artwork: Kittygirl foils a bank robber!

At the South City Comic Con last weekend, I asked Amelia Pendleton (instagram) to draw Kittygirl after she takes care of a bad guy. Aw, isn’t the little super sweetie cute? I think Amelia groks Kittygirl.

 

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My Kindle book now has the expanded content in the CreateSpace book. It contains:

  • Super Bad Hair Day! (first short story I wrote for Holly)
  • The Poet and the Supersplainer! (The Karate Queen, based on a poetess friend)
  • The Fiendish Brain Freezer! (Kittygirl’s first short story)
  • The Dimensional Dollar! (first appearance of Billington Stumpfinger, my Trumpy supervillain)
  • The Intellecta-Rhapsody! (script of my second audio story)
  • Chapter Zero of The Comic Book Code! (yes, I still have to finish writing the novel)
  • Super Holly artwork drawn by various artists at local comic cons.

At WorldCon, I sold 9 books (if I counted correctly). 10 books if you count the Kindle book I sold. Good times! (I should point out that at that time, my CreateSpace book had a few minor typos which I have since fixed.)

I am working on a Kittygirl trilogy, which I want to publish as a middle-grade book. Problem: I do not know any younger girls for a test audience. I will still keep writing, my critique group told me I was good at “kidspeak.”

Kittygirl’s first sketch!

At the San Francisco Comic Con today, I had Amber Padilla (her Tumblr) draw Kittygirl and Super Holly. That little verbal sparring is in their stories. And yes, I stole Wolverine’s claw sound, Kittygirl can claw through steel also. Amber added Kittygirl’s fannypack (she said it would be like her hero Holly’s) and those cute kittycat shoes. Kittygirl wore kittycat ears the first time she met Holly. I bought a few comics from Amber: Old Man Malo, Sugar Coated, and a little 8-pager: The Rescue. I like how Kittygirl gets on tippy-toe.

Thank you, Amber! You grok Kittygirl!

Had a GREAT open mic last night!

I was at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View for the Monday open mic, and I read part of my current story starring Kittygirl (Katsuko Kimura, who has super kittycat powers, and who loves Super Holly Hansson, and Super Holly loves Katsuko every bit as much). In this story, an EEEEEVIL villain, whose voice I based on Simon Bar Sinister (I love doing his evil laugh!), hit Super Holly with a time gun and turned her into an eight year old girl. Holly did not have superpowers at that age, but she was still a spitfire and proved it by breaking the villain’s nose with one punch.

Anyway. The crowd really loved the reading, I got laughs (like when Little Holly did a taunting Cyrano-type speech to distract a big-nosed, gun-toting henchwoman), and appreciative cheers (like “Ooo!” when Kittygirl knocked out said henchwoman).

When the open mic ended, I thanked a few guys at a nearby table for being a great audience. One guy said he would by recording of my stories, so I guess I should put some on sale someday. They asked me about the sound effects in my reading, like echoing. Turns out the sound guy added sound effects to my reading: echoing voice and the like. I thanked him too. And a lady gave me a quick drawing she did of Kittygirl. Actually, I do not envision Kittygirl with a tail or kitty ears, but it was nice of her to draw Kittygirl. (I have thought about giving Kittygirl slightly pointy, elf-like ears.)

I am a writer, and I am a performer. Expect more audio files. I love open mics!

P.S. At a writer gathering this evening, one of the writers read a pirate character, and did a great job. He said I had inspired him with my readings. I think I want a pirate-type character in a Super Holly story. Not sure about hero or villain, or even male or female. But I love reading pirate characters, like I did for Sulu’s Gay Trek.

Kittygirl and I are quarter-finalists!

My unpublished short story, Kittygirl Vs. the Fiendish Brain Freezer, made the quarter-finals in ScreenCraft’s Cinematic Short Story 2017 Contest. They wanted a short story, not a script, with special cinematic potential. I guess Kittygirl has that. Yay!

Out of 1400 contestants, I am in the top 350 or so. I submitted my story in December. In February, they will pick the five finalists. The top prize is about $1000 and introductions to agents, publishers, and genies who can grant three wishes.

Will I be one of the finalists? 5 out of 350? I wish. But I got a prize already: by paying a little extra upon submission, I got professional feedback. I love that. Makes me feel like an author.

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!!!

How to write a comic book accent.

I talked with author Todd Borg again last Saturday. In his latest book, Tahoe Dark, I was amused by a pseudo-gangster accent: “unnerstand” instead of “understand.” Very Chicaguh, I mean Chicago. Todd told me he’d run into the same problem I once did when I wrote dialog for the Bjorg (my Star Trek satire Swedish Borg): too much accent makes dialog unintelligible. Todd sprinkled it sparingly, as he should.

In my soon-to-be novel, Kittygirl’s firecracker of a mother has a fast and furious Japanese accent. On Youtube, I found advice from andysunstory on How To Speak With A Japanese Accent. Replace “an” with “ahn”, “R” with “L”. But what if a word ends with “R”? “Daughtal” instead of “daughter”? I remembered Urusei Yatsura’s Lum saying “Dahling!” And there’s the matter of an older white male like me not sounding racist. “So solly?” YUCK!

I wrote (and rewrote and rewrote) the following for when Kittygirl’s mother confronts Holly at Holly’s first book signing. (I’m really wrestling with “lite” instead of “write.”)

“This glaphic novel! I had to buy anothah one! You did not lite it fah kids, but my daughtah found it in my manga stash and has not let go of it since! Until now. She loved when,” she smiled, petted the girl between pointy Kittygirl ears, and enunciated like she’d rehearsed her next line, “the princess gave up her crown.”

Many great writers say never write accent into dialog. Usually true. But my style is goofy comic book, so I offer the rebuttal of Al Capp’s Lil’ Abner. Like Vulgorilla the Slobbovian (Russian): “I got fonny for you. A travelink blubber salesman’s sled broke down…” Or Brooklyn’s Evil Eye Fleegle wanting his “goil” back: “Anudder triple whammy! I’ll keep poppin’ until my beloved Shoiley is in my arms again!” Or pure hillbilly.

lil_abner_3_-29-1947_excerpt

Writing an accent is hard, but sometimes worth it!

P.S. I just changed “mahnga” to “manga.” To avoid confusion, that word for Japanese comic book should not be spelled phonetically.