I needed a bit of a break from fan-casting, but I’ll get back to staffing the Gotham City PD next week… probably. Today, though, it is time for our quarterly newsletter entry by retired wrestler-turned-superhero, Mr. Zeus….
“Costumes, Comics, and Romance”
I’d like to start by giving a quick shout out to everybody who attended the Hype City Sci-Fi and Comic Convention in Phoenix last month, especially those who I got a chance to meet and speak with. That’s always lots of fun, and y’all are the best fans a guy could ask for! As most of you know, I try to make it out there every year, but I had to cancel my appearance last year due to my Mom’s health issues. (She’s doing a lot better, now, thanks.) So, I was really happy to fly out to Phoenix to see you guys and see what the industry movers-n-shakers had to show us. (Was that trailer for Aliens Among Us 2 awesome, or what?!)
One of my favorite things is always seeing the creative cosplayers, and this year I got to be on the judges panel for the Costume Contest! Those kids dressed up as Power Pack were just adorable, and the Transformers trio was amazing! But, that Predator-vs-Alien couple belong on a movie set, and I’m glad my fellow judges agreed that they deserved to win Best Sci-Fi Costume(s). Of course, the 7-year-old “Mr. Zeus” was a personal favorite. (Great job, Nathan!) All of the entrants did fantastic jobs and were very creative. Well done!
This time around, I spent some time talking with comic writers & editors from two big companies and two smaller up-n-comers. For some reason, despite my background in both crimefighting and writing, I never seriously considered writing comics. But, these guys (and gals) had all read my books and asked if I’d ever thought about joining their ranks. We batted around a few ideas, and — long story short — it looks like I’m gonna be a comic book creator! Now, nothing is coming out any time soon, you understand, but I have a couple things in the works. Writing comics is a different form and process than I am used to, so I didn’t want to jump in too quickly. So, Hype City Comics is going to let me do a couple backup stories for their characters, first. (Not sure who, yet.) Hopefully, that may lead to additional work with them. Meanwhile, I will be developing a couple original properties with Island Bay Entertainment, which I will likely co-write with another, more seasoned talent. If things work out, it may expand into a computer game of some sort based on one or both properties. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but we’ll see….
I am a huge Batman fan, and, as you may have heard me mention in past interviews, the whole “No Man’s Land” crossover back in 1999 is one of my favorites. So, I was thrilled to meet and hang out a bit with writer Greg Rucka over the convention weekend. (Kept bugging him for writing tips. Sorry, Greg!) I’m also a big fan of artist Norm Breyfogle, and Rucka told me that Breyfogle had a stroke last December and is paralyzed on his left side — and he’s left-handed! If that wasn’t bad enough, medical expenses have depleted his savings, so he’s in desperate need of funds to complete his therapy. (There was a fundraiser over at YouCaring. They raised over $99K, which is great, but that’s less than half of the $200K goal.) Consider sending the Breyfogles a few bucks, if you can, OK? We need to see Norm drawing again!
Oh, I met Phil Prendergast, too! No, not the Irish politician. (I doubt she goes to comic/sci-fi conventions.) I’m talking about the creator/writer/artist of the amazing “Shadows of Eternity” graphic novels. Really nice guy, a font of sci-fi/fantasy trivia, and we might even team up on something science fiction-y down the line. Stay tuned.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret; I may have found that special someone. Except she doesn’t know it, yet. This isn’t as creepy as it may sound, so bear with me. After my brief comments last issue about my lack of a girlfriend, I started thinking more about how hard it can be for superpowered people. Some of us have to deal with things like long-term exposure to cosmic radiation or hideous bodies/faces or various other physiological and/or psychological issues that make it difficult to maintain relationships, especially with normal people. For me, my only real issues are superstrength (which I can usually control so I don’t accidentally break other people’s bones when I shake hands or give a hug) and unusually dense skin with somewhat-deadened pain receptors (which took some getting use to, but at least it isn’t as bad/dangerous as some rare conditions like congenital analgesia). Then, there is the issue of our odd occupation (or hobby, as the case may be), including injuries, odd hours of activity, danger of attack, etc., and the question of whether or not to reveal your secret identity (if you have one) to your significant other.
I started to realize that some of those issues would be less of a problem if I dated (or married) someone who had the same sorts of issues. In other words, another superhero/crimefighter/adventurer! Sounds obvious, I know, but I hadn’t really thought about purposely seeking out such a person for a relationship before. Anyway, I have been doing some research on various females “in the biz”. Some are publicly known to be either single or married, while others are more mysterious — especially if they are trying to maintain some normalcy with a secret identity. Some things I can find out or deduce from interviews and “entertainment news” stories. Other information can only be acquired by subtly — or not so subtly — asking questions of others in the super-community.
After a couple months of poking around, I think I found someone who could be a great match for me — Olympia, leader of Vanguard Prime! She’s smart, beautiful (obviously), single, and I have it on good authority (from a couple mutual friends/associates) that she has expressed similar feelings of frustration in finding someone to date who is both physically compatible and psychologically able to understand and deal with the life she leads. Originally, I was going to try to deduce her secret identity before approaching her. Then, I realized that a) it didn’t matter; b) my detective skills might not be up to it; c) she might take offense. Yeah, that would’ve been stupid. Instead, since we already know each other a little, I’ve decided I can probably come up with an excuse to meet and spend some time with her on “official business”. Hopefully, I’ll get some idea if she’s attracted to me and might be interested in pursuing a relationship. (Hey, I’m an old-fashioned guy and not exactly a “ladies man”. I need to take my time with these things.)
The fact that I live in the American Southwest and Olympia lives and (mostly) works in Western Europe could be a bit of an issue. But, we can both fly at supersonic speeds, plus Vanguard has those new teleportation stations — or “booths” as they call them — installed at select locations around the world, including one in my general neck of the woods. Not usually used for personal meetings or errands, I understand, but as they get cheaper to use, maybe the bigwigs’ll lighten up with the restrictions. In any case, assuming she’s even interested, I guess we’ll work out something. Maybe I’ll have something to report in the next newsletter….
That’s it for me, this month. Stay strong!
Note that I’m continuing to use a combination of real-world people & things (e.g., Rucka & Breyfogle, Transformers, Aliens/Predator, Batman) and fictional people & things (e.g., Prendergast, Hype City Comics, the convention that took place, Island Bay Entertainment). The bit about Norm Breyfogle’s physical & financial hardships are absolutely, real-world true. (Follow the above link.)
My “Olympia” character is tall, blonde, muscular like a fitness model (not a bodybuilder), and has a lot of white in her costume. I don’t have a finalized concept, let alone actual art, but I decided to include the two images above of existing Olympias just for kicks. (Plus, they have elements to their costumes that I like.)
If you are curious about the “Mr. Zeus” character and the world I am building around him (including “Olympia” and Vanguard Prime), let me know, and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2015.