Sunday, August 20, 2006

Immortality Is Mine

That's a panel from my friend Bob's new book Recess Pieces which you can buy here. I'm mighty flattered to have a character named after me, although the character based on Bob gets to ogle a dirty magazine and is later kissed by a girl, whereas I get beaten up by the school bully. Hmmmm...

Recess Pieces is best described as Little Rascals meets Dawn of the Dead, or Peanuts trapped in an old EC horror comic. Bob got the idea during a conversation he and I were having, talking about how contemporary horror movies are just a series of elaborate set pieces demonstrating clever ways to kill people. The audience is primed to enjoy the victims' deaths rather than feel any empathy or horror. The real subversive horror movie would make you care about the victims so that when they died, you would feel sick. "Yeah" Bob said. "It would have to be about monsters threatening someone that no-one wants to see hurt, like little kids and puppies." You could almost hear the click go off in his head. "Yeah...monsters attacking little kids and puppies..."

So it's been cool watching the book grow from his initial idea. Every time I went to his apartment, Bob would have new pages done and I got to see the story shift from nostalgia about the horrors of grade school to real horror at a grade school. Now it's a book. A pretty gory book, I should point out. Zombies eat people, and that entales lots of entrails.

Why a boy scout? Well, I was late meeting Bob for dinner once because I was literally helping an old lady cross the street. I was walking through the East Village, she asked for help and I was happy to oblige. However, it took her so long to cross the street (I have never seen an upright person move so slow) that I was noticably late for dinner. Bob had mentioned that he was going to name one of the kids in the book after me. When I told him why I was late, he said "Then your character will be a boy scout!"

Congratulations, Bob. Looking forward to a sequel.


Julie said...

Thank you for explaining the Scout uniform, because it was the first thing that caught my eye. Bob's concept is correct - it's the reason Stephen King's early works were so good. You got to know the characters before the carnage began. Also, the artwork is exellent - but you need more freckles.
PS I made you immortal, too. In my version you're not being beaten, but you are naked and sucking a washcloth.
PSS How's Carol doing?

the hanged man said...

Carol is doing well. She and her family just spent a week at Cape May and it sounds like they had a great time (details on her glorious knitting blog).

By the way, my friend Lynn LOVED the painting you did. So thank you again for the immortality.

erin said...

That's actually very cool. Is he called "JohnHanlon" throughout the comic? Or is he called John?

Julie (again ) said...

Of course, Steve Gutin could have explained to Bob why that scene could never really have happened. You might've been bullied out of money for widows and orphans, but FOOD? He doesn't understand the Hanlon dynamic. You'd have morphed into some Hulk-like Creature and pulverized him!

the hanged man said...

Erin - the character's name is only mentioned once, in the panel depicted.

Julie - the Hanlon food dynamic has not changed. My friend Karl can attest to the time I got snotty with a waiter who wanted to remove my glass of beer while there was still a whole swallow left at the bottom.

Iva said...

My goodness, I haven't read your blog in a while and look what has happened... You become immortal while my back is turned! Wow!
The script should have been entitled "That's my piece of pie, you bastard!"


The Absentee said...

While doing a rare google search for myself, I came upon this entry in your "weblog," as my handlers tell me it's called. My lawyers checked it over and apparently there's no way I can sue anyone over this, so instead I suppose I'll be wading through back numbers of your "weblog." Good thing I have people to do that for me.

Yours in Satan,
Steve Louis Gutin

the hanged man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the hanged man said...

Hey Steve, how are you?

I'm responding here, on the off chance you check back to see if your comment generated any comments. I'll also email you, but I'm not sure if either of the addresses I have for you work. Even with all our technological advances, I might as well try talking to you with two cans attached by string.

You can, of course, email me using the first link on the main page.

"Rare Google search for myself?" Yeah, yeah. I believe you.

By design, nothing is really new in my life. However, I'll talk more via email. The last thing I want to do on my weblog is write anything personal about myself.

Take care,