Superhero by Superhero: Jupiter Boy and Captain Sensitivity

These guys are a couple of Dicks….

Fallen Superheroes: Jupiter Boy & Captain Sensitivity

Models: Lucas Dick and Andy Dick

Shooting with Andy Dick was a definite departure from the way we shot the other superheroes. We hooked up with him through his some Lucas. Lucas is an actor and comedian, and he and Eric are friends. We loved the idea of a father and son superhero team. We also loved the idea of seeing Andy Dick in a pink superhero costume with a flower cape.

Some wonderful outtakes for your eyeballs

Originally, Captain Sensitivity’s costume was made for Eric Roberts. But as fate would have it, Eric went into rehab when we were supposed to shoot. He was on that show, REHAB. Bad timing for us, great timing for Eric Roberts to get himself together.

Cut to Eric Curtis talking to Lucas about being a superhero and the notion of the father son angle with Andy. He loved the idea. He called us after he talked to Andy and said he was into it. We set a shoot date and messed around with some basic father/son superhero story angles. Estrangement, neglect, the child who is more the parent than the father. All of these ideas resonated with us and, more importantly, with Lucas.

Now, I’ve loved Andy Dick since I first saw him on News Radio. He’s one of my favorite people to see on screen. So making him into a superhero was a great way to work with him. And Lucas is one of the nicest guys I’ve met. Together, we knew they’d look amazing as a superhero duo.

It’s no secret that Andy Dick has had a ton of bad press, a crapload of crazy stories written about him and more than his fair share of being tazed. I’m not gonna trash talk because I really had a great time shooting with him. Mostly because of…. well, I’ll dish the highlights of Andy putting on his costume. Here’s a snippet, as close to verbatim as I can remember.

A very flamboyant Andy, “People are going to say this costume makes me look gay.”

A very deadpan me, “You think they’re gonna say it’s the COSTUME that makes you look gay.”

A very eyebrow raised Andy, “It’s playing into a stereotype.”

A very amused me, “You’re beyond a stereotype. You’re a 5.1-surround-sound-type.”

A very smirky Andy, “Can I take the shorts off? They’re blue fur.”

A very cocky me, “That’s the pimp factor. Lose the pimp factor you just got a hot pink suit. Now who’s playing into a stereotype?”

A very excited Andy, “I have fur on my balls! My furry pimpy balls!”

A very happy me, “That’s it. We can lose the shorts on the last shot if you want. Pimpin’ ain’t easy, gotta let your boys breath at the end of the day.”

A very sarcastic Andy, “It still makes me look gay.”

A very antagonistic me, “Can we talk about vaginas or something?”

A very aroused Andy, “Vaginas!?!?! Why do you want to talk about vaginas? Vaginas are gross! (Long pause) Actually, I love vaginas. I love the word VAGINAS VAGINAS VAGINAS!”

A very happy me, “Dear god, man. I love vaginas too!”

A very sly Andy mouths the words “Vaginas rock….”

And so it went, a conversation full of left turns, outbursts, delicate moments and, most importantly, vaginas.

Ticklin’ the ol’ Ivories

We shot in the most amazing location, Andy’s ex wife’s backyard. She has an airstream and tons of random art and odds and ends lying around. There’s also some nice little work-sheds and an old baby grand piano in the middle of the yard. Eric setup the shots. First setup was in front of the airstream.We got singles of our heroes and moved on to the two of them, either working together or against each other. They really popped in the pics too. Andy and Lucas share a great energy onscreen and when they turn it on it’s quite captivating. We cranked the shots out and moved on to the baby grand. Andy lost his shorts for this one. His boys needed air.

The magical comet/sperm rain

The most amazing thing happened on the final setup with Eric’s lighting and some unexpected rain. Somehow the light hit the raindrops in a way that made them look like they were comets, or sperm, shooting upwards into the heavens. It was absolutely magical. And tied into our superheroes from another planet quite well. Here’s an outtake of some of that magical rain-comet action. Click the image to see it full size. The final shot is in the book.

NEXT UP: Spiral modeled by Dirty Jenny aka Jen Leigh

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Superhero by Superhero: Iron Meng

The Mexican Iron Man

Fallen Superhero: Iron Meng

Model: Mario Durant

Mario D is one of my favorite people in Los Angeles. He’s a rapper, a bartender and an all around good guy. He’s totally captivating on camera so he was a natural as a subject in the Fallen Superhero world.

This costume was one of the most fun ones to make. I didn’t sketch anything, just got the stuff I wanted to build the character out of and went for it. I started with an XXLarge blue body suit and a crap load of tubing, bolts and other stuff from Home Depot.

Iron Meng’s mask is a combination of a Man in the Iron Mask mask, a welder’s mask,some tubing, flashlights, duct tape, a broken wine opener and some pimp-ass headphones. I had to build it on Mario so it fit right. Since this is still photography the costume just had to look good on, not necessarily be easy to get on or off. I did try my best to keep the comfort factor as friendly as possible.

Chillin’ poolside

His shoulder armor is actually a floor mat from Home Depot, sprayed gold, cut and folded to the shape you see in the pics. It had the look of a tamale husk which really worked out better than imagined. His left shoulder gun is a Frankensteined old tripod and his right chest laser sighted impulse blaster is leftover bits of the old tripod mounted on a reshaped Hannibal Lector mask with some big gold washers…. all of it hot glued together and zip tied to the mat.

His belly piece, an homage to Iron Man’s ARC reactor embedded in his chest, is a spray painted stovetop drip pan with a gaudy giant “Mexican” diamond in it. I call it a “Mexican” diamond because it has all the colors you see Mexican women wearing if you ever go down to Mexico.

Throw in some knee bads, PVC pipe, chemical gloves, duct tape and boots and the whole suit came together quite nicely. The belt is all duct tape with a buckle made out of carabiner locks.

The decision to write all of his captions in Spanish was a gut thing. Just happened when I sat down to write and it’s one of those things I think add to the uniqueness and humor of the book. I wrote everything in English, dropped it into Google translate, then had Arturo at Medallion Press check it for accuracy. I’ll give props to Google translate for being about 97% accurate.

As far as backstory goes I just went with the notion that Iron Meng is a superhero who could totally kickass but is focused on being a hip hop artist. Just like so many people out there who take the road of struggle to pursue their art instead of the easy road, Iron Meng follows his heart even though he never breaks through on the music scene to achieve the notoriety he desires.

chores

The song lyrics and all other info is totally made up, just went with the theme and it worked out great. Definitely one of my favorite costumes and totally stoked that it came together so quickly and didn’t fall apart. And Mario D was amazing. The shot of him taking in the garbage is one of Eric Curtis’ most brilliant 11th hour creations and the humdrum vibe that Mario gives off in the photo just hammers the character home even more.

NEXT UP: Jupiter Boy & Captain Sensitivity modeled by real life son and father Lucas Dick and Andy Dick

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Superhero by Superhero: Plutonica

Plutonica, longs for domestic bliss in a crystal meth world

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

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Fallen Superheroes: Intro to Superhero by Superhero

SAP here….

With Fallen Superheroes hitting bookshelves and comic book stores a notion has fallen into my brainhole; I should write a Hero by Hero breakdown of the characters in the book and the people who play them. This I shall do.

If you truly love this book as much as we do please pass the word on to your local book stores and especially the comic book stores to stock the books. And of course there’s the facebook liking and sharing and all that you should do as well. CLICK HERE FOR THE FACEBOOK PAGE

I will post a Hero by Hero breakdown here and also linked on the Facebook page that gives you, the true fans, an in depth look at the heroes and the people who play them. Here’s a list in the order they appear in the book and also the order in which I shall break them down…. I’m up first!

Vagabond: Scott Allen Perry

Plutonica: Madeline Zima

Double Diamonds: Michelle Beyda-Scott and Veronika Olah

Vane: Michael Leblanc

Infinity Girl: Ainnsley Begnaud

420BLNT: Cozmo Johnson

The Mighty Maven: Peggy Grigsby A.K.A. Mema

Shock Mama: Amanda Lyon

Fast Food: Matthew “EIICEMAN” Ison

Stress Bitch and Ann Xiety : Helen Rosburg and Ali DeGray

Nimrod the Hunter: Louis Moncivias

Chain Male: Josh “the Ponceman” Perry

Iron Meng: Mario Durant

Jupiter Boy and Captain Sensitivity: Andy Dick and Lucas Dick

Spiral: Jen Leigh, Spiral the dog

The American Angler: Joseph Zenner

Butter & Fly: Hanna Hall and Laura Peters

9 Juan Juan: Carlos Trujillo

City Badger: Derek “D-Bone” Reckley

Healing Feet: Doug Jones

Manorexic: Zach Bolden

Conehands: Nicole Landry

Yellow Fever: Adam Mock

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Zach Galifiaknockoffs

Here’s a little fun for your eyeballs. In this world of entertainment that lazily churns out carbon copies of what’s hot and hip, sometimes you just gotta jump on board. If you’re gonna copy something, copy the best. On behalf of myself and co-carbon-copy Derek D-Bone Reckley, I give you the Zach Galifiaknockoffs.

Zach Galifiaknockoffs: Scott Allen Perry & Derek D-Bone Reckley
Photos by Eric Curtis

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