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.

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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.

Who are my fanboys?

beth-barany-30-Day-Writing-Challenge-to-PLAN-WRITE-YOUR-NOVELI am taking Beth Barany’s Branding For Novelists class, which helps writers nail down exactly what their brand is. Such as who is my audience, what is my author bio, calls to action that I can do to help my marketing, and so on. And part of her lesson to make a branding statement says that if I say my audience is everyone, I need to think again.

I started writing my superheroine Super Holly for me, and anyone who wanted to read her. But I needed to narrow it down, else how will I know who I am really writing for? Did J.K. Rowling write for everyone? No, for little British boys and girls who felt oppressed by the snooty upper class! Did Stan Lee? No, for comic book geeks who wanted to read superheroes who talk, act, and have problems like real people (not those boring interchangeable clones that DC Comics was doing in the 60s)! So here is the audience I think I’m aiming at:

Females, kids, gays, and anyone else who is not a superhero fanboy, but would like to be.

How’s that? I think this is really who I am thinking of. Sure, I love fanboys, I am a fanboy! But us mostly white older male geeks are gonna die out in the next two or three decades, comic books and superheroes need new blood!

I wrote Holly because I love when the woman steps up and punches out the bad guy. Some superhero stories should be written for that half of the planet’s population. Boy, would I love for Super Holly to give Darkseid a BIG FAT BELT right in his genocidal kisser! And if that does not work, a super-telekinetically-enhanced kick in the you-know-where. And he’d better not use his Omega Beams on her if he knows what’s good for him, because they would fry Holly’s beloved blonde hair, and Holly would get steam-rocket-out-her-beaky-nose, GRRRRRROWLing Belker-The-Biter (Hill Street Blues) MAD!!!

beth-baranyThank you, Beth. You are making me think.

Starfire: Heart-touching or Posing?

The current run of DC Comics Starfire, as written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, has been lighthearted, funny, and even heart-touching. But DC Comics will soon reboot its universe again (yes, AGAIN). Starfire soon ends its current run with issue 12. From what I can find so far, she’ll be stuffed into (Teen?) Titans. How will Starfire be portrayed there?

A little heart-touching, from Starfire #1 of the Palmiotti and Conner run?

STARFIRE-num1

Or a lot of posing, from Red Hood and the Outlaws #1? Front…

starfire-red-hood-and-the-outlaws-num-1-1

And back.

starfire-red-hood-and-the-outlaws-num-1-2

Posing for the oh-so-tuff-macho-males is not outlawed, but making Starfire do it ought to be.

Watch me pull a DC reboot outta my hat!

DC Comics is rebooting its universe again. Back to the roots. Lowered prices, twice-monthly comics. And starting them over at #1 again. Rumored to be cancelled: Midnighter (gay hero) and Starfire (fun superheroine). Sigh. I guess roots are kinda white male.

A little advice to DC Comics. To sell comic books, write good stories. I love Harley Quinn and Starfire (my usual taking the pulse of super heroines): fun writing! Why is Deadpool funny? Not because of the violence, or the sexual innuendo, or the swearing. It’s because the script is damn funny! (Yeah, I know, Hollywood won’t believe me.)

I’m tired of weathering comic book universe reboot storms and waiting for the storylines to settle down. What does the repeated reboot trick remind me of? Presto!

Super Working Stiffs

Even superheroes gotta earn a living. (Billionaire Bruce Wayne excepted.)

Like Ant Man. Gets out of prison, tries to earn a living with a private security company, and doesn’t do well at it. Poor guy. I love it.

hellcat-retail

I also love Marvel’s new Hellcat! comic book. The art is fun, the writing is funny and warm. Issue #1 had Hellcat encounter a low-level super villain. He had money troubles, “I’m just trying to live my life, y’know?” Instead of a huge fight, she talked him out of stealing and rented a room from him, she needed a place to live. Then she visited a comic book shop, had a beer, and started a super(hero) temp agency. She ended issue #1 with: “I, Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat, am going to work retail.” That is VERY refreshing!

It reminds me of Harvey Pekar. In his comic book American Splendor, Harvey wrote about his life as a file clerk in Cleveland: “Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” Many of his stories were about his different jobs, and how his file clerk job was a cornerstone of his life. As a real life person, Harvey never put on a cape.

I take that into account in my story writing. My superheroine, Super Holly Hansson, is paid to put on her cape and do super heroics, Holly considers herself a working stiff. Unlike the current movie Superman, calling her any kind of god would be a great way to get a fat lip. Like Harvey Pekar, Holly’s comic book writing also earns money. It is a huge cornerstone of her life that she loves a lot more than punching out Harry Headbutt when he tries to “ROB BANK, GET MONEY, BUY TEN POUND STEAK, AND NOT LEAVE TIP!” And Holly’s love interest, Cal “The Intellectual” Critbert, became far more human when I finally gave him his day job as a movie critic.

My supers can get government-funded jobs and be paid for putting on the cape and doing super heroics. Beats putting on masks and running around looking for trouble at three o’clock in the morning. The police get to do that.

P.S. Why do my supers put on capes? Same reason cops wear a badge.