My podcast has had the awesome chance to do a couple of interviews lately. We'll have more coming up soon, but feel free to check out the current ones. The interview in its entirety below!
Leo Johnson: So, I have with me here today Jim Zub, Jim Zubkavich, writer and co-creator of Skullkickers.
Jim Zubkavich: That’s right. Hey, how’s it going?
Leo: So, we’ll go ahead and get started with the questions. Jim, could you tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are, what you do. Just to let the listeners know.
Jim: Sure. I’m a comic book writer and creator. I’m based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. And I’ve been working sort of in the comic book business, kinda more broadly since about 2003, working with the UDON Studio. I’ve contributed to a bunch of their different art projects and their story projects, most notably some stuff on the Street Fighter comics. In late 2010, I launched my own Image Comics series called Skullkickers, and I’ve been running with the ball ever since then, working on my own projects and doing more freelance writing and things like that. It’s been a lot of fun.
Leo: So, how did you initially get involved in the business. I know you said you worked at UDON for a little bit, but how did you initially get started?
Jim: My first semi-professional stuff, I did my own webcomic online in 2001, 2002, and through that I started going to a couple of conventions and I met different people and I became friends with some different people from the comics business and it kinda grew then. About a year later, I started working at the UDON Studio. I had moved back into town, into Toronto, and a friend of mine named Omar Dogan introduced me to the rest of the guys at UDON, and I got a job there, what was supposed to originally be a summer job, and I’ve been there ever since, working in various capacities at the company and slowly but surely learning a lot about comics and getting myself involved in the industry.
Leo: You said you did a webcomic? We talk a lot about webcomics on the podcast too, because we think that’s a great media as well.
Jim: Absolutely. That’s the thing. At the time, back in 2001, 2002, it was sort of a weird thing. There were some webcomics and there were some people starting to get popular with them,but it was still sort of an outlier thing where people were doing this, putting out there stuff. Most of it was newpaper strip kind of driven, and there’s a lot of that out there. Now, the webcomics are the most read comics pretty much on Earth, and the internet is the mainstream delivering medium for just about every entertainment. So, it’s been amazing watching that change in the industry and the way that everything works, and the way that people see comics and see all sorts of media that way. You know, the whole publishing industry is going through this upheaval with digital content and e-publishing and the whole ten yards.
Leo: What was the name of your webcomic, if you don’t my asking?
Jim: No, no problem. It was called The Makeshift Miracle. It was this idea I had. I wanted to tell a much different kind of story. I wasn’t doing a humor strip; it was a dramatic story. Kind of like Sandman meets Stand By Me kind of stuff. So, it was this coming of age story and things like that. The interesting part is that I did that for a year and half and I told the story online, and I got to meet all sorts of cool people who started reading it. Most notably probably was Scott McCloud and people like that, so I started making friends in the industry because of it. And then, ten years later, I would work with UDON, and they found an amazing artist in Hong Kong and for the last year or so, I’ve been actually doing a new version of The Makeshift Miracle that we’re running online. So, I was able to go back, and rewrite, rebuild it from the ground up. And that’s been really a cool experience; kind of a neat, full-circle experience.
Leo: That’s really cool. I’ll definitely have to check it out.
Jim: Totally. It’s been running now since September. We’ve been running the new one online, and the first published book came out just over a week ago.
Leo: Oh, well, congratulations.
Jim: Thanks, man. Like I said, it’s been a nice full-circle feeling, being able to go back to it and kind of take a fresh look at it.
Leo: About Skullkickers, how did that come to be?
Jim: Well, the books couldn’t be any more different from each other than they already are. Makeshift Miracle is this slow, dramatic story, and Skullkickers, for any of you listeners who haven’t heard of it, is this slam-bam, over the top, it’s basically like a buddy cop movie meets Conan the Barbarian. So, it’s big action, big ridiculous sword-and-sorcery send-up, and that started in a really weird kind of way. Oh man, this would’ve been years ago, about two, two-and-a-half, almost three years ago, I was approached by Joe Keatinge from Popgun. Popgun was this new talent anthology that Image was doing. He actually didn’t approach me; he approached Chris Stevens who was an artist that was working at the UDON Studio at the time because he was a big fan of Chris’ art. So, Chris assumed they would give him a script or something, but it was actually anything you want; it was you come up with your own idea. So, when Christ told me about that, he was actually really nervous. He didn’t know what he wanted to do. He and I jammed some ideas back and forth, and I came up with this idea for these two mercenary monster hunters who cause more damage than the actual monsters they’re supposed to be hunting down. And we just came up with this fun short story and eventually I would write that into a short story called, “Two Copper Pieces”. Chris would do the artwork for it. That was published in Popgun Vol. 2. It went over really well, and people really liked it and the Popgun guys really liked it. They asked us to do another one in Volume 3. Erik Larsen, who was head publisher at Image at the time really liked it and asked us if we would like to do a miniseries or a comic series of it. And we started developing it into that. Once that started moving forward Chris had a lot of other stuff on his plate, and he had a lot of financial stuff he had to deal with and it just wasn’t in the cards for him to do the book. So, it kinda got mothballed. I thought the book was going to be dead and we would never actually get to do it. I put it on the skids, and that was that. Then, over a year later, this artist named Edwin had applied to the UDON Studio and I really liked his portfolio, but we didn’t have any projects for him. There was nothing we could offer him. So, he was just asking for advice and he needed a script to work from to put together sample pages for his portfolio. I gave him the first Skullkickers script that I had put together. Not the “Two Copper Pieces”, but the actual one Chris was supposed to do. And he ended picking up the torch, and we made a go of it. Soon enough, Edwin and I decided to do the book, and with Chris’ blessing, we were off and running. The book came out in September 2010 and we’ve been rocking it out ever since. Our fifteenth issue will be out in just over a week in a half.
Leo: Very cool. I didn’t realize there was such a large period of stagnation where you didn’t know, where it was kind of up in the air. I didn’t realize there was such a big period of that.
Jim: Probably the weirdest part was writing issue two. I wrote issue one, and then when it didn’t happen, I put it away. I had an outline; I knew where the story was going to go. But then coming back and writing issue two over a year, a year-and-a-half, maybe even almost two years. I need to double check the dates, but it was months and months and months later. I had to come back and kind of get back into the groove of it, look and go, “What was I planning?”. So, even the way that I write between those two scripts, there’s some differences there in terms of the way I think and storytelling and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, it was nice to get back into it. Originally, it was supposed to be a miniseries so we were supposed to do a five issue miniseries for Image, and then by the time issue three was coming out, the sales were decent and there was good buzz about it, and they asked if we wanted to keep it going, and I said, “No, I’ve got- Yeah. I mean, I want to keep it going.” But I had to put together more ideas, and that when we started planning the bigger story that now we have going underway.
Leo: So, what was the draw of a action/fantasy/comedy comic over a more traditional tights-and-cape comic?
Jim: I think we’ve got enough superhero comics. Call me crazy, but I think there might be a couple of superhero books, and the shelves might be kind of saturated with them. Above and beyond that, I just wanted to put together a book that I would enjoy as a reader. I’m a big sword and sorcery fan. I love fun adventure books. I think that you can balance action and comedy and banter, and put it in a really fun, entertaining package. It doesn’t always have to be pathos and dark stuff. You know, I’ve got those kinds of stories in me too, and at some point I’m sure I’m going to write them. But the book I wanted to make a big impression was definitely a much more fun, joyous, kind of entertaining book, and big over the top kind of stuff. And the reality is, like you were saying, is the industry is known for its superhero stuff, but that definitely isn’t the only genre available. So yeah, I just wanted to do something that I as a reader wasn’t necessarily being reflected out there very much. There’s not a lot of fantasy books, and there’s not a lot of straight fun, you finish an issue and you’re smiling by the end because you’re having a good time books out there. I think everyone is so caught up in the idea that comic books need to be taken seriously, that they forget that they can be incredibly fun and entertaining and joyous.
Leo: Very cool. You do a great job just making it a good time, a good read.
Jim: Thank you! That means a lot to me, and that’s definitely one of our big goals.
Leo: Okay, so, where did the title come from? Is it just because they’re skull-kicking badasses or is there something more behind it?
Jim: Yeah, I mean, the original miniseries wraps up with the biggest of skull-kicks, right? So, the original title of “Two Copper Pieces” worked for a short story, but it wasn’t very descriptive of the concept and it wasn’t very catchy. So, when we decided to do the full series of it, we just, I was jamming different title ideas, or different title ideas and just literally putting together a list of different words and trying together and bashing them together. For a little while, the book was called Corpsekickers in the development stage, but that made it sound like they were grave diggers or something or fought the undead, and that wasn’t quite what I wanted. Skullkickers just kind of rolled out from my brainstorming and then I thought, “That sounds too good. There’s no way that’s not already taken.”, and I looked online, and skullkickers.com was available, and no one had used that real title that way, and I thought, “Holy crap. I’ve got to jump on this thing while I can.” It’s actually a really snappy title.
Leo: It is. It rolls off well. It really does. Okay, so starting with issue 14, we’re treated to something of an origins story for Baldy, or Rex as he’s known also. Can we expect something like that for Shorty, the dwarf?
Jim: Not as much. Both characters aren’t necessarily equal in terms of their revelation or something like that. The dwarf is a much more straight-forward character, and so Rex has got a much more complex history, and his gun ties into the overarcing story that we’re building. The dwarf has got a more straightforward motivation. He’s more grounded in the medieval, fantasy world, but he’s still got a part to play, obviously in the big story that we’re developing. If Skullkickers is a big sendup of sword and sorcery and fantasy stories, the clichés and all the ridiculous stuff, then the biggest fantasy cliché and the most ridiculous stereotype of fantasy is the “Heroes of Destiny”. Whether it’s the Frodo, or all those different stories, like the Dragon Lance and all those different kinds of tales, Excalibur and all that stuff. So, I want to do a gigantic sendup of those things, and an over-the-top kind of payoff of those of types of concepts, but just like everything else we’ve done with the book, do it in a way that people don’t expect. After it happens they go, “Oh, of course. That all ties together”, but in the midst of it, they can’t really see where we’re going with it.
Leo: Alright, alright. Is there a planned end in sight for Skullkickers, or can we expect the adventures to continue for a while?
Jim: There is a planned ending, actually. Right now, once we started in with the second story arc, once we knew it was going to be more than a miniseries, I felt it was important to kind of plan out at that point, and start to figure out where we were going to go with it. So, it can change, and it may change, but the current plan is six story arcs, so we’re probably looking at around thirty-six issues. So, six thin trade paperbacks, and then we did our hardback “Treasure Trove”, which is sort of a doubleup, so there’s two trade paperbacks in each hardback. So, if we did six story arcs, we would have a fantasy trilogy of hardcovers, and that would be a nice little chunk of story. So, it might change but it’s the plan we’re running with right now, and that’s the ending I have in sight. So, I expect even if the length of it changes, that ending is going to be pretty set, and I know where we’re heading at this point, and I’m building in a bunch of different elements that are going to be paying off.
Leo: So, we can expect a couple of more years of Skullkickers at least.
Jim: Exactly. Exactly. I think it’s important to have an ending, rather than be- I want to tell a big, crazy story, and I want to bulldoze through a lot of different settings and a lot of different fantasy elements, but I don’t want it to wear out its welcome. I want it to be feverish and kind of fun, and that feeling that you may not know where it’s headed, but that it’s headed somewhere, rather than being crazy for crazy’s sake. At the best case scenario, once it’s all said and done, they look back and say, “Man, I can’t believe that that all tied together. I can’t believe that there was a plan because it all seemed so ridiculous and random.” And you go, “Oh, no. As bizarre and over the top as it was, there was a plan.” And I think that would be fun; to kind of have that be what people think at the very end. You won’t believe how it all rounds up, kind of thing.
Leo: I look forward to it.
Jim: Yeah, I think fourteen is a very important issue because it shows people that there is some strange logic to what we’re doing, that there is some sort of bigger story; that it’s not just kooky, over the top. But it is. It’s not the whole sum of its parts, you know?
Leo: Are you surprised by the reception that Skullkickers has received? Did you ever think it wouldn’t be successful?
Jim: Um, it’s hard to know. You always hope that your work will be received well, so I don’t want to sit there and go, “Oh yeah! I knew it was going to be awesome!”, because it’s an uphill battle, especially when you’re talking about a genre that’s not very well represented or you’re trying to get it out to as big of an audience as you can. And that’s always difficult. I’m not well-known creator, so you need to build your audience. You need to treat them to something where they want to be loyal to it, and you need to know that that could take time, and that there’s no guarantees of visibility, even if it’s well-done, even if it’s on-time; all those different factors. It definitely helps if it’s good, but that’s no guarantee of success in any way, shape, or form. It’s been great. It’s been really cool getting it out there. It’s been great having the audience and readership grow, and have people growing attached to it, more and more. Especially, now that we’re serializing the older issues online and using that a tool to get more readers, to build up our audience and get them to try that out.
Leo: Alright. How is it working for Image? Are they a great company to work for?
Jim: I mean, Image is on a real roll, right now. It’s their twentieth anniversary, and they’re putting out such an incredible variety of stuff, and at the end of the day, they’re true to their roots, giving creators the ability to create the books they want to create. And I think that’s really valuable, and it’s kind of unique as well. There’s not a lot of other companies that have that as their mandate. It’s been cool. They’ve been supportive, and I think that as a brand and as a company they’re doing the right thing in terms of letting creators create and giving them the tools to do it in this market. So, it’s exciting to be a part of this company that, you know, twenty years ago I remember launching and going to the comic store and freaking out about and being a very tiny part of that legacy. It’s cool to…um…have a book to call my own and to control it and to be in the driver seat and to be able to make it the way I want to make it. And not have editorial interference or anyone telling me what the book is or what it isn’t…you know? That’s a very valuable and exciting thing. And the fact that Image is, you know, depending on the month, the third biggest comic book publisher in North America with really strong bookstore presence…you know…that’s huge and a great way to get my work out there and make an impression on people.
Leo: Definitely, yeah, I mean the last few years, they’ve just been killing it. Like, I don’t…it’s amazing really just for how long they’ve been publishing.
Jim: Yeah, you know, with each new series that comes out and makes a big splash, I think it’s proving to retailers and fans that they’re worth watching out for, that they’re worth following and discovering and really digging into their backlist that they have an incredible amount of variety of moods and atmospheres and art styles and genres to draw upon. And if you want great superhero books, they have superhero stuff. And if you want horror, if you want comedy, if you want…I mean just everything. They’re doing such an incredible variety because they’re not limiting it to one thing…you know? There isn’t an overpowering editorial mandate. And, yeah, there’s some misfires in there, obviously, because such an incredible variety of material that they’re producing. But, they’re willing to take risks on stuff. And they’re not limited to one particular approach.
Leo: So, okay, you touched on this a little earlier, but as a creator, you know, you have the best interest and success for the industry…
Leo: So what do you think of digital? Is it hurting or helping? What do you think it’s doing for print comics?
Jim: Um, I’ve talked about this quite a bit. The realty is that the more channels that this material is available in, the better. Everyone is being washed up in the tide of digital content. Pretending that that’s not the case is not going to change anything. Sticking your head in the sand and telling people “I’m sure it’ll all be okay” is not going to change everything. So, you can embrace that and you can be a part of it and you can try and get your message out there on top of the tide or you can just be washed under by it. So, I take a really aggressive stance on that stuff, uh, Skullkickers early issues are serializing online for free. We post up a new page every weekday, so while issue fifteen is coming out in stores in just over a week, issue five is currently running on our website. And it hasn’t hurt our sales a bit. It hasn’t hurt our issue sales; it hasn’t hurt our trade paper back sales. It’s increased it. It’s increased it at conventions. It’s increased it, uh, through book chains. It’s increased it on Amazon. It’s increased it at comic book shops. Visibility is really important. And you’re talking about hundreds of titles coming out every single month, so you need to make an impression on people. You need to prove that your product is worth their money over someone else’s. And maybe I don’t get you in single issues, but, hopefully, I can get people on trade paperbacks or I can get people on our hard covers or I can get people to buy it from me in person at conventions because they’ve read it because it’s a proven quantity that they enjoy. And so, you know, pretending that it’s not being Bittorrented or that people, you know, cant get it if they wanted, is, I think, short sided. So, you know, am I thrilled people can pirate the comic? No, but that’s not going to change it from happening, so I might as well work within the bounds of that and do everything I can to prove to people that it’s worth their money. So, I’m doing that with Skullkickers. I’m doing that with Makeshift Miracle, um, you know, basically any create your own project that I do at this point, digital has got to be a part of that release strategy because it will be whether I want it to be or not.
Leo: Yeah, I mean, you made some good points there…you really did.
Jim: And the reality is, you know, I love comic book shops. I love the print medium. I love, uh, floppy comics. I think they’re great. I think it’s a great medium, but to be totally honest, how many people go to the comic shop every Wednesday? And within the scope of that number of people, how many people are going to try something new they’ve never heard of? And then within the scope of that number of people, how many stores are actually carrying my book and putting it out prominently, somewhere where someone’s even going to want to try it? And then within the scope of those people, like, it gets to be a tinier and tinier Venn diagram. If I put it online, well, who’s online? Everyone. Well, how are they listening to this podcast right now? How are they interacting with each other? How are they interacting with their families? How are they doing their jobs? How are they living their lives? They’re living their lives online. So, if you make, if you bring a mountain to them, if you basically say, “Look, you know, you can try this thing out, you can read it. It becomes a habit. You enjoy it and now I’ve got a book. Would you like to support it?” That’s a way more attractive medium to a large percentage of the population. Does that mean I want to stop publishing comics? Not at all. Not in the slightest. I think that it’s incredibly valuable. And I don’t see one…it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game where it’s print or digital. I think it’s about just giving people the options and just letting them choose how to partake in the medium.
Leo: All right. So, okay, recently I’ve heard that you’re going to be working on a new series. Can you give us a little light on that subject?
Jim: Yeah, I mean, uh, I’m doing the Pathfinder series for Dynamite Entertainment so, um, it’s another fantasy book, which is awesome, but it’s going to be a very different feel from Skullkickers. So, where Skullkickers is a very sarcastic, action send-up of sword and sorcery, Pathfinder is more of a character ensemble and it’s story-driven, character-driven fantasy. So, it’s going to be really, really in-depth, and it’s going to be fun. But, it’s not necessarily as kooky or over the top. It’s definitely playing into more of the classic elements that I love about fantasy and telling a really strong character story. And I think that it’s really unique because it’s allowing me to scratch two really different itches within fantasy. So, I get to take this franchise and the Pathfinder audience is really big and they’re really loyal. And I kind of play within the bounds of fantasy and try and tell a really compelling character story with it. So, that’s being…its really exciting stuff…you know? I think I was being a little worried, um, that doing a comedy book would lead people to think that that’s all I was capable of, but the Dynamite guys asked me to pitch on it and Paizo, the company that runs Pathfinder, was really, really happy with the pitch I put together. And then I’m hitting the right notes for them. So, you know that’s one of the great things about being, you know, a writer as you want to show you’ve got flexibility and you’ve got a range of things you can do rather than just being one note kind of over and over again.
Leo: And you said it comes out August, correct?
Jim: Yeah, first issue comes out August. I’m signed on, I’m doing the, you know, I’m currently writing through the first story arc and, obviously, that’s well, where we wanted to continue, so I’m pumped about the possibilities and being able to develop these characters that are a part of this fantasy franchise, but have never really been developed in depth, so there’s all these fans that play the games and they know the visuals of the characters, but they don’t know the back story. They don’t have a real sense of who this cast of characters is and, you know, what their connection to each other is because it’s all just in the surface sort of element of the visuals in the game and the role-playing game where you’re…you know…you’re making your own characters, you’re not playing with their characters. So, being able to add something to their mythology and build in more depth, you know, yeah, that really excites me and it’s been a really cool project to work on.
Leo: Yeah, I mean, it sounds really cool, I mean, I know a little bit about the universe, so I’m looking forward to it.
Jim: Yeah, I’m pumped too and it’s been great interacting with both the Paizo guys, the guys who made Pathfinder, and they’ve been really cool to work with. And, also, the fans. I’ve started to post on the official message boards and getting a sense of, you know, what they love about Pathfinder, so I have a strong sense of what elements they want, uh, to see, you know, what they think are at the heart of the game, so that I keep that kind of stuff in mind as I’m working.
Leo: Mmhmm, that’s one thing I’ve noticed about a lot of independent creators is the fact that they’re more willing to cooperate with the audience.
Jim: Well, you’ve got to keep in mind that I don’t think that you know creators working on corporate books don’t want to interact with fans. It’s just you’ve got a whole different series of goals you’ve got to complete and a lot more hoops you’ve got to jump through in terms of approvals and expectations, editorially, and that’s just part in parcel of working on commercial stuff, you know, on Pathfinder, takes more time writing Skullkickers because of the approval process. Even when it goes smoothly and it usually does because we see eye-to-eye on the series, there’s still an editorial involvement on that level and that can be a very good thing as well because you get another set of eyeballs on it. You know, I wrote a Street Fighter mini-series having met and having it all approved by Capcom and going through their process, was really actually cool and neat to, uh, get a sense of what they wanted to see and to be able to meet those expectations, but also to bring some of myself to the mix. I think you’ve got to go into every project with a clear head and know what it is you’re doing, you know, if you go in, “Oh, it’s Street Fighter, but I’m going to do it my way!” That’s not yours. You’re playing in someone else’s sandbox and you have to be respectful of that, try and bring your best ideas and try and add to it, rather than just you know make a mess. So…
Leo: So, do you have any tips for someone trying to break into comics?
Jim: Um, I know this sounds…I’m not trying to sound “flip” or anything, but, uh, make comics. I know that sounds ludicrous, but people get this weird idea when it’s a creative pursuit that it should just come to them without any work, not that not any work, but that it’s just suppose to happen and either you’re inspired or not or you get an opportunity or you don’t. That’s just not the case. If I told you I wanted to be a chef, and I wanted to be a head chef at a restaurant and I ran into a restaurant and I said, “Hey! Give me a job as your chef!” People would think I was insane. But, when it comes to comics, people will happily go to a convention and say “Hey! I want to be a writer! I’ve got ideas!” and you go “That’s great. Have you ever made a comic before?” “No, but I’ve got ideas.” It’s like running into a restaurant and going “I ate a bunch of food! I’m ready to cook now!” What the hell?! It’s more than just having an idea or having partaken in a comic or having read them all your life. You should make comics. It’s just like if you want to be a chef, you would practice making food and you would get better at making food and you would have mistakes and things you get better at and maybe you’d go to school and take culinary lessons or things like that. You would improve your skills until a point where you were creating a professional level and then you would get a job in a kitchen and then you would get better at it and then at some point someone would say “Hey, I trust you to head up the kitchen” and then at some point you might break away and go “I’m going to go and make my own restaurant.” And no one really questions that when it comes to being a chef or making food or being a professional hockey player or a sports person. You’ve got to go through the triple A and all those different levels and that all makes sense to people. If I said I wanted to be a cop and I walked into the police station and said “Give me a gun and a badge. Let’s go!” But when it comes to comics, people are like “I didn’t get my chance! They’re jerks! They told me that, you know, to go away.” Well, you know you just walked in to the Marvel booth and asked them to let you write Spiderman. “Well, have you ever written a story before?” “No, but I love Spiderman.” You’re like well…you should go make comics. So, if you want to break into comics, make comics...you know? Put them online, make short stories, get better at it, read up on short storytelling, take it seriously, treat it like a job, improve your skills as you go and don’t try to box above your weight class. Just take your time until you get your shot at it. That’s what I’ve noticed and that seems to be a logical progression of things and if you get a couple of lucky breaks along the way, so much the better, but if you don’t, it’s still a logical way to go about it.
Leo: Very good advice. Never really thought about it like that, but that’s really good advice.
Jim: Cool man. No problem.
Leo: So, uh, those are all the questions I really have. Is there anything else you want to add? Is there anything else you want to tell the listeners?
Jim: Um, I’m going to be at quite a few different conventions this summer, so if people are going to certain shows and want to meet me, it would be amazing. So meet me and have them buy the books direct or just tell me if they’re reading Skullkickers. So, I’m going to be, um, at San Diego Comic Con. I’m going to be at PAX at the end of summer. I’m going to Fan-expo Canada. Oh! I’ll be at the Albany one day at Comic Con in over a week. Um, yeah, got a bunch of different shows I’m going to be at this summer and people can keep track of me online. Just http://www.jimzub.com/ My Twitter is also @jimzub and http://www.skullkickers.com/ and www.makeshiftmiracle.com.Those are my two comics serializing online.
Leo: All right. Very cool.
Leo: I think that’s about it. Appreciate you talking with me today.
Jim: No problem. My pleasure.
Leo: Thank you, Jim Zub, co-creator and writer for Skullkickers.
Jim: Take care now.