November 2014 : Art Exhibit / NaNoWriMo

Original Story - WHEN LIFE'S JUST SUPER

 

During the month of November, I prepared a display for the Heroes & Villains (mostly comics) group exhibit at Ouchi Gallery. With this theme, I saw the perfect opportunity to present new work from my superhero story in progress: When Life's Just Super.

 

A seemingly cliché young man wants to be the next big hero... in a city where powers have become commonplace, and the path to noteriety is very competitive. Would-be superheroes register with Hero Central HQ, a cross between emergency services and a temp agency.

 

What would everyday life be like in this world? How can I make it feel more real?

Playing with the borders of reality has always been integral to the concept. Therefore, I made an interactive installation - featuring file folders for registered heroes and captured villains. The more you look through them, the more you see how everyone is interconneted.

 

I even wrote myself into the script, representing their Inter-Dimensional Outreach Program. Only an artist could do the job, since the imaging technology they have is too advanced to carry over, and someone has to refabricate all these documents.

 

 

Visitors could register with me to become a hero or...

Wanted villain The Repugnant bears a suspicious resemblance to fellow artist, Patrick Sinnott

I filled the space with humorous details - the Famous Invisible Cape, note about cleaning up slime, poster for a TV comedy with villainous bankrobbers, instructions for using the files, Portable Teleportation Circle (currently out of service) sits under the table, and a cheerful pink box hides the villain paperwork. The opening reception was on Tuesday, November 25th, and it stayed up through the week.

And now for a novel idea...

When I wasn't guiding visitors through the display, I was typing furiously on my laptop. Not only to remain in character, but to finish a novel! For the first time, I officially participated in National Novel Writing Month, with the goal of writing 50,000 words in November. Since the deadlines of these projects so neatly coincided, I decided to link them together.

 

A great deal of planning has gone into the development of When Life's Just Super as a comic/graphic novel. With so much plot material and character personalities already fleshed out, I then used this as the basis for a prose novel. The final words were penned (typed, I should say) on November 30th, when - with suitcases in hand from packing up the art show - I arrived on the doorstep of Carmine Street Comics.

 

In a way, it felt like everything went full circle. My friend Jon Gorga, co-owner of the comic shop, has edited the story development and related mini-comics over the last few years. The storefront art studio was a proposal of mine from when the store opened, and was now where the completion of my novel's full first draft took place.

Here I am in the storefront studio of the comic shop, with my WINNER screen and victory root beer!

CONTACT

 

Send comments, ideas and professional inquiries to:

ellen.sted at gmail.com

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by Ellen Stedfeld

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