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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Superhero by Superhero: Vagabond

The hobo superhero with Power Thumbs™

Fallen Superhero: Vagabond

Model: Scott Allen Perry (aka Me)

For those of you who own the Fallen Superheroes book there is an introduction that describes the process of creating the superheroes. Basically we would either build the character off of the person playing them or find the perfect person to play that superhero we already had in mind. In my case, I drew from who I have been in the past and who I have started becoming in recent times.

I spent most of my adult life moving around a lot. All the while trying to have a successful career in some form of entertainment. In Austin it was music, in NYC it was on stage, and in Los Angeles it was Movies and TV. The notion of Vagabond being a superhero who is constantly on a quest to fight crime but not being very proactive felt good and identifiable. I love the idea of a character who is on a constant quest to fight crime but always arrives too late. Maybe he could’ve skipped that hooker pitstop and stopped the bank robbery…. but Superheroes have needs too.

As far as other personal connections to the character goes, I would definitely NOT have an issue with looking foolish or fat while flying because I had to make a double-chin and situate my body in an unflattering position to achieve flight. I’d be stoked to fly, Vagabond is definitely more concerned with his appearance. I have, however, become a bit of a Vagabond since returning to Louisiana at the beginning of 2011. I was on the road with Eric Curtis (Photographer/genius of Fallen Superheroes) shooting the book for 3 months and have spent a ton of time travelling back and froth between Lafayette, New Orleans, Austin and Los Angeles either working on my own stuff or travelling with my brother, the Ponceman, for movies he was working on. I am ready to settle in to a cozy place in New Orleans and continue my back and forth to the cities I love for work and pleasure.

Vagabond Sketch

Here is the original sketch of Vagabond. Very similar to the final costume. The differences in the color of the capes and the upper section of the costume were due to the availability of material. The goggles went from a whacky 80s style sunglasses homage to the steampunk style viser goggles, but the execution mostly stayed true to the sketch. We opted to go sleek silver retro suitcase to add to the secret agent/mystery vibe of the character and lost the extra “V” symbol under the neckline because it was too busy. And another little detail I love is that he has 2 capes. It’s totally a vanity thing, subconscious to Vagabond but definitely the onus for him deciding to have 2 separate capes instead of the standard single cape most superheroes have. And he is clearly thinner than I am. Hey, I drew it, I can shed a few pounds in sketch form if I want, right? He’s self conscious to the point that his “V” symbol is on a fat-burner belt. That way he’s always working out. And might I add, the amount of sweat that damn fat-burning belt created made the costume quite funky by the final day of shooting.

Giving Vagabond Power Thumbs™ came from the notion that since he would only use his power of flight as a last resort due to the ridiculous position he had to assume to fly, he would hitchhike. He’s a guy who wants to reduce his carbon footprint, mostly because he doesn’t want to pay for car insurance or gas. Giving him gigantic thumbs that were the source of his power was an added bonus to the hitchhiking side of the character. Definite inspiration from Uma Thurman’s character in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues in there too.

Vagabond is a character that we all know, the friend or relative who never seems to settle down in one place for too long, always following some new idea or scheme, hopping from bed to bed or couch to couch depending on the person he’s crashing with that night. And of course at the end of the day he means well. But don’t count on him showing up to the children’s cancer benefit on time if he gets into a conversation with a cute chick in the Kombucha section at the Whole Foods.

UP NEXT: Plutonica

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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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