Episode 264: A Life in Fandom and A Sense of Wonder

I’m a big believer in knowing where you come from.  I think having a sense of history is important, which is probably why I loved DC’s legacy characters back in the ’90s and early 2000’s.  I consider Barry Allen meeting Jay Garrick to be one of the most important events in comic book history.

Which is why it’s such a big deal that my guest for this episode is Bill Schelly.

If you aren’t familiar with Bill and his history in comic book fandom and his writings on the history of the medium than you will be by the end of this episode.  Ostensibly Bill is here to promote the release of Sense of Wonder: My Life in Comic Fandom — The Whole Story, which comes out today, but the main reason I wanted to have Bill on the show is to talk to someone that did this sort of thing before I did.  You’ll get to hear how Bill got into comics in the early sixties, his time creating fanzines, a fateful encounter with editors at DC Comics, his short lived life as a comic book retailer and so much more.

In talking with Bill I got the sense of what it must have been like for Barry Allen to meet Jay Garrick and I can’t thank him enough for that.

You can purchase a copy of Sense of Wonder: My Life in Comic Fandom — The Whole story by clicking on this link.  Even if you have read the previous version you need to pick up this updated and expanded edition.  It’s an emotional story and one that is worth your time and money.  While your at it follow this link to check out Bill’s other books and then head on over to his site by clicking on this link to order books that aren’t available on Amazon.

Next Time: The (extremely late) first part to my Views 10th Anniversary celebration!

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  1. "Groovy" Mike Decker says:

    Fantastic job, Michael. Your skills as an interviewer have grown by light years since I first started listening to your podcasts.

    Being a life-long resident of Washington State and a frequent Seattle comic-con attendee back in the ’90s I’ve met Bill Schelly many times. Bill’s an interesting guy with a wide range of interests in and out of comics. It was always a real pleasure to talk with him about his experiences in fandom as well as other topics of mutual interest like classic movies and James Bond novels.

    The last time I saw Bill was just after the publication of the first edition of SENSE OF WONDER: A LIFE IN COMIC FANDOM in 2001. My mother had some serious, and eventually fatal, health problems at that time and being her full-time caregiver meant I no longer had the time, energy or the funds to devote to conventions.

    After all these years I’m really glad to hear that Bill Schelly has released an expanded version of his memoir. I still have my autographed copy of the fist edition which I’ve re-read many times. I’m looking forward to getting the new book and finally learning the rest of the story.

    Thanks again, Michael, for producing such a fine variety of podcasts here at the Fortress of Baileytude. You do good work and I always look forward to the latest episodes.

    “Groovy” Mike

  2. Mazinger1978 says:

    Awesome episode Michael, thanks for having Bill Schelly on. I read his Otto Binder book over the holidays, and it was phenomenal. I wasn’t aware he’d written other books, but now that I know, I’ll be picking them up.

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