Power User Profile: Ian T. Healy

When I first thought up the “Power User Profile” idea, I envisioned a way for us all to find out more about the people who we see posting on this and the UGO Forums routinely. Over time it’s turned more into “People who make kick-ass images using HeroMachine”, but that’s not what I really intended.

This week, for instance, I wanted to highlight Ian T. Healy, a really interesting guy who has been a HeroMachine user almost since the beginning. He’s a gifted writer of super-hero novels (which was just picked up by a publisher!), and has used the program in the past to help visualize his characters and keep their descriptions consistent. He creates good visuals with the app, but is not as prolific or out-of-the-box as previous Power Users. Regardless, he very much fits the definition of an active, interesting, creative HeroMachine user, and I’m extremely glad he’s part of the community here.

Without further ado, therefore, I give you Mr. Healy!

  1. A photo (or drawing) of you in “real life”:
  2. Online name used in HeroMachine environs: ianthealy
  3. Real name: Ian Thomas Healy
  4. Real city/state/country: Denver, CO, USA
  5. Real job: Writer
  6. Real age:39
  7. Gender: Male
  8. Married/single: Married w/three kids


  9. Online archive of your creations (if any): Not exactly HeroMachine creations, but www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ianthealy is where all my ebooks are, and my 5+ year archive of The Adventures of the S-Team webcomic is at www.ianthealy.com/comic.
  10. The best piece of HeroMachine art you’ve created: I haven’t created any really good HeroMachine art, but there’s this one because it makes me laugh. He’s like the obnoxious child sidekick that Firestorm never had.

  11. Favorite all-time geeky movie if any: Mystery Men, with The Specials as a close (and obscure) second.
  12. Favorite all-time geeky book if any: Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future by Mike Resnick. Like Firefly before there was Firefly.
  13. Favorite all-time geeky TV show if any: Warehouse 13 is my current fave.
  14. Favorite all-time comic book character if any: It’s almost impossible for me to pick, but right now I’m really enjoying Power Girl’s current series.
  15. If you could have one super-heroic power in real life, you’d choose: The Hero Dial (how’s THAT for obscure?)

  16. In your leisure time you like to: Well, I don’t really have leisure time. What most people would consider my leisure time is actually when I’m working hard at writing.

  17. Character design turn-ons (things you love to see that make for a good design): Simple, bold designs with attractive color schemes. I’m also partial to non-symmetrical designs.
  18. Character design turn-offs (things you hate to see that make for a bad design): Bad art/anatomy (fortunately not an issue with HeroMachine). Ridiculous guns. Characters whose sole purpose seems to be “being a badass.”
  19. Best tip for a HeroMachine newbie: Experiment. Use items in ways they were not designed to be used.

  20. Any personal message you’d like to share with the HeroMachine community about Geek Life: I have just accepted an offer from a small publishing company to release my series of superhero novels. More information will be available soon on www.ianthealy.com. In the meantime, I am always releasing new ebooks so check back often! And I love hearing from people who are reading my webcomic, which also features superheroes (done in LEGO!).

19 Responses to Power User Profile: Ian T. Healy

  1. First off, congratulations on getting a publisher! Second, I love Mystery Men, and am glad to find that I’m not the only one (of the few people I know who’ve seen it, none like it for some strange reason)…

  2. Watson Bradshaw

    Ha! I was just talking about the Specials the other day, great choice sir. Its the one superhero movie where the heroes don’t actually do any saving, brilliant.

  3. Cool. I love superhero novels. I will definitely check out your work.

  4. @Gero: Thanks!

    @Watson: You’d probably like my webcomic The Adventures of the S-Team, at http://www.ianthealy.com/comic. It is also about superheroes that don’t do any saving.

    @dblade: Thank you!

  5. Hero Dial, what’s that, some kind of telephone power? Traveling from telephone from telephone? Because that would be kinda cool.

    Whatever the case, congratulations on grabbing a publisher! I obviously don’t know anything about your deal, but I foresee deadlines in your future. It’s all good though, just keep the muse singing!

  6. You know as soon as I read this, I had to google up the Hero Dial to find out what you were talking about. Anyway, congrats on getting published, I’m instantly jealous.

  7. I loved “Mystery Men”! I did rent “The Specials” on Ian’s recommendation, actually, but I didn’t particularly care for it. I’ve got “Super” I think it is (the latest one with Rayne Wilson and the woman from “Juno”) on the DVR and plan to watch that soon.

    And I used to love “Dial ‘H’ For Hero” when I was a kid! I always wondered why it didn’t turn them into some sort of Aquaman analogue who couldn’t survive on land and who didn’t have fingers to dial with. That would have been a short, but thoroughly enjoyable, episode.

  8. Hmm, Sounds like Dial H for Hero was ripped off by Ben 10

  9. @Panner: I thrive under deadline conditions. But I do have a bit of a cushion before I have to provide them with brand new material, as the first 5 books in the series are already done.

    @Myro: Thank you!

    @Jeff: Dial H was such a promising concept that DC never did justice to. I have a similar character idea in my soon-to-be-published universe whose powers tend to come and go randomly. It’s always an adventure for him to discover what he can do…

    @Kaldath: What?! Somebody ripped off somebody else’s idea? That *never* happens…

  10. Dude you are awesome and everything but all I could think about while reading this profile is “How do I get one of these?… front page too. He’s like in the HM hall of Fame now.” lol. I know… how very Kanye West of me lol. Oh and Mystery Men FTW!

  11. Zforce (11): Get a super-hero book deal and call me :-)

    I mean, come ON people, he used HeroMachine to help him write and he has a multi-book deal from a real publisher! That’s freaking AWESOME! If something like that doesn’t qualify you to be a “Power User” then NOTHING does! I wrote TWO PARAGRAPHS on the concept!!

    You can tell I’m frothy when I start using multiple punctuation marks.

  12. Oh, man! Dial “H” for Hero! I had forgot about that comic. And, yes, DC really blew that one. Didn’t they actually want readers to send stories for consideration? If I remember correctly, they had a “Letters to the Editor” section where people would make their pitch.

    Really cool to see more people independently published. I will definitely check out some of your work, especially “Last Year’s Hero.” I used to subscribe to ADQ (Autoduel Quarterly). The subject is “right up my alley.”

  13. @Zforce: im all happy 4 u and imma letchoo finish, but hammerknight is the greatest power user of all time! #winning at Kanye.

    @Atomic Punk: I was an autoduelist back in the day too. Rocky Mountain Autodueling Association, aka RMADA.

  14. Hey Ian, congrats on the profile. Your S-Team comic is seriously funny.

  15. @Worf: Thanks, sir. It started out as a fun little diversion and here I am, five years later, and still doing it.

  16. Hammerknight

    Welcome aboard and congrads on the book deal.

  17. Sutter_Kaine

    I checked out your website and read excerpts from some of the stories. They were all interesting concepts but the ones that stood out to me were Footprints in the Butter (can’t go wrong with evil fairies) and Pariah’s Moon. I’m not a big fan of mixing genres per se but the framework of your story sounds both logical (as logical as something like that can be) and interesting enough to make me want to learn more. Plus as far as archetypal heroes go, nothing beats a gunfighter. Now I have to ask a couple of questions. How long did it take you to get something published? How hard are Ebooks to set up and were they worth the trouble? Any suggestions for somebody just trying to get a story looked at?

  18. @Hammerknight: Thanks, sir!

    @Sutter_Kaine: Wow, that’s a lot of questions. So many, in fact, that I think I’ll answer them in a blog post shortly. Check for it at http://www.ianthealy.com. :)

  19. So late… but still. Low blow Jeff. Low blow lol. I wanted to get a comic book deal but all I could muster was being a video game designer. Sigh…