Dennis Hopeless Chats About His Gripping Crime Thriller She’s Running on Fumes.


May 8, 2024

Dennis Hopeless Chats About His Gripping Crime Thriller She’s Running on Fumes. – Find the original here!

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Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. This is Daniel, Danny, as you know me, here with another episode of fan obsession. Today, I have, Dennis Hopeless, who has worked on multiple comics, across the comic book industry. And, you know, we’re talking about, the upcoming project. She’s burning on fumes.

Really excited to talk to you, especially because of all your previous work. But how are you doing today? Doing well. Thanks for having me on. Appreciate you.

Yeah. Absolutely. She’s running on fumes. You know, just wanna go ahead and say description on IGN and everything. It sounds like this would be something, you know, picked up by by, like, Netflix or, like, AMC or something and then just, you know, be made into a long form, TV series.

Your mouth has got ears. But, I do wanna say, how, how’s the kick start going? First issue dropped, February 6th, which is actually how’s that project going, Wang? It’s going well. I’ve never done a comiXology book before.

I’ve never done a digital first comic before. But during the COVID lockdown, whenever Diamond shut down, all of my Marvel books got paused. And so I was home alone with 2 kindergartners, with I needed something from a creative outlet, and I started reaching out to past collaborators. And I developed my horror book with Victor Avana’s, heart eyes during that period of time. And then I had this family story, about my parents that I had been trying to figure out for years sitting on the back burner.

And I thought, well, I’ve got all the hours in the day and nothing else to do. So let’s figure out how to develop this. And, yeah. So I I pitched it around, pitched it to different publishers. And the ComiXology deal at the time, Chip Mosher was still running ComiXology.

And we really, the reason we went with them is you get to keep all of the rights, and they paid like, the advance was enough to pay my creative team, like, living wage, good rates. So, it’s been an interesting experience, and it took us a long time to kinda get it going. But it was very nice for me not to have to worry about them and to tell this personal story, keep the rights. You know, it’s a book about my parents, so I wanted to hold on to the rights, and give some of those to my mom. So, yeah, it’s been it’s been a long time coming.

We’ve been working on it forever. First two issues are out now, I believe. I just did my first con since the book’s been out, and I did a, like, a special print edition of the first issue because I like to save my first issues, and there’s no print edition of this coming out. So we we, sold that at the show, just spread up 50, and their response was amazing. People were really into it.

People were excited about stuff I’ve been talking about online. And my mom is actually at the show with me, so she would sign in copies along with me, which is pretty cool. So yeah. It’s it’s an exciting project. Very different from anything I’ve ever done.

So the story, it’s really, you know, driven, driven by sorry. No worries. That’s my fuzzball right there. Driven, you know, by personal life experience. What, what’s it like, writing about, you know, having that sort of past and then just, kinda fitting, you know, the puzzle pieces together to be like, oh, this is what happened, and this is what went on.

Yeah. It’s so it’s an interesting story because I’ve been trying to write it forever. It’s based on real events that happened when I was 3 years old. So it’s a southern crime noir, southern southern Missouri in the early eighties about my real life parents. So I took real events and real things that happened and some real criminal elements that were going on that I didn’t understand as a kid.

And then I fictionalized it and, like, beefed up the crime plot to make it, you know, an exciting comic but I was able to infuse it with a lot of real stuff that we went through and that my mom and dad dealt with back then So initially, finding that crime piece and figuring out a way to make a comic out of the story because I’ve told, like, the elements of the story, like, snakes coming up out of the toilet and my dad’s near fatal car accident and some of the things that have happened over the years. Figuring out as a young adult that my father had been a criminal when I was a small child and that these stories that I knew had, like, darker elements to them that I put together. I always wanted to do that. I was always really excited about that. But then what I realized in, you know, developing the plot and fictionalizing is, oh, I have to write a whole ass crime story that has, you know, compelling crime beats on top of the very personal family story and character drama that I wanted to write.

So that was the initial part was just figuring out that structure and figuring out how to fictionalize something without losing the reality and losing a character. What smacked me in the face once I started scripting it, once I brought Tyler on board and Hillary and Heather Antos to edit it and and and was scripting it was oh, now I have to write my parents through the worst experience of their lives as characters, and that was a lot more emotionally exhausting and and, affecting than I expected. Mhmm. Having the conversation so I shot these podcasts with my mom where we talked through some of the stuff we discussed over the years and recorded it, and I’ve been putting those out, as part of the marketing material to kinda show people the story behind the story. And those conversations were, a lot more real than I expected them to be.

So it’s been an emotional roller coaster for sure, and it was a lot more challenging just to write it than I thought it was. Like, writing, you know, writing really tense marital spats between my parents when they were in their twenties was an odd thing that I had never really thought about doing. But it’s I’m really, really proud of the book. I think it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done. Definitely the most personal thing I’ve ever done, and, it’s it’s fun to see my mom get to to to experience that too.

With something so, so deep like that, you know, and then having to go ahead and, write something like this. And then, you know, you mentioned it, you know, emotionally drained. How do you, work through it? Like, what’s your afterthought process, or what was your afterthought process that, you know, working on this project and trying to find some sort of, I guess, emotional relief. Yeah.

And talking to mom helped a lot. Like, talking through it and getting you know, because my perception of it was that of a little kid and then, you know, kinda like you have memories based on what photos were kept at the time period because your your memory rewrite itself. So a lot of what I knew about it and the details I knew were either wrong or, fuzzy. So getting mom’s perspective helped me see it in a new way and kinda distance myself from it because then it wasn’t my experience. It was her experience and then, you know, fictionalized.

So talking to her about it helped a lot, just sitting with it. I mean, I get pretty emotionally invested. I’m a character drama guy. That’s what I like to write. It’s when I was writing superhero comics, it was always like, okay.

I get 8 pages of character drama, and then I then then I have to write people bunch of things. So I’ve always gotten into it and emotionally invested. But this one, it just took a little bit longer to talk my way through afterward. Having mom there helped. Having my partner with me talking to Whitney about it afterward helps.

But, yeah, it’s cathartic, I think, to to think about those things and deal with those things. Oh, I I bet. What was the the process working together with such a stack creative team, with Tyler and with, Hillary? So Tyler and Hillary are friends. I went and Tyler teaches, an art students at a college in Canada where he lives.

And he brought me up there a few years ago to talk to his class with a group of other creators, and I got to, like, hang out, went to a party at Tyler’s house and and spent some time on it. So we’ve been pals for a while. We both did boom books around the same time, but we never got in the work together, and we always talked about it so when I was writing a pitch and working it up, working up the plot outline I sent it to Tyler just because I knew it would be up his alley like I I didn’t know where it was gonna go. Didn’t know if I was gonna have a budget for it, but I knew well, Tyler likes this kind of thing. Like, this is that hard move from grass caves.

And the first thing he said when I got him on the phone was, did you send me this to get my thoughts on it or because I’d be the perfect person to draw it? So Tyler was on board, like, before I even bothered to ask him. And, I immediately said, will will will Hillary watercolor it? Because I I wanted to add Grass King’s look. I wanted it to look that sort of sun baked, everything’s been rusting for a decade look that the her watercolor colors can really add to something.

And I I couldn’t be more pleased with the the art team on it. But, yeah, I was just had a personal relationship and left leveraged it, and I got the best possible team for the book. Gotcha. And then, you know, we did briefly discuss, your previous work. You worked, a lot with Marvel, so Spider Verse has blown up quite a bit.

You personally worked on Spider Woman. If, you got the call, is there a spider, you know, spider verse character, you would like to work on? And, what would be your pitch, and who do you have in mind? You know, the experience of watching that movie when I saw that movie on opening night, I loved the first one. I loved the spider verse, the Miles Morales, and and Gwen story.

And, I really excited for the sequel. And going in and seeing that they took elements of my Spider Woman for their version of just well, you know, pregnant Jessica Drew for that, It was a lot more affecting than expected to me. I was, like, emotional when it happened. It was it was really cool to see. And, you know, the fact that they made a new action figure and and all of that and people were talking about it online, that was really cool.

But I think because I’ve I’ve stepped away from superheroes the last couple of years, I I I really figured out whenever everything froze during COVID how burnout I was writing. I bet yeah. I wrote superheroes pretty straight every day for a decade And moving on and doing my own things and doing things I own, I my first thought was, this is amazing. It’s really cool to put Jess in a in a movie, and then it changed her in interesting ways. It’s really awesome.

My second thought was, oh, I don’t own that. Like, what I get out of that is I made an omnibus, which is amazing. They did a a Spider Woman omnibus that has my whole run-in it, which is super cool. And, you know, it got it got more light shown on my favorite thing ever did at Marvel. But my big thing is I wanna create stuff now that that’s mine and that I own.

I get to be part of the process. Because it would have been really cool to, like, have those conversations if they’re gonna make a movie in that direction. So I think what my pitch would be are, like, my stories. Taking what I the the personal life stuff that I threw into that Spider Woman run when she, you know, unexpectedly had to learn how to juggle, her career with having a child. Like, that was all for me.

I wanna take that same kind of stuff that I’m living now and put it into stuff that I own. And not that I you know, I’ll do more superhero work. I I I still love comics. I still love superheroes, but that was my thought when I saw that. Not what what spider character can I write it?

It’s like, oh, how do I do something that personal again? And, you know, she’s running on toons. It’s it’s definitely there. Yeah. Definitely, pick up those vibes.

Also, my roommate or, ex roommate now at this point, I should say, They’re from, Missouri, but is it, pronounced Missouri or Missouri? Depends on where you’re from. I’m from Kansas City, which is, more north it’s north, western Missouri. So we say Missouri here. The further south you go and especially get down by the boot field, it’s Missouri.

She’s running on cubes that’s set in Deepwater, which is about 2 hours south of here. And in that, we are getting a lot closer to Missouri territory there for sure. You build a fire down by the creek, that sort of thing. Not giving out their, phone number, but, 817 is, like, their area code. So I don’t know what your area code it would be because they’re from Kansas City as well.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s yeah. So that’s where I’m at.

It just depends. It depends on where in the state you are. Also, our editor, Thomas, is a huge fan of visionary Seth, freaking Rollins. You previously adapted it into comics. So was Seth Rollins your choice when, your approach, to write the title for Boom?

Yeah. So that was a weird the way I got that job, it was me trying not to get that job. Like, they reached out, and they asked me if I was interested in writing something. And at the time, I was watching a bunch of wrestling. I was like, absolutely.

I’d love to do, like, a short. And I’m like, no. We wanna do an ongoing series. And I was knee deep in Marvel work. And I was like, what?

You know, I I I couldn’t possibly do an ongoing series. I would I would need my full marble rate. And so they wrote back and we’re just like, okay. And then and then I I expected them to say no. And so I was thinking, oh god.

I do I have time to write a wrestling? This is a really strange thing to have to do. What am I even gonna do? And, you know, most of the WWE books before that had been, like, trying to turn them into superheroes or adding supernatural elements or, like, just making trying to make them something or not. And so what I pitched was thinking they were going to say there’s no way is I don’t wanna write about in ring stuff.

I wanna use the in ring stuff that happened in the show, and then I wanna tell the story between the raindrops so we could flush out these characters and do, like, character drama and explain all the weird continuity shifts and stuff that happened on raw and on the on the pay per views. And, apparently, that’s exactly what they were looking for. So I sort of accidentally talked myself into that. So I I don’t remember if it was me. I think they wanted to do the coming of the shield storyline and then the breaking of shield as the first arc.

I think that that came from them. And then it was just figuring out, okay, how do I humanize these characters and explain this relationship and make it make sense that Seth would, want to destroy that? And that was kind of the first story we played with. And then from there, it was everything of that era. It’s building out those those big story lines from that era, WWE, and, like, who are these people as people, and what do they look like outside the room?

So I I’m a huge Seth Rollins fan too. Like, I I was happy, but that’s what we got to do first. It was fun. But, yeah, some of that came to WWE. Some of it came from the editors.

Boom. It was a it was a mishmash. Gotcha. And, did you, did you see, Grant Morrison’s response, to Batman? Like, oh, I’m sorry.

I’m not calling it, you know, the other website, but Twitter. My Twitter is always full of, geeky, nerdy shit. So, that’s something I woke up to is just, Grant Morrison and his response to Zack Snyder. Did you happen to read the tweet or, like, the response or anything along those lines? I I haven’t seen that yet.

I saw Zach Snyder say the thing about wanting to make bat Batman kill people because he was told he couldn’t. So what did Grant say? I assume that’s what you’re talking about. What did Grant say in response? It’s long winded, like Grant Morrison is, but it’s a good reply.

Basically, based on the psychology that Batman puts himself in danger every night, you know, that that sort of thing. And, what he explains why, you know, Batman doesn’t kill, and it’s because Batman never really got out of the psych, psychology of, you know, keeping everything pure and, trying to be as humane, even though he breaks a lot of bones. That’s my part to add to it. But Yeah. I think I think that that’s the so look.

Zack Snyder is an easy person to attack from superhero fans because he seems to just do whatever the hell he wants. But as someone who worked at Marvel for a decade, one of the more difficult things about being handed a character that there have been thousands of stories written about is how do you make this story unique and interesting and new without changing it so much that the fans don’t like it? And the fact is some fans are going to dislike anything no matter what you do with the character that they love because it isn’t it isn’t what they expect. It isn’t close enough to the the version of the character that they love. It’s, you know, whatever.

It rubs them the wrong way. So I can kind of see both sides of it. I I don’t think making Batman kill makes him more interesting, but I do understand the artistic impulse. I’m given this character that’s not allowed to kill. How do I get away with making him kill and then telling that story, which seems to be how Zack Snyder looks at working on licensed stuff.

You know, like, doing adaptations is how do I make this my own? How do I make this more interesting than the than the things that have come before? Grant, on the other hand, is he oftentimes digs down to find you know, like, all star Superman is a perfect example. How do I make fifties goofy Superman really badass and interesting? And he killed it.

Right? Like, he he absolutely did that. So he’s able to find the stuff that most people would get rid of to make it more cool and make that stuff cool. So it’s just, you know, different ways of of looking at it and trying to put their stamp on it. Yeah.

Yeah. No. That all that makes sense. Can I ask you too, though? Music has always been a big important thing in my life.

Any anything, that, like, inspired you to, like, keep on going and just, like, chug through it and, like, finish the comic and write the story? Anything? Any artists that you can mention that you listen to or movies you put on the background or TV shows? I so early on in my career, I struggled because I couldn’t write especially dialogue. At the time, when I first started writing comics, I would just sit down and think of a scene, and then I would try to write the scene out.

And then I would obsess over the dialogue and move stuff around and try to make it fit. It was a very messy, nonstructured way of of writing a script. Later on, I figured out that if you write big to small and plot it and then break it down and then do panel descriptions, then flush those out, then write the dialogue, You’re doing those revisions more efficiently, and you can write faster. So I it made it easier to listen to music while I was writing because it wasn’t all dialogue. But early on, I would have the dialogue in my head the whole time.

So if I listen to anything with lyrics, it was really difficult to hear myself and to hear to hear the words in my head. So I I remember I listened to that, Daft Punk Tron soundtrack. Oh, yeah. It’s like the coolest things from all That’s one of my favorite movies. Yes.

Yeah. So I I, I tried to Discovery. Play that or whatever. But the album. That’s what the album is called.

The movie is called the new cell of 5555. So, yes, I know what you’re talking about. Yeah. So, yeah, I I listened to that early on. And then later on, when I got sick of having to try to find instrumental stuff, I found that, like, pop music, really, really light goofy pop music, I could ignore.

But it was catchy, and it would, like, it would give me in the mood to write. So I listened to a ton of Katy Perry and early Taylor Swift and I don’t know, like Carly Rae Jepsen’s first album and, like, stuff that I I had zero interest in but that I would, you know, hear on the radio when I was out places or whatever. And it it actually made me a Taylor Swift fan. Like, I’m a Swiftie because of that era of listening to her early albums, while I was writing. The right question.

Because Kansas City, you know, and the Chiefs, so I had to ask. So Yeah. Yeah. No. I I actually saw her at Arrowhead for the reputation tour, which was amazing and, you know, before COVID and and and all of that.

But, now that would be impossible to get those tickets and they would cost a fortune, but at the time, you could still get to see her. So, yeah, I I now listen to a lot of, like, alternative and outlaw country, and I don’t know why. I think I just like that stuff, and it’s a little bit slower. It gets me in a good place. I’ve been listening to a lot of, Noah Kahn and Zach Bryan lately, while I work.

I don’t I got no reason. It they’re not I don’t I’m not the kind of person that does, like, a playlist based on the thing that I’m writing. I just want something that’s kinda catchy that can help me get into the zone, and then I ignore it. That’s the other thing. Once I am actually working and and typing and then it, I can’t even hear it.

So that’s why I think that’s why the bubblegum pop is so good is it felt like the mall music that, you know, the the Best Buy track that was happening that you weren’t really paying attention to. Yeah. It just plays in the background. You’re just like, you know, taking care of my business. With working, you know, with Marvel and then, doing your own individual project, what would you say would, would have to be some of the biggest, you know, I guess, struggles, difficulties that, you’ve witnessed yourself?

And, yeah, that’s the question. Sorry. Like, Marvel versus versus creator owned? Is that what you mean? Like, what’s the Independent.

Independent work. So the hardest thing about Marvel work is you’re playing with someone else’s toys. So you can you can do what you can do up to a point, and sometimes the rug will get pulled out from you because there’s other stories going on. There’s, like, a, you know, there’s a corporate storyline that’s happening that has been figured out, and there are other books that may be more important with that. So you may change things around.

So trying to find your way, in and around what’s happening elsewhere, it’s fun. It’s a it’s a fun challenge, but that’s probably the most difficult thing about that. Also, your creative team isn’t your own. Like, I got really, really lucky on Spider Woman that I got Javier Rodriguez for most of the run. And then whenever that he got pulled away, we got amazing artists to work with after that.

Grown up Fish came in, and she’s fantastic too. But that conversation where they were taking away they were breaking up this creative team that was getting all of these accolades. They were making this great work that everybody loved and expecting. That was difficult, and I had no say in it. Like, I wasn’t the person in charge.

I wasn’t paying him. I like, it was up to Javi and the editor what he wanted to do. That’s really tough because there’s nothing better than that rapport with a creative team. When you get an artist that, like, knows exactly what you’re going for and you don’t even have to explain yourself and that was Havi on on Spider Woman. She I the action scenes in that book, I would just write a paragraph and he would draw it.

And I would put captions over if I needed to. I never needed to. He completely understood what we were doing. That was amazing. So having those kinds of rugs pulled up from him can be a struggle.

The easiest thing about doing creator or about Marvel work is paycheck. Everybody gets paid a good rate. Everybody, you know, you the books come out on time because everybody’s getting paid and they need to, and it never stops. So, financially, it’s a great version of the kind of a gig because you’re not having to think about it. If you’re, you know, if you’re on the board, if you’re getting fed, it’s easy to do that job.

Creator is the opposite of all of that. Oh, the other thing is the world building is already done for you. If you take over doctor Strange, people understand doctor Strange, and there is an existing Marvel Universe that the readers get. You don’t have to do any of that work. It’s just there.

It’s like people understand Star Wars. You write a Star Wars book. You don’t have to explain much. With creator owned a big part of the early part of the book, the first issue is establishing the world and making it clear, you know, what the rules are, what the what the genre is, how it works, while also developing the characters and getting the voice down and all that other stuff. So that was a when I got back into Creator Own as a more established writer and, like, understood how to do this stuff, I had to rebuild those muscles because I was so used to people know the WWE Universe.

People know the Marvel Universe. People know the DC Universe. You don’t have to explain it. So that’s a little bit of challenge. But nobody tells you no.

You can do whatever you want. You can you can start wherever you want. You can put any characters you want into it. You can do anything you want as long as the, you know, the money works for the creative team and, you’re willing to put it out yourself or you can find a publisher to to, work with. You can do whatever you want, and that’s really freeing and really fun.

And the my favorite thing about She’s Running on Fumes is I did not have to give up half of each issue for a fist fight or for some crazy genre thing. I could I could really lean into the character work and do whatever I want, which isn’t to say there isn’t, like, fun crime action stuff in the book, but I wasn’t beholden to this is a superhero story. It has to look and feel like a superhero story, which is really nice. Gotcha. And then, the other thing is, you know, as a writer, what would you say is one of your biggest challenges?

How do you put, you know, the pen to paper, and how do you make it happen? Make it all a reality. The hardest part for me is always sitting down. And when it’s in your head and you’re you’re dreaming up ideas and you’re doing the problem solving, it’s all very nebulous and flowy, and it can work in a connective tissue. If it’s not there, you think it’ll be perfect when it comes out.

When you sit down to type, you’re you know, it’s just a draft, but you’re still you’re putting stuff down. It feels concrete, and it’s always been difficult for me to get started putting stuff down. And it’s not until I get into that, zone flow mode where I’m not thinking about it. I’m just throwing it down that it I’m comfortable. And that, especially on a marble schedule when I, you know, that’s how I was paying the bills and I had to write stuff.

A lot of times I wanted to percolate more. I wanted to spend more time. I wanted to do more drafts. And and it’s all it’s because there’s, like, a perfect version. I feel like if I just keep hammering on the rock, I’m gonna get the perfect sculpture eventually.

So it has it has been nice, working on fewer things than doing my own personal stuff that has less of a tight schedule to be able to let it cook a little bit longer. Although I’ve also had to teach myself how to get over it. Like, I’m not gonna be an auteur that sits sits around and waits for this thing to come out forever. Like, I sometimes you just have to put it down and put it out and see what happens. So, yeah, for me, that’s the hard part.

I have friends that are the opposite. Colin Bond’s the opposite. He can’t he can’t get the workout fast enough because he’s obsessed with the next thing. It’s always the next thing. He’s just churning, churning, churning.

It’s how he puts out so many books, but his stress is about the next thing, not about this thing. And we’re kinda the opposite there. But, yeah, for me, it’s it’s sitting down, making myself do it. Also, if, you know, right now, if you could give the world any advice, you know, on what we can do, what we can change, what would that advice be? Just in general, like humanity?

Yeah. Exactly. You got it. I think giving other people the grace to be wrong, even if what they’re wrong about really, really offends you, would help a lot. I think we’ve lost the ability to converse with people we disagree with, and that’s a real problem because convincing people of things they don’t want to believe is one of the most difficult things to do.

I think we’ve lost a lot of the ability to to debate and discuss without anger and fury, and we are just completely, deaf to people that disagree with us. When you never no. You never gonna have that conversation. You’re never gonna work that out if you think that anybody who disagrees with you on these issues is a monster. Someone’s not a monster just because they’re wrong about stuff.

Like, I’m wrong about stuff all the time. I I have been wrong about things in the past. I go back and look at my old books and I put stuff in there that makes me cringe. I’m glad I was able to evolve as a person, and I’m glad that not everyone in my life wrote me off for not knowing everything I needed to know and being right about everything I need to be right about when I was 25. So I really wish people could stop and listen and understand that there’s not just a bunch of monsters to be slid out there.

It’s people who are right and wrong about different things. And then, lastly, if and then we’ll plug your show, we’ll plug everything else, one more time, but, you could give your younger self any piece of what would that, piece of advice be? It’s all practice. Just put it out. Everything you do early on is gonna feel not good enough when you get older, but you get enough older and enough better that you can appreciate the zeal and the energy I put into it, would be my creative advice.

My business advice would be build your brand. Don’t be embarrassed to market yourself. Don’t be embarrassed to put yourself out there. The world is going to require us all to put our faces on video in a few years. So get comfortable doing that and build it while you can.

I think I when I was at Marvel, I leaned too heavily on the Marvel machine to market my work, and I had to learn those skills afterward when I started doing creator owned again. And I I could have been figuring that out all along the way so that I could, you know, find my fan base and and more easily speak to them. Because that’s what it’s all about. Like, not everybody’s gonna like everything I do. But if you find the people that do and can show them the stories you wanna tell, then it it it’s a good relationship.

And all of that now requires brand building and learning how to use the Internet to talk to people. Yeah. Yeah. Like Zoom, we have to learn how to Zoom. Right?

So so where can we find you on social media? 2 issues of, she’s running on fumes, have been released. You know, where can we get the project? Social media. Like, where can we find you?

What do you say about that? She’s running on PMs as a comicology book. So you go to Amazon. When you look up, she’s running on PMs. It’ll give you the first two issues, early April.

So, like, 3 weeks from when we’re recording is when the 3rd issue will be out, and it’ll be out monthly. There’s 6 of them. I’m on TikTok. I think it’s Dennis Hopeless Comics. Instagram is Dennis Hopeless Comics.

I’m hopeless dead on x, Twitter, whatever you wanna call it. You can find me under either Dennis Hopeless or my real name, Dennis Hallum, on Facebook. I’m actually I I just finished my new website, hopelesscomics.com, which I’m doing a big launch next week for that. So you can find all my information about my books on there, and I’m setting up a web store finally. Way way too late, but you’ll be able to buy signed books on there.

So, yeah, you can if you search money, you’ll be able to find them. Awesome. Any plans on coming to, the Phoenix Convention, like, or, like, concert it anytime soon? I would like to. I used to do a lot more shows pre COVID, and my kids are in there, like, little league, basketball, soccer, football, boxing age right now.

So there’s a lot of dad responsibility that happens, which has made me pull back. But I just did Planet Comic Con, which is the local con here in Kansas City, and it was amazing. So I would like to start doing more travel. It just might be a couple years. Because, yeah, I did, I don’t have the same one.

I did AECON in Phoenix way back before my first book was released in, like, 2007, and it was a really good time. So I I’d like to I’d like to come back. Oh, that’s actually one of my, one of my last questions I forgot to ask. What was it like working in, you know, a comic book store in the mid 2000? It was amazing.

Like, so my first week was when identity crisis one of the early one of the maybe the last issue. It was identity crisis was happening and people were really angry about it. So there was a a lot of, like, Marvel’s and DC both their early successes in in that annual event marketing thing. So there were always these huge books that were coming out and the new 52 was happening while I was there. Yep.

And it was kind of the resurgence, the post, Bendis, Mark Miller, Marvel resurgence of comic books. And, you know, the X Men and Spider Man movies have been a thing a few years before. So it was a lot of fun. Being there on Wednesday, pulling the stuff out of the the boxes and put them on the shelf and talking to customers about what they were into really helped me understand the, like, psychology of comic books. Because I had always loved them, but I was never, like, a store rat before college.

And it was fun. Yeah. I did my first signing at a store that I worked at when Gearhead came out on o seven, and I got to experience all of those big exciting events happening. And then, you know, I also I got a bunch of store credit because I got paid almost nothing. So at one point in my life, I was an adult reading 80 comics a month.

So I I got to see what all of the publishers are doing. I got to read, you know, The Walking Dead from when it first started coming out. I got I got to see a lot of the things that are now, like, you know, early 2000 classics happen. No. It’s awesome.

I it’s, it’s a part of my life that I’ll always really enjoy, and I think it’s probably the only reason I’m a comic creator. I met Kevin Valen, who’s the artist on Gearhead and my first friend in comics through that store. I did my first signing at that store. I ran the Halloween costume contest and, like, experienced cosplay for the first time in my life through that store. Yeah.

It was it was it was a great time to be a comic shop employee for sure. Damn. That’s awesome. Well, I just wanna say thank you so much for your time. I really do appreciate it, and I hope that, you know, you enjoy the rest of your day.

Yeah. Thanks for having me up. Appreciate





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