Heavens to Murgatroyd! A comic book about a writer!

DC Comics is bringing several decades-old Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters back to life in new comic books. I am in love with one of them. (In a totally hetero way, of course.)

In my opinion, The Snagglepuss Chronicles has the best writing in current comic books. Mark Russell writes that pink cool cat as a gay southern playwright in the mid-1950s. It fits like a velvet glove. So go fit this comic book into your stash!

I love the dialog. In issue 3, Snagglepuss is on a talk show, where he neatly stated the difference between television and theater.

Snagglepuss: Television is about creating stars, theater develops actors.

Talk Show Host: And what’s the difference?

Snagglepuss: A star shows people who they’d wish to be, an actor shows them what they are.

In issue 2, a nasty woman from the House Committee on Un-American Activities tries to convince Snagglepuss to write scripts for her about the evil commies about to take over America and we gotta get them and anyone who remotely smells the least bit pinko. Snagglepuss elegantly, politely, and firmly refuses.

Snagglepuss: You ask for my pen, and that I cannot give.

Nasty Woman: Why?

Snagglepuss: Because it’s all I have.

I wiped a tear from my aspiring author eyes at that. I get the feeling I will wipe off a few more. HUAC did not treat writers well.

Huckleberry Hound is also gay in this storyline. Snagglepuss takes that poor, hangdog-sad soul under his wing. I admit I would never have thought Huckleberry would be gay. I can’t tell by looking at him, surprise surprise. A guy at Prism Comics once called me an ally. That was nice of him, but that didn’t give me gaydar.

Except for Porky Pig. C’mon, everyone knows Porky was gay! The rumor is that Porky kept his career because Yosemite Sam kicked down the office door of a homophobic executive who wanted to fire Porky, and Yosemite drew his pistols, and…

Yosemite Sam: Ah hates homophobes! Ah’m the nastiest, worstiest, shoot-em-firstiest bigot basher in the west, east, north, and south! If’n I hear of yuh ever threatenin’ my pal Porky Pig ever again, mah two six-shooters will do mah talkin’ for me! Like this!

BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM!!!

The executive’s desk fell into itty-bitty pieces. Yosemite hopped onto the homophobe’s lap and smushed his face onto the homophobe’s nose.

Yosemite Sam: One more thing, you skunk. Mah guns are cartoon guns, so they don’t run outta lead. Lemme show yuh!

BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM!!!

The executive’s chair fell to pieces. Yosemite stomped out of the office. Bugs Bunny stepped in and smirked at the carnage. He spoke to the trembling, white-faced, whimpering homophobe.

Bugs Bunny: Eh, what he said, doc.

P.S. I don’t own any velvet gloves, I just like the sound of that.

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CD or not CD? This is the question.

My question: Do most people have CD/DVD drives with their computers nowadays? Or are they getting to be obsolete?

I am considering getting another printer, or loading up on cartridges for my current printer. My current printer is an HP Photosmart C5550 all-in-one that does something few printers do nowadays: print on a CD. (Which I have never tried. But I digress.) For every copy of my little paperback book that I sell at little conventions, I burn a data CD with ebook files, artwork I have had done at conventions, and my audio readings of my stories (mp3 format). I want to be an author who gives you more stuff with the sale.

Please let me know if it is worth burning CDs or if I should find a better way to hand out my ebook/art/mp3s because I will soon have Costco reward $$$ to use up. Thanks.

P.S. Audio CDs are still a thing at open mics. But an audio CD only holds 45 minutes of music. Skimpy for audio stories. I burned a couple for my barber so he could listen to my audio stories over the holidays while driving to Santa Cruz. He did that without crashing his car. He liked the stories, even though I do not think I imitate his voice very well (he helps Super Holly with her mangled hair in Super Bad Hair Day).

Belated announcement: My Stories in Carry The Light 2017

I should have posted this six months ago. Oh well.

In the 2017 San Mateo County Fair Literary Contest, I won first prize for my audio reading of “The Intellecta Rhapsody.” Holly gets into a big argument with her Batman-esque boyfriend’s car during her driving lesson. The background music is The Hungarian Rhapsody, a tune to which Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, and Woody Woodpecker have all danced.

I also won third prize for my short story, “The Lutefisk Door.” My Trumpy villain Billington Stumpfinger builds a nasty wall to trap Super Holly Hansson: the old trap-Batman-and-Superman-in-a-steel-and-kryptonite-vault trick. Can Holly’s boyfriend, Cal “The Intellectual” Critbert, save her before she succumbs to the deadly rays of the green lutefisk?

You can buy the print version of “The Intellecta Rhapsody” and “The Lutefisk Wall” in the book Carry The Light 2017 at Amazon. It has plenty of great stories, essays, and poetry from local writers. But it does not have the audio version of “The Intellect Rhapsody.” You can hear a previous version on a podcast I was on, details here.

 

Quick writing idea: phonetic

I often use phonetic dialog. From an upcoming novel chapter after Holly is brainwashed into thinking she is the evil cowgirl Laura Shrub:

Not them two dudes again. On the sidewalk, two teen guys gave Laura a look sadder than starving hound dogs. Laura crossed her arms and jutted her chin at them. “Whut’re yew lookin’ at?”

I was writing all the text in chapters where Laura is the point-of-view character to use her phonetic misspellings. But in the above paragraph, I kept that only to her spoken and internal dialog. Seems to work. I’ll try it more. (But I still might keep the style of the non-dialog to be Western.)

Fault Zone Uplift: My latest published Super Holly story

My short story, What Goes Up, is published in Fault Zone, a publication of the SF Peninsula branch of the California Writers Club. Super Holly Hansson saves the day several times in one day, but finds something she cannot save. I give many thanks to Laurel Anne Hill, who worked super-hard to put together this anthology, and who edited my writing into a story worthy of Fault Zone. Writers, editors are your friends.

Here is the start of “What Goes Up.”

The six-foot-tall, apricot-shaped computer on the auditorium stage glowed brighter. Was the thing about to go KA-BOOM, like old sci-fi mechanical brains computing love to the last digit? Super Holly Hansson gritted her teeth harder, tapped the console’s keyboard, and motioned toward Chris Jobz, the Apricot Computer CEO.

“Would you please hand me your tablet,” Holly said, “and get your butt behind the blast shields with your employees?” Too bad she couldn’t pitch that big yellow- orangish monster into the ocean. Too dangerous, according to Chris. “You’re not bomb- proof. I am.” So far… She swallowed hard.

Chris glanced in the direction of his staff, yet made no move to give Holly his tablet, as if he thought his lint-free black turtleneck was a supersuit. Arrogant but brave. He acted as if she could still channel superpowers into others, like she’d done to those comic book geeks months ago. She couldn’t do that anymore. Not even for a fellow geek.

“Miss Hansson, you need both hands and my help.” Chris shoved his Apricot tablet closer to Holly’s face. “You’re not an engineer.”

“I was a technical writer,” Holly said, “and this geek girl can read code.” But could she get through this in one piece? All those kids in the hospital would be so sad if she didn’t show up today. She typed faster, restraining her super-strength. Last year she’d

pulverized her favorite wireless keyboard. The shining apricot’s timer taunted her: 01:29, 01:28, 01:27…

“I know women can code. Forty percent of Apricot engineers are female,” Chris said. His eyes shot virtual daggers toward the smiling teen boy his employees restrained. “But if you don’t finish writing this Swoop code before that timer reaches zero, this Apricot will destroy the Internet.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” Holly hissed as her fingertips tingled. “I suppose it was that kid’s bright idea to build a doomsday Apricot with a super-scalding keyboard.”

“Yes. Me. Crestley Smusher, to you.” The teen’s voice was nerdy, gleeful, and dripping with condescension. “It was a science project to put my highly intelligent, brightly smiling face upon every display on the planet. Upon the exact second of my eighteenth birthday, less than a minute from now. Except my superior code merged with inferior code from lesser engineers to form a nasty virus—”

“Shut up, Crestley,” Holly and Chris shouted. Holly tapped out the last line of code and turned. Behind thick, clear, plastic bomb shields, several angry Apricot geeks held Crestley’s arms. A six-foot-six and rather wide engineer got a stranglehold on the techie, whose smug smirk vanished. Speaking of vanishing, how much time had elapsed?

…00:03, 00:02, 00:01… The timer stopped. Just like on Stellar Trek, where the countdown always stopped at one. Whew! She’d done it.

Chris examined the Apricot’s display. “The Internet is saved.” He shook Holly’s hand. “Thank you.”

Such firm fingers he had, like a writer. “You’re welcome.”

“Auto destruct in fifteen seconds,” the monster Apricot voiced in a monotone. “Fourteen. Thirteen.”

“What the hell?” Chris sputtered. He and Holly whirled to face Crestley. Crestley smirked again. “All doomsday devices need a failsafe.”
“Nine. Eight.”
A failsafe? Time for Holly’s own brand of mind over matter. Crap. This was

gonna hurt. She reached out. A telekinetic hand—big, blue and transparent—shot from her own flesh-and-blood hand and engulfed the Apricot monster.

“Seven. Six.”

She punched her free fist upward. A telekinetic fist cannonballed out of it and bashed a hole in the ceiling.

“Five. Four.”
She flew through the roof and into the bright blue sky.
“Three.”
The Apricot campus shrank below her.
“Two.”
She held the doomsday Apricot in her telekinetic hand.
“One.”
Damn all arrogant nerds. Well, not all.
“Zero.”
KA-BOOOOOOM!

TO BE CONTINUED!

Fremont CWC Book Sale on Dec 2, 1-4PM

The Fremont branch of the California Writers Club is having a book sale at the Fremont Main Library (2400 Stevenson Blvd, Fremont, CA), Saturday Dec 2, 1-4PM. We will have an open mic at 2, and I will perform one of my stories. Click the poster to download the book covers, and the time and location.

I will also sell and sign paperback copies of Super Bad Hair Day. I include a CD with the book, which contains artwork of my superheroine Super Holly Hansson from Batton Lash and other artists, AND ebook copies of the book, AND audio MP3 versions of the stories in the book, AND EVEN my two stories that won the audio division at the San Mateo County Fair this year and last year (“The Malevolent Mystery Meat” and “The Intellecta-Rhapsody”). All that for only 5 bucks! SUCH A DEAL!!!

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.