Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"That's not my Superman" - Did I say that?

"That's not my Superman"

I've heard variations of that mentioned many times before, especially a lot recently. Whether it is his New52 interpretation (and the Earth2 version) or how he appears in the movies. Was about to say it myself today, but caught myself.

What held me back was a memory from many years ago.

I wasn't a regular Superman reader back then, but I would pick up an issue of Action Comics or his own book from time to time.

One of the books I did read every month was THE NEW TEEN TITIANS. As I was reading their most recent adventure, and all hope looked lost, I turned to the last page and there stood Superman.

(This story by Marv Wolfman stands out as it would lead in to the books first Annual.)

But wait, that didn't look like Superman to me, but he was of course. The problem being I was use to seeing the Man of Steel being drawn by the legendary Curt Swan. Though I had seen him drawn by other artists, Mr. Swan was the Superman artist to me at the time.

So here was the Man From Krypton drawn by another artist…

None other than the great George Perez.

This is a postcard image by George Perez from 1984, around the time I'm writing about.(Image borrowed from
Here was an artist my young mind thought was fantastic. He certainly drew all of The New Teen Titians in a way that I wished I could draw (and still wish I could), and then when he began CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTH, you couldn't pull me away from his pages.

But the problem was, his Superman didn't look anything like the Superman in my head. He didn't look like Curt Swan's Superman.

Any you know what, that's okay. I understood that back then, I really did.  I would later come to love not only Perez's Superman, but also the Man of Steel drawn by John Byrne, Jerry Ordway, and many others.  Each had their own Superman, but did they match the Man of Steel in my mind. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But that's okay.

It goes for Batman as well. There are many great artists who have drawn the Dark Knight; but in my mind there is only one Bat artist and that's Jim Aparo.
Go find his work if you've never seen it. (Check out his Phantom Strange and Specter as well.)

As to interpretations of Superman in other media, I have to be honest; Superman just doesn't work for me on the big screen. Christopher Reeve's Superman came out when I was a kid, and as fun a story as it was; the character didn't do it for me. Reeve's Clark Kent really didn't do it for me.  (No on can explain to me why he allowed himself to be struck by the taxi when he first got to Metropolis. It is so annoying to me that it takes me out of the movie.)

That all said, my point is; find the Superman you like and continue to enjoy him. You've still got his comics in your collection, or can find reprints. But go and search out other versions of the character as well, and you will be surprised by how many of them you like as well.  No one said you had to like them all.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Anyone who follows me on facebook or twitter (or Google+) will know I recently released a new story as an ebook.  I really hope to be doing this more often, but for now here's a little something about this one.

This short story was almost more fun to write than the original novel CLOCKWORK GENIE.

Though it didn't start off all that fun. I had begun by working up a sequel novel, but all the characters wanted their moment in the spot light and that resulted in distractions from the main plot of the book. So I pruned away some of those side lines and found a very beautiful flower, which I call:

THE COP WHO WOULDN'T DIE: A Clockwork Genie Story

Police Detective Whitney Manning escaped from the horrors of the crimes she witnessed nearly everyday into the fantasy worlds of her books. Then one day, fantasy became all too real when she met a girl with a power genie and her life would never be the same.

Having faced on of the most powerful beings on the planet, and survive battle with a dragon made of living stone, how can Detective Manning return to the everyday world of crime and murder?

She was off duty and wasn't supposed to be there when the bullet struck her chest. Detective Whitney Manning should be dead.


This is the first short story in a series of stories taking place in the world of CLOCKWORK GENIE, and eventually will all be collected in an anthology.

The next story in the series will be about the handsome homicide Detective Marcus Lambert as he discovers more of the secrets his new wife's family and the genie of the watch.

After this anthology is complete I will return to the second novel fresh.

To those who have read and enjoyed CLOCKWORK GENIE (which you can purchase at one of the links to the right), let me know which of characters from the book deserves their own short story.

Thank you all again for your support.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Thank you for Taste Testing my eBooks

Long time no see blog friends,

Over the last week,  my ebook novel "Clockwork Genie" has had at least one sample download each day. What's great about that is that I haven't been doing any promotion for it this week.

Now that you've sampled the book, I hope you'll return to discover the rest of the story.

In the meantime, try out my other novel "Revenge of the Masked Ghost"

Thanks everyone for the support.

Hope to be posting more frequently now, but also expect a lot of change coming to the blog and my own website in the near future.

Blog you all soon.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Terror from the Boob Tube - What scared me.

I know I'm a couple of weeks late to be writing a Halloween blog about what scare me, but go with me here.

First off I don't like horror movies, definitely not the modern ones, and certainly not the slasher films. All my teen friends would go see those, and I had no interest at all. Splatter blood across the screen and you've lost me.

As a kid I enjoyed monster movies. The original monster movies, if you will, the Universal Monsters at the top of the list. Frankenstein, his Bride, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and Dracula (he got plenty of women and didn't ever sparkle.) I also enjoyed the b-movie monsters that would follow.

None of those scared me as a kid. I was the Mummy one year for Halloween, and Dracula at least twice.

So what terrified my little mind? Would you believe it was a sitcom?

And it was in all black and white.

This past Wednesday afternoon I tuned into the internet radio show STU'S SHOW. A great program that interviews people from the golden age of television. This episode's guest was Carl Reiner, actor, writer, director, and producer. The multi-award winning Carl Reiner.

As they were talking about "The Dick Van Dyke Show", the show Reiner created, a flood of memories struck me.

There are two television programs that terrified the little me of many years ago. Even then both series were in rerun syndication for many years.

One of which was "The Dummy" episode of The Twilight Zone. I always love ventriloquist shows, but the concept of the Dummy coming to life freaked me out; far more so than Talk Tina. She was trying to kill Kojac after all.  The Dummy was just plain freaky and scary, and would haunt some of my nightmares.

The other show; really scary to a child who had loving parents, was an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. It was called "It May Look Like A Walnut."  Even thought it was a comedy, it was actually a story about fear, and how television and movies can scare the audience. It begins with Rob and Laura (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore if you didn't know) watching a late night movie in bed (let's not get started on why they were in separate beds), the movie is terrifying Laura but Rob is complete engrossed in it and can't stop talking about it. The movie is homage to the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (I wouldn't see that movie till years later). Instead of Pod People, these aliens take over the humans through walnuts.  (This has nothing to do with why walnuts are my favorite nuts, right?)

Rob's obsession eventually goes too far until he dreams that the movie is real and his friends and family have been taken over by the aliens, and the world is filling with walnuts. In one scene Laura parts her hair to reveal to Rob she has eyes in the back of her head. No such eyes are shown on camera, but Rob's reaction was enough. Even after all these years the terror I had as a child came rushing back seeing it again. Every parents and teacher tells kids they have eyes in the back of the heads, don't they?

I was frightened because Rob was so scared. Even when he wakes up from this crazy dream, he was acting and feeling the same way I did waking from a nightmare and called out for my mommy.

It was all played for comedy; even with guest star Danny Thomas adding to the laughs, yet it is one of the most frightening shows I had seen in my young life.

Watching that show last night I saw what great quality writing and acting went into to make it dramatically scary while remaining funny all the way through.

Today's TV shows could learn a lot.

There is also another level of fear that Reiner included in the story, one that he and his fellow writers probably experienced regularly, as do I: the fear of losing his imagination and being unable to write.  That would truly be a nightmare.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity
(Off to look for walnuts, I'm hungry)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DC Comics on the move - or - Lemonade and Revolving Doors

It has just been announced that DC Comics will be moving and joining the rest of the DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Burbank, CA. (Read the CBR news story here.)

My #Mission818 passion is exited about this news.
It also reminds me of when I got to visit the DC Comics offices in New York City when I was a kid.

The family was visiting New York before heading on with the rest of our travels.

Not only was I looking forward to visiting the offices of DC Comics, the publisher of my favorite super heroes, (actually, at that time I was only reading DC,) I also had a fan letter to drop off. It was for Mike W. Barr and the crew of BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS Annual #1. My one and only letter I've ever written to a comic.

Long before that time, I knew I wanted to work in comics, so the chance to visit their offices was a dream come true.

We had purchased lemonades from one of the stands at Rockefeller Plaza, and my drink wasn't finished when we arrived at 666 5th Avenue. I was hesitant about entering the building with the drink. That hesitation caused my arm to get caught in revolving door. Not only did I spill the lemonade (which is what I was worried about happening,) the door yanked my watch completely off my wrist.

My wrist, though not broken, did hurt for days in to the rest of our trip; it didn't matter a few minutes later when I was sitting next to Clark Kent in the lobby of the DC Comics offices.

Yes, I did deliver my letter (thought it wasn't published), but that was nothing compared to being inside the company I dreamed of working for someday.

That dream is still alive.

Now, all these years later, DC Comics is moving to be near me. (That has to be the reason, right?) I trust their drawing, writing, and editing hands don't caught in any doors when they arrive.

As stated many times before in this blog, I have had a passion for DC Comics all my life, and an ever-increasing desire to work for them.

Now that the company is coming to me, I hope my chances are improving.

 I won't bring a drink to the office this time. Promise.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Monday, September 30, 2013

BLACK FEDORA - "The Man Who Stole Manhattan"

You have read the hero's story, about how he saved the day and defeated the evil villain.  Now it's time to read the villain's tale.  Who is the man that is performing these most vile deeds?

You'll get that answer and more in the pages of the Black Fedora.

Black Fedora is an anthology produced by New Pulp publisher Pro Se Productions with tales of the adversaries, or the evil ones, of the super villains.

It is my honor to stand alongside fellow authors B.C. Bell and Philip Drayer Duncan in these pages of crime, under the guiding hand of Tommy Handcock.

"The Man Who Stole Manhattan" is my submission to this collection about a villain who threatens the entire city for reasons known only to his dark heart.

If you pay close attention, you may discover connections to the hidden origins of Flying Glory.

Black Fedora is available in both paperback and ebook formats, at Amazon and Smashwords.

Give it a read and support your local bad guy.

More importantly, support your local author.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Monday, September 9, 2013

I can't write comedy, and some how, that's funny.

I have never considered myself a comedy writer, but that isn't to say that I don't write comedy. Rather, I never set out to write comedy, and in so doing the comedy tends to write itself.
If any of that makes sense, I hope what follows will as well.
I am a writer of characters.
Usually, I have a rough outline of a plot, hardly a skeleton to build upon. I start with a simple idea, usually a question.  I see something, or read about something, and ask "What if?" Lots of times it has to do with looking at something from a different angle.
A lot, or a few, notes go down next. But that all just sits in a pile and does nothing if there aren't any characters to march through it and kick up the dirt. Otherwise, it's just a garbage heap of useless words.
Just writing that paragraph gave me a simple idea. A Garbage Heap. What follows is finding the story, and the first question I ask is "What is it like working on a garbage heap?" You know, those people who take our trash to the dump, and those that sort through it. Some for recycling, and those who scrounge around the dump looking for things they can sell in order to survive. (I know old door nobs can bring a penny or two.) But the job isn't interesting enough. So what if I changed the question: "What is life like for those who live on the garbage heap?"  I think there is some drama in that, and maybe some comedy too.
(Almost forgot my blog's topic there didn't I?)
We'll have to wait and see if I actually discover a story in garbage heap and expand upon it.  I see a lot of drama, even depression, about the people living in lean-to huts atop or even inside the garbage mounds.
But is there comedy among that garbage and depression?  If you find the right characters there are.
What if our story is about a teenage girl working along side her parents looking for scrap and selling what they can. She has a boyfriend, but when he shows up to take her on a date (what kind of date can there be on a scrap heap), she complains that he was cuter before he took a shower.
Okay, that might not be the funniest thing in the world. Like I said, I don't write comedy.  However, if I wrote this story completely out, I think our little Dust Bunny (yes, I just named the girl Dust Bunny. The boy's name is Smudge,  no, Kruntch ) would have a whole lot of funny things to say as she is clearly the only person on the garbage island that enjoys being there.

The point, if there is one, is that comedy like everything else in a story comes out of character. Creating a funny situation and dropping your characters into it doesn't necessarily make it comedy.
Learn about your characters; find out what makes them tick, and what ticks them off. Don't tickle them; annoy their pants off. They'll tell you what's funny when they start throwing mud back at you.
Maybe I will write this story sometime. Maybe set it on a garbage planet (this story is getting gout of hand).  (Kruntch is out; the boy's name is Smudge again. The letter K didn't test well.)
Then we'll discover if I can write comedy or not, and see if I am really worthy of being:
Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity  (certainly not of comedy).