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Fueled By death cast



Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 71 - AMY CHU

COMIC BOOK WRITER - AMY CHU

"If you want to do something like this you go all in." Amy Chu, comic book writer, Green Hornet, KISS, Poison Ivy

 

PREVIEW:

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH AMY CHU

CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S FUELED BY DEATH SHOW

On the show this week, Jeff brings three Science topics to the show, all in space. First is an incredible 3-D animation of a flyover of Jupiter from the Juno Mission. Then, the idea of sending a probe to Venus to look for microbial life in the atmosphere is next, followed by the first-ever Instagram live from space with Will Smith. Check out the sneak peek of this week's podcast guest, comic book writer Amy Chu. The idea of 4:20 and the reasons behind the weed culture associated with it are broken down on The Roast, and then stay tuned for some new products revealed in The Update from the World's Strongest Coffee.

ABOUT AMY CHU:

Amy Chu is an amazing comic book writer who is relatively new to the industry. She started out by self-publishing her own stories which led to her writing for titles like Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, KISS and more. She joins the show to talk about her career and her current work including the all-new Green Hornet. This episode was recorded at A Shared Universe Podcast Studio with special guests Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic of Comic Book Men.

TRANSCRIPT:

Jeff: You are one of our biggest supporters. This is a story I don't even know if I know the answer to. How did you first hear about Death Wish Coffee?

Amy Chu: Oh my God. I don't remember. That's a good question. 'Cause I love-

Jeff: You love coffee.

Amy Chu: I love coffee.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Up till now, up till then, my favorite had been the Small World Coffee in Princeton, which I thought was really good. Then I had your coffee and I'm like, "Oh wait. Okay. This is yeah."

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Yeah. Yeah. I don't remember. It would have been a convention right?

Jeff: It must have been. Yeah.

Amy Chu: A convention. And I was like, "Wow. I'm all over this coffee." Since then, and I tell people, "You're not really my corporate sponsor." But I'm like, "You got to try this coffee."

Dustin: Bought and paid for.

Jeff: It's close enough, because I'm not kidding. The amount of events that we do now with the company, because a couple years ago, we weren't even doing a lot of events. But now we do New York Comic-Con and we've done Walker Stalkers and stuff. Even at a tattoo convention, we have people come up to us on the regular and go, "Death Wish Coffee. You know where I heard about you? Amy Chu told me about your coffee." It's just like, "You're the best."

Amy Chu: No. You guys are... First of all also, you have increased my status within the comics creator world, because that one time you brought that airpot of coffee-

Jeff: Oh yeah.

Amy Chu: And I had it under my table.

Dustin: I remember that.

Jeff: Oh yeah.

Dustin: I remember.

Amy Chu: People are like, "How did you do?" I'm like, "You know."

Jeff: Okay. So full disclosure. Let's tell this story out there for people listening, 'cause I think this is a fun story. So two New York Comic-Cons ago we brought our coffee truck down.

Dustin: Coffee truck.

Jeff: Our coffee truck.

Dustin: We're getting a better one. It's much bigger, much better.

Jeff: If you've ever been to the Javits Center, it was out in the roadway in front of the Javits Center, and we were serving samples. Javits told us "You can serve samples outside, but you cannot bring the coffee inside, because they have a deal with Starbucks." Everything in the Javits Center is a Starbucks kiosk. I get it. I get the corporate thing.

Dustin: So after the first day of doing the New York Comic-Con thing and being like, "Man, we're making a lot of coffee. We gotta get it out there." We were kind of scouting Artist Alley at that point, and it was like, "Why don't we in the morning," we thought of this during the first night, "Why don't we hit up Artist Alley with airpots, and we'll just pump it out and hook up all the artists so they're waking up?"

Jeff: I was not working for Death Wish at this time.

Amy Chu: Oh you weren't?

Jeff: I was just a consultant with the company-

Amy Chu: Okay.

Jeff: To help them bridge into the comic book industry. So I said, "I'm not a full time employee. I'll put a pump pot full of coffee in my backpack, and I'll walk through Artist Alley and we'll just start giving people pump pots"-

Dustin: And it got great footage too, 'cause we walked around with a camera following it around. And here we are... What's the Ren and Stimpy guy?

Jeff: Bob Camp.

Dustin: Oh man. We got such great footage with Bob Camp. It was so much fun.

Jeff: But then cut to the next day. It worked out so well that we love you, and she, and Amy was right in the center of all of the entire Artist [crosstalk 00:03:05].

Amy Chu: I was so popular. I was so popular.

Dustin: We were like, "So you weren't. You are."

Jeff: You are. So we were like, "Let's leave a pump pot with her." So we just left a pump pot right on your table.

Dustin: And we come over and switch it out every now and then.

Amy Chu: It was like a coffee speakeasy.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: People were like, "I heard you got coffee."

Jeff: "I heard you got coffee."

Amy Chu: I'm like, "Here. Look."

Jeff: So cut to the next year, which was last year, we were gonna go back down to New York Comic-Con. We actually became the official coffee of New York Comic-Con last year.

Amy Chu: Oh I did not-

Jeff: Really. Yeah. Which was really cool. Actually we had the tiniest, smallest little byline in the program that said it. But we were the official coffee of New York Comic-Con. But we found out going into it that the catering company of Javits was really mad at us.

Amy Chu: Oh I bet.

Jeff: For what we did the year before.

Amy Chu: Because your coffee is so much better.

Dustin: It was worth it. It was worth it.

Mike Zapcic: Hell yeah. Catering companies can go suck it.

Amy Chu: Even-

Dustin: We weren't just gonna sit in our truck and be nice.

Mike Zapcic: What is the name of the catering company so I can crap all over them?

Dustin: Javits Catering.

Mike Zapcic: Javits Catering? Really?

Dustin: No. I don't know.

Amy Chu: It's like the food service.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: They're always, any event that we go to, the catering people are like the mob.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Yeah. They are.

Dustin: Even the tattoo convention, the New York State Tattoo Convention.

Mike Zapcic: Oh they're teamsters man.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: It was crazy. They were like, "Every can of nitro brew that you hand out, you have to pay us $4, because that's what we're losing out on." We finally agreed to that.

Amy Chu: You did that?

Dustin: We finally agreed. They called us up ten minutes later... I probably shouldn't talk. Anyways, they're like, "Actually, it's gonna be $6.50 a can." Are you kidding me?

Jeff: Yeah. They tried to gouge us more yeah.

Dustin: We were like, "Actually, we're gonna pack up and go." They're like, "No, no, no, no. $4 is fine. $4 is fine."

Amy Chu: Wow.

Jeff: We didn't do it-

Dustin: We're like, "Are you serious?"

Mike Zapcic: Wow.

Jeff: We didn't do it for our whole stock. We did it so we could give out X amount of... That was when we were pushing out that cold brew at the time. So we wanted to give it away.

Dustin: But guess what?

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Dustin: You're not only paying what it cost you to give out. Like two bucks.

Jeff: You're paying to make it.

Dustin: Yeah. It costs you say, four bucks a can, which you're giving out.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: And on top of that you gotta give these extortionist scumbags an extra four bucks.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: You're double. Ah. It's crazy man.

Amy Chu: But was it worth it?

Jeff: For an event like that, I'll say this. I'll end it on a nice note.

Dustin: Okay. You do that.

Jeff: Yeah. It was worth it to the point where-

Dustin: I wouldn't either.

Jeff: It definitely helped get the brand out there, especially to a lot of the bigger tattoo artists that were there.

Amy Chu: Sure.

Jeff: We still hear people. In fact, we were just at, I forget what event we were at. Oh, Walker Stalker New Jersey in December, and we had a bunch of people come up and say that they remembered us from that event.

Amy Chu: Right.

Jeff: And had started to drink the coffee because of it. It all helps out. No, it wasn't the greatest thing in the world.

Amy Chu: Right. But you know-

Jeff: Caterers are the mob. It's crazy.

Dustin: Yeah.

Amy Chu: See, Artist Alley, we're cheap. You just give us coffee. And if it's good coffee, we're like, "All right. We're sold."

Jeff: And that's why we wanted to get into an industry like the comic book industry.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: That was one of the things I was consulting the company about, because they are... Death Wish is always looking for new avenues, because you can only do the coffee convention circuit so much.

Dustin: Right.

Jeff: You know?

Amy Chu: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff: It gets really boring.

Dustin: Those guys don't like us either.

Amy Chu: The Coffee and Comics. It was Coffee and Comics panel.

Jeff: Coffee and Comics.

Mike Zapcic: You don't have enemies Dustin.

Amy Chu: That's right. I had the coffee. I'm like, "You know what? These guys would be good for the Coffee and Comics panel."

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: World's strongest coffee, comics.

Jeff: We've done the Coffee and Comics panel with you a couple times in Baltimore.

Mike Zapcic: What started that panel? I've always been curious. So what-

Amy Chu: Because you know, again, how many times do you do a panel where it's just the most boring panel in the world? I shouldn't say is the most boring panel. But you know.

Jeff: Sometimes it is.

Dustin: Yeah.

Amy Chu: You're just talking about comics.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's like, why don't we do something we all love: drink coffee and talk about comics, so that was really the inspiration.

Jeff: And it really is. I tell this story. I actually heard this story on your first ever Comics and Coffee panel in New York. The old adage that you go through the original artwork of the greatest artists out there, from the Golden Age, Silver Age of comics. And what you find in that artwork all the time? A coffee stain.

Dustin: Sure.

Jeff: Always.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: Coffee fuels the industry.

Amy Chu: There are very few people actually who don't drink coffee in this business.

Jeff: Greg Pack.

Amy Chu: Oh that's right.

Jeff: Baltimore Comic-Con 2015 maybe we did a Coffee and Comics panel there, and he was late. Then it was announced to the entire packed room of people that he's a tea drinker. So he got a standing boo-vation when he walked through the door.

Amy Chu: He could take it.

Jeff: He could take it. No it was all in fun. It was all in fun.

Amy Chu: It was all in fun, but almost everybody I know, everyone else basically, they need it.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: They need it.

Dustin: Yeah.

Amy Chu: You know?

Dustin: Anybody who's not getting enough sleep needs strong coffee.

Amy Chu: Every time, it's like people want to be on the panel. They're like, "How come I'm not invited on the panel?" I'm like, "Oh. Well, you know, you didn't tell me you wanted to be on the panel." They're like, "I drink coffee too."

Jeff: Yeah. I know. Those panels are so much fun. I hope we get to do more.

Amy Chu: Like Stelfreeze. Brian Stelfreeze.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: He's all miffed he didn't get invited. "Laura Martin got invited." I was like, "Well, Laura was the one who told me you drank tea."

Jeff: What's gonna happen?

Mike Zapcic: And Dustin, I have to ask, what is enough sleep? There is no such thing.

Jeff: I don't know.

Mike Zapcic: Anyone who doesn't get... No one gets enough sleep.

Dustin: Anybody dealing with deadlines.

Mike Zapcic: Right.

Dustin: Anyone who deals with children. Anyone who's got a job. Anyone whose mind doesn't shut off at the end of the day.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: This thing. Ugh.

Mike Zapcic: Really? Coffee helps that? 'Cause coffee makes that worse for me.

Dustin: Coffee helps me in the morning when I'm like, "I couldn't get to sleep."

Jeff: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah, I guess. The next day. But I feel like coffee causes that situation more often than not.

Dustin: Coffee causes nothing but bliss. Don't ever forget-

Mike Zapcic: That's the problem. I don't want to sleep. It's too blissful.

Dustin: Holy cow.

Jeff: Seeing as we're talking about the conventions, you do a ton of conventions a year. Do you know how many conventions you did last year?

Amy Chu: No.

Jeff: That's how many you do.

Amy Chu: I did look at it, and actually I'm doing less than when I was trying to break in.

Jeff: Really?

Amy Chu: I did count. My peak I think was 2013, and I did 23.

Jeff: Wow.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: Do you find as a creator, do you find, speaking of conventions and deadlines, is it hard to juggle both? Is it hard to-

Amy Chu: Oh sure.

Jeff: To do that?

Amy Chu: Yeah, yeah. I mean, you got to make a calculated decision also, because I mean editors are also... They know you're at the convention.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: If you're away it's like... I do make a point. I work at the convention.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Amy Chu: They walk by I'm like, "I'm working on your script. And drinking coffee."

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: "Because I'm not getting any sleep."

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's hard. It's even harder for the artist. I can work at a convention at my table, and people are like, "How do you do it?" I'm like, "A, I got kids. You know?"

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: I got to be able to-

Jeff: Compartmentalize-

Dustin: Multitask.

Jeff: Everything. Yeah.

Amy Chu: Multitask, and also... Excuse me. Deal with background noise. But I think it is harder for artists, 'cause they need to have their set up. But as a writer you can do it. You can do it. It's a little harder for sure.

Jeff: And I know what's refreshing about somebody like you. I know you love to do the conventions because, and I think I've actually... You've either told me this before, or I read this as a quote from you that you like it as a litmus test of what the industry is actually, the living and breathing industry.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: Because as a writer or an artist, you're not really getting a lot of that feedback just sitting in your studio or whatever.

Amy Chu: That's a fun part about working. I'll work at my table, and it's like real life. Look, comics are actually made. I am writing the script right now. People are like, "Oh my God." I'm like, "I'm writing Red Sonja or Green Hornet right now." Then I get the response. They'll be like, "I really like what happened in this previous issue," or whatever. That gives me immediate feedback. And sometimes I literally, I might even put that person in or something that they say may actually go in, because they're reading it, and they're telling me something.
That actually happened at Denver. There was one guy who's talking about, I think he was from Oklahoma.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Amy Chu: Basically, I ended up putting in a Native American reference because what he was talking about.

Jeff: That's so cool.

Dustin: That's really cool.

Amy Chu: It was really cool. He's from there. I was like, "This is what's happening right now." He's like, "Well, you know, that area..." It was really informative for me. Hopefully he felt good about it too.

Jeff: That's really cool. Now I know this story, but I know a lot of our listeners don't. You have an incredible origin story in this industry I feel.

Amy Chu: Well weird yeah.

Jeff: I just think, I think... inspiring is the word I use for it.

Amy Chu: Oh thank you.

Jeff: Because you worked hard, and it paid off kind of thing. Can we talk a little bit how you broke into the industry?

Amy Chu: Sure. I get people now who are like, "Aren't you, weren't you worried? Wasn't it a huge risk?" I don't think you think about it that way. I think if you want to do something like this, you go all in. You just do it. It's not like I maxed out my credit card or anything.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's really just "How do I make good comics," and "How do I get to the point where I'm professional level and hopefully I get the professional work?"

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: It's really just working backwards from there. I'm like, "Okay. For me to get the attention of a professional editor, I've got to self publish." There's just almost no way to do it-

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: Else as a writer. It was really just working backwards from there. I was like, "Okay. For me to self-publish, and for someone to actually look at, I need to try to find a really great artist." It's just all that thinking, you know? It's just constantly...
And of course doing 23 conventions in one year.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: And almost dying. But I had coffee.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah, yeah. Is that how you kind of networked is through the conventions?

Amy Chu: Yeah. That's the other thing. There's so many people... for any creative business too, you're trying to break in. You're trying to do good work. You're trying to also learn things.
It's kind of hard to do all that without at least for mainstream comics, without meeting people.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: Right.

Dustin: Right.

Amy Chu: Face to face. And it's not even just, especially for someone like me, who's so new. I didn't really know anything. You know? It was really meeting fans, meeting artists. It was really important to, 'cause when you're working on a comic, you're working on a creative team. It's almost... I don't want to say it's like getting married, but you know, it's a relationship.

Dustin: It's kind of like being in a band.

Amy Chu: Yes.

Dustin: That's how I imagined it anyways.

Amy Chu: It is. And doing these shows it's like a road trip. It's doing a whole tour.

Dustin: Yeah.

Amy Chu: And you're dying, but you do it, because you love what you do so much.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: And again, just touching on that. I think that is something that is lost on a lot of the younger generation nowadays is that you can still, even with the saturation of social media and the saturation of everybody being able to do whatever they want, you can still go out there and do it. You just make it happen.

Amy Chu: You can do it. I feel like if I did it, you can do it.

Dustin: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Now whether or not you were gonna get your Marvel of DC [inaudible 00:13:54] is a whole nother thing.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: But if you put the work in, you will make a comic.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: You know?

Mike Zapcic: Do you look fondly back on those days?

Amy Chu: Do I look? You know what? You know how there's that new meme the 2012, 2016 Hillary.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: I was like, "Let me take a look at that for myself." I'm probably 20 pounds heavier, but 2012 I'm like, "Holy crap. That's when my first comic came out."

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's literally if I were do a comics '12, '16 thing. It was just my one comic, which wasn't even really my comic. I lettered my friend's comic. And then where I am today working on four titles.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's crazy.

Jeff: Again.

Amy Chu: Drinking a lot of coffee.

Jeff: Again, it's that inspiring thing, you know. You can go out there and get it, you just have to put the work in.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: You just have to want to get it.

Amy Chu: It's not even just putting the work in. It's being smart about how you put the work in.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Because I definitely have seen people... the people I see who've made it along with me are smart about how they're doing it. You know? You can just, there are a lot of people how want it so bad, and they just keep wanting it. I'm like, "That's not it."

Jeff: Right.

Mike Zapcic: That's not enough.

Amy Chu: It's not enough. It's also, maybe you did some good work, but you get discouraged, and then you sort of drift off. That's the other problem. But it is really kind of just being really, really focused and smart.

Jeff: Yeah. And speaking of looking back on your career in comics, you just celebrated actually a reissue that's coming out very soon of one of your first comics ever.

Dustin: Oh my gosh yes. And I'm dying because I'm supposed to have it out by now.

Jeff: Oops.

Amy Chu: I know it's a little late. Yeah. It's a little late.

Dustin: Don't bring it up Jeff.

Amy Chu: It's okay. No. It's good. I feel like I need to... I'm in a position now where I'm really, really lucky that I have so much work. I'm full time. I'm more than full time. I can pay the bills full time writing comics. How crazy is that?

Jeff: That's so crazy awesome.

Amy Chu: Yeah. I owe my Kickstarter backers an apology. But it's-

Dustin: That's right.

Amy Chu: Yeah. Okay.

Jeff: It's all right. It's okay.

Amy Chu: He's giving me the look.

Jeff: I'm waiting on it too. It's all good.

Amy Chu: But the good thing is, because I feel so guilty that I'm gonna make sure you guys are more than rewarded. Because now I have a lot of comics that I've put out in the last three months that it's been late three months.

Jeff: That's okay. But that's exciting to be able to look back at something you did early in your career.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: And now recollect it as this new-

Amy Chu: Well that's part of the paralysis, because I look back on it, I'm like, "Oh. I can make this better." You know?

Jeff: Which is fun.

Amy Chu: Yeah. I got four years of experience where I'm like, "Okay. You know what? Let's improve on it"... It's director's cut is what it is.

Jeff: I like to ask creators this question. What do you think of the Kickstarter, Indiegogo culture that we're in now? Did you enjoy doing that with the Kickstarter?

Amy Chu: I did. That was my third, third Kickstarter?

Jeff: Yeah. I know you've done a couple.

Amy Chu: Yeah. It was definitely... I like it. What it is is it takes away the gate keepers. This is the problem with so called breaking in is that somebody's got to hire you. But now you've got crowd funding where you can be entrepreneurial. And again, this is part of the being smart part.
Well, thank you.

Jeff: Here you go.

Amy Chu: You know.

Ming Chen: Thank you.

Jeff: Mm.

Amy Chu: Smelling that.

Ming Chen: Yeah.

Amy Chu: A sudden pause in talking.

Ming Chen: It smells amazing. I'm sorry to interrupt.

Jeff: I wish everyone was here with us right now.

Ming Chen: Does everybody drink black? I do have cream and sugar if you want to sully the taste of this fine coffee.

Amy Chu: No, no, no, no. This is... I'm quite happy.

Mike Zapcic: I'm not a big fan of sweeteners, but a little bit of sweetness in this sometimes really brings out some of the better tones.

Jeff: Stevia perhaps?

Mike Zapcic: Eh.

Jeff: Steve-ah? Is that the one?

Mike Zapcic: Maybe a nice [inaudible 00:17:44].

Amy Chu: I am doing Denver Comic-Con.

Jeff: You are doing Denver Comic-Con.

Amy Chu: I am doing Denver.

Mike Zapcic: Listen. I need you to be mule for me at the Denver Comic-Con.

Amy Chu: I'm gonna get arrested in Newark.

Mike Zapcic: Do they have vendors there? Like marijuana vendors at those cons?

Amy Chu: I don't think so. No. No. I don't think they're allowed.

Mike Zapcic: You'd think they'd break into that by now.

Amy Chu: I don't think they're allowed to do that.

Dustin: They're not. I'm speaking from-

Jeff: A logistical nightmare to do that.

Dustin: Somebody who asked me to be a mule for him. He's like, "Listen, if there's anyone on the floor-

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: "I need you to," knowing you all know.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: They're like, "Here's a shopping list." You have to actually go to the dispensary.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: That makes sense.

Jeff: It's hard enough for beer or liquor to get in conventions on the main floor. I'm sure something like that.

Mike Zapcic: Can I tell the Lexington story?

Jeff: Sure.

Mike Zapcic: Lexington Comic-Con. We love you by the way. We're there. It was our first year in Lexington. It was great. Ming had announced that we're coming. A guy who was the, he was the chairman of... Chairman right? Of the Lexington Bourbon Association.

Ming Chen: Yes.

Mike Zapcic: He comes in. He's like, "Hey, Ming and Mike. I'm a huge fan." He's like, he starts talking to us.

Ming Chen: Why do you sound like Cletus?

Mike Zapcic: I didn't-

Ming Chen: I don't remember him sounding like Cletus.

Mike Zapcic: He did not sound like Cletus. I'm sorry, you poor Kentuckian or something.

Ming Chen: He was a very-

Mike Zapcic: Very erudite. He sounded like, I say, he sounded like.

Jeff: Foghorn Leghorn now.

Mike Zapcic: Exactly.

Ming Chen: Always-

Mike Zapcic: From one extreme to the other. Either Cletus or Foghorn.

Ming Chen: He's Boss Hog now?

Mike Zapcic: That's right there, Roscoe. Shut the heck.

Ming Chen: Oh my goodness.

Mike Zapcic: You dipstick.

Ming Chen: Yeah. Continue Mike.

Mike Zapcic: He comes back not even a half an hour later with a cardboard box.

Ming Chen: It wasn't just him. It was him and his five family members.

Mike Zapcic: Yes. And he had like little kids.

Jeff: Uh-huh.

Mike Zapcic: He's like, "Here. I want you to choose."

Ming Chen: boxes are full of bourbon.

Mike Zapcic: Box is full of bourbon.

Ming Chen: Top shelf. We're talking-

Amy Chu: What convention is this?

Ming Chen: It was Lexington.

Mike Zapcic: Lexington.

Jeff: Amy's like, "I got another one to do this year."

Ming Chen: We'll get you in there.

Mike Zapcic: Oh yeah. We'll hook you up.

Ming Chen: The guy was like, Double Oaked Woodford, Four Roses, single barrel.

Mike Zapcic: Angel's envy.

Amy Chu: I was more Scotch, but now I'm really getting into bourbon.

Ming Chen: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: And his business cards were made out of-

Ming Chen: Barrels.

Mike Zapcic: Barrels.

Jeff: What?

Mike Zapcic: He'd shave the barrels and printed his stuff on it.

Ming Chen: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: He's an amazing guy. We have it around here someplace.

Jeff: He must not hand out a lot of business cards.

Mike Zapcic: Or he must hand out a lot of business cards.

Jeff: Yeah.

Ming Chen: I didn't want to get greedy, so I took like two bottles. He's like, "No, no, no. Take more." So I took two more.

Mike Zapcic: And he just left the box.

Amy Chu: What?

Mike Zapcic: So he says-

Ming Chen: He went around. He made sure all the guests were taken care of. Then he came back. He was like, "No one wanted these." So I ended up having a whole looked like a bar.

Mike Zapcic: A liquor cabinet on there. I don't drink. So Ming is... I don't drink anything but coffee is what I mean to say.

Jeff: Yes.

Mike Zapcic: So Ming is... We got somebody to get us little glasses, little Solo cups, Dixie cups.

Ming Chen: Well what happened was people were coming up and they wanted selfies or autographs. They were like... then they saw the liquor. They were like, "We doing a shot or what?" I'm like-

Mike Zapcic: So Ming was drunk.

Ming Chen: I guess we could. This started at 11 am.

Amy Chu: Oh no.

Mike Zapcic: No no. It started at 10. 10:45, because that's when he brought the bottles back.

Ming Chen: It kind of went till 7.

Mike Zapcic: So 10:45, and the cons going till 7, and Ming is drunk by 11:30?

Jeff: Oh my God.

Amy Chu: And had a great time.

Jeff: Best con ever.

Mike Zapcic: Doesn't remember it.

Ming Chen: We went until 7. Then I had forgotten after the con, at 8:30 I had agreed to do a bourbon, they called it a Bourbon Q&A where we were on a panel.

Amy Chu: It's like Coffee and Comics.

Jeff: Exactly. Yes.

Ming Chen: Except you had a panel of people asking questions. Before you answer the question you had to take a shot.

Jeff: Oh. No.

Mike Zapcic: Thus ensuring the veracity of your story.

Ming Chen: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: So I had a designated liver. I was also on that panel.

Ming Chen: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: So I brought someone up to drink for me. They're like, "Well, how do we know you're being honest?" I'm like, "You don't."

Amy Chu: You don't.

Ming Chen: You don't.

Mike Zapcic: But I'll make it entertaining.

Jeff: Right. Right.

Ming Chen: So I was smashed by that. Passed out. It was a Saturday I think. You know, I like to stay out late at cons and stuff. I was out by 10 o'clock.

Jeff: Oh my gosh.

Ming Chen: I woke up Ed.

Mike Zapcic: I was out.

Ming Chen: Yeah. Mike-

Mike Zapcic: I went out partying a little bit with the people, and they're like "Where's Ming?" I'm like, "He's probably passed out on the floor. Aspirating on his own vomit. Something like that."

Ming Chen: Somehow made it back to my own room. I woke up at 4:30. Sports Center was on at full blast. And I had all my clothes on. I had that going for me.

Mike Zapcic: You had fun.

Ming Chen: Yeah. I had fun. Thank you Lexington. Amy, we will get you there for 2019.

Jeff: That's awesome.

Amy Chu: I would love that.

Jeff: Do you have a favorite convention Amy?

Amy Chu: You know? People have asked me that, and I have favorite conventions for different purposes.

Jeff: Okay.

Amy Chu: If that makes sense.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: You know.

Dustin: That makes sense.

Amy Chu: My favorite convention if I'm taking the family is San Diego, because they love it.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: But it's not my favorite convention for a variety of reasons.

Jeff: I don't think I've ever heard a single creator say it's their favorite convention.

Mike Zapcic: It sounds like it's just chaos.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Well, you know what it is? It's not even that chaotic. 'Cause you know exactly what it's gonna be like.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: And it's just gonna be misery for creators.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: But I always get something out of it. You know? [inaudible 00:22:55]

Jeff: Nope.

Amy Chu: Okay. Yeah, he wants to get the thumbprint.

Jeff: My favorite conventions honestly are the ones that treat the creators the best.

Amy Chu: Yes. Exactly. I want to say Denver is right up there. The litmus test for a convention is if they put the Artist Alley in the center of the floor.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: They are automatically top.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: Right. And Denver is one of the very few that does that. CCXP in Sao Paolo also does that.

Jeff: I've heard really good things about that one.

Amy Chu: Those guys are so smart. Again. Convention organizers who go around, take notes, what works, what doesn't at other conventions.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Those are my favorite people.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: So CCXP Sao Paolo. Amazing. They basically, what they do is they get their corporate sponsors to basically pay for us, and we get to sit in the middle and just enjoy actually making the [inaudible 00:23:47].

Mike Zapcic: Wow. That's cool.

Amy Chu: Fantastic. Yeah.

Jeff: It's really started to get lost on a lot of the bigger conventions, because they bill themselves as a comic convention, but they're more of an entertainment convention.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Just call yourself a Pop Culture-Con.

Jeff: Pop Culture-Con, and that's fine but-

Amy Chu: Drop the comics then.

Jeff: But I hate it when they treat you guys poorly, because you are the reason why there are conventions in the first place.

Amy Chu: We hate being treated poorly.

Jeff: Yeah. I felt so bad for everybody in New York last year.

Amy Chu: It was a mess.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: I mean, in their defense, I think the guys who tried to run the Artist Alley, they really tried.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: But there's limitations with that space.

Jeff: Especially when they knocked down that whole other wing.

Amy Chu: Yeah. If you make the decision to move the creators out into the lower rent space.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: You know? You're making that decision.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: And we all know it. Very few of us can really just go into the main floor and just hold our own there. You know?

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah.

Amy Chu: That's expensive.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Especially for me as a writer. If you don't invite me as a guess, I can't go.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: 'Cause I'm there AM working, but I'm also not selling original artwork or anything.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: I'm there mostly to sign.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: And that's the fun part, 'cause people love just talking and getting whatever it is signed, you know? Sure you get people who want to get stuff flipped and whatever, but the people, the best conventions are the ones that show up with all six issues of Poison Ivy that have been read to death, and I get to sign all six. That's the best convention. 'Cause that's been out since 2016, and people are still reading it.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: I love that.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: That's the best feeling. But other conventions, you get all sorts of other people. But you also get the best conventions are the ones also where somebody comes up and says, "Your comic was my first comic ever, and now I'm reading all this other stuff."

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: And then you're like, "Okay. You know what? That makes up for everything else."

Jeff: That's so cool. I'll say. My first major convention was New York in 2010, and that was before I was ever connected to this industry. I didn't know anybody. I went as a fan and immediately fell in love with a place like Artist Alley, because I had no idea walking in that I could go up to somebody like Amy Chu and literally have my book signed and talk with you.

Amy Chu: We can talk.

Jeff: And it was-

Amy Chu: Hopefully we can talk.

Jeff: It was mind blowing, you know? I fell in love that ever since.

Dustin: And as a new con-goer, I think the same thing for me. My first real convention... Well it was probably Baltimore, but it was 2016.

Amy Chu: Baltimore is fantastic.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Baltimore, Heroes Con, those are all comic centric conventions.

Dustin: And that's how I always imagine a Comic-Con was. When we went to New York in 2016, it was... "Get me off this main floor. This is insanity." And we spent most of our time in Artist Alley, because that's before I even attended a convention, which was just yesterday pretty much.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: That's how I imagined a convention would look like. I mean, it's a comic convention. The comic creators are there. You can talk to them. You can get your shit signed.

Jeff: Incredible.

Dustin: I didn't picture a floor full of toys and crazy people in costumes. It was madness.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: We were in there for ten minutes. I turned to Jeff. I said, "Get me out of here." It was insane.

Jeff: Yeah. They get nuts. I do tell people, no matter what convention they go to is to always spend time with the creators, 'cause that's I think... that's the most bang for your buck.

Amy Chu: Where else can you do that?

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: You know? Save your money. I know people want to spend their 50 or $75 to get a photo with somebody.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: You can go and you can talk to actual celebrities.

Jeff: Like Ming.

Amy Chu: Like Ming. Save your money. You know?

Jeff: Not like Ming. Because Ming will take a photo with you for nothing.

Amy Chu: Yeah. Sometimes.

Jeff: In a toilet.

Mike Zapcic: Why? Has that happened?

Dustin: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Jeff: Follow Ming on Instagram.

Ming Chen: Yeah.

Dustin: Is this a common occurrence?

Mike Zapcic: More common than you think, Dustin.

Ming Chen: It happened recently, and it happened my first time a couple years back. I was at Megacon in Orlando. I was going to the bathroom, and I was coming out. And this guy was like, "Dude, Dude. You're Ming Chen from Comic Book Men. I need a photo." I'm like, "All right."

Mike Zapcic: Let me get my zipper up first dude.

Ming Chen: He was like, no, no, no.

Amy Chu: That's when you know you made it when you're accosted.

Ming Chen: Yeah. He really didn't want to wait. He was like, "No. Can we just take it right now?" I'm like, "Yeah. I guess." I take it with him.

Amy Chu: In the bathroom.

Ming Chen: Yeah. He tags me on Instagram. You can see the background. There are guys peeing in the urinal. You can't see their junk or anything. It's from the back.

Mike Zapcic: Instagram wouldn't allow that.

Ming Chen: That's really weird. And then recently, I think I was at an airport or something, and this guy let me wait. We met outside the bathroom.

Dustin: What a gentlemen.

Mike Zapcic: The breastfeeding station.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Ming Chen: I learned my lesson. But yeah I guess, some people don't want to lose their shot.

Jeff: I guess not.

Amy Chu: One of my favorite experiences was when we were at the airport with Wallace Shawn.

Ming Chen: We were.

Amy Chu: Was it? Yeah.

Ming Chen: We were in Calgary, which is another amazing convention.

Amy Chu: Yes.

Ming Chen: I'll give them a shout out.

Amy Chu: Calgary's right up there. This is what I'm saying. It's hard to pick one single convention.

Ming Chen: Yeah. But they feed their artists. They have a cart. Don't they have a food cart going around?

Amy Chu: They have a rolling green room. And it's not just the snacks, like airport snacks. It is top quality. They want to make sure we're happy and hydrated. It's like coconut water, just high end stuff.

Jeff: My go to there.

Ming Chen: This is not-

Amy Chu: You do. You do.

Mike Zapcic: The carts got a [inaudible 00:36:37] on it.

Ming Chen: This is not the norm for Comic-Cons.

Jeff: No.

Amy Chu: No it's not.

Ming Chen: Even in the celebrity green rooms, sometimes they'll throw some sandwiches they got at the supermarket. This place they had chefs cooking in there.

Mike Zapcic: Wow.

Amy Chu: For your green room. Not our green room.

Ming Chen: Yeah.

Amy Chu: 'Cause you're a media guest. I'm a comics guest.

Ming Chen: As we were leaving, we saw Wallace Shawn, who you may know from-

Jeff: Inconceivable.

Ming Chen: Yes. Who you may know from Princess Bride and Southland Tales.

Jeff: A ton of stuff.

Mike Zapcic: Clueless.

Jeff: Clueless. Yeah.

Amy Chu: So we actually shared a ride. You were gracious enough to invite me in the van. And then he showed up.

Ming Chen: Yeah.

Amy Chu: And he was on my list, because I really, really wanted to meet him, but I was trying to be cool about it.

Ming Chen: Yeah.
But once you're dumped off at the airport, your handler goes away, so you're kind of responsible for getting yourself to the gate and all that. He's an older gentleman, and we're in a foreign country. So you need to put your bag through a weird x-ray machine. There's customs. You have to scan your passport and all that.
We ended up helping him out. We were early, so we all ended up having lunch together.

Jeff: That's so cool.

Amy Chu: He bought us lunch.

Jeff: That's so cool.

Mike Zapcic: Wow.

Amy Chu: Really, really nice.

Ming Chen: But what I really loved was he was genuinely interested in you as a writer and your comics.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Ming Chen: And he was like, "Do you have any on you? I want to read them on the flight home."

Mike Zapcic: Wow.

Jeff: Did you have any?

Amy Chu: I did. I did. I gave him some. I didn't want to be like, "Here. Read my comics." But he did actually read it by the end of the flight. He was in first class.

Jeff: Of course.

Amy Chu: But he came back, and was like, "I really enjoyed them."

Jeff: That's so cool.

Amy Chu: But what's really fun, and this is what I'm saying, 'cause we can do this. This isn't Hollywood. It's comics. So I put him in Red Sonja. He's in Red Sonja.

Jeff: Really?

Amy Chu: Professor.

Jeff: That's awesome.

Amy Chu: Professor Wallace.

Jeff: That's so cool.

Mike Zapcic: That's too cool.

Amy Chu: He's a mage. So now he has magical powers.

Jeff: Does he know?

Amy Chu: I don't know if he knows.

Jeff: We should let him know. That's incredible.

Amy Chu: It's kind of a weird, "Hey, guess what? You're in Red Sonja now."

Jeff: That's so cool.
You've been now, going back to your comics, you've been working on some incredible titles. Poison Ivy's one of my favorites too.

Amy Chu: Thank you.

Jeff: I love that line. I hope that you get to write that character again, because I feel that is an underappreciated character in the D.C. universe.

Amy Chu: Right. Yes.

Jeff: And I really loved your take on her.

Amy Chu: Thank you so much.

Jeff: But now doing Red Sonja, you're doing Dejah Thoris, which is incredible. I want to talk about Green Hornet.

Amy Chu: Oh yes.

Jeff: Wow.

Amy Chu: Yes.

Jeff: Issue one just hit, right? Just came out?

Amy Chu: Yes. Right? Let me see.

Jeff: I believe it just came out.

Mike Zapcic: Two weeks ago.

Jeff: Two weeks ago.

Amy Chu: You really should know.

Jeff: I have yet to read it. So no spoilers.

Amy Chu: Okay. Okay. I will not say anything.

Jeff: But I do want to talk about it.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: I think it's very interesting that you're doing a woman as Green Hornet. I love talking to creators about this, 'cause this is through Dynamite, which they're dynamite. They're great.

Amy Chu: Right.

Jeff: I love that comic company.

Amy Chu: They give me a lot of work.

Jeff: Was that your idea or was that theirs?

Amy Chu: No. Actually it was... okay. Green Hornet was my idea. Making Green Hornet a woman was actually their idea.

Mike Zapcic: Wow. Cool. Good on them.

Amy Chu: It was cool, except this is kind of the joke. I'm happy to be doing it, but it's really funny, because when Nick asked me on the panel what I want to do next, I said "Green Hornet" 'cause I'm thinking I want to do a male superhero, you know? Because the default is to try to get me to do another sexy female.

Mike Zapcic: Right.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: That's fine. But I'm like, "My chance to finally do a male superhero." And I get the email later from Nick "Oh, by the way, did you know that we're changing it to a woman?" I'm like, "Oh my God. Okay. That's fine." Because it's Kato's daughter. I can totally do that.

Jeff: That's cool.

Amy Chu: I can totally channel Kato's daughter.

Jeff: It's Kato's.

Amy Chu: Yes.

Jeff: I was gonna ask how does she fit in to the lore.

Amy Chu: But to sort of accomplish my own objectives as a writer, what I'm doing is, yes, she is the Green Hornet, but I'm also talking about really the history of the Green... Who gets to be a Green Hornet.

Jeff: Right.

Mike Zapcic: Wow. Cool.

Amy Chu: I mean, Green Hornet is older than Superman, older than Batman.

Jeff: 1930s radio. Incredible.

Amy Chu: Not as old as Dick Tracy, but by just a couple years.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Right? So for me it's really about, again, talk about underappreciated character.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah definitely.

Jeff: Totally.

Amy Chu: My objective here is to get more people reading Green Hornet, understanding Green Hornet, and look. Green Hornet has so many more layers than Batman.

Jeff: Definitely.

Amy Chu: Green Hornet is a public villain. Green Hornet is like being an undercover cop.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: That's really a lot more tricky to write.

Jeff: I bet.

Amy Chu: So if I can pull this off, I'll be very happy.

Jeff: I'm very excited about it.

Mike Zapcic: I heard it's gonna be martial arts heavy.

Amy Chu: Yes. Yes.

Mike Zapcic: That's very exciting.

Jeff: That's exciting.

Amy Chu: Very much. Because it's Kato's daughter. And also look, I was born here. I was born in Boston, but my parents are from Hong Kong. My family is originally from Hong Kong. And everyone there are huge Green Hornet fans because of Bruce Lee.

Jeff: Of course. That was-

Amy Chu: Not because of the Green Hornet himself. It's Kato. Right?

Jeff: When Bruce took that role, that was just ground breaking.

Amy Chu: Exactly.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: I really want to pay respect to that tradition. 'Cause honestly, they're not that many comics out right now that have any martial arts right? In any significant way.

Jeff: Not that I really can think of. I mean-

Amy Chu: There's Iron Fist, but.

Jeff: But even, I was gonna say, even with Marvel with Iron Fist and those types of characters, they're really pushed into the background at this point comics wise. You know?

Mike Zapcic: So for a situation like this, do you look into Jeet Kun Do?

Amy Chu: Okay. What I've done is I keep sending little YouTube videos to the artist, because what's interesting to me-

Mike Zapcic: Right yeah. To give them an idea of what. Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's not just about Jeet Kun Do. I think Wushu is actually very elegant and works really well with the story. I've made her more Wushu than Jeet Kun Do.

Mike Zapcic: Cool. That makes sense, 'cause even though Bruce Lee was Jeet Kun Do, Kato was technically [inaudible 00:34:45].

Amy Chu: His origins were really actually rooted in Wushu.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's also more interesting, because I got a lot of staff action going on, staff fighting.

Jeff: Very cool.

Amy Chu: That's what I'm working on right now, issue four. Issue four, yeah.

Mike Zapcic: Cool. That sounds like a lot of fun. That sounds exciting.

Jeff: But your career's taken some even cooler turns outside of being able to write iconic characters like Green Hornet and stuff like that. You just wrapped up a run on Kiss.

Amy Chu: Oh yeah.

Jeff: Which is incredible.

Amy Chu: Thank you.

Jeff: And also you did that book with Run DMC.

Amy Chu: Yes.

Jeff: Which is incredible. How do jobs like that come across? Because, those again, seem like bucket list type things.

Amy Chu: I go for the bucket list.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: Nice.

Amy Chu: I have bucket list.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Amy Chu: You know? We don't live forever.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: I don't believe in reincarnation. I think I've got a finite number of years to write. And I want to make sure I hit all those things. Yeah. Exactly. Just five issues of Kiss I would write. You know? I got ten good issues in. I feel really good about that.

Jeff: I mean, again, was that you kind of saying to the universe "I want to do Kiss" and making that happen? Or was it?

Amy Chu: Partly. Part of it was understanding, the title has to be available. I'm not picking anybody off anything right?

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: I got to be like, "What do you guys have that..." and I will express an interest, a deep interest in certain things. You know? And also coming up with good ideas. It's not that you just get a job. You gotta be like I gotta have an idea. And Kiss was hard.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Amy Chu: 'Cause there's been a lot of Kiss comics.

Jeff: Oh my gosh.

Amy Chu: So where do you go with Kiss?

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: 40 years of Kiss. And it was very much, "Can we do Kiss in the future? 'Cause I don't think we've done that."

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: And can we do Kiss, but it's not Kiss? Can we do that? And they're like, "Yeah. I think so."

Jeff: That's so, so much fun.
On this show, we always come to this point. I'm always curious about the answer. With your career and your attitude of just going out there and getting it done... Like you said, you're not gonna live forever. You want to get whatever you can get out of this life. What fuels you to keep doing what you're doing? To keep going out there and chasing the jobs that you really want?

Amy Chu: You know, what it is at least for me it's just getting better and better at what I do with the stories. It's hard because I think you could start... What is that Olympic sport? The biathlon? Where you have to shoot, but you're also skiing down a hill?

Jeff: Right.

Dustin: Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: Yeah.

Amy Chu: I want to get better at the biathlon, because that's what these monthly comics are about. You know?

Dustin: Yeah.

Amy Chu: You do the graphic... Graphic novels are cool. I love the idea you can just sit in your room for a whole year. But this is different. This is very exciting. It's like "What is the best book I can possibly put out within this crazy time frame?"

Dustin: Very cool.

Amy Chu: That's hard.

Jeff: Any bucket list things you want to say out into the universe right now that we can make a reality?

Amy Chu: I don't know.

Jeff: The last time you did, it was Green Hornet and it happened.

Amy Chu: It did happen. It did happen.
I'm working on so much stuff right now, that I can't even tell you about right now.

Jeff: I love that.

Amy Chu: I'm just kind of... it's crazy. I've gotten almost all my bucket list items-

Dustin: Wow.

Amy Chu: Done.

Jeff: That's incredible. You gotta start another list.

Amy Chu: I gotta start. I do. I have to start another list.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's a little weird. That's never happened to me before in my life.

Jeff: That's a good place though.

Amy Chu: It is. It's super cool.

Jeff: Finally then, what can we say is coming out that you can talk about? Green Hornet's been ongoing for a while.

Amy Chu: Green Hornet. Let me see. I brought... this just came out, the Secret Loves of Geeks.

Jeff: Uh-huh.

Amy Chu: I have a story in there. These are all... this is what I can do, because now I feel like I'm tapped out in a lot of ways. But the short stories I can still do.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: So I got something in here with Valentine De Landro from Bitch Planet.

Jeff: Oh very cool.

Amy Chu: So that was also a bucket list. Part of my bucket list is not even the titles. It's just working with friends. Working with cool people in the business. Not that I wouldn't work with Val again. I'm like, "Okay. But I got that"-

Jeff: You got [inaudible 00:38:59] once yeah. Yeah.

Amy Chu: I got to check that off the bucket list.

Mike Zapcic: That's awesome.

Amy Chu: I'm co writing Red Sonja now with Eric Burnham, who's really I have to say, he's better at the Red Sonja dialog. Now we're back in Hyrkania so.

Jeff: Right. Yeah.

Amy Chu: So that's going on. We're still on board through issue 21.

Jeff: Excellent.

Amy Chu: I worked out that whole arc, which is really fun, and hopefully people have stayed on board through the whole thing, because it's gonna all come together.

Mike Zapcic: Oh nice. That's fun.

Amy Chu: That's my whole thing. I have to write the ending before I get everything done.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: So you have a really great. Yeah. Everything will come together.

Jeff: That's exciting.

Amy Chu: Let's see. What else do I have? Dejah Thoris is out.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Oh Summit number 4 just came out.

Jeff: Oh. Yeah. I heard about this. That's great. Talk a little bit about this one.

Amy Chu: So female astronaut. First of all this is an all woman team.

Jeff: Uh-huh.

Amy Chu: Which is... Jan Dursema is doing the... Now the color is just Paul Mounts, but you know. Me and Jan have done the four issues. It's great, because on a number of fronts, I'm just sort of tired of tropes. You know?

Mike Zapcic: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: It's very easy honestly to get into the trope business, especially when you're on deadlines. Summit is... she's an astronaut. Goes up in space. Comes back. Basically her DNA's altered, so she actually has the powers of plasma fusion. But it's an issue. Part of it is the whole survival issue, because she lives and a lot of people don't during this catastrophic event right?

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: But she also doesn't want people to know that she's got this power. It's really kind of problematic. She just wants to live a normal life, as much as a normal life an astronaut can lead right?

Jeff: Right.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah, yeah.

Amy Chu: But she needs to come to terms with a lot of issues, you know? She's got some metal health issues. She's got also the biggest problem is if you got the powers of plasma fusion, you can actually annihilate everyone around you. So she's also gotta learn how to control that power.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: There's a lot-

Jeff: That's exciting.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: You made it hard on yourself.

Amy Chu: I did. I did. 'Cause it's not a funny book. Like Red Sonja, Red Sonja can be funny.

Jeff: Oh yeah.

Amy Chu: There's a lot of action. It's light. This has a lot of layers. It's a lot deeper.

Mike Zapcic: It sounds like a real perspective on somebody who's dealing with a situation like that would go through.

Amy Chu: 'Cause she's also gay, and she's now teamed up with her ex-husband. There's that part.

Mike Zapcic: Oh man.

Jeff: Goodness.

Mike Zapcic: Wow.

Amy Chu: He's trying to help her.

Jeff: Drama on this poor character.

Amy Chu: You know. I also realize we as readers, as audiences, we want that element.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Amy Chu: There's the part of the soap opera that we need to have. That's what makes Walking Dead interesting.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: All the soap opera stuff.

Mike Zapcic: I feel like we're... soap operas have never gone away. They've just changed. You know? We have Sons of Anarchy, which is like a motorcycle soap opera.

Amy Chu: Exactly.

Mike Zapcic: The Walking Dead, which is... I talk about this all the time, 'cause it blows my mind. But it's fun. Nobody wants to read a story or watch a story about everything going right. You know/

Amy Chu: This is an MIT geek soap opera, with robots.

Mike Zapcic: Awesome.

Jeff: That's so cool.
You're working so hard. You're punching out all these books. You're working on stuff you can't even talk about. Do you ever get time to read yourself? Is there any comics or writers or artists that you're really digging at this point?

Amy Chu: Yeah. It's really important to be reading. I'm not doing a great job of it. I have a huge pile of stuff.

Jeff: Me too. I have a stack like this on my desk.

Amy Chu: Pile of shame. There are... you know what it is? And it's terrible. I treat it like homework, 'cause if I'm writing something like Summit, I feel like I need to see what else is out there that's similar.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: Or I'll read certain writers that I really respect, but of course then it ends up being a pile.

Jeff: Right.

Amy Chu: Without question, I'm pretty faithful to reading anything that Terry Moore puts out.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mike Zapcic: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Amy Chu: Partly too because of his style. I'm really in favor of the minimalist style. And he just does it so well. So I can go through. I will dissect some of his story lines where I'm like, "Okay. How did he treat this particular scene?" And I just make little notes of that.

Jeff: That's cool.

Amy Chu: Yeah.

Jeff: Very very cool.

Amy Chu: So Terry Moore I have no problem giving him a huge shout out, because I really respect what he does.

Jeff: Yeah. For sure.
We can't thank you enough for being on the show.

Amy Chu: Oh thank you.

Jeff: Finally, just for all of our listeners and watchers out there, what is the best way to follow Amy Chu? And what you do and where you're going?

Amy Chu: Oh I was gonna say Facebook. No I'm just kidding. Well right now I'm really having a good time on Instagram.

Mike Zapcic: Ah yes.

Amy Chu: Amy_Chu. You know I'm into food and coffee.

Jeff: Oh yeah.

Amy Chu: I put all that... that's where you get the comics and the food and the coffee and whatever else I'm doing. I'm also on Twitter, amychu. So that's where you get not the food pics, but you know.

Jeff: Yeah.

Amy Chu: I will-

Jeff: And you update pretty much your convention schedule there and stuff.

Amy Chu: Yeah. I will definitely. I have a website. It's iwritecomics.com.

Jeff: Yup.

Amy Chu: And that's actually where my full convention schedule is.

Jeff: Excellent. I'll put all those links in the show.

Amy Chu: Awesome.

Jeff: Yeah. Thank you so much.

Amy Chu: No thank you. Thank you for this wonderful, delicious, barrel brand coffee too.

Jeff: Yeah. It definitely hits the spot.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah. Very, very, very lucky.

Amy Chu: I'm in a good space now.

Mike Zapcic: Yeah.

Jeff: Me too.