Monday, March 23, 2009

The Toys In My Attic And The Junk In My Trunk

The Toys In My Attic And The Junk In My Trunk

Ok first off all you folks out here who in the act of Googling for porn ended up here can just move on. This is a tale about metaphorical attics and allegorical trunks. I should also warn you that much of the material you read here may be literal crap.

For me the trunk is the part of my mind where all the stories that never sold or never quite turned our right are kept. The attic is where I keep all the characters that never quite found a home or knew what to do with. You’d be surprised the amount of this stuff that builds over just a short time not to mention half a lifetime.

Like this here? This would have been the story of a woman that finds herself one of the few survivors of a vague sort of apocalypse. Her companion on her adventures would a guy she had once told she wouldn’t sleep with if he was the last man on Earth. I was sure hilarity would abound;

* * * * *

The campfire was pathetic, the grubs and roots they had for dinner were even worse. Just when Ally thought things couldn’t get any worse Vinnie sat down close beside her. Ally started to groaned audibly but then stopped. He might think it was an invitation.

“You feelin’ ok?” he flashed a grin that still had bits of grub stuck in it.

Ally winced, “Define ok.”

Suddenly his lips were on hers, he pushed her down on to the ground, his hands everywhere.

So Ally kneed him in the groin as hard as she dared, twice.

When Vinnie could talk again he said, “I’m so sorry Alison. I don’t know what came over me.”

“That’s fine.” She said crisply, “Just remember I never will.”

* * * * *

LOVE AND DESTRUCTION, as it was to have been called, ran out of steam shortly afterwards. It was all premise no spark. Ah well.

Around the same time I tried to write a novel about a group of D&D players that have to slay an actual dragon- aside from this being a cliché so huge it can be seen from orbit I also realized about 250 pages or so in that I had no idea how a group of gamer nerds would kill a dragon unless they somehow used their collective funk to suffocate it. Most of the characters from that story were reused in other projects I was much happier with.

Now this was around the time that Clive Barkers THE BOOKS OF BLOOD came out, those books pretty much changed me forever showing me that horror, wonder and humor could all exist in the same page- heck sometimes within he same paragraph.

So I started trying to write horror fiction, my goal market was a magazine called THE HORROR SHOW, the rejections slips I got were always encouraging and kept me trying I like to think that I would have cracked the market eventually but sadly THE HORROR SHOW folded before I truly found my creative voice- perhaps manuscripts like this one drove them to it;

* * * * *

Wendy always cut through the woods to get home from work. She wasn’t afraid of the dark, she never had been. She just strolled through the trees with the moon at her back and a song on her lips.

Even tonight with the frigid winds and cloudy, starless skies did she avoid her shortcut. She paused to drink in the night; the scent of decaying leaves and sap mixed with the frostiness of the fall air, it was an invigorating scent, a living scent. Wendy smiled, she’d be home soon.

She started off again, her feet crunching over fallen leaves and pinecones. Carl was probably waiting up for her, sometimes she’d find him asleep on the couch, the TV blaring, his mouth open and slack.

On those nights she would just look at him for a few minutes and thank God for delivering her such a good husband. Then she’d kiss his forehead gently and he’d wake up and carry her to bed. On those nights neither of them got much sleep. She quickened her pace, now she really wanted to get home.

Wendy paused, near the edge of her peripheral vision there was a fleeting glimpse of, of something. It was a quick animal like movement, a fluttering shadow against a backdrop of shadows. A dirty primitive smell invaded her flaring nostrils. Her blood turned to ice…

* * * * *

Wow huh? Prose purpler that monk at a strip club.

Now see that big mound of papers over there? That’s the novel I wrote in High School about a kid that wanted to be a superhero. It was the first thing I ever wrote from start to finish that was longer than 500 words. It was a real honest to God novel and while I don’t think I would ever want to see it in print now I do have to say that THE HERO is still 100 times better than MEET THE SPARTANS.

I’m not ready to share that one with you guys yet, maybe someday soon but that one would be an essay in itself.

Of course no tour of my subconscious would be complete without a visit from these guys.

Readers meet my super hero team, at least what is left of them anyway and yes this is an example of my artwork way back in 1986. As you can see my unique stylings are somewhere between the early cubists and Fred Hembeck.

I eventually abandoned cartooning in favor of… whatever the Hell it is I do here but these wild and crazy guys- THE CRUSADERS, as they were known are going to be wandering around in the back of my imagination when I am on my deathbed.

Who are these guys? Well up top right left there is THE MUSE- who was pretty much Stevie Nicks with the powers of DC comics’ Dr. Fate. The joke with her was that all the major mythological gods were working for other super teams so all the Crusaders could get was her. She was wise, kind and under the right circumstances a total slut. A fun character to write, I miss her.

Now the one in the stunningly original costume in middle of the upper row is DRACULA THE TENTH who was pretty much Batman with self esteem issues and the power to talk to bats. Yes he was the one superhero Aquaman could laugh at.

The guy in the upper right in all red is INFINITE MAN whose Superman-like powers were infinite in potential except when he was on Earth- then he got weaker. Did I mention he couldn’t breathe in space?

Directly below the muse is RINGMAN who could shoot energy rings out of his hands and fly. Since most villains could jump or fly through said energy rings with relative ease I retired Ringman every other issue it seemed. Sorry buddy.

To the right of Ringman is AMAZING LADY- your standard super heroine in the Black Canary/Daredevil mode. She didn’t have a secret identity and was famous for being the greatest mall security guard in the world. Again this was in 1986. Take THAT Paul Blart! I had her hooked up with the half robot guy in the front for a while but then he dumped her for the Muse and then Amazing Lady sold her soul to a demon for superpowers of her own but it turned out she couldn’t control them and then I realized I couldn’t draw and never finished her story arc.

Actually this was the 80’s story arcs hadn’t been invented yet.

The blond guy in the red jumpsuit next to her is MATT MORON OF THE SPACE PATROL. Matt lived in the future having lots of cosmic adventures, he even fought Cthulhu once. However no matter how many times he saved the Earth the people of the 36th century still made fun of his name. Matt eventually became stranded in the 20th century were he joined the crusaders and suffered through even more people making fun of his last name. Although many years have past I can still draw Matt’s hairline.

Now next to Matt- the guy with no neck there- that is GEORGE GORDON and he like Matt Moron is an adventurer from a space opera style environment thrust into the Crusaders’ world. George was pretty much a Star Trek style Red Shirt that happened to have a strongly developed sense of self-preservation and cowardice. He also had no neck, making him immune to strangulation. George Gordon was actually created by Eden Studio’s George Vasilakos. I remember back in Junior High School I asked him if I could use the George Gordon character he had created. George in his wisdom and kindness said to me “Why the Hell should I care? I just hit puberty!”

Now below George Gordon is PRINCE ZARDEK OF ATLANTIS who may have been my second most unoriginal character of all time. He was pretty much Marvel’s SubMariner without winged feet and green Speedos. He didn’t really do much but say “Zounds!” a lot. I suppose someone had to.

Next to Zardek is another unoriginal character called THE CRIMSON COMET and he was pretty much a rip-off of the Flash except that he had a twin brother that also had speed powers so they traded off using the costume. I hope they laundered their tights between switchovers.

Now next to The Crimson Comet is… Jeeze, none of these guys were very original were they? Oh well. Meet FROGMAN, he had a ray gun that could give people warts. I thought this stuff was funny back then? He also used to have a sidekick named RIBBIT and a special car called The FROGMOBILE. Eventually Ribbit left the team and as for the Frogmobile?

It was toad away.

Ahhhugh yourself!

Now next to Frogman was a winged character that was to be named CAPTAIN PEREGRINE but he ended up looking like a budgie so I called him Captain Parakeet instead. Since his hands were always using those high tech wings of his he had laser guns installed on his feet. For some reason I always imagined him as being Canadian.

Right below that guy is SUPERPUNK who had the powers of Superman and Dr. Strange and had very interesting hair. Unlikely plot revelations would reveal he was both the Muse’s long lost son and some kind of a homunculus. Say what you will but it still sounds better than the Clone Saga doesn’t it?

Then dead center in the front is CYBRO who was half man, half machine and all player. Even though he was a torment half mechanical monster he still had the only two girls on the team pining for him. I guess he had a vibration setting.

The guy with the huge skull is BRAINMAN, who had a big brain; he was smart and telepathic and hid his true identity with the world’s greatest hairpiece. If you had a head like that would you go getting into fistfights on a regular basis?

Then lastly in the lower left hand corner there? That’s me aka ALBERT WHO. That is right, I wrote myself into my own superhero comic. Did I mention I had a lightsaber and a TARDIS? Still though, he is a handsome devil isn’t he?

So there you have it, some of the stories and characters I created and never really let go of. Sometimes it still makes me sad to think that when I died these things will perish with me.

If only there was some way to fool people into looking at this half-assed junk by disguising it as some kind of an essay or blog entry…

1 comment:

  1. That super team's no worse than some of them that made it to print. And yes, the story's better than the Clone Saga, definitely.

    The opening of the horror book's not too bad, actually. I would've read on. You can always look at it as a rough draft and keep going. :)

    Fun stuff!