Superheroes and 1940’s Style

Pop Fiction

WE’VE BEEN accepting new fiction only sporadically of late, as we ready other aspects of our campaign. BUT we have new writing today– from long-time DIY scribe Wred Fright, an excerpt from his newest novel, Fast Guy Slows Down.

We’re running it because A.) it’s from Wred Fright, whose unique style combines fun with wit and intelligence, B.) it’s about a superhero. What could be more pop?

A superhero’s reflections on his career and crucial events through the decades. We chose for our excerpt the glamorous decade of the 1940’s, whose conflicts of flawed good guys versus evil Nazis brought about the need for pop superheroes– and led to their rise and maybe the birth of modern pop culture itself.

We hope you enjoy it!

The superhero is a child’s power fantasy, he or she all grown up and powerful. Big not small.  To reach that, the parent must be gone, maybe because the child thinks he or she will  always remain a child with the parent around, even though that isn’t true. Anyway,  Superman’s an orphan. So’s Captain Marvel. So’s Batman. So’s Robin. Wonder Woman  doesn’t have a dad, at least in the stories I read; I think they gave her a dad later on. Initially though, her mom makes her out of clay or something.

(Art: “Miss Fury” by Tarpe Mills c/o Camilla Nelson.)

Chaos In America

Pop Fiction

MOST of the chaos is in our heads as the networks and social media pump images of violence, tragedy, and trauma into our heads 24/7. BUT there’s enough reality to it to concern everybody with a conscience and with half a brain in their head.

The populace is in panic.

OUR TASK as a literary site is to capture the current cultural vibe– the real one, not a watered-down and insular Manhattan-Brooklyn version.

At the moment, the strongest vibes aren’t coming from New York. They’re coming from hinterlands like Uvalde or Buffalo, where the already-unhinged have completely lost it, and the world explodes into chaos like a fictional Killtown.

Which we present in a short story, “Chaos In Killtown.” Its “3-D” multi-dimensional framework is an ideal vehicle for the expression of chaos. The narrative comes at the reader from every direction. The goal with this particular story is to be completely pop, but also to capture the hysteria of now. Does it?

The mayor sat in his riverfront mansion at an enormous table sampling yet another enormous meal. Calls came into his private phone from aides saying the city was in chaos and he had to do something.

“The city is always in chaos!” the mayor shouted back, and disconnected.