Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 80 - JIM STARLIN

jim starlin


"But most of the time, at the early days at Marvel, they would let you pretty well run, because they didn't have enough editors to interfere with you at this point." Jim Starlin, comic book writer, artist, creator of Thanos





Jim Starlin is the iconic comic creator behind the creation of the characters Drax and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, and the evil villain Thanos, who is now the villain of the major motion picture, Avengers Infinity War. Jim joins the show to talk about breaking into comics, and the true origin of Thanos, which includes killing off a major character from DC Comics. Plus, hear all about the new Kickstarter from Jim Starlin and Ominous Press, which is set to release some never before published work from Jim.


This is the week that Death Wish Coffee is headed to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It all goes down on June 29th and we break down some fo the interesting science experiments that are heading to the space station as well as describe how you can watch the launch live. Then, Dustin and Jeff discuss the real epidemic of fake martial arts on The Roast, and some new graphic T-Shirts are coming son from the World's Strongest Coffee Company.


This week meet Lisa Wallarab - Lisa uses Death Wish Coffee to get her through her day and she is a positive force in the community, taking it upon herself to shoutout everyone's birthdays! Meet Lisa Wallarab right here:




Dustin: In your younger years, in your heyday of creating, did you use coffee a lot to get you through those long nights?

Jim Starlin: Yeah, it wasn't as ritualistic as it is now. The day doesn't start. I'm up before my wife, so I head upstairs with my cup of coffee and the iPad and go through emails and get horrified by what's in the Post, Guardian and New York Times, and then try to get some work done.

Dustin: Yeah, nice.

Jeff: That's awesome. I wanna start off by talking about what's happening right now with this Kickstarter you've got going through Ominous Press.

Speaker 1: Ominous Press is very proud to present a Kickstarter project from Jim Starlin. It includes a black book, The Art of Jim Starlin. Along with the Jim Starlin black book, we're gonna be offering a print edition of Jim's illustrated novel, Mindgames.

Jim Starlin: I've collaborated with Ominous Press on one of their black book art collections. What's gonna be in the art book are things that few people have seen or never seen. It's a collection of my could have beens, but weren't, for varying covers, little doodles I have around, paintings that never saw the light of day. Just whatever I found interesting that I didn't think a lot of folks have seen.

Jeff: We here at Devilish Coffee obviously love Ominous Press and Ron and all those guys. And I think it's really cool the two books that you guys are coming out with through this Kickstarter. Have you ever done a Kickstarter before?

Jim Starlin: No, and I'm learning as I go. It's kind of an interesting process. It looks like you can't get the book initially unless you're part of a Kickstarter, which I didn't know.

Jeff: Yeah, it's a weird thing. I know Dustin and I both experienced it through bands. We actually were in a band together and we Kickstarted an album. And the same thing. It's a huge learning experience. Are you enjoying it so far, though? Do you think it's worth it?

Jim Starlin: Well, Sleeping Giant and Ominous are doing most of the work.

Jeff: That's good.

Jim Starlin: You know, I had a sit down for the video and talked a few things up, but for the most part, they've got it all organized and tell me what's going on.

Jeff: I think that's the best way to do it.

Dustin: Agreed. The video came out really well. It's very impressive. They did a great job portraying your work and giving background story to the epicness that you've released to the world. It's really cool, man, to see all this stuff come out.

Jim Starlin: Yeah. The video was kind of fun because they didn't use one shot of me walking up to my studio, which is a little sort of hobbit hutch. It's an attic studio and it's not all that big. But the way they shot it, it looks like a bowling alley.

Jeff: That's awesome.

Dustin: Good old fish eye lens.

Jim Starlin: Exactly.

Jeff: And I wanted to ask you a little bit about one of the pieces in the Kickstarter. And as we're talking abut this, there's a couple of weeks left and I'm gonna put in this episode of the podcast, the links for all of our listeners to be able to go on over and help back this awesome project of yours. But one of the things that's a part of the Kickstarter is this black book, The Art of Jim Starlin. And I think it's so intriguing. 112 pages of basically, as you put it, a lot of art that people just haven't seen because it was either stuff that you did as just stuff that you wanted to do, or just stuff that never made it to print. And I wanted to ask you, was that-

Jim Starlin: Alternative covers-

Jeff: Alternative covers, yeah, yeah. Was there anything, when you were putting the book together, that you kind of found and maybe had forgotten about? Did anything surprise you putting that book together?

Jim Starlin: No, I was scrambling through everything I had here. I had a lot on file the computer, but I was also going through these flat files I have. Oh, I still have this piece. Okay, let's try putting this in. There was a book before, another art book, but I was trying to definitely avoid using any of that. There's a couple of Captain Marvel pages, Shazam Captain Marvel pages that appeared in the other one that appear in this. But otherwise, it's all new stuff, as far as I can tell.

Jeff: That's awesome. Is it cathartic to kind of get this stuff out into the world?

Jim Starlin: Yeah, it was also fun working on and designing it. I was trying to put together some illustrated novels before I hurt my hand and no longer could draw. So I had been working on it then and when we started talking about the book, they said "We're gonna do it in InDesign." I said "Gee, I haven't played with that in a long time." And I volunteered to do the actual InDesign work of setting up and laying out the pages and what a mistake because they had advanced and improved it and I had to go through this whole new learning curve. But it was fun once I got it down though.

Jeff: And speaking on that though a little bit, you did that a little bit early in your career, right? Like when ... I know you started as an artist and a writer, but didn't you do some layout work and things like that?

Jim Starlin: On the computers?

Jeff: No, I mean earlier than that. Like when you were starting. You were laying out posts, right?

Jim Starlin: Oh, yeah. I [inaudible 00:06:01] layouts. John Romita Senior, who was drawing Spider-Man at the time, was always behind on his deadlines and so when I first came up there, he asked if I would do some thumbnails that he could blow up and trace off. Of course, being John, he used about half of what I gave him. So he saved himself no time. And then on a couple of the books near the end, he gave me some layout credits on that. But they were just fill in jobs while I was learning how to get good enough to actually be doing my own penciling work.

Jeff: Yeah, and it's so much different now, like you were saying, because you do a lot of that on the computer.

Jim Starlin: Quite a bit, yes. I have a tendency to make my heads a little small, so whenever we get done inking it, I take a look and some of these heads get inflated digitally.

Jeff: Oh, nice. Computers are awesome.

Jim Starlin: Yeah, giving away my dark secrets.

Jeff: And speaking on the other side of the Kickstarter, with the hardcover edition of Mindgames, I was reading about on the Kickstarter page, actually, that this is the beginning of a four part story. Is that correct?

Jim Starlin: Right, three parts are written. I'm in the process of getting a hard copy publisher, rather. It looks like that's set to go. I can't talk about that just yet. But the first book of Mindgames, I did get all illustrations too. And there's quite a bit of ... A few of the illustrations for the second book, Lazgood's Boys, inside the black book. But this is one that I have complete and it's a self-contained story so we thought why don't we just ... Otherwise this has got all that work has gone to waste and we decided to add that along with the black book.

Jeff: That's awesome. And there's a ton of other rewards for people, depending on the tiers that they wanna back this on of art of yours and art of other people. I think it's such a cool Kickstarter campaign. And I know, as we're recording this, you guys have already met your first goal and you're well on your way to your next goal and I think it's great that a lot of this stuff is gonna be out in the world. I love that, that that gets to happen.

Jim Starlin: It's nice to do it in something with other than the big publishers and that too. This is more controlled. You get a product that you're more happy with than you would be otherwise.

Jeff: Yeah. And before we delve into some of the bigger publishers that you worked for, I wanted to talk a little bit about specifically you're a creator of your own stuff, like Mindgames, and then also some of the stuff you've done in publishers. Famously, the Infinity Gauntlet stuff and Warlock and that kind of thing. Captain Marvel. You said a lot of stuff in an epic space venue, basically. And I saw, actually, throwing it back to the Kickstarter, that you had talked about how you were enamored by old Orson Wells and that kind of thing. Can you speak a little bit about where, maybe in your childhood or in your teens, where you kind of were drawn to the epicness of space theater, kind of?

Jim Starlin: Jack Kirby.

Jeff: Kirby.

Jim Starlin: Yeah, [inaudible 00:09:32] and Fantastic Four. Those were my favorite books. I mean, Ditko's Spider-Man was really up there too. But Jack and his space adventures really got me more than anything else. Plus, I had this answer when people ask me about why I do more outer space stuff than anything else, I don't have to draw horses or cars.

Jeff: That's true.

Jim Starlin: So spaceships are much easier.

Jeff: That's true. I never thought of it like that. That's awesome.

Jim Starlin: Plus, it also gives you a chance to do stories that might be a little bit difficult if you set them in a real world setting, because of politics, or people's outlooks on things and if you set them into another world that you've created, sometimes it's easier to talk about things that are much more difficult to talk about in real life.

Dustin: Yeah, so do you ever use like ... What's the word? Use your stories in space as analogies to things that we're dealing with here on Earth in real life?

Jim Starlin: Not blatantly, but yes. There's always something in the story that has to do with what's going on in the real world. Some of the Thanos stories, one in particular, I remember I stuck in a lot of world leaders at one point and did little joke commentaries along the way. You get your stories out of what's going on in your life and a lot of times what's going on in my life has to do with what I read in a newspaper that morning.

Dustin: Just curious, is Thanos based off of any real life world leaders that have existed or do exist? Do you ever pull from perhaps evil characters in our history to build his character?

Jim Starlin: He's got more class than most of our evil world leaders.

Jeff: That's true. That's true.

Jim Starlin: He's much smarter than Stalin, or Hitler, or Pol Pot, or any of these other guys who did more damage to their country than anything good. He was actually run a plan and I was actually thinking about this down the line when things went south with him, but if he actually governed a country, I think he would be good for the country overall, kind of hard on certain citizens who he would deign to think badly of.

Dustin: So like a really efficient dictator?

Jim Starlin: He would be very efficient and bloody-handed also, but you know ...

Dustin: I kind of like that idea. I don't know why. Paint me a communist. I like it. How much are you fascinated by real life space travel, astronauts, maybe technologies that we move into now in the future?

Jim Starlin: Oh, I was following the Atlas [inaudible 00:12:33] getting shot off and blowing up back in the '60s, through to Mercury astronauts, moon landing. I keep track of all that stuff. The strange things we have with asteroids going on these days and whatever discoveries of new planets, whether they can be classified as planets or not.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: And that must influence your stories with new discoveries that we find every day, huh?

Jim Starlin: Well, we're still discovering-

Dustin: It's with new discoveries that we find everyday, huh?

Jim Starlin: Well, we're still discovering things that are close to home, and most of my stories take place far from home.

Dustin: Yeah

Jeff: Yeah, that's true.

Dustin: That's true.

Jim Starlin: So if I get too close to the real science, I could make mistakes. I'm having trouble keeping up with computer science and these hardcore station books.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: I had to do a big rewrite on the second book just because my fantasy technology was all of a sudden for sale.

Jeff: Oh my god.

Dustin: That's how that works though. The technology's influenced by sci-fi almost all the time. You just see stuff that we've come up with in our imagination and then we build technology around those ideas. It must be cool to influence the movement of technology with your stories.

Jim Starlin: Well I don't know if I'll actually do that, but I think it's kind of cool to have a mother box sitting in my lap as I'm sitting here talking to you.

Jeff: Yeah, sure.

Dustin: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: That's what iPads and phones are, these days.

Dustin: Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: Yeah, absolutely. So elephant in the room: Do you believe in aliens? Do you think we've been visited by them in our past?

Jim Starlin: Probably, I've never met any myself, but I find it hard to believe that we are the one and only. I was reading the paper in the morning, I could see why they wouldn't want to really get too close to us right at the moment.

Jeff: Right?

Dustin: Yeah, right?

Jim Starlin: I can believe that there's somebody out there.

Dustin: Yeah.

Jeff: I love that since the inception of mainstream comic books, aliens have always just ... That's always just the accepted norm. Superman's an alien. It's always been like, "Yeah, aliens are there."

Dustin: Yeah.

Jeff: Half of the superheros and super villains are aliens.

Dustin: Yeah. It's where superpowers come from.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: It's space.

Jeff: Space. The Fantastic Four.

Dustin: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: Which, a lot more viable than getting it from radiation.

Jeff: Right. Right, exactly.

Dustin: It makes more sense.

Jeff: Yeah, of course. Of course. So I wanted to talk a little bit about the whole Infinity Gauntlet and as a creation. Because I'm always curious, especially from a writer's side and a perspective, when you came up with the character of Thanos and then also the Infinity Gauntlet, did you have that fleshed out as a MacGuffen in your stories right from the beginning, or did it kind of coalesce as you fleshed that character out through all the stories you got to write with him?

Jim Starlin: I definitely fleshed out. There was at least five or six years, maybe even longer between the first Thanos story and the Gauntlet. I would've had to be really slow to take it that long. But most of the time, at the early days at Marvel, they would let you pretty well run, because they didn't have enough editors to interfere with you at this point. So when Roy Thomas was an editor, I would come in there and he would say, "What do you wanna do with Captain Marvel?" I say, "Super Skrull?" And he'd go, "Go!" And that was it.

Jeff: Wow.

Jim Starlin: Yeah, literally we had a story conference like that one time.

Jeff: Wow.

Jim Starlin: And he had enough sense to know if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and Captain Marvel and later on Warlock were doing well. So where did they come from? Thanos came out of a psych class in junior college after I got out of the service. The lecturer was speaking on the Freudian concepts of Thanos and Eros.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim Starlin: I took to the dark side, of course.

Jeff: Oh yeah.

Dustin: Nice.

Jim Starlin: The Infinity Gauntlet, on the other hand ... I had thrown in and added some extra Infinity stones along the way in one of the Avenger Annual, as it was. And it was just a little throw-away thing that two or three panels it was mentioned in, and it was used for something else. So when I came back to Marvel, at this point, and was doing the Silver Surfer ... I was raised Catholic, and the majority of my grade school was at a Parochial school.

Jeff: All right.

Jim Starlin: So I had church slammed into me. We had to go to mass six days a week. The perfect formula for making me heathen. But out of that, I realized that ... Wouldn't it be kind of fascinated if your Supreme Being, your omnipotent All Father was insane? And so the whole idea of turning Thanos into the Supreme Being sort of caught my interest, and we just worked out the Infinity Gems to make that work.

Jeff: Wow.

Dustin: That's so cool.

Jim Starlin: So basically it was me rebelling against those years at the Parochial school, that that came out of.

Jeff: Wow. And that again, is a testament to the time in comics when they're allowing you to run with this story. I've talked to a lot of people that are prevalent in the industry now, and it seems like the biggest hurdle is the politics of getting a story from idea to print. And I think that's so great that you were able to kind of run with something like that.

Jim Starlin: Yeah. Nobody up there seemed to take any notice that universal is another word for Catholic, and the universal church got through without blinking an eye.

Jeff: Wow.

Dustin: Yeah, did you ever experience any kickback for that, at all?

Jim Starlin: Actually, very little. I was kind of surprised by that. I guess the book didn't sell well enough for the fundamentalists to catch onto it. They weren't all that heavy an influence in politics at that point, except into the abortion debate. So no, I never really got too much flak. Flak for other things, but not that.

Dustin: Were you disappointed at all?

Jim Starlin: No. I've had enough trouble in other fronts to not go looking for trouble.

Jeff: Yeah. Kind of to switch gears a little bit, 'cause again, I love talking about the creative side of this and hearing what, as a creator, what you're actually being able to put into a story. I wanna go across the way and talk a little bit about DC, because one of the most famous pieces that you've gotten to work on over there, obviously is Batman: Death of the Family. Kind of the same question on that ... And for our listeners and viewers out there who might not know what I'm talking about, this is a storyline where a main character is literally killed, Robin is killed off. And I wanted to know, did you have the same kind of creative sandbox to play in at that point, or was that more of a corporate kind of, "This is the way we want our story to go?"

Jim Starlin: It was kind of a mix. As soon as Denny O'Neil started helping me write some of these Batman stories, I was always avoiding using Robin, because the whole idea of going off and fighting crime in a dark gray and black outfit while you send out a kid in primary colors-

Jeff: Exactly.

Jim Starlin: Is kind of, not just bordering on child abuse, it's downright child endangerment.

Jeff: Exactly. It's like, "Shoot that guy!"

Jim Starlin: It's kind of surprising he hasn't gone through more partners.

Jeff: Mm. That's true.

Jim Starlin: So I always avoided using him and Denny eventually said, "Oh, you gotta put him in a story or two," and so we did that. And he showed up in the Cult, because I needed somebody for Batman to have his breakdown with.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: But most of the time, I avoided him ... And okay, here's the silly story. DC Comics decided they were going to do an AIDS books. This was just at the beginning of the AIDS outbreak.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim Starlin: And their idea was, they were gonna give some character AIDS. And they actually put out a suggestion box, where you could put in your suggestions of which character should get AIDS. I immediately stuffed it with Robin.

Jeff: Robin. Of course.

Jim Starlin: And they threw out all of my ... Well, 'cause they recognized my handwriting, and they threw out all mine. And in the end, it was Jimmy Olsen who got elected to get AIDS.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: But then they realized that the actor who worked in the Christopher Reeve Superman books was ... He happened to be gay. And so they all panicked and said, "We can't use him," and so the book was never done.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: But that set an idea in their head. And when Denny came across the whole idea of the calling on the boats, because I think they made 50 cents on each call.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim Starlin: He remembered me lobbying to get rid of Robin, and he said, "Let's do that." And so I worked out a plot where we had two pages at the end whether Robin lived or died, and I always figured that I knew my readership is pretty ghoulish, and I figured he was gonna be popped off right quickly. I was rather surprised when there was only 72 votes that separated him from life and death.

Jeff: I know.

Jim Starlin: Out of 10,000, that was statistically nothing.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: So it was almost a tie, but it was enough for us to kill him off. And then afterwards, it had turned out to be the best, I think, book [inaudible 00:22:59], of course. And afterwards, you'd have thought things would have been swimmingly for me over there, but suddenly the licensing department realized they had all these lunchboxes and pajamas with Robin all over 'em.

Jeff: Oh, geeze.

Jim Starlin: And they hit the roof. And somebody had to be blamed.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: Guess who?

Jeff: You.

Dustin: You.

Jim Starlin: But as it worked out, it worked out okay, because I then went over to Marvel and did the Silver Surfer and the Gauntlet, so, it was a fortuitous having dried up of work.

Jeff: Yeah. Speaking on that and again, for our listeners and viewers that might not know, during this time, it was a 900 number that you could call in, I also called in, and I called in and asked for Robin to die.

Dustin: Oh, you wanted him to die?

Jeff: I did.

Dustin: Oh, you're such a jerk.

Jeff: But you could call in and do that. But from the writer's perspective, did you write two endings just in case? Did you write a living ending as well?

Jim Starlin: Actually, I did. And they used it in the ... I think they at least used Jim Aparo's pages in the origin of the Red Hood.

Jeff: Oh.

Jim Starlin: 'Cause they eventually brought him back from the dead and he became the Red Hood.

Jeff: Oh, and so they kind of tied that into what you did for him living? That's interesting.

Jim Starlin: Yeah, I don't think they used my script. I know I got the book, but I never looked close enough to see if it was my script or not. And they probably would have lost that a long time ago.

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah, that's true. Well that's so interesting. And then like you said, you got to go ... Fortuitous circumstance, you get to go back to Marvel, you work on Silver Surfer doin' some incredible stuff over there. And then of course, bringin' Thanos back into it, and then doing the Infinity Gauntlet stuff. And that obviously is on the lips and minds of everybody, now.

Dustin: Everybody. It's crazy.

Jeff: Because of the movies. And I wanted to hear, and I'm sure you've talked about this a lot, but I wanted to hear a little bit about what it was like for you to see some of your characters come to life for the first time. For our listeners, again, you've also created Drax and Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy. So when Guardians of the Galaxy was made into a movie, what were your initial thoughts of that, of being able to see these characters come to life?

Jim Starlin: Well Thanos beat them out on the first Avengers thing.

Jeff: Yeah, yep.

Jim Starlin: And so it had a little bit of use, in sort of a strange sort of way. I was not working for Marvel at the time, and that brought us back together to do some work for a while.

Jeff: Yep.

Jim Starlin: It's been fun. I had a great time going to the second Guardians of the Galaxy premier and after party, and chatting with James Gunn and Zoe Saldana's fun. And it's been quiet surreal. This new one, even more so, because it's become such a monster hit. Went to the premiere and came home, and was sitting around and-

Jim Starlin: Did a premier and came home, and was sitting around and thinking, "Ah, it's good." Because I've done a convention before we came home and there was a lot of hype. This is just around the time the Infinity War came out and when I got home I thought, "Okay. Back to normal. Everything back to normal." And my wife and I sat down to watch this episode of the late show with Stephen Colbert, figuring we'll settle in and what happens? His monologue is full of Thanos jokes. And I go, "It's never going to be the same again. Is it?"

Jeff: It really isn't. What's your take on Josh Brolin portraying that character?

Jim Starlin: I told Josh this myself, he was never on my radar. I thought it was just going to be a voice actor working on it. And so I was thinking someone like a post cancerous Arnold Schwarzenegger, Idris Alba, somebody with a nice deep, gravelly voice.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: But now that I've seen him in the movie, I can't imagine anybody else doing it.

Jeff: I know.

Jim Starlin: I saw how they filmed it. He had about 40 lbs of gear on his back, including a stick that went up to nine feet high with a tennis ball on top, so they would see how much room they would have to replace him with.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jim Starlin: So it was a workout and he must have sat there and studied those books because his movement and the gestures looked like they came right out of the comic books. He really did his homework and he just did an incredible job. All the kudos he's getting are well deserved as far as I'm concerned.

Jeff: That's awesome. I'm such a big fan of all of those arcs that you did. The Infinity Gauntlet, The Infinity War, The Infinity Crusade, and this movie takes bits and pieces of it and obviously movie-izes some stuff, so there are some new elements in there, but I've been telling everybody since seeing Avenger's Infinity War, it's an experience. It's the same experience I got as a kid when I first read, let's say Infinity Gauntlet or to more of an effect, the old school Kree-Skrull War in the Avengers, or the Secret Wars, this epic moment where all of these characters that you've been reading in other comics all come together in one comic. And I remember as a kid, not believing that I had one comic that had everybody in it, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, everybody's in it. And I got that same feeling sitting in the theater, watching this movie and all of these characters are just coming at me. It's an incredible time to be alive, I have to tell you that.

Jim Starlin: Yeah. Aren't computers wonderful?

Jeff: They really are. They really are.

Jim Starlin: It makes it hard on the cartoonists. It used to be that the comic books could do things that the movies never could and now with such computers, there's no competing with them.

Jeff: No, not even close. Some of the fantastical worlds out in space that we're seeing on the big screen, they look like they actually exist in reality because of CGI. It's incredible. It really is.
So a question that we come to on this show, and we ask all of our guests is the question of, what fuels you? What is it that is inside of you that keeps you wanting to tell stories, wanting to get stories out there?

Jim Starlin: What is it that keeps it doing, other than just the urge to tell the stories? Like most comic book professionals and fans I was kind of an awkward teenager. I ended up running with a rougher crowd and my friend Al Milgrom did. Al and I went to high school together. He ended up inking a lot of my books along the way and it was kind of funny because he would run up to me at the school and go, "Have you seen the new Fantastic Four?" And I'd pull him off into a corner and go, "Quiet. My friends don't know I know how to read."

Jeff: Oh, my god.

Jim Starlin: So it was the usual kind of strange childhood. I just don't think I really would have been happy doing anything else. Really, quite early on, I fell in love with comic books, like around eight years old and said, "This is what I want to do." And spent the next 10 years with everybody trying to talk me out of it.

Jeff: Wow.

Jim Starlin: So, maybe it's obstinance on my part. Coffee in the morning, walks in the woods, getting hyped up playing racket ball or what have you, I get back here and I still to this day, when I'm working I think I'm at my happiest.

Jeff: That's excellent.

Dustin: Do you think telling these stories have fueled self discovery in your life? Like, they've helped you maybe self-realize what actually is going on in your head?

Jim Starlin: I think writing does that for every writer. If you can't do some self examination along the way, you're just not going to write interesting stories because you won't have interesting characters. And so, there are some very specific points, writing the death of Captain Marvel was really cheap therapy for me, for dealing with my own father's death. So id have to say, "Yes. In a big way."

Jeff: That's really, really cool.

Dustin: Yeah. Are there any characters that you've come up with that you particularly relate to yourself?

Jim Starlin: Dread Star because I was working with photo reference when we started on that and because he was going to be around for a while, he got sort of based on my beard. I have nowhere near his bulk, but the head and the beard are definitely me. Out of my own characters, I'm probably a nice cross between Thanos and Pip. You know? It can't get much more diverse than that.

Jeff: I was going to say, that's-

Jim Starlin: So I think that covers the spectrum.

Jeff: That's both ends of the spectrum. That's great. That's great. Is there, and this is just a nice, fun question, but is there a favorite character that you think fondly of that you got to write or draw in your career? One that you think back on as like, 'man, that was the most fun that I go to do'?

Jim Starlin: Well, I would think that way about Batman. I was really a Batman fan when I was a kid. Even that terrible TV show.

Dustin: I love that TV show.

Jim Starlin: In fact, that terrible TV show came to mind at the premier-

Jeff: Oh really?

Jim Starlin: Because ... Yes. Because Bob Cain had worked out this ... He spent his entire life doing this certain Batman and the TV show was the antithesis to it.

Jeff: Totally.

Jim Starlin: It was totally and completely, but he obviously had a little ... He was going to get some money out of it, so he couldn't say, "Oh, my god." He had to say he loved it. And when the Infinity War was coming out I found out from Joe Russo they were going to have to cut a half hour of the Thanos stuff out of it. Otherwise, the movie was going to be three hours long. I mean, that stuff will be added back into the extended version in the DVDs and the Blue Rays, but they said, "Well, we had to cut this out. We just couldn't put it in." And so, I had just previously seen the Justice League movie on an airplane, and I went, "Oh, my god. It's going to become just like that." When all of a sudden this computer generated character is going to run up and I'm going to be just like Bob Cain, having to sit there are go, "Yeah, I love it."

Jeff: I love it.

Jim Starlin: Oh, yeah. But then, went to see the movie, wiped my forward and went "Phew, I escaped that bullet." That is that one.

Jeff: Yeah. Oh, man. That's funny. And I, as a fan, I can't wait to see what's in store for the second half, for Avengers 4. It's going to be a lot of fun to see that come to life on the big screen. I want to thank you again for joining us on the show. It was an absolute pleasure to talk with you. I'm going to say one more time for our listeners and viewers to head on over to the Kickstarter, which I'm going to put the URL up in the show, and there's still a couple week to back this incredible project and also, for fans of you, what's the best way to follow Jim Starlin?

Jim Starlin: I have a Facebook page and I'm not the best at getting there regularly but I do put postings up, where I'm going to be and what's happening with work and that, so I think that's probably the best bet.

Jeff: Perfect. Perfect. Yeah. We'll put that in the episode as well, and I'm sure we'll be talking about you even more because like I said, we love everybody over at Ominous and Sleeping Giant, and it was an absolute pleasure to talk with you today, Jim.

Jim Starlin: It's been a pleasure being here.

Jeff: Excellent.

Dustin: All right. Thank you so much, man. And I look forward to the next time we see you, man.

Jim Starlin: All right. You guys take care.