CreatAnthony: Hello and welcome to Capes on the Couch where comics get counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko.
Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues.
Anthony: This is another Creators on the Couch episode and we are pleased as punch that for the first time we have an inaugural inductee into the five Timers Club.
Erica Schultz: I gotta get a jacket or something. Jacket. Oh.
Or at least a patch.
Anthony: gonna, we’re gonna get to that towards the end. But we have Making her five time. Five times. Five time. Five time. Five time appearance on the podcast. Trademark Booker t the hilarious and amazing Erica Schultz. Erica, thank you once again for taking the time to talk to us.
Erica Schultz: Well, thank you very much for wasting your time with me, I’m sure you can, can find better ways to spend a Friday night than blathering on with me.
Doc Issues: Oh, well, I’ll, I’ll go ahead and I’ll be selfish and just say this was one of those rare times where work was getting a little hectic, so I definitely appreciate this. I mean, immensely Appreciate this.
Erica Schultz: Yeah, I will try and make it worth your while.
Anthony: So it has been a while since you’ve been on the show. Last time you were here we were talking Deadliest Bouquet which the Kickstarter obviously very successful in everything in the, my drawer here, I’ve got the, stickers and the, little print. And I’ve got the book the trade paper back over there on my shelf.
But now it’s, it’s in stores, being released monthly so you can get it on shelves, I think. Was it issue four, just drop this week or next week? No
Erica Schultz: dropped. Well, this is a Friday, so issue four dropped two days ago. Although I don’t know when this is going out in terms of when it’s going on the air for you.
Anthony: happen. Probably late. Thanks. Late November, early december-ish.
Erica Schultz: Okay. Cause issue five is coming out on December 21st, and we actually have, we have a spawn cover for issue five.
Anthony: I saw. That’s amazing. They’re doing all the spawn covers for, you know, all of the all image books. That’s, that’s bonkers.
Erica Schultz: Yeah. Image reached out and said, Hey, do you wanna do a spawn cover for for December? And I said, sure. What’s the timeline, ? And he is like, you’ve got six days, basically. I was like, oh, shit. So I was like, okay, well who do I wanna work with? And who do I know has a, a very nineties aesthetic? And Chris Campana is an artist who I’ve wanted to work with for a while.
And he definitely has, the nineties bombas in his, in his storytelling. And he was at a convention too, so I reached out and I was like, Hey so you maybe wanna do this thing? And he is like, oh, spa cover. Fucking awesome. Great. I was like, yeah, I’m gonna need the inks by Tuesday, and this is like Friday.
And he’s like, wait, what? I was like, yeah. So he ended up bringing in another inker Jeremy Clark, who I never worked with before, but did a phenomenal job. And then the one of those series colorists, we had Gab Contreras color part the first half of the series, and then Tom chew colored the last half of the series.
So then Tom came and, was bating cleanup on, on covers, on colors rather. And yeah, I mean we, we got it done in time, Derek away, but for the grace of God and comics and yeah, you can order the Adriana Mellow a cover or you could order the Spawn Variant B cover, which everybody’s like, why do you have the Spawn cover?
I’m like, because I do. Okay, because why not? Because it’s Spawn , and I’m not gonna say no to the 30th anniversary. You know, even though I, I haven’t read Spawn in 25 years, maybe still, although, I mean, they did it for the 25th anniversary of Spawn. Cause I remember Meredith Finch was doing a book called Rose through Image, and I remember that there was a spawn variant for that book too.
So they were doing it for the 25th anniversary too. So
Anthony: That’s cool. Wow. Yeah, we did an episode on Spawn a while back. It was very interesting episode because Spawn has done quite a bit over. 300 plus issues
Erica Schultz: and yeah, I think it’s like 334 issues now or something like that.
Anthony: Yeah, yeah. Something, something along those lines. And you know, just so many writers have taken the character and just said, I’m gonna do this, and then the next person comes on and says, I’m gonna do something completely different. And then the next,
Erica Schultz: as long as Todd agrees with it,
Anthony: yeah, listen, it’s, it’s his baby.
Erica Schultz: I mean, they, they’re doing Spawn Universe now, so they have like guns, slinger spawn, king Spawn, omega spawn. She spawn, it’s like a multiverse kind of thing.
Anthony: Oh, that does seem to be rather in vogue. These days.
Erica Schultz: Yes. The multiverse thing is very in vogue these days, . So I mean, why wouldn’t they get, get involved in it? But yeah, I mean they, they have the, the multiverse spawn thing.
Spawn universe. I think there was like an oversized one shot that came out, I wanna say. It was like summer last year, like 2021, like August, July, August, 2021 that it came out and it’s like a fat thick, like maybe like close to 60 page one shot and it’s got a couple of stories in it, so.
Anthony: Nice, nice. So that’s coming back out in, in stores and in comic shops. So go ahead and, and order that if you were not like me and several other people and lucky and fortunate enough to get that on Kickstarter.
Erica Schultz: I will say one thing, sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off, but I will say one thing about doing any type of crowdfunding, if you’re in the US doing crowdfunding to anywhere else in the country or anywhere else in the world, rather the, it’s cost prohibitive for international people.
Mm-hmm. for international backers. So, on a lark I was sort of doing the, the analytics of it and the vast majority of people that backed the campaign at a digital level were international for obvious reasons. You get an email with a link, you don’t have to worry about shipping costs and this, and the next thing, the advantage to having the book in print through image and being distributed internationally through image, is the fact that people who may have gotten the book digitally and wanted to get the print copy now have the opportunity to, and, and it’s not cost prohibitive for them.
I don’t know what, it’s gonna change to like euros versus, you know, US dollars or whatever, but the idea that you can go to your local comic shop and pick it up as opposed to paying some, you know, ridiculous amounts for For shipping costs and this was also last year with the whole DeJoy thing and you know mm-hmm.
all of that, and Yeah, it was, yeah. So yeah, shipping costs were all over the place. So, that’s a huge advantage to having the book come out through image. It is so much of a broader reach especially for, for international readers.
Anthony: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and I understand the, the desire for digital and there is something to be said for the accessibility that digital brings and, and things of that nature.
But there is also something to be said about just holding the physical book in your hands, and I have behind me an entire filing cabinet full of single issues and floppies and things of that nature. I’ve got my bookcase over here, I’ve got my trades on it, but I don’t like to trade weight. I’m a big fan of saying if I like a book, if I wanna support a book, I will buy the floppies and then I’ll buy the trades and I’ll put the floppies in the filing cabinet, and then I’ll read the trades because yeah, I’m all
Doc Issues: about, I’m all about the efficiency, man. I’m sorry. I,
Anthony: I’ll you gotta do, you gotta, yeah.
Doc Issues: I’m trades all the way. I’m dig, like, people are amazed that I even look at things on my phone and that’s still my, I have a laptop that I’m using right now. I love even just splitting my screen, reading a comic while I’m doing something work related, like I am, I don’t know. Something about digital opened up things that I never imagined when it, when it comes to using my time wisely.
Wait, I said wisely. Okay. Yeah, I’ll stick with it. But yeah, I, I, you know, I appreciate the fact that. Kickstarters allow me to use Anthony’s dedication to get me physical copies and remind me of why I read comics in the first place. . But I’m all about digital at
Anthony: this point. Yeah. Whenever, whenever I back a Kickstarter, I always make sure I get the physical copies and then I say to that, oh, we got two of them.
You know, cuz some creators that we’re cool with, if they come on the show, whatever to to promote the Kickstarter, they’ll go, oh yeah, yeah, we’ll send you two copies of everything. So it’s like, great. So I get one copy and then I call up doc.
Erica Schultz: Oh, so I’m not the cool one cuz I didn’t send you two books.
Is this your way of saying you want a second book?
Anthony: No. Nope.
Doc Issues: That’s what I’m saying. I’m all about digital, so it’s all good to me.
Anthony: And, and tab boot, I just went ahead. Not only did I get the floppies for bylines and blood, but I didn’t want to drag ’em out and go through everything. So then I went on Comicology and I bought the, the digital trade paper back.
Yesterday just so I could read it on my phone. And this way I have it everywhere also, because I knew that I had the physical copies, but Doc didn’t, and I knew that he needed to read it before we got everything done. So I was just like, listen, I, I bought it. It’s on our, capes on the couch, Kindle Comicology account.
I was like, here you go. Bought it with the company, credit card and everything. So whenever I buy a book, whenever we’re interviewing creator, I buy it there. I buy it digitally, and then this way we can both read it.
Doc Issues: Oh my God. See, you’re, now, you’re getting into too much of how the sausage gets made.
So the idea that we have this whole thing set up simply because it allows reading comics to be a business expense. It’s totally true. Reading
Erica Schultz: comics is a business expense for me every time. I know, I know. It’s every time I go. It’s, it’s subs and pubs. In the QuickBooks dropdown menu, it’s subs and pubs, subs, subscriptions and publications.
Anthony: Subs and pubs. I love that. I love that. So, you know, let’s talk bylines and blood then. As I said, the, now the digital trade is out already. I think The physical trade,
Erica Schultz: yes. It’s out.
Anthony: Oh, it is out? Mm-hmm. . Okay. I don’t know why I thought I, maybe when I went to buy it on Amazon, it was like, if you want the physical version, I guess it wouldn’t be mailed to me until, several weeks from now, but,
Erica Schultz: So, you know, diamond does the distribution to shops. Yes. Well, there’s also Penguin Random House also does distribution now, so there’s a bit of an overlap. So if you ordered your book through your comic shop and your comic shop orders, the book through Diamond, diamond might be seen as sold out.
But Penguin, random House might have still stock. So then the comic shop would then have to reach out to Penguin Random House and then order it through that. I mean, it really is, has turned into like this hyper complicated thing. And, and I do not envy what retailers have to go through like jumping through hoops.
But in terms of the book being physically out, it is out in stores. The shop or Amazon or whatever that you tried to order it from might not have. They might be going through Diamond, which might be sold out, but Prh might not be like, here’s the case in point. So I did a book called Legacy of Man Drake that came out through Red Five.
And I got a couple of copies of the trade that I could sell. Great. And I wanted to get more, but I was told it was sold out. So I was like, oh, okay, fine. It’s sold out. And then when I was at San Diego this past summer, I walked past the Red five booth and I saw a big stack and I said, wait a minute.
I thought you said you were sold out. And they said, well, we had to go back to print because we got, or the diamond orders were sold out. But then we started getting orders through Prh Penguin Random House. So we had to go back to print and to satisfy those orders. And I was like, all right, well, whatever’s done at the end of the show, let me know.
And I’d like to, obviously not for retail, but I would like to purchase some copies so I could then sell them at shows. So it’s, it’s a big sort of hullaballoo between, where your shop orders from, et cetera, et cetera. But yes, they are, they are in physical copies. I think. I actually do, I have one here.
Rattling. Nice. There you go.
Anthony: So, so bylines in blood is without getting into spoilers, a former investigative journalist turned private detective is on the hunt for the truth about the suspicious death of. Her former mentor, former editor. Yes. Former editor and boss. Yes. I feel like this was, this book gave you a big platform to say so many things about the state of journalism and politics and ethics or lack thereof in both and religion and capitalism.
And was this really just your, your opportunity to say, you know what,
Erica Schultz: Let’s burn it all to the ground.
Anthony: I’m just gonna say everything I wanna say and just get off my chest and use this as my author avatar?
Erica Schultz: Yes and no. Well, first of all, I’m not the only guilty party in this situation. Right. It’s myself, Ben Jensen, and the three of us were very much, the cerebus in this, the three headed beast.
So as, as much blame and or pride that I take in this book, I, I share it with two other incredibly talented and collaborative and intelligent and skillful and, you know, really amazing people. Van himself was a former reporter. He was a former crime reporter. So I helped run my college newspaper, but I, I never obviously had a professional job in reporting like he did.
So there was a lot of a lot of veritas that he brought to it in terms of whether it’s phrasing or no, we would do this or we would do that. We were all on the same page of this idea of sort of shining a light on hypocrisy in power. Not. So much as everybody in power is bad, but the idiom is true sort of absolute power corrupts Absolutely.
And I think that that’s, very true. And so we wanted to shine a light on that. We also wanted a character who was deeply affected by the environment that they were in. So, the story takes place in the city and we don’t say it as it is a particular city.
It’s kind of an amalgam of many metropolitan cities in, in the United States and even abroad. Cuz Aneke is in Spain. She’s in the area of Madrid. And, there are issues that every city has unhoused, pe people issues with corruption, issues with how public funds are being spent.
And issues of basically who is the benefactor, who truly benefit benefits from tax dollars, who truly benefits from the goodwill of others, you know? And there’s corruption everywhere, in every single facet of everything. And I will admit it is an incredibly cynical book.
I’m the first person to admit that. I remember there was a review my best friend made a very, made fun of it because it, the review was basically the way she reworded it was man kittens. They suck cuz they got claws, but their kittens and fluffy. Cuz the review was like, this book is really well written and the art is gorgeous, but the, but the main character’s so unlikable.
But she really has got a really good point. It’s like, so do you like the book or do you hate the book? Like what are you doing here? You know, make your decision. Cuz you know, it was a guy who wrote it, of course. Mm-hmm. . Cause you know, he saw two women’s name on it and was just like, ugh.
But, she is an unlikable character, but despite how cynical and how doer the situation is, there are little, little beats of hope. There’s a character named Asina who is she basically runs a a, a shelter for unhoused people and, runs a like a food bank. And Satya, who is our our protagonist sort of shows up and is like, what’s in this for you?
Nothing’s in this for me. I just wanna help people. Yeah. So there, there are bright spots. Satya has, has a friend named Tom who was a lot of fun to write. I love Tom. Tom was just like the most fun to write because. He’s just this like very bubbly kind of personality to counter Satya very like deep, deep cynicism.
Yeah. He’s a big colorful
Anthony: teddy bear.
Erica Schultz: He’s just, well, he, he’s a bear. He’s literally a bear. And he’s just this big, colorful, fun bear and he cares deeply for her. And it’s completely platonic. There’s, there’s a scene where she has gotten the shit kicked out of her and she’s laying in bed. Yeah, she’s laying in bed and she’s, she’s not nude, but she’s close to it and he’s tending to her wounds.
And was very interesting because we, we show things not new. Well, yeah, we do show nudity, but it’s never in a sexual way. So there was nothing sexual about that scene. It was just a friend helping a, a friend. But some people were like, oh, well, you know, it’s like, no, there’s literally not like, look at the actual scene and read the dialogue.
There’s nothing sexual about this. He’s helping out.
Doc Issues: Yeah. By then, it’s pretty clear from the character dynamic. It’s like, nothing’s going on there. It, it’s also
Erica Schultz: Tom straight up talks about being gay. So,
Doc Issues: yeah. I mean, this is like, that’s when you point things like that. I’m like, did you actually read it? Like, that’s, that’s really clear .
Erica Schultz: Yeah. I mean, but see that’s the thing is and I think that this has been an issue for a while with any type of critique, is like, I’m perfectly fine taking an actual critique of something Yes, I, nothing I have ever done is perfect. Like, you can take pot shots at, at it all day long, but at least read the material and read it thoroughly.
Don’t just like breeze through and just be like, oh, wow, naked lady and a dude. It’s like, no. Do you understand the character dynamics? Do you understand that this situation here is showing a powerful character in a powerless position and she’s not being taken advantage of? She’s being cared for, she’s being looked after.
And that’s actually one of the very important things that we talk about in this book is this idea of powerful women feeling as if they have to be alone. And Satya will push Tom away and be like, no, leave me alone. I have to do this on my own. Because that’s that stereotype of if you’re, you’re a strong woman, you don’t need anybody.
No, everybody needs somebody at all times. Like everybody needs somebody. And the fact, and it’s a testament to their friendship, that when she sort of comes back and tries to talk to him, he’s like, you are terrible. You are the worst at apologies. Like, just shut up. I don’t wanna hear your stupid apology cuz it’s just bad.
But we’re, yes, we’re still friends, but like, stopping an asshole, you know, kind of thing. Or the relationship that she has with her parents, that kind of thing. I mean, it’s, it’s important to, to highlight the fact that yes, strong characters, especially strong female characters still need support.
No man is an island, no woman is an island, kind of thing. And, and I think that that added a realism to it. Yes, it is an incredibly depressing book, as some people have said, but it is also, there is hope at the end. And and the experience of writing this book with Ben and Aneke was fantastic.
It was absolutely fantastic. Two fantastic people, amazing people to work with. And I would love to go back to the same character, if not different characters with them.
Anthony: Yeah. It, it was, like I said, a very interesting read. Very yes, as you said, cynical, but I think if you just focus on the cynicism, you’re missing the underlying points of the story.
And that was that it was making some very valid commentary and important commentary on. The state of the world, and we talk about that in, in various aspects on the show. And Doc is famous for saying, you know, scratch a cynic and you find a, a wounded idealist underneath
Doc Issues: you actually remembered.
Anthony: Of course. I remember,
Erica Schultz: I have on my mastodon it says, writer and hopeful misanthrope. As much as I really hate humanity and I wanna burn this place to the fucking ground, there’s this tiny little bit in me that’s like the kittens exist.
Anthony: And, and that comes across in the book. But it doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, and it also doesn’t mean that you can discredit and invalidate everything else in the book just because it takes a cynical viewpoint.
Erica Schultz: Yeah. I mean, we talk about religion, we talk about a local power. We talk about, global power. We talk about. How wealth will corrupt people. We talk about how wealth manipulate people and how people, wealthy people will manipulate people. I mean, like, just look at what’s going on currently with Twitter and Musk and that whole thing.
Look at, you know, between SpaceX and, blue Penis Rocket and, Virgin Rockets in the sky. Whatever the fuck. This is absolutely ridiculous. You’re spending stupid amounts of money, literally feeding your own ego when there are people that are starving in the streets, you know, and it’s not just starving in the streets, in the United States, starving in the streets, literally every corner of this, this planet.
So we talk about that. We shine a light on that and we say, look, this shit exists. You can be a Pollyanna if you want, but you have to acknowledge that this stuff really is there. And yes, this is a cynical book, and yes, we are talking about doer shit, but we’re shining a light on the, I think because the, the story takes place in the future, there’s kind of a suspension of disbelief that you need to have as a reader, as an audience.
And I think shining the light on the realisms of, corruption, speaking truth to power, et cetera, et cetera, helps allow that suspension of disbelief to occur. Because it’s okay. Yeah, yeah. This, I get, I get, this is realistic. Okay. I’ll go, I’ll take that step. I’ll give you that extra inch because this is all the realistic shit.
You know, for the record though, we wrote this before we wrote Van and I approached Aneke in 2019. So pre coronavirus, because in. We talk about a plague virus, a global pandemic in the book that was completely written in 2019, and we pitched this book in 2019 and it got green lit in, I think it was January, February, 2020.
So it was before it was listed as a global pandemic. It, everybody thought that we did this book all because of Covid, and we’re like, no, . This book was already outlined, written green lit, pre covid
Anthony: rereading that recently before this interview I was like, oh yeah, the pandemic. Okay, well that played into things as well.
And so it’s, it is interesting that it was done before. Before all of that.
Erica Schultz: Yeah. I mean be, because that’s been something that people have been talking about for a while, is this idea. You talk about climate change and issues with climate change and, you know, what’s the next global crisis that’s gonna hit pandemics has been something that they’ve been talking about for years.
Anthony: yep. Now the tech in this also plays a, a big part in the story. And I, I both loved it. And also cringed in a, in an appropriate way at the idea that there are people out there who would literally have a flying camera following them at all times, recording and live streaming and broadcasting. I mean, it’s not that far off from Twitch, but now you take it outside the, the realm of a room and you bring it to, the outside world, the blue room, so to speak.
Doc Issues: Yeah. Dude, it it, yeah,
Anthony: it, the number of people and, and what, what’s the new one? Be real now, where it’s like, oh, I was gonna say, oh, you have three minutes. They send out a thing on the app. It’s like, oh, you have three minutes to take a picture of whatever it is that you’re doing right now. No.
Yeah. No formal, whatever.
Doc Issues: Just actually seeing people do this outside is surreal to me. I do my best to, to not have interactions with people other than the people I know in private spaces, let alone the idea that I’m going to take currently, like, take my phone, just talk about whatever I’m, I wanna talk about while I’m walking, and I’m saying this as a psychiatrist right now.
We’re at a point where that is totally fine. Just maybe two or three years ago I would be calling for help for someone like that. Just saying,
Erica Schultz: look, the, the DSM needs to get. Rewritten. So what are, what are you up to? Six ,
Doc Issues: well still fi five text revision, which it’s five text revision. Meaning the text revision itself, if they really, really wanted to push, I guess you could’ve made it six, but then that would’ve meant that the four text revision would’ve been five and we’d be on seven now.
Oh, right. Whatever. .
Erica Schultz: I’m just saying I think that there needs to be a revision when it comes to tech addiction when it comes to, a new branch of narcissism, for lack of a better term. Mm-hmm. , you know? Mm. Because this is fucking toxic and, you know, I used to joke about the selfie sticks, but I mean, now it’s, it’s ridiculous the things that people would do in public.
And now I know that the other side of it is that this has actually saved lives in the sense that people have, recorded crimes and been able to get, you know, crime solved and things like that. So yes, there is another side to that and I, and I will not discount that, but the abject narcissism of constantly being, having to be in that space.
I mean, just the fact that like your entire self is, you know, not much bigger than a business card but just the fact that, that’s something that people really feel the need that other people want. Oh, people want to see this. Nobody wants to see that. Like, come on. It’s just very, very strange, this idea that, you have to, to broadcast every bit of, of your life to strangers.
And the whole idea of the dopamine hits of, you know, people clicking people clicking, you know, the like button or you know, the retweet or whatever, that little dopamine hit mm-hmm. , that’s a real thing. I think that this, you know somebody hits, I’m trying to think what it was.
Is it box? Somebody does this thing called like today explained, and it might be box that does it. And they talk about how if you, if you do an MRI of somebody, they hear the, the ding of the tweet, you know, the, the brain lights up the same way would light up for like cocaine or something.
I mean something. Yeah,
Doc Issues: that is 100%. Yep. That is, that is absolutely accurate. I’m used to the description of instant gratification, but that implies that there’s gratification. There’s the reward, but the idea that, for example, if you have an experience with someone, then you actually ingrain the memory of what that experience is, and you can revisit it in your mind.
You can, you know, continue to add context to it. All sorts of things that allow us to process much better than what usually gets put out via. Reels. It’s, it’s a much different brain pathway, even if the shortcut to dopamine is the same. So it, it almost creates, and, and I know I’m exaggerating for effect, it’s almost a mind wipe every time you swipe, especially on TikTok, the way TikTok is set up, it’s, it’s incredible the things that you can forget in the span of 20 minutes and yet still feel incredible dopamine hits and rewards for absolutely nothing.
Erica Schultz: Yeah. Yeah. It’s like a F state. You will lose time. Mm-hmm. in the, most ridiculous you will like, watch the clock, just disappear. The hours just peel. And it’s the same with social media, whether you’re on, whether you’re on Twitter or in your Zoom scrolling or you’re on, you know, your phone.
It’s the same thing. and when I said like, they need a DSM six, I’m obviously joking, but at the same time I’m not, because there are these tech disorders that I think really need to start being codified. And we, we sort of have a nod to that in in the book with this idea of there are these people that don’t believe in truth unless they can see it for themselves.
And so they’ve got their little hovering drones, or they have their backpack with, the selfie stick pro up with the GoPro on it to be able to sort of see everything and record everything for their pov. This one character named Jen is, you know, considers himself the arbiter of truth. You know, all these people that are into this truth or movement of, it doesn’t exist if I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, if I haven’t experienced it in my, my own sense.
And you get like flat earthers that would say shit like that, well, I haven’t technically seen the roundness of the earth from, from space, therefore it doesn’t exist. You know, that kind of thing. And it’s, it’s this really bizarre sort of mindset that, that people have kind of gotten into. And I don’t know, it’s just really, really weird.
And, and I’m the first person to say, I, I will lose a half an hour to just flipping through reels on Instagram. I’m the first person to admit that. But I at least stop myself and we’re like, whoa, where did that come from? You know? But when I’m in that state, It’s just like a little bubble, and it’s just like, wow, look at all this.
Oh, it’s letter. Look at the bunny and look at this. You know? And, and you just totally lose yourself to
Anthony: it. I know things have gotten bad when I’m scrolling through red and I see I’m on page 11 of my, my Reddit feet and I go, oh, I’ve been here a while, huh?
Erica Schultz: Yeah. I, I don’t even do Reddit. I’m afraid of Reddit in the sense that, like, I’m afraid of the, the rabbit holes that I will go down.
Yeah. You know, the conspiracy rabbit holes that I will go down and Reddit just for, just for giggles. And then, seven days go by, and I’ve got like a beard and, my clothes have like, crusted to me like barnacles.
Anthony: Yeah. and the other thing you were saying before about the, the folks that get warped into that mindset is you always hear the, oh, do your own research, but the do your own research inevitably, Involves like finding something on the fourth page of Google results that manages to, meet your already preexisting confirmation bias.
You’re ignoring everything else. You’re ignoring the, the harsh reality of the truth. To find this one tiny comforting lie. Yeah. That, reinforces everything because the cognitive dissonance that would result from you having a stark realization of, of the truth would break you mentally. So rather than accept that they clinging to this comforting lie, because otherwise they, they would come to the realization, I forget which which of the British comedies it is, but it’s the, the skit where they’re the Nazis and the one guy turns to the other and says, are we the baddies?
You know, that kind of thing. Like, are we the bad guys here? Have I been the asshole this whole time?
Erica Schultz: There’s a podcast called Stuff You Should Know when I was listening to it the other day. And they did I mean this is not a new conspiracy theory, but that Shakespeare, William Shakespeare didn’t actually write that.
Yeah. That are attributed to him. And it’s interesting, I mean, and this is like a huge rabbit hole. Like you could go down this whole, there was a film called Anonymous that was made with Reese Evans. It was actually very, very good. But all the things that that, that people who are anti Shakespeare point to are the same things that people who are pro Shakespeare, point to to quote, prove the different opposite facts.
So, I mean, it really is the lens in which you are looking at these things. And I think there’s sort of an astigmatism, I don’t know the word that I’m looking for, but a lens that is warped in a specific way that some people are looking through.
And they will look at the same image, but they are looking through it in such a warped lens that they will see sort of their own funhouse mirror version of it. Versus, so there, the reality, yeah.
Doc Issues: So there is direct research about this and the original studies more had to do with the idea of peer pressure.
And, if you know about this, I mean, it, it might ring bell. So the idea is you get a, a group of people, let’s say 10, just to make it co. And you show them a picture with different lines and like one line is set at a certain length and then you have the choices A, B, and C of three other lines, and you’re supposed to pick the one that matches the same length as the original line.
Now overwhelmingly, anybody that has 2020 vision recognizes, let’s say B is the one that is the same length. But if you pre conspire with the nine other people, the whole point is what does that 10th person say? If everybody else has given a different letter, let’s say C, and the usual range as anywhere between, and it’s a high number, anywhere between 60 and 75% will go along with the pack.
And it used to be the idea, well, C, peer pressure is so powerful that you know, we are all easily manipulated. I’m like, well actually it’s worse than that because. There has been demonstration via graphical interpretation by people, and obviously this is way beyond the original study. They would also say, well then draw the line, and they would draw the same line as the wrong one and still somehow show, quote unquote show by drawing the other line and say, well, you can tell here it’s, it’s slightly different.
And, and you can actually do connected fmri, functional MRI studies that showed, wait a minute, they really are changing their own vision as to how this works. That is how powerful we can be. So when people sometimes say, that’s not how I see it, that’s literally what they mean. It, I mean, and if
Erica Schultz: you think about it, you think about it in terms of like, whenever you, you hear about a cult, people are always like, oh, I, I would never fall for that.
But at the same time, it’s, it’s the same mentality. This idea of, of reframing reality, reframing what you physically see. And, it really is, incredible how, the human brain can manipulate itself. There was a study that was done it was an experiment where everybody was wearing helmet cams and the, pretense of it was that they were going to go on this nature hike and they had the helmet cams just in case they saw something interesting, you know, naturally or whatever.
And they end up going past what had been set up by the experimenters as crime scene. And so they’re like, no, no, we’ve gotta end the person leading the hike. Oh no, we’ve gotta go. And some people are kind of lingering and looking. Now, mind you, the cam is literally filming their pov. After the hike and they all get back to the little cabin, they decide to have a conversation with everybody.
The helmets are removed. They have a conversation and they start asking these people what it is that they saw. And so they tell them what they saw, and then they still don’t tell them that this was a setup. And then about a month later, they call them back and say, what did you see? And they tell them again.
And then they show them the footage and they say, you didn’t see dead bodies. You didn’t see X, Y, and Z. You didn’t see a gun on the ground, you didn’t see five cops. You saw, all this other stuff. But they believed, they believed with such conviction that they saw a dead body with a sheet over it and a gun, you know, on the other side.
And, a dozen cops there and cars and everything. They genuinely believed that. And it’s like, no, you didn’t see that because your brain manipula and then you tell yourself these stories and then it snowballs and it snowballs. I mean, it’s, it’s really, I mean, we are such complex machines that we can screw ourselves over 12 ways to Sunday.
It’s really phenomenal in such a weird, scariest shit way. Yeah.
Anthony: It’s worthy of multiple books and, you know, multiple. Is that a segue? ? No, I was just gonna say that is definitely something that can be, written about in, in multiple books, both, from a, from a clinical standpoint.
And, and I think I would be very intrigued to see a comic book tell those kinds of stories and where the artwork is shifting throughout to show that things are not always what as it seems, and you do like a flashback, but the art is different than what it was when it originally happened.
Erica Schultz: Kind of almost like a Rashomon kind of story.
Anthony: I was literally about to say a Rashomon. That’s exactly what it’s, yeah, it’s, it’s Rashomon, but done in, in a comic book. I think that would be a very interesting way to show the character and the protagonist, the antagonist who ever going through this, this episode where their very sense of reality is shifting based on external pressures and things of that nature.
And it can be subtle things here and there, and then it can be, you know, really drastic stuff. Just to, to see how certain things can shift a little bit. And certain things are just completely out there, you know, remembering, oh, there were three people there versus the actual one person. Okay, that’s a mild thing.
Or, you know, maybe subtly changing the color of a shirt and then something that was completely outta left field and going, this person was, doing X, Y, and Z, all this other stuff. Well, that wasn’t even remotely close to what happened. So I think that would make. We
Erica Schultz: do that in deadly s bouquet in the sense that, we have these three young women who are all raised by the same person and they all have different memories, but they have a different emotional connection to each memory.
There’s a moment in one of the, it’s in the fourth issue which just came out, so, spoiler alert. But there’s a moment where one of the sisters said, to her other sisters, you never loved me. You never gave a shit about me. You never cared about me, you never supported me.
And then there’s a memory that we see visually of that sister being hurt. She fell off her bike and the other two are there holding her, telling her it’s gonna be okay. So what we remember is usually not reality. And that’s why there literally are three sides to every story, you know, kind of thing.
And I think it’s funny in terms of siblings, because I’m one of three, I’ll remember something that happened as a kid and I’ll have a conversation with my brother and he’ll be like, that’s not the way it happened. It happened like this. And we’re both probably wrong because we’re not just remembering what we perceived happened, but it’s also colored with our emotional response to the, the, the occurrence.
So was it a negative, like let’s say it’s Christmas morning, oh, you got the toy that you wanted and I didn’t. No, but it’s Christmas and you’re a kid. Every Christmas is amazing. When you’re a kid, whether you get the toy you want or not, you know, kinda thing. But it’s, it’s twisted and it’s distorted in this little way.
And as you get older, you start remembering the distortions versus the reality. And, and that becomes more rigid and more, more stuck in as, no, this is the way it was. As opposed to, no, actually that’s not the way. It was like, let’s go back to the, super eight camera from Christmas morning kind of thing.
You know, and everybody’s happy, everybody’s having a good time, but you’ll still say, no, that’s not the way it was kind of thing. So I just think it’s really interesting how we sometimes feed into that manipulation by our own brain. And other times it’s an extra, I mean, it’s the nature versus nurture kind of thing.
Other times there’s external factors involved. Other times there could be actual physiological issues. Like do you have memory problems because of, of head trauma or something like that. So that could also be distorting your memories because, you had a, a physical trauma, kind of thing.
Did your brain forget something to shield you from trauma? You know, I mean, there’s just so much, it’s so complex.
Anthony: It’s incredibly fascinating. And I mean that’s, we talk about that all the time on this show. And yeah. I talk about it even, even in my personal life. You know, my mom will tell me she has conversations with her sister and they have completely different memories about Yeah.
Like my grandparents. My mom is like, what house did you grow up in where this was happening? You know? And my aunt is like, I don’t remember that happening. My sister and I do that to some extent, whether it was because I was wrapped up in my own world or, she was doing her thing.
And I’m like, I don’t remember that happening at all. And she said, how could you not? This was such a big part. I’m like, well, for you it was like a big deal, but for me it was Tuesday. Yeah. You know, kind of thing. .
Doc Issues: Yeah. It’s, it’s one of the unfortunate things about being human. Everything was meant to be, well, let me not even put meaning behind it, but.
Everything has to do with survival. So most animals, it’s simply, is this gonna kill me or not? Am I gonna get fed or not? Am I gonna have to change my situation? Am I gonna have to run like it? It’s real basic. Humanity has added so many layers to these things while still keeping that original format that that’s really what emotion comes down to.
And memory incorporating itself. It’s simply, is this going to kill me if I see it again? Or is this going to, help me survive if I see it again and we encode it one way or another. Obviously there’s way more nuance to that or, or whatever, but that’s pretty much it. So, yeah, the negative event, was it really gonna kill you?
No, but you don’t want it to happen again because part of your brain that was hardwired to make those decisions is saying, yep, it’s deadly. Don’t do it and stay away from it. , right? So, It’s unfortunate that now because we decided we need a society rather than just individualistic pure, you know, first level of hierarchy of needs, basics, that we don’t have the, ironically, even though we have language, we don’t have the language to describe the more original stuff.
So we are left with this huge divide between the fact that, one part of our brain is, is just doing that level still and the rest of our brain is trying to act like we’re totally above it and there’s no reason to worry about that part. And yet that is the part that is being manipulated all the time.
And it’s nice to be aware of those biases. But here’s the problem. I think what ended up happening and still happens with this research and I’ll, and by the way I fall for it too, is that. Once we learn about these different biases, recency bias, nostalgia bias, the idea that we all think that we’re above average in things, even though that can’t statistically be true all so all sorts of biases, we think because we’re aware of them, that means that we’re going to do them less.
Nope. Total bull .
Erica Schultz: Yeah. And, and being aware of it doesn’t make you immune to it, doesn’t make you immune to falling for it and doesn’t make you immune to using it to your own advantage, you know? And it’s funny that you said, talking about like the language of something. I was having a conversation with my mom and I was explaining to her something, we were talking about, mental health issues and things like that.
And I’ve been very open, talking about substance abuse and my own struggles with substance abuse. And alcoholism. And we were talking about, the anxiety that I had. And I said to her, I really thought that I only really started having anxiety when I was in high school and in college.
But apparently I was literal, like an anxious toddler. And my mother was an rn so she understood what was happening, but had this, you know, sort of difficult decision of as a nurse, like, do I diagnose my child? Do I try and treat it? Do or as a mom, there’s this sort of weird line that she was walking, but when we were talking, I said, you know, I didn’t have the vocabulary to articulate how I felt.
And I think that that’s something that happens a lot, you know, especially dealing with children because they don’t have the vocabulary to articulate. Their emotions. And that’s, you know, the kids will act out and you’re like, Jesus, what the hell’s bothering you? But they don’t have the vocabulary, they don’t have the emotional intelligence to be able to say, well, I’m feeling really down, or I’m feeling anxious because they don’t have those words.
Anthony: There’s a thing I, I’ve seen a whole bunch of times in different parenting groups and, and places that I’ve been in is that from, from the perspective of a child I need you.
Doesn’t always sound like I need you. Sometimes it sounds like, can you play with me? Sometimes it sounds like I want this. Sometimes it sounds like that. And it’s because the child knows that they need, the connection, but they don’t have the ability and the emotional maturity to say, I need a connection.
I need, whatever from you. It’s will you do this? You know, my son right now has been going through this a lot because, I’ve been home on paternity leave for three months, so I’ve been home with him every day and my wife has been working, and so there have been plenty of times where I need to change his diaper.
And he’s like, no, I need, I want mommy to do it. I’m like, well, unfortunately mommy’s not home right now. I have to change your diaper. And he’s like, but I want mommy to do it. And he, he ends up throwing a temper tantrum and I know it has nothing to do with me. And it’s everything to do with the fact that he misses his mother because she’s at work and she can’t be around him.
And. I also take solace in the fact that he feels comfortable enough around me and secure enough to know that he can be at his worst with me and know that I will still love him unconditionally. And that’s something that I think some parents tend to forget is they only focus on the child acting out or throwing the tantrum, whatever the case may be, and say, oh, you know, the kid is being a pain, or that the child says, you know, I, I don’t like you right now, I don’t love you go away and stuff.
And they view it as, oh, the child is doesn’t actually love me, or they, they don’t wanna be with me. No, the child loves you. They’re calling out for the connection. That’s the only way that they know how to do it. But because they’re so emotionally immature, again, you know, my son is three, so it’s not his fault that this is what they do and this is how they do it.
But you can’t view it from an adult lens. You have to view it from the lens of the child and then, React accordingly, but we tend to put our own perspective on things. We, we view the struggles of others through our lens rather than through their lens. And so we react as we would, not as they need. And I think if you can, if you can reduce, I, I can’t say eliminate, but if you can reduce your own ego and your own perspective on some of these issues and view it from a more empathetic perspective, you’re gonna have a better understanding of others.
You’re gonna have a better understanding of how to engage with other people. And it’s ultimately, I think, going to lead to a happier life because it’s going to, it’s going to free you up from constantly worrying about me, me, me. And it’ll give you a little bit of that. I know I’m, I’m not exactly using my, own words correctly.
Erica Schultz: I’m not using my big boy words.
Anthony: I’m not exactly, I’m not using my big boy words, but it will give you that. Emotional freedom and space to be able to connect better with people and the connections that you do get will be more meaningful and stronger because of it.
So we spent a lot of time talking about bylines in blood, in, in both direct and indirect ways, but. Recently, at least in so far as it was, a couple of months ago at New York ComicCon, you were at the Women in Marvel panel and you had some announcements that you’ve got two new books for Marvel coming out early 2023 in March of 2023.
So, so first quarter X 23 Deadly Regenesis and Hall’s Eve. So first we’ll talk about X 23 Deadly Regenesis. Laura is as a wonderful character, a fascinating character. We did an episode on her and I’ve just been really intrigued by her story. And she has built up quite a, an interesting collection of supporting characters herself honey Badger among others, and, and so she’s now Scout.
Oh, that’s right. That’s right. She’s now Scout. Yeah. Well, and I mean, technically, you know, if, depending on who you ask Laura is no longer X 23. She’s either Laura or Wolverine. So
Erica Schultz: Well, this story actually takes place when she was still X 23.
Anthony: Okay. Okay. I was gonna ask, so, so this is, it’s not not a prequel, but it is an earlier flashback story, so to speak.
Erica Schultz: Yes. So this story takes place during the utopia era, not the cre coa era. Okay. So, yeah. So during, during utopia, Laura was with Hellion, and she was part of ex force because Scott didn’t know what to do with her. So he basically threw on X force and Logan was like, no, I don’t want her on X forest.
Like, that’s the worst possible decision you can make for her.
Anthony: Well it’s cause Scott is a dick as, as we’ve all established .
Erica Schultz: Yeah. And so it was this really sort of push and pull with Laura where. She was doing what she was very good at doing, which was killing. But Logan was trying to save her from going down the same path that he did and was trying to sort of mitigate the amount of damage that he did that he then had to subsequently heal from.
So he was trying to mitigate some of that, and Logan basically tells her, you know, you’re obviously not getting along with anybody your age around here because everyone is terrified of you. That’s when they had like bling and rockslide and Helene was there. And it basically, you know, she scared the shit out of all of them because.
They were still, you know, teenagers and she had already lived this pretty crazy life. One thing in Laura’s backstory that I absolutely loathe is the whole childhood prostitution thing that was part of the Nicks storyline because she was originally created for the Xmen evolution cartoon series by Christopher Yost.
And Greg Weisman, I think might have been involved in that, I’m not entirely sure. But then Joe Cassada did a miniseries called Nix, where she escapes and is a child prostitute in New York. And I, I mean, it’s such a trope, the whole, damaged prostitute, damaged sex worker trope.
I really hate it, but, it’s part of canon, so I can’t, you know, get away from it. I don’t talk about it. I think I have one panel in five issues. One panel in 110 pages that may gently allude to it. But I, I made it clear to the, editors, I didn’t wanna have to go down that route at all because to me, that’s kind of a, just a really gross thing.
You know, yes, being an assassin at the age of eight or nine is gross as well. But, you know, the whole child sex worker thing was just too much for me. I know I draw a line somewhere, the eight year old assassin with claws that come out, her body is, one thing. So we took this story and we wanted to sort of add more, we wanted to give Laura A.
Little more emotional literacy because she seems still very, just very, stayed, very stoic and very, You know, this is the way things are. And this is pre Gabby, so Gabby and Jonathan have loosened her up a bit. But, and her also, you know, her friendship with Kate Bishop has sort of, you know, loosened her up a bit, but she didn’t have a lot of emotional intelligence.
And I know people are gonna hear that and say that I said, she doesn’t have a lot of intelligence. It’s not what I’m saying. She doesn’t have a lot of emotional intelligence. Like we were just talking about, you know, coming up with the vocabulary to articulate emotions. You know, Laura’s emotion was punch it, stab it, get it out of my way.
And that was the sort of the limit to her emotional intelligence. So we put her in a situation where she can’t just punch and stab her way out of it. And she has to be empathetic, which is difficult for her because she’s always been on survivor mode. So we put her in a situation where she has to see the world from someone else’s perspective. She has to see that she’s not the only victim in this world and she has to see that her actions have caused victimhood to others. And she really has a lot. She starts sort of finding that she is a lot to make up for. When I was on the panel the women of Marvel panel, Dr.
E viewing was talking about the photon book that they’re working on, and they made a very good point saying, women, especially women of color feel the need to put their own needs completely to, to the side and take care of everyone else’s situation. And also always be the only person there.
This is the only job that, that I can do. Nobody else can do this and everybody else will screw it up. It has to be me. While Laura, I don’t believe canon in canon is considered a woman of color. Women in general do have that, that idea of I have to do the job because nobody else can do it.
And that was sort of the, the drum beat of this story was, I must do what others can’t. I must, must make the decisions that others cannot make. I must do the things that others cannot do. And that was the drum beat that, that came through. And in the beginning of the miniseries, the I must do what others cannot means one thing.
And by the end of the miniseries, that same phrase has now become transformative for Laura. So
Anthony: Awesome, awesome. I was gonna get it anyway. A, because you’re writing it and b, X 23 slash Laura. But now the way you’re describing it, I am definitely going to go to my, my comic shop and make sure that this gets added to the poll list.
Erica Schultz: And I do wanna say Edgar Salazar, who’s the line artist, phenomenal, phenomenal artist.
Anthony: Oh yeah, absolutely. His worked on, on a bunch of books is, is top notch.
Erica Schultz: Yeah, I was able to meet him at San Diego Comicon this past year and it was great to, to just meet up and chat with him. Just really very talented, very, very kind, very humble artist.
Really has, has a really beautiful eye for drawing women who are strong but also vulnerable at the same time. We don’t get to see Laura being vulnerable a lot of times. And I will say that there are some moments here where she is. To me, this is a very emotionally charged book.
I mean, yes, buildings blow up and, slicing things left and right and, you know, that kind of thing. There’s, there’s those things in, you know, it’s a superhero book. Of course there has to be. But there are also a lot of quiet moments and a lot of self-reflection that I think is very important.
And and yeah, I mean, I, I hope people like the book. I, I really genuinely enjoyed working on it. Mark and Drew, the two editors on the book have been really, very very supportive of of sort of the storyline that I wanted to, to run with. And they’ve, basically said, you know, we like this idea, or, oh no, we can’t do that because of X, Y, and z.
But but I would say 97.8% of the time they’re just like, this is, this sounds great. Let’s do it. Let’s, let’s push Laura as far as we can take, as far as we can push her in terms of who she’s going to end up being.
Anthony: It’s a very specific percentage. appreciate that . 97.8. That’s, that’s, that’s good stuff.
I would also say that, you were talking about those character moments that Yeah. Comics. I think you need those moments to breathe between the punchy, punchy stuff that the punching is cool and it makes for a great splash page, but you need those, those character moments because that’s what makes people connect with certain characters.
That’s what makes people read the stories that keep you coming back. You know, that’s one of the things that I’ve loved about. That the current Superman books, whether it’s you know, Philip K. Johnson on on action comics, or Tom Taylor on the, the Superman son of Kal-El. The way that they have written the relationship between Clark and John is so incredibly heartwarming and, and it’s just those moments of father and son together.
Yeah. And sometimes they’re kicking alien ass together, but there’s so much of the, the relationship and the, the family moments that bring tears to my eyes. And that’s the stuff that I really appreciate. So if we get that kind of stuff with Laura, I’m looking forward to it. And I know that there is a large segment of the comic reading population that will just go, crazy for anything Laura related.
So if you’re giving them solid character moments for Laura, they’re, they’re gonna eat that up.
Erica Schultz: I hope. I hope so. I mean,
I hope so. I hope so too. My
dream is always to go to second printing, you know, so that’d be amazing
Anthony: that that would be fantastic. And like I said, I will help out as much as I can with my poll list.
So the other book you got coming on is Hallo Eve. Now I confess I’ve dropped off the Spider-Man books for a while, and I know this is sort of an offshoot of some of the stuff coming outta the Spider-Man books. So I have admittedly not been following, but I do see that this is about a, a character and the character I guess hasn’t been announced.
Who the, it’s somebody that we’re supposed to know, but
Erica Schultz: this is rough. I don’t know how much I can say about this. So there is going to be an X-Men and Spider-Man crossover event called Dark We, and it has Golden Goblin and Red Goblin and Peter Parker and a bunch of the X-Men. And this character, hollow Eve is going to come out of that event.
Also in this event, and this has been announced Madeline Pryor and and Ben Riley are part of this event. So that part I can talk about, but who Hallows Eve is, I don’t know if, if they’ve announced who she is yet. She is a character that has been in ASM before. So I can say that
Anthony: So is this, is this gonna be a, an ongoing or is this a mini?
Erica Schultz: This is a mini series that is directly spinning. Haha. See what I did there? Spinning out of the dark web event. And this character is going to have her own little storyline. My goal for this, I, I’m still writing it whereas I’ve finished writing X 23 already. But my goal for this storyline is that it’s only gonna take place in about three or four days.
The entire five issues is gonna take place in about three or four days. And so this way it doesn’t impact the event as much because when you’re sort of trying to shoehorn a story in with one of these big event books There’s a very, very, very fine line to walk. So I figure if my story only takes place over three days, I can’t do that much damage
So that’s basically what we’re doing. We’re gonna be following this character and even though the character is considered a villain, they’re not a super villain. They’re not, you know, mustache twirling, Dr. Doom. They’ve been given like a really shit hand in life and and they’re, they’re definitely gonna have a bit of a redemptive arc.
It’s not gonna be as redemptive as Laura’s arc, but they are gonna, wanna make some wrongs. Right. All right.
Anthony: Looking forward to that one as well. I will, I suppose I’ll have to catch up on the Spitey books beforehand. I don’t know where I’m gonna find the time to do all of this reading. But I will, you know, who needs, who needs work and taking care of myself and my, who needs my children, who needs sleep.
Yeah. Who needs sleep? I have to doom scroll on Twitter and catch up on you know, for all
Erica Schultz: we know. By the time this airs, Twitter won’t even be a thing anymore.
Anthony: I have to find out what’s on that, on that 13th page of Reddit. I, I, oh god, . That’s, that’s where the good stuff is. You have to get past all the fluff.
Everybody knows that the good stuff is always on page three of the Google search results. That’s where you find the,
Erica Schultz: I was gonna say, like, someone was explaining this specific manga to me. I wanna say, was it nato? It might have been, but somebody, somebody was saying to me, You know, like the first 60 books or the first like 60 episodes are really terrible.
But once you get past that, I’m like, who the hell has the time invest? If it’s not catching me in the first 15 minutes, my ass is out. Like, who has the time that
I did come on?
Anthony: I, I did see somebody say that Andor they said the first two episodes are a little slow and then it becomes the best thing ever.
So I was like, okay, I, I do like Star Wars. I’ll, I’ll sit through through Andor I suppose I still have to finish re-watching Rogue One before I, I, you know, get there. Cuz I watched Rogue One when it came out and I was gonna say, remember I need to rewatch, I need to
Doc Issues: rewatch Rogue One because I, I just need to rewatch Rogue One.
Like, I, I love that movie. Anthony knows I’m not as well, I can’t come close to matching his, his fandom for Star Wars, but for somebody that’s, that’s a casual head, a love rogue one. So I feel like it was a story that should have been told before anything else. But to get back to what we were just talking about especially when it comes to monga, things like that, there is something to be said about long form.
And I’m not trying to be super biased about this, but yeah, there are a lot of cultures, especially a lot of Asian cultures that appreciate the, the slow ride to things that almost mimic the way life can be. Like long periods of Banality punctuated by, you know, in like instant change.
Erica Schultz: So that’s like all Miyazaki, you know?
Doc Issues: Yeah. Yeah. So I appreciate that as someone who, who once in a while just like will dive into one of those mangas and not know what the heck they’re. Reading or looking at it’s cool. I I, I’m not even saying that like randomly. I’m saying that there are some stories where I’m like, I don’t, I think I can summarize how something’s going to happen in about five sentences, but it doesn’t do a story justice.
And I can, I can understand how people do that. That is not my cup of tea. Like in terms of what I want produced or like, as you could tell with our podcast, the way we do things, that’s not how we do things. Not even clothes. Cause I just don’t have the mental bandwidth for it.
But I, I appreciate the people that do, I have novels that I love. I I also realize comics were saving Grace .
Erica Schultz: I think for me because I’m very type a I need to have an end point. I also think. There’s a certain grace in something that’s finite, you know? Whereas I see TV shows that have gone on for far too long, cuz it’s a money grab.
I like, the finiteness about certain things at the same time, you know, I’ve been reading X-Men since like 19 88, 89 kind of thing. And it’s sometimes the same shit over and over again. Sometimes it’s really bizarre, weird shit. And now I get the opportunity to add to that even in the slightest amount, you know, 110 pages in the grand scheme of things, of the X World is nothing.
But but I’m happy to at least give that 110 pages, you know?
Anthony: And, and we are looking forward to those 110 pages. So we’re gonna start wrapping things up here because this has been. The, the longest interview I think we’ve ever done with, with anybody, but if we were gonna do a long one I’m glad it was with you.
Erica Schultz: and you can cut out half the shit that I said .
Anthony: No, no, no. It’s all, it’s all good stuff. It’s all appropriate context. And it gives, it gives flavor. I mean, we were literally just discussing that. We were literally just discussing how, sometimes there’s, there’s too much stuff, but you, you have to give those moments.
So, so everything else can breathe. You can’t rush the greatness, you know, whether it’s, whether it’s a slow cooker or a sous vide. You have to let it grow and let it do its thing and the process will come out and then it comes out. Fantastic. In the end. So since this is the, the fifth appearance on the show, and you know, you are the inaugural member of the five Timers Club, my question to you is this, would you prefer.
A starter jacket or Zubas pants.
Erica Schultz: I’m not taking either one. . And I’ll tell you why, because that, I mean, it’s, it’s ridiculous. I was teasing that entire time.
Doc Issues: We know.
Anthony: No, but, cause I think based on the, the conversations that we’ve had and, the throwback era of everything, I, I would be honored to, to find
Erica Schultz: where would you even find a starter jacket?
No, no, no. In all serious, in, in all genuine seriousness. All kidding aside, I, I don’t like people spending money on me for anything. And my whole thing is always No, no. I mean, you ask my husband, ask my friends. My friend tells me I’m so sanctimonious for this. But my whole thing is like, look, if you’re gonna spend money on something kind of frivolous, you don’t.
Especially it’s for me. Take that money and give it to a food bank. Give it to an animal charity. You know, so if you were gonna go on eBay and get a starter jacket, I thank you. But instead of doing that, please take that money and send it to like an animal, charity or or food, you know, or something like that.
Doc Issues: know what’s, yeah. You know what’s fascinating that you say that? Because I, I admit, I have a similar philosophy in general, but I hate spending money on myself, but I love spending money on others. Just, it’s, it’s my language. I get that. But the other thing I was going to say though, and this is just a random personal thing, Anthony and I, we are brothers, we’re best friends and all that people would be shocked, and I’m just gonna go ahead and say it.
What gifts do we give to each other on birthdays now? We don’t, and the reason for that is because it just became this like trading back and forth thing in terms of gift cards or money or whatever, and it was like, Why the hell are we even doing that , you know?
Anthony: So yeah, it becomes, I give him 50 bucks, he gives me 50 bucks. It’s, it’s a wash. So yeah, it’s like, like, what’s the,
Doc Issues: there’s no real point to that. So, yeah. People might think that’s super weird, but in all honesty, it was more like, no, because the thing that we actually cherish, and that’s the gift, is the fact that we spend time with each other and we want to, you know, just, just enjoy life together. Like, that’s it. That’s what we got. That’s what
Anthony: we need. The only reason why I was even coming up with that is because, and my wife will attest to this of the love languages. Gift giving is my absolute bottom one. I’m a horrible gift giver. I am terrible at it. My, my family can attest to this. My wife can attest to this.
Every woman I dated before, my wife can attest to it. I am not a good gift Give. It’s just not who I am. My wife. That’s like probably her, her top language.
Doc Issues: Right, right. And I was gonna say that I, I don’t think I ranked them anymore, but the thing that I, like, I need to clarify. Like, I can’t pick out a darn thing.
It’s more like, tell me what your desires are in the world and I will try and make them happen as best I can. That’s really my,
Anthony: my philosophy. I appreciate and respect. If somebody gives me something thoughtful, I try and I have succeeded on occasion with something thoughtful. But the other thing for me is that I feel that if I do come up with a fantastic idea for a gift, it is so, That I am like, I need to do this because this never happens.
So when, when Doc and I were talking and I was like, Erica is gonna be on the show for a fifth time, I need to get either like a giant starter jacket or some like nineties ass Zubas pants, , like just bright garish. The uglier the better. Just something, you know, something small. It wasn’t gonna be like this extravagant thing, but just based on, some of the, the conversations that we had and the things that we you know, we talked about previously.
I was like, I think she would, she would really be tickled by that.
Erica Schultz: I’m glad you support my books. You, you support me. That in and of itself is enough.
Doc Issues: I will say this then, and I do mean this. What would be a, a cause or charity or whatever, what would be something that would be meaningful to you?
Erica Schultz: Honestly, your local animal shelter. Would be, you know, if you have a, an animal shelter in, in your town or in your county. Got it. The two cats that we have are, are rescues. They both have their little, their little things. Simon actually is, is very, very attached to my husband. Like they have bro time and car, for whatever reason is attached to me. Like I’m the most anxious person in the house.
And she’s the most, and the two of them are so anxious, but for some reason, like I can calm her down. I don’t know how. It’s very strange. It’s like we’re both so anxious that we cancel each other out. It’s like two electrons or, or electron and a proton. We cancel each other out.
Doc Issues: I don’t know. Wow. There you go.
There you go. Sounds, sounds like my entire career, to be honest.
the number of times. Yeah. Well, the number of times that like people will just say, doc, can you not even my own patients, like just say, doc, can you just come over here and talk to this person, or talk to this staff member or something. I’m just like, okay. And afterwards they’re like, thanks, I feel better.
I’m like, I didn’t say a word. You just talked to me . It’s cool. It’s cool. I
Erica Schultz: mean, it’s kind of like, wait, what? What Anthony was saying before about this idea of, your child saying I need you kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah, it’s sometimes people just need another presence. To, to be there.
Not necessarily to even even articulate anything or say anything, but just to just physically be there. Yeah. And I think that’s why people have, cats or dogs because even though you can’t communicate with them on the same level as you would a person just knowing that there’s literally a heartbeat there there’s something that, that’s comforting about that.
Yeah. Unless they try and like sit on your face and smother you and they
Anthony: sleep well and that’s why the cats are not allowed in the bedroom while we’re sleeping in, the door is closed and they can bitch and cry in the hallway all they want. They’re not getting in because at three they’ll be fine initially and then at 3:00 AM they’ll decide, you know what?
I think I wanna knock everything off the counter, or I wanna go scratch something.
Erica Schultz: No, his 3:00 AM, his 3:00 AM is he’ll use the litter and he’s very. Very particular if his litter is not cleaned immediately. So at 3:00 AM he uses litter, and then he comes into the bedroom to tell us that he used the litter, that it then has to be cleaned immediately.
Anthony: Get yourself robo litter or litter robot. I forget what it’s called. We have it, it’s a life changer.
Erica Schultz: Okay. This cat is afraid of his own shadow. That thing would give him a heart attack.
Anthony: Fair enough. Just, just, you know, throwing it out there. Like I said, it’s been, he’s, he’s like
Erica Schultz: 13 and she’s, you know, the crypt keeper. The next round. Don’t tell ‘
Anthony: em I said that. understood. We’ll keep it between us and the listening audience. So Erica, where can folks find you on on the internet, aside from whatever may be left of the ashes of Twitter?
Erica Schultz: Okay, so on Twitter, I am Erica Schultz, 42 S C H u Lt Z on Instagram, I am Erica Schultz.
Wrights, w r i t e s. On Mastadon I am Toot dot site slash EricaSchultz42. And you could always go to my website, erica schultz writes.com. I have all the books that are out in stores. I also have them on my site. I had a New York ComicCon exclusive story called Christelle. We did an ashcan for it. We’re pitching it now to certain publishers, so with luck, that’ll be in store sometime next year.
We’ll see. I know there, there are a couple of other social media sites that people are looking at, like Counter or Blue Sky or Mushroom or something weird. But I don’t know. I, I’ve got, I’ve got a Twitter I’ve got a master on, and that’s, that’s, and, and an Instagram. It’s about as much as I can juggle right now.
Anthony: we’re, we’re on Twitter and we’re gonna go down with the ship at this. Yeah,
Erica Schultz: I, I’ll turn the lights off on the way out. Exactly.
Anthony: Yeah. Let those
Erica Schultz: motherfuckers drag me out.
Anthony: Yep. It’ll be, it’ll be you, us and Gail Simone tweeting until the end times. Yeah. Hell yeah. So, and so we will get you back in the springtime then to follow up with you on X 23 and the Halo E then and you can tell us about whatever other stories you’ve got coming out.
And that’ll be time number six for you. You just keep setting, keep setting that standard. Thank,
Erica Schultz: I’m setting them
Anthony: records. There you go. There you go. Just keep, keep on keeping on. Erica, thank you. As, as always, it is a pleasure and a joy to have you here as obviously evidence by the fact that we’ve been talking to you for two hours and this is your fifth appearance on the show.
So, You know, we love having you here. It’s always a great time, and we will definitely be looking up some local animal shelters to, to make a donation in lieu of some Zubas pants. Maybe I’ll see if there’s a, a bright colored cat somewhere, you know, or a cat named Zubas that, we can, can find a home for something, something 90s-esque
But but again, thank you as always. You can find all of our episodes and all of the prior times that we’ve spoken with Erica on our website, capes on the couch.com. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok capes on the couch. And you can email us at capes on the couch gmail.com. And our patreon is patreon.com/capes.
On the couch where you’ll be able to hear the uncensored version of this. We’ll probably edit some of the stuff for the main feed, but you, you will be able to hear the whole thing in its long uncensored rambling cat talking. You
Erica Schultz: might even hear Simon every once in a while. Come by and squeak. Yeah.
Anthony: You’ll be able to hear it in all its full glory on our Patreon. So head on over there and you can unlock the the full length uncensored version. Doc, anything you wanna say before we head out for once
Doc Issues: and, and both of the people on this on this episode know it? I, I’m kind of punned out right now.
I’m, I’m just kind of recovering, so I mentioned how, sometimes people feel better just talking to me. Well, I’m being very honest. I just feel better talking to you guys right
Erica Schultz: now. Well, we’re glad. I’m glad we could be a balm.
Anthony: Absolutely. Erica, thank you so much for Erica Schultz and doc issues. I’m Anthony Sytko.
Thank you for listening. We will see you next time.