american static

After a little bit of traveling while she’s figuring out exactly what she wants to do, Cat Grant decides revisit an old pen name.  She wrote a few children’s books when she was younger under the name Charity Malkin, mostly to settle a bet with Lois, but there was no reason Charity Malkin couldn’t come out of retirement.

She finds she enjoys it, and finishes her first book in record time.  She sends it in to CatCo’s publishing department, through the normal approval procedures.  Sure, she could just order it done, but Cat refuses to take the easy option.  Her employees have been trained to recognize quality, and if her book doesn’t pass muster, she’ll just have to try harder.

Her book is picked up, however, and the first limited run is snatched up quick enough that she’s approved for wider release.

Charity Malkin gets fanmail, drawings from little children and thank you letters from parents, but two letters are sent to Cat Grant specifically, despite her expecting at most one, or more likely zero.  After all, Lois was the only other person who knew who Charity Malkin was.

Sure enough, one of the cards is from her former colleague, congratulating her and insulting her in equal measure.  The other card didn’t come through the mail, but instead appeared on her kitchen counter along side a styrofoam container with breakfast from her favorite bistro in France.  Kara’s card was short, congratulating her on her return and hoping for more, with no explanation as to how she figured out Cat was the author or why she had read the book in the first place.

Fueled by her initial success, Cat keeps writing.  The average american family hadn’t been static over the years, and Cat refused to use the stereotypical 50s family.  She didn’t always make it the focus, but her books were quickly noted as some of the best new examples of non-traditional families available.  Divorce, Adoption, Gay Parents, Transgender characters, characters on the spectrum, and more.  Cat did her research, interviewed real families to make sure she was accurate, because she knew children deserved to see themselves in books.

Cat has never been willing to settle once she’s on a roll, and she starts writing for older kids, first chapter books, then some young adult fiction, all the diverse casts she had made her mark with.  She made sure anyone who read her books could find themselves in the pages, and from the fan letters that made it to her and the communities that sprang up, Cat had succeeded.

Kara kept sending her cards whenever she published something new, usually a few lines about what she thought, but sometimes, the whole card is full of words, and once or twice, there’s notebook pages torn out and stuffed in the card, and Cat reads every word, more than once.  Those letters always end up in her collection of favorite fanmail, alongside pictures of kids and families dressed as her characters, fanart of her heroes, and letters that brought a tear to her eye.

Charity Malkin was successful, but reclusive.  Cat had fun lurking on the official Charity Malkin forums, posting only occasionally, typically to end discussions that had gotten out of hand, or to critique particularly bad grammar.  Her favorite section was the creative writing boards, and encouraged everyone to contribute.  It was considered high praise to have TheCharityMalkin leave a comment, even when she only left a few words, because she rarely left more than that.

But Cat wanted to be able to interact with her fans more directly than through an internet filter, and began planning her reveal.  A press release would be boring, and a media campaign wasn’t the right strategy.  Inspiration struck when Supergirl landed on her balcony.

Supergirl hadn’t taken much convincing to agree to her plan, not that Cat expected it would.  Two weeks later, Supergirl landed in front of the children’s hospital for a publicized meet and greet.  A camera followed her as she met the kids and answered their questions.  Eventually the kids were assembled for storytime, and Supergirl introduced her friend, Charity Malkin.  The camera barely left her face as Cat read her new book, about an alien who came to earth, and how she had managed to adjust to life on a new planet.  The kids clapped for the book when she was done, and Cat warmed because she knew they weren’t clapping just because of who she was, because most of them still didn’t recognize her.  It was a change Cat didn’t know she would appreciate so much.

The video was sold to everybody pretty much immediately.  Cat let the media run with it, and refused to answer her phone, except when Lois called for a comment, and Cat only did that because she knew nothing either one of the said would be fit for print.

Cat kept writing, though she slowed down production somewhat now that she was public.  She refused to do a full book tour, but instead, she would fly out and did public readings and Q&A sessions in bookstores whenever it struck her fancy.  Charity Malkin also spoke at fan conventions, where she lectured on writing and storycraft, and gave maddeningly obtuse answers whenever she was asked about a spoiler.

It’s the happiest she’s been in years.

DWAYNE MCDUFFIE

(February 20, 1962 – February 21, 2011)

Dwayne McDuffie was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Leroy McDuffie and Edna McDuffie Gardner. He attended The Roeper School and went on to the University of Michigan, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, then earning a master’s degree in physics. He then moved to New York to attend film school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While McDuffie was working as a copy editor at the business magazine Investment Dealers’ Digest, a friend got him an interview for an assistant editor position at Marvel Comics.

Going on staff at Marvel as editor Bob Budiansky’s assistant on special projects, McDuffie helped develop the company’s first superhero trading cards. He also scripted stories for Marvel. His first major work was Damage Control, a miniseries about the company that shows up between issues and tidies up the mess left by the latest round of superhero/supervillain battles.
After becoming an editor at Marvel, McDuffie submitted a spoof proposal for a comic entitled Ninja Thrashers in response to Marvel’s treatment of its black characters. Becoming a freelancer in 1990, McDuffie wrote for dozens of various comics titles for Marvel, DC Comics, and Archie Comics. In addition, he wrote Monster in My Pocket for Harvey Comics editor Sid Jacobson, whom he cites on his website as having taught him everything he knows. In early 1991, he divorced his first wife, Patricia D. Younger, in Seminole County, Florida.

In the early 1990s, wanting to express a multicultural sensibility that he felt was missing in comic books, McDuffie and three partners founded Milestone Media, which The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio, described in 2000 as “the industry’s most successful minority-owned-and operated comic company.” McDuffie explained:

“If you do a black character or a female character or an Asian character, then they aren’t just that character. They represent that race or that sex, and they can’t be interesting because everything they do has to represent an entire block of people. You know, Superman isn’t all white people and neither is Lex Luthor. We knew we had to present a range of characters within each ethnic group, which means that we couldn’t do just one book. We had to do a series of books and we had to present a view of the world that’s wider than the world we’ve seen before.”

Milestone, whose characters include the African-American Static, Icon, and Hardware; the Asian-American Xombi, and the multi-ethnic superhero group the Blood Syndicate, which include black, Asian and Latino men and women, debuted its titles in 1993 through a distribution deal with DC Comics. Serving as editor-in-chief, McDuffie created or co-created many characters, including Static.

After Milestone had ceased publishing new comics, Static was developed into an animated series Static Shock. McDuffie was hired to write and story-edit on the series, writing 11 episodes.

His other television writing credits included Teen Titans and What’s New, Scooby-Doo?.
McDuffie was hired as a staff writer for the animated series Justice League and was promoted to story editor and producer as the series became Justice League Unlimited. During the entire run of the animated series, McDuffie wrote, produced, or story-edited 69 out of the 91 episodes.
McDuffie also wrote the story for the video game Justice League Heroes.

McDuffie was hired to help revamp and story-edit Cartoon Network’s popular animated Ben 10 franchise with Ben 10: Alien Force, continuing the adventures of the ten-year-old title character into his mid and late teenage years. During the run of the series, McDuffie wrote episodes 1–3, 14, 25–28, 45 and 46 and/or story-edited all forty-six episodes. McDuffie also produced and story edited for the second sequel series Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, which premiered April 23. 2010. He wrote episodes 1, 10, 11, 16, 30, 39 together with J. M. DeMatteis and 52.

McDuffie wrote a number of direct-to-DVD animated films featuring DC Comics characters - including Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and Justice League: Doom. He scripted the direct-to-DVD adaptation of All-Star Superman, which was released one day after his death. Justice League: Doom was released posthumously in 2012.
McDuffie’s work was also seen on Ben 10: Omniverse, having shared story by credit on the first two episodes, “The More Things Change, Parts 1 and 2.”

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A pioneer who paved the way for increasing awareness and diversity within the mainstream comic book industry as well as animation, Dwayne’s memory and contribution will never be forgotten. Rest In Power, brother.

youtube

American Static ~ Handout

so yeah i have made lots of posts and um sometimes i play the guitar and this is one of those times.

but this time i have had no tequila so idk i want to say it’s better but it might be worse. either way.

so yeah, a cover of micah schnabel’s ‘american static’, which is an amazing song and i love a lot. wow i don’t know if it’s super obvious that i love micah’s music or not, but… you should probably go listen to the original.

danni managed to convince me to make another video because she’s a doll and josh made me say hi. so yeah 8,000 posts whooo here’s another thing.