By Kelly Meding
Anyone familiar with my work shouldn’t be surprised that my contribution to the Love, Murder & Mayhem anthology for Crazy 8 Press is a superhero story. I’ve been fascinated by superheroes since my first childhood rerun of the old Adam West Batman TV series. And it was my minor kid crush on Burt Ward as Robin that led me to read my first comic book: The New Teen Titans #9, from the 1980 Wolfman & Pérez team.
Superheroes are pretty awesome, but to be an awesome hero, you need to have an awesome villain. What’s Batman without the Joker? Superman without Lex Luthor? The Tick without Chairface Chippendale? Am I right? There’s an old piece of writing advice that goes “every villain is the hero of his own story.” Well, yeah, but usually the story is written from the point-of-view of the actual hero, and we don’t get to see the villain’s side.
Until now. “A Goon’s Tale” is my take on the villain’s side of the story. Why decide to become a bad guy? Why choose a life of crime? What pushes a person to do wrong, instead of right? The genesis of this story actually came from—believe it or not—an insurance commercial from last year, where an adjuster is looking at the battle damage done to a man’s home. My superhero loving brain seized on that thirty-second spot. I grabbed a notebook and pen, and started making notes.
Who are these people? What if it turns out that the insurance adjuster is a villain who uses his day job to case homes he can later burglarize? This adjuster became the hero of my story, Rocky Mills. I had other thoughts about the homeowner and how this could be an actual story, instead of just a character essay, but those thoughts are spoilers, so I’ll keep them to myself. I tucked this idea away for a while, unsure exactly how to develop it—until I was invited to submit to Love, Murder & Mayhem. The three requirements to the story helped me develop the character of Rocky into an actual, interesting plot.
At first, I was going to try and set “A Goon’s Tale” in my Metawars universe, maybe in a time before the heroes and villains destroyed major cities and killed each other to near-extinction. But I wanted more freedom to play around with tropes and titles, so I created another original superheroes universe, and I’ll probably play here again. Until then, I hope you enjoy Rocky’s tale of love, murder, and revenge.
Love, Murder & Mayhem from Crazy 8 Press will be on sale both in print and digital formats in July. Stay tuned for updates!
You can find Kelly Meding on:
Her website (http://www.kellymeding.com/)
Blog Organized Chaos (http://chaostitan.blogspot.com/), and on Facebook.