Tagged: Hero

Dennis O’Neil: Mark Twain and The Seven Basic Plots

O'Neil Art 140424The day is bright, the Earth is coming back to life – Tuesday was Earth Day, even there are a flurry of birthdays in the offing… I mean, you don’t really expect me to work, do you?

So, instead of trying to be original (and good luck with that, mi amigo) we’re going to delve into the innards of the computer and see what we can haul out.

Ah, what have we here? “Seven Basic Plots.” Okay, that’ll do, but first… a small and probably totally unnecessary spoiler alert: If you’re a person who feels that looking at things like plot lists, taking writing classes, reading how-to-write books will compromise your vision or creativity or wreak some other harm… maybe you should cut out now and return, if you like, next week, when the topic will be completely different, unless it isn’t.



FROM www.badtigerstudio.com

Welcome to The Bad Tiger Studio premiere!

BAD TIGER STUDIO is proud to present its grand opening with action, thrills and tales of amazing adventure.


BAD TIGER STUDIO is the creation of C. William Russette and Justin Ditzler. The mission is simple. We will bring to you the kind of stories, in comic book and strip format as well as prose, that we want to be reading but have not found. This will range from Sword and Sorcery to Paranormal Thrillers to Pulp Fiction in all its glorious and sometimes gory forms.

In our premiere release we have two comic books, three comic strips and one prose serial:

OPERATOR ZERO by Justin Ditzler and C. William Russette

Operator Zero is the high speed, quick-draw, adrenaline packed saga of one man against overwhelming malevolent forces for the sake of Justice.
A poisonous business mogul, the crime cartels, and the government of a crime laden Chicago in the not too distant future all defy the law.  OPERATOR ZERO is beyond the courts law. He will hunt those that hide behind strength, money and power.  He will be the scourge that no one else dares become toset right the wrongs done him and those he considers his family.
Not for revenge but Justice has he taken the fight to the enemy.
His enemies will flood the gutter with blood.

The Hawthorne Chronicles is an adventure pulp tale based in the 1930’s. Three adventurers travel the world collecting supernatural artifacts that have fallen into the hands of people who would use them for evil purposes. James Hawthorne is the founder of the Hawthorne Foundation. The sole purpose of the foundation is the collection and return of artifacts for reward which funds the trios further adventures.
John Eagle Eye is a Native American of the Cherokee Nation. James and John met in World War I in Europe. They have saved each others lives several times and are blood brothers. Claire Hawthorne is the 16 year old daughter of James and Lilly Hawthorne. Claire is extremely talented at building gadgets, machines and their repair.
When Claire was a baby Lilly was murdered by a man using a supernatural artifact he was attempting to steal. Vowing to never let this happen to anyone else, James And John created the Hawthorne Foundation toremove such dangers from the hands of evil doers!

THE SKULL by D. C. Golightly and Brandon Wilt

Who is The Skull? This mysterious midnight manhunter has burst onto the scene of Delta Point, a city that loves it’s secrets. His bizarre mask is not only his trademark, but his curse as well. The underworld is just beginning to realize how dedicated this vigilante is in his quest for justice, even if it means circumventing the law.

JUNIOR’S WORLD by Frank Dawson Jr.

Junior’s world is a Strip about a Boy named Junior. He lives with his Uncle who is just a little too weird for Junior. Although they are very much alike, they are from different generations and don’t see the world in the same geeky light.

THE BLACK VIPER by Steven Wilcox and Justin Carmona

When darkness falls over the city of Bright Haven, a Hero will emerge from the shadows. The Black Viper: Enemy of Evil is a New Pulp Noir Serial that follows one Man’s quest to rid his city of the evil that has taken over.

THE BLACK KINGDOM by D. C. Golightly

A breeding ground for the evil that infects the seven nations, Nak Annih has been carefully barricaded to hold back further incursions from the Orc army and their terrible high priest. More and more outbursts of lone Orc contingents have been plaguing the borderlands, however, pushing the king to reach past the barrier and seek peace. His agent, a stalwart swordsman and campaign hero, Bolstagg Freilander, has been tasked with penetrating the barrier and bringing the treaty into the dark land. Even though he is renowned for his honor and bravado, Bolstagg knows that luck will outweigh skill as he ventures onward into THE BLACK KINGDOM.

We promise an interesting ride. Do join us.


Mind the Tiger. He Bites.

Bad Tiger Studio Founders:

Justin Ditzer

C. William Russette

Dennis O’Neil: Can We Be Heroes?

Well! They are certainly biting the dust, aren’t they, these “heroes”? A few weeks ago, I lamented the steroid-fueled fall from grace of that bicycling phenom, Lance Armstrong. And for quite a while we’ve been learning about perverse clergymen who can’t keep their cassocks buttoned and their hands to themselves. Now, we have the sorry spectacle of two of our nation’s high-profile warriors behaving like eighth graders enthralled by their female classmates’ sudden bumpiness. Could they be taking their cues from a rather impressive list of horny congressmen? Don’t know. Is this a matter of national security? Shrug. Are they dumb asses? Well, I have no rocks to throw when it comes to asinine concupiscence, so let us hurry past this and ask the big question: Are they heroes, these horn dogs?

Okay, what’s a “hero,” anyway? The answer, if you don’t mind regressing past a lot of centuries, is that a hero is something pretty close to a god. Heroes first presented themselves in mythology, and often, maybe most of the time, they were half-deity themselves: Gilgamesh and Hercules and that crowd. We worship gods; we venerate heroes. And the need to perform these acts of worship and veneration seems to be pretty deep within us. Our genes seem to like them; every culture seems to have its pantheon of über-beings. Might have some survival value – uniting folks unrelated by blood into a social unit, the better to grow crops and defend against enemies and invent video games.

And here’s where it gets vexing for those of us in the hero business: maybe the time for heroes is almost past. Not just any one hero, or group of heroes, or class of heroes – the very concept of hero. Going, going, gone. Because it’s hard to venerate something you know, in your synapses, does not exist – not just on Olympus, or heaven, but nowhere at all. Which is what contemporary experience is telling us: no Santa Claus, no Easter bunny, no heroes. Now move along…

Oh, there are still plenty of extraordinary feats to admire. Physicists and mathematicians and delving into realities that their forebears didn’t know existed and if you doubt that athletes are amazing, just check out any random season of a major sport or watch the next Olympics. But the “hero” idea has accumulated a lot of baggage over the millennia: our heroes should be noble and honest and honorable and self-sacrificing and, as the Greeks had it, should “serve and protect.” They aren’t any of that – not the ones that exist outside make-believe.

Still, we go to the movies and watch the television and get entertained by heroic figures, so, bottom line, whatever prompts us to hero worship is still with us. And if our heroes are a bit more smudged than those our fathers and grandfathers favored…hey, our air isn’t as clean as theirs, either, and we’re still breathing, at least for a while.

Before I go…did I tell you that I’ve finally seen the new Arrow TV series and…

RECOMMENDED READING: Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases


Ron Perlman gets back into Hellboy makeup to make a wish come true

Ron Perlman made one little boy’s wish come true when he showed up in his full Hellboy makeup and costume for a day of hanging out with his big screen hero. Seth Abramovitch reports:

Six-year-old Zachary had expressed to Make-A-Wish his desire “to meet and become Hellboy.” The boy is undergoing treatment for leukemia, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Enter Spectral Motion, the creature effects house that brought to life the many fantastical characters in Guillermo del Toro‘s Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy 2 (2008).

They in turn approached Perlman, who “loved the idea and donned the makeup once more,” Spectral Motion said on its Facebook page.

Perlman then underwent the four-hour makeup application procedure it takes to become Hellboy and shocked a delighted Zachary — who later got the opportunity to become a pint-sized Hellboy himself. More photos of the memorable encounter are posted on Facebook.

Now if someone can convince him to dress up as Vincent from Beauty and the Beast again, I’ll be thrilled.




Tippin’ Hancock’s Hat- Reviews of All Things Pulp by Tommy Hancock
By Various
Edited by Eric S. Brown and Anthony Giangregorio
Published by Living Dead Press, 2011
I have said this many times before and will hold this as a standard of my interest in Pulp for years to come.  Although it was not called such back in the days of the Classic Pulps and had just started its long life then, the phenomenon known as the genre mash up I think has blossomed full grown in today’s society and is a major part of New Pulp!  Seeing how writers masterfully weave two apparently disparate genres into one cohesive, knock your socks off collection always thrills me.
Except when it doesn’t.  At least not completely.
SUPERHEROES VS. ZOMBIES is a collection that mashes two things together that I feel passionately about.  One genre I am absolutely enthralled with and makes me feel like a little kid every time I read something from it.  And another that makes the bile rise in my mouth like a Baptist preacher griping because Christmas has become over commercialized and there’s just too much fat old man.  Except in this case, the fat old men are dead bodies that just won’t stay down.  Yeah, Walking Dead Fanatics, I’m not one of you.
These two genres have similarities most definitely, but at their root, there is one major difference.  Despite all of the post modern takes on the mask and cape crowd, the essence of Superheroes for me at least is that there is always one thing- The Hope that Good will overcome Evil in whatever form it takes.  Yeah, call me corny and retro or whatever, but it’s why I read comics as a kid and why I still thrill to the antics of masked types today.  Because, even in the darkest hours, they are the tiny bit that might make the difference.
Zombie stories, on the other hand, though having some of the trappings of Good overcoming Evil, tend to be more about how the World is Hell and no one’s getting out alive, except the already dead.  There’s a sense of dread, of hopeless, even in the victories.  And lately authors have gotten divided on just who should win in the end, the useless living or the rotting dead.  ‘
SUPERHEROES VS. ZOMBIES is a mix of mismatch.  The stories that fail to engage me, some of them even outright disgusting me both for content and lack of ability to blend the genres well, sadly outnumber the tales that overcome the inherent problem in blending these two.   But let’s focus on the positive.
M by Alan Spencer, Zomcomm by E. M. Maccallum, Whiz Bang by Terry Alexander, and The Heart of Heroism by Rebecca Besser are definite jewels in this book.  They portray the horror of being in a zombie-infested wasteland and balance it with the horror of being a hero, perhaps the only one in this landscape.  And don’t get me wrong; these tales don’t all end with the Zombie menace forever squashed.  What they do is balance the best parts of both genres extremely well.
Two other stories do this excellently as well, but in a very twisted way.  The Last Superhero by Anthony Giangregorio and The Detective by Kelly M. Hudson each take a well-known super hero archetype and turn it on its edge in the land of the Zombie.   Even with the way these two turn out, the basic tenets of what a Hero tries to do remains strong throughout the tale.
The others, some get close, some miss the mark for me completely.
THREE OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT- If you could get the aforementioned stories as eBook singles, I’d definitely recommend them.

The Point Radio: ARROW Is Heroes Without Super

She’s not really evil, but she plays it well. Lana Parilla, the Evil Queen from ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME, fills us in on where the show is headed and how magic will be her best and worst friend in episodes to come. Plus more on The CW’s ARROW including just what comics Steven Amell (Oliver Queen) used for research, and remember Patrick Duffy as a super hero? Here comes the MAN FROM ATLANTIS reboot!

We cover NEW YORK COMIC CON – live from the floor – starting Thursday on The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Renew at Ralphs and Help the Hero Initiative!

The Hero Intitiative

Y’know what goes great with easy fundraising? Pie!

On September 1, Ralphs grocery stores wipes the slate clean on their “Community Contribution” program, and we need to build back from Square One!

The Ralphs Rewards card is your standard grocery store “club card” that gets you discounts and whatnot. But you can ALSO register it with a Ralphs-approved charity, and EVERY time you shop and use the card, Ralphs will kick in a small percentage to the charity of your choice. It costs you, the consumer, NOTHING. It’s just Ralphs kicking in a couple bucks to good causes.

And yes, The Hero Initiative is one of those Ralphs-approved charities, and yes, we need YOU to re-register your card for Hero, which is easy as pie (tho’ not quite as tasty):

1) Sign in to Ralphs.com with your email and password
1a) If you have not created an account, create one now! Takes about 60 seconds!

2) Click on “Ralphs Rewards” in the upper right corner

3) Click on “Community Contribution.” It’s in the left-side menu under “My Ralphs”
3a) Hit “enroll” at the bottom.

4) Now enroll! When signing up, our NPO # (non-profit organization #) is: 80680, and we’re under our corporate name, “A Commitment To Our Roots.” Don’t let it throw ya!
4a) Click “Save Changes” at bottom

5) Now go get a pie.

Seriously, folks, if you do this once, we get a few nickels every time you shop, and multiplied by a San Diego Comic-Con full of people, it’s the best, easiest way we’ve found to raise funds. Totally painless. And hot dammit, you need bologna and Q-Tips anyway!

This applies to Ralphs, Foods Co. and Food 4 Less stores in Southern California, Nevada, Illinois, and Indiana. So if you’re in those necks of those woods, hop to it. I thank you kindly.

AND if you’re in Los Angeles, check out Golden Apple Comics on Wednesday, Sep. 26 from 6-9 PM! We’ll be signing people up for Ralphs on the spot, and if you sign up your card, you’ll get a FREE limited edition Happy! print autographed by BOTH Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson as Darick is in attendance for the release of Image Comics’ Happy #1!

Dennis O’Neil: We Can Be Heroes

In my moment, it’s Labor Day. (In your moment…watch me shrug.) That being so – that Labor Day reality – it seems appropriate to think of unions and a cause dear to my heart.

Unions have not been consistent, not in my limited experience. An anecdote? Right after graduating from college, my friend Don Tonelli and I went to San Francisco. No agenda, just a long ramble to somewhere we’d never been. While in the Bay Area we visited my uncle Oscar, whom I’d seen once very briefly when I was a tot, and who was the subject of a bemused mention at clan gatherings. Oscar was a marvelous old man who kept us entertained and fascinated for most of a week. Among his entertainments were stories of the early days of the unions, when he and other skilled craftsmen went to meetings in large groups, armed with rifles, defying the fat cat bosses and their goons, demanding decent wages and working conditions. Back then, unions were the good guys.

But by the time Don and I shared wonderful hours with Oscar, unions had changed. Not for the better. The story went like this: unions had been infiltrated by criminals and had becomes nests of bullies and mobsters. Pretty damn shady enterprises, all in all. We baby blue staters grouped them with society’s ills. We didn’t consider that they provided insurance plans and pension plans and sundry other benefits, including a sense of the pride in working for a living. We were young. We were slow to look at both ends of a question. And, besides, it felt righteous to be pissed off.

Lately, I’ve grouped unions with the good guys again. They are among the few sources of campaign financing that can compete in fund raising with the billionaire-favored superPACs, and so they help blue collar voices to be heard. And they still provide those benefits. Those benefits are important.

We comics guys have never had unions. The closest thing to a union in our world was the Academy of Comic Book Arts, created by a motley crew of freelancers in 1970. ACBA, as we fondly called it, didn’t attempt to negotiate with the publishers, though that was discussed at early meetings, and in the end, did little to provide those important benefits. What it did do was present yearly awards for exemplary work, and that is no small task. But those awards weren’t of much use if your kid was sick or the rent needed paying.

No unions, no benefits. Good luck.

And this brings us to my heart’s dear cause: The Hero Intiative. Which is what, exactly? Here’s a paragraph from the organization’s website:

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

If you get a chance to help H.I., you should take it.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases Goes Gangnam Style


‘Buck Rogers’ returns with Howard Chaykin

Anthony Warde seems to have Buster Crabbe at a...

Howard Chaykin will revive Buck Rogers. The veteran cartoonist has been announced as writer and artist on a new Hermes Press comic book series.

Best known for its reprints – including some of the legendary pulp hero – the publisher has promised an “all new take” on the character by the American Flagg! creator.

“When [Hermes publisher Dan Herman] casually asked me whether I had any interest in reviving Buck Rogers, my reaction was first physical – genuine goose bumps – followed by complete delight at the thought of paying back a concept that was so utterly seminal in my thinking about our medium and our field,” said Chaykin.

The science fiction hero first appeared in Armageddon 2419 AD in the pages of the August 1928 issue of Amazing Stories, written by Philip Francis Nowlan.

The comic will be unveiled at the “Buck Rogers, Past, Present and Future” panel at 6pm on Friday, July 13 at San Diego Comic-Con International.

A New Trailer for Wreck-It Ralph

60-0-022-0013_rev-300x125-5052517Now that we’re saturated in all things Brave, Disney has ratcheted up the marketing for its November 2 release of Wreck-It Ralph. Featuring the vocal talent of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch the film was directed by Rich Moore (The Simpsons).

Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer), the “good guy” star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing andseeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he’s tired of playing the role of a bad guy.  He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.

Video: ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ movie trailer

On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty. But it’s the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade.  Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late?