Thursday, January 27, 2011

How do you throw your Batarang?

I had a thought about Batman, or rather, a thought about Baterangs.

I don’t know when Batman began to toss about the Baterangs, but I’m more interested how the Dark Knight used and uses them now.

When I was a little little kid, and before I began to read comics, Batman existed in two locations: As a member of the Super Friends and The Batman live action TV series from the 60’s which I only saw in reruns.

Don’t recall if Batman ever used a Baterang in Super Friends, but I do remember the one used on the Batman series. Even as a kid it looked extremely heavy and couldn’t possibly be thrown properly, or how was it stored in his utility belt, but that wasn’t the point on that show, was it?

The use of Batarangs have changed over the years, from being used to knock a gun out of a bad guy’s hand they became Ninja throwing stars that actually imbed themselves in the bad guy’s hand.

Before someone writes in, yes I know that in the earliest Batman stories he did have a good. But that didn’t last long; the character has over the years become very opposed to using a gun. (No, let’s not talk about that gun he used in Final Crisis.)

But these little bats, made of metal, plastic, or fiberglass, (What do you think?) has changed in their use.

I suppose the change began with Frank Miller’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and YEAR ONE, and within the themes and mood of those books that the use of these as weapons is understandable.

But is that really how the batarang should be used on a regular basis.

While checking online to make certain I was spelling ‘batarang’ correction I came across this page on written by Brian Cronin and provides an image of one of the very first uses of the Batarang to help him escape from a trap. It also answered my question from earlier; the Batarang first appears only months after Batman premiers.

The Batman movies have only added to this as “all those wonderful toys” became more like weapons. Even the Batmobile is a tank, which tears up the streets of Gotham.

Yes, I respect every writer and artist’s use of whatever bat-paraphernalia they need to tell the best story they can, but for me I’d prefer a Batarang that helps not hurts.

Going through several of my favorite Batman stories from when I was first reading them I discover that Batman didn’t even use the Batarang in many of them. In those stories he was more detective than action hero.

Duck! I'm about to throw my Batarang.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Drawing upon a Ghost, a Masked Ghost.

I know this is Thursday night and I usually fill this space with one of my rambles about writing and about searching for work. This time I'm not going to talk a lot, but show you something.

Some of you know that on every other Tuesday I post a new chapter to my pulp novel serial REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST. Chapter 14 went up this week. Well, I wanted to take this opportunity to show off some of my skills beyond writing, and show you what the Masked Ghost looks like:

I illustrated this entirely in Painter, based on a photograph that I posed for.

Am hoping that it adds more of the pulp novel feel to the story. Looking forward to doing more.

Let me know what you think of it. Especially if you're a publisher needing artists. :)

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity
As as Artists as wells as a Writer.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Ramble of Glory

I can’t think of anything to put into my blog this week. At least certainly nothing worth a few hundred words that might be anyway interesting to you.

Just over three more weeks of my job at the community college, and the good news in that is that my hours have increased from 12 to 30 hours a week. Am still looking for something that I hope to start soon after, but having that extra pay.

A lot of work that I’m doing now is working on a database in Excell, it’s not as interesting as working on the Alumni News Letter (You can see a sample of my work here:, but I’m still blessed to have the job and the paycheck.

While I’m writing this, I’m finishing up the pencils of the latest page of FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY. We’re currently in the middle of Issue 13 of the book. Or it would be if this were published as a book. But I also realized that if this were published as book, wishful thinking would put the Issue number somewhere around 114.

No, really. I mean it. This coming June marks the 10th anniversary of the first appearance of FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY. And if we had been continuously publishing since there we’d be reaching 120 issue come June.

Of course, it might not all be FGHOG, because I’d also be doing the supporting book TALES OF FLYING GLORY which would be stories about our heroine’s grandmother back in World War and other characters that have appeared in the background, been hinted at, and other who are still waiting to surprise you and us.

We’ve got a lot planning for Flying Glory and her rock bank of heroes, and I’m sure I’ll be writing about some of them here too.

On other story notes, when I began this job I told you had to stop putting out a new chapter of REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST each week, and now only put it out every other. I’ve found that works the best for me and probably will continue to do so even after this job is finish. In the next week or so I’m also hoping to put up some artwork based on my vigilante and his friends.

Began this by saying I couldn’t think of anything to write. Apparently I always have something to say. I’ll let you decide if it was interesting or not. Got to go send the penciled art off to my editor (co-writer and fiancee).

Night all.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Reaching for the Stars or at least the next rung on the Ladder

Last week I wrote about what I’m going to do with this New Year. Not make resolutions, but be resolute that I will accomplish great things.

The year has already started off positively as the comic book and entertainment news website did an article on my work: It’s only a short little article, but it's a start. It’s a good feeling that people are noticing me.

Along with my two days of employment, I’ve been focusing much of the time on hitting the online job boards and applying for as many positions as I can.

[Note to discuss: My dad thinks I should be out knocking on doors to find companies that will hire me. But everyone I talk to always send me back to their online job boards. Has anyone found companies that aren’t using the Internet to hire people?]

My job search begins by telling the online system that I’m looking for work in Burbank and Glendale (read last week’s blog to find out why, it’s must), then mark the departments of the company I’d like to work in if those parameters can be set. Otherwise I just ask to see all the openings available since the last time I visited the site. (Note to anyone at Disney: Please put a date stamp on your job descriptions so I don’t have to read through pages I’ve already applied for or passed over.)

As examples: In production for animation and television, I’ve applied for Production Assistant, Production Coordinator, and the like. For more clerical positions I have been applying for Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant positions.

It’s not that those are the only jobs I want to do far from it, but script-writing jobs very rarely appear on job boards. I say ‘very rarely’ because the first professional animation writing assignment I had came from a job board posting in the Hollywood Directory Online. It turned out nicely, though the show has never aired in the U.S. Though I would worn you about many writing assignments you find on line, some will be great, but most will expect you to do it for free or with the promise of deferred pay when its all finished and they sell the project. You could be dead by then.

So in one way or another I have been looking for positions based upon my experience in those fields. Figuring that if I can get in on that level I can gain the experience and knowledge I need to move further up.

A mistake I made years ago while in was college; I didn’t look into internships. Probably would have helped a whole lot, but now its too late for those sorts of thing. Of course at that time I didn’t have a car so couldn’t drive the forty miles to the studios each day. So I’ve been looking for other ways in.

I know that what I’m looking for in the above assistant positions is a “day job” so that I can have a financial foundation while working on my writing and art on the side. I’m not stupid to think that I can make all the money I would need just from writing (though one can dream). But I also know that if I can find the right position in production or development there might be the chance I could move up into a level where I could have real influence on shows. (He’s still dreaming, right?)

The rambling all finished (one hopes). I’ve made a realization that I’m shooting too low. I’ve been applying to openings that fit my experience not my goals. Yesterday I came across a job that is way beyond my experience by a number of years in several different areas. However, it was a job I knew I could do, a job I would love to do, working on a property I already know and have a passion for, and for a company that I’ve dreamed of working at for years.

A decision was made. I wrote up a cover letter that sold me on my passion and knowledge of the property and tell them that I could do the job. As I said, the job is above my level, but I’ve chosen to shoot for it.

It’s actually a scary decision to reach beyond where you know you’re comfortable, but sometimes its what you’ve got to do. Stretch that arm up to the next rung of the ladder or to the one above that. After all, only with stretching do your muscles become accustom to doing the new work.

I may not get this job. I might not even get called in for an interview for it. But what is certain is that I won’t get if I don’t apply for it.

Shoot for the moon and maybe you’ll hit the neighbor’s fence. Shoot for the fence and you may hit your foot.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity