RIP Stan Lee. Humans entertain, gods bore.

A bright light has gone out in the world. I was but a kid when Spider-Man and Fantastic Four were first published. Compared to DC Comics at the time, Stan’s characters were more flawed, more human, more fun. Super Holly Hansson is the Superman of my writing world, but she is not a perfect boy scout. She is a geek girl with a short fuse. Lesson learned.

John Trumbull ran an article a while ago that showcased Lee’s dialog when some of the jerkier fanboys would say it was ALL Kirby and ALL Ditko and Stan just took all the credit. In the article, John showed a panel from Fantastic Four, Lee’s writing and Kirby’s art.

And one from New Gods, Kirby’s writing and art.

Have I mentioned that one way to have Super Holly Hansson give you a fat lip is to call her a goddess? Putting “Gods” in a title puts me off. Fellow writers tell me that they like how Holly is “very human.”

On Stan Lee’s Fresh Air interview, he asked Terry Gross to imagine a monster: 12-feet tall, purple skin, breathing fire, two heads. In the 1960s, a typical superhero would have said, “A creature from another world – I’d better capture him before he destroys the city.” Spider-Man might say, “Who’s the nut in the Halloween costume?” Stan said he tried to do dialogue that represented the way real, flesh and blood, three-dimensional people would talk. What better writing advice can I get?

Stan loved making original sound effect words: “btkooom” (the third O is, of course, silent) and “PFZZAKT” (a bullet going through a wall). I have been a little lax with crazy original sound words lately, but I admit that I still love Harry Headbutt punching Super Holly and then she clobbers him with five: THOOM! POW POW POW POW POW!!! THOOM! POW POW POW POW POW!!!

Stan said he used those fun alliterative names (Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Reed Richards, Sue Storm) because he had a bad memory. I use them too, I like their sound: Holly Hansson, Katsuko Kimura, Cal Critbert, and my favorite: Harry Headbutt! (Nice when the name says a bit about the character.)

P.S. I was going to have a Stan Lee type character in my stories: Dan Mann. But I already have three older men in Super Holly’s life: her Uncle Pops, Bennie the rubber cop, and Lash the barber. So I am gender-flipping Dan Mann into Fran Lee. When I FINALLY finish The Comic Book Code, Fran will be the head of a Marvel-type company who publishes Holly’s graphic novel, The Last Super. She will know comic book history. She’ll be Jewish. And she will have some of HERstorian and writer Trina Robbins in her soul.

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Fault Zone Uplift readings on Nov 10

Fault Zone Uplift: What Goes Up

At the San Mateo Library (55 W 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA), Saturday Nov 10, 10:30am-12:30, Fault Zone Uplift authors (like me!) will read their stories. I will read from What Goes Up, my Super Holly Hansson story with Holly’s saddest ending ever. (My evil plan! Get them laughing, then break their hearts, MOO HAHAHAHAHA!!!) This is a CWC (California Writers Club) Peninsula Branch event.

I will sell books at Campbell Con on Saturday, Oct 20.

Tomorrow, October 20 2018, I will be at Campbell Con, West Valley College, 14000 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA. I will go to my critique group at 10, so I will be with the South Bay Writers table at Campbell Con starting around 1pm. I will stay till it ends at 5pm.

Tobe in the photo works on the online comic Villain. Check it out. He drew Super Holly doing the Power Girl punch for me on my art-from-comic-cons page (scroll down a bit).

Two book sales for me on Saturday!

Oct 13 2-4: Fremont Area Writers Book Fair at the Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd, Fremont, Ca. I will also do an open mic reading.

Oct 13 10-12:30 or 1: Santa Clara City Library Comic Con, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA.

I will sell books at South City Comic Con Sunday afternoon Sept 16

(EDIT: Sunday Sept 16, not Saturday!) San Mateo Event Center / Fair Grounds, 1346 Saratoga Dr., San Mateo, Ca. 10am-5pm. I will get there around 1pm and will be at a table with Valerie Frankel and other Bay Area writers till closing. I still have some books to sell. And the free little menu book (I’ll post a little later about that). Bill Mumy (Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!) will be there, and I hope he sells some books. And I hope I sell some too. And maybe get some Super Holly and/or Kittygirl art drawn by a comic book artist or two. Here’s hoping.

P.S. Danger, you’ll have to pay for parking! Danger!

Recent news

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.”

I am updating Super Bad Hair Day: don’t buy right now

I decided that my CreateSpace book needed to be at least 130 pages so I could have a proper book spine. I got it up to 140 with more short stories, an audio script, and some Super Holly artwork. I submitted a new Word page interior and a new PDF cover with a REAL SUPER SPINE with a REAL TITLE AND AUTHOR NAME on it! Yay! CreateSpace is currently reviewing my changes.

I will also update the Kindle book. That will likely take a few days. I am working full time, so this weekend is most likely.

So if you are thinking of buying my book, hold off. Soon you will get twice the bang for your buck. The Kindle version will stay at 99 cents, but I had to raise the CreateSpace price by 50 cents to $6.50. At least now, if you buy the CreateSpace version, you will get more of a real book.