Podcast Episode 26 – Dan Fogler Talks Comics (Annotated)
Hi, I’m Craig The Intern, and they make me transcribe these every week. Everything’s going great so far! Working on holidays rules!
Dan Fogler, comics creator and actor.
You probably know Dan Fogler as a comedic actor in such movies as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Balls of Fury. But he’s on the Bunny Ears podcast mainly to talk about the comics he’s writing, for a special comics-themed episode.
But first, we have to talk about how The Goonies is about Oregon parents being neglectful.
Brooklyn Gladiator, set in 2033 in an oppressive consumerist dystopia, is one of Fogler’s comics. Moon Lake, a horror anthology he describes as like The Twilight Zone on THC, is another. We’ll get to them. Many digressions have to happen first.
Fogler has just gotten back from CinemaCon in Vegas to promote the next Fantastic Beasts movie, and he describes the experience as being like a seizure. He talks a bit about doing junkets, and how you can do as many as 40 interviews a day, answering the same stuff over and over. He tries to beat the boredom by making himself laugh and doing impersonations.
Fogler talks Marvel versus DC, and how he leaned Marvel because they had Todd McFarlane, though he loves the Joker. Mack points out that early issues of Spawn are worth almost nothing because so many were made. And Matt makes the salient point that even most Marvel diehards make an exception for Batman. Mack was full-on Marvel, though at the time this podcast was recorded, neither he nor Matt nor Dan had seen Infinity War, so they try to predict who dies in it. They get some right, but to be fair, pretty much everyone wrongly called Cap.
Conversation turns to who everyone’s first favorite superhero was. Dan says Wolverine vs. Punisher, Mack picks fellow blond bombshell Thor, but says if he were a superhero, he’d just be rich, like Iron Man without the Iron Man suit. (Or, ahem, Richie Rich?) Matt says Punisher, Venom, and Ghost Rider, though he used to also read his mom’s Archie comics. Hellboy was what turned him into a “Wednesday Warrior,” and eventually a comic-store employee.
Dan’s grandmother got him lots of comic books because she liked that he was at least reading, and the conversation comes back to Brooklyn Gladiator, which has a forward by Kevin Smith and a blurb by Ernest Cline. Then it goes off on a tangent again.
Which superheroine is hottest? Names tossed around include Hawkgirl, Dazzler, Rogue, and Power Girl. Then they talk some about crossover events like Secret Wars and Infinity Gauntlet, and favorite writers like Alan Moore and Mike Mignola. Watchmen was of course a formative gateway drug, with Dan describing it as the Kubrick film of comics, and Mack describing Moore as a big walking conspiracy theory. This prompts everyone to decide they should do a conspiracy anthology series of Tales From Alan Moore’s Beard.
Matt calls Preacher his favorite live-action comic adaptation, and this leads into a discussion of changes to source material, and the MCU. Is it okay for Vision to have the mind stone and pick up Thor’s hammer? Dan says that because of the amazing stuff they do pull off, it’s easy to forgive things they do change. Mack adds that they’re true to the characters, so that’s what counts. Matt likes that they cast the right people, and don’t always go for the big names.
It is revealed that sativa is being smoked in-studio. You readers must certainly be shocked to learn this.
Dan started in comics when he drew a character named Anarchy, who would tase an anarchy symbol into his enemies, for his brother. Mack brings up Batman V Superman, and it turns out Matt hasn’t seen it and Dan has forgotten it. They praise Marvel movies some more, but with the caveat that the Netflix shows aren’t as fun; Dan says he doesn’t have time to see them all.
The conversation comes back to Moon Lake, Dan’s first comic, inspired by Heavy Metal comics and Heavy Metal the movie, which uses a narrative device that weaves different stories together. First he made a movie as an experiment called Hysterical Psycho as an acting exercise, playing a Hitchcock-like character, but it takes place at a location called Moon Lake where everyone goes crazy. He decided after that that he could tell stories set at the same place at any period in history or the future, told by the Man in the Moon, and compares it to stuff like The Twilight Zone and Lost.
Brooklyn Gladiator features artwork from Glenn Fabry and Simon Bisley, and Dan’s writing process is to record a lot of audio describing what he wants to see in each panel, and then the cowriter puts their imprint on it, and by the end it’s almost like a movie script. In pitching the comic to publishers, you basically need a finished product. Mack says if he does comics he’ll do it the Marvel Kirby/Lee way: he’ll draw the story, put word bubbles in, and the writers will add the dialogue.
Dan describes Brooklyn Gladiator as being like Mad Max and Escape From New York, in his best Don LaFontaine movie trailer voice. Except his lead character might be psychic.
Finally, it’s a particularly hilarious version of THE GAME, as Dan and Mack face off in a battle of naming super powers.
16:00-16:13 Comic book stores used to be super scary compared to today. Here’s how.
29:34-30:50 How many Oscar winners have been in Marvel movies?
31:59 Mack impersonates Jeremy Irons in Dungeons and Dragons.
52:05-52:22 Dan’s Brooklyn Gladiator pitch as a movie trailer Mr. Voice
54:04-54:35 What it sounds like when Joey Lawrence, Michael J. Fox, and Homer Simpson meet.
NSFW trailer for Dan Fogler’s Hysterical Psycho:
That time Mack actually was a comic-book character whose super power was being rich:
Here’s Alan Moore and his beard discussing conspiracies:
In case you’ve never seen it, here’s the trailer for the Heavy Metal movie:
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Podcast: Dan Fogler’s 4D Xperience
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Image: Warner Bros.