Episode #270 and Like a Hood Ornament 18: Welcome Author and Comic Book Artist Brian Fies
This week, I’d like to welcome author and illustrator Brian Fies, of works such as What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? and A Fire Story for another installment of the Like a Hood Ornament Rocketeer segment.
I first heard of his work on this episode of The Rocketeer Minute with Jim O’Kane and Hal Bryan (who were on episodes 249 and 250) talking, of course, about the Rocketeer but also his graphic novel, What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?, which chronicles America’s journey in the 20th century from a pre-WW2 sense of optimism in the future of less disease, better living through chemistry, jet packs for all, flying cars, and wrist communicators through the Space Race with the USSR to the gradual waning and disillusionment with space exploration in the 80s and beyond.
We also touch on his most recent work, A Fire Story, about the loss of his home in the 2017 California fires (timely especially now given that US West coast residents are again dealing with the same situation). Here’s a frame from his initial version (drawn at the time of the loss as a kind of chronicle of what was happening).
You can check out his webcomic, The Last Mechanical Monster, here (highly recommended!): https://www.gocomics.com/the-last-mechanical-monster/2020/10/07
I wanted to finish the short story, “The Last Rocketeer” in time for this episode, since they are tied together serendipitously, as we’ll discuss in the episode. Some of the lost luster of the early part of the 20th century discussed in What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? kind of reminded me of the quietly reluctant hero portrayed by Sam Elliot in The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, and I figured all these forces converging together meant I should proceed with my weird idea of combining The Rocketeer with The Last Starfighter after all. Well, the story’s done, just in time for Halloween, which figures into the end, though I won’t say how. It’s been a fun ride! I hope Cliff has earned some well deserved rest and inner peace. A few of the illustrations, mostly done with the kids in daddy day care art time:
By the way, proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to the organization Corazon de Vida (see episode 268). If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved. Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or here.
There are now Thirteenth Hour toys! If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.
If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:
Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.
Stay tuned. Follow along on Spotify! There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.
As always, thanks for listening!
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