Archive for the 'Catastrophe' Category

Jun 03 2008

Featured Quote: Catastrophe the Problem Gambler

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.

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

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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

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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

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Mar 25 2008

A Hurricane of Coconuts

“I’m not a poker shark.  Did you know that coconuts kill more people than sharks do?  I’m like a hurricane of coconuts.”
–Catastrophe

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Mar 08 2008

Quote of the Day (3/8/08)

“When you’re this good, you need to stand out.  That’s why I wear a lab-coat.”

–Catastrophe

Yeah, the lab-coat really sets him apart.

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Mar 05 2008

Interest Readers Without Action

Published by under Catastrophe

Today, I sought to write a chapter that was interesting but not action-orientated.  The resulting work, Gotta Kill ‘Em All!, is tangentially related to the Superhero Nation storyline.

You can download Gotta Kill Em All! here.  (It has footnotes, which is why I wasn’t able to post it online like a regular sample of Superhero Nation).

Yours,

J. Mallow

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Feb 13 2008

Quote of the Day: 2/13/08

Doctor:  Well, I’ve never seen any case remotely as exotic as this one.  But it could be worse.  Gregor Samsa turned into a cockroach.

Catastrophe:  You’re not helping.

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Feb 11 2008

Catastrophe’s Guide to Poker Terminology

Catastrophe:  In Texas hold’em, a pocket pair of aces is known by many names, including “the rockets”, “a good time”, and “FINALLY”.

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Jan 15 2008

Quote of the Day (1/15/08)

Catastrophe: I need advice.

Bartender: Don’t take vodka as a chaser.

Catastrophe: More, uhh, substantively…

Bartender: Don’t drink and drive.

Catastrophe: …

Catastrophe: I need a new advisor.

Bartender: That’s the spirit.

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Dec 31 2007

Quote of the Day: Mike-Catastrophe Part 4

Mike: You’re positive you’re not an alien?

Catastrophe: Do aliens frequently speak fluent English?

Mike: Decryption programs applied to radio transmissions can do surprising things.

Catastrophe: I was checking football club rankings when you found me. Unless aliens are frequently interested in football…

Mike: You’d be surprised. You follow football?

Catastrophe: Sometimes. There aren’t any good teams around here.

Mike: Name three.

Catastrophe: Good teams? Arsenal, Man U and Newcastle.

Mike: Please. If you ever need to make up sports teams in the future, I recommend going with animal names, not randomly selected adjectives and nouns. “New castle?” “Man you?” That doesn’t even make sense!

Catastrophe: …

Catastrophe: You don’t get out much, do you?

This is the final part of a four part series. You can see part 1 here.

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Dec 30 2007

Conversation of the Day: Mike-Catastrophe Part Three

Catastrophe: When I said that I was a cartoon character and not an alien, I meant it.
Mike: A cartoon character?

Catastrophe: Well, a facsimile of a cartoon character. The mutagen is presumably influenced by subconscious mental states like memories and impulses. It was the day of the goddamned Hegemon parade and the effing balloon had come loose and trashed my car. So it was on my mind.

Mike: You expect me to believe—

Catastrophe: —not really, nor do I care. What you believe is completely besides the point. The only thing that matters—the only positive thing, anyway— is that at least it wasn’t Peaceachu.

This is part 3 of a four-part series. You can see part 1 here or part 4 here (after 6 PM US Central on Dec. 31).

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Dec 29 2007

Conversation of the Day: Mike-Catastrophe Part 2

Mike: We have a non-optional orientation program for aliens. This is very simple. If anyone asks, say that you’re not an alien.

Catastrophe: I’m a cartoon character.

Mike: That was easy, wasn’t it?

Catastrophe: …

Catastrophe: Wait. There are aliens on Earth?

Mike: Uhh… no?

 

This is part II of a four part conversation. You can see part 1 here or part 3 here.

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Dec 28 2007

Conversation of the Day: Dec. 28 (Mike-Catastrophe Part 1)

Setup: Catastrophe is a statistician that has been transformed by a mutagen into something uncannily similar to a character on a hit cartoon show, Hegemon (“Gotta kill ‘em all!”) Mike heads the Office of Special Investigations’ efforts to conceal extraterrestrial life and mistakenly believes Catastrophe is an alien.

Mike: Hello.

Catastrophe: I’m reading.

Mike: This’ll only take a second.

Catastrophe: Time’s up.

Mike: …

Mike: Let’s say five minutes.

Catastrophe: That’s 30000% of your original request. Is talking with you really more important than the club rankings?

Mike: And considerably less likely to get you pushed down the stairs.

(This is part of a four part series). After 6:00 PM on 12/29, you can read part 2 here.

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Dec 24 2007

Character Quotes: Catastrophe/Dr. Berkeley

Dr. Berkeley is a mathematician that Jacob Mallow hires to complete a project that relies heavily on numbers theory. Unfortunately for Berkeley, the project is actually an attempt to build a weapons-grade mutagen. Whoops. Several accidents later, he is mutated into a dead ringer for Katastrophy, the supervillain in a popular Japanese cartoon show.  In the aftermath of his mutation, he has to escape capture from his former employer and devise a serum to restore his humanity.

WRITERS’ NOTES

When designing a character, it’s critical that your audience discern key characteristics about each character.  Did the quotes help you associate Catastrophe with any particular characteristics?  Which ones?  Some variation of self-assured, eccentric and calculating probably made your list.  Did you get discontented as well?  

16 responses so far

Nov 21 2007

Quote of the Day: Wednesday

Bartender: New Hegemon movie’s coming out.

Catastrophe: I heard.

Bartender: …

Bartender: How much do they pay you to wear that?

Catastrophe: Not enough.

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Nov 19 2007

Quote of the Day: Monday

r. Berkeley: Something’s wrong with the sunscreen vat. I was wondering if you could explain a few things to me.

Jacob Mallow: Could I discuss this in the lab with you after-hours?

Berkeley: Sure…

That evening…

Berkeley: I’ve been doing some tests on the toxicity of the sunscreen…

Jacob: Those weren’t in your operational area.

Berkeley: The sunscreen would burn clean through flesh!

Jacob: I don’t think you understand how seriously we take our security procedures here, Dr. Berkeley. I see no alternative to summary termination.

Berkeley: You’re firing me?

Jacob pulls out a tranquilizer gun and shoots Berkeley twice, then pushing Berkeley into the vat.

Jacob: Something like that.

END

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Aug 23 2007

Comic Book Conundrums

Inquiring minds want to know:

  • Supervillain prisons. Why have them?
  • How does Superman keep getting movie deals?
  • Why don’t Superman’s movie deals stipulate the presence of a supervillain?
  • Lex Luthor: brilliant mastermind or government plant? His most brilliant schemes endanger fewer people than a fully loaded Yugo. And he gets pardoned FAR too often for it to be a coincidence.
  • Who is Captain America working for? He couldn’t cover the security deposit on that cavernous NYC apartment with an Army paycheck.
  • WWII time-travel. Aren’t any WWII time-travelers gunning for Hitler? Would assassinating Hitler doom the Allies by letting someone sane lead German forces? (Hitler: Allied plant?)
  • Time travel. “Dr. Demented escaped into the time-space continuum. He could be anywhere.” “No problem. I’ll start at 1939, you start at 1945 and we’ll catch him somewhere in the middle.”
  • Supervillains have attempted to influence WWII at least twenty different times in the past fifty years. Presumably, supervillains will keep trying. Wouldn’t superheroes from our present cross paths with superheroes from our future that are pursuing their own supervillains in WWII?
  • The Hulk: why does he still get published?
  • Invisible Woman: dumbest Ph. D. ever?
  • Beast. Reptile. Catastrophe. Donatello. Aren’t there any animals/monstrosities that are less intelligent than the Invisible Woman? Why do said animals typically wear more clothes than the Invisible Woman?

Comic Books: Hot and NotHer main asset isn't being invisible.

  • Lois Lane: “How many F’s are there in catastrophe?” How did she win a Pulitzer?
  • Static Shock’s sidekick, the white gadgeteer (AKA Gear, AKA Whitey, AKA Chunky McGee). What, a black person can’t be smart enough to make gadgets?
  • What is the fascination with supervillains (and sometimes heroes) running for president?
  • Did Savage Dragon run for VP because he realized how useless he was?
  • How could Lex Luthor POSSIBLY win the presidency? Voters regularly write candidates off because they’re Mormon, divorced or inexperienced. But, you know…a supervillain… I guess I could give him another chance…
  • What was the reasoning behind making an Ant-Man movie?
  • Dr. Hank Pym, Ant-Man, Shrinking Violet. Why haven’t they learned that intelligent people don’t shrink themselves? That’s why supervillains build shrink rays.
  • What the hell is going on in NYC? Judging from comic books, at least 90% of the world’s supernatural events happen there, including regular influxes of tan New Yorkers from alternate dimensions where NYC is apparently devoid of black people (the Friends Effect).

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