I can’t believe Sutter Kaine hasn’t won a contest yet, because the dude does some killer stuff. And he’s always an entertaining read when he comments. So I thought it would be fun to get to know more about one of the “Best Who Hasn’t Yet Won” crew who keep this place so much fun. Enjoy!
- Online name used in HeroMachine environs: Sutter_Kaine
- A photo (or drawing) of you in “real life”:
I think it’s a good likeness.
- Real name: Rick Studwell (aka James Pratt)
- Real city/state/country: Sewell/NJ/USA (Originally from Virginia, found out the hard way everything they say about NJ is true.)
- Real job: Data analyst for a telecommunications company that will one day rule the world, blessings be upon them.
- Real age: 42, but if you’re as old as you feel I’m 112.
- Gender: Male the last time I checked, which granted has been awhile.
- Relationship status (married, single, in a long-term relationship, dating someone, “it’s complicated”, etc): Married with two kids. FYI, it turns out kids are very needy and vulnerable to the elements.
- Online archive of your creations: http://s761.photobucket.com/home/hastur1/index
- The best piece of HeroMachine art you’ve created: I made this to serve as a cover for a short story I wrote. Not incredibly intricate but I was pretty proud of it. I’ve used HeroMachine.com to create covers for all the stories I’ve posted on Ebook sites ever since.
- Favorite all-time geeky book if any: I’m a big reader so that’s a tough one. Does “Slaughterhouse 5” count as a geeky book? I really enjoyed “Nine Princes in Amber” and the way it jumped between the “real world” and a fantasy setting. The Elric series was my introduction to dark fantasy. After that, I read everything by Michael Moorcock I could get my hands on. If I had to pick one, it would have to be H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness”. That was my introduction to weird horror and while H.P. might not have been a strong writer in a “classic” sense, no one has yet to equal him in creating a sense of cosmic dread. I was very bummed when I learned that Guillermo Del Toro’s movie adaption of “At the Mountains of Madness” has been put on hold indefinitely.
- Favorite all-time geeky TV show if any: I really liked “Space: Above and Beyond” and hated when it got cancelled so soon. The same with the original “Battlestar: Galactica” (never watched the new series). If I had to pick one it would be a tie between “X-Files” and “Doctor Who”.
- Favorite all-time comic book character if any: A toss-up between the Tick, Dr. Manhattan, and Rorschach. Two represent the idea of a super-being taken to opposite but equally logical extremes while the third is just a crazy guy that kicks ass. Then again, Rorschach is really just the idea of a costumed vigilante taken to its logical extreme too.
- If you could have one super-heroic power in real life, you’d choose: Time manipulation. Then the world would have to wait until I felt like getting out of bed. Oh, yeah, and I’d also fight crime and stuff.
- In your leisure time you like to: Read, watch Looney Tunes with my kids, write (http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jamesdpratt, http://www.amazon.com/James-Pratt/e/B005BZIT3O), paint Warhammer 40K models (haven’t done that in awhile), think about exercising, and try to catch up on all the bad 70s and 80s sci-fi and horror movies I missed the first time around via Netflix.
- Character design turn-ons (things you love to see that make for a good design): Inventive use of items for purposes other than what was originally intended, small touches that add personality to the character, effective use of a minimum of elements (i.e. using a little to say a lot).
- Character design turn-offs (things you hate to see that make for a bad design): Anything cool that I did’t think of first. Seriously, I like keeping things simple so my biggest turn-offs (aside from using too much Drakkar Noir and wearing white after Labor Day) is piling on a ridiculous amount of stuff. The picture becomes so “busy” it’s hard to focus on any one aspect of the character. Also, simple but conspicuous stuff that could have been easily fixed, like say a right hand on a left arm.
- Best tip for a HeroMachine newbie: Be patient. If you’re having trouble bringing a particular idea to life, work on something else and come back to it later. Let your subconscious work on it for awhile. Use the work of others as an inpiration (and maybe even “borrow” the occasional idea) but focus on finding your own style rather than simply trying to reproduce what someone else has already done.
- Any personal message you’d like to share with the HeroMachine community about Geek Life: Growing up, I would have much rather watched Star Trek or read a book than watch a football game. For a long time I thought that meant I was weird simply because most of the people around me were the exact opposite. As it turns out, I’m the normal one and it’s the world that’s weird. Just remember that. It’s not you, it’s the world.
Favorite all-time geeky movie if any: With the caveat if I like something it is by definition cool and therefore not geeky, I guess “The Thing” is my all-time favorite sci-fi/horror movie. I just saw a poster for the prequel when I went to see “Captain America” last night. Better be good or worlds will suffer. “Aliens” would probably be a close second. The scene in the TV adaption of Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles” where Rock Hudson has that conversation with the ghost-martian was the first time a sci-fi movie blew my mind.