Today we have a great special guest – Jim Beard from Flinch publishing and Becky books.

Since we had his partner – John Bruening on – Jim kept asking when we’d have him on. So here you go – get ready for a wonderful conversation.

Jim tells us about his plans and the upcoming books – both from Flinch publishing and his own Becky Books. We discuss pulp fiction in general and our favorite comic books.

If you’re a reader and you liked our previous podcast with John – get the whole set and listen to Jim!






Stephen: [00:00:00] Hey Alan. Hello. There we go. Oh, there you are. Hey, sorry, a couple minutes late. Been a busy day.

Alan: Turn that off. Am I getting enough light from my screen here? I need to yeah, wow. I’m usually doing this during the day instead of at dusk, during a slow storm here. I will let me get something better than the clutter of my office.

Let’s see, what’s Alpi?

Stephen: So you haven’t gotten sick from the boat?

Alan: Boy, I’m, and now my zoom is okay. Just a minute. Took a while downloading the visual effects package. Oh yeah. We want cows. Let’s see, like I said, what’s pulpy? Maybe lots of books?

Stephen: There you go, yeah. Good

Alan: thought.

Stephen: Let’s

Alan: see, maybe this kind of library. That looks, maybe that, okay. Or it could be a nice, like a castle.

How about this library?

I could go with the classic. As you can see, I have all [00:01:00] these things that I’ve accumulated. Let’s see.

No, switchboard. I know I’m burning tape here. Yeah. Yeah. The tape’s expensive, man. Exactly. All these bits that we’re wasting there. Let’s go with that. Okay. So I did I only talked to Jim Beer. Once, at the very first Comic Con, Pulp Fiction Con that I had met also Vernon at, and so you’ve met him a couple times now at various different author fairs and stuff like that.


Stephen: I ran into Jim before I ran into John, and it was down mid Ohio at the Pioneer Village. He was set up, and there was a cryptid festival. He was like one long guy with a folding table in a field. That’s

Jim: right.

Stephen: That’s how I met Jim, but I was excited because I saw his name was he was going to be there and then he did Star Wars comics and I looked and I had a Star Wars comic so he signed one of my Star Wars comics.

Alan: That’s cool. I’m [00:02:00] from having gone out to the Flint site and seeing the little bios and backgrounds for them and stuff like that. I didn’t like he did for decades weekly content for Marvel was that like, Hey, what’s coming up that kind of stuff. I really want to ask him. Yeah, I don’t remember his name being associated with that.

So that’ll be something that we’ll have to ask him about. And then of course, I re reacquainted myself with their anthologies and stuff like that. And we’ll see how he picks his favorites, if you will. Yes.

Stephen: Yes. All right. So I think he’s waiting. I’ll hit him up. We’ll give him a minute to get on here.

So we’ll talk about your cruise next week. Good times. Yeah, we

Alan: really was. It So many good bands. We, I, we were seeing things from like noon to midnight every day. Colleen got full. You know what I mean? It really is. A lot of the bands were too loud or the music is, some was beautiful and pastoral, others quite aggressive.

A lot of Queens Reich and Symphony X just really, too much overwhelming. And so I stayed with more than she did, but we also heard some beautiful new bands. [00:03:00] And actually one of the guys friended me on Facebook after I, I must’ve written something on the cruise website or some, my own website, but it mentioned life signs by name.

And so it’s fun, just to make those tenuous connections, but the things I had already written about how much I loved them then. Yeah. When he offended me and got a chance to read them, he must’ve been like this guy really is okay.

Stephen: And that’s the cool thing about the boat, as opposed to going to a pub or something, because, she’s got somewhere to go and something to do.


Alan: that’s right. Too. She did. She took walks, she kept looking into the spa, the things that she wanted to do weren’t available when she wanted to do them. And then some things she really wanted to do, but prices were ridiculous. And you know what I mean? It turned out very relaxing and everything that we wanted.

I love Let’s see, I don’t know, we’ll talk about this, like I said, the next Tuesday or something like that. One of the uncool features was, they had great bands like Marillion, Steve Hackett, and so forth. When I see them in concert, I see the whole show, two and a half hours with maybe a small intermission.

[00:04:00] And here everything was limited to An hour, 90 minutes and even then they were picking like, oh, that’s not even the best song on that album. Why’d you pick that one in your limited amount of time? You know what I mean? So maybe they were trying to do

Stephen: deep cuts knowing that everybody had probably heard those other songs.

Alan: That’s exactly what I was thinking is that they know that this is a live, crazy crowd that everybody there is from all over the world, right? They’re into Prague and they wanted to give ’em what they thought was a special treat. And yet, I don’t know that my best, I don’t know that most popular, but it really isn’t like the most representative of them as a band said that they played that 1000 times.

Maybe they’re ready to do something. Yeah. All right, here’s Jim.

Stephen: I see him. Okay.

Alan: Very good.

Stephen: Maybe

Alan: she’ll be in here.

Stephen: It says joining. He’s coming. There’s Jim connecting. We got to stop talking about him. There we go. Hey, Jim. Hey, that’s a great background. [00:05:00] I love that.

Jim: It’s actually a, it’s a curtain. It’s in my living room.

I have a under the sea theme and I have these two little side windows and it’s I don’t even remember their actual curtains that, yeah, I was going to say. I, that I had them made out of something else, but no, they’re actually curtains, I think

Alan: it works well. Thanks. I’m going to grab the fake zoom background because my my Skynet office up here in the attic is quite cluttered and it looks like, everything behind me is is that stack about to fall over?

Are you going to I have to reach back and

Jim: I like people who have cluttered rooms. It shows a very ingenious

Stephen: mind. So now when we hear the Dr. Pepper bottles all fall over, we don’t see them.

Alan: What’s funny is, I know some people have clutter where you can tell they’re a monomaniac, but I have here’s some puzzles and here’s some comic books and here’s some pulps and whatever else it might be.

So you can tell that my mind roams around, so

Jim: that’s called acceptable clutter.

Alan: Yes.

Jim: So for anyone listening, Oh, I’m sorry. [00:06:00] There’s clutter and there’s garbage.

Stephen: Yes.

Jim: Clutter is okay. My wife used to say that, she said we don’t have trash or garbage or filth. We have clutter.

Stephen: My, my ex was cluttered with garbage. So there you go. Notice I said so everybody listening we’ve got. Jim Beard, who’s the other half of Flinch Publishing? ’cause John has been on here. And Jim said, what about me? You gotta get me on. We’re like, we sure do. So now we’ve got Jim on. Welcome Jim, how you doing

Hey, good. Thanks

All: very much for having me. I’m honored.

Alan: Tell, welcome to Relentless Geek. We’ve been doing this for, going on three years now or something that we’re almost four. We’re

Stephen: Almost four.

Jim: And they said it wouldn’t last.

Stephen: Yeah, we don’t know if people like us. Yeah.

Jim: Believe me, if they didn’t, they would let you know. That’s true.

Alan: I just was out at the flinch news site. And first of [00:07:00] all, it’s really cool with the the big displays of horror, science fiction, that kind of stuff. Thank you. Thank you.

Jim: We are so proud of that site.

Alan: Honestly, it really is.

The images are good enough that you don’t mind. Okay. I’ll sit and wait to see what happens next, as opposed to something. So like they crank up the music and they hit you with like too much, not clutter, but overwhelm or stuff like that. And it’s wow, this is not safe for work. People think I’m.

Already on enough, so very interesting and even arresting great website. And then I wandered around and hit the new section and stuff like that. Let’s see what the latest one, I even took notes and stuff like that. You’re okay. So I had, I really enjoyed the midnight guardian from your counterpart.

I Janice’s yet, which is a crime on my part because they seem like something that I would enjoy. Okay.

All: I’m out of here. I’m sorry. I’ve read them. I’ve read them. Thanks for the invite. I can see where the bias is here. Jim, I had your

Stephen: books [00:08:00] first. I had your books before Midnight Guardian. And I got one of your X Files books.

I think one of your Spider Man or something. I’ve gotten several of your X Files books. got that. If you remember, I think we’ve talked about this before. I met you at the pioneer village down like mid Ohio. You were like a card table in the middle of a field with nobody else.

All: And I have a


Jim: foot book

All: now.

Stephen: Yes, I know. I want to get that.

Jim: I don’t remember. Did you go to the one that I did last year? No. Okay. Cause I’m doing that same one again this year. Sorry. I had to insert that in there, but yeah, that’s right. My gosh, that was a long time ago.

Stephen: Yeah, it was a while ago. I

Jim: love doing cryptic cons. That’s my new thing.

Stephen: And that’s what I was gonna say. We should touch base a bit because I’ve got a couple books coming out that fall in that line for the specific reason that I was involved with that for a long time, which is how I ran into you. [00:09:00] And so it made sense to write a book that fit that genre because now I want to go back to the cons and this is my end.

I’ll get a table and I’m there.

Jim: That’s exactly what happened to me. I’ve done three cryptic cons now. And at the last one, I was doing really well, people seem to really be, digging what I was putting out there, except I said, you know what I got, I need to have. A Bigfoot book. This is ridiculous.

Like how well could I do? And that’s how my brain works. It’s do a book because I know that I’ll be able to sell it at a Bigfoot show. Yeah. So now I’m so thrilled to go back to that show because I’m going to have that big, this brand new Bigfoot book. Front and center right there at my table with a big sign saying new look, look.

Stephen: Yeah. And I, maybe I will end up at the same show sometimes in con or something. We’re doing the salt fork, Bigfoot conference and Kecksburg later this year. Okay. When is that? [00:10:00] July. Okay. Sam Gordon’s big thing.

Jim: Yeah. I’ve done Ohio and I did I did whatever I think it’s actually called cryptid con in Tennessee.

Stephen: Yeah.

Jim: Or Kentucky.

Stephen: Yep. I talked to that one once. Yeah, it was really nice. So cryptic stuff. Those aren’t the books that interest Alan as much. He’s Hey, okay, but this

All: isn’t already on my list, a few more nights, let me just

Alan: work my way all the way onto the list.

I read all kinds of cryptic stuff. When I was young, and I stopped reading it because the more that I read similar stories in multiple books, and the more that I saw the credulousness of people that were making these reports, when you’re young, you’re really like, let’s learn about cryptids and UFOs, the odd, I don’t know, the Ripley’s believe it or not plus type stuff of what’s interesting and cool in the world.

And unfortunately just that, why isn’t there a con in West Virginia? Cause I [00:11:00] read all about the moth man when I was growing up. There is the moth man. It’s one of the

Stephen: bigger ones. Yeah. It’s right by hillbilly hot dogs.

Jim: Alan, what you’re saying though, I agree with, because I did that same thing. I read an awful lot when I was a kid, I was absorbing everything about Bigfoot. Loch Ness Monster. Exactly. And then UFOs. And then when I got a little older, I was reading a lot of books, like in the 90s or so, about UFOs.

And I was narrowing it down to things about UFOs that I found more interesting, like abductions. But then, yeah, you’re right. It started to get more and more ridiculous or far fetched. And far less interesting. Overall, I’m still interested in that, but when you read too much of that stuff, it just starts to, get you, you just Oh, come on.


Alan: little bit of what I thought was that in order to stand out, that we already had all these various different reports, [00:12:00] it seems that people were playing the, can you top this game? So it wasn’t just, I got abducted and probed, Hey, they give me a new kidney or what, you know what I mean?

It just was. They had different color aliens. It wasn’t just the grays and the greens. And as that kind of, can you top this thing was happening? I thought that it wasn’t real more and that they were, I don’t know, playing to that audience of sensationalism. And it’s already sensational enough without having to be ridiculous, so I don’t know.

I used to talk about it a lot when I was young. Have you heard about Loch Nessie? And, maybe, she’s had a baby or something like that, and then I just, I guess also my interest went elsewhere after reading like the chariots of gods, the Erich von Daniken and all that, that, that was not a good one to read.

It is that, when you’re young, you read everything, and you don’t really have the ability to distinguish between, are any of these known for science? Are they affiliated with a research institute or a university or something like that? [00:13:00] And there was a time, like I guess anything else in publishing, there was a big glut of that.

And the ones that came out first might have been the ones that someone had worked on for 10 years and gathered some facts and really tried to, Do some analysis and then all the people that were capitalizing on the kind of flooding into the field. A lot of them were silly and rushed and just not as well.

Interesting as credit Alan.

Stephen: You know what that means. That means for Christmas. I am getting you a Bigfoot romance book. They exist.

Jim: Wait a minute. That’s a really good point because. I’m to the point where I want to have, I do want to put out books of my own on these types of topics, but I need to do it differently.

So that’s why, like John and I have headed towards fiction, we put out our own book. fictionalized version of Eric von Donnachan. It’s called quest for the space gods. And then the Bigfoot book that I just put out is Bigfoot [00:14:00] fiction. So again, it’s I’m going to do this my way. I’m going to stay a little safe.

It’s it is fiction. We’re promoting. It is fiction. And

Stephen: that’s what I’ve got to. It’s a series. It’s this group of siblings that investigate this stuff. Think of it like Scooby Doo, but cryptic. And the idea came from my son, who was very big into that for quite a while, did talks and all sorts of stuff.

And when I was married. There were six kids. And so I started writing Christmas stories with all six kids and it revolved around the cryptid stuff. Cause everybody liked it. And now I’m expanding it in the full books into a series. So it’s more about, and it’s middle grade. There, there is some of that cryptid stuff for middle grade, but not so much fiction.

Jim: That’s wonderful. So hopefully

Stephen: kids will like it.

Jim: Yeah. The best of luck with it. That’s great.

Alan: It sounds great.

Jim: Another thing

Alan: that I’ve seen is, there’s all these different genres of it’s not just fantasy. Of course, there’s [00:15:00] all different kinds of fantasy and science fiction and cryptid, whatever else it might be.

And they’re mature enough now. I, there’s one guy really liked named A. Lee Martinez, and he’s got a whole bunch of books, each of which kind of keys in on let’s make fun of witches. Let’s make fun of Bigfoot. Let’s make fun of and not all the mockery, a very affectionate, the worst of fiction that Like deal with the tropes of those kinds of things, but then take it one step too far or the same question that we’ve all that we’ve always had.

I’m like, oh, that wouldn’t happen. That doesn’t make sense. He finds a way to either answer that or further market in the books. So if you guys haven’t read any of those, one that’s called like too many, which is one that’s called anyway, they’re really good. His latest series is Constance Verity saves the world.

It’s like a Buffy. Pastiche where teenagers always seem to be the ones that go to school near a Hellmaw or whatever else it might be. And so there, it’s very good about I don’t know, the hero’s journey. Oftentimes when when you’re young is when you’re learning [00:16:00] about what you’re, what you have to do to become a grownup.

What kinds of sacrifices, how you have to cleave yourself from your parents and stuff like that. And. He really seems to be aware of. I know that this is a big convention and I’m going to just tweak it a little bit to make it unexpected, so when you are writing your books in these various different genres, do you have that desire to stay true to it or to subvert it a little bit or both?

Jim: I’m going to, I’m going to, be honest with you. Yeah. The, um, the desire there for me is to subvert it. There is a part of me that, that does want to honor everything that came before, that’s why I call myself a pulp writer. But my interest is how do we take the pulp, genre or the pulp style or tradition because it actually encompasses many genres.

And how can we do something different with that. And my whole thing is. is let’s throw a couple other things in there and mix it up and [00:17:00] see what we get from there. So yeah definitely how subversive my stuff is, it would be a matter of opinion but definitely it’s one foot in tradition and one foot always stepping forward.

Stephen: And Jim. So you’ve got a mixture. You’ve got, you work with a partner in flinch and you’ve got your pulse, you’ve got Janus and all that, but you’ve also. Now you’ve got Bigfoot and some other things, but you’ve also got some IPs like Green Hornet, and you’ve done Batman and X Files, plus then you’ve done comic books, because I have assigned Star Wars comic from you, so that’s, how do you approach all those different HAHAHAHAHAH different differences.

Jim: It’s, I don’t want to dumb it way down by just saying it’s always been easy for me, but that’s probably something that it’s hard to explain. My interests have always just been across the map. And that’s been that way since I was a kid. And that’s why [00:18:00] if you look at my catalog, my so called catalog, you’re going to see that I’ve dabbled in how many different things and don’t tend to focus mostly because, I say, Oh, all right I want to do this.

And then when I’m done to that, like I don’t necessarily sequelize it. I move on to this other thing because I have this long list of things that I want to do. I have been really fortunate in the license work that I have done. It’s a little all over the map, but I think there’s some common threads within it, but again I cannot believe to this day what I’ve been able to.

To do and I would never have imagined being able to go down that road. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a comic book writer. I wanted to write for DC and I wanted to write the characters that I really love. But, like the comic book thing didn’t fully pan out. I’ve done a few and what I’ve done I’m really super proud of.

I’ve done two Ghostbusters comics and I did the [00:19:00] Star Wars comic. I actually have one little story for DC Comics with my hero, the Red Tornado. But but again I just have this voracious appetite to do all sorts of things and that’s what makes it difficult when John and I sit down and say, what’s going to be the next flinch books anthology?

And it’s just the world is there, like how it’s so we just start tossing things out. And I’ll say, you know what, I’ve had this idea for such a long time to do this or that. John said, for our last anthology, he’s I have been wanting to do a Westerns anthology.

And here’s me going oh, wow, like Westerns were never high on my list of interests. But I do, like it to some extent. But the more we talked about it, the more I got interested in it. And we compromised. John said, I want to do a Western anthology. And I said, okay, what I like in Westerns is the Lone Ranger.

That [00:20:00] makes Westerns more special to me. Because there’s an element of superhero, basically a Western superhero. And I said, is there any way that we can combine those things? Can we do a Western anthology but do it with characters that are like the Lone Ranger, meaning they have a legend behind them.

People know who they are when they walk into town, they have a legend behind them and they have a legend that precedes them. And John was like, yeah. Yeah, we can do that. So that’s what we did in six gun legends that all the characters and all the stories all have something like that. They either have an assumed name or they have a gimmick or they have some kind of stories about them that are out there.

And you’re supposed to read them and see Oh, I bet you there’s lots of other stories about these characters.

Stephen: It’s a lot like music that, we have so many notes, we have so many chords, but funk does not sound like country, which does [00:21:00] not sound like heavy metal, but you can still write music.

And then you just. What’s different about country and heavy metal, the same chords and put them into those.

Jim: My late wife and I used to talk about this all the time. She was a musician. She was a professional musician and singer. I was always asking her questions about music because I am not a musician and I’m not a singer.

So I only knew it from a lay person’s point of view and I was always asking her, Like, how can there be, 12 trillion songs in the world and half of them don’t sound exactly like the, the other half. And she would say things like you know what, there is only so many notes.

We have this finite series of notes. She says what it is that it’s what you do with them, right? It’s the way you string them together. Writing is like that, but we have way more words than we have notes. But it is, it’s [00:22:00] that same thing. It really comes down to how you string them together and what you do with them.

Yeah. It’s all the difference in the world. But that, the music thing, Stephen, is a perfect example. Point to, to make right here. Yeah. You only have those certain number of notes and you have to sit there and try to do something different than somebody else has it, right?

Stephen: And even though you have all those words, seriously, when you look at it, you’re probably using a very core set of words quite often, and even the bigger words are more, more esoteric words, but it’s.

It’s like the music, with metal, you want that drummer, that you want to a thumping baseline where with country, you want to give that swingy feel. And it’s the same with stories. You can make a Western, but if you write it like you’re writing a sci fi, it’s go fall over. It’s not going to work.

You want it to feel like a Western. And that’s where people joke with all the tropes or, the common stereotypes and all that. But [00:23:00] sometimes Knowing that and doing that’s what makes it feel like a Western. Even if it’s, a Conan story.

Jim: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. The TV show Firefly did a really good job of combining Westerns and science.

And the key to Firefly was that was the dialogue. Every one of those actors got into that. Western feeling. It was the way the dialogue is written and the way it’s delivered. There’s this certain cadence or manner of speaking that we all automatically think of as Western, I hate to say this.

I can’t even think of something, what was their famous line about? Big damn

Stephen: heroes. Ain’t we just,

Jim: yeah, or I aim to misbehave. It’s a certain, pattern in the way you do the words. It was super fun writing my western story. It is the one and only western story I have ever written.

And when I [00:24:00] was done, I fell in love with my characters and I immediately wanted, to write more. But that’s my problem up here is that oh no, I can’t do that. I need to move on to something else. So I hope I get back to those characters, someday. There was another person in the anthology who like me had never written a Western before, and I think he did a fantastic job.

That’s Chris Ryan. And then we had, we have three or four guys who are like literally some of the living legends of modern Western writers. So that was, it’s a really an eclectic book.

Alan: Let’s talk about that a little bit. An anthology is obviously not a single person’s work.

It’s that collection of, I think, 10 tales in the Western book. So how did that come about? Did you invite those living legends to contribute something? Did they hear this was brewing and they came to you and said, I got a story I’ve been saving up. Yeah. A short story, not a full one, but if you have room for me how did the [00:25:00] matchmaking happen?

Jim: It’s full credit to John again, I told him and I kept saying throughout the process, I said, this is your baby, like, how do you want to approach this? Flinch is done. Done the gathering of writers in a couple different ways. For the most part, it’s been by invitation. John and I have our eye on people, writers that we really want to work with.

We have a few that we have already worked with and we love working with them and want to keep working with them. But there’s been ones where like. How about, so and so John actually had this big list of writers and he’s this is my pie in the sky, and he’s I’m just going to go down this list and start sending out invites.

And we were amazed because again, there was the three or four guys that are in it that are a very established Western writers. They’re saying yes. Here’s John freaking out. Cause he knows those writers better [00:26:00] than I do. As far as what they do and what they’re capable of. And he was just to him, that was just like the stars were coming down, out of the sky thing, exactly

Alan: what

Jim: everyone did to do.

And then we also then went to some writers that we had worked with Will Murray. , who had told us that he want, he always kept asking us like, what’s the next anthology that you guys are doing? Because I’m ready to provide . Yeah. The guy who writes the doc who wrote the Doc Savage, the, that’s right.

He’s asking us what our next anthology is going to be. And then we went to a couple of guys who we knew weren’t Western writers, but we liked their writing. And I remember Chris is the good example of that. He lit up. He’s Oh my God. I really wanted to write my first western story.

And yes I really want to be in this. So in that sense, that’s how that one came together. It came together pretty quickly and very well. [00:27:00] Everybody took to the theme. We wrote a very small little bible because because they were going to be inventing their own characters.

Actually, one of them Oh my God. Terrence Macaulay, if I’m not mistaken, had has very established characters in his own work. He wrote us a brand new story that is like the origin story of those guys. And we were just flabbergasted it was like his established characters and he had not had a story of their early days.

Of, how they became the legends that they become later on and he offered that to us. So again it was really a fantastic project. It really came together exactly the way we wanted it. We got a beautiful cover on it by Ted Hammond. I was just over the moon because those are my characters on the cover.

And, like the perfect storm of an anthology [00:28:00] I love doing anthologies as much as, there’s a lot of. Ego boost in having just your name on a cover. There’s something really cool about getting a band together, practicing, and then going out on stage. It really is something very cool.

And I really love. Collaboration.

Alan: Has there ever been talk of taking it to the next step of a shared world thing? Robert Asprin and George Martin and various others are known when he talked about having a Bible. I imagine that was for, I don’t know, the time that it could be within and maybe yeah,

Jim: you’re right.

It was basically like, here’s the theme and we explained our theme and it was like, please have it set within these years and please I think we usually most often for a flinch books, we say, can you please keep it to PG 13? Okay. You can have some adult content, but we not graphically.

We draw the line [00:29:00] at some of the stronger cuss words.

Alan: The sex stuff, the torture stuff, the whatever is deep. Yeah,

Jim: We’re not, we, we always say no excessive gore. No graphic sex, no F bombs, let’s keep it, more or less to a PG 13. We do actually have one shared world anthology, and it was actually the second one that we did, and that’s called Big Top Tales.

That’s a circus. Oh, circus, of course. Okay. Okay. And that is actually about a traveling circus in 1956 and all the characters and all the stories in it, although they’re by different people. That’s one shared world other the other True. Exactly. That’s cool. The other one is quest for the space gods.

And that’s another shared. That’s Conrad von Honig, which is a, our version of Erich von Däniken and and stay tuned. There’s some news about that, that we’ll be hitting with soon, but right now, John and I are talking about. Another [00:30:00] shared world anthology. It looks like it’s probably going to be next year.

We’re putting together a novel right now. We’re actually this year going to have our first novel that is not by one of us. It’s not by me, it’s not by John. We’ve never done this before. It’s going to be the first novel by somebody else, somebody we worked with before but Matt. And then we’re going to be doing, we are going to be doing an anthology this year, but we’re actually going to be you know what?

I’m not going to say anything right now because we’re still working on that one. It’s a little different. It is shared world now that I think of it. Geez, we probably have more shared world anthologies. Because wait a minute, our Mummy Horror is not shared universe. Six Gun Legends is not shared universe.

And Occupied Pulp, our thriller anthology, our post war thriller anthology, is not [00:31:00] shared universe. And our Our something strange is going on is also not shared universe. So every other one,

Alan: that’s very funny. That informs why I asked like a naive question, because the ones of yours that I have read was occupied.

And I really love what’s the guy’s name. I’ve got Fletcher Hanks, that Oh, Fletcher

All: Hanks, that. Okay. The old

Alan: crazy comic books that had the, I will destroy all civilized planets or whatever like that. I found that somebody had actually continued with his craziness. I had to know what they had done.

And so just that I guess I have to caution the same way Westerns wasn’t shared world. And so that’s why I thought there you could do that. But you have, I just missed them , so I didn’t, I really didn’t read the circus one yet. Yeah, I was gonna say, I was gonna

Jim: say you’ve been hitting the ones that are not

Stephen: That’s funny. Okay. . I read the zombie one. I texted John said, Hey, that I love the little nod to the uncharted video games. ’cause you said Nathan Drake. He’s yeah, I did that [00:32:00] before I even knew that was a character in a video game. He’s it’s just coincidence. But , it worked out. It was like.

Perfect. Happy

All: accident. Yeah. Happy little accident. Yep.

Alan: Yeah. One of the things that I’ve seen, like I like a guy named Simon Green Simon R. Green and he does to me kind of pulp stuff where very strong characters, quirky and stuff like that. But what he has sometimes done is either borrowed from other places or created things that have been borrowed by others, like the Carnecki Institute, that, I’m not sure if that was that originally a you got to think it’s been Lovecraft or when you read about Miskatonic University, you know that, but I think there’s a certain amount of sharing or stealing that goes on in these various different genres that they say, I don’t need to create a police force of the supernatural.

Somebody already alluded that this thing exists. I think I’ll use that name too. And mine is the European version instead of the American version. So I love when, if you read a lot of those things, it’s [00:33:00] very fun to get those little Easter eggs, breadcrumbs, whatever you want to call them, that somebody said, I’ll go with The Justice League, I’ll call it the Justice, or with their copyright reasonable type

Jim: things.

Those are, pastiches basically, and I like that stuff too. Sergeant Janice is actually my version of Karnacki. He’s completely inspired by Karnacki. I read the original nine, Karnacki stories by William Hope Hodgson and just fell in love with those stories and was so excited over how much I not only was scared by those stories, but just so into them that I said I need to come up with my own occult detective character and that’s, where that came from.

John is inspired by, among other things for Midnight Guardian, there’s a little bit of the Green Hornet in that character. There’s maybe a lot of Spy Smasher Spy [00:34:00] Smasher being a comic book character a movie serial character, and might even have been on the radio. Also we all borrow or right now there’s a pretty big movement about using public domain characters and concepts,

Alan: right?

Because so many things are coming into the public domain after Disney and others strongly defended things far beyond the original idea of what. Public domain was okay or okay.

Jim: The, I think the one that’s probably been milked the most is all of the Cthulhu mythos. My God, we’re to the point.

And I always, I joke about this, but I’m going to say it. And the next thing I know, I’ll probably see it published somewhere, like we’ve done everything except Cthulhu meets my little pony, I literally every possible. Twist that you can do

Alan: Neil Gaiman did one, all kinds of well name authors, if you will.

I just got, so I don’t know how this fell off my [00:35:00] radar. Really? Charles Strauss has a series of books called the laundry files. That is a combination of spy investigation, procedural and Cthulhu, instead of it being, Hey, and there’s other, maybe the entire horizon where there turns out to be vampires and werewolves and various different things that, They’re the front line that stops these things from intruding too much into the regular world and making everybody nervous to death, if you will.

That the. reading how matter of factly he talks about it, that it isn’t like, I’m saying this poorly, Cthulhu is an entire thing that informs the rest of how the story works in terms of, it’s not an individual vision villain, like Dracula, it’s this, Otherworldly presence pushing into the world in various different ways.

And it warps reality. And so you really can get away with a lot of stuff of not having it be super scientific, super explainable. But if you carry with it, the cool Cthulhu thing of the dread and the, this can drive you mad. And if [00:36:00] the narrator of the book Is an unreliable narrator because he has been driven mad that it lends a whole bunch of interest to those kinds of books.

You know what I mean? So I recommend those, if you haven’t read them, the laundry files is the, and what a, what an innocuous name for a series, but they’re really well done.

Jim: It is. Yeah. You wouldn’t be able to really. Form a picture of what that might be, and then you’ll find out that could be why he named it that it’s, low lulling you into a false sense of security.

And then you find out, What it actually is.

Stephen: She got out now. So Jim, let me ask you have a book publishing of your own stuff dedicated to your wife. And you’ve been doing books through that along with flinch. How are you juggling all of this? Cause there’s a lot that comes out at times.

Jim: Yeah. It’s been, it’s been okay. I think maybe what works or what makes it work is [00:37:00] that John and I, in the very beginning said that we were only going to do one to two books a year. And we’ve kept with that. We haven’t missed a year since we started. We’ve, and we’ve either had one or two, and I think there’s been more years where we’ve actually had two with With his full time job, my full time job, and the other things that we do, that’s a very comfortable level of publishing for us.

If it was just us putting out books that just we write, I don’t know, maybe we would put out a little bit more, but we’re working with other how many, sometimes 10 or 12 other writers, when we do those. But we’re comfortable with that. Becky Books gives me the opportunity to put out stuff in between all of that.

Mostly what it’s done is it’s allowed me to put out non fiction books. Which I have found I can bring [00:38:00] together fairly quickly and put them out. A flinch book might take maybe six months or maybe even more to put, put together and get out there where maybe one of the nonfiction books from Becky books might be something along the lines of three months.

A lot of It is also is that again with Becky books I’m bringing in other writers. I’m not doing, all the writing myself, although I do have books like that. The the D. C. Jones and Adventure Command International, that’s all me. And I’m coming out soon with a nonfiction book about the comic book series called the Brave and the Bold.

Oh, yeah. And that’s going to, that’s, that book is all me, but half of it I wrote 15 years ago and I’m only now digging it out and saying, I need to do something with this book. I’ve, we’ve gotten it down to a real nice patter, like I’ll do a couple of Becky books and then we’ll do a flinch books and a lot of times we can do them at the [00:39:00] same time.

Those two flinch books that we’ll be doing hopefully this year are coming together without a lot of our minute to minute concentration. Not only do we have those going on, but I also have one, two, three Becky books in various stages of production. So, it’s all been good so far. And it, and it allows us to put out the books that we do.

It’s been very comfortable so far.

Alan: Wonderful. Um, when I talk to my author friends, a lot of them say that they need a publisher. They want to spend all their time writing or thinking or, doing that kind of thing. And that the business end of things is like the least attractive thing to them.

And you’ve been able to find reasonable compromise with, yes, we write, but also it takes contracts and it takes publishing agreements and, scheduling and stuff like that. So is that Okay. How have [00:40:00] you gotten good at wearing those various different hats, and are there any that you’re not comfortable with that if ever this gets to a certain critical mass, you’ll actually be happy to shed one or two responsibilities?

Jim: That might be tomorrow. No the rewards have been Outweighing the challenges and maybe even some of the what I might call heartaches or heartbreaks, for that matter. Yeah. I have always been a ringleader since the time I was a kid. I was the kid that gathered the other kids in the neighborhood or up and down our street together and said, okay, today we’re going to play.

Batman and Robin today, we’re going to play Godzilla and his, monster friends the day we’re going to get out the action figures, I, I. I look back and realize that I had to be the one to bring those, bring it all [00:41:00] together. I was not

Alan: a role for you. You throw an idea about it and you didn’t have so heavy a hand that people are like I’m tired of being ordered around.

I think the title good for you.

Jim: I was. I was not as happy being a follower as a leader. And you know what? I’ll S I’ll say it. If that’s called ego, then I guess that’s, you know what that is. I don’t know. I’ve always gotten satisfaction with being able to take a bunch of things and bring them together into one cohesive, thing.

Unit, if the kids in the neighborhood were really happy and had a lot of fun with whatever game that I said, Hey, we’re going to, let’s do this today. Then that was a good, that was a good day. There were days where, you know, some of the kids just weren’t feeling it, or they didn’t like that one, and then it all fell apart after a few minutes, and that was not a, not a good day.

That’s very much like the publishing thing that’s going on now. I really [00:42:00] enjoy all the different aspects of it. Coming up with the ideas and writing the bibles, for it. That’s, I love that. I’ve always felt like an idea person, more than a writer myself. But what, and then the other thing that I really love is coming up with covers.

And that’s enough. That’s one of the main reasons why I’m a publisher. I actually started as a visual artist. And was trained as a visual artist. So the art and a cover and the design work and all of that logos, everything is very near and dear to me. John and I are maybe more proud of our covers than nearly almost anything else that we’ve done.

We’re proud of every aspect of it, but covers are just. We stand back and just sometimes just stand there and stare at our covers and go, Oh, look at that one. Oh, look at this one. Oh boy. That was a great one right there. I

Alan: really get that. When you’re going through a bookstore and [00:43:00] nothing about the array of books.

Except the cover, and yet something grabs your eye, something looks interesting. That’s much what you’re talking about. I read Doc Savages when I was young, because the Bama covers were like nothing else on the stands.

All: Absolutely.

Alan: Same with Frazetta art. Same with Kaluta art. And I can start doing my favorites, but it wasn’t only that they were great art.

It was that sense of, proportion, and logo, and eye popping color, or whatever else it might be. It just was, you’d be able to pick it up, and you read the back, and it’s like a good pull quote, and the packaging that got you to say, from one minute’s worth of information, I’m committing to 200 pages of reading, there’s a wonderful, Craft to that, a science maybe to it, but definitely a craft.

Jim: Oh, it’s definitely a science, sometimes too. And the, and an art it’s actually both from a very early age. I learned that saying, don’t judge a book by its cover, but I have ignored that my entire life. I have always judged a book by its cover and I [00:44:00] want people to judge my books by. The cover is there, to, to grab you and drag you in.

The cool thing is that John and I, and then me by myself, I think that we’re all backing up that cover with really good insides too, but It

Alan: doesn’t really happen that something looks really great and you find out, wow, they put all their creativity into this eye catching image and then the insides pedestrian.

Okay. Yes.

Jim: So the biggest challenge for me as a publisher is the technical aspects. Cause that’s not me. I, I struggle, I, my more right brain than left brain. I do struggle with a lot of the technical aspects of it. I’m lucky. I know how to use word. I can use Microsoft word, and I can assemble a word document that Kindle direct publishing will accept as an ebook,

Stephen: all right, fine.

We’ll take it.

Jim: What I can’t do is create. I can’t [00:45:00] create and design the PDF that’s needed for the print edition, the interiors for the print edition and also the PDF that’s needed for the full cover, the the front, the spine and the back. I love art directing. I can’t do the art myself, but then there comes that collaboration thing.

Is I love finding the right artist to make that what’s in my head, put it out and get it out onto the the computer screen and then onto the printed the cover. But the secret to it is that I have found is surround yourself with very good people who do know how to do the things that you can’t do or don’t know how to do or don’t have the wherewithal to learn how to do.

And John and I have done that and I believe I’ve done that with Becky books too. We have an amazing formatter. Just amazing Maggie Ryle who I use for flinch books now and [00:46:00] we love working with her. She does exactly what we hope she’ll do. She’s incredible with coming up with her own things.

She’s a great designer and she just gives us an incredible project. We also have now what we consider to be this amazing sort of stable of artists. We have a few that are now our go to guys and we know, what type of book would be best suited for which one of the artists.

And it always seems to work out. Here’s a good example. The guy’s name is Adam Shaw and we’ve used him a couple different times now. I would not use Adam for everything, but there are certain things that I know he’ll be spectacular on if Adam’s listening to this much love to you, but like Adam wouldn’t necessarily be the guy to do the Western cover, but we had him do occupied Pope and it’s probably one of my most favorite [00:47:00] covers that I’ve been involved with ever.

He also just did for me, my, the Bigfoot cover and that book is called knocks and howls, by the way. It was perfect. Adam was just like, there’d be no other artists in the entire world that should have done that cover. Adam took my little thumbnail sketch and made it a reality. And to me, it’s just, absolutely perfect.

Ted Hammond, as it turned out was the perfect guy to do the Western cover. It’s absolutely, he captured those characters exactly. He’s got, the guns the Smith and Wessons are just absolutely perfect. Clothing is accurate and everything, but it’s not as cold as all of that.

It’s, it really comes down to the expressions on the faces. And, an artist is an actor in a way that he makes it, the characters on the page do the acting. So again, most aspects of being a publisher, I really do love except for those [00:48:00] technical aspects and especially when something just won’t work, I just love that all the

Stephen: time.

Jim: Somebody to ask me to do something really weird with an essay. And I sat there and sat there and tried to figure it out in Word and I literally just threw in the towel and I said, I just had to tell them, I can’t do it. I’ll try to get have do that with the print edition. I gave it over to Maggie and I’m like, okay, you do this because I can’t do it as the Word document

Alan: spruce this up.


Jim: but the real deal for me is holding that finished book in my hands. It never ever gets old. I’ve been a professional writer for 22 years now and opening up a box from Amazon and seeing your book for the first time, not just on screen, but literally taking it out of the box and holding it.

It’s, there’s just nothing like that. I look forward to it. It’s almost the single reason why I publish books is just [00:49:00] to have that physical book in my hand. And then to put it onto my shelf with my book. Yeah, it’s

Alan: immortality. You brought something into the world that wouldn’t have been there without you and your cohort.

But, Stephen, you’ve talked about that, that the things that you’ve created, they’re incredibly satisfying. It’s not the same as having a child, but it’s a lot like writing a song or creating a game or whatever. Things that wouldn’t exist in the world. One of the joys nowadays of the Kickstarters and the GoFundMes and stuff is there’s all kinds of people that the old system used to chew up and spit out.

And nowadays when there’s less barrier between artists and creators and stuff like that and people are willing to sponsor them, I just love the fact of how many things, I’ve helped things by contributing to them, but it’s very cool that people have that ability of, I’ve got this, That I want to have and I want it to be real.

And then there’s a way to do that nowadays. So that must be incredibly satisfying to open that box and say, [00:50:00] look what I did. Yeah. This is here forever. This is immortality

Stephen: ally. It’s not joy to my bank account. Sometimes .

Alan: And

Jim: sometimes it can be. That same boat,

Stephen: And Jim I also, you’re talking about your covers.

I love your covers because they’re drawn. Paintings their artwork. Whereas I know you talk to writers and the publishers and they’re like you got to make your covers look like everybody else in your genre because that’s what people want to see. And everything is this guy walking away from the camera and there’s buildings here.

It’s all

Alan: explosion in the background.

Stephen: Yeah, it’s all some sort of art. It’s all some sort of images, pictures that are manipulated. But you guys have art and drawings and paintings. And I love that because that’s what I like on the stuff I do.

Jim: I’m glad you’re seeing that. This is not to compare myself with George Lucas, but George Lucas had a similar sort of thing going on when star Wars first came out and especially when [00:51:00] he got to empire strikes back he said he did not want to have.

Movie posters and, promo images that were like what was being done at that time. He, yeah, he insisted on having painted works in the old style. He wanted that old Hollywood feeling of that. And John and I are the same. And then, I’m the same with today’s, Today’s thing is to maybe we have it mostly be type, mostly be words, just filling the whole cover and maybe a tiny little image or something, but when you have an image, yeah, it’s almost always manipulated photography and that kind of bugs me. Because I think it’s cold, I just love artwork and mostly because I can’t do it myself, and I need to have that on a cover and whether I don’t really care whether or not [00:52:00] that won’t make it, saleable or, whatever it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the, when I go to a show and I have the books on the table and someone comes up and then, maybe they’re just glancing at things and then they stop and they go, wow, you have really great covers.

It’s yes, okay, everything is worthwhile now, that’s

Stephen: the thing when you’re sitting at Pulp Fiction, you’re sitting in a room where everybody’s selling all these old books with painted covers with artwork on covers. That’s what they all are. So if you’re doing Pulp Fiction style stuff, you really should do that.

I do the same with middle grade because a lot of the middle grade is Painted drawings and covers like that. Not the young adult. When you get into that’s more of the manipulated photo image stuff. But middle grade is still art, which I’m glad. I love that much more. So myself.

Jim: Please

Alan: do. I’m sorry.

Stephen: Oh no. So we’ve talked about your various IPS. You’ve done Star Wars, which is one of [00:53:00] my favorites. What are the favorite ones you’ve done that haven’t been your own books?

Jim: Definitely the Planet of the Apes anthology.

Stephen: Which the new movie comes out Memorial Day. I know.

Jim: Exactly. So here’s me and my co editor, Rich Hanley, saying okay, a new movie is coming out.

We need to hit them up to let us do volume two of that, but they’re just so resistant to that idea. A. Tie in fiction is not what it used to be in the public eye. And that’s a shame. In fact, there are still some novelizations, but you not it used to be almost every single movie.


Stephen: talked about that, how much I miss the novelizations. I, but people says, cause people don’t want to read the story. They just go watch it again. And I hate that.

Jim: Yeah. So the Planet of the Apes book almost didn’t happen because we were up against that [00:54:00] same thing. We pitched the idea to Titan. They had the Planet of the Apes fiction license.

I’m not so sure they still do, but they did at that time. And the first thing we were told is anthologies don’t really sell very well. It wasn’t just tie in fiction doesn’t sell very well. It was an anthology, of short stories that the people aren’t really, buying stuff like that.

And we’re like, number like Planet Apes fans would go ape over there. So they put it on us to gather writers and they felt if that the writers were quote unquote, sexy enough, that was going to be what sold the book. Weirdly enough, not the property, Not the IP, but who the writers were or combination thereof, they said, and they use this as an example, they said, if you got Stephen King, someone’s going to come along and go, Oh my God, Stephen King wrote a Planet of the Apes story.

I have got to read [00:55:00] that. They said, that’s what you need to do. You need to have a name. That has, someone that’s not really necessarily thought of what planet of the apes and they go, Oh, I have got to see what they do with that IP. It w it was an amazing prod project. It’s been the most popular of any, a book of anything I’ve done, as far as the Amazon ratings and reviews and all of that, and it still seems to be going pretty strong, it’s always at the top of my Amazon author page.

And that’s due to sales, or what our popularity. And we got almost universal praise for that.

Alan: Very good.

Jim: Yeah. I, at the very least, I think maybe there might’ve been a three star review here and there out of, a few hundred, there weren’t enough spaceships in it. I’m trying to think of something negative that somebody said, but.

We’re living in a day where somebody can give you a three star rating and not [00:56:00] explain themselves. Yeah. And that drives me up the freakin wall because it’s I need to know you gave me two stars can, that’s okay, it’s your opinion. Can you give me an idea of why you gave the problem

Stephen: with the system is people literally will not even get it and read it.

Sometimes I was just like, Oh, plenty. That’s stupid. I’m giving one star.

Jim: Yeah. That’s here’s a review. I don’t, I hate science fiction. I don’t even watch science fiction movies. Therefore, I’m going to give this science fiction a one star, like people don’t even understand how to review things anymore, but no, what we heard back from people who love planet apes at many different levels, die hard fans, that it’s literally their life to casual planet apes fans.

They told us it was the exact kind of book that they wanted, that they had [00:57:00] thought would be really cool. And they really love that. They love that some of the stories expanded upon what we already knew and the characters we already knew. People like the stories that were literally just all brand new characters and not even set in North America, but on that same planet of the caves, but maybe in China.

Or, somewhere else. They liked the idea that we played with time, we the stories are set in all different time periods and we even have a couple of what if, pardon me, what if stories. That kind of play with what if Taylor had lived past the end of, spoiler alert, beneath the planet of the apes.

So that is definitely at the very top of the licensed projects that I’ve worked with. I’m really proud of the Ghostbusters comic books that I’ve done. I wrote those with Keith Dallas. We were very fortunate to do those and both the issues [00:58:00] that we did, they’re both one shots.

They both sold out. So that’s, that was really cool. What, I love my Green Hornet book. I’m super, super proud of that. And I actually have a second Green Hornet story coming out, hopefully in May. It’s supposed to be May. So I wrote a novella and now I have a short story coming out.

And that was really fun to return to those characters and do those.

Alan: Nice, what’s surprising about what you’ve shared is I always thought that when something inhabits the. The culture like that, that there’s almost a weird saturation level that gets reached of how many different ways they try to exploit something.

So to hear that they didn’t want a book, they did want the pajamas and the, the lunchbox and the video game and the, they just seemed to have. Some of that everywhere, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a thousand incarnations, as does every time that an Avengers thing comes out, so I wonder [00:59:00] why they would be so specific about not a book, not an anthology. I would have thought they would have just said, yeah, carpet bomb it even more, and get Every niche that we can possibly fill is it because reading itself is now look, I don’t understand.

Jim: Yeah, there are, I have to trust that they have seen sales things that they have put out.

And know, what will sell and what doesn’t sell. But I’ve come across this before. Companies have these IPs that sometimes they just let them sit there for a while and not do anything with them.

Alan: They acquired it and then they don’t.

Jim: Yeah. I’m more of the opinion of, put something out there.

It doesn’t have to be splashy, but just, keep it alive. I won’t go into detail because it’s, I’m in confidence with parts of it, but a couple of years ago, I knew somebody who tried to get the [01:00:00] license to a toy property to put out novels. Of that toy property. Okay. And I was involved and the company that owns the property, came back and said, yeah, we’re just not interested in doing anything with it.

There were no current toys of it. There was basically nothing, not basically. Literally nothing.

Alan: Yeah. And they’re just waiting for it to ripen a little bit. Yeah. They’re like letting out. They get taxed right off.

Jim: To me, it’s if you can make a couple of bucks on it, why not do it?

Because if I understand this correctly the person that was trying to get the license would have had to pay the licensing fee.

Alan: But year by

Jim: year, I’m sorry, go ahead.

Alan: Like every

Jim: year,

Every year,

Alan: They

Jim: would get money up front,

All: even,

Jim: If they said, okay, [01:01:00] for you to use this IP, we need 50, 000, okay.

And that’s paid. So guess what that company has 50, 000 that they didn’t have before. All. And then they’re also gonna get a portion of the, the royalties or whatever you do with

Alan: it. Exactly, yeah. They

Jim: come in with it and as long as they get approvals on it, it’s not like a porn version was gonna be put out of it or some really crazy thing that couldn’t even be identified as the original ip.

, I personally don’t understand it and I know people probably can explain it to me. Of why it’s valuable to let it sit there. And we’re talking decades of doing nothing with this problem.

Alan: And sometimes what seems to happen is that people buy things because they have something else on the market that they don’t want to have competition with.

That wasn’t

Jim: the case with this [01:02:00] because this company did not have any. It’s a toy company. They don’t have any prose works out there. There didn’t even have any comic books out there of anything of theirs that I’m aware of. And this would not have competed with anything at all. What it would have been was some money in their pockets and some interest, however much in one of their IPs that nothing else was being done with.

I just personally, just, don’t understand that. As long as it’s being faithful, they have approval, they’re getting some money up front. What is the harm in it? To me, the harm is more letting, letting the world forget about the property. And it just sitting there in a back, in a drawer, pushed to the back and not doing it.

When I [01:03:00] know that, I don’t know how big the audience would have been, there was some audience for it. And it could have been done in a way that audience would have wanted to give it to their kids or grandkids, we because we were talking about doing it as like intermediate novels or young adult, novels.

We know that no, even if it was an intermediate novel that we know that there would have been adults who have bought it because they would have recognized the property.

Alan: Exactly.

Jim: It’s a real shame. Wait, this goes back to that idea of doing pastiches or whatever. So the answer for me would have been maybe do my own version of it, which I have done with D. C. Jones and Adventure Command International. And this is not what I was just talking about. I’m not, it’s, this is not the unnamed company that I’m talking about. But Hasbro does not want to do anything with the Adventure team. Because it’s this, that was the 70s, who the hell knows what even that is at all?

So I said, [01:04:00] okay I’m going to do something with it, except I’m going to change all the names, and make it look a little different and still have the joy of, working with what I still think of as the toy from when I was a kid. Yeah. But that’s also sad because G. I. Joe still is a viable IP, and I think anything that would have the G.

I. Joe name would sell to some extent.

Alan: Automatically has some cache, exactly that, for nostalgia or for new or whatever, exactly.

Jim: Ezpro has no idea what to do with G. I. Joe. That’s funny. It’s okay, they’re actually putting out figures. Yeah, there’s some new stuff. It has come back. But a couple of years ago, there were, you couldn’t walk into a toy store or a toy department or anything and find any GI Joe stuff whatsoever.

Literally the best selling boys toy name ever. And there was nothing to be had

Stephen: there. Yeah.

Jim: Yeah. It’s just so weird.

Stephen: I had the same [01:05:00] thing. I don’t know. There’s a, if you remember, there was a TV show in the nineties called legend, which had John Larroquette Q and Richard Dean Anderson on it, MacGyver.

And I went to a con and met both of them and asked them, Hey, who has the license for this property? They’re both like beats me because it was Richard Dean Anderson’s pub. production company, which is now defunct. And then it was bought out by Warner Brothers instead of this. So nobody really knows.

So I, I’d love to find out who has that to try and license it.

Jim: Yeah. And I’ve gone down that road myself. I love the TV movie from, I think it’s 72 called gargoyles.

Stephen: Okay.

Jim: Are you familiar with that? It’s a TV movie. What did you say? Yes,

Alan: I have seen it. Yes.

Jim: I want to write something more, to do like a sequel to gargoyles or something.

You know what? [01:06:00] And I’ve had people look into it. People are actually good about looking into stuff like that. And nobody can really determine who the hell actually owns it because it has, because. What, whoever originally had it was bought by such and such, and then was bought by such and such, which was bought by such and such, and you get this big, huge conglomerate that has no idea of all these little properties that they own and don’t care about them,

Alan: I’ve seen that happen. Not I know in music, sometimes things that have never come out on CD, it’s because that multiple acclimate, that they kept acquiring it, or that there’s contention. And they, whoever it is, until someone dies. There’s not going to be a clear path as to who really owns this thing.

For a long time, it was, let’s see, who’s the guy from Creedence Clearwater Revival Fogarty, John Fogarty and his manager, Saul Zaintz. Really had a falling out and Zayn sold all the stuff and Fogarty wouldn’t even perform it, even though it was some of the best stuff he ever wrote. And it took Zayn’s death like [01:07:00] 40 years later to finally have someone say, okay, let’s stop the feud.

Generational change sometimes is what it takes to open up the vault and get those things back out.

Jim: And Fogarty wrote a really great song about that man that was on one of his solo albums.

Alan: Zantz can’t

Stephen: dance.

Jim: Yes, that’s a great.

Stephen: Colin just told me that horror VHS tapes are huge and selling sometimes for hundreds because out of all the genres of movies, There are more horror movies that have never transferred to DVD and streaming that they’re only available out on

Jim: VHS

Stephen: and because they also have some of the, like we were talking about, some of the best artwork and covers on them and people want them as collectibles.

So some of the horror VHS sell for hundreds of dollars.

Jim: That’s wild. It’s, that’s so amazing. That’s just, Yeah, I’m

Stephen: like, great. I probably own some of those horror movies,

Alan: buried somewhere. Watch them [01:08:00] to death. Exactly. Yeah.

Stephen: Oh, wow. All right. Or Alan, you got anything else to bug Jim about?

Alan: No, that’s I, as I’m going down, I like actually 1 other question I had.

There was a reference on the site to that. You wrote weekly content for Marvel comics for 17 years, 17 years. Will you write like Stan soapbox is the ghost writer or what were you doing?

Jim: No literally marvel. com puts up weekly content and that can be anything from, it’s all, promotion for the books.

And that can literally be anything from Q and A’s with the creators to, you know, a straightforward, this is coming out and this is what it’s about to things that support stuff like that. Oh, there’s a new Ghost Rider comic book coming out. So let’s do a a history article about all, Ghost Rider characters.

I started off writing press releases for Marvel, but, and then segued into the marvel. [01:09:00] com after only about a year or so. And I got to the point where I was like their senior. Content provider, and that was just because I was a lot older than all the little 20 somethings that they had the

Alan: background.

I don’t think the 17 years is a really good run on anything.

Jim: I know. And week and weekly, so I was doing, several articles, um, that it was really fun. And, you know, it got to the point where they had me doing almost exclusively history articles because a they knew that I knew it and enjoyed researching stuff from when I was little or even before me, but they, but also the younger kids writing didn’t like any of that and didn’t want to do any of that.

So they always said, let Jim do it. Exactly.

Alan: So you said the doing the nonfiction version of things can sometimes be more efficient than having to come up with new ideas, very cool. I was [01:10:00] just very curious that because honestly, I have tons of comic books that I have thought I was a familiar with literally tons single name.

I really do. I have 40, 000. And I had never I can’t remember seeing your name in print with Marvel. But that’s because you were You know, if it was ever attributed to you, I didn’t click on it because it wasn’t, Hey, here’s a Chris Claremont, and writing the stories, if you will.


Jim: the really nice thing about marvel. com is that they all, you always got credit. Every article that came out. The writer’s name is on it. It would say the name of the article and, by Jim Beard. At one point they even had, we even had little avatars. They, I remember that year that they came around to all of us and they said, all the writers are going to now have a little avatar next to their name.

You pick a Marvel character. And I picked Stingray. And I remember like the guy, like who asked me, it was like, You pick Stingray?

Alan: Yeah, out of everyone?

Jim: Yeah, [01:11:00] they’re expecting, Thor, Spider Man, Captain Marvel, whatever. And they’re like we don’t know if we actually have a good image of Stingray.

And I said, hey, yes you do, because you’re Marvel. You can get, what do they call it? I can’t remember what they don’t know. They said, I don’t, we don’t know if we have resources for that. Or, I can’t remember the word that they use. And it’s, but they did. They dug one up. And it was a real nice one.

It wasn’t like an old, it wasn’t like a 70’s drawing of Stingray. It was, A little bit later, but it was really nice. I even had was doing like a couple of regular columns for a while. I had 1 call. Did you know where whatever the theme was, I said, it was like, did you know, and there was a couple different points about, werewolf by night.

Did you know, and blah, blah, blah. And just some really cool points about that. We did a ton of those. We did little videos for for YouTube where it was like the history of characters in one minute, a thing. So [01:12:00] the best thing I ever got to do for marvel. com is I got to interview Stan Lee on the phone.

It was, that’s not, that’s even higher than bucket list territory, for a little over 20 minutes. I interviewed him on the phone. He was a sweetheart of a guy. It was one of the thrills of my lifetime. I still actually have the audio snippet of it. Cause they, what they did then they Marvel then took it and transcribed it.

But I actually have the, cause I had to record him, I actually still have that. Oh, that was quite a thrill. Very cool.

Alan: I think I know why I never had picked up on that. Cause even though I am much a computer geek and much a comic book reader, I didn’t really frequent marvel. com. You know what I mean?

I read my comic books and I guess I read, uh, rocket blast comic collector and other like commentary magazines. The reader’s guide. The buyer’s guide to comic fandom and stuff just didn’t go along with Marvel’s game. That’s very cool. Okay.

Jim: You know why that was is you probably [01:13:00] wanted a little bit less whitewashed of comic news and discussion.

And yeah, if you’re going to go to Marvel, it’s going to be all hunky dory, in all the Q and A’s, there’s never going to be any hard balls. It’s all going to be softballs to, questions. But you know what, you, but you under, you understand that going in, that, Marvel is not going to have an interview with Chris Claremont to say, so why do you hate John Byrne?

You know what I mean?

Alan: Exactly.

Jim: It’s that, yeah, so if you understand that and you like to read hype, and I’m not putting Marvel down, they’re the masters of hype, and they always have been, but it was one hell of an experience and it’s an incredible thing that I have on my resume now.

That’s pretty cool. Good for you. Yeah.

Alan: Very good. Thank you so much for joining us.

Stephen: Thank you.

Alan: Do you have anything else?

Stephen: No, I’m good. I just hope, Jim, maybe I’ll probably run into you at Pulp Fiction if this year we want to go to it again. Okay. Maybe I’ll see you at some other [01:14:00] event or maybe we’ll both be signed up.

I’ve been at an event with John for one, need to do something sometime.

Jim: Okay. Very good. We’ll be at Pulp Fest in August. Yep. And I will be back to that Bigfoot show in, I can’t remember where it is in Ohio. It’s called Small Town Monsters.

Stephen: Yes. With Breedlove with Seth. Yeah.

Jim: Yeah. All right.

Stephen: Oh, that’s right. I saw you there last year. That’s right.

Jim: Yeah that’s yeah. Okay. And I’ll be at that again, and I’ll have the Bigfoot book with me there. So far, those are the two shows that I know for certain that I’m doing. And I, I do Pulp Fest every year. That’s, that is our show.

That’s the show, of what we do. Flinchbooks will be there.

Stephen: No, Pulp Fest, that’s the one in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is, that’s what it was. Yeah, Mars.

Jim: Mars to be very specific. Mars that one that was called Pulp Fiction Con is no more. Okay. That little one that is over at the Holiday Inn

Alan: or [01:15:00] whatever in Westlake, I think.

Westlake, yeah, that’s it.

Jim: Jeff Harper. Yeah, I think it didn’t. I think he did it for a few years and he, I think it just didn’t work and he’s, it looks like he’s not continuing with it. He does other types of shows but it’s sad, I mean it was a really good idea. But I think I actually heard the official announcement that he’s not continuing with it.

Got it.

Stephen: Okay. All right. Jim appreciate it. Good night.

Alan: Take care.

Stephen: I’ll let you know when this goes live too. Great. Love it. See you guys later.