On Joining the Society
Fair warning: this post is going to be shorter than a normal blog because I’m going to cross-post it to the Pen and Cape Society.
I thought it might be appropriate, given my multiple posts on the subject of the Superhero Genre, that I write a little something on my thought about my membership in the Society, a group dedicated to those who love and work in said genre.
As you may or may not know, I have been an advocate of the advancement of the genre. I wrote multiple emails to Amazon complaining about the lack of literary category for Superhero outside of the Graphic Novel category. I have similarly filed complaints over the fact that though it is now listed under ‘Fantasy’.
I’ve cheerleaded (cheerled?) the good works of the genre, and haven’t been afraid to stand up and shout down the bad. And yes, I have done what I could to promote my fellow webserialists. Even so, I’m not going to say I was a driving force or a ‘defining voice’ because I was really just a small voice n the void. I didn’t have that big of a platform to stand on no matter how much enthusiasm I have for this.
Luckily, I wasn’t the only one. Just a few short months ago, Drew Hayes, writer of the serial Super Powereds contacted me about putting together a group for mutual promotion between writers in the Superhero Genre. Honestly, I have no idea how Drew even knew I existed, but the man was singing a tune I’d been trying and failing to get others to sing to for years—and he managed to get it done.
It’s funny how even as a fan and proponent of the genre, I was largely unaware of just how many of us there were. I know I shouldn’t have been surprised: Superhero webcomics exploded online and there was no reason to assume webserials wouldn’t be so far behind. Hell, I was even nudge down this path by Alexandra Erin’s Star Harbor Nights (speaking of which, this is probably the oldest super-webserial out there, but it’s had a few hiatuses, which is why I’ve been careful to tout The Descendants as the oldest continually updated webserial in the genre. SHN doesn’t seem to have updated since 2009, which is a shame.)
So here we are. It’s the first few months, we’re working on an anthology, still establishing ourselves (as I’m writing this, I’m coding in my link banner even). If I’m realistic, I could point out that I’ve been part of a number of labels and webrings back when I was doing Ledgermain Comics and I know that people might end up losing interest and things might fall apart.
However, there is reason to be optimistic. These folks are passionate. They are dedicated to their craft. And if I might observe, they’re a damn sight older and more mature when most of us in my old webcomic groups were (NOT a dig at webcomics or the people I worked with. We’ve all lived and grown in the decade since Ledgermain was around).
No, what I hope to come from this is something big. I hope that by working together we can show a big chunk of the world that Superhero is as wide and varied a genre as its cousins in the Speculative Fiction category like Horror, Fantasy or Sci-Fi. I hope that we will bring the fact that there is more to it than the Big Two comic book companies and the movies and shows based on their iconic properties.
Science Fiction used to be relegated to adventure tales. Then folks like Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke came along and threw the doors open on the vast expanses yet to be explored within its borders. No promises that I’ll be thought of or referenced in the same manner as any of those, but I hope I’m helping to at least support and enable people who will be.
And yes, I hope it gets big and varied. I hope I’ll see people I’m working with now or people inspired by us do things I never thought of. I hope I see them do things I never would have thought of. I want there to be Superhero titles out there for everyone, regardless of their tastes or expectations—because that’s possible. It’s possible, but only as long as we’re able to make this genre attractive to not only read, but to work in.
That’s what I think the true value of the Society is. We can work with and support each other and in doing so, elevate our art both for ourselves and for our readers.
There are other benefits, of course. For you the reader, having so many of us in one place makes it way easier for you to find works that you enjoy. For us, well let me just say that the cross-promo magic is already working for The Descendants (and possibly to a lesser extent, Rune Breaker) and I really can’t wait until we start getting more active on the forum so I can gab with ‘my’ people. Do you have any idea how many odd looks I get in real life when I gab about my new villain with paralytic glitter?
Oh yes, dear readers. I wasn’t screwing around when I mentioned her on Twitter. She. Is. Coming.
…after the cataclysmicly huge dragon.
Oops, extra-short blog this week, remember? Maybe next week!
Actually no, a couple of announcements for the actual blog page.
Oh, and The Descendants, The Basic Collection #1 ‘We Could Be Heroes’ is now on sale in paperback at Amazon and CreateSpace for $12.99 (sweet bejean, that bastard is huge).
Also, a final date has been set for the release of Book 3 ‘The Devil Came Down to Mayfield’ as an ebook: April 18. As usual, expect it for sale on Amazon for 2-5 days to a month before Apple, B&N and Kobo. On the plus site, it will release simultaneously at DriveThruFiction and GooglePlay.
And finally, I’m about to embarrass a great fan and commenter (and if he objects, I’ll removed this) but awesome commenter, Curious George, linked some of his own superhero fiction in the comments Friday and I didn’t want anyone to miss it because it’s awesome and you ought to check it out.
Now we’re finished, without any more words about dragons. Ha.
Questions, comments, verbal abuse? Please post them below in the comments, or the forum.
You can check in on what Vaal’s working on or just what’s on his mind by following @ParadoxOmni on Twitter, using the hashtags #TheDescendants or #RuneBreaker. Sign up to learn about new book releases by Vaal by clicking here.
Vaal now has many of his books available in multiple platforms in his bookstore.
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