I will be on two panels at Silicon Valley Comic Con

At Silicon Valley Comic Con, I will be on two panels. To see the panel descriptions, go here and search for David Strom.

Writing Artless Comic Books on Saturday August 17 10:30-11:30AM in Room 230A

I thought of this and I will moderate the panel. Here is the panel description. Hmm, I did not think of the children/teen/adult question, so I will try to discuss that too.

How do you write superheroes and superheroines (or supervillains for that matter) that aren’t comic books? Is this a growing market, or is it bottoming out? What are the challenges to making those stories really pop? Do they have to be written for children and teens, or is there an adult list? Come with your questions on reading and writing them and leave with a great list of titles and advice.

There are good people on this panel. Valerie Frankel (the writing machine!) has written over 60 books about pop culture, including superheroines. I was very impressed with her book Empowered: The Symbolism, Feminism, and Superheroism of Wonder Woman, which I beta-read for her.

David Reiss wrote a trilogy about alpha supervillain and all-around super-intelligent badass Doctor Fid (start buying and reading it here). I would dare to say Doctor Fid is a villain whose heart makes him take a hero’s journey. Doctor Fid has risen into the top 100 in superhero fantasy ebooks on Kindle. I have read this trilogy, and it is worth your time and money. Doctor Fid would give Super Holly a very tough fight.

Sarah Stegall is another local writer who covers pop culture, and has a story in X-Files, Vol. 2: The Truth Is Out There-Prose. Yes, she took television and turned it into prose.

Fourth Wave Feminism and Diverse Superheroines on Saturday August 17 4:30-5:30PM in Room 114

I signed up for this. I have seen several of the shows referred to in the description. I have definite ideas and opinions about these shows, such as the new She-Ra being a helluva improvement on the original. But I admit I have to look up what fourth wave means.

P.S. I believe I will also be at at a table with local authors, selling my book. My one little book. I need to publish more books. Sigh.

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Still time for Batton Lash’s Kickstarter!

Batton Lash, story writer and Ditko-esque artist, drew the cover of my book Super Bad Hair Day. He gave me great advice (red cape and up-arrow chest logo for Holly). He created Alanna Wolff, a great female lead and a great lawyer. Super Holly would hire Alanna in a nanosecond.

March 26 is the last day for Batton’s Kickstarter for his latest graphic novel, Grandfathered in. He reached his first goal of $11,000, but has another for $13,000 where he can offer another prize. From the Kickstarter page:

In this full-color original graphic novel, Wolff and Byrd take on a case in which a ghost is literally “grandfathered in” to a home inheritance. Grandpa has died but his ghost won’t leave the house—much to the chagrin of his son and daughter-in-law! Meanwhile at the law offices, the landlord wants Wolff & Byrd to leave because their clients are disturbing the other tenants. Plus: Someone from Alanna’s past comes back to haunt her, Jeff is having family troubles, and intrepid secretary Mavis has her own challenges! Readers can expect lots of plot twists and turns and a surprising revelation. This is the first all-new Supernatural Law graphic novel in 5 years!

If you want a strong, smart, tough female lead and a great courtroom story with the drama of Law & Order (sound effects: BOM BOM!) and the laughs of Seinfeld, read Batton Lash’s Supernatural Law graphic novels. If you contribute to the Grandfathered In Kickstarter, you can get goodies such as the new graphic novel ($25 and up).

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.

Crystal Gonzalez draws Super Holly LOVING coffee!!!

At the PLCAF Small Press Comics Expo today, I bought a comic from Crystal Gonzalez: In The Dark. I had to find out what Super Holly would look like drawn by her. Her style is crazy, loopy, scary, funny, the characters want to leap off the page and stick to your face while screaming. So I had her draw Holly having coffee.

A few tiny glitches. Super Holly has one e-bracelet, not two. (Kinda like Leela on Futurama.) The hip purse is attached to her belt. And her nose should be more eagle-beaky. BUT LOOK AT HOLLY’S INTENSELY CRAZY-SCARY-HAPPY FACE!!! AND THAT ELECTROSHOCK-CAFFEINATED HAIR! AND THAT EARTHQUAKING CUP!!! I LOVE THIS!!!!! (And I sometimes feel this way about coffee.)

Thank you, Crystal. I started reading your comic about the guy tossed into hell and trying to stay alive. It has coffee references. How fitting.

Super Holly meets The 3 Geeks!

At Hydra Comic Con today, I asked Rich Koslowski (creator, artist, and writer of The 3 Geeks, best comic book about fanboys ever!) for a Super Holly Hansson sketch. He wrote the dialog for The 3 Geeks (perfectly written nose joke!), and I wrote Holly’s thought balloon. BEST SUPER HOLLY SKETCH EVER!!!

Check out Rich’s website for some great comics. Especially The 3 Geeks. Read Rich’s fave and mine, When The Hammer Falls. If you have read even one comic book in your life, your funnybone will be forever grateful.

Holly art from San Francisco Comic Con 2016

Holly meets Angry Batman, by Chloe Dalquist. (Check theangrybatman.tumblr.com. Great humor for grown up geeks!) I read issue 1 of Angry Batman, and I smiled and bought it. Chloe said she’d draw something in it. I told her that Super Holly has a crush on Batman, and I asked her to draw that. This is what Holly would do on meeting Batman. I love Holly’s crushing and Angry Batman’s tude!

Holly and Angry Batman

Next, I bought Super Stupor issue 4, and R.K. Mulholland did a drawing for me. (Check his webcomic at somethingpositive.net.) I like how this makes Holly look so happy! He asked about Holly’s cape clasp, and I said it is grail-shaped.

Holly somethingpositive

And lastly, something silly! From Chuck Whelon, from whom I bought Pewfell in: Drain of Chaos. (Check his art and game website at whelon.com and his Patreon for Pewfell: The Epic Fantasy Sitcom at www.patreon.com/pewfell.) He drew Holly as an Urf. Hmm, is that a little Urf cleavage in the costume? No wonder Urf Holly looks so angry!

Holly Urf

X-Men: Apocalbully.

apocalypseI liked Captain America: Civil War. Fun ensemble fight scene, a decent take of the old Civil War story line (I was wondering how’d they spin its old “take off the mask or go directly to jail” storyline), and Spider-Man and Ant Man were a hoot! (I gotta develop my bug-based super.) And by the way, Abigail Nussbaum, as far as you saying it is really about men who solve their problems with violence instead of talking, the TV show At Midnight said it best: no one would sit through over two hours of Captain America: Civil Discussion.

I have not seen X-Men: Apocalypse yet, but I remember not reading every comic book Apocalypse strutted into. The big and really really really really really powerful mutant who thinks genocide is a snazzy way to accomplish world harmony. He’s John Galt without the 40 page screed and with so much superpower that the writers can’t figure out exactly what those powers are. (Decades later and I still don’t know and Wikipedia is kind of iffy.) Maybe one of them is mutant jumping-jacks, why else would his elbows and hips be cabled together? Every time I thumbed through those old X-comics (on the rack, try before you buy!), Apocalypse was standing tall, puffing out his chest like a teen bully about to shove a nerd into the swimming pool, and telling me how he was going to mutantly and powerfully destroy lots of people. I remember what Red Mask said about Captain Triumph in Grant Morrison’s Animal Man: “Nice guy, but he had the personality of a deck chair, you know?”

And that movie preview scene where Apocalypse is choking Mystique? Holly would kick him square on the nose. Hard. Sonic boom, 9.9 on the Richter scale hard. Super Holly Hansson hates guys who pick on people who cannot bench-press as much as they can. As a writer, she’d hate a boring bully worse.

Apocalypse, watch Biff in the Back to the Future movies. You can learn something.

P.S. I reserve the right to take some of this back if I like the movie.