Fallen Superhero: Stress Bitch
Model: Helen Rosburg
The genesis of Stress Bitch was a spiral of odd little connections. We were almost done shooting all of our fallen superheroes when we discovered Helen, CEO of Medallion Press, our publisher, wanted to be a fallen superhero too. She’d seen a lot of the images we’d been churning out and had also been photographed by the talented Mr. Eric Curtis before and wanted to be part of the party. Also, knowing that my mother Connie was going to be making the costume I designed made the whole situation a no brainer. My mother has designed dresses and costumes for Helen for years so cranking out a superhero costume was just another point on the chalkboard for them.
Medallion had recently expanded to include movie and music development arms of their company. One of the first artists they signed to Medallion Music was Dirty Jenny, aka Jen Leigh, the most badass guitarist in the universe. Jen is also a Fallen Superhero, Spiral. Helen loves Jen’s music, especially the song Stress Bitch, which I also wrote with Jen. See that “spiral” of odd little connections I was talking about….
Thus, Stress Bitch, the song, was the impetus for Stress Bitch the fallen superhero. And Helen’s personal life had some elements that we could tweak to satisfy a couple of superhero story points we had not gotten to dig into up to that point. We wanted a Tony Stark type character, heavily armed and eccentric. Having that character be a woman took it to an even cooler level. And maybe the idea of her not wanting to waste ammo could come into play…. you know, she didn’t get rich by wasting money and goods. So she’s conservative on the use of her weapons arsenal and also in her political views. We were ready to knock this one out of the park.
I loved the idea of fashion camouflage and my mother actually found the most incredible metallic blue and silver camo material. I originally drew her belt with the big SB on the buckle but my mom found a wicked hand grenade belt buckle that rocked. And we discovered the pink machine gun belts at Ozzie Dots, again, can’t rave enough about that store.
Now the big bonus happened out of nowhere. When we went to shoot Helen on her property in Odessa, Florida my mother and father went along for the trip. That way she could tweak Helen’s costume if it needed any last minute adjustments. Helen said she would love it if her daughter, Ali, could be a superhero too. I thought that having her being forced into the superhero life, to follow in mama’s footsteps, was a great angle. Fortunately for us my mother had brought along all the extra material she had made Helen’s costume out of and within a couple of hours cranked out a costume for Ali. When Adam Mock was writing the story segments for Stress Bitch he dubbed Ali’s character Ann Xiety, again playing into the pressures of having to do what mommie says, especially when that mommie is a superhero. And there we were, Stress bitch and her sidekick/superhero in training, Ann Xiety.
Homerun all around. And the 2nd to last superhero of our shoot. All the animals in the Stress Bitch shots, all the locations, guns and other cool items are all Helen’s personal property we appropriated for the shoot. It really added a ton of production value to the book and we also got to shoot shotguns and assault rifles when we wanted to blow off steam.
I’ll let Adam close out with some of his thoughts on the writing of Stress Bitch and Helen and her work she does aside from her roll as CEO of Medallion Press.
“In real life Helen Rosburg and Ali DeGray are dear friends. They’re also the great granddaughter and great great granddaughter of William Wrigley. Yep, that William Wrigley. Wrigley Field and Wrigley Gum, staples of Americana. Helen also happens to be my boss, the CEO of Medallion Press and the woman who published Fallen Superheroes. Ali is a world champion horse rider. And by world champ I mean we should call her Muhammad Ali because she’s that good. Together in real life they are two of the most wonderfully interesting people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
The “Ted Nugent “likes” this.” line originally said “Adam Mock “likes” this.” It was my nod to Helen that I understand her. Scott understood that, but felt that it was much stronger if we change it to resonate with a wider audience. In a phone conversation with him about it he simply said, “How about Ted Nugent “likes” this?” and he gave a subtle chuckle as he always does when a spark of brilliance warms over him. I felt my insides start to giggle into full blown laughter and the change was made. Ted Nugent does indeed “like” this.
One of my favorite opening lines in the entire book is “A widow by trade . . .” so much is said in those four words that push the imagery even further. It speaks of history, violence, mystery, and murder. It begs all sorts of questions that you need answers to, but the prose doesn’t allow time for it. Instead, we quickly fill you in on Stress Bitch’s distain for men, and that her mission to raise Ann up properly allows her to live on past death. Essentially making her undead, and leaving Ann no hope of breaking free.” – Adam Mock
NEXT UP: Nimrod the Hunter, modeled by Louis Moncivias