INSPIRATION: BULL SHARKS

Sharks have always served as antagonists in several works of fiction. One of the most dangerous sharks in the world is the bull shark, which is responsible for more shark attack fatalities than any other shark (even the great white shark). When I was in Hawaii last year, my family and I participated in a kayaking adventure down a river that was connected to the ocean. Bull sharks are notorious about being able to swim in murky, brackish water (fresh and salt water) and there had been sightings of bull sharks in the area over the years. With that in mind, there was a strong possibility that there were bull sharks underneath my kayak and I did not know. I had watched the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week so I knew what these sharks were capable of and the thought of a bull shark jumping out of the water and onto my kayak gave me chills. On the upside, I had gained inspiration from the experience for a possible supervillain in my sequel trilogy, someone who is just as savage and bloodthirsty as a bull shark. I suppose one can acquire inspiration from the most unlikely events.

MUSIC INSPIRATION: ODE TO JOY (SYMPHONY 9)

One of my primary sources of inspiration has always been music. Whenever I hear a particular kind of music, I can better envision certain scenes that take place in my series. One of these songs is classical music like Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from the 9th Symphony. Upon hearing this lyrical work, I can envision legions of supervillains marching to engage the Young Guardians in battle while simultaneously causing all-out chaos. One would say that this song serves as giving me a foreshadowing sensation that hints that everything is about to explode in a burst of untold power.

CHARACTER CREATION: ALEXANDER ANDREWS

In the third volume of my series, the Young Guardians have encounters with several enemies from their early superhero careers. These individuals were recruited by Vogan (the main villain) to serve as weapons against the Young Guardians. Among these miscreants is the first major criminal the Young Guardians ever defeated: Alexander Andrews. Before the Young Guardians’ careers took off, Alexander was a notorious serial killer and complete and utter psychopath. Although he is one hundred percent human, Alexander has capabilities that would consider him inhuman. For instance, he is freakishly strong, able to overpower and kill virtually any individual with his bare hands. He also suffers from a neurological disease that renders him completely immune to physical pain, allowing him to take serious damage while still able-bodied enough to fight. Psychologically, Alexander’s mind is so twisted and warped that reading his thoughts is impossible, which makes him completely unpredictable. With these traits, when the Young Guardians confronted him, Alexander nearly killed two of the Young Guardians before he was captured. In other words, Alexander Andrews is a dangerous foe to face.

SUPERHERO REVIEW: BATMAN

Another of my favorite superheroes is Batman, real name Bruce Wayne. The reason for this is because unlike some of the more prominent superheroes, he has no powers and relies on the use of gadgets, fighting skills, and razor-sharp wit. Batman is driven by the most common motivations of a superhero: family tragedy. Still, despite his traumatic past, I am impressed that Batman rarely resorts to killing. This demonstrates considerable will power on his part because in some incarnations, Batman often thinks about killing enemies like the Joker, but he knows that if he ever gave in to the urge to kill, he would never be able to stop. Also, Batman would be an epitome of what crime fighting can do to a superhero on a psychological sense. In some incarnations, decades of being Batman had made Bruce Wayne more jaded, grizzled, and darker. On the down side, Batman does have a tendency to fully trust only a handful of individuals, but he did not even trust his own Justice League colleagues such as Superman and keeps files on their weaknesses in case they ever need to be taken out. Overall, Batman is a prime example of an everyman and a recommended hero for anyone who is searching for someone who is dark yet just at the same time.

MY MEMORY

One of the many advantages I wield as a result of my autism is my strong memory. Because of my laser-like focus, I am able to store information in my mind like a computer hard drive. Due to this, any information I find interesting is permanently imprinted on my psyche. When I was a kid, I managed to memorize considerable amounts of information about prehistoric life, particularly dinosaurs, while I was in elementary school and that information is still in my mind to this day. In addition, my strong memory has allowed me to acquire an intimate knowledge of subjects such as science fiction, Star Wars, the superhero genre, literature, basic cooking recipes, animal facts, and even what routes to take while driving around town without the use of road signs. This trait has served me well with my writing process because while some writers have to write down information about characters and stories for future reference, I do not require such a system. Instead, all ideas and inspirations are stored in my memory and I never forget any of it. If my autism has allowed me to memorize this much information in a quarter of a century, I wonder how much more I will memorize as I get older. Only time will tell.

WRITING UPDATE: POSSIBLE SIDE STORY

Since I have created several superhero stories and am a fan of the superhero genre as a whole, I have decided on writing a side story that will be based in the year 1938. The reason I have chosen this year to be the setting of this side story because it was the beginning of the golden age of the superhero comic book. With that in mind, I am thinking of making a superhero with an old fashioned and classical feel to it. In addition, this side story will further elaborate on the history of two major characters as well as two of the major gangs in the series.

FILM REVIEW: BIRDMAN OR THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE

Starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, and Zach Galifianakis, Birdman depicts the point of view of an actor who used to play a superhero and attempted to move on to Broadway. I enjoyed the humor in this film and in some cases I could connect with Michael Keaton character. In particular, I sometimes fantasize on having superpowers myself just as Michael Keaton’s character imagined having telekinesis or flight. I also enjoyed the concept of a washed up Hollywood actor who was desperate for a comeback. If this was a boxing film, it would be fair to say that Birdman is a Cinderella story for an actor. In addition, it was rather scary on how the film depicted the demanding and competing nature of Broadway theatre. As a former theatre actor, I could relate to this as well. I would recommend this film to anyone who is seeking a story about an underdog who is attempting to beat the odds while wrestling with his own personal demons.

WRITING UPDATE: VOLUME FOUR (CHAPTER 3)

I have started the third chapter of my fourth volume! This will depict a significant changes to the Young Guardians as a team and it will feature their first encounter with one of their new enemies. I am already planning the battle sequence and I must say it is going to be brutal! The Young Guardians have had brutal battles in the past, such as the third volume, but this will take it to a whole new level. On the upside, the coming battle will depict how the Young Guardians will handle the situation with the changes to their team. Also, the main villain of the series, Vogan, will have a much larger role in the fourth volume, which will provide an even more terrifying demonstration of just how powerful he really is.

CREATURE: DWARVES

Another mythological creature that I enjoy apart from dragons and high elves are dwarves. The reason for this is because they are bold, fearless, and loyal beyond measure. Not only are they masterful miners and craftsmen, but they are also formidable warriors. When it comes to parties, they tend to be a charming bunch who behave like college boys having a fraternity party. Dwarves have appeared in countless works of fiction ranging from The Lord of the Rings to the Inheritance Cycle. Since I have already included a high elf in my series, I decided to include a dwarf or two as well. In the third volume of my series, two of the new characters are a pair of dwarves named Devan and Geban. These two individuals are acquaintances of the female lead, Tinisha Dolaira, and they come from the same world as Tinisha. In terms of personality, Devan and Geban are afraid of nothing, treating a fight like a game, and always look on the bright side of life. Their powers include physical strength and durability that is vastly superior to a human they possess terrifying skill with their mace and war hammer.

REAL LIFE SUPERPOWERS: FLIGHT

I discovered a man named Yves Rossy, who has found a way to give himself the superpower of flight. He has invented a wing that allows him to fly through the air and uses the movements of his body to steer his flight path. In many ways, Rossy reminds me of superheroes like Batman, the Rocketeer, and Iron Man because he has no powers, but relies on technology to do extraordinary things. Just by watching Yves Rossy fly, I wonder if technology can allow us to fly, what other powers could they give us in the future? I look forward to finding out.