Its Gotta Be Creative
Its Gotta Be Creative

Season 5, Episode 2 · 7 months ago

Anthony Pollock, Founder of Soda & Telepaths


In this episode of Its Gotta Be Creative, we are joined by Anthony Pollock, Founder of Soda & Telepaths. Soda and Telepaths is a boutique Pop Culture Public Relations and Promotion company with experience working in the Comic Book and Graphic Novel Industry. They specialize in connecting clients with individuals looking to buy and invest in the latest and greatest Pop Culture Projects. As always, this interview is filled with knowledge, insight, and of course, creativity.

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But in Anthony pollock. I'm the founder of promotional pop culture website so are and teller pass. I am also a podcaster for a podcast called my kind of weird and I also handle pump, handle publicity and marketing for a select group of Comic Book Clients. Welcome back to another episode with Goy to be creative. I'm your host, Aa Dar Alio, and, as always, you have an amazing show ahead. To sit back black joy a show. Do you know you always wanted to work in comics and work in that type of field, like the creative stuff, or you know, do you have a different dream? When you were a kid now, actually had no idea wanted to work in comics. The the idea behind sod and telepats originally was to create a blog and just to talk about things that I like, like science fiction, horror. Comic books eventually came into it and it just came from a really simple idea, which initially the I had a couple of bloggers that weren't weren't really getting much traction, weren't really getting, I guess, the raiders on their websites, so they volunteered to write for me as contributors and since then it's just kind of, I guess, snowboard into what it is now. It's now a website that gets between five and TENZERO readers every month. That has given me the opportunity to take a step back and allow the contributors, who I trust a hundred percent, to create great material on great articles. So that allows me to just be the editor and the websites and just oversee those sorts of things. Also allows me to focus on my podcast as well, where I get different guests on and talk about not only them and what they're pitching, but also we get them to pitch three kinds of weird, something watchable, something readable and something listenable to talk about, and I do the same thing back and it creates sort of this, I guess, this friendly atmosphere where we can talk about what makes us nerdy. That's actually one of my favorite Parson about your podcast is that, three little pieces, I always find some like new thing to watch, to read wherever through that. So I actually like every when I first heard it I was like man, I really love this. Concerts such a good such a good way to get people talking, and so Kudos to you, because I have really loved this, Huh, from a came from a really simple idea. And when you go around to our friend's house for drinks or just a chat, and you know, you sit down, you know, you have those surface level discussions, how you're going house, things, exceter except you sit down your crack, crack open a cold one and you start to have the chat around. What are you checking out, what are you winto? What have you been reading to, what have you been listening to? And then I came to the realization actually pitching to each other why we should check things out and here the reason why. And then, you know, anyone else sitting, you know, around the campfire, around the table, come back to oh that sounds good, I'll check that out. All that's that's rubbish of saying. That not not my thing. So, yeah, it came from really simple idea as well, outside of the simple ideas of the best ones, right you, you didn't think, you know, you didn't know you were going to be here. As a kid. was there like a dream at you know, like right like chef firefighters, so, you know, some like kid dream that kind of you know, was through your childhood, or or was there more of like a really focused idea or like you know that was very close to you. You'RE A kid. I may not. I didn't really have the dream of getting into comic books. I come from a town that is, well, it's a city. It's New South...

Wales as second largest coastal city after Sydney, so it's about two three hours away. So I never really had that dream of I don't think anyone has that dream of I want to be a blogger one day. And if you do with that dream, I I guess I need to question your your upbring but Um, I guess music has always been a love. Anything that's sort of on the fringe in terms of ideas and concepts has been a as an adult, has been an ongoing thing that I, like my parents, come from not what I would call successful careers. My mum turned around her life and ended up turning her career into a successful one, but the other aspects of our family don't come from necessarily what I would call overly successful industries or jobs, and so I never really had that sort of I want to be a doctor, I want to be a lawyer, etc. Etc. On. My my parents always thought that I should be a lawyer because I'm always up for good argument, a good debate, but for me it was anything creative. I would have loved to be in, but I always just wanted to sort of just break the trend of being not successful. Yes, that's that's sort of what I've strived for suddenly after I became an adult and certainly into my s as well. And I mean everyone wants to be a rock star. That's the golden answers. But yeah, but I never really had the I want to be a firefighter thing because I don't know, being a firefighter sounds like a lot of work. Definitely, we're sure. Yeah, I never really had that that as a kid, graberry, you did was there music seeing that you're kind of part of when you're a kid? You know, like, did you do that in high school or anything like that? I came from a really staunch right wing Christian upbringing, so a lot of things that I was taught and the way I've ended up as an adult very much polar opposites. So it wasn't really a sight. So I sort of need to find the music saying that I wanted to be be a part of a need to sort of find that saying that and those friendships that I wanted to be a part of by exploring through things like music, through comics, through through all sorts of things. So you Greek comics growing up? Yeah, definitely. I it's funny how with comics growing up you find them different ways. I find everyone's story is different, everyone's journey is different. I originally got into comics, I'm pretty sure, through the xmen cartoon, through the spider man cartoon. I'm a big sort of tragic when it comes to any kind of anthropomorphic sort of cartoon or comic book or or movie in general. So you sort of you get to a point where the the cartoons are over, but you sort of want more. You wanted to ball more. You want to explore different world. So over here in Australia we didn't really have comic book shops, not in the mainstream anyway, until sort of the late s as when they start to pop up. So I think over there in the US, for you guys, it was probably early s late s when they first started popping up. So will definitely behind her. So I'd got to music agents and things like that and pick up like comic books and pick up you know, the odd graphic novel and all those sorts of things and sort of expand on my sort of thinking. I remember being really,...

I guess, my my sort of my view points and what else taught from my parents and things like that, being really challenged by a by Luke cage comic book which I picked up once, and that that comic book was just okay. There's a African American character who just really just kicks US and takes names and it was just a it was just a real mind blowing thing for me to he was very much a lace back with this kind of book. This is an s comic book that I picked up, so it's very much ant he authoritarian and things like that. So it's starts to really challenge, I guess, what I was taught to. Challenges Challenge my perceptions of the world and I felt like that's what fiction should really do it the end of the day. It should really challenge what you know already. It should explore different things in terms of if you know, rice, religion, politics, etc. Etc. If ought isn't challenging you, then you're not digesting the right top of art or you're not getting from the yacht what you should get. Agree that I really right above her. I have once was it I think, six different COM books. I kind of switch out every once in a while, but they're all comic books that, you know, it isn't just about, you know, the Captain America or whatever the specific character is. It's what I'm working I look up better. I'm like all right, you know, like the stories we tell have to push people to maybe be like hey, you know what, maybe I was wrong about this or, you know, let me think about it from this new whatever. It's interesting. You said that Um was the cartoons and everything. For me, I first guy introduced with it, mostly because I wanted to design theme parts. Still do with some point, but I was like hey, like, oh, Disney bought this. Would like, let me check this out. This seems cool. And then they started, you know, obviously with all the iron man. When I saw the first iron a movie, I was like cool, this is really cool. And just happens that I've lived down the street from the joking we're school, which is like, you know, a very hand big yeah, exactly. So I started taking Saturday classes there and it I was like, well, this is a cool medium. And then, how many years later, like five years later, I the apartment building that my family owned and we lived in. Whenever Mike Martz's energy now at after shock, but he was at the time at Marvel. He just finished up at DC and everything. Yeah, your episode with him. Oh, yeah, yeah, his story is crazy. It's at that was one of my favorite ones. Yeah, I mean he was just all over the place and that's when I was like Oh, man, like they're there, isn't? There's so much more than just, you know, Captain America or the DC characters, the things that you know. Everyone knows what comics. You can really tell these crazy stories. And then, you know, obviously Mike was like, Hey, I'm going to go do this thing with, you know, after shock room, but do those stories, and I was like yeah, okay, I'll you need help, I'll help. So it's you're right, like totally. Everyone has a different story, not only to get a common books but in general. Right, one of the cool things with the podcast and everything is hearing everyone's journey because, you know, obviously I know Mike ends up at I have shock. You know, like I know what the people I serie. You're ruining the COMM series. You're not the guest today. God but yeah, he said, like, you know, like obviously I know where these people's careers are at and everything, but it's so interesting to hear that journey. I mean Mike who I've been you know, I've known for like six, seven years down there's so much stuff in the pockets. I was like wait, what are you kidding me? How that never come up? But it's like, you know, how often in your day do you like hey, how did you get to your you know, like what was the journey you took to get here? So at what point where you like, Hey, maybe I should go do this, like Web site bibbly? How did that kind of come into play? was there? was there like just they got hey, I want to go... this, or was there a few moments they're the cay, this is missing. I may have be able to do something here. So came from a void of not having any artistic outloader or expression. I've been fortunate enough that I've had a pretty successful sales and marketing career in the point that I can put my kid through school and not have any problems or worries about finances. I you know, if if my wife lost her job, then you know, we could sort of get by it. So you know that it's fall enough to be comfortable, but it just kind of came to the point where you so you living to work, and I mean that's great to an extent, but there's a point where you're going to become that sort of bitter person who didn't have some kind of outlet, and that's where it really came from, just to start a blog, to start game idea, ideas out there. I mean leading up to it of had people said to me, Oh, you should start a podcast, or you should, you know, start a blog, or you should, you know, you got a lot of good ideas and that's where it originally came from for me. So finding seeing a need within myself and sort of acting on it. You kind of touched on the marketing everything. How did you get into that field before you kind of shifted into much of we you know, started doing this this this olar stuff. Was that something that you've kind of we're just interested in at some point, like really on, or was it just a career like hey, this seems interesting, I need a job, like they out, let's go do it. Sales and marketing has kind of that, I guess, that sort of that perception that it's sort of that high pressure but high rewards aspect to it. And so I was turning twenty and going to it like a job. My the interview was just like Hey, we need to do this, this and this. If you if you do these things, if you follow this this process, then it you'll fill following rewards. And for me it's just like I can do that, I don't care what I have to do that, I'm I'll do that because, again, coming from sort of mid to lower class in terms of money's family it it just sort of, I guess, lit the fire in my belly to to succeed and and I found that when it comes down to it, you want a job that's going to not be so niche that if you lost said job, that you can't, you know, move on with your life. The I guess, the the idea that people can have about I want this job and I should be able to stay in this job for my entire career. I find that's a very alien concept to me. I agree. I don't think it's a pastable expectation for you to just stay in the same position and not only stay in that position and hope, fingers cross, that the company is going to remain viable for, you know, forty, fifty years of your working life. But it's also odd, it's not expectation to have that that you'll stay with that same place and not learn and want to grow. Really leads the you know, you growing and everything. So what was that process for you to trying to getting it off the ground? They rate? Where did you start? When you like, Hey, Le Let's, people were telling me to do these type of things, the raid, let me, let me go, try to do this now. I mean for me it was it was pretty simple as as about setting starting a understanding what my interests were and how they could possibly a line with a guess, a potential reader myself. I've always been a huge science fiction and horror guy. I can talk your ear off about the the the s horror, I guess saying, and I guess period as well. At the same time I can talk to you're off about science fiction and you know, I can talk to you about things like,... know, the obscure television shows like earth too versus Battlestar Galactica. So it's about sort of I guess, understanding that these are my strengths and let's play into their strengths and let's say if I can, if I can not only write, but I can also get people interested in my writing as a whole. And then how far along into that process did you kind of then start doing the podcast and all that? Ye, in I originally did the podcast with its original format with a friend where we were doing doing reviews of a season of TV. But then that friend he at the time he had a form of blood cancer. So from his perspective he wanted something his kid could digest. Thankfully he's fine now, but the problem is is he doesn't have the time to do the podcast. Or what do I do? What do I how do I maintain the need to talk about science fiction and horror? How do I move forward? So I was about sort of changing the format into what it is now. It's it's a podcast where I'm getting people to pitch what they're into and then me pitching what I'm into and then we both bounce ideas off that and see if each other is into the thing that we're swamping so that the current format, it's only it's only really three four months old, so it's still pretty new, but I'm getting a lot of feedback from creators and the comics world, in the horror film world and things like that, who really like the new format. I like the idea of something different rather than just I interview podcasts offense. I'm thinking so those one of the things I noticed about years was it's engaging and fun and I think it's it's really good. Do you find that it was hard to kind of make that pivot when you kind of switch the different formats, or did you find like, because of the new format being so open and free it was it was kind of easier just to have more like, you know, like fine engaging conversations to May I've always looked at the podcast as an extension of Soda and Tell Pass as you know, regardless of which turn the podcast night, it was still always an extension of something that people can concern because not everyone has the time to jump onto a website and read up on a on the lightest comic book, on the latest horror movie that just you know, or if they do, they quickly, you know, skim through it so see what's happening and then that's the end of it. So for me, podcasting is it's a extension of my locks, it's an extension of my personality, so also an extension of the brand as well. You have a integrate in like your strategy for the overall website and everything, or have you had to build that in now that you kind of have expanded into that? So the strategy of the website originally was to be a blog. It's changed from there to be a promotional pop ultra website. I state it's promotional because the way that we do our reviews, our articles and things like that is to give people a reason a buy and as to why they should check out said product or said comic, Orse said movie or and that's the perspective of always had and maintained and what I instruct my riders to do as well to to like I'll say them, do you guys want to review this great or if you going to give a negative piece, give me the reason why you give me that negative paste. Don't just be saying that, you know, excomics is a dog's breakfast without logically justifying why it's a dog's breakfast, you know. And then from there, I've been fortunate enough to network with other... owners and website owners. So I figured, how do I move forward to I just stay where I am? Do I just review things? Do I just put up articles, you know, weekly, or break the Molt of doing something front where I can sort of bridge the gap between Creator and, I guess, where they need their stuff, with on other websites being promoted or or on podcast being promoted or I found that, after so much time and after the networking that I've done, the contacts are made, I was uniquely position to not only understand, from a website on a perspective, the I guess, running a website, but also understanding the pain points of a creator, using that unique positions to sort of streamlined it as much as I can to sell them to a to a website or you true, but to a podcaster. And and do you find it was difficult when you started to like bring on more writers and kind of go make that switch of like okay, like you know you're not reading every piece now, and going more at it like editor role? I think that's toughest thing is when you start something, is understanding that at the start it's you doing it, a hundred percent of it. You're so invested into it, you become a control free definitely, and there's the challenge of letting go and there's the challenge of understanding that if you've done the right thing as the founder, even as a manager, if you've done the right thing in training your staff, then you should be able to let go of certain tasks and hand them on to other people to do what you've empowered them to do. I think the hardest thing is is letting go of that control, sometimes that creative control. But the thing is, if you've if you've empowered your people to do correctly what you've set out to do, then they shouldn't be that fear so much. You know, I totally agree with that. What is your like strategy right now for where you see it going over next like year or so? You know, they were the as goals. You kind of want to see it hit as just an overall brand or even just, you know, blending it with the the podcast, everything like that. I want to be in a position where I can not quit my day job, because it's always good to have that fallback, because, I mean, that's the last years taught us. You know, everything's finite, especially the comics. In three so true that I say myself stepping, stepping back so that I can at least go to part time in my day job, so I can spend at least two three days a week working a hundred percent on what I've created with wiser until past. So we're doing great things as well. We're doing things like what I mean. We're doing publicity and marketing for creators, for things like that, kickstarters and all those sorts of things. I see myself, with my clients as an opportunity to also give them a bit of knowledge when it comes to future kickstarters, future marketing of comic books, of film, of or whatever it is that they have. They then now have a way of approaching it from a different angle. I'm a huge believer of when you buy something, you buy it from someone and you're buying that person. You're buying their expertise, you're buying what they can bring to the table, especially for creators and everyone and everyone new needs that help with it. Do you I just is actually a perfect kind of spart. The go into this the last segment, which would be giving advices creators out there who may be trying to the drag. How do they get into their you know, marketing or stuff, key starter, stuff like that. You should always have a fallback at least to get your thing off the ground. About a year and a half ago I saw this creator. That said, I've quit my job. I'm now doing comics full time. That's great, dude. You've got a wife. How does...

...she feel about that? Yeah, what what are you doing to pay the bills? Obviously you know costs of living in certain areas in, you know, United States is a little bit lower than over here in Australia. But again, like, why wouldn't you want to try and find a way to balance the balance the two things? I am all for anyone finding their, I guess, their emotional truth and and how that emotional truth manifests itself into like a thing, a product, to blog, website, a you know. How you go about things, then it's going to resonate with people. If you do what others expect of you, then it's not going to resonate so well, and so you might not find your audience, not to start with, but I think you will start to find your audience if you pivot and figure ouut what do I want this thing to be? What do I want to be known for those sorts of things. I think can you know, just really help out anyone? Yeah, I mean, even if you just it's a great sort of discussion to have with the Self, even if you're sort of stuck in your career. You know, whatever it is could be corporate. You could be lying bricks at, you know, for a building somewhere and put it. I think it's a good idea to to find out. You know, what matters to me what am I getting out of this versus what could I be getting out of this if I enjoyed what I do? Agree. So, for the listeners, where can they find you? Our social media, you know, like what's website, your podcasting, everything work, and they go to find everything you're up to you and stay up to date with it all. Yes, also got a soda and telepastcom. You can find all the links on there. You can subscribe to our mailing list on there if you want to. At the bottom of any article on there, you can also go check out my kind of weird on wherever you get your podcast. Get us on twitter, go to at side a, telepast, SIDATL PAT HS and send me, you know, height mail. Ask Me why the name. You know. Do what you want to, but keep your Dick picks to yourself for response. That's it for this week. As always, thanks for tuning in. Don't forget to subscribe. If you get an operate when new episodes are what as an instagram at. It's got to be creative podcast and subscribe for you can channel for exclusive video. That well, that's it. This is there the wheel signing on.

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