Part 1 Interview with Sholly Fisch!
Part 2 The life and times of Dwayne McDuffie and what he and his work in comics and animation meant to the people that work and post on the Outhouse.
In the first part of the show Bard Thomson Interviews writer Sholly Fisch. He is currently working on the Johnny D.C. line on many books such as Batman: Brave and the Bold, Scooby Doo, Super Friends and more! Though just because he is working on kids books now, that wasn't always the case. He has had a long career working on every type of book from G.I.Joe to Clive Barker's Hellraiser!
In part two of the show we talked about the Life and Times of the recently passed away Dwayne McDuffie and what he and his work meant to the staff and posters on the Outhouse forums. Dwayne works included Sholly Fisch stayed on for the first fifteen minutes to talk about his friendship with Dwayne. When he was writing Hellraiser Dwayne was his editor. Fisch shared stories that were funny and ones that gave us insight into Dwayne's character. Writer Dirk Manning (who will be on the show next Sunday 3/6 to talk about his own projects) also called in to share some thoughts as well.
Just as important as the celebrity guest were our co-hosts, the writing staff, and the people that post on the Outhouse forums that called into the show that evening. SDsichero, SilverPhoenix, SuperginraiX, bluestreak, Dragavon, Herald, Zechs, Greg, Akumasan, and more in the show's chat room (see chat log in comment's section). Those that couldn't make it to the show posted comments in the forum for us to read on the show (I posted them below the links to the downloads along with a chat I had with Hunter about McDuffie). Both Dwayne McDuffie's actual works in comic books and animation and what he did in the making of those comics and cartoons didn't merely entertain us. They inspired us, broadened our perspective, made us question the rules, in some cases completely change the rules of the game. He was one of those people that were taken from us at a relatively young age, but was able to accomplish greatness with the time he had.
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Get the free MP3 of Episode #41 on Talkshoe!
Submitted Comments to the show
I wasn't familiar with who Dwayne McDuffie was in my younger cartoon-watching days but I loved Static Shock and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited. TBH, watching his (and others) work on the Justice League was a great inspiration for me to delve into the world of superhero comic books, and it helped me be familiar with DC's large cast of characters.
For instance, the two-part JLU episode "The Once and Future Thing" where Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern chase Chronos back to the Old West and meet Jonah Hex was a great episode, I especially remember seeing John Stewart GL changing into Hal Jordan GL and that was intriguing for me. I also loved seeing the Batman Beyond characters again in that episode.
The last episode of the series that he wrote, "Destroyer", was also an amazing episode with great moments with Lex and Darkseid, and made me sad that the series was concluding.
I haven't read a lot of his comic book work except his JLA run, and editorial interference ruined that run and eventually led to his ouster. I think most people following the run knew the comics weren't horrible due to McDuffie's writing, it was the constant event tie-ins and editorial dictate that ruined it.
McDuffie will be gravely missed, not only as being one of the few prolific African-American comic writers but as a great story teller in his own right.
Milestone made an impact on me as a comic book reader and as a young black male who liked to write and draw. Static and Icon were two of my favorite comics at the time. Static, because it finally gave us an everyman character along the lines of Spider-Man, for whom race was not an issue. Icon, because of his sidekick Rocket, whose circumstances were very much a product of race.
Static showed people you could have a front-and-center black hero without race ever being put on center stage. He didn't even have a name like "Black Static." Nor was he the typical angry black man stereotype. He was smart, clever and noble. All the things any decent comic book superhero aspires or needs to be. His popularity carried over into the animated series, Static Shock, which was later brought into the DC animated universe. And now, Static seems firmly integrated into the DC comics universe. His appeal extends beyond a black audience, but into the larger hite audience as well.
Rocket seemed on the surface to be the stereotype of a young black girl from the streets, pregnant and so forth. But it's kind of interesting that she provided a moral center for Icon, a powerful alien who had assumed the guise of a black man, but had no real understanding of race. Her interactions with Superboy when DC and Milestone first crossed over showed that while she had the typical makings of any hero, she was also REAL. She had her flaws and foibles; was burdened by her circumstances, and yet, she still did what a hero does.
Both of these characters represent the real experiences and real potential of the young black community, just as Spider-Man and Robin and the Titans do for the young white community. Dwayne McDuffie's legacy isn't just one of putting money in DC's bank. It's a legacy of hope.
Finally here is a conversation I (Darth Prozac) had with Hunter (Give me a hell! Give me a yea!), one of the original host of the Outhouse Podcast.
[6:59:35 PM] darth prozac: where were you when you first heard about Dwayne McDuffie?
[7:00:29 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: A: I remember attending an L.A. Science and Comic Convention, a small show, but this day, on Sundays at least once a month they had a show and this time, there was going to be the voice cast of the new Justice League Animated show.
[7:02:04 PM] darth prozac: What about him got your attention?
[7:03:13 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I want to say he was either a producer, but I knew he was one of the writers, and he just could spit.
[7:03:51 PM] darth prozac: What was it that day that made you remember who he was.
[7:04:21 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I mean he could spit anything about these characters and the motivation of the story for each. He was obviously a guiding force for these stories that we all even us Marvel fans would one day nod head to proclamation that JLU was one bad ass show!
[7:04:21 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: One of the greats!
[7:04:37 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: And yea, admittedly he was Black.
[7:04:57 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: That was important to me as a young half black dude, I wanted to see other brothers doing big things in the industry.
[7:05:50 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Don't get me wrong, he wasn't the only one there that was Black, I mean you had Phil Lamar aka Static and Green Lantern John Jones and you had the other guy, (names escapes me but I can look it up in a minute), but Dwayne Mc Duffie...dude was impressive.
[7:06:13 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I remember after that I kept watching even more animation and damn, his name was everywhere!
[7:06:25 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I mean how could you not stand up and take notice if you were an action animation fan.
[7:06:49 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Static Shock, JLU, Ben 10, Boondocks, etc.
[7:07:00 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Then he was writing some of my comics.
[7:08:04 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I mean ever decade or so, someone comes along and re-forms an all new, all different Fantastic Four, and while most of loved the Ghost Rider, Wolvie, Grey Hulk, and Spidey FF redux, I'm sorry but it's a fucking no brainer having The Black Friggin' Panther and Storm in the FF!
[7:08:08 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I loved that arc!
[7:08:28 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Just add Namor and creatively smitten.
[7:09:13 PM] darth prozac: Were you collecting the book already or did you pick it up specifically because he was writing it?
[7:09:24 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I only picked it up because his name was on it.
[7:09:35 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I am a fan of this man's work and legacy.
[7:09:41 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I'm still trying to get Milestone!
[7:09:45 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I want every friggin' one!
[7:10:05 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: This guy is my...
[7:10:20 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: go to guy for all things good writing.
[7:10:29 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: He's neck and neck with Christopher Priest...
[7:10:34 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I want to say he's my Frank Miller...
[7:10:45 PM] darth prozac: What have you picked up from him in comic book form so far?
[7:10:46 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: but I don't know if that's appropriate enough and w/o the wrong context.
[7:11:33 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: In comic book form, I got the FF run, some of the JLA, but D.C. pissed me off and then pissed him off, so I really had to go to the t.v. to get my MC D' fix.
[7:11:47 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: That's a medium that knew they had lightning in a bottle!
[7:12:07 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: And I was honored to commit myself, my kids, and my DVR to Dwayne's work.
[7:13:08 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: If comics can't treat a man of this caliber right, then I'm more than happy willing to not spend 4 bucks on a book, but spend 23 minutes once a week at least watching his stories come to life.
[7:13:46 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Often times more than that, because imo any of Mc D's animation writing is a treat to be savored.
[7:14:00 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I would show my kids and grandkids this man's work, I shit you not!
[7:14:27 PM] darth prozac: Even my nieces love JLU Batman and Superman Animated Series
[7:14:48 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: And then when he connected JLU, Static, and Batman Beyond?
[7:14:51 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: C'mon!
[7:14:55 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: That's friggin' awesome!
[7:15:13 PM] darth prozac: I don't have Static on DVD
[7:15:21 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: You know I do a little thing called Hood Noir stories and comics.
[7:15:54 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: But whle Dwayned and co' were instrumental in doing Milestone, I think he broke alot of barriers just intuitively and creatively when it came to voice.
[7:16:00 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: voice of a character or a story.
[7:16:03 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: This man knew his beats.
[7:16:06 PM] darth prozac: Did they put the full seasons of Static on DVD yet?
[7:16:21 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I don't know, I thought they did.
[7:16:35 PM] darth prozac: How has his work influenced you as an artist?
[7:16:36 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: That's the tragic part of all of this besides the man's passing.
[7:16:54 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Is that his work on dvd/blueray isn't celebrated and out there for the masses to consume, I'm talking about his past work.
[7:17:19 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Obviously he was still in the mix, I mean he just released a new animated feature.
[7:17:23 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: But that's the rub isn't it?
[7:17:48 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: He's still on top, and doing things, but now...we're gonna miss so much!
[7:17:52 PM] darth prozac: It's one about Superman dyeing
[7:17:55 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: This man was tall, I mean literally.
[7:18:02 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I saw that on the convention floor.
[7:18:12 PM] darth prozac: I was watching it yesterday
[7:18:17 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: He had a stride that was like...
[7:18:20 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Shaft!
[7:19:00 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: He walked tall, and carried himself imo just from a fan's p.o.v. as if, "You Damn Right, I'm Dwayne Mc Duffie."
[7:19:04 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: Fuck yeah!
[7:20:02 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: I have to pee, but you damn well better believe that i'm gonna miss that dude! I will hold many of writers up to the standard that was Dwayne Mc Duffie!
[7:20:07 PM] Give me a hell! Give me a yea!: (end)
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Written or Contributed by: Brian Osserman