About davemstrom

I am writing stories about Holly Hansson, the Super(wo)man who'd rather be Clark Kent.

A rubber cop beats me to the punch.

I watched The Flash tonight. They introduced Ralph Dibny, The Elongated Man. Ralph has super-stretching powers. And he’s a cop.

My character, Bennie the Rubber Cop (based on Lennie Briscoe of Law & Order) also has super-stretching powers. (Long arm of the law, get it? Wink wink, nudge nudge?) I have not even published his short story yet (The Criminal Cupid, click to read an excerpt). Bennie does show up at the very end of my little Kindle book Super Bad Hair Day. He helps Holly deal with her… um… twin physical adjustments when her superpowers manifest.

Oh, well. My Bennie will stay rubbery. There is room for more than one stretchy cop in the world. Bennie is older. Wiser. World-weary-er. I just hope I can write more former-homicide cop wisecracks.

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Demeatballization!

Last week, author Anne Fadiman spoke at Google about her memoir, The Wine Lover’s Daughter. One chapter was titled, “Demeatbllization.” Within is the following paragraph:

But, oh, how my father must have loved it all. The anachronistic formality of the gathering. The setting, a literary association to which George Santayana and T.S. Eliot had belonged. The leatherbound volumes of the shelves. The portraits of dead WASPs on the walls. The definitive demeatballization of his children.

Fine writing, but I, and thus my superheroine Super Holly Hansson, are more meatball. We are Swedish-American. I like Ikea chicken meatballs. I used to make meatballs, but all that raw ground meat and eggs really gets messy.

But “demeatballization” belongs Holly’s world. Say, a villain who zaps people with a meatball gun, encasing their heads with giant meatballs and making them into obedient meatball minions! But Holly’s love interest Cal “The Intellectual” Critbert would swoop to the rescue in his black-caped glory: “Hold still, Holly, my love! I shall restore you to your super beautiful self with my Intellecta-demeatballization-izer!”

I told Anne I really wanted to use that word. Anne signed my copy of her book, “To Dave, with the mandate: make ‘demeatballization’ a word on the lips of everyone at Google.” I will start with some comic book geeks and see how that goes.

Guest Blog: Emerian Rich’s book Dusk’s Warriors

My writer friend Emerian Rich asked me to post for her book today. I did a reading at a kid’s birthday party this evening, or I would have posted earlier. But it ain’t midnight yet! Take it away, Emerian! (P.S. I feel for her. I also get the ‘It’s a book not a comic’ thing.)

With all the excitement over comics and their spinoffs like The Walking Dead and Preacher, I’ve recently been asked what comic my vampire series is most like. Well, for now let’s leave the issue with how wrong this is to ask a fiction writer (It’s a book not a comic damnit!) and go on to the pressing question.

Of all the comics I’ve read over the years, I would say it’s most like a hybrid of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Garth Ennis’s Preacher: Gone to Texas, and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire comic-zations.

My vampires start in the real world: San Francisco, England, Rio, Texas, and Alaska. They drink blood, but they aren’t overly gorey. At the end of the first book, they find out about their origin and end up in a world much like ours which they refer to as Heaven.

In this new sequel, they start out in the Heaven as gods who can conjure, create, and affect the lives of people here on Earth. Dusk—the goddess of the time between Day and Night—sends her warriors to Earth to battle the devil, whom they thought was dead for good. They were wrong.

So if you like dark urban fantasy with a splash of heaven, hell, and conjurers, you will like Dusk’s Warriors. Are their vampires? Yes! And four different kinds, but there is also a trip into Hell, a look into Heaven, and a race around Earth in this action-packed fiction book. And hey, if you know a good comic artist, send them my way.

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:

“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shuarette, Lilith’s Love

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.” ~David Watson, The All Night Library

Praise for Night’s Knights:

“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Available now at Amazon.com in print and eBook

https://www.amazon.com/Dusks-Warriors-Nights-Knights-Vampire/dp/1544628803

Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net. Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

I blew up a puppy!

At an open mic a couple weeks ago, a lady liked my performance enough that she asked me to perform at her daughter’s birthday party. So I’m writing (now editing) a short story starring Holly’s cute little fangirl Kittygirl (the eight year old with kittycat powers). I titled the story, “The Sinister Sugar Rush!” Here is an excerpt.

The skinny lunch lady laughed. “YAH HAH HAAAA! Go ahead, Super Holly, I’d love to see you go boom!”

Super Holly hugged herself, trying to slow down, but she still vibrated like a paint shaker.

Kittygirl and Lily gulped and said together, “Did you say, ‘Boom?'”

The big lunch lady smiled super-mean. “Yeah. All these bratty kids who ate our super-frosting will reach critical mass in a couple of minutes. Allow us to demonstrate with this cute little puppy!”

The skinny lady had a puppy in one hand and a cupcake in the other. “Here, puppy, have a treat!”

Kittygirl’s face got cold. “Don’t eat it!”

But the puppy gobbled up the cupcake! It squirmed into a blur, went “ARFARFARFARFARFARFARF,” and blew up: POW!

That’s right, I blew up a puppy! MOO HAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

new art: Super Holly is Derfed!

At Alternative Press Expo, I met author and artist Derf Backderf (check out his website at www.derfcity.com). Derf has been in the comic story business for decades. He is even-keeled and a nice guy. I talked with him and learned from him. Some of his advice for writers: younger girls are a big audience, and floppies (that’s what he called comic books) are not a great market so do graphic novels.

I bought two of Derf’s books, which I read… no, I devoured! My Friend Dahmer is about Derf going to high school with Jeffrey Dahmer. Yes, THAT Jeffery Dahmer. It was creepy, fascinating, touching, unflinching truthful, and horrifying: Dahmer’s path from troubled teen to serial killer, ending with him picking up his first victim, a hitchhiker. That death is not shown, but you know. Derf drew a Super Holly sketch in the book I bought. That was nice of him, that was outside his usual subject matter.

Trashed is about Derf’s former job as a garbage man. I read this yesterday when I was at a Toyota service center having a strut repaired. I laughed out loud at and with the working stiffs toughing out the most gut-churning grossest job in the world. (I did not look around to see if anyone was looking at me funny when I laughed.) This book has the best barroom insult ever thrown by a liberal. This book is well-researched, and you will never look at a garbage bin the same way ever again.

I also got a sketch from Joel Stokes (facebook and twitter). I bought Joel’s Daily Diary and Rogues. Fun reads, but I wish I could find a link where to buy them! Joel, if you know, let me know and I will post a link.

For Talk Like A Pirate Day: Sulu’s Gay Trek!

In honor of today being Talk Like A Pirate Day, I repost one of my fanfics. I intend to perform this tomorrow night at Reach and Teach, 144 W 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA, at the Peninsula Writer’s Club open mic starting at 7:30.

SULU’S GAY TREK! (OR HOW SULU CAN BE STRAIGHT IN RODDENBERRY STAR TREK AND GAY IN J.J. ABRAMS STAR TREK WITHOUT BREAKING CANON!)

SCENE 1:
THE BRIDGE OF THE ROMULAN MINING STARSHIP NARADA, WHERE CAPTAIN NERO, A MANLY ROMULAN MINING MAN, SITS IN THE CAPTAIN’S CHAIR AND FROWNS, MAKING HIS MANLY FACIAL TATTOOS EVEN MORE MANLY.

CAPTAIN NERO: Avast, me mighty manly Romulan mining crew, for aboard me mighty manly starship, even the women are mighty manly! Our big mining starship has just passed through a big space-time rift, and now I spy a puny little starship whose captain might tell us where to find that logical Spock scoundrel upon whom we wish to wage our manly vengeance! ARM ALL WEAPONS!!!

THE MIGHTY MANLY ROMULAN MINING CREW: Aye aye, Captain! ARRRR!!!

SCENE 2:
THE BRIDGE OF THE FEDERATION STARSHIP KELVIN.

FIRST OFFICER GEORGE KIRK: (talking on his communicator) Really, honey? Your labor pains feel like he’s throwing full body blows?

THE NAVIGATOR: (a young man of Japanese descent hunching over his navigation console) Sir? I detect a tremendous space-time-from-the-future disturbance from that giant stormy rift! And another incredibly manly disturbance from that gigantic ship that just emerged from the rift! (He studies the readings.) As though everyone on that ship is so manly that they only like other… wait, the disturbances are combining…

THE CAPTAIN OF THE KELVIN: Into what?

THE NAVIGATOR: Into a concentrated energy wave that covers the entire sexual spectrum! And it’s heading directly at our ship! Um, along with a bunch of really big torpedoes and disruptor rays.

THE CAPTAIN OF THE KELVIN: You might have led with that last thing. SHIELDS UP!

SOUND EFFECTS: SKRAAA-CHOOOOOOOOMMMM!!! FZZT! BZZT! ZZZZZURP! THUMP BUMP WHUMP!!!

The entire bridge lurches to tilt at a 30 degree angle. Sparks fly out of control consoles that, after all these centuries, still do not have circuit breakers installed. Crewman fall out of their chairs.

THE NAVIGATOR: (picking himself off the floor) When are they gonna put seat belts on starships? (He checks his console.) Oh no, shields are down! We’re open to any energy attack imaginable!

A rainbow energy baseball rushes toward the main bridge viewscreen, and through it, and onto the navigator’s fly.

THE NAVIGATOR: (doing a double back flip) wwwwWWWWOW!!!

THE CAPTAIN OF THE KELVIN: What was THAT?

THE NAVIGATOR: (staggering) Oh… my… I just felt a surge of incredibly manly energy! Enough to bend sexual space-time 180 degrees!

The main viewscreen lights up with Nero’s mighty manly face.

CAPTAIN NERO: Avast, enemy captain! I be Nero of the Romulan mining ship Narada! Shiver yer timbers over to me bridge where I will torture you for information about that scurvy dog, Admiral Spock!

THE CAPTAIN OF THE KELVIN: Admiral who?

THE NAVIGATOR: Narada? Isn’t that Romulan for raging rainbow?

CAPTAIN NERO: (his tattooed face turning several shades of red, or green if that is the color of Romulan blood) ARRRRR!!! Me blood be boiling with rage! Prepare to enter the Romulan version of Davy Jones’ Locker!

THE CAPTAIN OF THE KELVIN: (disappearing in a transporter beam) But I’m not even wearing a red shirt!

THE NAVIGATOR: (to the first officer) Sir, their incredibly big and manly weapons are powering up again. Speaking of manly, shall we man all escape pods?

FIRST OFFICER GEORGE KIRK: Yeah, save one for me while I distract Mr. Romulan Road Rage. Computer! Set the autopilot for a collision course with that mining ship!

Computer voice from control console: (singing) Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.

FIRST OFFICER GEORGE KIRK: Nuts. Looks like I’m the designated driver.

SCENE 3:
CAPTION: A FEW YEARS LATER.

A hospital room. The navigator stands beside a hospital bed where a young Japanese woman holds her newborn baby.

THE WOMAN: (lovingly looking at the navigator) He’s beautiful. (She looks at the baby.) Little Hikaru Sulu. My healthy and strong baby boy. And so stubborn!

THE NAVIGATOR: How so?

The woman points to the baby’s diaper. It is colored like a rainbow.

THE WOMAN: We tried white, blue, and even pink, but he kept tearing them off.

THE BABY: (looking into the camera and smiling) Oh, my!

More Super Holly art: Yeti and Noir

Last weekend, I was at the San Francisco Comic Con. I bought a graphic novel called This Yeti For Hire! or The Yeti with the Lace Kerchief. The story of a Yeti police detective. I had Sean Morgan draw Super Holly turned into a yeti (abominable snow-woman), with my barber Lash sizing up the situation and using one of my favorite lines from the old Johnny Quest cartoon.

I also bought another issue of Afterburner: Tales of the Cool and the Wicked. On Friday, I talked to Robert Stewart about his art and writing, and I showed him some Super Holly artwork I had with me. On Saturday, he pointed to his portfolio of artwork, and said I should check it out. I saw this on top.

Wow. Super Holly as film noir, as Heavy Metal. Cool and Wicked. I bought it. That was very nice of him to draw for me before I even asked. Or maybe when he looked at me, he saw a dollar sign. I gave him a little more than his asking price.