James Gunn, I was glad to meet you at the San Jose Short Film Festival. (James is the director of The Specials, Scooby-Doo, Dawn of the Dead, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy 2.) You gave a great talk, and great advice for writers: dedicate your life to writing for at least 10 to 15 years, and deconstruct good movies to understand how they work. Thanks for posing with me at the following gala party.
I gave you one of my Super Holly Hansson business cards. If you decide to spend 99 cents for my Kindle story, Super Holly Hansson in Super Bad Hair Day, you might consider waiting until I upload the latest edition, which I plan to do next week. (Just a few tweaks, and a better ending line for Holly when she and Cal are watching a giant spider horror movie. Holly has a reason for dragging movie critic Cal to see that).
I have been working on my novel, The Comic Book Code, for years. Years learning what description and internal monologue and three act story structure were. Then learning what close third person point of view was. Then writing short stories to tighten my writing style. Then trimming the bloated 80 chapter outline to under 40. I want that first draft off my back!
For the past several years, every November (my favorite month of the year: Nanowrimo, write a novel in a month) I’d work on the Comic Book Code. Next month I want to Nanowrimo another book: the sequel to The Comic Book Code, working title Like Teeth In The Night. Super Holly Hansson visits her relatives in her home town: Cowpatch, a dairy/farming town much like where I grew up. (Yeah, a shout-out to Lil Abner.) And she faces vampires, werewolves, a Frankenstein monster inspired by the movie Bride of Frankenstein. And her boyfriend Cal “The Intellectual” Critbert faces the right moment to pop the question. And the main villains from The Comic Book Code regain their powers, and decide on their paths. And Holly finds it is not so easy to go home again.
So will I nano Like Teeth In The Night? Or my children’s book, which would be three stories: my Kittygirl and Puppy Brothers stories, and the super kids team-up to help Super Holly (c’mon, kids love when kids save the adults), there is plenty of writing to do for that super kids story.
Or maybe I’ll rewrite rough chapter from The Comic Book Code. You know, that novel I’ve been working on…
Last Saturday at Alternative Press Expo, I met Bob Scott: animator, cartoonist, and creator of Molly and the Bear webcomics (click here to read them at GoComics). His artwork reminded me of Dennis the Menace with a touch of Pogo. I told him I’d had artists draw my Super Holly character. He said he’d consider that. I bought his comic book, took it home, and read it.
And loved it. Witty, playful, retro family humor. Expressive faces and body language. Clean, sharp, deceptively simple art. And a big, lovable, scaredy cat of a bear. Joe Pesci said of Herman Munster, “It’s not simple to play the goof.” To paraphrase movie critic Leonard Maltin’s line about Goldfinger and Oddjob, Bob Scott’s Bear is a goof in the classic sense of the word.
On Sunday, I told Bob how I loved that comic book, and how Bear might tell Super Holly Hansson that he could be a superhero. And I again asked about a sketch. Consider this: Bob Scott has worked on Pixar’s Toy Story 3, WALL-E, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. He is what I would call an ARTIST.
(Sunday Oct 9, I will attend Alternative Press Expo, San Jose Convention Center south hall. Say hi if you see me!)
Once upon a time, a 40ish woman introduced another woman to me with, “Dave, this is my girlfriend.” That did not surprise me. I knew she was gay. But a grown woman referring to another grown woman as a GIRLfriend? The word sounds juvenile to me. But ladyfriend and womanfriend sound clumsy.
I’ve wrestled with writing that. In my stories, 20ish Super Holly Hansson thinks of 30ish Cal “The Intellectual” Critbert as her boyfriend. Does manfriend sound better? Nope. So it’s boyfriend and girlfriend, no matter how old you are. Maybe when you LIKE them like them, they make you feel young again.
Meet the great Valerie Frankel, a few other local authors, and me at Valerie’s table. I have four paperback copies of Super Holly Hansson in Super Bad Hair Day to sell: two short stories and Chapter Zero of The Comic Book Code, plus a CD with the stories in ebook and audio format (yeah, hear me PERFORM!). Saturday, I plan to be there in the morning, but in the afternoon I will be on an outing with my cousin and his two little demons, I mean boys. Sunday, I plan to be at the table most of the day.
For an upcoming anthology from the South Bay Writers Club, I wrote a short story with a new supervillain: Money Man. On the advice of a couple of friends, I made him a Donald Trump clone: xenophobic, money eating, orange haired bully. He gives Super Holly a tough fight, but she clobbers him GOOD! (Holly hates bullies.)
I’ll write Money Man into another story, he was fun to write. And he needs to lying lie like Trump lying lies. Like when Trump said “That makes me smart” in the debate when Hillary said he wasn’t paying his taxes, and then Trump said the lying lie “I never said that” one short hour later. Because Trump has the attention span of a 9-Year old with ADHD (according to the ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal), Trump thinks everyone else won’t remember when his big blabbery lips moved? Ooo, that would drive Super Holly nuts!