When Grundoon announced The Great Gamma Ray Comic Book Script Quest, I knew I was in. I predicted (correctly) that others would write more impressive entries, but I hoped I could entertain her. My idea quickly developed into a tale of four parts, only three of which have been completed. The grand finale I hope to post next week.
I realized since Part II I wanted to post an Afterward in the daylog. Circumstances have suggested to me I post it as an Interlude instead. Suffice it to say, if you have not read my particular contribution to the GammaGirl saga, this daylog won't make much sense. You should skip it entirely and read something else-- perhaps Charity in action, by our newest teen noder, or something by one of your all-time favorite writers here-- or you could read the story, which starts here, or you could continue reading this with the understanding that I'm going to reference my unevenly-toned tale.
I'm writing for three reasons:
- I want to explain the general intentions of the story itself.
- I want to bring some clarity to a bizarre, if minor, controversy.
- I want to explain how I've tried to reflect my sense of Grundoon, a woman I've encountered online, but have only almost met in real life.
I knew, when Grundoon made her request, that someone would write a better origin story than I could devise, and someone did. I knew someone would write an actual comic-book script that would be funnier than I could write, and someone did. It never occurred to me that someone would write a recipe, but someone did. As for me, I decided to write a parodic event comic.
See, I read comics when I was a kid, but had abandoned them by high school. While I was in university, however, articles hit the mainstream papers (we read our news on paper, back then) regarding DC Comics' Crisis on Infinite Earths, arguably the first real multi-crossover Event Comic series. I read that. Story-wise, it was a mess, but I loved the concept, I enjoyed revisiting the world of superheroes, and I soon started interspersing my loftier and more grown-up reading with, well, comic books. Not just those high-falutin' graphic novels that were coming out, mind you, but four-colour, sound-effect-filled, spandex-heroed comic books. Event Comics that will change forever some company's shared universe now appear roughly every second month and the luster has faded, but I wanted to write something akin to that kind of story, while making it clear that "GammaGirl" would be the central character.
I therefore devised an outline for a story that would (1) include, however briefly, an actual comic book script, so that Grundy's title would fit my story, (2) feature a larger world of heroes and villains (I made these from a blend E2 references, obvious, parodic swipes of DC's Justice League, and some oddball characters I pulled out of my own imagination), (3) use and parody the conventions and flaws of comics, and (4) *Spoiler alert* conclude with GammaGirl as the hero who saves the day as she brings together two generations of superheroes.
Almost a Controversy
A story about superheroes requires some villains, and, as I'm writing for an online site, I knew one of them would be the Troll. In doing so, of course, I may be violating my own feelings about potentially feeding such beasts, but the idea of taking trollish behavior and putting its equivalent in real life-- well, real life if the conventions of comic books actually worked-- proved irresistible. Imagine my surprise, then, when a former user of the site created a new account and logged on for the purpose of addressing my creation. A message dropped in the catbox and two sent to me personally expressed offense that I would misrepresent real events.
Uh, real events? We're talking about a chapter that features superheroes who wear weird outfits, a radioactive/exotic-matter-affected chipmunk who farts, and a would-be master criminal who evilly.... yells insults.
Was this Offended Individual the model for the Troll? Well, no, not really. The Troll combines elements of multiple trollish individuals I've encountered, here and elsewhere, during the fifteen or so years I've been online. Do I include the Offended Individual in that set? Yes, absolutely. He clearly inspired the fictional Troll's misplaced cries of censorship. At the same time, the Troll engages in behavior and demonstrates personality quirks that do not apply to the Offended Individual at all. His physical description, meanwhile, comes from a thug I saw behave very badly indeed in real life. If the Offended Individual sees himself reflected in my general (if hyperbolic) description of a troll and doesn't like what he sees, good. Perhaps he'll figure out why people took offense to him.
However, I cannot imagine what specific real-world incident he thinks I'm writing about. None was intended. I created the second flashback chapter as a part of a fictional story I hoped would entertain Grundoon, and anyone else who might read it. I cannot even imagine what sort of real-world incident (other than the obvious references to Grundoon's tumour treatment, and to the general behavior of trolls) I might be addressing. If the Offended Individual has a pet radioactive/exotic-matter-affected chipmunk whose flatulence once caused an accident, it's news to me. I really cannot say more, without posting the specific content of his private messages. Of course, I would not do that without the sender's permission-- and I have no interest in communicating further with this person.
I've never met Grundoon in real life, though she and werty have passed near my part of the world and we've discussed the possibility of getting together. My sense of her comes from her e2 presence, a present to us all. She may feel the trepidation we all would in her present circumstances, but she faces those circumstances with a down-to-earth grace that lets her soar the skies. Who would turn unpleasant medical treatment into a request for superhero stories?
She suits well her position with e2gods, because she can communicate with the varying ages and kinds of people we see here.
I wish her long life and health, and she and wertperch, happiness.