Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Wacky Superhero Tryouts

Today my goal was to work on A Glitch in Time and maybe finish it.  Instead, I started the morning by fixing a few things in my story from last night, Final Act, and then by listening to this week's This American Life, which was their updated Superpowers 2013 episode.

I've heard the old Superpowers episode many times, and this version was largely the same content.  But because I was in a superhero frame of mind this morning, several things grabbed my attention.

First, there's Kid Cruller.  When I wrote Final Act yesterday, I had to decide on a new sidekick for Grandpa Anarchy.  I think finding out about Grandpa's new sidekick is half the fun of a new Grandpa Anarchy story, but it's also kind of a pain because I have to keep coming up with new ones.  Friends throw ideas at me, and I have a list of names and ideas that I sometimes borrow from, which is where I got Kid Cruller.  But I always need new sidekick ideas.  So when I reached Act 3 of Superpowers, "The Green Team OF Boy Millionaires, Beppo The Amazing Supermonkey From Planet Krypton, And The Man From Sram", I got some new sidekick ideas.

This act is an interview with Jonathan Morris who edits "the website Gone and Forgotten" which you can supposedly search for on the internet.  This is all from 2001, so I wasn't sure any of this was still true, but I found a Gone and Forgotten blogspot blog which may be the only website they were referring to (there's a tumbler site as well, but no other website that I've found).  And while exploring this blog, I came across the post from June 19 2013 which is one of two in which he attacks the "Before Watchmen" comic "Minutemen" (and rightfully so, it seems).

In particular this blog post points out a "wacky superhero tryout" segment from the comic that he correctly identifies as A)  wildly out of place in anything connected to the Watchmen (Minutemen) and B)  so old and hackneyed that it fails to be funny.  As an example he pulls up a very similar "wacky superhero tryout" segment from Justice League Quarterly.  My mind went immediately to the tryout segment from one of my favorite movies, Mystery Men, and also to the Revenge Society recruitment scene in The Venture Brothers season 4 episode Bright Lights, Dean City.

And my first thought, of course, was, "why haven't I written a wacky superhero tryout story yet?"  And even though I haven't written the story in which Nina leaves the League of Two-Fisted Justice, I know that she's going to, so that gave me a reason for them to have such a tryout.

By the end of the day, Tryout Trouble was finished.  For the third day in a row I've written a new story which I think works and which has actual plot (or at least, important things happen).

Dark Dr. Dark said, "Ever since the valiant Nina Ballerina left our noble society, the League of Two-Fisted Justice has been lacking a certain something...."
"Yeah," said Deep Fat Fryer, "a skinny woman in a tutu.  But if that's all you want, my niece is available every other Saturday...."
Dark Dr. Dark steepled his hands.  "No, Gentlemen.  Five was a very good number for our group.  I find four to be insufficient, and I need not point out that we now lack that indefinable feminine touch around the base...."
"Like I said, my niece is available...."
Grandpa frowned.  "Yeah, but can't we just pick an already-active hero, like Solar Sister or Crimson Cyclone?  Do we have to do it this way?  Mal?"  He stared at the end of the table where a fifth person sat -- a trim man with red skin, black hair and goatee, and horns.  He was dressed sharply in a very expensive suit and tie, and had a briefcase and a stack of papers on the table before him.
  Malevolent P. Brimstone, Grandpa Anarchy's demonic lawyer, lifted a sheet of paper.  "Indeed you do, Mr. Anarchy.  According to section 18 of the League's own bylaws, wacky superhero tryouts are absolutely required in these situations, and  that's not even citing the requirements of the Global Supergroup Registration Act, which also stipulate...."
"Yeah, okay, I get it," Grandpa said.  "Then let's get this show on the road."

As a side note, I wanted the League to hire a competent female hero, and I was inspire by the Wonder Woman segment of the This American Life Superpowers episode (it was Act 2) to create a sort of uber-strong Warrior Princess character.

So that was my accomplishment for the day!

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