The Proposal They Don't Want You To Read (or that they at least don't want to pay for):
Below is the FOREWORD, or the cover sheet, to my S66 proposal, originally created for submission to DC's Vertigo line, and, as so many, many of my unsolicited submissions over the years to Marvel and DC have been, eventually (several months later) returned unopened, with a terse note to the effect that it was no longer DC's policy to accept or review unsolicited submissions. Nice guys, huh?
Anyway, at the bottom of this page is a nice list of links, leading to the various other parts of this proposal -- the Historical Timeline of the Seraphim66 metaverse, write-ups of each character, and nicely scanned .jpg files of the ten pages of stick figure layouts with hand lettered captions and dialogue that I was advised was the trendy thing for writers who couldn't draw to include in all submissions nowadays. The art's pretty bad and, as I say, the lettering is crude, but even ten years later, I still think the script is pretty good... at least of professional quality, especially given much of the crap that Vertigo and various other companies have published in the last ten year.
And... you know... if DC had just OPENED THE ENVELOPE, they might have SEEN that this submission was of professional quality, and who knows, I might have a career now, instead of an Angelfire website.
One further word... the hand lettered stick figure layouts were done before and while I typed up the rest of the precis, because they were easy and fun, as opposed to the rest of this, which was actual work. Therefore, about halfway through the 10 pages of lay outs, I lost my red pencil and thus, stopped doing visual instructions in black and actual text in red, which was a nice gimmick, I thought. Also, the character that eventually came to be known as Dr. Simone Runyan went through a brief phase as Jennifer Fields, or something equally boring, and you'll see that in the lay outs, too. Don't yell at me. I'm talented, not perfect.
This is a precis/proposal for a six issue limited series, featuring original characters and concepts, created entirely by Your Humble Author, Doc Nebula. SERAPHIM66 is a strange concept -- I tend to think of it as about nineteen different cliches all cohabitating in the same spacetime coordinate for about a picosecond -- and then exploding. Whether the explosion is an A-bomb or a small firecracker remains for the audience to decide.
Like many other currently fashionable concepts, SERAPHIM66 is a so-called ‘realistic’ superhero universe. It takes place in its own original timespace continuum, and that continuum’s primary difference from ours is the presence of superhumans in it. As with many other writers before me, I’ve tried to extrapolate realistic changes that the presence of superhumans would cause in my fictional continuum’s history and social structure. SERAPHIM66 has Flying Saucers, Secret Cabals, Deathrays, Super-Nazis, Occultists, Monsters, Superhumans Both Heroic and Villainous, Evil Government Conspiracies, Artificial Intelligences, Time Travel, and even a Bad Guy Who Lives In A Secret City On The Moon. It has Heroes Who Are Betrayed To A Tragic End, Villains Striving For Redemption, Cackling Mad Scientists, and an eccentric fellow who wants to be a Coke machine. It doesn’t have any ninjas, vampires, cybernetic marauders, or sexually deviant televangelists, but if the editors should desire some, I’m confident I can fit them in somewhere.
If there is anything that sets S66 apart from all the other grim and gritty realistic superverses that have preceded it, it is the presence of actual Heroism. Valor. Nobility. Which is not to say that my main cast of protagonists aren’t a morally besmirched lot with the classic Feet of Clay that seems so trendy and desirable in ‘realistic’ comic books these days, because they are. One of them used to be the Greatest Hero In The World... but now he’s an undead ghoul who must kill to survive. Another has sent 38 volunteers to 38 horrible deaths, in order to preserve the secret of her own true nature. A third spent all of WWII pretending to be a hero, because the celestial entity that gave him his powers would have taken them away if he didn’t. No, what sets these characters apart from the characters of other ‘realistic’ superverses is that they all know that real heroism exists, and they all long to achieve it. They know they’ve fallen short. But now they have an opportunity to redeem themselves, and they’re taking it. Their world is not one in which one must be a sexual deviant to be a hero, or where an uncompromising belief in good and evil is irrational and insane (and I’m specifically not naming names; if you heard someone whisper Watchmen, or maybe Golden Age, a few seconds ago, it must have been your own subconscious).
Ultimately, this is a story of redemption. And it has heroes, although they’ll be as surprised as anyone to find out, in the end, that that’s what they are. Not protagonists, not viewpoint characters, not fantasy projection figures. These guys are heroes. They live in what I hope can be credibly accepted as a real world, not unlike our own. A world in which people can actually do the Right Thing, just because it’s the Right Thing To Do. Which, as far as I know, is not a standard element in ‘realistic’ superverses. So call me crazy. (No, really. Go ahead. You may as well; you will be by the time you finish this precis...)
Hmmm. Someone outside my apartment window is shouting for someone else named Mark to come down and fight, you wimp, even as I type. Perhaps Mark is a valorous, self sacrificing young research chemist with a formula that allows him to change his size, and this fellow is an old enemy, just escaped from jail, with his strength-amplifying exoskeleton fully charged, spoiling for a fight. I’d better go to the window and watch, just in case.
Meanwhile, enjoy what follows.
Table of Contents
Back to Page One! Warp speed!
TIMELINE: The most depressing timeline since WATCHMEN. Trust me.
LAZARUS/CAPTAIN LIBERTY: Meet the Rampart of Democracy -- greatest hero of World War II... who'd be just fine if he weren't so dead.
DR. SAGE: WWII Living Legend Dr. Sage just wants everyone to leave him alone. Well, he should have stayed out of my precis, then.
DODEY M'FENKA: She's a cute little girl from South Africa who melts things with her mind! You just gotta love her... no, really, you have to.
DR. SIMONE RUNYAN: Daughter of WWII hero Storm Spirit and dedicated scientist, she couldn't have anything to hide, could she?
THE BAD GUYS: Careful. They'll eat you.
SERAPHIM66 his bad self: A mystery wrapped in an enigma. Love him or hate him, he's the title character, so we're stuck with him.
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 1!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 2!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 3!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 4!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 5!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 6!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 7!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 8!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 9!
The Scripted Stick Figure Layouts, Page 10!