Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Step 4: Obtain Insurance (Part 5 of 10)

In the superhero industry, insurance is critical. You never know when your enemy might expose your only weakness and send your gnarled body to the ER. Sustaining sufficient coverage under a secret identity is difficult, however. After all, who’s going to give Plain Jane the kind of insurance a flying woman with super strength and hundreds of diabolical enemies needs? On the other hand, if your insurer knows you’re Wonder Woman, you’ve blown your cover and increased your premium.

We recommend maintaining a good plan through your day job and obtaining separate superperson coverage through SGA. For minor cuts and bruises, use your employer’s plan. For severed limbs, nerve damage, etc., use SGA. More details can be found on our website. Enter your email address and ten-digit supercode for access.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Nothing could stop Henry now.

Step 3: Brand Yourself (Part 4 of 10)

Once you’ve chosen a name and slogan, it’s time to create a unique brand. Finding the right designer for your logo and uniform takes careful planning, since your hire must agree not to disclose your identity. Furthermore, unless you want the designer to become a target of your arch-nemesis, he or she will not receive credit for creating your brand. All this makes contracting with a good designer difficult. SGA maintains a list of terrific designers who have proven faithful to the SGA credo. Visit our website for more details.

Slogans, Mottos, Catch-Phrases, Jingles
A slogan or catch phrase can boost your popularity and aid in your marketing and merchandising. Slogans may also advance some part of your moral code and are often memorable enough for use in feature films. Most find creating a slogan easy – they simply trademark something they say or that others say about them. Think, “I’m Batman”, “With great power comes great responsibility”, “It’s a bird, it’s a plane”, etc. Be positive and upbeat but strong in your language. “Here I am!” is probably not powerful enough to make villains quiver, but “Bring it, suckas!” might work. Pay some friends to chant your motto as you fight; it often helps the slogan catch on.

When creating a logo, remember: keep it simple. Your mark should read well from great distances so that civilians, law enforcement, and villains do not mistake you for someone else. Bold, recognizable colors work well.

Your logo should incorporate an icon. An icon without type aids readability, is more memorable to the public, and keeps your uniform from looking like a tawdry sports jersey. Spiderman, The Fantastic 4, Superman – all use icons. You should, too.

Your uniform, like everything else in your brand, should reflect your particular super style. Are you a dark and brooding character? Try darker, more muted tones. Are you idealistic and suave? Go for brighter colors. Nothing says you like your uniform.

If you must wear your uniform constantly, make sure your daily attire conceals your supersuit well. Also, if you’re going to be sparring during winter months, plan your uniform accordingly. Some superheroes prefer lycra hoods that protect their ears from the cold, and superladies often switch to ankle-length leggings when chilly weather ensues.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trick or Treat!

When Phil began wearing his costume to school every day, the teachers knew there was a problem.


Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well.
—Othello 5.2.342–44

Ignacious The Cameraman

"How, you may ask, do I take pictures with only one foot?!? That, my dear friend, shall be our little secret."

The Meeting

Step 2: Choose a Name (Part 3 of 10)

Choosing a supername is not as easy as you might think. Not only must your name match your power, be bold, innovative, and intriguing — it must also be available. If, for example, your superpower deals with bats, good luck obtaining the rights to any of the names you might want — they’re likely taken.

How, then, do you choose from the myriad options available? How does one go about choosing a superhero name? For starters, try: (Your Adjective Here) Man or (Your Adjective Here) Woman. Choose an innovative adjective that describes what your power does. Think outside the box, and use a thesaurus. For example, do your lightning bolts hiss as they charge through the air? Try Sibilation Woman. Is your salivary poison highly acidic? Try Acerbic Man.

While the abovementioned convention works well for some, others find it cliché. Perhaps adding an “o” (masculine) or an “a” (feminine) to the ending of a descriptive word would work better for you: Robusto, Slithera, Freezo, Atomica. Alternatively, use words that evoke strong emotions through onomatopoeia, rhyming, alliteration, and the like: NerveSinge, Blamblaster, LaserPhaser, Gnashwail.

Run your choices past a few superfriends before licensing your name. Batman’s nickname describes him perfectly well – 'The Dark Knight'. It also makes him sound much cooler than did his original idea – The Soaring Rodent. Fortunately, Batman’s friends (with help from a superb brand manager) convinced him to keep his appellations appropriately melancholic, and 'The Dark Knight' prevailed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Step 1: Hone Superskills (Part 2 of 10)

Your skills no doubt need improving; otherwise, you would already be a famous superperson. Sharpening your abilities is the first place to start when working towards superhero/heroine fame, because without proper training, you will probably die pathetically within the first few bouts with bad guys*.

While practicing your superstrength is important, we also recommend intensive courses in martial arts, meditation, telepathy, and trash talking. Such cross training allows you to perform well even if your superstrength is weakened by evildoers.

* The bad guys always seem to have cooler weapons and better uniforms, but we still win. We think it’s because we train more.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Welcome to Superpeople's Guild of America! (Part 1 of 10)

Dear Recent Inductee,

On behalf of superhumans everywhere, welcome to the Superpeople’s Guild of America! Whether by birth or through happy accident, you have discovered that you hold a superpower. With that power, of course, comes great responsibility. We at the Superpeople’s Guild of America (SGA) are here to help you start a super-identity that will simultaneously make the world a safer place and help your superhero business make it through these tough economic times. To get you started, here are some simple steps you can follow to help your superhero corporate identity sizzle. The order is important here, so please remember not to seek out your sinister arch-nemesis before obtaining an adequate insurance plan.

Congratulations and happy crime-fighting,

Susan Waverly
President, Superpeople’s Guild of America

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Character Doodles

Computer's still broken. Luckily, my sketchbook's not. And luckily, my in-laws let me use their computer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Dead Computer

Well, it's finally happened. My good friend, Powerbook G4, has finally departed this mortal existence. Mostly. There are still very faint signs of life. At least I had time to back up my drive. See, a few days ago, my first Mac (born circa A.D. 2004) decided to slip into a coma. Although it's been in and out for a few days, its hard drive is gone, and the Mac Geniuses say there ain't much I can do.

But I've still been drawing! And hopefully, a new iMac and CS4 Master Collection appear in the not-too-distant future. Until then (and until I have Photoshop back), you're going to have to live with unedited scans from my in-laws' all-in-one printer.

By the way, in case you haven't seen Up and need an expert opinion on it, I thought it was pretty good. I loved the art, especially. Maybe I'll post a review soon. In case I don't, just go see it yourself and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Savannah Montana: Thunder Racer

No one had ever beaten Dylan the Cheetah before. But today, Savannah was wearing her running shoes.

Monday, June 1, 2009