FW Presents: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! with Jim Beard

 

Writer/editor Jim Beard discusses his new book, Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 –Season One with Chris Franklin. The two talk about the book, Jim’s writing career, their fandom histories, and lots more, as they tangent from Star Trek, to the Monkees and back to Gotham City!!!

Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 –Season One is available on Amazon!

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Clip credits:

Clips from Batman movie (1966) movie trailer

Music from Batman movie (1966) by Nelson Riddle

33 responses to “FW Presents: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! with Jim Beard

  1. POW! What a fun show, fellas!

    I of course grew up on BATMAN like you guys did, and I can distinctly remember the moment I was watching an episode (I think it had the Joker) and I had a new thought: “Hey…I think this is SUPPOSED to be funny.”

    Related, while I never fell out of love for the show, I did grow exasperated that it basically equaled comic books as a whole to the greater population. Another memory is when a local new station here did a report on the upcoming 1989 movie, describing it as “A sequel of sorts to the 1960s TV show.” I practically exploded with nerd rage! “NO! THIS IS THE DARK AND GRITTY BATMAN DAMMIT!! HAVEN’T ANY OF YOU HEARD OF THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS?!?”

    Sorry. I thought I was over it.

    Anyway, after starting with Chris’ chapter (which led me to re-watch the episodes in question–yep, Batman is truly Sponge Worthy), I am now about a third through the book and enjoying it very much. For a show meant to be so of the moment, Batman has endured far longer than anyone could have ever expected.

    Thanks for stopping by the network, Jim!

    1. Rob, I’m with you. Whenever someone in the media mentioned Batman ’89 as a follow-up to the 60s series, my eyeballs made like a slot machine. Clearly, these people had no idea that the source material was varied, and Batman had been “dark” for the past two decades (although much of the 70s stuff is now quaintly “light” by comparison to what’s transpired since).

      Thanks for buying the book and reading my chapter first. 😉 Holy Household Cleaning Utensils!!!

      Chris

  2. What a great show about a book that you made sound SO interesting, I actually ordered and bought while I was listening to you talk about it! That’s some great salesmanship powers y’all have there!
    The conversation between you was such fun; too often I would hear your comments and I would shout at the computer, “Me, too!” Not just watching to see if Batgirl was on the episode, but also not really understanding that there were “seasons” and therefore reasons for what was happening (or not happening). And the comments about child vs adult were very insightful, because I, too, remember noticing as a teen-ager that my beloved show was actually a comedy.
    Nice, classy act to call out Rob for his work on Hey Kids, Comics! book, too.
    I already have my copy of 14 Miles to Gotham, and I think I’ve met Jim at Columbus Comic-Con (he’s from Toledo) but now I can’t wait to meet him again and get him to sign my copies. And you, too, Chris!
    (bat-salutes as I rush out the door)

  3. Enjoyed the show. I talk JSA and Batman with Jim often at conventions. Speaking of surviving bat actresses, I still got Sherry Jackson’s phone number when she called me one night to explain why the autograph I ordered was late. Getting the autograph was great but the phone call was awesome! Nice job guys!

  4. I haven’t read either book (shame on me, I know) but will definitely check them out. I never fell out of love with the 1960s Tv show because I knew I probably wouldn’t have gotten into comic books without it.

    I don’t remember the first episode I saw, but I remember the moment I got hooked : the first time Batman fired up the Batmobile and the flame spit out the tail pipe. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get to see it that often. A local station reran it when I was five, which is when I got hooked. After that station took it off, and no other local station aired it until I was 11…and they aired it at noon while I was in school, Grrrr!!!!! I still remember what episodes aired over Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break back then. When the show aired again in 89, I taped them all on VHS.

    OK, comments to a few points/questions from the your show. I don’t know why, but the only time I was ever worried about one of the duo (Robin) getting killed was the King Tut episode where Robin is on the platform over the crocodiles. I guess I thought Robin wouldn’t make it since Batman usually devised the escape. Since Batman wasn’t there, I knew Robin was done for and started to cry…My normally understanding mother let me know very quickly that if I was going to cry, I couldn’t watch the show anymore.

    Like Chris, I had a huge crush on Batgirl starting with the reruns when I was 11. I only started to like girls once I saw Jane Seymour in Somewhere in Time. Once I saw a few Catwoman episodes over Christmas, I realized Jane wasn’t going to be a one-time thing. Catwoman was purrrrfect! That summer, the Batgirl reruns started and I got a huge crush on her that lasted until….ummmm….urrrr…that is….Well, I’ll let you know when I finally get over her. To this day, one of the reasons I still hate Green Arrow so much is because he stole Batgirl’s back-up spot in Detective.

    Strangely, I never had TV crushes on girls my age. It was always on the grown ladies, and a lot of them from 60s TV, which is bad since I wasn’t born until the 1970s.

    As for Star Trek, yeah, the Alternative Factor is awful, but I still say And The Children Shall Lead is the episode I most dislike. And Spock’s Brain may be awful but it is awfully entertaining. Some of my nerd friends and I still say “Brain? What is Brain?” to each other. How can you not love when Spock is telling McCoy how to hook his brain back up during the surgery? Knowing that I like Spock’s Brain, do you still want me to buy the books?

    1. Hey, no worries! We’ll wait while you catch up! :)

      Thanks so much for listening and sharing your own stories with us.

      Jim

    2. Of course we do, Gothos! “Spock’s Brain” is far from the worst episode of Trek. Just the most notorious for being bad. Partially because it broke Nimoy. He had really had it by that point. What most people forget is the episode was written by the patron saint of TOS…Gene L. Coon, using a pseudonym. “The Children Shall Lead” is a pretty horrible episode. Thinking lawyer Marvin Belli could act was part of the problem.

      Batman aired pretty consistently throughout my childhood on Channel 19 out of Cincinnati until about 1984 or 85…then it was gone. The last episodes aired back to back was the two-parter with Leslie Gore as Pussycat, Catwoman’s sidekick, who brainwashes Robin. A good one to go out on, but man, I was so depressed when I looked at the TV Guide listings for the next week!!!

      Chris

      1. That Darn Catwoman/Scat Darn Catwoman were the last two episodes that aired over the Christmas 1982/New Year’s 1983 vacation. I’ll always have a fondness for them.

  5. This was a great discussion and a very fun episode, guys! I’m still processing all the information you covered, but my immediate takeaway is… I definitely want to learn more about the pulp projects Jim is shepherding.

        1. I’d be very happy to do an entire Monkees episode. Lifelong fan, and I have a fiction anthology inspired by the Monkees.

          Jim

          1. Great, now I have to confirm, did I order Jim Beard’s MUMMY fiction anthology or MONKEE fiction anthology? OK, I bought what I intended. Had me second-guessing it, there, sir!

  6. Finally got around to listening to this one today. What a thoroughly enjoyable conversation, and the Batman TV is always a favorite topic for me – as are many of the tangents you guys took.
    As to the Batman show, I’m also one of those guys who never went through a phase of being embarrassed by it or disliking it; as a really little kid, I loved it and took it quite seriously (and yes, I still recall that Robin getting eaten by the clam kind of freaked me out, too), but even after I came to the realization that it was more or less satirical, I still loved it – and probably appreciated it even more.

    Also nice to hear that there’s others out there who have no problem with season three of TOS – I felt so strongly about that one that I even wrote a post about it almost 2 years ago at the Atomic Junk Shop.

    When Jim mentioned that he’s one of those new pulp guys, I recalled that I’d seen his byline in the “Legends of New Pulp Fiction” anthology – which I have, although I’ve only read a few stories in it (you wouldn’t believe the immensity of my ‘to read’ pile).

    1. Believe me when I say without guile that I thoroughly enjoyed your enjoyment of the episode. Thanks also for the LONP shout-out – if you like my Sgt Janus story in that one, please take a look at the full Janus books on my Amazon author page.

      Jim

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