[00:00:00] Badr: Yoo, Short Box Nation. Welcome back to the podcast. Hope you're feeling good. I hope you're feeling great, and most importantly, I hope you're ready to hear yet another great conversation about comics if you're new through the show, welcome. This is The Short Box Podcast, the comic book talk show that brings you the best conversations about comic books and the pop culture inspired by them.
[00:00:21] Badr: My name is Badr, and this is episode 385. And if you're watching the video version of, uh, today's podcast, look, it's no secret. I'm not here alone. I've heard your please. I've heard the feedback. I've heard the outcry. All right. I've, I've heard all of you say, oh, okay. Badr, it's been a month. Where is everybody?
[00:00:38] Badr: Badr. We get it. You love hosting the show, but you can't carry it on your own, man. Where is everybody? And you're all correct. All right. It's been way too long since I've shared the mic with any of my talented friends. That's the truth. And that's why today I called in the big guns, goddammit and dragged your favorite co-host away from his loving family, his newborn daughter.
[00:00:57] Badr: I told him to say goodbye to his little baby girl You did? And I forced him out of fraternity leave. Not paid, by the way. Hold on a second. It's not paid. Ladies. And Jess, let's give it up for the return to says our Cordero. Okay. Silly.
[00:01:08] Cesar: You're silly. I'm so excited. You know that, right? I'm so
[00:01:10] Badr: excited to see.
[00:01:11] Badr: It's ridiculous. Let's cherish the, the, the moment that we do have, you know,
[00:01:14] Cesar: you're not Howard Stern, you know that right? You're sitting here like got these canned everything, like Robin, bring in the bogar. What's going on with that? Oh my God. Is that coming where I think it's coming from. Get outta here,
[00:01:24] Badr: dude.
[00:01:24] Badr: Rid. Am I nailing it? I mean Alright. Little bit. Little bit little. Thank you so much. All right. Moving to love. Today we are joined by someone who has dedicated the last six plus years of his life to being a champion of comics. Yeah. His name is Chris Pierce and he runs the very popular comic YouTube channel, comic Tropes.
[00:01:40] Badr: Mm-hmm. Which I'm being honest, was the only reason to say our is heres today. All right. I was like, see, I'd love to have you on this show. You're like, eh, no. You know, it's funny, but the mere mention of Chris and Comic
[00:01:49] Cesar: tropes, oh, hold on, hold on. And I also like, I also shoulder checked you a little bit.
[00:01:53] Cesar: Like I was like, bro, you say you're a fan, but like, How far back do you go as far as fandom is concerned? Which theme song did you jump in on? Don't even try and like Fur on me right now. Okay.
[00:02:03] Badr: You're right. C made sure to check my nerd card pretty hard, but he's here with us today and so is our special guest.
[00:02:08] Badr: Like I said, Chris Pierce from Comic Trops. Yeah. Which of you're unfamiliar? It is a comic channel that reviews the techniques and history of a wide variety of comic book creators and creators and characters. He's only showed today to talk about that and his recent comic campaign in collaboration with Dynamite Entertainment for his first comic cover ever.
[00:02:26] Badr: That's right. Aside from being a very popular comic YouTuber, he's also a very talented artist as well. True story. I think hashtag goals would be appropriate. I know, right? Right. So I'll formally introduce him here in a second, or you could just fast forward. So on the timestamps, I have listened to shown us, if you wanna skip all this opening ceremony stuff going on, he sit there like, what the fuck?
[00:02:44] Badr: But we got bills to pay. All right? We got bills to pay. And before we bring on our guest of honor, I gotta give a big shout out to our incredible sponsor, Gotham City Limit. It's Jacksonville's premier location for comic books, collectibles, and toys. You'll hear from them, uh, later on in episode. And of course, there's the obligatory shoutout to our friends and loyal supporters that make up our Patreon community, give us your money.
[00:03:05] Badr: We love every single one of you. Most of you have already given us some of your money, and we appreciate you for helping us keep the lights on. If you're someone that's, you know, still on the fence about becoming a member of our Patreon, why are you on the fence? I ask that every day. C, you're doing yourself a giant disservice.
[00:03:21] Badr: I encourage you to sign up for things like bonus shows, behind the scenes videos, and first dibs on all of our content over on patreon.com/short box. It'll be the, I guarantee you, it'll be the best two or $5 that you spend, depending on the tier you sign up. It'll be the best money you spend on entertainment.
[00:03:37] Badr: I highly encourage you to sign up for at least a month, especially this month, right? We got a lot of bonus stuff dropping. I still got a bunch of interviews from Collective Con that hasn't seen the light of day yet, and we'll be dropping those on our Patreon. And I've got some episode polls that I would love for you to vote on.
[00:03:50] Badr: Oh, yeah. So sign up for a month. See if you're like what we have to offer you will. I guarantee it. And thanks again to everyone supporting us already, with all the shameless plugs out the way. Let's go and set the table for our esteemed guest today. It goes without saying, this man has done some great work that we both admire, whether it's deep diving into the history of Marvel in DC, or picking the brains of some of the best creative teams in comics.
[00:04:13] Badr: He's put real blood, sweat, and tears into this artistic medium that we all love and share, and he was a real deal, real life superhero, which might be the ultimate flex for any longtime comic fan. We'll talk about that more later on. With over 500 plus videos of comic analysis under his belt. It goes without saying.
[00:04:30] Badr: He's a true bastion of comic culture and the perfect representative for what it has to offer the world. I feel like we need like some
[00:04:36] Cesar: wrestling intro music, man. Like that was pretty, that's, I'm proud of you, bro. That was pretty good.
[00:04:40] Badr: I appreciate it. You know what, speaking of RA wrestling, you know, I'm gonna go ahead and give our, our guests of honor a a a different, I'm not gonna give him the, I'm not gonna give him the normal round of applause that I give everyone else.
[00:04:49] Badr: I'm gonna give you something special. Short Box Nation. Without further ado, let's welcome Chris Pierce to the show.
[00:04:58] Chris: Thank you guys. If you're playing applause, I don't hear it on my end, but I, I trust you. I trust you that there is applause.
[00:05:08] Badr: Dang, Chris, I'm telling you, it's, it is raving applause. And I gave you a little intro. All right. No,
[00:05:12] Chris: you gave me like way too big of an intro that was like the most like. You, you just waxed my car.
[00:05:19] Chris: That was, that was a lot, that was a lot to live up to that, that set the expectations like really, really high. And now I've gotta like fulfill that.
[00:05:29] Cesar: Yous come to realize that our standards are ridiculously low. And, and you'll be just fine on this show. Oh, I hope
[00:05:35] Chris: so. I hope so. Thank
[00:05:37] Badr: you. C I've never heard of that phrase.
[00:05:39] Badr: You've waxed my car. But I will be that I just, I guess I just made it up. I dunno. That was
[00:05:43] Cesar: good. It's got, he, he is like a wrestler. He is got catchphrases.
[00:05:46] Badr: Yeah. Chris, welcome to the show. Yeah. But this is a, a big moment for us. I understand that you are living in Seattle, right?
[00:05:53] Chris: You're in Seattle? The Seattle area?
[00:05:56] Chris: Yeah. Just a little south of it, but yeah. Okay. Like, it's like 15 minutes to downtown. Are you originally from the west? No. No. Okay. I'm, uh, originally from the, like just a little south of Boston, so the east coast. Okay. Okay. So
[00:06:09] Cesar: what, if that's the case then what's the comic scene like in your area then? Was it like one of the reasons you wanted to move out there
[00:06:16] Chris: or?
[00:06:17] Chris: Oh, no, no, no. Nothing like that. Uh, you know, I, I've always had like, you know, a job, job and, uh, you know, went to college and got my degree and worked in marketing for many, many years. Uh, and like nine years ago I got a job offer in this Seattle area. I was living in DC at the time, and my then girlfriend, now wife, uh, her family is from Seattle.
[00:06:43] Chris: She grew up here. Okay. So when we were offered an opportunity to come back to her hometown, you know, all expenses paid to move and stuff like that, it made sense. Sure. It made sense. So that's what brought me across the country. Right on. And what's
[00:06:55] Badr: the comic scene like in, in your area? Like, do you have a, a go-to comic
[00:06:57] Chris: shop?
[00:06:58] Chris: I do have a couple, uh, actually, although, uh, I have to drive a little further south to get to some good ones. Um, Tacoma has a pair of shops that I personally like shopping at. One is called Atomic Comics, one is called Stargazer. Uh, they, they sort of, uh, each specialize in maybe a little more mainstream and a little more indie, but they're both really nice and clean, super friendly, knowledgeable staff, like really, really good shops.
[00:07:24] Chris: So tho those are the ones I shop at these days. Yeah.
[00:07:28] Badr: I'm, I'm curious, as someone who is putting out videos every week, if not, you know, uh, sometimes double a week, what is your pull list looking like? Like how many titles would you say is on your full list?
[00:07:39] Chris: Um, I would, well, I happen to have like, this week's, I would say maybe eight to nine comics a week.
[00:07:47] Chris: Okay. That's, that's a, that's for like sort of floppies. Okay. And then I might also be picking up maybe one to two back issues, maybe. One to two manga or one to two trades on top of that. Nice. Sometimes like on like, the high end of what I do. Yeah, yeah. Um, that's modest. Yeah. I don't think I get that that much, but sometimes when I pick a topic, that's when I'm getting sort of a back issue or a trade to sort of like, um, re-familiarize myself with stuff.
[00:08:15] Chris: When I moved across the country, just to be clear, I sold off like almost all my then collection about 30 long boxes. And, um, so sometimes like that's stuff I still remember in my head, but like to refer to it for a video, I might need to like, you know, um, get it digitally or get a trade paper back sometimes.
[00:08:34] Chris: So, sometimes I'm sort of refilling, uh, holes in my, my modest now collect. Huh. So you've got
[00:08:41] Badr: your, your first comic cover ever coming out via Dynamite Entertainment. It being on the cover of VA Pelli, year one, issue six, which is currently being written by Christopher Priest and Art by, uh, is it Ergon? Uh, GEZ.
[00:08:54] Badr: You got it. And I understand, uh, this particular issue actually comes out. It'll actually be out by the same time that this, uh, episode comes out, but of course, your cover will, you know, um, will come out much
[00:09:03] Chris: later. Well, it comes out like around June, I think. Okay. Okay. So not too far at all. All right. Good stuff.
[00:09:08] Chris: No, it's gonna be fulfilled pretty fast. Right on. Chris, do
[00:09:11] Badr: you mind telling us how you got the opportunity to work with Dynamite, like how that
[00:09:14] Chris: came up? Uh, their president, uh, Nick Bucci, super, super nice guy. Uh, he started dropping in on some of my live streams and was very, very kind. Uh, said that he watched my show and.
[00:09:29] Chris: You know, uh, we struck up a conversation, uh, here and there, and one day he was like, Hey, I've got an idea. I let, let's just see what kind of crossover appeal there might be. Let's see if your audience would, you know, uh, follow you doing something fun with us. Just a little project. Uh, and, you know, so I was like, absolutely.
[00:09:47] Chris: That sounds like a great time. Let, let's do it. Uh, so if I was going to create a cover, I was like, well, the show's called Comic Tropes. I sort of started by talking about more the recurring elements and, and, and stuff. And that's what, what the, the show was named then. I think it's sort of over the years evolved to just be, you know, whatever an kind of analysis about comics.
[00:10:09] Chris: But if I was gonna do a cover, let's, like, fill it up with all the tropes I can think of, you know, death and homages and sexy women and guest stars and gorillas. Of course gorillas.
[00:10:19] Cesar: You know what's funny is my wife is in, uh, she's an, her bachelor's is in art history. And, uh, I showed her the cover and I was like, well, babe, uh, what do you, what do you think of this?
[00:10:30] Cesar: This is pretty sweet. And she's like, oh, wow. It's really good, man. And he even referenced, I think it's, she said, LA and I was like, he made a video about that. Like, I was like, you kidding me? She's like, yeah, do you know who you married? I'm like, my bad girl.
[00:10:42] Chris: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. That's true. That's true. Um, you know, uh, it's an homage and, and I was specifically influenced by the versions, uh, that have been drawn by like John Vernon, an issue of X-Men and Oh, sure.
[00:10:54] Chris: George Perez in crisis on Infinite Earths. Come on. Yeah. But yes, like the pose and the idea is, is a trope in comics. It goes back to, uh, being influenced by Michelangelo's Lata statue. So, um, yeah, I, I did sort of a, a live stream on it once, just sort of going through some really famous, uh, covers. Uh, another famous one people might remember is like The Death of Captain Marvel.
[00:11:20] Chris: That that's a very Oh yeah. Very close. Uh, representation of the pose for
[00:11:25] Cesar: sure. What does it feel like to work on a legacy character like Van Pella and also how long before you start Cosplaying as Forry Ackerman?
[00:11:35] Chris: I don't, do I look like him?
[00:11:37] Cesar: I don't really know. Not at all. Not at all. Yeah. I,
[00:11:40] Chris: I, I feel like I, I'm just such a generic white guy, but there's like, you know, you, you gather the glasses and the beard and like a little bit more weight and there's not that many guys I can cosplay as, uh, without like culturally appropriating something.
[00:11:53] Chris: Uh, so that's not good. Uh, no, there, there is a little bit of pressure guys. There is, you know, not just like that, it's va perella, but honestly just anything that's sort of mainstream in general. Cuz like, I've done some comics, but they're more like educational comics and certainly lots of self-published.
[00:12:15] Chris: More indie stuff. Uh, there's, there's very little pressure there, but you, you want this campaign to be successful. I want this to potentially show that there's room for podcasts and YouTubers that talk about comics to have opportunities to collaborate here and there on a fun project. Yeah. You know, we have to maintain like at arm's length sometimes the stuff that we're reviewing and stuff like that, but that doesn't mean that we can't have friendly relationships with some of these people.
[00:12:44] Chris: Sure. And I want it to do well so that it's like I, I, I, that's all self-imposed. But yeah, I've put some pressure on myself that I want this to be successful so that there's potential other opportunities for other people.
[00:12:56] Badr: Yeah. And I think that's what made me most excited about, you know, reaching out and, you know, getting you on the show is that they could have easily just, you know, paired you of an artist to bring your, your vision to life and slapped your name on it.
[00:13:07] Badr: But the fact that they, you know, let you get really hands on with the product itself, I thought was a really cool opportunity. And like you said, um, it's, it's funny if, yeah, if this goes well, like, um, the doors it could open for, you know, other aspiring, you know, artists that also have like, you know, the, a podcast user, whatever it may be.
[00:13:23] Badr: Like that side hustle that's a little outside of comics, but still related. Um, yeah, I think it's really
[00:13:28] Chris: cool. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, I hope so. Uh, last time I checked the campaign, I think it was just a little shy of like 12,000 and at, at 20,000 would be like sort of my internal metric of where it would be considered successful.
[00:13:42] Chris: That that would be enough. Okay. Which I'll, I'll, and I'll also be honest, like, I thought it would be a little easier to reach that at first because I've got a decent subscriber base. Yeah. What I wasn't factoring in is like, When you do a campaign like this, a crowdfunding campaign, putting that news out there, that information out there through your social platforms, uh, how much it gets choked by the various platforms.
[00:14:07] Chris: Like, no, like Twitter, Instagram, it doesn't matter, like what, where I'm posting. Even YouTube, they don't love links going outside of that platform. So that like really, really gets suppressed. And I'm, you know, that's why I'd love to come on a show like this and actually talk about it, because then I'm actually reaching an audience that might be motivated to take a look.
[00:14:28] Chris: Just posting about it is like something where I'm only like, it's, it's trickling in How many people get to see that? Sure. It's tricky. You are
[00:14:36] Badr: speaking to the choir, uh, to your point. Yeah. And for anyone that's listening that you know, uh, might not know about like the behind the scenes stuff, when it comes to opportunities like this from a, uh, a creator side, the minute you start incorporating, uh, a call to action, You know, for something like, Hey, you know, subscribe to my Patreon or check out this link that where I did you, whatever, anything that takes the, the user from its native platform, anything that forces them off Twitter or whatever it, like you said, the algorithms hate that shit, right?
[00:15:04] Badr: Like it burs it and it makes Sarah Kna shit, boom, you're done. Right, exactly. And I think that's what I, what I love about the medium o of podcasting is that it's not, um, contingent on the algorithms, right? Once you start building a fan base, you don't have to worry about it showing up to someone's feed or whatnot.
[00:15:22] Badr: So, um, I say all that to say the original goal WA was a very modest, uh, what was a modest 1000 I
[00:15:29] Chris: think, dollars, right? Yeah. We just put it at a thousand. I think that that was mainly just so that we were Sure. We just quickly crossed a, a minimum
[00:15:38] Badr: where you guys are. A thousand and 194% over the original goal, which I think is fucking awesome to see.
[00:15:45] Badr: Like that turnout
[00:15:45] Chris: and that support. Usually a campaign will sort of like start really strong. Mm-hmm. Taper off and you might get like a big burst on like the last day, maybe the last two days. What we sort of saw instead was like, of, it did start off strong and then it like, was very, very consistently steady right up to what was going to be the end.
[00:16:04] Chris: So we've decided like, okay, clearly people are discovering this a little later. They're not like, and, and so we extended it. I think it's gonna go from like today, the 24th is when we're recording this. Uh, it'll go for like another 18 days, maybe something like that, like a little over two weeks.
[00:16:21] Badr: Yeah, I'm looking at it now.
[00:16:22] Badr: It's got 18 days left on the day we're recording, but by the time this episode comes out, people still have a little bit just under two weeks to, um, to fund the campaign and sign up for rewards. Um, speaking of rewards, man, I, I'm, I'm loving the, the variety of rewards, you know, obviously you've got your cover available, you got different versions of the cover, black and white.
[00:16:41] Badr: You can get, you know, a, a, a virgin cover, but then you start getting into some, uh, I'm assuming what, like dynamite is kind of pitching in. Six foot, uh, door poster of Van Pella based on the iconic. Bobby, there's nothing wrong with that. Not at all. Okay. Because I have honestly been looking to buy this Art of Jose Gonzalez's hardcover book Oh, buddy.
[00:17:00] Badr: For years. And I'm like, this might be buddy. Why are you sleeping
[00:17:02] Chris: on this is my opportunity. Yeah. I think they've got it at a very fair price on their shipping is as reasonable as long as you're in the us. I will admit Indiegogo does not make it super friendly outside of the US unfortunately. That's something I'll think about if I do another campaign in the future.
[00:17:17] Chris: If you're a comic tropes viewer and you want to get like some merchandise that's comic tropes based, once you order the cover, there are add-ons. You could get like a, a plush of my mascot or an enamel pin. That's pretty nice. But dynamite is running the campaign itself. I did the art and it falls on, you know, like the creative person to do the, the promotion, the marketing, the hustle, right.
[00:17:40] Chris: Uh, but like, yeah, the, that, that's all them like adding various related. VA Pella stuff and dynamite books that that may be of interest to people. Um, checking this out,
[00:17:50] Badr: it's some awesome additional rewards. They got a badass va pella statue, a cool ass bust. It's a lot of awesome stuff that I think people would really enjoy.
[00:17:58] Badr: Yeah, even if you
[00:17:58] Cesar: aren't hope so say a Va Pella quote unquote fan, there is a lot here to dive into. There's a lot of really, like, like Chris was talking about, there is a legacy of really good art and talent behind this character that y you can get a piece of essentially if you decide to support. So I mean, I think it's a good idea.
[00:18:20] Chris: Like hopefully, uh, people get a kick out of the artwork that I've done here and think that that's fun. One nice thing is this is on a comic called VA Pella, year one written by Christopher Priest. So if you haven't read Va Pella, While this is issue six, it's still an overall good jumping on point to understand her origin.
[00:18:40] Chris: And if you have, you know, this is a six issue series, so it is giving additional context to like her supporting cast, her, her origins, her, her who she is. So it, it, it's pretty good in that regard if you're already a VA Pella fan.
[00:18:54] Badr: Well said, well said. And once again, like I said, listeners, uh, you'll have just under two weeks ago to support the campaign.
[00:19:00] Badr: Highly recommend it. Help our guy Chris out. Come on, jump on it. Yeah, there'll be links. Uh, I made it easy for you too. All right. I included a link to the campaign in the show notes, so check that out. Chris, if you don't mind, we've got some questions, uh, in regards to comic tropes.
[00:19:14] Chris: How dare you. I'm only here to sell.
[00:19:18] Chris: I want to see both of you show me, like on your phones that you've ordered.
[00:19:22] Cesar: Don't, Hey, don't tell me with a good time, buddy. I'll show you. Yeah, we'll pull it off.
[00:19:25] Chris: I'm just kidding around. But, uh, yeah, let's talk about anything you guys want to That's, that's funny, man.
[00:19:29] Badr: Well, let's go ahead and, you know, help the uninitiated out.
[00:19:32] Badr: Let's assume like, you know, there might be someone in tuning that has no idea what Comic t tropes is. I mentioned in the beginning it's, you know, it's, it's dedicated to studying the t tropes and comics and you provide history lessons on, on various comic topics. But, uh, take us back to the beginning. What was the catalyst for launching the YouTube channel?
[00:19:48] Badr: Yeah. What was the catalyst mm-hmm. For launching the YouTube channel?
[00:19:51] Chris: Oh, totally fair question. Uh, basically I just needed a project because the company that I'd moved across the country here to, to work. You know, I had a good three years there. Massive company, though they did some restructuring. I got downsized out of a job.
[00:20:06] Chris: Hmm. Now I didn't know a whole lot of people here in the Pacific Northwest, and I knew it was likely that it was gonna take me a little while until I found my next job. But I'm a, I'm kind of a workaholic. I really like to be busy and I decided this was an excellent time to start a project that would keep me busy and what would be fun for me.
[00:20:25] Chris: I, I'm, there's nothing I'm more passionate about than comic books, so I just decided it was, it was, that was an easy time to pull the trigger. That's what it was. Just to fill the time. Do you remember
[00:20:35] Badr: your first, like, exposure to like, comics or, or what was the moment that made you a, a fan? Like what's your earliest comic
[00:20:41] Chris: book memory?
[00:20:41] Chris: Yeah. There, there, there, there would be like, sort of two things there because, you know, like my earliest exposure was not necessarily when I became a fan. Uh mm. I, I know that growing up I had a few comic books. I know that I had a Smurfs comic, you know, I had a Winnie the Poo comic, and I know I had a random issue of the Flash where he went up against Guerrilla Garage.
[00:21:05] Chris: Nice. And I liked those, but none of them were like a huge impression. Like they were just sort of along with my children's books at the time, you know, whatever like you. What's his name? Wikipedia Brown, or no, it wouldn't have been WikiEd. Encyclopedia Brown. Encyclopedia Brown. Oh, I'm very, I'm updating it.
[00:21:20] Chris: That's the, I just remembered that, that's the screen name of one of the guys on the, uh, Mr. Sunday movie. So I literally, I'm bad at
[00:21:27] Badr: names. I'm waiting on the Netflix updated encyclopedia Brown series called Wikipedia Brown. Now that
[00:21:33] Cesar: sounds awesome. Well, I think those Aussies took it, buddy. Yeah,
[00:21:36] Chris: there's somebody with that name.
[00:21:38] Chris: That's a good, sorry, Mason. Uh, anyway, um, so, so I had those, but I remember the, the time when I really got into them was, this is still super young, Chris, and, uh, I, but I had a paper route. This is probably like right around like fifth grade for me. And I would sometimes stop at this convenience store that was at the end of my paper route and maybe get like, uh, a candy bar or something with this money that I'm collecting.
[00:22:03] Chris: And then one day I saw a spin rack of comics, uh, and they had a Transformers comic. Now, now, young Chris really liked Transformers and I was like, oh my God, there's more Transformers than just the cartoon. So I picked that up and, and that was, that was very eye-opening to me. And because that convenience store was so close, like the next week I went to see if there was more.
[00:22:25] Chris: I didn't know the schedule that they came out on or anything like that. And I saw a GI Joe comic, and when I read that, I have to admit, the GI Joe comic was much, much better. It, it, it, it had like good art and, and a great writer Larry. No matter whether you're into GI Joe or not. It was, it was, and, and still is like a legit good comic.
[00:22:44] Chris: Uh, so I started getting that for like a couple weeks and pretty soon I was like, well, I just crave more. And, uh, I think that the first superhero I picked up at the time was the first issue of Craven's last hunt in Spider-Man. Wow. Uh, some artwork by Mike Zeck. Uh, that made a big impression on me. Um, so that was, that was when I started like really getting excited about comics.
[00:23:07] Chris: It all spread very quickly from there.
[00:23:10] Cesar: I totally relate to that. Um, when I was a kid, my dad was stationed in San Diego, he was in the Navy. And uh, I had a slew of like random ass comics just like that, where it was, I had a ALF
[00:23:22] Chris: comic. Oh, I remember the ALF comic. Yeah. And I was
[00:23:25] Cesar: just like, this is funny, man.
[00:23:26] Cesar: I was like, okay, this is, this what comic books are. That's, that's cool. And then we moved and there was a. My, a comic book store. My mom took me and I bought an X-Men classic, you know, the reprints of the old issues they started releasing in the nineties. Absolutely. And, and I was like, what? This is comic books.
[00:23:42] Cesar: Are you kidding me? There's so much like soap opera and there's like, there's like aliens and who's this girl that can walk through stuff and why is this dude made a steal punching dragons? I don't understand. You know, it's like, I I, I get it. It's
[00:23:55] Chris: funny, man. Well, within a year of like reading the comics off the spin rack, I was lucky.
[00:24:02] Chris: My mom was kind of supportive. I was like, you know, I'm starting at something like issue 27 of Transformers, like how do I get the other ones? And she looked in, you know, there was no internet, just to be clear. Like I, I, I'm, I'm old. And so she looked in the Yellow Pages and found a local, local-ish comic book store and drove me to it so that I could discover back issues.
[00:24:22] Chris: Awesome. And that's when I Awesome. Quickly discovered black and white books too, like Ninja Turtles and Sagio Jimbo, and. Yeah. So that would've been like mid eighties, just a little before, like their, uh, their cartoon came out. It was, it was, it was eye-opening. It was really exciting. That's when I became a fan.
[00:24:38] Chris: So fast,
[00:24:39] Badr: hyper, fast forward to the, what is it? Uh, it'd be 20 what? 15, 20 16. You decided to start your, your YouTube channel because you wanted to fill in time. You, you said, you know, you're someone that likes to stay busy. Yeah. So what made you pick YouTube as a platform and, and why? Comics, specifically?
[00:24:57] Badr: Comic tropes, which I think is a very interesting, um, topic to cover.
[00:25:02] Chris: Hmm. Kind of you'd ask. So basically, uh, YouTube because, uh, up until then I already had been like doing just a traditional podcast with some friends for about seven years, and I was just ready to do something that was a little bit like, but that was about like, um, genre TV type shows and stuff, you know, sci-fi and fantasy and stuff.
[00:25:22] Chris: And that was fun and it did well, but I was ready to sort of like, just. Qu do my own thing a little bit more at the time. And, uh, I thought that because I'm talking about a visual medium, YouTube made a little more sense. Plus I, it looked like it would be easier to monetize. So like those were some of the decisions, like, and it, and it took a while to monetize it, but that wasn't the main goal.
[00:25:46] Chris: It was just like, there's the potential for that and it's not hard. It wasn't a hard hurdle to cross. So that's sort of why I decided to do it on, um, on YouTube and do it, you know, in the way I did. Oh, and I called it, sorry, I, I almost forgot. You said, why did I call it comic tropes? And I'll be honest, the first episodes you see, I don't really have a script or anything.
[00:26:07] Chris: I'm literally just sort of grabbing a comic and sort of riffing on it, like looking at the recurring elements. That was all I, I, I didn't have a big plan yet. Cause I also didn't know if this would grow. Um, so I didn't come up with the show name until I finished that first episode and I was talking about Chris Claremont like recurring.
[00:26:27] Chris: Dialogue and plot type ideas. So I called it comic tropes. Might not make as much sense now cuz I think like my show eventually sort of grew to just be broader, um, analysis and, but you know, whatever. That's how it started. Did you,
[00:26:43] Cesar: could you, could you have ever foreseen the future of your comic book footprint?
[00:26:47] Cesar: Where we
[00:26:48] Chris: are now? Probably not. When I first started it, to be honest, it was just a project meant to keep me busy and like a topic that keeps me entertained. And then somewhere, you know, like when, you know, YouTube sends me like a silver play button cuz I crossed a hundred thousand subscribers. All of a sudden you're like, oh, well maybe this could grow, maybe, maybe, maybe someday I could like, you know, make, make a living doing this.
[00:27:12] Chris: And I can't. And I wouldn't say I quite can. Maybe with a few different changes, but I'm, I'm just really sort of conservative about how, how I'm super cautious about like, you know, just leaving a job behind. So I have you get it, man, A part-time job. Now get the struggle
[00:27:26] Cesar: is real. We understand.
[00:27:27] Badr: Yeah. You're talking to the right dudes that are like, yes, we get that.
[00:27:30] Badr: This is a guaranteed check. Yeah. Yeah. I don't blame it all. When would you say, was your, uh, was there an interview or, or maybe a convention or something like a moment that made you feel confident that you were on the right path in regards to like, among like the comic book community and like that you're the comic creators that you looked up to.
[00:27:49] Badr: Was it like a moment of like, oh damn, they're seeing me, you know, I've got a spotlight on me in the right, you know,
[00:27:54] Chris: in the right way. Once I crossed 5,000 subscribers, it started picking up pretty significantly and, and regularly and, um, you know, like basically. Somewhere around like, I'll say 2018 going to something like New York Comic-Con.
[00:28:12] Chris: That was like just before the pandemic. And I got recognized a lot and I was like, oh, like I didn't expect that. I just sincerely. And yeah, I, I, it's not like I can walk into a comic bookstore and definitely get recognized, but if I go to a convention, I get stopped a good amount by people saying that they watch the show or asking for a picture and, and that's really flattering, you know, it's kind of fun to have like this safe environment where you get to be a little bit of a celebrity.
[00:28:41] Chris: Absolutely. But like, outside of that, you're just yourself. It's kind of nice. And
[00:28:45] Badr: speaking of, of conventions and, you know, celebrities and the world of comic books, you've definitely interviewed your fair share of like, you know, people that we would deem celebrities in this comic space. I'm talking like comic creators, like Scott Snyder, you've interviewed Daniel Warren Johnson, Todd McFarland, and you know, the list goes on.
[00:29:00] Badr: Do you have a favorite interaction with a, with a creator?
[00:29:04] Chris: Oh, favorite. Um, I mean, they're all a blast. I love doing interviews. I don't, I, I don't do them too often because also YouTube doesn't like really reward those. Like, for whatever reason, it just doesn't love the interviews as much as the edited episodes.
[00:29:20] Chris: So I know that I'm gonna like, take a hit in viewers, so I only do them when I'm kind of excited to talk to somebody. Um, so they're all fun. I will say that, like I told you guys that an early comic that got me excited about comics was GI Joe. So getting to talk to Larry Hamma, the, the writer, and really like creator of all the important characters there.
[00:29:41] Chris: Um, that was a big deal for me. Also, he's this guy that has been in comics long enough that, you know, he apprenticed with Wally Wood and he sort of knows that previous generation of creators that aren't really here with us anymore. So getting to, to pick his brain and learn. You know, some of his story and, and, and some of the people that he learned from, like Bernie Krickstein, that, that, that was really, that meant a lot to me on a personal level cuz I was a fan of Larry and he has this connection to people that we can't talk to anymore.
[00:30:13] Chris: So that meant a lot to me that that one was special to me. That's
[00:30:18] Badr: cool. With six plus years of hosting the channel and, you know, the various topics that you've deep, I mean your deep dives are, are are great man. Like, you leave really no stone on turn and I've walked away plenty of times having learned a lot.
[00:30:31] Badr: I, is there like any video that maybe resonated with you in the sense of like, learning something just brand new or having like a light bulb moment of like, wow, that really changes the way I, I view comics. Like do you have a video or a topic
[00:30:43] Chris: that, that, that has done that? I would say a bunch of them to be honest, but are just because.
[00:30:50] Chris: There's a bunch of like trivia that's just like bubbling around in my head at any given time. But when I decide to do more or less a deep dive on a creator and, and try to look at what makes their technique a little unique or special, something like that, I also go like, well, I don't, it would take too many weeks to do an hour and a half episode, which I easily could about pretty much any of them.
[00:31:11] Chris: I, I, I want to keep it to somewhere between 15 to 25 minutes. So I have to sort of like, hone in a little bit more on like an angle, just like one angle that I can like, and, and then like, you know, if there's stuff left over, maybe I'll revisit that creator at some point. Um, and I, and I think I always end up learning something because I always try to go beyond what my initial thoughts are and start pulling.
[00:31:35] Chris: Um, interviews that they've done. Yeah. In like magazines or online and, and, and try to like familiarize myself with what they've already talked about and if they've already interpreted some of this stuff, um, I don't want to ignore that and I'm not saying I'm perfect, but that's, that's my process. And I usually do, because I'm reading those interviews, I usually do learn a little something new there.
[00:31:55] Badr: If you can recall, what's the last piece of trivia that you were just like, holy shit, I didn't even know that I'm gonna keep that one in the pocket. You know?
[00:32:01] Chris: Okay. Uh, yeah, that, that's a great question.
[00:32:07] Badr: Yeah. I'm asking cuz I, I need one for next time. I'm at a convention surrounded by the continent. Right.
[00:32:11] Chris: Help me out, Chris. Yeah, I'm sort of trying like, I, I'll be honest, as soon as I finish an episode, it's a little bit outta sight outta mind cuz I'm always working on several moving forward and I'm, so, I'm trying to think if there's anything interesting that I've come across. Well,
[00:32:25] Cesar: while you're thinking
[00:32:26] Badr: about it.
[00:32:26] Badr: Okay. Yeah, there we go. Yeah, feel free to interrupt us when you
[00:32:28] Cesar: think of it. Yeah, just, just, okay. Chime in when you get something I gotta ask, because you were talking about being a workaholic and Yeah, I can, I can understand that. And the cool thing about your channel is how. You're really transparent with the, with the fans and the community man.
[00:32:44] Cesar: What has kept you going through burnout? Because that's a very real thing too. Yeah.
[00:32:49] Badr: Especially with 500 plus videos like YouTube hit, right? Like editing audio for podcasting is, it's, it's time consuming, but it ain't video, right? It's not exactly video per se, so, no. Yeah, good
[00:33:01] Chris: question. Yeah, I remember like, I, like I said, I did like a, a po an audio podcast for seven years and I would edit that and like balancing the levels and cutting out the ums and the ahs whenever I could, uh, is time consuming.
[00:33:12] Chris: It is more time consuming doing a specifically a comic book, uh, thing because say I was reviewing a movie or a TV show, I can drop in a clip for maybe five 15 seconds or something while I'm talking. And that, that's, that's great. You know, like that, that, that's a good chunk of time. Each time you could do that.
[00:33:30] Chris: Uh, When you are talking about a comic book, that that's a static image, and I don't always want it to just be there. I want a little bit of visual interest. So, you know, you maybe are putting in sometimes a background that's moving or maybe you're just doing a, a small pan or, or, uh, zooming in a little, you want like a, a couple transitions.
[00:33:52] Chris: And it's very time consuming. It's very time consuming. So like most of the time for my videos, it, it, it's the editing that takes the most time. What kept you going through burnout? Just understanding myself better as I got older and realizing that I was sort of facing that burnout. Um, trying to tell like my, my viewers where I'm at and, and being willing as I.
[00:34:15] Chris: Like a little more established to every once in a while. Yeah. Take that week, extra week to produce it so that it's a little better and it's not like, you know, half-assed. And sometimes giving myself episodes that are easier in between the bigger ones, like if I find a weird golden age character to review, those are really fun and not as hard because it's usually like, you know, a six page story or something and I'm just like reacting to almost every panel and I'm like just sort of riffing on it and joking around.
[00:34:44] Chris: Those are fun for me and a lot easier. So sometimes you, you just give yourself something like that in between. Hmm.
[00:34:52] Badr: I'm gonna hop on, uh, uh, C'S question here cuz I, I dare you. He made a really good point that you are very open and honest with your, with your community. And one thing I, I highly respect is your honesty about like, you know, your mental health and just, you know, the grind of it all.
[00:35:08] Badr: Butter's. Like, it's something
[00:35:09] Cesar: I could never do.
[00:35:12] Badr: Uh, you know, and. And I, it definitely speaks to me, right, as someone who's been podcasting this long, and I'll have my, my bout of burnout and doubt and, you know, all this stuff here. Um, I was curious, like, how, how has comics I, I wanna say, saved you, but that, that sounds so dramatic, but how has, like comics and, and the community you've built, like, how has that helped you in your journey of like, you know, mental health and things like that?
[00:35:38] Chris: Well, it does help, uh, you know, storytelling can sometimes get me out of my own head. You know, sometimes comics can be an escape and that's valid. Sometimes I do like reading something a little deeper, but that still stimulates a different part of my brain than just focusing too much on my own situ. Uh, so, so comics are good in that regard.
[00:35:59] Chris: Um, analyzing them, uh, takes, you know, some mental energy and, and, and takes that o off of like focusing on whatever's bothering me. Uh, and then there is a bit of a social aspect to either people reacting to whatever I put out or doing my live streams where I. You know, I, I do a weekly live stream for two hours and I, and I'm interacting with the audience the whole time, and that's a very fun social experience for me.
[00:36:23] Chris: That, that definitely keeps me excited about comics to, to get recommendations from other people or for someone to say like, wait, I didn't know that. And I'm like, oh, am I talking about something that not everybody knows? Let's dive into that a little bit more. That's fun. You know, it's, it's fun to talk about what you know or talk about yourself.
[00:36:39] Chris: It's easy.
[00:36:41] Cesar: Ask Vader, he knows.
[00:36:43] Chris: Yeah. Uh, I would just say that like, you know, doing some something, um, analytical or something creative, like, you know, just, I like to draw as well, are both things that can like, just sort of like, keep you busy and get you a little bit out of your own head space sometimes. Um, you know, and, and, and you just have to know like yourself, which you know yourself as you get older.
[00:37:04] Chris: And I know that, you know, it's important for me personally, like being on. A certain medication helps me not dwell on things. It doesn't like change exactly how I think, but it, it keeps me from dwelling on the bad things. Um, but also eating healthy, exercising and socializing those three things like you really can't ignore.
[00:37:22] Chris: Like, those all really do help. And, and those don't come easy to me. I do think of myself as an introvert, but I force myself to do those things to, to try to take care of myself. Well, well said.
[00:37:32] Cesar: Wells. Definitely appreciated, man. Uh, I've always wanted to visit Japan and Oh, sure. And I, I've, I've been wondering, have you ever thought about doing, uh, you know, comic book characters based off your cats?
[00:37:44] Cesar: The way Ju Gito
[00:37:45] Chris: does? Talk about a segment. We'll
[00:37:48] Cesar: talk about that later.
[00:37:48] Badr: We'll talk about that later. Can I say that segue? We'll talk about later. Hell of the segue. Look, look, look. No,
[00:37:54] Cesar: all all kidding aside though, I, I gotta know, where did your love of, uh, Japanese comic books, uh, manga, um, all that stuff come from, and how does it inform your
[00:38:04] Chris: work?
[00:38:06] Chris: Uh, well to me, It's all comics, you know? Yep. It's all still sequential storytelling, uh, you know, basically pen and ink or, you know, maybe digital, but you, you get my, my, uh, impression to me, uh, there might be some cultural cues in the storytelling, but overall, to me, it's all comics. I mean, you're gonna find some of those same differences.
[00:38:27] Chris: I like to read, um, you know, Belgian and, and British comics and, and things like that. I like to read comics from other countries to, to compare and contrast. There's a lot of similarities is all I'll say. Um, uh, and then I also, even looking at like, old stuff or independent stuff compared to modern, mainstream stuff can have just as big differences as just like looking at, you know, like the latest issue of Batman versus the latest issue of, I don't know, um, chainsaw man, you know, like the Right.
[00:38:59] Chris: So, um, yeah. To me, you know, the, the thing I like about Manga over here, Is it's very bingeable, very easy to like, you know, like they, they tend to bring it over after it's been going for a little while. And they tend to bring over a lot of the series that are going to appeal to us a little bit more. Like, you know, once you go over to Japan, you realize there's a lot more comics and most of those don't get brought over here because, you know, there's probably cultural differences where whether they, they don't think that there's the audience for like, you know, certain romance comics or, or certain like, you know, workplace or sports comics.
[00:39:35] Chris: Um, so the things they bring over like are, are likely to have broad appeal with sci-fi or something like that, or supernatural and um, it's just very bingeable. So, so that's really fun to get into.
[00:39:49] Cesar: Yeah, I just started reading Chainsaw Man, and that shit is bonkers. I love it so much.
[00:39:54] Chris: It's a lot darker than I expected it to be.
[00:39:56] Chris: No kidding. I thought it was gonna be like sort of tongue in cheek and funny and stuff, and very quickly you're like, wow, this is actually a really dark story. True story for people like portraying each other and like treating each other like kind of
[00:40:06] Badr: bad. I just want to go ahead and compliment, I'm smiling cuz I, I want to compliment c on one hell of a segue.
[00:40:11] Badr: He knew I wanted to pick your reign about manga in Japan and talk about a way to insert it and, and get us on this topic. Chris, I wanted to say that, uh, one, one of the, uh, most, I guess conscious exposures I had to like, getting you on my radar. I don't know if you did a video or you just like gave a shout out to, um, this manga that I, I loved and I felt like no one else had heard about it or read it was Pluto.
[00:40:33] Badr: You constantly kind of bring it.
[00:40:34] Chris: Oh my God. That was like, like something like my third or fourth episode ever. Okay.
[00:40:38] Badr: All right. So it must have been like that early, so I guess
[00:40:42] Cesar: Nice plex. Okay. Butter. Okay. We get
[00:40:46] Badr: it. So I love that you champion both well known manga. They could be found and shown a jump. Yeah.
[00:40:50] Badr: But also, you know, some stuff that might require you to do your homework. For sure. And um, I also follow you on Twitter and I think you're a good Twitter follow. You always pose like really good questions. It always gets like good engagement and good responses. I think you recently had one about like.
[00:41:03] Badr: Marvel Manga and I, I responded to Sharon something and recently last week there was kind of that thread going around about like, you know, me, that, that, that picture of the, the manga bookshelf at, I think it was a Barnes and Nobles, it was over fleded of manga and someone was, you know, whatever the tweet was angry, you know, it was internet anger, right?
[00:41:22] Badr: Like, look how much mangas on this, you know, bookshelf being pushed by books a million. And look at the American comics. There's like this little sliver or something like that. Jerk. Jeffs, I know. You know, what I enjoy about you is that you don't partake in any like, you know, uh, hot takes and, you know, needless sensationalism.
[00:41:36] Badr: But I am curious, what is your take on like, this kind of played out argument of, of like, you know, manga, outselling, you know, American comics and it being the death of American comics and all that bullshit that you hear, like you got an official take, you,
[00:41:48] Chris: you like share? Oh, I'm not worried about it putting American comics out of business.
[00:41:53] Chris: I'll say that. Good. Like, I, like there's a lot of manga that I adore. It's some great stuff. To me, it's all comics. And if that's what get, that's somebody's entry point into comics, and even if they just stay with that, that's fine. You know, like that is still part of our industry too. You know, like they're publishing it here, they're distributing it here, they're selling it in our stores here.
[00:42:14] Chris: That's fine with me. Um, is, it is like, you know, something like Chainsaw Man, outselling Batman? Um, maybe, yeah, I, I'd have to double check the numbers. It probably does. Uh, at the same time there, there, there're really just, there's so much to go into in terms of the presentation. Um, you know, I'm not worried about American comics going anywhere.
[00:42:45] Chris: First of all, just suppose like devil's advocate, Marvel, DC image, dark horse, I d w, they all went outta business tomorrow, right? They, they just all of a sudden, whoops. They all made a big mistake and they all went outta business. Um, there's still gonna be people that want to create indie comics or web comics, you know, there, there's still gonna be, it's, it's a low barrier to entry.
[00:43:04] Chris: If you can be creative and write and draw, like you can create something and, and, and self-publish it theoretically. So that's not necessarily going away. And then when you look at the bigger stuff, like Marvel and DC's, characters also aren't gonna go anywhere. I mean, that j just to keep the intellectual property alive for making into movies and toys and stuff, they're, they're gonna like, want to put it in other things.
[00:43:27] Chris: Like, so I'm just not worried about that. You know, like if they were losing money, like just nothing but losing money, they'd make some changes. I don't think that American comics are especially motivated. To sell much better, unfortunately, cuz they could, I really think that they could. I think with a few changes to both distribution and presentation, there is, there's very little that would prevent Marvel from, say, gathering together.
[00:43:54] Chris: A classic run will say, Daredevil born again. Or even something like, you know, more modern, like, uh, I don't know the, the, the most recent flash run by Jeremy Adams, whatever. It could be like, you know, a a, a solid run that, that fans love. You could put that in black and white, put that in like a Tonka Bond format and sell it for about the same price.
[00:44:14] Chris: And I bet it would appeal to a lot of new readers. You know, cuz they could binge one whole story. Um, and it would like be very cost effecti. Marvel and DC don't have a lot of like financial incentive to try the new things. They don't care enough. And I, and I'm not trying to be mean to them, they just, they literally just don't, they, you know, they could bring over, you know, the manga versions of Moon Night and Spider-Man and Deadpool and stuff that they, that they've done over the years and they just don't have a lot of motivation, uh, to
[00:44:45] Badr: bother.
[00:44:46] Badr: That is a bucket list Manga right there. The, the, the Marvel, the moon night manga that has yet to be translated or released would be Oh yeah. Awesome. Yeah. I'm glad to, I'm glad I got to hear your opinion on that. Yeah. Uh, Chris, thank you. One more question on the topic of Manga. You know, I got to hear you say that Pluto's, among your favorite, what are, what are some of your other favorite manga pics and do you have any recommendations for anyone that's been hesitant into getting into Manga that loves American
[00:45:10] Chris: comic?
[00:45:11] Chris: Oh, absolutely. I'd recommend plenty of it. And, uh, I would usually tailor my recommendation to what I know that person likes. You know, if they're gonna tell me that they like, you know, that they're not into superheroes or supernatural and stuff, I'll go, well, that's okay. You know, like, maybe, um, another book by Na Salwa, like, like, uh, monster or something like that, you know, that that is nothing supernatural.
[00:45:33] Chris: It's about like, you know, a doctor on the run that's been framed from like murder or there's, uh, uh, you know, all sorts of, there's so many different genres there. Like Slam Dunk is one I'm really enjoying right now and I'm not a huge basketball fan, but Slam Dunk is a really entertaining, super fast-paced manga, and it's really funny too.
[00:45:53] Chris: Uh, so, so, you know, there's a million places I could recommend these days. Some of the ones I'm enjoying the most are like, you know, spy family. Berserk is sort of back. So I'm, I'm that, that's one I'm kind of passionate about there. There's so many though. You know, there's so many. It's, it's hard to know where to start unless I know what somebody else likes.
[00:46:11] Chris: But there are classics, you know, Akira is a classic for a reason. It's a huge epic boy that art is gorgeous. Just gorgeous.
[00:46:19] Badr: Chris, how do you go about, uh, it sounds like I'm, I'm getting a little bit of a, a preview, but I want to hear it in your words. How do you go about recommending comics to people like, you know, whatever American comics specifically to people, because I'll say the man to my left, right here, uh, introduced me to probably my go-to way now, which is asking like, you know, what's some of your favorite movies?
[00:46:38] Badr: And figuring out like, definitely a genre.
[00:46:40] Chris: Yeah. If somebody's like, I've never really read comics before. I've only like read one or two, but, you know, tell me a little bit more about comics. I'm like, absolutely. Yeah. Like what books or, or movies do you like, or, you know, tell me what media you like. And from there, you know, I could come up with a solid recommendation, you know, if it's like horror.
[00:46:57] Chris: Cool. But if you tell me that you like a really specific, like horror movie, I could probably think up off the top of my head like, you know, a specific comic that might be really good that that's got some similar vibes. Or maybe you just like, you know, like, um, you know, romcoms or something. I don't know.
[00:47:13] Chris: Like, there, there's, there's gonna be something I can recommend, but I, I, yeah, I definitely think that that's the way to do it, is to, I'm not just gonna go, mouse and Watchmen are critically acclaimed. You must start with those two comics. You must, and then you'll read Dark Night Returns, like, I don't know anything about Batman.
[00:47:29] Chris: You'll read it and like it, uh, you know what, it's acclaimed.
[00:47:35] Badr: Chris, I'm gonna put you on the spot cuz you brought up, if, if someone names a horror, uh, movie, you could probably give some recommendations. So you give him a horizontal, throw him
[00:47:42] Cesar: a horizontal, you know, you know what's funny? Uh, he was talking, uh, you, you mentioned Washington and I thought about Twin Peaks and I was like, you know, oh, blood, blood on the tracks is a manga.
[00:47:52] Cesar: That was suggested to me because I'm such a, a twin peak stand. And I was like, dude, this is like a psychological horror that you have to get into. So you, this is hard because I know Chris does enjoy horror films cuz I've seen some of the Ink Tover stuff and I know that's true. I do you dig Jason? Uh, I do.
[00:48:11] Cesar: Especially some of the more funnier, uh, I guess, entries into the franchise such as Jason. Yeah. I, I call it Jason takes Manhattan, you know. Right. Took him up to Manhattan. Why not? You know, the man behind the mask. Um, I, I don't know. I would say, uh, okay. Something like Insidious, that's something new, right?
[00:48:32] Cesar: I'm, I can, I'm in my forties and I'm like, uh, what's, uh, you asking me what horror movie I like? I'm gonna be like, oh dude, have you seen? No, that's okay. Society, that's a badass
[00:48:42] Badr: film. Yeah. Well, let's run
[00:48:44] Chris: Insidious. So, so, so you tell me Insidious and, and I, and I think of like, you know, sort of supernatural haunting type stuff.
[00:48:51] Chris: So I would say that maybe Scott Snyder and Jock's Witches might be one, especially with that getting adapted soon to Amazon, that that might be an entry point. I think Harrow County might be like, sort of a similar, like really good horror comic there. Um, and you know, if, if I had a little bit of quiet time to just sit down, I'm, I'm a very visual person, so I might like, sort of write some notes to myself.
[00:49:13] Chris: I'd probably think of some other, like appropriate ones off, like Sure if I could do that.
[00:49:18] Badr: See, this guy's good. I know he's good. He's, this guy's good. He's good. He's good. He's good. He's good. All right. Chris, you, you passed. I don't know why I was trying to check your nerd card, obviously. I, oh no, no, I don't on my show.
[00:49:27] Badr: But you didn't No's fine.
[00:49:28] Chris: Good ones. I think that's fun. And, and, and, and I think that like, you know, probably somebody out there listening, like something popped in their head at the same time and they're like, oh, why didn't Chris say that? And it's like, well, you know, maybe gimme 20 minutes of quiet time.
[00:49:40] Chris: Maybe I would've,
[00:49:42] Badr: yeah. I put 'em on the spot, folks, and, and, and he passes. That's good. And I'm gonna continue to putting you on the spot cuz this is a question I love asking, um, a lot of our guests, but specifically you do specifically if they are a, an artist themselves. And, and obviously you fit that, um, you fit that role, Chris.
[00:49:58] Badr: Mm-hmm. And I'm, I'm curious to hear, cuz you, you've tossed out a few names. I, I heard you mention John Burn. Of course. George Perez. A Moore, if you, yeah. You mentioned Alan Moore and Larry Hamma. Of course. If you had to create a comic Mount Rushmore based on your favorite comic artist or, you know, comic icons or people that you deem comic icons, who would be on that?
[00:50:19] Badr: Mount Rushmore.
[00:50:20] Chris: Okay. That's, that's a good challenge. Uh, probably Will Eisner, I think he's pretty influential. Uh, so I, I, I would throw him up there. Uh, I'd want something modern and like Daniel Warren Johnson excites me like nobody else. Hell yeah. Yeah. Uh, even though we, we just talked about it, I'd also put like, you know, I think one of the greatest creators these days is Naia Ora.
[00:50:46] Chris: He just, I, I just think he has excellent storytelling chops, so I'll put him up. Uh, and now, now, now it gets even harder cuz there's like, all I can think of is like, you know, like all the people that I won't get to list, that'll like, sort of like, like hurt me spiritually. So this is like a very painful question.
[00:51:04] Chris: Um, maybe, maybe somebody that excited me early on when I was getting into comics like Mike Zeck, uh, who I think was like, just really, really exciting and, and rock solid. Uh, yeah. Yeah. I'll put him too. But there's just so many Now that I'm like not listening, it, it hurts. It hurts.
[00:51:21] Badr: That is a solid list, man.
[00:51:23] Badr: Yeah. Super solid list. We're gonna get you off the hot seat. Chris. You know, I wanna talk about something that, um, a topic that is more so a bragging right for you. A very unique bragging right at that. Uh, you have a very rare bragging right among comic fans and, and comic creators in that you were once a real life superhero going by the moniker of Omega you anticipated.
[00:51:45] Badr: Yes. True. If you're watching the, the video version, this is where Chris is like, uh, I think I gotta wrap up guys. He's like, oh guys, look the time. Look, you went by Omega, you participated in, in numerous patrols and art outreach missions as part of the Seattle Washington based Reign City superhero movement.
[00:52:02] Badr: What sticks out to you about that, about that time and what was the motivation to don a costume and, you know, fight the good fight?
[00:52:10] Chris: Well, uh, when I moved out here, uh, for that new job, I didn't really know anybody except I had interviewed Phoenix Jones. And we'd stayed in touch because he knew I could draw.
[00:52:22] Chris: So he was always sort of getting me to come up with designs for stuff, so That's fair. He's a, he's an entertaining guy. He's a little chaotic, uh, in his like, organization of his life, but he was very entertaining. He's very charismatic. Chris, real
[00:52:37] Badr: quick for the uninitiated, Phoenix Jones being the, the, the head of, he's pretty much the
[00:52:43] Chris: premier, like real life superhero.
[00:52:45] Chris: If you Google real life superhero, Phoenix got a lot of publicity there. And I think some of that is because he really focused on trying to break up fights as compared to just sort of putting on a suit and walking around and like shaking hands or giving out homeless handouts. He, he legit wanted to break up fights and solve crimes.
[00:53:10] Chris: Hmm. And he had a background. Um, he's a professional MMA fighter, so he's, um, he's definitely very capable. At the time that I moved out, not only did I know him, but I was in much better shape at the time. I'd been studying Krav Maga for about three years. I went to a personal trainer every day for like an hour.
[00:53:31] Chris: And then I had, during my lunch break, I was doing the insanity workout at work every, so I would work out for two hours a day and do like Krav Maga. It was, it was crazy. Like I was in much better shape at that point in my life. So I felt capable of like, going out with him. And at first I just sort of went out more as like a guest and I don't know what to say.
[00:53:50] Chris: Like, I, I, I sort of started buying into the hype and, and drinking the Kool-Aid and going like, yeah, maybe we can like, really inspire people by like, wearing these outlandish costumes and doing good deeds and, you know, getting press, like maybe the average person will, will be kinder or something. I, I, I, I thought it was worth a try.
[00:54:10] Chris: And so I did that for about a year. I did that for like a year, dressing up in a, uh, a superhero suit. Like bulletproof jacket and stuff, and we would, you know, chase down drunk drivers and, uh, help people that were like, you know, getting in fights from when the bars closed. Uh, helping people that got lost in crowds and stuff.
[00:54:32] Chris: Uh, giving emergency aid for people that would like fall down or get hurt. And it was pretty, it was pretty wild, honestly. It was pretty dramatic stuff. It was, it was legit. It was pretty. It was pretty crazy. Definitely got in a lot of fights and stuff.
[00:54:48] Badr: Damn. Scrappy. My man. Chrisy is not to be fucked with, man.
[00:54:51] Badr: No. All right. I might run a successful comic YouTube channel, but you don't want these hands. Okay, that's what I'm
[00:54:56] Chris: hearing, Chris. I mean, I've put on weight, but I, I definitely feel capable in a fight. I, I, I'm, I'm sincere, like Yeah, I, I feel very capable. I, I, uh, and you do it enough and your adrenaline doesn't get, get up as much.
[00:55:08] Chris: So, so you're able to just make smart decisions, you know, like most fights are very, very quick. Um, but more of the stuff I was doing, to be honest, was I, some of these guys were looking for fights. You could tell that they had a chip on their shoulder. There was one guy, I don't wanna name names even, like, even if using that's fine.
[00:55:27] Chris: Superheroes. Yeah. Don't have to do, I might tell a someday and like sort of use placeholder names, but there was a guy that was always trying to bring around like, knives and we were like, no, you can't do that. We're walking around in masks. If a police officer sees like you with like, you know, a concealed weapon, We're all done.
[00:55:44] Chris: You can't do that. Like we, we knew what we were allowed to do and what we weren't allowed to do. Some of them would be really quick to pull a taser out and I'd always be like, you don't need to do that. Like, they didn't use it, but they'd pull it out and like, aim it at someone. I'm like, put that shit away.
[00:55:56] Chris: What are you doing? Um, you know, there were times where we threw fists, but like, I was, I was just not about like carrying weapons around or I would like, you know, I remember the, one of the first nights I went out was like on, um, new Year's Eve. Okay. Okay. Few tons and tons of people downtown partying and stuff.
[00:56:17] Chris: And there was a guy who. Only spoke Spanish and he couldn't find his girlfriend. Now I speak terrible Spanish, but I did go to college and have to get like, you know, three semesters and got signed off. So I was able to communicate with him enough to find out what was going on. And I said, gimme your number.
[00:56:34] Chris: You're, and I'm going to keep my eye out cuz we're just walking around. And you know what, like about an hour and a half later I saw a girl in a Subway that really matched the description and I went inside and was able to talk to her and it was her and called, called the guy and um, got them reunited and he'd already talked to the police.
[00:56:51] Chris: Wow. But the police didn't find her. Like I, and I was really proud of myself that I did. Um, oh yeah. That was just, you know, like, uh, one little thing. Like I, cuz it didn't all have to be fights. And when I talked to people like that, the other guys wouldn't really do this, but I'd take my mask off. I didn't really care about the secret identity aspect so much.
[00:57:06] Chris: I was, it was, it was a look, you know, but, um, I wanted them to be able to see that I was like a real person, not like some weirdo, I don't know. Yeah.
[00:57:13] Cesar: You know, it's funny, they're not to reduce this, you know, Sincerity of this moment. But when you were talking about that guy that was trying to bring weapons and you were like, what are you doing?
[00:57:24] Cesar: All I thought of was that episode of The Tick where Big Shot is the guy and and he's like, he's like, guns and superheroes don't mix friends seek professional help. And then he, he leaves big shot with Arthur of all people and Arthur's like, are you gonna be okay? And he's like, dad, why didn't you love me?
[00:57:44] Cesar: And he like, just
[00:57:45] Badr: hugs him.
[00:57:47] Chris: His tears coming from his eyes. It's so good.
[00:57:50] Badr: I love the way he says Brain Works band. That was awesome. Well, I, you look,
[00:57:53] Cesar: I know, I know Chris likes the Tick as well, you know? I
[00:57:56] Chris: do. Yeah. Ben Edlin grew up in a coup, a couple towns over from me. He's the guy that created the Tick and I got to like, you know, meet him several times when those first couple issues were coming out cuz he would do signings at the comic store I went to, uh, N E C was who published it, so, so that was nice.
[00:58:11] Chris: I got to meet him a bunch then. It was nice. It was inspiring. Oh
[00:58:15] Cesar: yeah. Uh, well, speaking of inspiration, I was gonna say, if you wanted to give, I guess, any one piece of advice to an aspiring, uh, YouTuber, maybe that's listening right now, podcaster or anybody, uh, based on something you wish you'd have known prior to starting your journey, what would it be?
[00:58:33] Badr: Okay.
[00:58:34] Chris: Uh, be patient, have good thumbnails and good episode description. You know, and like legit, just like do some do, do Google search to see like what words are trending and stuff like that. Uh, and, and find ways to work them in when you can have nice, clean thumbnails. Like li it sounds little, but like, honestly, like that's the stuff that catches people, people's eye when you're scrolling through and can potentially help you with the algorithm.
[00:59:00] Chris: The other thing I'll let I'd let people know is depends on what kind of a channel you want to do. Unfortunately, Google and YouTube kind of reward a negative word. Like if you say failure or worst. Oh my God. That gets showed to so many more people. That's so depressing. Interesting. Wow. It is a little depressing cuz I also don't want to like, I want to play the game a little bit, but I, I'm not gonna put it in every episode.
[00:59:27] Chris: Like, that would just be crazy. Like, right. The worst reason to love this creator.
[00:59:33] Cesar: It's like, worst podcast I've ever been on. It's like a picture of me and Boder. Like,
[00:59:37] Badr: no, I was thinking, I was thinking the next month our listeners are gonna notice the worst reasons why you should listen to this podcast.
[00:59:45] Badr: Podcast. Fail the worst interview with X, Y, z, Boder, Jesus Christ. You didn't have to take it to the extreme. I
[00:59:50] Chris: gotcha. But you gotta know that like, yeah. They'll, they'll sort of like, they sort of reward stuff like that. Not interesting always, but, you know, my most po, my most viewed video is one where I critiqued one of Jack Kirby's anchors that I didn't personally care about.
[01:00:07] Chris: I never expected that to blow up the way it did. It's probably cuz I said something like, I don't remember the exact title anymore, but I think I had either Worst or Failure or something like that ruined. I think that that was the word I used ruined. It was it was ruined. Yeah. Wow. Which I look back and I'm like, well, geez, if I knew it was gonna be that popular, I might have been less harsh.
[01:00:25] Chris: Honestly. That's not like what I wanted to be known for. But you can't, like I, I try to be very positive with my channel. I, there's so many good things to recommend, but also, like, even when I'm recommending something, I say like, here's something that I didn't love about it. I try to give a nuanced perspective on it.
[01:00:42] Chris: Sometimes I will look at stuff that I don't love and I, because you know, I, you gotta have some perspective, what's good, what's bad. But I don't focus on that too much. It's, it's a little too bad that that's the stuff that ends up being the most popular. A little too bad.
[01:00:57] Cesar: That comes through Chris though. I, I, I, I feel every time I watch your content and I have an unbiased source in my wife who also sits on the couch and while she's reading a novel, her eyes will dart up to the TV every time.
[01:01:10] Cesar: Just, you know, listen and be like, huh, like that. It's, it's, that's the, the vibe you always give off is one of a positive vibe, and it's, and it's an environment I, I feel of learning, right. I never feel like I'm tuning into some edge, Lord, who's trying to be like, well, let me tell you guys like what you, what you've made in reference in the past.
[01:01:32] Cesar: Like, it's acclaimed like this, you know? It's like, yeah, no. It's like, no, it's comics. You know? That's why you should like it, period dot,
[01:01:40] Chris: you know, it's, and on a comics more like fundamental level, see, it's like, I, uh, I think storytelling in general is what helps us understand the human condition and relate to each other a little bit more.
[01:01:55] Chris: I think that, you know, like there's so many reasons to have differences with each other, but arts can like unite us. You know, music is something like, you know, we could have such different politics or different cultural. You know, bring upbringings, but we might both like really just dig the same song cuz that's just music and, and hopefully storytelling can, can help there too sometimes.
[01:02:19] Chris: Uh, or can at least give us like, oh, okay, this person thinks that I thought that and I didn't, like I've never talked to somebody that like, had that same viewpoint, but that, that makes me feel more connected to that person. There's a lot of positives to storytelling in general. I think it's very, very valuable.
[01:02:34] Chris: It doesn't, it has have to be a positive story. It just can connect us to each other. Look, Kristin and I, you, you and
[01:02:40] Cesar: I could talk about the, the, uh, intricacies of Joseph Campbell for hours if we Oh yeah. But, oh yeah. I feel like barter is, is chopping at
[01:02:47] Chris: the bit here. It's champing at the bit championing, dammit,
[01:02:52] Badr: not chopping.
[01:02:53] Badr: And I wanted to tie it back to, uh, to Van Perella and, and the campaign and the whole reason you're here. What if you had to give someone, uh, advice on, you know, launching a campaign or Indiegogo or a kick star, whatever it may be, specifically like, A comic one. Now granted, you know, your campaign still has got a, still has a couple of days left, so maybe this question's better saved for later, but it being in the middle of it, like what advice do you got?
[01:03:17] Chris: That, that's an interesting question bar. Um, fortunately I've also, you know, supported some Kickstarter comics and, and I've had some friends run Kickstarters. So I've, I've seen a few things. Uh, this is my only campaign so far. I would say get people sort of, uh, aware of it before you even launch the campaign.
[01:03:43] Chris: You know, that could just be like launching a page saying, coming soon with some details about it. Uh, it would be using whatever social networks you have as well as sucking up your ego and reaching out to people you're friendly with to say like, you know, are you comfortable giving this a plug? Um, I don't like, Asking people for favors, it makes me very uncomfortable.
[01:04:05] Chris: But I do want this to be successful. So, you know, I've reached out to, to some creators, like, I'm like, you know, Hey Tom King, like, not that we know each other that well. We've talked like once, would you be willing to give this a retweet? And he is like, sure, nerd. But he did retweet it and, and like that's reaching a bunch of new people, you know, uh, reaching out to, you know, shows that like yours and stuff like that.
[01:04:31] Chris: I, I, I'm not comfortable just saying like, I wanna plug this, can I please use your platform? I'm not comfortable. But, but honestly, it is the kind of stuff that's going to help because we talked about it, like, you know, if I post to something like Twitter or YouTube, whatever it might be, and post that link, not, not everybody that follows me is gonna, Only a very small community, small percentage only a very small percentage gets to see that.
[01:04:58] Chris: But if I can talk about it on another platform that also hopefully has some new eyeballs or ears mm-hmm. You know, that's gonna do well. So, so I think it's like, you know, just sort of like getting over that hurdle and asking for help. Gotcha.
[01:05:13] Badr: Uh, see, I don't know if you, um, heard any of that, but hopefully you heard the part where Chris put us in these same sentence as Tom King, you know, stupid.
[01:05:20] Badr: You stupid. No, Chris, that was a, that was a fantastic response and some solid practical advice, so thank you for sharing that. And I wanna let all of our listeners No, once again, I'm gonna plug again, man. Uh, Chris has got his first comic cover ever coming out through Dyna Entertainment, uh, for VA Perella, year one, issue six.
[01:05:40] Badr: That campaign is live on Indiegogo for another couple of. And you'd be doing yourself a disservice not backing that project and, and helping such a solid champion of, of comic culture. Yeah. We're not
[01:05:51] Chris: just
[01:05:51] Badr: waxing
[01:05:52] Cesar: this car here, guys. This isn't a, this isn't just like, oh, do I affirm a favor? Honestly, this is like, This is good quality stuff.
[01:06:00] Cesar: You're gonna be doing yourself a favor. You're gonna be hel and in the process helping out one of the homies, man. True. He's freaking one of
[01:06:06] Badr: the homies. And it's kind of history too. I mean, uh, a comic YouTuber with his own, you know, hand drawn comic cover is, is like I said, hashtag
[01:06:13] Cesar: knocking out gold and knocking out all the tropes within comic books.
[01:06:17] Cesar: It's pretty,
[01:06:17] Badr: is pretty cool.
[01:06:18] Cesar: It it is, it is. I mean, what are you waiting for guys? Honestly, like be a part of the street team represent. Yeah. I mean, come on now. Tom
[01:06:25] Badr: King holla. It's stupid. All right, Chris, do you mind doing me a solid, we're really doing everyone tuning in right now, a, a big favor and telling us what you got coming up next.
[01:06:38] Badr: What are you working on? Obviously I'm gonna have links to the Indiegogo campaign, indie show notes, so everyone listening can go ahead and click that link in and support your first comic project ever. But tell us what you got coming up on the YouTube channel. What can people expect from comic tropes
[01:06:53] Chris: next?
[01:06:54] Chris: Always have tons of upcoming videos. I think a lot of people know about comic tropes. Thank you for letting me plug the va perella cover on Indiegogo. Uh, the only other thing that, that like I'd love to plug is I have a second channel where I do a weekly live stream. Mondays, uh, 5:00 PM Pacific. I talk for about two hours, uh, recap in the comic book news and comics of the week.
[01:07:15] Chris: That all
[01:07:15] Badr: sounds awesome. Chris, thank you so much. This was a fantastic interview. Thank you for giving us your time, but I think we've talked your ear off enough. We're gonna go ahead and let you enjoy the rest of your night and enjoy your weekend. But just know that you are always welcome back to the short box you got.
[01:07:30] Badr: You got a place here on the show. Right? Thanks again.
[01:07:33] Cesar: I just wanna say thanks, man. Probably not for everything you do, dude, honestly. So sweet. Good
[01:07:36] Chris: time.
[01:07:38] Badr: And there you have it. Short Box Nation. That is the end of our show. Hopefully you enjoyed our conversation with Chris. Hopefully you're a believer now. In comic tropes and you go ahead and subscribe to that awesome channel on YouTube.
[01:07:50] Badr: And most importantly, I hope you find it in your hearts to go ahead and support the Indiegogo campaign and help Chris out with his first comic project ever. It's gonna be awesome. Speaking of support, if you enjoyed this episode, I mean obviously you must have you made it this far? Are you hearing me do this?
[01:08:07] Badr: My outro pitch? Do me a favor, go ahead and leave us a five star rating review on Apple Podcast and Spotify if you haven't already. Ratings and reviews are huge, huge help. Uh, it's a podcast and helping us spread the word Short Box Nation. And if you really want to help, go ahead and send this episode, share this episode with a friend that loves comics as much as we do.
[01:08:28] Badr: That would be awesome as well. Thanks in advance. Now as far as next week, ed should be back to the show and I think Cesar's gonna attempt to go for a back to back appearance, and he should, because next week is his topic. It's his kind of, it's his baby. All right, next week we're doing another installment.
[01:08:44] Badr: Of our Artist Spotlight series. Next week we're dedicating the whole episode to Don Diego de La Vega himself. I'm talking about Zoro cause we're gonna be exploring how pulp comics have influenced and continue to influence comic books and superheroes. To this day, it's gonna be an awesome episode. You won't wanna miss that.
[01:09:01] Badr: That'll be next week. But if you can't wait that long, if you're impatient, if you're as impatient as I am and in a week, this sounds like forever, you'll wanna go ahead and head over to our Patreon [email protected] slash the short box. We got a bunch of bonus episodes available, some, some interviews that haven't seen the light of day yet.
[01:09:18] Badr: So if you can't wait, if you want more content from us. Head over to Patreon. Join our community. It's a good time over there as well. In the meantime, I'm, I'm done talking, right? Let's wrap this thing up. Take care of yourselves. Go read your comic books and continue to make mine and yours short box. We'll talk to you next week.
[01:09:36] Badr: Peace.