Jim Shooter Recalls Counterfeit Valiant Comics Sting in New Interview

Midnight, On Earth is a podcast hosted by Jake Weaver discussing topics such as Metaphysics, Spirituality, Psychedelic Research, Aliens, and more. And Thursday's episode of Midnight on Earth is a new record for the show, the longest episode ever. The guest is a name familiar to Bleeding Cool readers: former Marvel Comics and Valiant Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter.

Photo of Jim Shooter. Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Jim Shooter. Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the course of a four-hour interview, Shooter discusses his time at Marvel, Valiant, and Defiant, as well as his career in general. One standout story involves a scheme to produce counterfeit Valiant comic books during the heart of the 90s speculator boom, and the sting operation conducted by Fred Pierce to stop it. We've transcribed that anecdote below:

I said, ahhh, Fred Pierce. Fred Pierce is a guy that when he worked it for me, and the Valiant books were taking off, somebody was counterfeiting them and selling them out of his trunk. Out of the Midwest. Fred Pierce was ex-military. I'm sorry. Ex Israeli Secret Service. He had actually once been in the Israeli Secret Service. So he's all into spy stuff.

Yeah. And so we get tell of this and Fred says, "I'll take care of this." And so what he does is he gets the local police and the state police there, and they work out a sting. All right? And they pulled it off. This guy comes, and he thinks he's selling comics to some dealer for some fabulous price, and it's a sting. And they arrest him. They got him. And so I thought, wow, that's cool.

If more of that — lots more — is the sort of thing that interests you, check out the full Jim Shooter interview on the Midnight, On Earth podcast at www.midnightonearth.com. The show can also be found on all the usual podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and more.

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A prophecy claims that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Unfortunately, nobody can tell when the comics industry has reached its "darkest days" because it somehow keeps finding new lows to sink to. No matter! Jude Terror stands vigilant, bringing the snarkiest of comic book and pro wrestling clickbait to the undeserving readers of Bleeding Cool.