The superhero who had to stay within earshot of his mother
Fallen Superhero: Chain-Male
Model: Josh “the Ponceman” Perry
What can I say about the Ponceman. He is my brother, yes. He has Down Syndrome, yes. He is one of the wittiest people I know, indeed, again, yes. Ponce as a superhero was a natural selection, he is a superhero in real life to many people. He is also held back at times by circumstances beyond his control like the character of Chain-Male.
Ponce was the 2nd superhero we shot for the book. We had cranked out the Double Diamonds at least 6 months earlier and we were going to knock out 2 more heroes in Louisiana, Chain-Male and Infinity Girl. We flew into New Orleans and got our respective shizzles together.
After the initial rifling through of mother’s storage we found boots with silver covers, gauntlets and a cool cape. I had also gotten some choice items from my buddies Ted and Laban, aka 2 headed horse productions. We did segments for the show Stupidface that Ted and Laban produced for FuelTV. They let me borrow this super shiny metallic orange one piece bathing suit and metallic hot pink short shorts. We procured some sweet goggles from Ozzie Dots as well as some spray in hair color. After I went nuts with colored duct tape we had an almost completed Chain-Male. He needed some sort of symbol though.
Lightbulb moment…. I saw a shiny blue bunjee cord and some silver card stock. I twisted the cord and put the silver card stock behind it. It had kind of an Egyptian, ankh-ish look to it. It sat nicely around Ponce’s nipples, which he liked. A lot.
We headed to the 9th ward in New Orleans and found some incredible locations. The giant anchors, 150 pound per link chains and enormous ship buoy were ripe for the picture taking. We just happened to drive by on a Sunday and there wasn’t a soul in sight. This location also gave us a solid element for our backstory.
We cranked out our shots and picked up later that week in Lake Martin, Louisiana. Our Brother in law had family that lived on Lake Martin which has the biggest population of gators in the US and also some amazing bird life. We got the lawnmower shots and discovered a bathtub that was just sitting out in the yard. We cleaned it out and when we turned around Ponce was already naked and ready to hop in. To say he is a sport is not even coming close to Ponce’s excitement on a shoot he really wants to be a part of, and this one was definitely one of his favorites.
An alternate version of Chain-Male in the tub… Uber-tarding
We finished off with a shot of Ponce drying off in the sun. I really wanted the full Monty naked man ass shot but our mother stepped in and handed us the multi-colored towel that ended up in the shot we used in the book. I still kinda prefer the naked Ponce butt shot, so here’s the censor bar version of it for you to relish in at your leisure.
The Black Bar of Naughtiness….
The problem shooting with Ponce is he rarely takes a bad picture. He’s got some of the best expressions and it made narrowing down the pics a very difficult task. In the end it all worked out quite nicely and the storyline is one of my favorites. I love the dialogue between Chain-Male and his mother where she tells him “Nobody is going to PAY you to be a superhero, but they do pay you for having Down Syndrome….” It’s a topic that is close to me. I have encountered a lot of special kids in my life and a lot of parents that want to protect them from everything out there in the big nasty ol’ world that could possibly hurt them. Sadly, a lot of kids are limited in their growth because of this behavior. It makes me sad and I really wanted to have that struggle between the parent and the “special” kid who, even though he was actually impervious to bullets , the mother still couldn’t let go of that overprotective instinct she had built up inside herself. So Chain-Male is limited in his superhero duties to only go as far as the abandoned shipyard at the end of the neighborhood so when mom calls out “Chain-Male!!!!!” he’s still in earshot.
NEXT UP: Iron Meng modeled by Mario Durant