Welcome to this week’s installment of “On a Geekly Basis,” a feature that profiles awesome geeky people and things! This week we want to introduce you to William J. Meyer, fellow Geekie Award winner and writer/creator of Fire on the Mound, a podcast novel!
Oh, I suppose I’ll go with geek. I’m not sure what the difference is, and I’m afraid to find out.
I think it was at the same moment I realized I was something of a Trekker. For some reason I was thinking about a cat. Lieutenant Commander Data’s cat, from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. I remembered the cat’s name was Spot. I was like, “Oh, guess I’m a Trekker.”
I started collecting comic books in grade school. A local TV station played the 1960’s SPIDER-MAN cartoon at 3pm — right when school let out. We lived just down the street, and I would run home every day, only missing about the first five minutes. That was a great show. Especially the totally insane Ralph Bakshi episodes. His version of Spider-Man’s origin left an indelible impression on me. When Peter Parker realizes he could have stopped a thief days before, the same thief who just killed Uncle Ben, Peter says to himself, “…now Uncle Ben is dead…and in a sense it’s really I who killed him.” I mean, what a thing for a kid to hear. The origin story didn’t shy away from Peter’s guilt! From then on I would save my allowance, ride my bike to the grocery store across town, and buy THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. I started writing my own comics, and that eventually transitioned into writing short stories, and later novels and scripts.
Tough question! Hmmm, it might be the Marvel Universe, since it seems to have been there from the very beginning. I especially love the Silver Age. The worlds of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Bill Everett, and so on— such a rich, ebullient quality— wild, mythological stories full of hope and wonder, with strong moral dilemmas. I also enjoy DOCTOR WHO, which my Uncle Al introduced me to, back when Tom Baker was transitioning to Peter Davidson. Our local PBS station had DOCTOR WHO marathons on Sundays for their pledge drives. That was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, though it meant commandeering the TV for most of the day, which my Dad wasn’t too keen on! Also, the aforementioned STAR TREK. The original STAR TREK ran after the 10 O’Clock news when I was in high school. I watched it without fail. Years later I discovered my favorite TREK duo in Ben and Jake Sisko. I know most folks would say Kirk and Spock, but the father and son dynamic really connects with me. Who doesn’t want their father to be a hero? A Starfleet captain? Yet, there’s an intrinsic distancing involved, since Ben had so many responsibilities, and Jake eventually lost his father to those responsibilities. And I have to mention ROBOTECH. The perfect sci-fi romance, in my opinion. There’s another cartoon that didn’t shy away from heavier issues. Rick Hunter has a tremendous arc. Or the death of Roy Fokker, for instance. He didn’t go out in a blaze of glory, but from internal injuries after a battle. And the way that scene was handled— he’s playing the guitar and you’re in the other room with his girlfriend, Claudia, and suddenly the guitar stops. Amazing.
I’m about half-way through producing FIRE ON THE MOUND, a podcast novel. Several years ago I wrote a fantasy novel and a friend suggested that I turn it into a podcast. It’s part radioplay, part audiobook, with vocal performance, sound effects, and an original score. It’s read by Steve Rudolph, and the music is by William Seegers. We were recently named Best Narrative Audio Series by the Geekie Awards, which is how I met Emily and Peter of Wrong Button! The story is about a young boy learning to cope with the death of his father, and meeting the man responsible for his father’s death, and hating him. Pure hatred. But through a crisis, they strike up a reluctant friendship. Mythological forces erupt around them, and they are swept up in a celestial conflict. Besides the main content of the podcast, we also have maps, artwork, trailers, and behind-the-scene videos.
That’s tough. Real tough. Maybe Luke Skywalker? In his later years. The wise Jedi Master. Think about Mark Hamill’s face at the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI. The firelight playing off his features. He is no longer the simple farm-boy from Tatooine. He’s seen things. He’s made mistakes. Yet he has endured. He has been transformed. He would have incredible wisdom to pass on, if we could grab a coffee together, or run around some slimy mud hole for a few hours. Though I don’t think I could carry him on my back.
I lived in Wisconsin until about three years ago. Then I moved to Los Angeles to continue working on screenplays. I love the movies of Ingmar Bergman, Martin Scorsese, Akira Kurosawa, Orson Welles, Elia Kazan, Darren Aronofsky. On and on. I love writing. It brings me joy. It’s like having a bottomless toy chest. You open it up, and there’s always a new toy inside. When I was five I ate an earthworm.
Are you a Dungeon Master, gamer, cosplayer, have a geeky podcast, blog, or an extensive action figure collection? Are you a comic book writer/artist or storeowner? Do you make geektastic films or viral videos? Are you into geeky crafts or creations? We want to hear from you for a weekly feature on our blog!
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