Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Been A Long Time Gone
...which might be a better title for the story I was working on tonight. The current title is Take Me Back To Constantinople.
For the last week I've been theoretically working on the story Performance Review. This is actually one of my oldest Grandpa Anarchy stories, plotted back when I'd only written about 8 stories total. I'm not entirely sure it even needs to exist, or that there's a good punch line for it, but the idea was that Grandpa Anarchy had an annual review before the government organization that grants him his hero's license. He's had a terrible record of things being broken or destroyed, villains getting away or escaping again, and especially of sidekicks that not only didn't last very long but became villains.
I thought I could get a lot of mileage out of that, along with the threat that Grandpa Anarchy is never going to die or retire so you're stuck with him. Possibly even the threat that you can't really not license him, because he'd just turn vigilante and that would be worse: better the devil you know than the devil you don't, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, that kind of thing. Having recently written The R Word about an attempt to force Grandpa Anarchy into retirement, I thought it was time to finish Performance Review. But the jokes involved are mostly retreads of what we've seen in other Grandpa Anarchy stories, so I don't know. I want to delve into the government agency that regulates super heroes, but I'm having a hard time seeing how the story could really work well.
In any case, I decided to work on Take Me Back instead tonight. This one doesn't have a punchline yet, but it's my first real time-travel story so that should be fertile ground for a good story. I had planned to use a villain called the Revisionist Historian, but it sounds like more fun to have Grandpa talk about his fights with the Revisionist Historian... which may have happened in the past, or the future, or maybe they didn't really happen because that history was later unmade. After the first few time alterations it's hard to keep track.
So my real villain is Kid Calculus, the time and dimension-hopping former sidekick and member of The League of Former Sidekicks. I want to develop him more, and it makes sense that he can not only travel dimensionally, but through time as well. And attempting to alter time would kind of confer full-fledged villain status on him. It'd be kind of a milestone, not just trying to take down Grandpa Anarchy, but doing evil for evil's sake. Or something.
I have a trilogy of time-travel stories planned, and I figured I needed the same time-travel sidekick for all of them, so I've created the Wayback Kid. I still need to work out exactly who and what he is, to develop him a bit, but he's the first sidekick since Kid Calculus that has powers of this sort. My other two stories are kind of Nebulous in plot. One is The Chef That Time Forgot, which involves Grandpa and Wayback Kid coming across a Time Chef of some sort trapped thousands of years in the past that Grandpa already knows. I have this idea that this chef runs a restaurant where they serve meat culled from trips to the distant past, so they could do T-Rex burgers or whatever, really exclusive meals for the rich and powerful. My third time travel story also involves this Time Chef, and is called Endangered Species, in which Grandpa and sidekick are helping the chef get something that is unique... like, for example, minotaur meat (there's only the one in Greek legend, you know).
So that's what I'm working on. I haven't actually completed a new story in over a week, but I wrote a bit tonight.
I created three new story files today, none of which are real or fully-formed ideas but whatever:
Maps of Vampires That No Longer Exist This is just a misreading of a headline (Maps of Empires...) that amused me. And I haven't really written a Grandpa Anarchy vampire story yet.
A Clown In A Clown Store Based on something a customer once said to a coworker at work ("What do I look like, a clown in a clown store?"). It's one of our favorite phrases now, and so I want to use it as a story title, and Carnival Act is Grandpa's #1 nemesis....
Mechanical Advantage My friend suggested a sidekick named Mechanical Adavantage, so I saved the idea as a story file. No idea where I'm going with that one yet either, and I'll probably change the name if I do go somewhere with it.