proposed this and I, I didn’t, it didn’t get accepted and I didn’t push to say, Hey, this really would be good. We really can do podcasts at every single one of these events. And I would love to have this. I would go to the podcast that said, so there’s a thousand things to do here.

What are your show highlights? Don’t miss. This program, this person, this and us just gush about can’t wait to do this. Already did it. You should go do it too. I think it would be, it’s a great distillation of all the cool stuff down there with enough enthusiasm and articulation as to, I think that people would really love to hear.

What do we like? Yes. Our take is good, our knowledge is good, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna shoot for that as well. And don’t mean to pardon me, drag you to Pittsburgh and Collo bit, but it might be, but that’s something that you wanna do anyway. Great. Love to partner up with you on some of those.

It’s a joy to do this with you. I am

Stephen: going to go to Pittsburgh Friday and meet Richard, Dean Anderson. So I am so jazzed about that. I That’s like my 15 year old self coming out of me here, uhoh, did I die?

Alan: Okay. And you mentioned also arm, right? You’re gonna go ARM Chairman and Arm, is it Strand,

Stephen: I think right there.

Yep. Yep. Jeff Strand. Yep.

Alan: Jeff Strand, exactly. So that’ll be cool. That’ll be great. And is that what convention is that? Is that the Pittsburgh,

Stephen: Steel City Con is in Pittsburgh this weekend, and I’m going from that driving all the way down to Virginia to scares that care. It’s a convention of horror writers that they the, they raise money for, I believe, cancer research or something like that.

Yeah. Okay.

Alan: Very cool. All right. Wonderful to see that you’re active and involved in getting those cool things, and just that there’s something really cool about, meeting your heroes. Yeah. I, I have had many more good, when I met Stan Lee, when I met Ray Bradbury, they weren’t feet of clay.

They were better than I thought that they would be with how cool they were and how knowledgeable and just they’re, I was happy to be in their presence for just a few minutes, I’m not a big, I got enough, big enough ego that I don’t think there’s many people in the world that I need to fallen over.

And yet it’s nice to show appreciation for Jim Shooter. You wrote the quarterback Faga. I still have things that I quote from that series, it really made an impression on me the themes and the pacing of the plot and all that kind of stuff, and it’s very nice to be able to say that and have someone like that.

It’s not just gush that it really. I was trying exactly to show those things and I’m glad you caught up on them. You caught them, you picked up on them, nice. So yeah. Anyway. Okay. Alright man. Very cool. Alright, that was a pleasure. Take care, Steve. Have a safe trip. Yes. I’m going to get my mom. My mom will be in town as of Thursday, so nice.

The next phase of life. I’ll have my mom 15 minutes away. Yay, mom. That’s pretty nice. So there you go. All right, take care. Bye-Bye.