Fallen Superhero: Plutonica
Model: Madeline Zima
Madeline Zima is a friend of Eric Curtis. I met her at a party Eric was having at his place and we all became very excited about Madeline being one of our superheroes. This was early on, the larva stage, before we had figured out exactly how to tackle the creation and execution of the heroes that would eventually grace the pages of our lil’ book. Someone else took a pass at making Madeline’s costume and it was…. let’s just say she loked like a drag queen Carmen Miranda with a giant panty liner and shriveled shoulder pads. Not a good look, especially for someone as attractive as Madeline. Yes, they are fallen superheroes but that doesn’t mean they should look like a cracked out tropical tranny on a hot summer afternoon.
Cut to the day of the shoot. Eric and I show up at Madeline’s place ready to create something from nothing. Having Madeline as the base of your nothing is a great way to start. She’s a great actress, which helped immensely when it came time to snap the pics. She’s been in the business her whole life; she was the daughter on The Nanny, the daughter in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Mia in Californication, she’s on a new TV show and has done a ton of other work that flexes her acting muscles quite nicely.
We had a box full of odds and ends; a red metallic body suit, a few different boot choices and a mishmash of other things we had acquired while prepping the shoot. LUCK always plays a great part in everything we do. The body suit fit Madeline perfectly and the boots that actually fit on her feet were the perfect choice, the yellow ones you see pictured. We also had the tiny blue metallic shorts. Now where’s the character?
I sat by the pool with Madeline and we talked about things in her life she cared about, things she would do if she had super powers. We talked about her house. Nobody officially lived there. It held some no so pleasant memories so Madeline took a house hiatus for awhile and the lack of upkeep showed signs of what I refer to as domestic neglect. Madeline was also no stranger to failed romance. We connected on a pretty human level where we had both had people in our lives at some point that had problems with addiction, drugs, alcohol, take your pick. All these elements came into play just before the quick trip to Michael’s art supply for colored duct tape, metallic craft paper and double stick carpet tape.
Her powers would be hazardous, something that she couldn’t control completely if her mind wasn’t in the game. She would have a driving desire to belong, to fit in, to make things work, just like everybody does in their day to day jobs, friendships and romantic lives. Deciding she was from Pluto made everything fall into place. Pluto was a planet, now it’s been declassified…. what a cosmic dis! And love. Nothing says recipe for disaster more than dating an emotionally abusive male with a drug addiction. Combine that with buying a home in the suburbs and you have Plutonica; a superhero with incredible power that is rendered helpless when everything she cares about it lost. The end of her relationship paralyzes her emotionally and she spends her days sitting in her SUV by the park watching through tear-filled eyes while other soccer mom’s kids play.
I drew a quick stencil for her symbol and with a few quick snips of the scissors on the metallic paper it was done. It’s based on the hazardous waste icon but with a lil’ mo’ pizzaz. Some blue and yellow duct tape pinstriping, a nice goggle pick from mom’s bag o’ goodies and Plutonica was born. Shot entirely at Madeline’s crib one afternoon in Valencia. A surprise visit from her mom and sister got us the super-pooch in one shot, LUCK again stopped in to say “what up!”
Up next: Double Diamonds