Monday, June 2, 2014

Liebster Award

Look, we won an award!  Actually it's one of those cheesy "awards" that are really chain letters and actually it was addressed to my author blog, but whatever.

First you're supposed to give 10 interesting facts.

I don't know how interesting this fact is, but recently I saw these two Detective Comics issues being added on DC's website:

I remembered seeing these in 1990 when my family was on vacation in Panama City, Florida where we have relatives.  It was probably in some grocery store or somewhere.  And they just freaked me the hell out.  I didn't run screaming or anything, but basically it was like that Family Guy where Stewie freaks out whenever he sees the cover for Queen's "News of the World" album.  If my older brother would have bought these, he could have tormented me for days!

I never read them but I guess the freaky "Batman" on the cover is a demon impersonating Batman or something.  Since this was after the second Robin "died" I always thought Batman had flipped the hell out about it.

So there you go, a weird trip down memory lane.

If you want more interesting facts, read my interview in the May issue of the magazine!

Then Tony Laplume, who gave me the award, addressed these 10 specific questions to me:
Pose Ten Questions
  1. How did you originally create Scarlet Knight?
  2. When did you first start reading comics?
  3. What's your favorite comic book?
  4. Who's your favorite superhero?
  5. What's your favorite comic book movie?
  6. What do you wish comics would do that you haven't seen yet?
  7. Do you have any interest in writing comics?
  8. Would you adapt the complete Scarlet Knight saga?
  9. Which one is your favorite installment in the series?
  10. Does Detroit figure into your writing style?

1.  The Scarlet Knight was originally created in my 2002 novel The Leading Men.  It revolves around a TV show very loosely based on the 60s Batman show.  (Basically if Batman in the 60s had been like Arrow today.)  Obviously I needed a hero and that's what I came up with.  I developed the various powers and backstory as the book went along.  In case you're wondering I did not know that Rutgers uses the name Scarlet Knights for their teams; I probably didn't know what a Rutgers was then.

That novel didn't sell, so I reused the concept in a pseudo-sequel 2006's The Naked World where the star of the TV show goes on a Don Quixote-esque rampage.  That probably added more to the background of the Scarlet Knight.

In 2008 I was playing around with some short stories and wrote what became Heart of a Hero where the Scarlet Lady, Dr. Emma Earl, goes back in time days before her parents are fated to die.  This was the introduction of Emma Earl as the hero.

Then in 2009 I took all those pieces and began writing what became A Hero's Journey (Tales of the Scarlet Knight #1).  So it took a circuitous route to get there.

2.  In the 80s my brother and I collected the Transformers and GI JOE comics, because we played with Transformers and GI JOE toys.  One time I insisted on getting a Spider-Man comic because I didn't have any, but this did not start a lifelong love of the webslinger because to be honest I was too damned poor to afford more than a comic or two.  I didn't get an allowance or anything, so money was hard to come by.

3.  I don't have a favorite title.  My reading is mostly directed by what's on sale on Comixology.  Because it's 30 years later and I still don't have tons of money to spend on comics.  I don't actively follow any titles because $4 an issue for a new comic book seems outrageous.  Some recent titles I've enjoyed are Superior Spider-Man, Aquaman, and Batgirl so if those go on sale I'd snap them up.

4.  Batman.  Is there really a choice?  But Batffleck might change that.

5.  The Dark Knight.  Yes, still.

6.  I haven't read enough comic books to know what they haven't done yet.  Any answer I did give would probably be something someone, somewhere has attempted in the over 75 years of comic book history.  I mean really they've done some pretty ridiculous things, especially in the 50s and 60s from the sound of it.  It would be interesting if they killed a long-established character like Superman, Batman, etc. and actually kept him or her dead forever.

7.  I did write one comic, an adaptation of part of A Hero's Journey.  It was very tiring.  The artist, AL Sirois, was very patient with me, but it's pretty clear I don't know what I'm doing.  I'm sure it's a lot easier for those who've been doing it for decades.  I could come up with a story and maybe a very rough script, but writing essentially panel-to-panel would drive me crazier.

8.  If someone else wanted to adapt the Scarlet Knight series I would let them.  I don't want to pull an Alan Moore and say it's impossible, but it would be really difficult for some of the novels.  The last one is about 500 pages in paperback, so adapting that would take a while.  Movies might be more plausible, especially since we could do that new money-grubbing thing and break up the longer ones into 2 or 3 movies.  Call me, Hollywood!

9.  I'm probably supposed to say I love them all equally, but my favorite is the sixth book, Future Shock, I suppose because it's largely based on one of my favorite stories, the Batman Knightfall arc.  Only unlike with Batman or Spider-Man or Superman the replacement hero isn't crazy or evil, which is good since she's Emma's daughter and that would be kind of awkward.  The final book, The Heart of Emma Earl, is also really epic, as is fitting for the end of a series.

And did you know both of those books are in the Tales of the Scarlet Knight Collection Volume 2:  The Wrath of Isis for only $2.99?!  That also includes books 4, 5, and 7.  The first collection contains volumes 1-3, plus the prequel novella Dark Origins and the witch-centric prequel Sisterhood.  That first volume is also $2.99, so for $5.98 you can read the whole series!  Or if you have Amazon Prime you can "borrow" them for free!

10.  Overall Rampart City is supposed to be like New York or Gotham City, but I think elements of Detroit come into play too.  For instance there's not really a subway system (anymore) so most of the time people are getting around with buses or taxis.  And of course the rampant crime and corruption is pretty familiar.

I'm supposed to "tag" other blogs but I hate doing that, so I won't.  If you want to be tagged then consider yourself tagged.


  1. I knew most of this stuff already, but it's fun to review.

  2. Nice to know how it all came about! I personally love awards, but that's just my personality.
    I agree completely. Batman all the way,
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

  3. You know, I think I have those issues.

    1. I'll make sure never to visit your house then.

    2. Well, it would be in a box somewhere.

  4. Congrats on the award Pat! The Dark Knight is an amazing film and no one will ever top it! Except the "Scarlet Knight" movie of course.

  5. Congrats on the award. I've always wanted to try to do a comic - but as slow as I am it would take me a few years to come up with a few pages.

    Are you going to put 'Leibster Award Winning' as part of your signature now?