Gettysburg’s Address 5 – Kelly Thompson

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Gettysburg's Address

Gettysburg’s Address

You’re listening to the Gettysburg’s Address Podcast and I’m sitting in the Busy Little Beaver Studios in Maryland, and my guest today is author Kelly Thompson.

Recently I was talking with a friend about why I, as a 47 year old, still read comic books and enjoy the current crop of superhero films and television shows that seem to have taken over the big and small screen. I replied that I grew up reading comics and while the stories and art today are superior to those from my younger days, there is still something comforting and even nostalgic about reading comics. They are a connection to my youth when my I would sit with my friends and we’d argue about the important topics of our lives, like if The Thing or The Hulk would win in a fight, or if Thor could beat Superman.

Now we have the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the Marvel series on Netflix, there’s the Arrowverse on The CW and DC, while I think they are falling short with their own cinematic universe but from everything I have seen of the upcoming Wonder Woman film may be getting things turned around, and the DC animated films have been strong entries for viewers.

But there is something special about going to the local comic book store, and yes I am going to shamelessly give a shout-out to my local store, Beyond Comics, browsing the new release wall and pouring through the older issues looking for something that catches the eye. I am still searching for the first issue I ever got in the mail back when I was young and my mother said I could subscribe to one comic, and my choice was The Fantastic Four, and one day I will find issue #214, buy it and put it in one of the frames they sell for comics. Not because it was an outstanding issue, thought I still remember the story, but because it was the first comic I got on a regular basis and looked forward to getting in the mail and reading every month.

It was a few weeks ago I was in Beyond Comic and there was something that caught my eye on the counter, issue number one of the new Hawkeye series. I have always been a fan of Hawkeye, there was always something about Clint Barton that appealed to me, starting out as a villain then becoming an Avenger even though he has no real superpowers but is a damn good shot as an archer. I was beyond happy when in the last few years there was a solo Hawkeye book, and it was outstanding. Then a new Hawkeye was introduced, a young woman named Kate Bishop, and yes, I fell for her as a character. She’s young, sarcastic, sassy and flawed. So seeing Hawkeye number one with Kate Bishop I was mildly upset I had not kept up and known the series was coming, but after reading the issue I was hooked and it was immediately placed on my pull list.

Kate Bishop is like a lot of the stories I am really enjoying lately. While I will always consider Batman to be the diamond of comics, I have been enjoying the stories like Ms. Marvel, a young Pakistani heroine named Kamala Khan, or the new team of teen heroes The Champions. Maybe because I am happy to see young heroes, or because the stories are written with some wonderful humor and realistic character conversations, the youth movement in the heroes is proceeding with success, at least to me.

Back to Kate Bishop. After reading Hawkeye #1 I checked to see who the writer is and saw it is Kelly Thompson. I found her on Twitter and was sincere in my praise when I said her writing was fantastic and that the only thing I could say is it was very Gail Simone-like. Listeners to this or The G and T Show have heard me discuss Gail Simone and how her writing of the Batgirl series actually helped me with my own PTSD and lifted me in a very dark time, a suicidal time, in my life. I was overjoyed when Kelly Thompson responded that she didn’t take offense to the comment and was flattered. No stranger to writing, Kelly is the author of two novels, The Girl Who Would Be King and Storykiller, as well as other comics as diverse as Jem and the Holograms, Ghostbusters: Deviations, Heart in a Box, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, A-Force, Star Wars Annual, Lumberjanes: Don’t Axe, Don’t Tale and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink.

So what is it that drew her, no pun intended, to the world of comics, how did she break in and so many other topics.

We address that and much more with Kelly Thompson, in this episode.


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