Archive for the 'Characters' Category

Feb 13 2010

A crime-fighting haiku

Published by under Agent Orange

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

I’m not sure why Agent Orange would deliver a haiku to a criminal, but weirder things have happened in comic franchises.*

Your loathsome antics
have displeased America!
Surrender or die.

*The 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles once did battle with a mutant banana… as the 2003 TMNT watched.  They had a crossover with themselves!  And a mutant banana.

16 responses so far

Jan 08 2009

Gators win! Gators win!

Florida just won the national championship in college football.  I feel a comic coming on, just not soon.

No responses yet

Oct 09 2008

Improving a Weak Quote

I found this Halo quote on TV Tropes.

Cortana: Just one question: what if you miss?

Master Chief:  I won’t.

The dialogue needs more flair.  If I wrote a similar conversation between two Superhero Nation characters, it might look something like this.

2 responses so far

Jun 26 2008

Another thought on superheroes

I don’t trust anyone that calls himself a “superhero.” The only difference between a “superhero” and a “supervillain” is that the villain’s been caught.

–Paingod

No responses yet

Jun 18 2008

Adopt a Gator

Agent Orange, everybody’s favorite mutated alligator, offers this comparison of dogs and gators as pets.

Why should you buy a gator? For the same reasons that buying a dog makes you look foolish and weak.

When a human buys a Chihuahua, he is saying “I value the company of small and conspicuously useless mammals.” Not surprisingly, his friends will quickly surmise that he thinks of them as small and useless. This is why Chihuahua-owners rarely have friends. Conversely, anyone who befriends a gator boldly declares that his taste and judgment are impeccable.  That is why even walking a gator down to the park will garner the respect and awe of nearby humans. Also, everybody loves gator parties.

Anyone who does not like gators is probably an idiot, a Louisianan or a drug dealer. Since you do not want to meet any of those people, a “Beware of Gator” sign is sure to make your home a friendlier and happier place. In fact, the only better thing for your home is a “Beware of Gators” sign. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

In addition to drug dealers and Louisianans, gators will protect you from squirrels. These predatory vagrant-mammals lurk in public areas, hoping that their bushy tails will distract you long enough to attack. Too often, this ruse is successful. That’s why violent crime rates are highest in cities, the areas typically hardest hit by squirrels. Fortunately, gators are wise to the squirrel threat. This is why squirrels will never approach a gator.

Gators will also protect humans from their worst instinct: playing golf. Golf-playing may stem from the mammalian affinity for holes (also demonstrated by the obsessive digging tendencies of gophers, squirrels and Boston). However, it is a peculiarly human trait to see a hole and think that it would be enjoyable to hit a golfball into it. Fortunately, gators are a natural and 100% effective cure for this defect.   This is why the presence of an alligator on a golf course immediately causes all play to cease. This also explains why golf course owners hate gators so much.


4 responses so far

Jun 16 2008

The Luck of the IRS? (Or: Eat Pennies!)

Agent Orange: Greetings, Mammal-Black! I require your expertise.

Agent Black: Tax trouble again?

Agent Orange: Indeed. Your former colleagues at the IRS persist in their shameless schemes to extort me.

Agent Black: And did this vendetta against you begin before or after you insisted on paying your income taxes in pennies?

Agent Orange: That wouldn’t have seemed unreasonable if they hadn’t demanded so much money!

No responses yet

Jun 10 2008

Interagency Cooperation: NSA-OSI

Agent Orange: Greetings, Mammal-Black! The National Security Agency has leased us a new agent, someone I surmise to be an inordinately skilled assassin.

Agent Black: You surmise that he’s an assassin?

Agent Orange: When I asked about his experience, he wouldn’t say anything more than “implementing informational synergies and synthesizing data management systems.”

Agent Black: That doesn’t sound like killing people.

Agent Orange: The NSA is top-secret, so I don’t blame him for not spelling out the details of what “data management” entailed. Perhaps if you were charged with the stealthy disposal of compromised personnel in the middle of the night, Mammal-Black, you too would appreciate discretion.

Agent Black: He probably handled hard drive backups or something.

Agent Orange: The hell he did! I bet the NSA let him go for killing a surly underling that doubted his credentials.

No responses yet

Jun 06 2008

Quote of the Day

Published by under Agent Orange,Comedy

Agent Orange: The British are delightfully odd. They all buy cars that run on “petrol,” which works just as well as gasoline but costs thrice twice as much. And they think they’re smarter than us.

No responses yet

Jun 03 2008

Featured Quote: Catastrophe the Problem Gambler

Catastrophe: “I don’t have a gambling problem. I win.”

No responses yet

Jun 01 2008

Featured Quote of the Day: Mike and the Truth

Truth is the glue that holds government together.” — Gerald Ford

“If you want to live under something held together by glue, you probably wouldn’t make much of an architect.” — Mike, Director of the Office of Special Investigation’s RETCON branch.

No responses yet

May 30 2008

The Office of Special Investigations Does Clue!

Mike challenges Agent Black and Agent Orange to a game of Clue. Question: if the victim was killed by a noose, was it murder or assisted suicide?

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

May 27 2008

Quote of the Day: Halloween Ideas

Agent Orange: Greetings, Mammal-Black! I have an excellent costume for our upcoming office Halloween party. It makes full use of my mammal-frightening teeth and reptilian horror factor and this pleases me.

Agent Black: Godzilla?

Agent Orange: IRS agent.

Agent Black: That’s a terrible costume.

Agent Orange: Don’t make me take 28% of your candy!

No responses yet

May 24 2008

Return to Jim’s Gunz and Mattresses

Agent Orange, the mutated alligator, has a conversation with Agent Black about a firearm he purchased from Jim’s Gunz and Mattresses.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

May 23 2008

And other exciting new defense technology developments…

Dr. Darpa: I heard that Russia is now patrolling its nuclear-armed bombers 24 hours a day now.

Captain Carnage: That’s right.

Dr. Darpa: That could destabilize US-Russian relations, if we thought there were any conceivable chance Russian bombers could get close enough to attack Chicago or Seattle.

Captain Carnage: I’d say at least 50%.

Dr. Darpa: 50%, hah! Not after you see what I’ve been working on: Project Unmutually Assured Destruction. It’s the largest surface-to-air missile site ever built. It was so colossal that I could only fit it in Yosemite National Park.

Captain Carnage: An antiballistic missile site in a national park?

Dr. Darpa: Now, the only remaining task is to name it. I present to you: the Yosemite SAM Site.

No responses yet

May 21 2008

Taxes! Taxes!

The main difference between the IRS and a robber is that the IRS makes the victim an accomplice to the crime.

–Agent Orange

Hey! Don’t make me audit you.

–Agent Black, formerly of the IRS

No responses yet

May 19 2008

Featured Quote of the Day: Bring the Kids!

Agent Orange: Kids today are so hard to please.

Agent Black: I don’t even want to think about how you might know that.

Agent Orange: Yesterday…

Teacher: Class, today our guest speaker is Agent Orange.

Agent Orange: I’m a Special Investi-Gator.

Teacher: Could you explain what it is you do?

Agent Orange: Are you sure? There are kids here.

Student 1: Have you ever killed anyone?

Agent Orange: Laws need claws or they’d just be words.

Student 2: How many people have you killed?

Agent Orange: The confirmed score or a rough estimate?

Agent Black: …

Agent Black: Suddenly I have questions of my own.

One response so far

May 08 2008

Quote of the Day: Sports

The biggest suckers in football are the Jets. In basketball, the refs. In soccer, the spectators.

— Agent Orange

No responses yet

May 07 2008

Quote of the Day: Questions

Agent Black and everybody’s favorite mutated alligator, Agent Orange, have a strange conversation about killing terrorists with sponge-cake. And other questions you never thought to ask!

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

May 06 2008

Quote of the Day: Sports

Soccer can teach us a lot about Europe. There’s a lot of running but precious little action, and violence is always liable to break out at any moment.

— Agent Orange

No responses yet

May 03 2008

Adios, Don Gato

Agent Black and everybody’s favorite mutated alligator, Agent Orange, have a heated argument about one of America’s most popular daily comic-strips, Don Gato.

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No responses yet

Apr 25 2008

A hard-learned lesson for superheroes…

Superheroes should never ask “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” The answer is never helpful.

But where could you find that much nitroglycerin at this hour?

Dr. Darpa

Unless your IQ has tripled since we’ve last spoken, probably not.

Catastrophe

You are now.

Mr. Mental

Don’t flatter yourself.

–Paingod

No responses yet

Apr 25 2008

Quotes of the Day: What is Science?

Science plays heavily in many superhero stories. So, today, instead of coming up with some pithy quote about science, we’ve used others to do so for us.

What is science?

Hocus pocus, but with less hand-waving.

— Agent Orange

Always being within a carton of baking soda of a doomsday device.

— Dr. Darpa

Like Hollywood, except without the beautiful women, oversized budgets and snappy outfits. Actually, it’s not like Hollywood at all, besides the explosions.

–Dr. Savant

A series of triumphs over unpleasant realities.

— Jacob Mallow

Pretty awful. Stick to game theory.

— Catastrophe

No responses yet

Apr 24 2008

Two Magical Words

Agent Orange: I have learned something important about mammals. Two quasi-mystical words will put a mammal into a hypnotic stupor that will force him to believe anything.

Agent Black: You’re crazy.

Agent Orange: I am prepared to demonstrate my new-found learning of mammalian psychology. First, I will greet a victim-mammal of your selection. Then you will make an outlandish statement. And I will administer the two word hypnotic spell.

Agent Black: Let’s see it.

Five minutes later.

Agent Orange: Greetings, Mammal-Darpa! We have learned something intriguing on our latest posting.

Dr. Darpa: What?

Agent Black: We were attacked by robotic, flesh-eating airplanes.

Agent Orange: IN JAPAN!

Agent Black: … !

Dr. Darpa: Egads! How did you survive?

Agent Black:

Agent Black: NO!

[end] (If you’d be interested in reading a related article, “Stuff Mammals Like: Japan,” please see more.

Continue Reading »

7 responses so far

Apr 21 2008

Death’s Sweet Embrace (A Typically D.C. Story, with Assassins and Gelato)

Agent Black stumbles into the Special Investigations lunchroom, his face and suit covered with ashes, dust and blood.

Captain Carnage: You look like you done tried your IRS mojo on a Texas woman.

Agent Black: Would you rather have Agent Orange drive a car or handle a submachine gun?

Captain Carnage: Is that a trick question?

Agent Black: Do I look like I’m feeling tricky right now?

Captain Carnage: Well, is Agent Orange in a combat zone on another continent, or is he somewhere where a red light actually means something?

Agent Black: Washington, DC. In my car.

Captain Carnage: Hotdamn, kid. I wouldn’t get in a tank if I knew O.J. was driving it. Give him the submachine gun, I reckon it’s less likely to hurt nastylike when he gets you killed. Those damn reptiles, they drive like everyone’s limbs grow back.

Agent Black: So, I was driving Orange. He was late to a meeting on Capitol Hill.

Captain Carnage: Hooh boy. I like where this is going.

Agent Black: We got a red light and Agent Orange says something like “why are you stopped? Keep moving, keep moving, dummy.”

Captain Carnage: Alligators reckon green and red’re the same color. When they talk about traffic lights, y’just gotta take it like Congress talking about collateral. They’re talking, but they’re not really talking, y’reckon?

Agent Black: Well, uhh. I’d heard about the green-red colorblind thing before. So I said “shuddap, I know we’re late.” And then the back of our car exploded.

Captain Carnage: Rocket launcher ambush?

Agent Black: Ambushes.

Captain Carnage: Many?

Agent Black: Four cars.

Captain Carnage: Hot damn! So you had to pick between driving or shooting. Damn sure he ain’t doing the driving. He makes NASCAR look like bumper cars. You know he once managed 8 digits of damage with a golf-cart?

Agent Black: I believe it.

Captain Carnage: Since you survived, I reckon you gave him the gun. But how did he shoot it? His hands are big enough to palm a rifle.

Agent Black: I took the gun.

Captain Carnage: But that means…

Captain Carnage: !

Agent Black: I long for death’s sweet embrace.

Later that day:

Agent Orange: Greetings, mammal-Mike!

Mike: The Captain said you had an interesting day today.

Agent Orange: I met a wily mammal-gelatoier.

Mike: A gelatoier?

Agent Orange: A mammal that sells gelato. He introduced me to the seedy and sinister gelato underworld by tricking me with a gallon of orange-flavored gelato. That was very interesting. No doubt Mike-flavored gelato would interest you. But his alleged “orange” flavor was not even remotely similar to my real orange flavor, which proves that it was a foul ruse. I also seem to have lost feeling in my digestive tract. In retrospect, I have concluded that gallons of orange gelato are better-suited to mammals than cold-bloods.

Mike: I think Carnage was referring to an attempted assassination with rocket launchers.

Agent Orange: Oh, there was that, too.

Mike:

Mike: Don’t you think that was a little bit more interesting than the gelato?

Agent Orange: (Mammals). Before today, I had not ever been offered gelato, let alone gelato that was (purportedly) in my flavor. But assassination attempts are a dime a dozen. In fact, perhaps the gelato was an assassination attempt.

No responses yet

Apr 16 2008

Quote of the Day: Tuesday

Agent Orange, paraphrasing Groucho Marx: “Outside of an alligator, a rocket launcher is certainly your best friend. Inside of an alligator, I’d recommend a gun.”

No responses yet

Apr 13 2008

More Proof Gators Cause National Strength

Web Gumbo provides a great picture of his unit mascot. You might wonder what a Marine mascot does. Deliver pep talks? Rally the fans? Please.

Agent Orange, our mutated alligator, says that “it’s not surprising that they turned to an alligator when they needed someone to scare and bond with Marines. Here you can see the gator playing Marco Polo with a Marine that is obviously enjoying the gator’s friendly and sociable company.”

Lash retorts retorts that “if the guy’s actually enjoying anything, it’s probably the thought that he will soon not be dangling over a watery grave.”

Marco!

No responses yet

Apr 08 2008

Quote of the Day: Leaders, Money and Power

“A leader who is poor is a poor leader.”

Carlos Gonzalez

“If you were a good leader, you wouldn’t need any money.  Worshipers and soldiers–ones worth having, anyway– cannot be purchased.  If you think the difference between a real military force and a gang is shiny tanks and well-pressed uniforms, you might as well shoot yourself and spare us the trouble.”

–Paingod

No responses yet

Apr 07 2008

Evil, Reptilian Kitten-Eaters

My opponents have claimed that I’m an “evil, reptilian kitten-eater from another planet.” Well, I’m not evil. It attacked me.

–Agent Orange, mutated alligator and self-defending ailurophage

No responses yet

Apr 06 2008

Scene of the Day (B. Mac’s Temporary Return!)

B. Mac gave me this to post. He says he will be healthy enough to return to full-time status within a few days.

Agent White, junior recruiter: Mr. Smith, I have no doubt that you are an excellent IRS auditor, but I’d like to know more about how an accountant might be qualified for this agency. What about killing. Have you done any of that?

Gary Smith: No, sir.

Agent White: Have you ever seen someone die brutally? A de-limbing, perhaps?

Gary Smith: No, sir.

Agent White: I see. You seem like an excellent fit… for the IRS. I’m going to do you a favor and ask that you leave now. You would break in ten minutes here and you probably wouldn’t even be the first.

Gary Smith: …

Gary Smith: Is that a request or an order?

Agent White: …

Agent White hits his intercom button.

Agent White: Agent Orange, could you step inside, please?

Agent Orange, a hulking mutated alligator, enters the room.

Agent Orange: Greetings, mammals! Mammal-White, Mammal-Smith.

Agent White: Sir, could you please describe to Mr. Smith what your job is here?

Agent Orange: Indeed! I’m the head recruiter and trainer. I determine who enters training and then how best to systematically destroy them. We’ve reduced our mortality/psychosis rate to a historically low 6%!

Agent White: Mr. Smith, so far Agent Orange has broken six Navy SEALS, five Force Recons, ten Army Rangers and so many Special Agents we’ve stopped counting.

Gary Smith: But no accountants, I bet.

Agent Orange: …

Agent Orange: When are you available to start?

No responses yet

Apr 05 2008

Agent Orange, on Agent Black

“I only gradually realized that Gary Smith was wily for a mammal. That should have been obvious. He was an accountant and, as a rule, accountant-mammals are masters of chicanery and deception. (That is why they, like lawyers and journalists, receive graduate degrees: it takes years to learn the arts of subterfuge).”

–Agent Orange

No responses yet

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