Joshua Hale Fialkov

Purveyor of sheer awesomeness.

Joshua Hale Fialkov is the Harvey, Eisner, and Emmy Award nominated writer of graphic novels, animation, video games, film, and television, including:


Photograph by Heidi Ryder

San Diego, Steinberg, and Syfy!

It's that time of year again.

San Diego Comic Con is this week.
It's time for all of the office dwelling comickers and tv makers to come out of their hidey-holes and see the world a new.  I am not immune to said situation.  But! This is a SPECIAL SDCC for a few reasons.  First off, the long gestating Tony Fleecs/Josh Fialkov jam JEFF STEINBERG: CHAMPION OF EARTH is premiering at the show from Oni Press in a handsome SDCC Exclusive Edition of #1 with cover art by series artist and co-writer/co-creator Tony Fleecs! See it right below this? It's keen!


There's two regular covers, which will be in stores in just a few weeks, one by Tony, and the other by supposed 'famous comic artist' Chris Burnham.  Frankly, I've never heard of him, but he drew some book about a Man Bat or something.  

We're also going to be doing a release party for said book in a few weeks atCollector's Paradise in Winnetka, CA.  Clickey for more info!

Also, in the coming weeks, Oni is releasing THE LIFE AFTER v3, collecting the first arc of EXODUS, the next issue of Exodus, and the penultimate issue of THE BUNKER.  So, go to your store. Get ordering. Stop being a jerk.

MEANWHILE -- For those coming to the show, I've got a limited schedule, thanks to my responsibilities on upcoming Syfy Channel show INCORPORATED, which, by the way, is premiering it's pilot at SDCC!  I'll be there while our fearless leaders show off what we've been working so hard on the past five months.

SO -- Here's where/when you can find me, and I really hope you do.


  • 11:00 am - ASPEN COMICS PANEL - Talking about our current ASPEN: REVELATIONS EVENT that I'm currently writing with JT Krul and art by Jordan Gunderson and Peter Steigerwald.  Come learn secrets and cool stuff.  Jerks.
  • 12:00pm - ONI PRESS SIGNING - With Tony Fleecs! All your Exclusive Jeff Steinbergs will be signed.  Also, other stuff. 
  • 8:00pm - TOP TEN TIPS TO UP YOUR COMICS WRITING GAME - Room 30CDE - WHere I'll join Andy Schmidt and John Barber, the two schmucks who first hired me at the Big Two to talk about breaking in and making it big, or totally screwing it up like I did. 


  • 10:00am - IDW PUBLISHING SIGNING - SIgning GODZILLA COMICS like a total boss!  Come get some.
  • 3:00pm - ASPEN COMICS SIGNING - Signing with my Aspen pals.  Come get your Revelations. 
  • 7:00pm SYFY'S INCORPORATED - Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront - This is the TV show I'm working on.  Come get a sneak peak at the kickass pilot and see my bosses say words.  Glorious, glorious words. 


  • 1:30pm - ONI PRESS SIGNING - With Tony Fleecs.  My final signing before I get in a car and drive back to Los Angeles.  Come. Get. Some.

And that's it for SDCC.  I'll try and get another one of these out about upcoming releases (and release parties) for TUMOR, and the final volume of THE BUNKER coming sometime soon.  

See you in San Diego, 


Famous Last Words...

So. I post about how great I feel, and, y'know, here we are. 

The procedure for my back has continued to be a success.  I'm in virtually no pain... Well, on my back.

Following the procedure, and a far too quick return to public life (including a wonderful weekend at Wondercon), I developed an infection.  Thankfully, it wasn't at the site of the procedure, but, due to my diabetes slingshotting all over the place from the procedure. I got the worst case respiratory infection I've ever had.  It eventually became bronchitis, and then the infection spread, leaving me with an incredibly awful eye infection, and an even worse ear infection.  

I've been put on bed rest, massive doses of antibiotics, and a strict order to stay indoors and out of crowds for the foreseeable future.  There may be some delays on my books, although I think everything is far enough ahead that it shouldn't matter.  

Having horrific amounts of cough syrup and an unstoppable amount of pain pulsing through my head has given me time to reflect on a lot of things.  There's a lot of change coming up for me, and a lot of it has to do with the idea of making my life filled with the kind of joy and happiness I've found the past year or two of my life.  Removing toxicity, embracing the love and joy, and chasing my dreams as hard as humanly possible.  

Huge thanks to all my family, friends, and collaborators who've reached out, and to all of you who most likely will, it means the world to me. 

On Pain

In about October of last year, I slipped on the marble floor outside my gym.  I fell, like a cartoon character, and landed right on a heavy glass water bottle I was carrying on my backpack.  It shattered from the force of the fall, right into my lower back.  I shook it off, thinking the past few years of training has really toughened me up.  I actually told one of the guys, "If this was a few years ago, that fall would've crippled me for life." 

Hubris, thy name is Fialkov.  After that, I was hiking in the mountains on the edge of Burbank.  It had rained, and I was moving as fast as I ever had. Which is why I missed a foothold, and felt a painful, ear splitting POP.  That pop, it would turn out, was my L3-L4 disc, already hurt from the fall,  now bulging 10-13mm.  My L2-L3 was also injured, as was my L5-S1.  That's virtually all of my lower back.

Over the next week, I felt stabbing pain in my right leg, and tingling on the left.  Eventually it got so bad, my co-workers insisted I go see a doctor.  That doctor immediately sent me for an MRI, which showed the injury.  We began a long arduous process of steroid shots, stretching, and pain medicine.  

And for the following five months, I spent almost every minute in agony.  I, somewhat fool-heartedly, decided that I was going to run the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge at Disneyland, plus a 5K warm up around the Universal Studios Backlot (where I was working.) I did the 5k, no problem.  In fact, the pain was almost gone.  So I did the 10k... It was painful, but I did it.  Then I did the Half Marathon and... nothing happened.  I was fine.  I could walk no problem.  

Until I started having tingling all the way up and down my left leg.  A nerve conduction study showed that the injury was in fact causing the nerve damage to spread all the way up to my L1-L2.  Panic started to set in.  I saw a half dozen doctors while writing my first episode of network TV (making my dream come true, a nightmare).  

Each doctor had a different prognosis.  I called my brother (a surgeon) and he asked his spinal surgeon friends for THEIR opinions.  The spinal surgeon I was referred to had his own bleak prognosis.  Finally, after months of limited sleep, painkiller dazed days, and constant, crippling pain, I found two doctors who agreed.  My pain doctor was pushing a procedure called a Pulsing Ablation, and my second opinion surgeon agreed.  

Last week, I took the afternoon off work to have the procedure done.  Essentially, they insert a needle into the nerve stems of each effected nerve and they blast it with electricity, killing the nerve.  It was painful and brutal (especially when I woke up in the middle of the procedure), and I was sent home thinking it wasn't going to work.  I'd been told multiple times that the pain I felt was just going to be how I spent the rest of my life.

The next morning I woke up, and... the pain was gone.  For the first time in six long months, the thing that's been a yoke around my neck, pulling me down in literally every part of my life, had disappeared. There's still odd sensations, and I can still feel the injury, but, the pain was gone.

I've written a lot about my battles with Chronic Migraines, and how it's haunted so much of my work,  life, and the life of my family.  But, having spent six months in literal agony,gave me a very real perspective on what so many of us deal with in our lives.  I have so many friends with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain diseases who get treated as though they're just over reacting and imagining it.  

I can tell you, despite having a 3-D picture of my injury, the cause of my suffering, I still had the very same feelings and worries.  I battled with myself over the severity of the injury, especially as doctors told me it 'shouldn't be that severe' or 'you'll get used to it.'  The fact is that pain is the most personal thing I person can feel.  From broken hearts to broken bones, it's a part of you, and speaks to what some would call your soul. 

Pain is who we are.  It's what gives an identity, and allows us to identify.  Show me a compelling story that isn't about pain.  Show me an interesting human being who hasn't felt pain.  Show me any human being, from a newborn to a 120 year old woman and we can find their pain.  The real test of strength is how you triumph over it.

I was lucky.  My battle is a easily diagnosable, and, theoretically, treatable one.  But for all of the people who's pain is more complicated, less detectable, and every bit as real, show compassion. Show love.  Because it really is the only thing that can beat pain.

That, and an electrically charged needle that kills your nerves, apparently. 



In honor of the holiday, I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the women in my life who have effected me and altered me irrevocably as I've had the pleasure of knowing them.

My mom was a musical prodigy.  She was a Cello virtuoso, a pianist, and, a profoundly gifted Opera Singer.  She also was offered a life choice at a young age that I've never quite understood. She was offered a full ride to the King's College in London to study opera.  At the same time, she met a schnook-y medical student that lit her heart on fire.  She chose my dad.  

For years I never understood why.  I mean, my dad is terrific, but, those were her hopes and dreams.  My entire life I've never quite been able to parse out why she did what she did, or, more importantly, how she did it.  She devoted her life to him and to their children.  She put our happiness ahead of her own for nearly fifty years.  

And then, this morning, she casually slips in to conversation that after those same fifty years, she's going to try out for a part in a local play.  Despite deferring her dreams and pleasure for the sake of her children, she never really forgot it.  She never really forgot the pleasure and joy that drove her early life.  It takes bravery, it takes heart.  She has both.

My sister had a grapefruit sized cyst on her ovary when she was a teenager.  That was just the beginning of a life of illness that includes Epstein-Barre, Lupus, chronic migraines, and more.  Through it all, she's remained one of the most generous, loving people on earth.  She's got more friends than I'd ever hope to have, and, in spite of her health problems, she's managed to build a legacy of the most important kind.  One of love.  Her community of friends is so much better for having her in it.  And now, after struggling all of those years to figure out what to do with her life in the face of these great obstacles, it seems she's found her calling.  She's taking the years of experience not just in art, but in humanity, to teach art to those who desperately need it in their life.  She's found a way to professionally bring joy to those around her, and to show them the joy that's already inside them.  

And then, there's my wife.  Christina is the very definition of a self-made woman.  She pulled herself out of the life that was laid out for her, and fought against every negative impulse that plague every person.  She's built an empire based on something very simple.  The love of history.  The power of our collective memory.  To see her receiving her recognition, where every person in the room clearly sees not just the brilliance, but the beauty, and the strength of her commitment to our city is positively breathtaking.  That she does it while also writing non-fiction, churning out comic books, editing photo books, mounting exhibits,  hosting important programs all over town, and, yes, being the best damn mother on earth, is, if nothing, proof of why I'll love her for the rest of my life, and why everyone who meets her feels the same. 

And finally, my kid.  In the five years I've spent with her, every day I'm constantly amazed at how... perfect she is.  How thoughtful and compassionate and brave.  How, when a kid is bullied in her class, she gets in-between them, and resolves the problem.  How she understands that some fights are worth having and some are worth walking away from.  How she brings joy and lightness to everyone who meets her.  How she's going to do more than I could ever imagine doing myself.  How she is just a better person than you, or me, or just about anyone I've ever met.

San Diego Comic Con

Hey gang - 
A bit last minute, but, I will be at San Diego Comic-Con this coming weekend.  I have only one signing and one panel, and the rest of them I'll be hanging out with my wife and kid.  That's right, going against over 13 years of habit, I'm going to try and enjoy a comic book convention!

Which, in case you're wondering, is a by product of my new gig, writing for the upcoming, sure to be a hit (right?) NBC series CHICAGO MED.  I'm limited about how much I can say, other than I'm thrilled to be working on it, and I'm sure I'll be tweeting more as we get closer to air.  Also, it's responsible for possibly the happiest picture ever taken of me. See?

With that, THE BUNKER and THE LIFE AFTER will BOTH be continuing from Oni Press for the foreseeable future.  PUNKS over at Image just released the very exclusive CBLDF Fundraiser issue which is going to wrap up this volume for the next little bit.  And, recently announced mini-series KING with Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo is going to begin in August from Jet City Comics.  Plus, there's that little Robot vs. Monster book I'm doing for Legendary...  PACIFIC RIM, I think it's called? That's coming for you in September, I believe.  

Meanwhile! Limited appearances, so, if you're in San Diego this weekend, then PLEASE, come see me at the Oni Press booth from 12:30 till 1:30 (or whenever the line disappears).  Bonus, I'll be signing there with THE LIFE AFTER's GABO!  

There's a good chance you'll see me there throughout the weekend as well.  They like to keep me warm and cosy.  

I'm also swinging by my pals at ComiXology's panel from 3 till 4pm in room 29AB to talk about THE BUNKER, KING, and indie comics publishing. 

Be sure while you're there to check out Gabo (TLA)Bernard (KING) Chang , and Kody (PUNKS) Chamberlain's schedules at their respective twitter sites. 

Thanks for reading, and see you in San Diego!

Therapy from a(n almost) Five Year Old

HER: Daddy what's wrong?

ME: I had a tough day.

HER: Oh no.  What happened?

ME: Just a bunch of stuff...

HER: Oh. I'm sorry.  Maybe I can help.  What happened?

ME: Well, I cut my finger really badly.

HER: Did you clean it and put a band aid on it?

ME (wiggling bandaged thumb): Yep.

HER: Okay. So that's better.  And you just need to wait a few days and it'll be healed. Oh! And! You need to be more careful with sharp things, okay? 

ME: Okay.

HER: What else?

ME: I lost my glasses at Costco.

HER: Oh no.  

ME: Yeah.

HER: But you're wearing your glasses.

ME: I found them.

HER: Hooray!

ME: I guess.

HER: You found them. So that's not a problem. What else?

ME: I have a lot of stressful stuff at work-

HER: Oh no.  Are you doing everything you can?

ME: Yeah.

HER: And is there anything ELSE you could do?

ME: Not really, no.

HER: So, then, that's okay, too!  

ME: ...

HER: Can I give you a kiss? Would that fix everything else?

ME: I think so, yeah.

The Struggle

Christ, it's been a shitty month. 

Personally, professionally, and everything in between.  I think the tendency for creative types is to lean towards negativism and fatalism.  And, after this past month, I found myself doing the same thing.  I mean, I already have a helluva tendency towards negativity anyways, but, this has been an Atlas-esque month.

A lot of it stuff I probably won't ever really talk about in public because, frankly, it's just the struggles.  It never gets easier, not really.  We fight because if we don't we drown.  And the temptation to drown is always sitting right there promising at least a life of less stress. 

I found a lot of solace the past few months in the diet and health turnaround we've been having.  It has a pretty pure concept behind it.  We put a ton of nasty shit into our bodies.  Our bodies will eventually fail even if taken great care of, so, shoveling in toxins and fats and grease and things made in a laboratory is just going to gum up the works even more.  

It's not that part of it though.  It's the first part.  Your body will break.  You are built for a purpose, but, even within a completely 'perfect' use of said body, it sometimes will still fall short.  And considering that, why wouldn't you do everything you can to prevent that? Why wouldn't you give it the best version of everything you can handle and strive towards perfection, knowing that you will undoubtedly fall short because everyone does.  Nobody is perfect.  Possibly my wife, but, other than her, nobody.  

Your career is exactly the same.  No matter how hard you work, or aggressive you are to get where you want to be, there's somethings you just can't control.  I found myself coming in second on a bunch of opportunities this month. An eerie number of times, actually.  In a bunch of different ways.  

And it's maddening. Truly. Heart breaking, even.  But then... I reframe it. I put it back into context. Last year? I didn't even place.  Tons of immensely talented people around me didn't even get to show up for the race.  And, I had some amazing people cheering me on.  

That is the fuel.  That is the thing that adds to your drive and counteracts all of the misses and failures and shortcomings. 

This month was incredibly difficult.  But it was also inspiring because I got to see how many people have my back and want me to succeed.  Find those people in your life, cherish them, thank them, and always, always remember them. 

Seth Kushner

Every day, it seems, there's another story of people in dire need of funds to help them through a tough time. Whether it's a change in career, to an illness, to a loss, these things are more and more common place.  

I'd like to take a moment of your time to tell you about something that isn't common place.  Seth Kushner is a father, husband, creator, photographer, and, genuinely kind human being.  And for the past year or two has been dealing with something beyond your worst imagination.  He was diagnosed with aggressive Leukemia, put through a round of treatment that nearly killed him, and came out of it alive because he refused to give up. Because his family refused to give up. Because his friends refused to give up. 

Seth's photographs are what I always think about when I think about him.  His lens sees inside of people in a way that very few photographers do.  When he combines that with comics into some of the brilliant fumetti work that he's done, you have something extremely rare.  Photo comics that work. That are emotionally involving. That are human. 

That's who Seth is.  He's too good a person, and his family too kind to suffer through what they have, let alone to do it with so much dignity and strength and, yes, compassion. So, I'm asking you to do me a favor.  Please go visit Seth's gofundme page and give a little bit of the extra you were going to spend on comics or records or Lego or convention exclusives.  Give a bit to someone who has given us all so much of himself, both in his art, and in his journey through one of the hardest things imaginable.

Go Fund Seth Kushner

The DC Farewells

As DC leaves it's long native home of New York City, everyone is going through their tearful goodbyes.  I figured, I might as well add one.

I love DC Comics. I learned to read by reading them, I learned what was cool by seeing what I wasn't allowed to read, and, I launched the real second part of my career there. Getting to work on those characters is an honor.  I got to follow in the footsteps of all the terrific people who came before, the brilliant writers and artists who made characters into icons, and, more importantly, icons into characters.

A lot of talk has been made about how moving to Burbank is a fresh start for DC, and, I really hope it is.  The characters they control are the most important piece of mainstream comics. Marvel has made up ground, but, other than Spider-Man, the Hulk, and maybe the X-Men, there was little to know widespread knowledge of those characters prior to the launch of Iron Man.  Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Green Arrow, plus the Joker, Lex Luthor, The Penguin, Catwoman, Braniac, oh and don't forget, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olson, Alfred Pennyworth, and on and on.  Those characters are known by my mom, who for the record thought I was writing "Mickey Mouse stories" for the first half decade of my career.  

The people in charge of DC hold the reigns to the most powerful gateway drug on earth.  My four year old knew Superman and Wonder Woman and Batman by the time she could talk, and not just because I work in comics.  Her friends at school love the characters.  An entire generation of kids are literally ripe for the picking to bring them into comics.  

If the New 52 launch taught us anything it's that people want to read comics.  It also taught us that if the content isn't there to back up the medium, it doesn't matter how cool people think folded paper with staples in the middle are. 

I want DC Comics to do great things, and maybe, this time, they will. 


To the writers...

I've got some bad news, writers.  In comics, the artist works harder than we do.  On a simple one to one basis, they just plain work harder.  A writer can easily write a script a week (or at least, should be able to.) An artist has to spend an entire month on the art.  That's a 1:4 ratio.  That means that when there's money to be had, the artist deserves to be paid first.  You, as a writer, can take other jobs.  You can have a day job and still do your job.  An artist, delivering on a monthly book, 99.9% of the time, can't.  It might be 'your idea' and you might have spent 'months researching it' but, this is a collaborative art.  It's a partnership.  You and your artist are married, but, as unequal partners.  You can sleep around with other artists, they're stuck only with you.  

And. They. Should. Be. Paid. For. That. Loyalty.

I've heard a few stories from a few friends who are in situations where there's an advance or a page rate and the writer takes 50% leaving the artist with their 'fair' share, which is not enough money to actually live on AND execute the project.  I was shocked BOTH times, but I suppose I shouldn't be.  

Everyone THINKS they work hard.  Hell, I think I work hard. I'm writing 5 creator owned series, a work for hire comic series, plus working on a tv show and a cartoon series.  And y'know what? I still have more free time than any of my collaborators.  

Should everyone profit from the collaboration, absolutely, but, advances and page rates those are not profits. Those are costs.  Those are the hard costs of the sacrifice your partners are making in order to complete the project.  Do I wish I could get paid up front for my creator owned work? Absolutely.  But you know what I prefer?  My partners making a living wage that allows them to actually MAKE THE BOOKS. 

Caveat, obviously, every situation is different, and in full disclosure, on one of my books, there is no page rate, and the profits are minimal, and the artist and I split that money 50/50, but it's by agreement, not by greed.  Y'see, we've always treated each other fairly, so when we saw what the financial outlook of the book is we had a conversation about it.  I didn't just decide to take that money.  

Long story short. Don't be an asshole. Appreciate that your partners are undoubtedly working as hard, more likely, harder than you are, and give them the support and love they deserve. 

ADDENDUM: The same goes for colorists, inkers, letterers, and, yes, even editors. We are slugs compared to the lives of almost all of our collaborators. Except for publishers.  They're lazy fat cats. Maybe not all of them. 


I'm going to be swinging by Wondercon in Anaheim this weekend for a single panel, hosted by ComiXology.  It's going to be about their submit platform, self-publishing, and all of that good stuff.  It's at 2pm on Friday in Room 209.   You may also catch me tomorrow at Gabo's table (Small Press SP-90) immediately after that panel. 

And, in case you missed it last week... 

LEGENDARY ANNOUNCES PACIFIC RIM COMICS written by me, drawn by Marcos Marz, and I, Vampire's Marcelo Maiolo!


ONI PRESS ANNOUNCES ELK'S RUN 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION hardcover collecting the original Harvey Award Nominated series.  

And as always, don't forget to pre-order your LIFE AFTER's, BUNKERS, and PUNKS comics!

See you in Anaheim tomorrow!


Emerald City Comic Con

Hello Seattle!
Well, I said I was taking the year off... 

And I'm clearly failing at that.  Very last minute, but, I've got TWO big project announcements this week, which'll get followed up on at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend in Seattle, WA.  I've only got a few scheduled appearances, but, would love to see any/all/some of you while I'm there.  My schedule is as follows:


1:30 pm, Comics in Other Media Panel, Hall F

3:00 pm, Legendary Comics/Films Signing, Booth 1804


5:00 pm, Oni Press Panel, Hall C

6:00pm, Oni Press Signing, Booth 212


12:00 pm, Oni Press Signing, Booth 212

You'll also be able to find me near The Life After artist Gabo's table in Aritst Alley, which is NN-03.  More programming, ticket info, and such here.

Also, for a first look at those announcements, watch this space, and/or over on Twitter @joshfialkov. 

Hope to see you this weekend in Seattle (and also that it's not miserably cold.  I'll take either/or.) 

Jazz and the Failure of Exclusion

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Bix Biderbecke

Bix Biderbecke

I've been making my way through Ken Burns' Jazz documentary series.  There's an extended section about Bix Beiderbecke.  If you don't know, Bix was considered the 2nd best trumpeter who ever lived.  Second only to Louis Armstrong.  He was a Iowan farm boy who was inspired by Louis' recordings to teach himself and run away from home to become a jazz player.

In addition to his prodigious talents, he also had an epic drinking problem.  One that would eventually kill him.  But, before that, the documentary talks a bit about how hard a time Bix had because of segregation.  That because he was white, he couldn't go and play with the more advanced black players, and was constantly hitting a wall because he needed to be challenged, and he just wasn't by the white players of the day. 

It's such an interesting, backwards way to think about the race problems of the day, that I've been chewing over it for days.  That segregation hurts both sides that have been split apart.  That the sum is that much greater than the individual parts. The idea that that privilege is it's own sort of handcuffs is so rarely discussed.  And I get why, as the world's tiniest violins plays for the poor white people who couldn't be inspired, while the black people were oppressed, beaten, and pillaged by the dominant culture. 

But, still, I think the core idea is something worth discussing.  That this kid who was handed the world realized that without the best of the best available to him, then the world he'd been handed was a lead balloon.  That by ex-communicating a group of people, you're really ex-communicating yourself. 

The close-mindedness of our era, the us against them mentality that rules politics, and, especially, the inability to have a conversation with someone who's different from you, and not just in terms of race, but in as simple as semantics of ideas.  Without being able to open ourselves up to the other side of the world, to see the brilliance and joy, as well as the outrage and the anger, we're doomed as a society.  We'll constantly stand on the brink of our potential and always fall short.

The story goes that for one night, Louis and Bix met in a hotel room, closed the door, and played together.  The two men driving each other to be better, creating and destroying expectations simultaneously.  It was, by some accounts, the highlight of Bix's life. But, because society was too involved to see the brilliance that could be made from love and acceptance, it's just a story lost to time, instead of an album for the ages. 

Open yourself to the world around you.  Experience things from every side, and put it into your work, make it your motivation.  Or, in other words, love everyone. 

FYI, here's the best jazz song ever recorded. 


If you HAVEN'T seen KEN BURNS' JAZZ, do yourself a favor.  It streams for free on Netflix and Amazon, or, the boxset is linked below.  It's my favorite Ken Burns film, and it'll change how you think about America, Music, and, perhaps most importantly, American Music.