Anthony: 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 very lucky to have with us the fantastic Meghan Fitz. Martin, thank you so much, Meghan, for taking the time to speak with us tonight.
Meghan: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate being here.
Anthony: So we kind of reached out to Meghan through her website. I believe it was, it was through the website or through Twitter. I don’t remember which one that I, I think it was the website.
Meghan: I believe it’s the website. Yes.
Anthony: Yes. Well, I saw you on Twitter. That’s what it was. I had seen very active on Twitter and everything, and I said, Oh, I want to get her on the show.
And so I reached out to her and utilized the contact form on the website. So word to the podcasters, , go out there, chase those folks down, shoot your shot as a. Doc is a big Hamilton fan. He’s very fond of throwing in references and we never throw away our shots here on this show.
Meghan: Love that.
Anthony: So Meghan is the first creator that we’ve had on the show who is also a podcaster.
And so before we get into some of the comics discussion about that, I just want to have a little bit of a discussion about that. I know that you, on your website it says that you primarily worked in scripted audio dramas. Was that sort of how that all came about?
Meghan: Kind of. so I do both scripted audio dramas as well as I have done a, a podcast for a number of years called Wine and Comics with a buddy of mine where we drink wine and talk about comics. Super standard, basic sort of a thing. We haven’t been able to do it since the pandemic. Mostly just because he’s busy.
His workflow is crazy and he’s, he’s got a small child, so became a little bit more difficult. But yeah, I, I actually got into writing for TV because I wanted to write audio. And my writing for TV is what led me to write for animation, which led me to write for comics. So my, my love and affection for audio drama is, is sort of what inspired this whole thing. I grew up listening to audio drama, which is very rare for an American to say. But I come from an incredibly conservative religious background. And there are two good things I think, that have come out of Christian media and one was an audio drama that I listened to growing up.
And so it was incredibly impactful and really good storytelling. And I was like, Well, I’m, I guess I’m gonna try and pursue this and ended up pivoting a little bit, but been able to, to write my own stuff and write on some other people’s stuff. So it’s been very fun.
Doc Issues: Wow. That’s, that’s fascinating because I, I love radio and I think that’s why podcasts appeal so much to, to both of us.
But that’s the first time I’ve heard someone even mention audio dramas. I only got introduced to them through podcasts. Well, wait, I take that back because I remember in my college days, I’m not gonna go into the legality of this, but got my hands on some MP three s of like the Adventures of Sherlock Homes.
Cause I was always a Sherlock Homes fan. And I realized, yeah, years ago when they used to do radio like that, I always wondered what can, you know, how can that, how can that be translated into, it’s a moving forward. So that’s, that’s an amazing, that’s an amazing backstory.
Anthony: Yeah, you don’t hear too many folks, you know, that were not say not around in the thirties and forties, say, Oh, I love listening to radio dramas and things of that nature.
And you know, my love for the shadow is well scripted and well documented on, on our show. And obviously one of the big things is the shadow really started off as an audio drama. Yeah. And I was, communications studies major in college, and one of the things I did was audio engineering and, and radio, TV and things of that nature.
And so working with sound effects and Foley, all those, those things. Continued to appeal to me even now, and it’s a shame. We really don’t get to do too much of that on our show. We have a little bit with the skit, I get to throw in some sound effects, but we don’t get to really embrace the full scope of audio drama and, people sending at the microphone and just kind,
Doc Issues: Oh, now you’ve done it. Now you’ve done it. Because when I write those things, there are plenty of times where I think of sound effects and things. I just didn’t want you to have to edit so much.
Meghan: But now that you, now you’ve said it, now you’ve got, go for
Anthony: it. Oh, and damn it, now I’ve shut myself in the foot.
Meghan: Right. All right. I do.
It’s great though cuz it is still a continued media source over in, in Britain. Britain never really got rid of it in the way that America sort of moved quickly past it. So there’s a lot of really good stuff that is continued to be out there. Like the, the show that I, like I said, really got into, started in the eighties, but I have a lot of friends in Britain who started on listening to Hitchhiker’s Guide was a really big one.
And, and really pervasive and really part of the culture. Dr. Who there’s a lot more that’s like outside of American culture that still does a lot of audio drama, which is really, really fun and really amazing.
Anthony: Yeah, I. Original cassettes of the Empire Strikes Back Radio adaptation starring John Lithgow is the voice of Yoda.
Meghan: Oh, that, that’s so cool.
Anthony: I have never listened to them because I don’t have a cassette deck anymore.
Meghan: Oh, okay. Sure.
Anthony: But I bought them, I’m talking like 15 years ago. I found them at like a flea market for like two 50. I was like, well this is just, I’m taking this. Thank you very much. It’s still in the box and everything with the, the cassette.
So I still have it next to my, my VHS of the special edition Star Wars trilogy next to my DVDs of the Star Wars trilogy next to my DVDs of the original unedited Unspecialized, whatever, next to my blue rays of the Star Wars trip. Yeah. I have a bit of a problem, but we’re not here to talk about my obsessive need to collect Star Wars memorabilia.
We’re here to talk about you. So you you kind of beat mea to the questioning punch a little bit was in the sense that TV and animation work, you said that would kind of spun out a podcast I saw on your website you had written for Supernatural. Mm-hmm. was, So did that come from the audio dramas?
Meghan: No. So the audio drama is what got me into writing in general.
So I went to school to be a youth pastor. I took a bit of a detour but I went to school to be a youth pastor and while I was there, I took a class cause I really wanted to write audio drama. And I, I did that because I was so impressed upon how story was really impactful for me growing up. I read a lot of comics, I listened to audio dramas.
I, I watched animation and tv. When we finally got a tv it was super sheltered and I was like, Oh, okay, well this says writing for radio and television. I wanna learn how to do that because when I go off and be a youth pastor, I think that this could be a really influential way that I could like, Tell stories for kids and things like that.
Cuz like I said, stories were so important to me. So I started this class, It did not teach radio at all and only taught television. But I learned that I was like, Oh, I love writing for TV too, so I’ll just keep, i’ll, I’ll stick with it. And then ended up loving it so much that I got an accidental minor in communications at my very small Bible college and was like, I think this is what I wanna do.
I think ultimately I want to, the whole reason I want I went to school to be a youth pastor is because I wanted to tell kids that they are loved. That was super important to me. It’s still very important to me. And so I sort of had a a come to Jesus, if you will, that what I wanted to do could be best done through stories rather than what I.
Originally planning to do so. Out of audio drama, I learned how to write television. Then I moved to LA where I worked towards writing for television. I got a job on Supernatural after a number of other jobs. And was an assistant, wrote an episode, met some people in animation got staffed on Supernatural, did some su animation stuff, then found my way into comics through the animation.
Anthony: Yeah, because I had seen again on your website that you wrote for, not Supergirl, but what’s the, the name of the show? The one with all the female DC characters?
Meghan: DC Superhero Girls.
Anthony: Superhero Girls. Thank you.
Meghan: I did a couple of of the short episodes of DC Superhero Girls, which was really fun. I was able to write Damien actually into DC Superhero Girls, which was very fun for me.
Doc Issues: Oh my goodness. And that means that my daughter’s been exposed to it. That’s amazing. .
Anthony: Damien is a, very interesting character and I particularly like how he’s written in the Harley Quinn animated series, which is very, very different Oh. Than superhero girls. Yes. But but yeah, he’s, he’s a very cool character.
So then I guess that’s how you hooked up with the folks over at DC and then you kind of worked your way into writing for, for comics,
Meghan: sort of. So I had done some DC animation stuff. I’ve also, I also did a movie I coad it with Jeremy Adams, who’s currently writing the Flash comics. Well, we wrote this movie called Justice Society World War ii.
And around that time, Dan DiDio was still sort of leading DC and reached out to a bunch of folks in Warner Animation. Basically saying, Hey, does anybody wanna write comics because we want more people. So my, my folks at DC animation reached out to me and Jeremy and some other folks and we’re like, Do you wanna do this?
And Jeremy and I both were like, Yes. Yes. A thousand, Yeah, a hundred thousand percent. And yeah, went over to, went over to DC and, and met with, with a bunch of the editors there and, and got on like gangbusters.
Anthony: Awesome. So was the first work that you did, the Urban Legends or was there something prior to that?
Meghan: So the first work that I did for DC I actually did two issue story called Future State Robin Eternal, which is where I first wrote for Tim. It’s set in, in a potential future of Gotham where things have gone a little off the deep end. And Robin sort of has to do a heist with Spoiler and a new character Darcy that is now in my Tim Drake Robin Run.
Cuz I I loved Darcy so much, so I brought it back.
Anthony: Yeah, I, I picked up that that run. I, I have not read the Future State. I didn’t read everything. Future state. Cut and pieces of it.
Meghan: So there was a lot of it. So yeah, there was a lot of it.
Doc Issues: There was plenty.
Anthony: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We, we talked to Philip Kennedy Johnson last year and we were talking to him about some of the future state stuff, and this is, it was literally right before he started writing Superman.
It was like within the next couple weeks that was being released. Like his, I think future state had maybe just come out and then his formal run on action and Superman, like the two-parter the back and forth that he was doing there. And I’ve been meaning to follow up and I did follow up with Phillip.
So, if you’re listening, you know we’d love to have you back on the show cuz I wanna talk to you about War world. Yeah. You need to talk to you about war world. Just, you know, throwing that out there.
Meghan: War World is amazing. I love Philip Kennedy Johnson. He is, he is great. I finally got to meet him at New York ComicCon. We’ve been Twitter friends for a while and I was like, Oh my gosh, this is great. It was so great to meet him.
Anthony: Yeah, unfortunately, and, and you know, I live in Jersey. I’ve went to New York ComicCon for, I don’t know, 10 straight years. Mm-hmm. or close to that, but I haven’t been able to go the past couple years because of the pandemic and kids so on.
But in any case, Okay, so you wrote The Future State and then is that what led to you writing the, the stories within the Urban Legends anthology?
Meghan: Yeah, so I wrote Future State Paul Kaminski was my editor. He’s now the group editor for Superman. Great. Love Paul with every fiber of my being. He’s amazing.
And then I was also working with Dave Wils at the time, and Dave was sort of spearheading a lot on that manner. I’ve been legends and reached out to me and was like, Hey, Would you like to do a story for Tim Drake? Dave loves Tim Drake. I love Tim Drake. And we were like, he was like, I would really love for you to like continue working with him.
I was like, Yes, a thousand percent. I love Tim would love to continue telling stories for Tim. So Dave was like, Okay, well just think about what you wanna do, what stories you wanna tell and then get back to me. And I, the more that I thought about it, the more I was like, well, it’s a story about identity. And, and thus it became a story about identity.
Anthony: Yeah. So obviously I was going to, that was one of the big questions I was going to ask is in that Urban Legends three part, that’s where Tim. Discovers, I guess internally. He said, you know, that he’s been struggling with something and he’s been feeling off and he, he’s doesn’t really want to talk to Stephanie.
And there’s a whole lot of stuff going on there. And that’s when he reconnects with Bernard. Mm-hmm. classmate of his, And this is when he finally realizes that he’s bisexual. Is is he bisexual or canonically gay? I’m never, I’ve never quite determined that
Meghan: So part of the reason that I, we’ve not said specifically put a label on it is because I wanted to honor so many journeys of so many people who are still trying to figure out is it bi, is it pan?
The specific thing is that his relationship and attraction to Stephanie is real as is his relationship and attraction to Bernard. So those two things are true. And as the journey of Tim Drake continues on, Potentially we will find a label for that. But it was very important to me and everybody at DC really to not just immediately go in and be like, Ah, yes, I know.
Because that is, that is not always true for, for some folks. So while there, that is definitely true for some people. Many people it is not So wanting to, to be respectful and, and give Tim the space that he needs to figure it out for himself.
Doc Issues: Yeah, that’s, that’s a very mature way to handle it. And I have to say that just that entire arc allows for someone, especially as a, as a creator, as a writer for you to demonstrate an understanding of the human condition that many people don’t even get to think about on a regular basis. So that’s, that’s actually a pretty heavy weight to carry. I, I have to say was this a situation where everyone was on board because even just, let’s say a decade, two decades ago, we are not having this conversation, you know?
Meghan: Yeah. I mean thank you very much for, for saying that. It was very kind of you. I came to the, the story going, Okay, this is the story that I wanna tell. I went immediately to Dave and said, Hey, Dave, I like, you’ve gotta tell me right off the bat if we can do this or not, because I, this is it for me.
Like this, this is the story that makes sense. I am very much am an organic storyteller person in the fact that I come from a character based story. So I focus on character and I focus on like, not to get like woo woo woo about it, but like, what do you want? Who as a character, what do you wanna say?
And like, trying to give the character as much space as possible to speak what it is that I, I feel is, is imperative to their narrative, to their story. So that to me was a huge part of it. And I was like, I think that this, it has to be this. I, I went back and read so many of my comics that were, that, like beginning of Tim Drake Brown, and so many of the other like really great young justice stuff.
And I was like, Okay, this feels right. Like it feels right and I need to know whether or not I can, I can tell this story because I don’t know, otherwise I’ll have to think of something else. And Dave was great and was like, you know, This is not the first time this has come up. I, let me run it up the flag pole.
Let me talk to some folks and I will get back to you. And I was like, Okay. So I was waiting with bated breath and I remember getting the email cuz I had emailed him this question and he emailed me back and was like, I ran it up the flag pole. We got the green light, You’re good to go. And ever since then, everyone, and it wasn’t that like anybody was ever not supportive, but everyone has continued to be encouraging and supportive and a thousand percent on board.
And yeah, I mean that wouldn’t have happened a number of years ago. But the current team at DC is amazing and incredibly supportive and incredibly like, willing to tell those stories and willing to dive deep into. Aspects of character and aspects of nitty gritty that haven’t really been explored in ever. So it’s been great.
Anthony: Yeah. Or at least not in the high profile manner in which we’ve seen Yeah, a lot of non hetero relationships. Just to put the sort of, you know, penumbra over it, you know, whether it’s you know, Tim and then John Kent, you know, over in the Superman, and then a lot of stuff with a Harley Quinn and, and Poison Ivy.
That pairing has been utilized a lot more frequently. And, you know, you can sort of bring it back to earlier characters like Renee Montoya and things of that nature that very much paved the way for these kinds of stories to be told. And it’s, it’s absolutely fantastic.
Meghan: Absolutely. And I mean, more so to the point too.
I think a lot of, there’s been a lot of really good work in the independent space, like image and boom, things like that, there’s been a lot of work within this particular medium. I was talking to Ron, who’s been doing the detective comics, and he, he was saying something about how comics are punk rock, and he just said that over and over again, punk comics are punk rock.
And I, I remember that and I remember thinking like, Yeah, no, exactly. Like it is punk rock to be so vitally and brilliantly yourself, and we haven’t really had the chance to do that in a while. We, like I said, image has been doing it and Boom has been doing it, but like being able to do it over at DC both with John and Tim and, and Harley and, you know, starting off with Ca Kane and Renee like it is. It is a punk rock movement, and it’s, it’s a radical like being of self, which I think is really cool.
Anthony: Yeah. And to see the big two, you know, DC and, and Marvel as well. Marvel has been embracing that a lot over, over there as well. It, it is really refreshing to see that the heteronormativity that has existed in comics for decades is finally starting to move away.
And we’re, we’re getting out from under the, the oppression post, you know, I don’t want to put it all on seduction of the innocent and, Wortham and all that stuff.
Meghan: There’s a lot of that though, .
Anthony: There is, there is a fair amount of that. Yeah. That, that puritanical mindset and things of that nature.
But it is fantastic to see that these kinds of stories are being told. And you know, I mean, Doc and I are both. Says hetero dudes. But we love reading these kinds of stories. You know, I’m speaking for Doc. But you know, we’ve had these conversations offline, you know, it’s just, if it’s a good story, I’m all about it.
And I know it’s cliche. Well, I don’t care what their color is. I don’t care who they love, what, But it’s the truth. If it’s a good story and they’re compelling characters, I’m, I’m in, you know?
Meghan: Absolutely. And I think what I really enjoyed is the space to, So whenever I was working on Supernatural, there was a lot of moments that I, I’m really grateful for that sort of prepared me to work on DC comic stuff.
In particular, it’s the internal investigation. my own sort of personal biases and things like that. And that has been something that I’ve been really wanting to actively work through of like, even within comics. Okay. If this makes you uncomfortable, that’s totally fair because our feelings are valid. But like, what, why are you uncomfortable about this?
What is ma Like, I, I remember having a conversation with somebody about like, you know, a good story’s a good story and being able to investigate like, but why do I think this is a good story? We, we did this a lot. Like I said, with Supernatural there, I noticed sometimes that certain writers would get more accolades than writers of color or writers who are women.
And it was really interesting because our fan base was mostly women. Not everybody, but like a, a good majority were women. And asking that question of like, Oh, I wonder why that pattern is, is existing and why that has emerged and people like what they like. There’s absolutely that aspect of it.
But also this was a story that was told about like two white. Cis brothers who were often written by white cis men. And so their stories are, are told a certain way. So whenever you, you come in contact with someone who’s telling the story in a different way, from a different perspective, there is a bump sometimes, and that’s okay once again, like that is okay to recognize it.
But what is not okay is just to say, Well, I guess this is not nothing. What’s better, I have found is to investigate and dig in and go, Oh, okay, well why did I have this bump? And I, that happened to me all the time and, and investigating it and within myself, and that has been the hope of, of writing anything is, is that there is space for invest.
Anthony: Yeah, The Supernatural fandom is known for shipping and slash and I, I’ve read a lot of things tangentially. My, my wife watched the show a lot and, you know, Castile and, and involved in a lot of those pairings and things of that nature. There’s, they’re very vocal and very opinionated. Yeah. And passionate people.
Meghan: I mean, same with dc like, I never begrudged it because I was like, No, I thank God, thank God that you care so much. That is what we all want. Right? Is that like, to make something in which you, you create this level of passion and excitement for something. And I always found it really interesting, but I also had the benefit of being able to take a step back and be like, Okay, what can I learn from this?
How can I learn? What can I, how can I tell stories better and, and reach people in a way that like, Connects with them in a way that is, is supportive and helpful. And so I think it prepared me for DC and the passion and love that the DC fandom has, and I have also been parts of those types of fandoms of, like, I’ve, I’ve always been a big Marvel fan.
My family, I come from football fans. Like there’s always passion. Religion could also be argued as being a, a big fandom of something like there that passion exists. So it’s a study of like, how do you, how do you passion supportively?
Anthony: Very well said. Very interesting. And I guess I never considered it from the perspective of the writer because we’ve never had somebody Worked and in kind of all of those fields and, and at least been willing to, to speak about some of those things. But not to get off on too much of a tangent, but it’s, I’m just curious to question a little bit more than you say.
You know, when you were working on Supernatural and you had that very vocal fandom, I know that there are some fans, and I, I’m willing to say that they are, you know, a very small minority who disregard the canonical stories, whatever, to create their own head cannon, so to speak. Mm-hmm. How difficult is it as a writer in that type of situation where you have authoritative control, for lack of a better term, over these characters, to then get feedback from the fandom community and say, We know that’s the story that you’re telling, but that’s not the story that we want.
And how do. Or if at all, is it possible to synergize some of that so that it’s, it flows a little more cohesively? I’m failing at words, but I think you understand the point I’m trying to get at is how do you juggle and balance the desires of the fandom versus your desire and needs as the, the creator and a storyteller?
Meghan: Essentially what you’re asking is fan service. At what point do you acknowledge fan service or shy away from fan service and,
Anthony: and how do you balance it?
Meghan: Yeah, absolutely, and that’s a very fair question. I think we always said at Supernatural that we didn’t write for Twitter I’m sure you guys also understand like there’s a difference between people who are watching any show.
It wasn’t even just Supernatural. There’s a difference between people who are watching it live. You go on that hashtag and you’ll see people’s reactions. Versus people’s reactions the next day or the next week and how like they’re sort of processing it versus people who have like binged the show and are now watching week to week after having binged the sh like 13, 14 seasons of the show.
There’s a lot of different reactions going on and there’s a lot of different, I think it’s a similar thing with comics that like there’s a difference If you grew up only reading graphic novels and you’ve gotten into like, Oh, you know what I’m, I am now able to drive myself to the comic bookstore and I’ve never been able to do that before, whatever that is.
I go to the comic bookstore now and I get issued issue that no longer feels cannon, that like, feels like there’s some sort of elastic or elasticity to storytelling that’s happening. And so there’s a different reaction that I think readers will have versus when you are, you know, when I have a graphic novel that is from like, 2006 or whatever that is, that is candid, that is can with a capital C.
And like no one can argue with it whether or not you like it. That is what happened. And I think it is an area where we just don’t, we, we don’t talk about it a lot. We don’t have a lot of study within it, for lack of a better term. And so for me, I, I tend to try and write, like I said, authentic character.
I look at the character, I look at what the character is coming from. I think fan spaces are important. It is very important for me to recognize and, and be able to build in a sense of boundary of like, I need to know the criticisms. I need to know the joys so that I’m not like mired in my own sense of imposter syndrome or everything is horrible.
But also at the end of the day, I have been in fandom spaces and I know how weird it is when people who create come in and are like, cool, like, what’s going on, fellow kids? And it’s like, No, no, no, this isn’t for you. Fan fiction is great for this. It’s like I’m a, a huge supporter of fan fiction to exist because it becomes the, this space for community to exist that I as a creator or writer do not really have to be a part of and shouldn’t, to be perfectly honest, I that it’s not necessarily my, my.
Doc Issues: You know, there is a real, real world analog to this, and we do it all the time. We are constantly shaping the people that we meet or that we interact with, whether it’s through work, whether it’s through, events or whatever. My job seeing patients, like I’m seeing them for a very brief period of time in a hospital, and that’s the moment where I’m noticing everything they’re doing, what they’re saying and all that.
And I have to come to judgements. But nurses are with them 24 7. And so I sometimes people say like, Well, what’s better? And my point is, they’re not better or worse. They’re different. Yeah. And to, to draw the, the parallel, when you are working on a character, when you’re writing for that character, you are making considerations for a lot of things that people may not.
Recognize or acknowledge in that process as opposed to the finished product where someone else is filling in those background blanks for themselves.
Doc Issues: And so that creates an opportunity for like, Way different opinions, but also I think it allows for the fact that if you’ve created a character that people are willing to fill in those gaps.
Then you’ve created a person. Yeah, that’s something that’s really impressive. I want both. I want the idea that, as you said, like longitudinally, if I binge on something, I’m like, Oh, wow, I could really see how this all went down and how it develops as opposed to someone just picking it up like for the very first time, saying like, Wow, why is that person doing that?
Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think I would do that. It’s like, Well, that’s not, That’s not the same thing. And to take the time to want to go back and find out about that person, it’s no different than in my job when I’m doing a history on someone. I’m like, I’m not trying to put my judgment on you. I’m trying to have you tell your story to.
And if you are able to do that in a way that I understand, then we’re gonna have a good time with this. And the fact that you are able to take things, be they, I know we were just talking about it, whether it was controversial or not, or things like that. And then with your own background, I, I gotta give you credit where you mentioned having a conservative background, some of the topics that are brought up, like wow, that can create a lot of emotional tension.
So, you know, the fact that those things all get synergized and to be honest with you, cause I did read a lot of these comics I’ll be honest, in a very short period of time. So I did,
Meghan: I’m so sorry.
Doc Issues: No, no, no, it’s great. It’s great. That’s actually how I usually do it. So the fact that you brought that up, that’s wonderful. So I got to see that. But my point is I didn’t get any of that. I didn’t get this idea like, Wow, this writer’s really struggling to find this person’s voice or whatever. I didn’t get that
at all. I got a person and I, and it got me more excited to talk to you about this because of how. Of how clearly organic and fleshed out it is.
Meghan: That’s fantastic. Thank you so much. I appreciate that.
Anthony: Yeah. We’ve had conversations with other folks in our patrons and in our fan community and things like that. Even just, you know, within the podcast talking about comics and this, this need to, especially as a story is unfolding issue by issue for people to say, Oh, they’re not writing this character correctly, or they’re immediately jumping to conclusions about the end result.
Like it’s a, it’s a six part story and you’re jumping to conclusions about something that’s happening in issue one, and they’re saying, Oh, well this shouldn’t be happening. Or, or da, da da, da da, or, or X, Y and Z should be going this way, or this character should be doing this. Like, let the story unfold. And then at the end of it, if you wanna make judgements on the end result and say, Well, I think that, you know, when they started off here, or maybe they could have gotten to this end result a different way, then I think it’s.
From my perspective, it’s a, a healthier response Yeah. Than this need to go issue to issue. But unfortunately, the way that social media and things of that nature and the way that our media consumption is set up, you need those hot takes. You need that instantaneous reaction video. Yeah. You know, a trailer is out, you know, it’s on YouTube, 90 seconds and, there’s already 17 channels that have a reaction video up with just, a person, framing, picture, whatever, talking over the top of a trailer, just so they can be the one to get the, the hits and the clicks and things of that nature.
It’s destructive to an extent in storytelling. And I think it’s, it’s definitely, you know, something that we can have a, a meta conversation. Yeah. That’s not a joke on meta humans or the metaverse. It’s just, you know, the overarching discussion about you know, the impact of social media.
But that is for an entirely separate podcast, an entire different you know set of of circumstances. So let’s bring it back to Tim then. So you write the Batman Urban Legends. Was there always this discussion when you were writing that story that he would be spun off into his solo series and that you would continue to take over? Or how, how did that come out?
Meghan: That was sort of a, a hope and a dream and a wish? DC has been very supportive of Tim. But like, I don’t have access to all of the numbers or anything, so like, I don’t know what necessarily. Is beneficial. Warner Brothers, I don’t know if you know, has been going through some stuff in the business department.
Anthony: I’ve heard some stories. Just bits and pieces here and there.
Meghan: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So it, I never know, like I know that there’s always an intention and I knew that, like with Tim, that there was a hope and an intention and, and trying to figure out if like this is viable. But I think it was April that I finally got the call that was like, Okay, we’re gonna be able to do a Tim Drake story.
So it was a building up to that. And I know that that’s something that Dave well really wanted to do with Batman Urban Legends anyway, was to be like, here are some opportunities to, to like see what works and what doesn’t and like bring in new writers who may potentially have some really cool stories that we can spin off into others.
There have been some really great, like Azrael has been really lovely and I’ve really enjoyed Azrael and that’s from stories within the Batman urban luncheons books. And that was sort of a like, okay, we’re gonna, we’re gonna like, believe that it’s gonna happen. And then yeah, in, in April, I got the call and we’ve been going on ahead.
Anthony: Oh, that’s, that’s fantastic. And I do always enjoy those anthology series because I, I like the notion of getting to tell some of those smaller scale stories Yeah. Interspersed together because it does give you nice possible jumping off points. And for the company, you know, for whether it’s DC or Marvel, it does obviously give them an opportunity to sort of throw a whole bunch of stuff against the wall and see what sticks and what really connects with the fans.
And if you’re. Four or five different stories within the anthology series, and two of them really get a lot of traction amongst readers. Then you go, Okay, now these are the two that we want to tell, and maybe we can hold onto some of those for later and, and see what, what comes of that. So continuing the, the story, you know, beyond just the urban legends and the, the pride special into the, the full solo series, they’re, at least in the, the first issue, there are a host of very interesting side characters that, that live in the marina.
Yeah. And in that area of, of Gotham, and I just wanted to get some input and feedback into what was some of the, the thought processes in creating the, the cast of characters for Tim and, and Bernard to interact with outside of the bat family.
Meghan: So there’s a couple of things with this. One, I have always loved found family. One of my favorite comics that I grew up on was Fantastic Four, partly because of Dynamics. I’m a massive Dynamics fan. Like, I love seeing how people react to each other and what different relationships mean to each other. We’re, we’re not gonna get a lot of interaction with some of the other Marina folks within the first arc, I don’t believe.
But we’ll see some of them. I think Pie makes a, a couple appearances, but yeah. The other side of it I sometimes live on a marina. I have lived on a marina and so it, this is spun out of life. When I was thinking of like really cool places for Tim to live, it is wild to me that we have never explored the Gotham Marina.
It makes sense that there would be, we’ve, we’ve existed in warehouses, we’ve existed on the docks, we know that it’s, it is surrounded by water. It’s with places like that. You have a marina, you have a place where like the sort of outcasts of society end up in this marina. And like, not that Tim is an outcast, but he’s sort of making himself his own outcast.
And you’re like, Good, good for you bud. And so whenever I was talking with my editor Ariana, of like places that Tim could live, a marina popped up and I was like, This makes the most sense. Like, it not only is a place that I can write from out of like with knowledge, but it’s also an interesting space that we’ve never really looked at before.
And one of the things that I’ve been wanting to do with Tim is tell those smaller stories. Like, because I, I grew up on comics that I’ve always loved that were much more Locally based rather than sort of the cosmic scale. That was what was really interesting to me about Tim Drake and, and this particular story I, like I said, I I fantastic for, but also the, like, Mark Wade run on Daredevil was also really impactful to me.
Somebody made a comment about the Avengers, worry about the, the world. The Spider-Man worries about Queens and Matt Murdoch worries about five blocks. That’s it. And like manages expectations. And I’ve always loved that. And I’m like, that is, that to me feels a little bit like Tim is.
He’s like, I just, I gotta worry about this area. Like I’m on manage expectation. If they need me somewhere else, I’ll go somewhere else, but like, He’s such a logically minded person that I’m just sort of like, yeah, he, he would find a home and be like, This is my home base and I’m worried about this space.
And then build him up from the ground up in that particular way. Yeah.
Anthony: You’re definitely singing my song about Fantastic Four. We just did Sue Storm a couple weeks ago on the show. Wow. Cover and cover her. And we’ve done Ben previously we did Ultimate Read. So we’ve done, we’ve done episodes on a, on a couple of the Fantastic Four.
Meghan: And when you do regular read, cuz I can’t do Ultimate I’ve never been angrier at Ultimate in my life than by Ultimate’s Fantastic core. But when you do read Richards, he is my heart and soul and I have some strong opinions about our, our dear Mr. Fantastic. So, Bring me back from that particular episode.
Doc Issues: Oh, yes. Okay. Loudy,
Anthony: we will definitely reach out to you. He, he’s on our master list. We’ll get around to read one of these days and we do talk about a lot of his dynamic and his marriage with Sue within her episode. Of course you have to. I mean, I mean, yeah. It’s, it’s not even a thing where, Oh, we’re gonna do disservice to the female character by talking about her husband.
It’s, it’s one of the longest lasting relationships in comics, you have.
Meghan: Yeah, no, absolutely. Like you, you sort of have to like sue Yeah.
Anthony: Color so much of her by just nature of, of the relationship. It impacts who she is. We talk about the stuff with, you know, Johnny versus Reid, and you know how that impact Has she put in the middle there? It’s a lot.
Meghan: But not even put in the middle. My, one of my favorite dynamics is Reid and Johnny and like, If they were on the street, like crossing streets from each other and had never met, they would never connect. And it’s only suit. Like it’s such an interesting dynamic. And those, to bring it back to Tim, like those are the types of dynamics that I love.
In the first issue, I have Darcy and I have Bernard, and I have Detective Williams essentially making my own fantastic floor, if you will. But the dynamics that like all of those folks bring, and even the dynamics that, that the other robins bring to Tim, Tim is fascinating to me because of the dynamics that he exists in, because of how different he is from his, his family.
How that relates to what he does, even though it’s similar but different like it is. He is, it’s great to me. And it’s wild that, that he hasn’t had a solo series in so long. Cause I’m like, this is such a rich character you can dig for centuries and not, not even scratch the surface.
Doc Issues: You know? It, it’s amazing because I, I have the show notes like on the side here and Ed Anthony puts them together. But you are hitting so many points before we actually say them . That is amazing.
Meghan: Thank you. Yeah.
Anthony: Cuz we did an episode on Tim, but it was released, I wanna say in like late 2020. Mm. So clearly a lot has changed for Tim in that time span. But we did talk about how Tim is a very distinct Robin. He is the, the most cerebral one.
Yeah. And the, the question was really. How do you maintain that clarity of character while not separating him from the rest of the bat family, but focusing on this, this subgroup where it’s less on a focus on him working with Bruce and Dick and Damien and Stephanie and, and you know, Barbara, et cetera, et cetera, and focusing on this group while still maintaining that very clearly defined characterization.
And, and I mean, you, you kind of answered like 90% of it before I even got a chance to an ask the question.
Meghan: So great. Fantastic. Good job. Me, I also think he represents so much of, I said this at New York ComicCon, he represents the burnout generation of millennials. He represents this in between phase that, what I love so much about Robins is each Robin sort of is a representative of the group, the, the generation that they came in with.
And so, you know, Tim came in. At the same like as a millennial and like, is sort of experiencing a lot of it. And one of the things that I find once again really interesting within storytelling is that tension between, I love my family, I am part of the bat family, but also I need to like, make my way out into the world.
I need to know like, what is that piece that’s next up for me? And even though like some of us millennials are no longer in college and, and far past the post-college experience because of the way that the world has been through the 2008 crash and the pandemic and, and, and all of these different sort of things that have spiraled and, and snowballed into this experience is.
Is what’s so great about being able to write for Tim, it’s being able to have a meta-narrative about the current existence. But in comics, that’s what comics are for. That’s what genre is for, is to have a meta-narrative discussion.
Anthony: Yeah. And, and I really enjoyed in the the Urban Legends story arc where he was basically struggling with the fact that he couldn’t just brute logic his way through this.
Yeah. You know, he’s, he’s fighting and he’s trying to think about this and he’s analyzing it and he’s like, Why can’t I figure this out? Yeah. And I think it was, was it Stephanie or, or one of the characters you basically said you kind of focus on everything else because if you have to turn internally, you’re not gonna like what you find.
Meghan: Yeah. Barbara, it was Barbara.
Anthony: Thank you. Yeah. I knew it was, I knew somebody, it was one of the characters, but it was. It really hit home to me because it was very much a situation where I was like, Okay, well I’m just gonna focus on everybody else’s problems because if I do that, then I don’t have to worry about mine.
Yeah. And at some point the chickens have to come home to roost. Yep. And you have to do the hard work and you have to, to sit down, internalize it and figure out what is going on. Not in a what’s wrong with me, but just what is going on. And you have to sit with those feelings. Yeah. And live with them and accept them.
And that’s, you know, something that therapy taught me. And it’s something that, frankly, just doing this show has taught me over the past four and a half years, is how to sit with these feelings and acknowledge that feelings are not good or bad. They are. And it’s what you do with them. You know, can be, can be judged accordingly, but, you know, and that’s something that I try to teach my kids.
Mm-hmm. , but I have to do it myself first. I have to model that before I can teach it. Yeah. And so a lot to get back to the comic, a lot of what I was reading with Tim, you know, very much was, was hitting home with that. And, you know, you speak about the, the burnout generation and the burnout. Millennials, you know, Doc and I graduated high school in 99, so we’re very much of that Yeah. That cohort. Yeah. We, we know a thing or two about that.
Meghan: Yeah, absolutely. It’s, I think that has been the joy of working. Like I said, the joy of working with Tim is to process my own stuff and process what I’m seeing and process the stuff that I think a lot of people are processing, like, to your point, it is a real frustration and being able to come at it from a perspective of. there is no right and wrong. There is just story. Story, doesn’t have to be right or wrong. Story can be a process and a processing. What I’ve been trying to do with Tim to express the, like once again, to not give specific answers all the time, to be able to say, Okay, so we open this door for this discussion in conversation.
And you get, I find there are other people that find that not as interesting. There are other people for sure that like do not enjoy that storytelling as much, but for me that is the kind of stuff that I’ve always loved to read. So cuz it’s when we’re telling story, I think it be. because we get paid or because it is the day to day that we do, we tell stories because we wanna be seen because we wanna be heard.
And it isn’t about good or bad. I am telling a story because I want someone to see me.
Anthony: Wow. Wow.
Doc Issues: boy. Oh boy. I, I’ll admit with this, with this, with this show, sometimes we get deep, but that, I think that’s a great summary.
Anthony: Yeah, that is, that is a fantastic summary. And, and frankly you know, I don’t really know where else we can go with that other than to say the only other question I would have then is how far ahead have you planned out this, this series?
Meghan: Well, that’s a great question. Things I feel like it’s interesting because I think one of the things that I love so much about comics is. You have such a quick turnaround and things move so much quicker than like animation, which I wrote a movie, I wrote two movies last year that I won’t see for four years.
Like, it, it, it just sort of happens and whenever it comes around it’s like, Oh, right, I forgot I wrote this thing. It’s like Christmas. And with it sort of goes by much quicker. I write this thing, I just finished a speaking of War world, I just finished a eight page for a wild storm anniversary edition where I am writing an eight page story for Apollo and Midnighter.
That’s coming out in November. I finished it a couple weeks ago. It is a very quick turnaround and so because of. Things change so much depending on what DC needs, depending on what different aspects of Gotham may need, depending on what different aspects of stories that I need within Tim drink, it is difficult to plan ahead.
That is the longest way of saying that. I have some potential stuff, but also it’s very dependent on how the book sells. As far as I know, the first issue sold pretty well. But it’s the second issue that is the, the, the real test. So fingers prop always just, Yeah, exactly. So I’ll know I think a little bit more.
I have plans a plenty for, for where to take Tim. I, I would love to continue to write this character for, for many, many years, but also it, it’s very dependent on if people buy the book. So buy the book .
Anthony: Well, you got my issue one. And, and You got the money for, for me, for issue one, and I will be adding this to the poll list. So for what that’s worth
Meghan: I’ll take it.
Anthony: You’ll, you’ll take it and you can pass that along to, to your bosses up there at DC and Warner Brothers. Not like they have, you know, any other things on their plate to, to worry about.
Meghan: They’re not busy, they’re fine.
Anthony: No, no. They’re just kind of sitting around twiddling the thumbs right now. Yeah.
Meghan: Yeah. Bored. Absolutely bored.
Anthony: Yeah. So, so Meghan, we’re gonna, we’re gonna wrap this up. Where can folks find you on the internet and what what other stuff do you have, aside from, from Tim Drake, do you have anything else in the pipeline?
Meghan: Yeah, absolutely. So I am at Meg Fit, m e g f i t z eight nine across the platforms.
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram and TikTok and all of those. It is at Meg Fit eight, nine, because it is a, a thing that I came up with when I was eight and you just sort of stick with it, I guess. And then you can also find me to to your point, I have a website, Meghan Fitzmartin.com.
And yeah, stuff that’s coming up is more Tim Drake, the ending of Dark Crisis, Young Justice, and the next, actually the next one for the issue five comes out on Wednesday of I don’t know when this episode’s coming out, but it’s coming out this month in October. So it’s very soon. And that finishes in November.
I’ve got quite a few things coming out. November a story in the Wild Storm anniversary comic a story in. The Dark Crisis where our Batman in Zatanna, I wrote a Zatanna short for that, which I’m really excited about. Tim Drake, of course. And then I wrote a story for the Stan Lee book that DC did that’s coming out in December on his, what would be his a hundredth birthday that I’m really proud of and I’m really excited about.
So that’s in December. So yeah, some good stuff coming that I’m really, really stoked about.
Anthony: Excellent. Well, you know, we are looking forward to all of that. Thanks. I’m definitely interested in the, the Apollo Midnighter story because they’ve been a Joy to read in the war world story and very much looking forward to, to getting ahold of that.
And then obviously the, the rest of of Tim Drake, Robin, we will encourage everybody to go out and, and check it out and edit to your list. And then if you can find the urban legends, go back and pick those back issues up so you get a little better understanding and basis of that as well as the, the pride special.
So you at least have some semblance of a, a basis for where Tim was and how he got to where he is now specifically with respect to Bernard and everything else. And then you know, looking forward to seeing what, what else you’ve got moving forward. Yeah, no. So Meghan, Fitzmartin, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us tonight.
We definitely appreciate it and we’re looking forward to the rest of what you’ve got. And if we ever do get around to doing that Reed Richards episode, we will absolutely give you a call.
Meghan: Bless you. Thank you guys so much. I’ve had a blast.
Anthony: So you can find all of our episodes on our website, capes on the couch.com.
You can go back and check out our episode on Tim Drake. As I said, it was from a couple years ago, so we may, we maybe do for an update then on Tim and we may see what what Tim has been up to in the past couple years. We are capes on the couch on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Our email address is capes on the couch gmail.com.
If you wanna send us some thoughts. This episode is at least for right now Patreon exclusive, but we will be releasing it to the main feed at some point in the not too distant future. But you know, we’ll see as far as the timing goes. But if you’re listening to this right off the bat, you obviously know you are a, a very valued member of our Patreon organization and and our fan support.
And we do love and appreciate you there. And if you’re listening to this on the main feed, you can get early access to stuff like this. If you go to patreon.com/capes on the couch, you can subscribe one, three or $5 a month, get you early access exclusive materials, uncensored stuff on whole slew of other stuff.
Doc, anything else you wanna add before we head out?
Doc Issues: You know what’s fascinating? I usually don’t do this because my mind works like a brain dump. If I write something or if I do something like this podcast, I basically forget about it almost instantly. When I look back at the Tim Drake piece, I think burnout fits very well with what we wrote, so
Anthony: Oh, absolutely. abs and absolutely does. Meghan, Fitzmartin, again, thank you very much for joining us. For Doc Issues, I’m Anthony Sytko. Thanks for listening and we will see you next time.