Fallen Superhero: Infinity Girl
Model: Ainnsley Begnaud
I’ve know Ainnsley since 2006. In fact, she and Michael, Vane, were in a book trailer I did back then for Helen Rosburg. She’s the CEO of Medallion Press and she’s also a Fallen Superhero…. Stress Bitch. A book trailer is like a movie trailer, but for a book. You can peep it here: CALL OF THE TRUMPET TRAILER
Ainnsley worked as a barista/bartender at Caffe Cottage in Lafayette, LA. It’s my favorite coffee spot/dive bar. One side is a cafe, the other is a dive bar. It’s also got the best drink specials in the country; cheap, big drinks, smoky dive bar with a pool table in the back. It’s the kind of place that would have given Bukowski a boner. I’ve known Lou, the owner, ever since they opened in 1993.
The inspiration was there. Superhero with a day/night job that was keeping her from getting out there and really superheroing it up proper. Something everyone can relate to, the gotta pay the bills job that wipes all your energy out so at the end of the day all you want to do is sleep. Then you gotta get up and do it all over again. I loved the duality aspect of Caffe as well. It’s a cafe/bar. She’s a barista/bartender. It’s a day/night job. No time for anything but work. Adam, my lovely co-writer, honed in on this aspect of the character. I don’t even think we talked about it, it just came out of her character and the images. Shooting with backstory really deepens the impact of the images in the book, and Adam honed in on this without having any real conversation about it. He put it into an email where he listed what each Fallen Superhero we had represented to him, and everything he listed hit on a different level of being human that everyone can connect to either personally or through friends and family. Infinity Girl represented Dashed Dreams.
Designing infinity girl was pretty fast. I sat with Ainnsley and just talked about what was going on with her. Again the art ends up imitating life. She was trying to get a new job, finish school, get a boyfriend that wasn’t a douchebag. I instantly drew her behind the 8-ball. Then I looked at the 8 and thought, cool symbol, two loops that are locked together, damned to repeat the same course over and over again, to infinity and beyooooooooond! Infinity symbol, BINGO! and instead of it being on her chest as most superhero symbols tend to be placed, what if it was surrounding her, trapping her…. I drew it and handed it off to my mother. She took care of making it a functional physical thing. We used a pair of my sister’s old boots (yes she used to sport those pimp puppies) an old bathing suit, some gold leggings and some of my mother’s insanely cool holographic material to match the infinity symbol she made and Infinity Girl was born. Almost. I wanted something else to show that she just had bad luck, whether she brought it on herself or she was the punchline to some universal joke, we needed to see this was a person who had been traveling down a dark road. Eyepatch! We toyed with giving some backstory in the captions about how she lost the eye but figured it’s better that we don’t know.
One of my favorite captions that Adam wrote went with a picture that didn’t make the cut when it came time to publish. The image was too similar to two of the other images we had, but I can add it here because it tickles my funny bone like a feather tickles a Turkish feather-fetishist’s rectal region.
Writing with Adam is a gift. We share an off center sense of humor that keeps things fresh for both of us. We both seem to have just what the other one needs to add that cherry on top of whatever word sundae we’ve whipped up.
Here’s a little insight into the writing process from Adam.
“I believe Infinity Girl was the second hero I started writing narrative for. I remember cracking myself up over the the dialog with Infinity Girl and her mom because it made Scott and I realize the power of being a voyeur into these candid conversations. And even with a snapshot of dialog, it gives so much insight into dysfunctionality. When her mom says that Infinity Girl had lied about being a boy for years, it forces you pause and ask the question, “Wait . . . SHE lied about being a boy? Or her mom was that aloof that she didn’t know that Infinity Girl didn’t have a penis?
Scott and I had an interesting dialog about the photo of Infinity Girl with the plunger. After some back and forth on funny narrative possibilities, we realized how crazy it was that there are actual instructions needed for how to properly wash your hands. It was a revelation. This image spoke less about what was in the toilet that clogged it, and more about how insane it is that any restaurant in America has to have a posted reminder to wash your hands, and even give instructions on how to do so. The photo and caption shows just how asleep we can be as a culture.” - Adam Mock
Shooting Infinity Girl was a blast. We basically hung out at Caffe one afternoon and drank and ate while we set up and shot most of what became Infinity Girl’s story. We left Caffe and drove out to my old neighborhood where there was a bunch of new homes, all of which look the same, being built in a once empty field. Then we drove back to my parents house and stopped as we came around a corner to find the sun setting in a magical, fairy tale fashion. We popped off that last shot and went back to Caffe to drink more. $2 Crown all night!
NEXT UP: 420BLNT