Fictitious Podcast Interview with writer J. Michael Straczynski
J. Michael Straczynski was born in New Jersey, but moved around the country twenty-one times in his first eighteen years as his father worked to avoid bill collectors and the authorities. He began his career as a journalist for local and regional magazines and newspapers before moving on to television, comic books, and movies that have earned over a billion dollars at the box office. A frequent speaker at conventions, he resides in Los Angeles when not shooting on location.
Joe is well known in science fiction fandom for creating and writing the seminal TV series Babylon 5, and recently Sense8 with the Wachowskis for Netflix. His body of work includes the films Changeling and Marvel’s Thor, acclaimed comic book runs on the Amazing Spider-Man, Rising Stars, and Midnight Nation, and influential runs on 80s animation properties He-Man, She-Ra, and The Real Ghostbusters.
About Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood
For four decades, J. Michael Straczynski has told hundreds of stories and is one of the few to successfully navigate multiple careers across various mediums. But despite his innumerable credits, his personal history has always been a mystery to his fans. Raised by damaged adults — a con-man grandfather and a manipulative grandmother, a drunken father and a mother who was repeatedly institutionalized — Straczynski grew up in slums and projects when not on the road, crisscrossing the country twenty-one times by the time he was eighteen as his father tried desperately to escape the consequences of his past.
To survive this environment, Joe found refuge in his beloved comics, immersing himself in imaginary worlds populated by superheroes whose powers allowed them to overcome any adversity. The deeper he read, the more he came to realize that he, too, had a superpower: the ability to tell stories and make everything come out the way he wanted. The result was a writer’s journey that would take him beyond anything he could have imagined, a story that is as uplifting as it is sometimes tragic, quirky, and hopeful and often surprisingly funny.
Becoming Superman lays bare the facts of Straczynski’s life: a story of creation and darkness, hope and success, a larger-than-life villain and a little boy who broke the cycle of violence to become the hero of his own life. It is also a roadmap for success as a writer and a compelling behind-the-scenes look at some of the most successful television series and movies recognized around the world.