Sharing Day, Creative Elevator Pitch Day

An “elevator pitch” is a very short, very quick-to-deliver creative pitch, something you would have ready to use if you found yourself in an elevator with an influential person who could help your project get off the ground.

For this Sharing Day, your mission (if you choose to accept it) is:

Give us the elevator pitch for your best geeky creative vision, the project you would try to sell someone on who had the power to make it come to fruition.

Note that it doesn’t have to be related to super-heroes. You might want to pitch your fantasy novel, or your sci-fi television show pilot, or your idea for a business cranking out Star Wars headgear in yarn. It’s your vision! In return:

You can ask me any question you like about whatever you like, which I will answer either completely truthfully or not at all (in which case you can ask something else). I say that because, come on, there are some things no one should have to know! You’re not obligated to ask me anything, but if you don’t share your answer to the question of the day, you can’t ask anything in return.

Since you are currently on the successful results of my elevator pitch, I exempt myself from answering this one.

I look forward to hearing your visions!

And to be clear, posting it here does not give me or anyone else the rights to steal it for our own. It’s still your idea.

53 Responses to Sharing Day, Creative Elevator Pitch Day

  1. A comedy/action tale set in the modern world where history progressed as it has, and the only difference is that magic replaced technology, and the monarchic system of government made it’s way to America. There are geographical name changes, but the world is relatively the same. Geography is sort of based on the USA, with some things changed here and there, and an extensive river system. Our protagonist, a combative spellcasting instructor for the 7th Special Ops Regiment, and his best friend, a dark elf by the name of Sir George of the Greysnarl Clan (Knight for Hire [spoken aloud after his title/name]), are tasked by the local King with investigating a recent disturbance in the Mid Atlantic, where an underwater volcano has erupted, resulting in the formation of a new island, with a magical dead zone (thus the need for a sailing ship), that is suddenly inhabited.

    Thrown together with a group of adventurers, they investigate, and discover that the new island is now home to the Atlanteans (name to be changed later), who have an advanced civilization already built, though it’s only been physically in place for a few days. The city is scarred, remnants of a lost war with “The Dark Ones”, who attacked and destroyed the island within a week. As it turns out, the island rises from the ocean once every thousand years, and is sunk by the Dark Ones again. None of the Atlanteans are real, just echoes of the people who once lived there.

    So, yeah. It’s an unfinished story that I started and did all the background world building for, and never completed.

    Question: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? And by “this”, I mean “being awesome every day”.

  2. “Good morning sir, I know that you don’t have much time, but I have something that you may like and enjoy. This handy dandy little gadget is the eighth wonder of the world. You’ll never want to leave home with out it. It comes in multiple sizes and colors, and is able to change size. It is the perfect give to give to your lady for Valentine day, or anytime you just want to show her how much love you have for her. You too will have hours of fun playing with it. Play with it on your bed or even outside. If you pat it it will make you feel good and make it very happy. Take it to the park and show it off, and you will have women telling you how cute it is, they might even want to hold it and play with it on their lap. If you take good care of it, your will have it for a long time. And sir you are in luck, I have one right here in my pocket as we speak. Yes it is small enough to fit in my pocket, but I give you my word it will grow. If you like it you can take it home and she how much happiness it will give your wife. She will play with it all night long, and even hold it close to her when she sleeps. Yes sir I have here something that will bring you hundred hours of happiness and joy. Here let me slide it out of my pocket and put it right into your hands. Is it not cute, feel how warm it is. If you don’t like it I have six more out in the car and it would only take me a minute to get them. Sir I could tell just by looking at you, that you were a dog lover.”

  3. Prince Chadwick Williemae has never before met such a talented person as Danger, and she seems to be a women of many unusual talents to say the least. Most Magick users left years ago but Danger seems to think that there is nothing wrong with allowing others to know about her Magick. He is even more shocked when Danger invites him back to her home, only to find out that she is the well known Lady Faye Berardi, daughter of both a High Priest and a High Priestess, the first such child in recent history. He had always heard that Faye Berardi was blessed, or cursed, by several of the major deities and he is about to learn just exactly what those rumours always meant, whether he actually wanted to or not.
    Lady Faye Berardi just wants a chance to be able to have a good life. Sure her life looks good at the moment, being the child of a High Priest and a High Priestess and well liked at that, but a deeply hidden secret within the priesthood communities threatens everything she holds dear and all because of one little special talent. The nation’s 72 deities have all given her talents and gifts, in fact she is one of the few in the entire nation who is allowed to go and see them face to face, a thing that not even the High Priest council has the ability to do. Chadwick changes every plan that she ever knew about, from the traditional rules of pledging to the world plan set in place by the mother and father of the deities.

  4. So I have a little idea for a television show. It’s Quantum Leap meets Dial H For Hero! Imagine a being made of energy that jumps from normal person to normal person every week, giving them superpowers for a few days and allowing them to overcome some trouble in his or her life. To complicate things a secret government organization is trying to track down the energy being to contain and study. This government organization employs supers of various powers and morality. Throw in a variety of villains, both mundane and fantastic, and you have an action-packed show exploring the effects of sudden power on a normal person.

    And the name of the show will be, wait for it….”Legendary”. Or we could go with “Amazing”. Whatever the focus groups lean toward.

    My question: If you could assemble a team of 5 heroes from any publishing company who would they be and what would you name the team?

  5. TheAmazingFrank7

    Hi there. I have a great idea for a new comic book series for you. I’ll give you the quick details now but you can have my number if you want to elaborate the idea.
    “A pair of twin brothers go off to university. There, they become geniuses and start creating new antidotes and other injections to help with unsolved diseases etc.. Following this, the one becomes seriously ill and takes the drug which hasn’t yet been fully completed. From this he gains powers which are half of the 4 elements (earth wind rain fire). He gets rain and fire – controlling water and fire/heat. His brother is amazed and also takes the drug, giving him the other half – having flight/weather control and ‘Avalanche’ from x-men style powers.
    Over the next few years, they meet other people who have found the drug after batches of it have gone missing. Some good and others are bad. All have different powers to make it more interesting. The twin brothers would call themselves the “Elementals”.
    So, hope you enjoyed my little idea. Give me a ring if you want and we can discuss it in full detail. *Elevators doors opens* Good-bye.
    *I leave man speechless*

    Question: What is your favourite Graphic Novel?

  6. Awesome dblade! What channel is that show on, I want to watch it!

  7. A group of 10 heroes that work as an independent worldwide law enforcement agency, get paid for their duties AND have full-time jobs in their normal lives. Sometimes partnering with other heroes around the globe and placed both typical and extra-ordinary situations, they often encounter family members in their battles. Made-up of immortals, beasts, demons and skilled fighters, this is at once a new and familiar kind of superhero team. Together, they are the Hero Corps.

    Set primarily in Monterey, California, some of their adventures will take them around the world. Armed with the newest equipment and a willingness to really make a difference, they think they’re ready for anything. Privately funded by their leader, the immortal McKnight, they have all kinds of custom toys at their disposal. If you need a team to compare them to, that would be the Justice League.

    Now for my question (for anyone willing to answer): If you could be a superhero, what powers (choose 3) would you have and where would you be based?

  8. Joe: Question: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? And by “this”, I mean “being awesome every day”.

    Apparently I would be working in Austin building iPhone apps, since in fact that’s what I’m doing. Sigh.

    But seriously, I really was doing what I wanted before, working on HeroMachine all day and taking care of the wife and ranch. That was pretty awesome.

  9. Hammerknight: Sir I could tell just by looking at you, that you were a dog lover.

    Cute, HK!

  10. dblade:

    My question: If you could assemble a team of 5 heroes from any publishing company who would they be and what would you name the team?

    I kinda want to answer this one: Invincible, The Darkness, Nightwing, Zealot (WildStorm) and Gambit. The Egos.

  11. dblade: My question: If you could assemble a team of 5 heroes from any publishing company who would they be and what would you name the team?

    First, dude, LOVE the concept! That would be a rockin’ show that I would totally watch.

    As for the question … hmm.

    I’d go with Superman for moral and physical might; Invincible for ruthlessness and physical might; Brainiac 5 for pure brainpower; Batman for deviousness; and (I suppose I need someone from Marvel), The White Witch for mental powers.

    They would be called … “The Don’t F**K With Us Gang.” Or “The Revengers”. Or “Superman and four other people who won’t be needed but who are needed for a five-person team.” Or “Super Action Justice League Squad Power GO!”

  12. TheAmazingFrank7: Question: What is your favourite Graphic Novel?

    I’d have to be fairly conventional on this and go with either “The Dark Knight”, “Watchmen”, or the Daredevil collection “Born Again”.

  13. McKnight57: Now for my question (for anyone willing to answer): If you could be a superhero, what powers (choose 3) would you have and where would you be based?

    I’d have invulnerability, eternal youth, and dimensional travel. I could go anywhere and live through it, forever. I’d be based in New Zealand because there’s almost no crime there, leaving me plenty of time to go exploring alternate realities. Though with my dimensional travel I could get anywhere on Earth in an instant if real trouble threatened.

  14. Joe:
    A comedy/action tale set in the modern world where history progressed as it has, and the only difference is that magic replaced technology, and the monarchic system of government made it’s way to America. There are geographical name changes, but the world is relatively the same. Geography is sort of based on the USA, with some things changed here and there, and an extensive river system. Our protagonist, a combative spellcasting instructor for the 7th Special Ops Regiment, and his best friend, a dark elf by the name of Sir George of the Greysnarl Clan (Knight for Hire [spoken aloud after his title/name]), are tasked by the local King with investigating a recent disturbance in the Mid Atlantic, where an underwater volcano has erupted, resulting in the formation of a new island, with a magical dead zone (thus the need for a sailing ship), that is suddenly inhabited.

    Thrown together with a group of adventurers, they investigate, and discover that the new island is now home to the Atlanteans (name to be changed later), who have an advanced civilization already built, though it’s only been physically in place for a few days. The city is scarred, remnants of a lost war with “The Dark Ones”, who attacked and destroyed the island within a week. As it turns out, the island rises from the ocean once every thousand years, and is sunk by the Dark Ones again. None of the Atlanteans are real, just echoes of the people who once lived there.

    So, yeah. It’s an unfinished story that I started and did all the background world building for, and never completed.

    Question: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? And by “this”, I mean “being awesome every day”.

    You know, as far as the name change goes, you could use Lemurians. It’s an alternative to Atlantis and rarely heard of these days since Atlantis has been hogging the spotlight for some time. Lemuria has the basic mythological backstory as Atlantis, though smaller in size it is the size of a large island (think Ireland) and not actually a small continent (think Greenland, yeah I know it’s not a continent.)

  15. Jeff Hebert: I’d have invulnerability, eternal youth, and dimensional travel. I could go anywhere and live through it, forever. I’d be based in New Zealand because there’s almost no crime there, leaving me plenty of time to go exploring alternate realities. Though with my dimensional travel I could get anywhere on Earth in an instant if real trouble threatened.

    You might want to go with immortality/eternal youth. Just saying eternal youth really means you only look about 25 until the day you die. Anyway, cool choices on both the powers and placement. The only problem is you may have a full-on geek out aneurysm as soon as you set foot in New Zealand and thought that it was Middle Earth. Just something to consider, though with invulnerability, I guess you don’t have to worry about it.

  16. McKnight57: You know, as far as the name change goes, you could use Lemurians. It’s an alternative to Atlantis and rarely heard of these days since Atlantis has been hogging the spotlight for some time. Lemuria has the basic mythological backstory as Atlantis, though smaller in size it is the size of a large island (think Ireland) and not actually a small continent (think Greenland, yeah I know it’s not a continent.)

    Oooh. Good call, McKnight. I’ll have to go edit all my worldbuilding stuff now…

  17. @dblade: that sounds really cool! I’d definitely watch a show with that premise. :)

    I’ve had this one for a while…

    Connor Clare was an unmotivated slacker, bumming around the world and burning through the modest inheritance his parents had left him. He had no desire to better himself and little concern for the plights of his fellow man. That is until a trip to the ruins of Teotihuacan in Mexico, when an unforeseen (at least by him) series of circumstances landed him in the hidden ethereal prison of Coatlicue, Matron and Destroyer of the Aztec Pantheon and an ancient goddess of chaos and rebirth. She tore out Connor’s heart and replaced it with her own, sending him back into the world as her avatar of chaos. Connor gained the ability to cause disorder and chaos in any system he encountered, from small technical glitches to global scale disasters. After his powers awoke a neighboring volcano and then inadvertently caused the gruesome deaths of the world’s premier superteam (driving their two most powerful members insane and forcing Connor to summon a massive radioactive asteroid in order to stop them)Connor felt obligated to fill the void left in the superheroic community. He named himself Kid Chaos and took up vigilantism alongside an unlikely companion known as Sad Bastard, an ageless immortal, invulnerable, as well as clinically depressed man who had been trying to commit suicide for the past eighty-five years.

    Fragments of the asteroid dispersed across North America granting abilities to the five youths who would stumble onto them.

    Howl! British ex-patriate, former street hustler, living in Northern California who would gain the ability of supersonic vocal projection. His first sonic outburst would destroy his house and his life, as his live-in boyfriend would be caught in the crossfire and perish under their collapsing home. Can he overcome his grief and escape his self-destructive tendencies?

    Wraith! Howl’s Scottish-American boyfriend who would gain the powers of astral projection. His body destroyed by Howl’s initial involuntary sonic outburst, Wraith would be trapped in an intangible/inaudible/invisible astral form trying desperately to convince Howl of his survival!

    Foundry! A high school drop-out who had lived her life at the whims of those around her, Foundry would become a being of living steel able to absorb vast quantities of thermal energy. Could these abilities allow her to turn her life around?

    Rift! A Guatemalan military deserter who was on the run from federal agents, having sold military secrets to the indigenous resistance. He manifests the ability to open tandem gateways between any two points on the planet… but what’s the point of being able to go anywhere if you can’t go home?

    Maximo! A nine-year old Mexican orphan in the Los Angeles foster care system who would gain superhuman strength the likes of which the world had never seen! Maximo’s powers at times put hormonal stresses on his body that lead to unfailing rage. Can this happy go-lucky boy quell the beast inside?

    Kid Chaos and Sad Bastard would find these youths in dire straits due to mostly catastrophic circumstances surrounding the development of their powers. He would train them and help them build a life together as… the Chaos Kids!

  18. Joe: Oooh. Good call, McKnight. I’ll have to go edit all my worldbuilding stuff now…

    Thanks. The whole Atlantis/Lemuria thing was an interest of mine when I was younger. By the way, the two civilizations were actually enemies that sank at different times.

  19. The ultimate Star Wars game that combines the body-controller aspect of the Kinect with the motion controls of the Wii to create “Wrath of the Force,” taking place in the real world where you use your Force powers to literally pull planes out of the sky, rip that car that almost hit you in half, pull the Empire State Building out of the ground and toss it into the moon. There are four lightsaber modes that you gain as you complete certain challenges: you begin with the standard one lightsaber. After you defeat the middle boss, you gain two sabers. After you defeat the final boss, you gain the double-bladed lightsaber. After you beat the game on the hardest difficulty, you get two double-bladed lightsabers. Essentially, this game is meant for you to vent on those moments in life that you wish you could crush that car that just cut you off into a pile of junk.

  20. Nick Hentschel

    I call the story I’ve written, “The Curse of the Briar Rose,” and it’s essentially Sleeping Beauty, retold from the prince’s point of view. The idea is to recast a classic fairy tale as an equally classic adventure story, an element that’s often lost… along with a lot of the audience. Because fairy tales are too often done with a stereotypically “girly” sensibility, and boys often can’t relate… not to mention some girls.
    Anyway, the setting is a little less medieval, and a little more swashbuckling, with the prince as a daring sea-captain, instead of a knight in shining armor. (Sort of like Han Solo with more class.) He’s a younger prince who’s not likely to become king, so he’s out to make his own fortune, and he starts hot on the trail of a long-lost treasure, the “Briar Rose treasure,” only after a series of misadventures, and clues discovered, does he learn that this lost legacy of a fallen, noble family, is actually a person, trapped by a curse that only he can break. Now he has to find a better reason then money to be a hero, and discover that he really is “the good guy,” after all. The story’s central question is, “Why would a man walk through a forest of thorns to save someone he’s never met?”
    The answer might surprise you…

  21. In an alternate universe, radiation has all the effects predicted by 1950’s sci-fi movies. Atomic weapons were never developed, as everyone working on them were soon plagued by monsters. Nazi Germany fell because it was overrun with Jewish zombies, occupied Japan has Kaiju, the American southwest is infested with giant bugs,and Dinosaurs roam the Russian steppes. An international military team is organized by the UNO to deal with this, a cross between Stargate SG-1 and the X-Files set in the late 1940’s after Japan was invaded by American and Russian forces, and is split between them the same way as Germany. I think that only the Syfy Channel could handle the weekly load of cheesey CGI.

  22. I’ve been kicking around an idea for a superhero setting called Diamond City. The title comes from the name of the setting, a megacity called “Diamond City” that was formed when all the major cities that make up the Boston-Washington megalopolis merged into one gigantic urban metropolis.

    In this setting, the nations of Earth are still recovering from a global conflict called the Superpower War, so-called because superhumans were used by both sides as the primary weapons. The good guys were the New Allied Powers (North/South America, Europe, Australia, and northern Africa) and the bad guys were the Pan-Asian Collective (basically a collection of East Asian nations annexed by China). Because superhumans could be deployed anywhere in the world and an individual super can easily cause mass destruction no nation was spared. The war finally came to an end when the superhumans from the New Allied Powers took it upon themselves to launch a massive blitzkrieg against the Pan-Asian Collective, leveling much of East Asia in the process. They won, but the cost was high. Every superhuman who participated in the assault was either killed or disappeared without a trace afterward.

    The main story takes place about 20-30 years later as new superhumans (both hero and villain) begin to emerge in Diamond City and the world reacts to their presence once again.

  23. Well, I probably have a dozen story ideas ranging from a shadow world of fantasy creatures that co-exists with the real world (think Grimm, but with a more D&D/LOTR flavor than fairy tales) to my nearly all-female cast of Robin Hood in Space, to the old “Fluke-verse” (my universe of meta-humans). But I come with something different.
    Hear me out on this one. Button pads. Seriously, there has to be a way to cushion the buttons on game controllers without an appreciable loss of control sensitivity. I’m thinking neoprene overlay. All I know is that if I spend a few hours button mashing, my thumbs look all crushed and callussed up, and they’re sore and kind of numb to any touch sensation. Believe me, there isn’t a hardcore gamer alive that wouldn’t be thankful if this could be engineered.
    So, Jeff, did you have a favorite SuperBowl ad from the big game last week? Besides any of the movie trailers i mean.

  24. Hello Mr. Jeff, nice purse by the way, oh thats a satchel, my bad. Have you ever thought about hosting a HM Convention somewhere for users who want to come and meet in person. They could hang out and share techniques with each other. Meet the creator and power useres of the site. Maybe even a contest right there with several computers set up and a big screen. There could be HM stuff for sale, I know I wouldn’t mind having a shirt that said something like ” I’d rather be machining”. The first one I know would be kind of a pilot experiment but after that we could see what could of been done better or been added/vise versa and make the following years even better. Admission costs could be waived for the first year but maybe a small ammount the next ones. The money could go towards any funding the site may need and in the hopes it would make UGO happy enough to not make the users pay to use the site? I know its still a rough idea but what do you think?

  25. Whistles. “Oh my god, are you _____________ _____________?” “You are. Oh my, Mr. _____________, have I got an idea for you. It is a TV/Movie/Comic where the wild west has gone demonic.

    Basically, it’s a western where a hellmouth has opened up and demons are now rampant on the ol’ west. Now some of these demons are evil, some are good, and some just want to live a life. They have become part of the society, good or bad.

    The story would follow a nomadic lawman, who would kill those who’ve gone bad. His name is Jededaiah Hawke and with his hellfire revolver, he can kill most anything. The show would follow his hunts across the west as he hunts down the worst demon outlaws around.

    Sorry for imposing on your business, Mr. ________________, but it is truly an honor to meet you.”

  26. Now my question is if you were given a Midnight in Paris scenario, where you could travel back to what you’d consider your golden age of history, what time would it be and why?

  27. I had the idea a few years ago for a Trilogy of books about a certain Evil Empire, told by a prince from another nation (who complains that he shouldn’t be held hostage by evil since he’s not a princess), one of the Overlord’s advisors (who was a child they adopted and made an advisor after they pointed out a major flaw in a certain battle plan), and the Overlord’s bodyguard (whom can basically be summed up as stoic-nordic-vampire-assassin).

    The background managed to deconstruct several aspects of fantasy that people don’t really question—such as why do Dwarves like rocks and gold so much and put so much importance on their beards? Why are fairies made into fairy godmothers? Why is the Evil Overlord always a guy?

    It also ended on a bit of a downer since the prince’s kingdom was conquored, he was killed, and the Overlord moved on to another country that begged to be taken over.

  28. As for my question (which I totally forgot about) Jeff, is it alarming that in my freetime in highschool I’ve figured out how the economy, school system, labor unions, and tax system in this Evil Empire is set up, even though I don’t care about politics and government at all?

  29. Everything that happens has an equal and opposite reaction. For every possibility there exists a corresponding reality. What could have happened, what would have been. The universe… no, the Multiverse is a place of infinate possibilities; yet there are three; Three, that stand as the foundation of them all. Crossroads, Paradox, and Alchemy. The physical realities and laws of each diverse, dominated by science, magic, or monsters. These three rarely (if ever) cross. But when they do…
    A hero from each, all three the second generation of heros: a warlock fused in an advanced exosuit where magic should not exist; a half human half alien telepath and telekinetic on a world that is flat; and a mutant werewolf in a place devoid of genetic superiority.
    When dimensions colide, these three must band together and prevent the collapse of reality itself. They will meet many allies and enemies along the way, and often the two will be hard to tell apart. But friendship outlasts time and space and matter.
    These are their adventures. These are: The Paralells.

    My question: I know it sounds cheesy, but I’ve had a hard time “breaking out of my shell” lately. My Theatre professors have tried to get me to be less of a “social caterpiller” (to coin a phrase), but I’m still most comfortable when on my own. Do you have any recomendations beside “be myself?” (Not that that isn’t sound advice, but I’ve TRIED being myself and have felt idiotic). I don’t WANT to be the social outcast anymore, and I am friendly with almost everyone on campus, but frankly being the social outcast is still my “comfort zone,” where I retreat to most days. (And no, I’m not asking for romantic advice here; I know I’m a lost cause there).

  30. Myro: So, Jeff, did you have a favorite SuperBowl ad from the big game last week? Besides any of the movie trailers i mean.

    Hm, let’s see if I can remember that far back … I’ll go with the Clint Eastwood Chrysler ad. I’m a sucker for gritty cowboys. So to speak. You?

  31. TOOL: Have you ever thought about hosting a HM Convention somewhere for users who want to come and meet in person. They could hang out and share techniques with each other.

    Hi Tool! I honestly don’t think there are enough people out there who would go to something like this to make it worthwhile. I have thought about doing a HeroMachine booth at DragonCon but never have managed to get my shit together early enough to make it happen.

  32. Vampyrist: Now my question is if you were given a Midnight in Paris scenario, where you could travel back to what you’d consider your golden age of history, what time would it be and why?

    OK, this is going to sound totally cheesy, but I would choose this time! We live in an age of wonders, where we can whisk across the world in a day, where we have powerful drugs to fight off diseases, where knowledge and peace and culture are at an all-time high. When you read fantasy books, it’s like we can already do all this stuff they only dreamed about. A common person can live like only royalty could a thousand years ago, with delicacies available from across the globe. Did you know at one point Jell-O was such a rare substance only kings and queens could afford it? Jell-O! And now you can get it for twelve cents.

    Seriously, we are all fortunate to live, right now, in the greatest Golden Age the world has ever known. I wouldn’t miss it!

  33. Syntax: As for my question (which I totally forgot about) Jeff, is it alarming that in my freetime in highschool I’ve figured out how the economy, school system, labor unions, and tax system in this Evil Empire is set up, even though I don’t care about politics and government at all?

    Not alarming at all! I’d say it indicates you have a very high intelligence that’s bored at school, so you shunt that creative energy into other pursuits. Eventually, hopefully, you’ll get to a more challenging place in the education system and get engaged that way, without losing the creative urge as well.

    I’d say the fact that you know enough about those subjects to create a fictional universe using them shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have mastered their understanding for your level (and several beyond). And if you don’t in your heart of hearts care about them all that much, so what? Not everyone can like everything. Follow your passions and you won’t regret it, and leave the rest to others.

  34. Tuldabar: My question: I know it sounds cheesy, but I’ve had a hard time “breaking out of my shell” lately. My Theatre professors have tried to get me to be less of a “social caterpiller” (to coin a phrase), but I’m still most comfortable when on my own. Do you have any recomendations beside “be myself?” (Not that that isn’t sound advice, but I’ve TRIED being myself and have felt idiotic). I don’t WANT to be the social outcast anymore, and I am friendly with almost everyone on campus, but frankly being the social outcast is still my “comfort zone,” where I retreat to most days. (And no, I’m not asking for romantic advice here; I know I’m a lost cause there).

    It might just be that you’re an introvert, which is nothing to be ashamed of — I’m one and I bet a much higher percentage of geekdom are over the general population as well.

    The key is, what makes you feel happy and fulfilled? If you get that from your rich inner life, then that’s totally fine. If you feel a lack, like you’re living in your comfort zone not because it makes you happy but because you’re hiding, then that’s a problem.

    In that case, I’d say if your Theater professors are advising you to get out more, and you’re not comfortable as yourself, then find one aspect of yourself that you DO like and build a “character” out of that who you can play. Let’s say you think you have a good sense of humor — build a character who has that same sense of humor, but who also has a few other attributes you admire, and go out and “play” him in social settings. Then you can gradually add in more of yourself as you get comfortable.

    That’s probably horrible advice. I am not a psychologist, so take that with a grain of salt. But for introverts like us, sometimes you have to push yourself to get out of yourself enough to make progress.

  35. Jeff Hebert: Hm, let’s see if I can remember that far back … I’ll go with the Clint Eastwood Chrysler ad. I’m a sucker for gritty cowboys. So to speak. You?

    Well, as much as I appreciated the Ferris Bueller-inspired Honda commercial (big John Hughes fan), I think my favorite was Audi’s “Vampire Party.” I thought it was a fairly clever way to show off their new headlight technology.

  36. [Believe it or not, I've almost produced this twice--just couldn't get $, talent, and licenses at the same time.]
    5 temps show up to work opening day of a coffee and pastry shop and get a strange surprise. Their mgr explains that his workers had to pass the odd physical evaluation because the kitchen is above the dining area and there is NO FLOOR. “WELCOME TO THE CIRCUS CAFE”
    Combination circus & comic play with refreshments.
    Jeff: On the notion that we define ourselves through our favorites such as superhero traits, how would you describe someone who loves using your site in endless ways but hates finishing a picture and doesn’t even know how to post one?

  37. Digital_Exorcism

    My pitch to you Mr. Herbert is a weekly half hour program about a nice young man, his nightly curse that lets him don a mystical suit of demonic armor every night, that gives him various unholy superpowers.. And there is fact that he is trying to balance being a hero, working a part time job, and trying to keep a steady relationship…. Did I mention, the girl he’s dating and loves is a Succubus, or his best friend can transform into a sasquach like creature… Or the fact that he faces Werewolves, Vampiric Mobsters, an Immortal Warlock, a Voodoo Priest and his army of mentally challenged zombie minions, several Monsters; The Imp Pimp (Who is going to be voiced by Bruce Campbell, or heads will roll!) and a secret society hellbend on harvesting his power for world domination… Oh yeah, that’s ‘Nightshade’ in a nutshell. Comedic, dark, and jammed full of Action.

    Question: My question is this? If my pitch was made into a show, would you watch it?

  38. Digital_Exorcism

    Btw, this is my new name. I was formally known as the ugo member Darth_Neko, but I hated the name and decided it was time for a change. I like change!

  39. Herr D: Jeff: On the notion that we define ourselves through our favorites such as superhero traits, how would you describe someone who loves using your site in endless ways but hates finishing a picture and doesn’t even know how to post one?

    I would describe them as someone who enjoys process very much and is very creative, but who is not interested in the boring details. You’re a big picture person!

    Seriously, it’s all about having fun. If it’s the creating you enjoy but not the posting, then that’s totally cool. I don’t see people making fun of those who build sand castles, but those don’t leave a permanent record behind either. You’re flexing your creative muscles and that’s the important thing.

  40. Digital_Exorcism: Question: My question is this? If my pitch was made into a show, would you watch it?

    If I’m being honest, no, but that’s because I’m not a horror fiction fan, not because it’s a bad idea. I just am not into anything vampire or werewolf and the like. But that’s just me.

    I like the name change, by the way!

  41. I’ve written a novel (so far it’s all in hebrew, i want to rewrite it in english and publish it abroad, because writing doesn’t pay in my country) a while back called Dawnbreakers: Path of Shards.

    The kingdom of Astalon has been ruled by the Oracle-Queen in relative peace for about twenty years. She has two sons: her firstborn, Jason “Jay” McAllister is a bastard and a soecrerer, the outcome of a romance with a wizard-knight who was condemned as a roguemage. The other is Matthias “Matt”, the spoiled teenage crown prince, with a mind bent for knighthood rather than ruling.
    One night Matt finds out something has been stolen from the castle’s crypts and runs off after the thief without telling anyone. The Oracle-Queen summons his half-brother to track him down. For a number of solo chapters, they each would develop a gallery of villains.
    Far away from there, an elf girl, Kaetra, is chosen to join an expedition north to save her people from famine. Only their captain betrays them and kills all none-elf members, all a part of a plan he has devised with his secret partner, a human roguemage. She manages to run away, swearing vengeance, but she is now lost in the “menlands”.
    Eventually, they all get cornered in a god-forsaken forest, three people surrounded by hordes of their enemies – elves, roguemages, guildmages, bandits and so on. If they want to survive, they have to work together.

  42. I’ve also tried to tackle a wonder woman movie adaptation. Here goes:

    The opening scene sees teenage Diana Prince in a padded room, screams that she is the princess of Themyscira and how dare they lock her up. Years later, she is in a black-ops type of agency, after having a career as an officer in the marines – and that after being a tough orphan, striving to her best while moving from one white-trash foster home to another. She doesn’t look very remarkable, but her co-workers respect her – Even the preverted analyst, Steve Trevor.
    The one anomaly in her life is her dreams – she has been dreaming about a secret island of amazons her entire life. She tells her therapist it feels more real than reality. The therapist replies: “Everybody wants to feel special, especially when everything tells them they’re not. Everybody wants some… wonder in their lives. But you do realize there is no paradise island?”
    Then she gets transferred to an even more top secret wing, run by a man called Arthur Mars. Her first mission is to steal a prototype stealth plane. Prince responds that the intelligence is lousy – the file doesn’t have any picture or schematic of the plane.
    “That’s because it’s invisible.”
    “You want me to steal an invisible jet?”
    Trevor warns her that Mars is in the dangerous business of stealing war technologies from ally countries. If an agent is caught in the act, they die as a terrorist, or as a traitor.
    That’s what almost happens in the “Lasso” mission. The lasso is actually a string from a lightweight invulnerable fabric, which gets destroyed by accident, nearly killing Prince in the process. Later there would be an interrogation scene where Prince strangles a suspect with the prototype lasso, where she says, creepily, “You can’t lie to me”.
    She knows Trevor is probably right about Mars, but in the meantime, Mars claims he knows where is the one thing Prince is after – a certain island.

  43. @Jeff, I always wanted to go to some convention where people dressed up and there were booths and stuff but I didnt know what they were called and the wheres and when and the how much and do I have to dress up?

  44. A lot of good ideas here that I wish were real shows. Okay, here’s something I just came up with. Death has been displaced and is now an ordinary human. Well, sort of ordinary. He’s been around for a long time and has managed to pick up a few tricks along the way (and also a few enemies). With Death no longer doing his thing, the entire natural order is thrown out of balance. That doesn’t mean everyone is suddenly immortal though. People still die. BUT with Death removed from the equation, things don’t go quite as smoothly as they used to. You now have undead-ish creatures roaming around, mutant vampire-types who have discovered how to prolong their youth by stealing years from the lives of others, soul displacement (the physical body becomes a mindless zombie while the disembodied soul becomes an evil spirit), ghouls (grotesquely elderly walking corpses who maintain their vitality (but not appearance) via cannibalism), and things like that. Death is the main character. Armed with a magic scythe that has all sorts of cool powers, he has to figure out what happened and how to fix it while staying one step ahead of his enemies, which include not only cosmic-types like angels (Death is an ex-angel and considered a traitor by his former kind) and demons (Death was always thwarting their naughty schemes to steal souls) but also mortals who have lived for centuries by avoiding Death through the use of sorcery (ex: necromancers) and/or prehistoric technology (maybe survivors from Atlantis, Lemuria, etc.) and are now on the offensive, trying to finish off Death (or maybe just steal his secrets) while he’s vulnerable. I can’t decide whether some sort of society should still exist or if it should simply be a post-apocalyptic wasteland. If human society is gone or mostly gone, then some of the prehuman races that have been in hiding for thousands or even millions of years might also be coming back. Anyway, that’s the gist of it.

    Jeff, my question is if you go back in time and kill your grandfather will you cease to exist because you were never born, or will the act negate itself because if you were never born you couldn’t have gone back in time and killed your grandfather?

  45. Addendum: The President is a head and a jar and is always accompanied by hulking zombie bodyguards. “Butchers” roam the urban wasteland harvesting replacement organs for rich clients. Artificers (think Cenobites with surgical tool appendages) use a combination of necromancy and ancient science to create undead slaves.

  46. I have so many ideas that it’s hard to articulate them in a chance encounter. Probably why I never will have any published or produced. I would pitch a TV show or cartoon based on my characters from one of my Friday Night Fights teams: Robin Hood in Space or “His Damning Eyes” from FNF3.

    I would revert my Robin Hood characters to my original concept of an American-style mecha-driven space opera. “His Damning Eyes” are completely original to FNF. I would love to see them in a “Heavy Metal”-style animation feature. A scorpion god, a drow, a lizard man, a sadistic dwarf, a Mindflayer, and a lumbering brute fighting epic battles to a rocking soundtrack!

    Jeff, here’s one for you. I’m still a big fan of Legos, Zoids, and the Star Wars Droid Factory. Basically anything that “build-a-character.” Which explains my love for HeroMachine.

    Have you ever considered designing something similar? Translating HM into toys that you can mix and match items? That would add another dimension. Specifically a third! *rimshot*

  47. TOOL:
    @Jeff, I always wanted to go to some convention where people dressed up and there were booths and stuff but I didnt know what they were called and the wheres and when and the how much and do I have to dress up?

    They’re all over the lace, tickets are generally less than $40 a pop and no, you don’t have to dress up. A very small number actually do. It’s definitely worth your time though. I went to WonderCon last year, the 25th anniversary, and it was amazing. After talking with an artist for about 10 minutes about some of my favorite characters and what I admired about them, he gave me a free hand drawn, inked and colored poster of The Flash (actually $15 value, the Barry Allen version.) It’s amazing the people you can meet and talk to. I fully recommend it.

  48. SPIRIT OF THE LAW- a police-procedural/ghost story TV series.
    Female police detective, tough, kick-ass, highly capable, is ‘haunted’/aided by supernatural male presence manifesting as a past-era cop (think Keystone Kops uniform). No one else can sense it. It tells her when evil is present. Can go where she can’t go; knows things she can’t know. Its aid has enabled her advance thru ranks; she resents that, wants to make it on her own. But it has saved her life and lives of many others; she can’t deny the value of its activities. Why is it here? Why her? We don’t know (tho it may be revealed as the series goes on). It doesn’t say much; tends to be cryptic and mysterious, which drives any woman nuts. It won’t/can’t leave until its unknown mission accomplished. Inhibits her other relationships. Incompatibilities/friction over ethics, politics, methods, and motivations. She’s very by-the-book and concerned with law enforcement and he’s an agent of justice and retribution who does whatever it takes, provoking meditations (between thrilling & creepy action sequences) on letter vs. (ahem) spirit of the law.

    Don’t know if this thread is still open for Q&A, but anyway: Jeff, how early in your life did the urge to draw manifest itself? My mom still has multiple scrapbooks full of stuff I drew from age 4 (maybe earlier; I don’t remember) and up. When did this alarming tendency first manifest itself for you?

  49. TOOL: @Jeff, I always wanted to go to some convention where people dressed up and there were booths and stuff but I didnt know what they were called and the wheres and when and the how much and do I have to dress up?

    There are lots of comic book and/or sci-fi and/or gaming conventions around, TOOL. The only one I’ve gone to is Dragon*Con, which is in Atlanta each year. The other major one is Comic Con, which I think is both in San Francisco and New York. But there are lots of local or regional ones as well. You don’t have to dress up (I never have) if you don’t want to by any means.

  50. Sutter_Kaine: Jeff, my question is if you go back in time and kill your grandfather will you cease to exist because you were never born, or will the act negate itself because if you were never born you couldn’t have gone back in time and killed your grandfather?

    Having done this myself from time to time (ahem), the answer is neither — you continue to exist, living on in the parallel universe you create when you alter the timestream. Then you get to appear in a Star Trek episode based on the premise since they love doing time travel so much.

  51. The Atomic Punk: Jeff, here’s one for you. I’m still a big fan of Legos, Zoids, and the Star Wars Droid Factory. Basically anything that “build-a-character.” Which explains my love for HeroMachine.

    Have you ever considered designing something similar? Translating HM into toys that you can mix and match items? That would add another dimension. Specifically a third! *rimshot*

    Hm, the closest I’ve come to something like that is a brief exploration of doing custom-made “me dolls”, where you’d design your own cloth doll and then it would be sewed together for you. But that’s a tough space to be in, with all the manufacturing to be done, inventory to house, etc. so I didn’t get very far with it.

  52. spidercow2012: Don’t know if this thread is still open for Q&A, but anyway: Jeff, how early in your life did the urge to draw manifest itself? My mom still has multiple scrapbooks full of stuff I drew from age 4 (maybe earlier; I don’t remember) and up. When did this alarming tendency first manifest itself for you?

    Super duper early, like from the time I could hold a pen, pretty much.

  53. Its kind of a world where magic and science finally battle it out. A young man, Dirk, finds, at the young age of 450 years(About 16 by todays standards), that he is a product of a cloning experiment, yet he has an extreme talent for magic. He is now rejected by both the scientists who created, and the sorcerers who once taught him. Fortunately he discovers the small and ancient, yet highly powerful, alchemists. They are amongst the few who can exist on the boundary of the two great forces, and the only ones who can tap into the true power of the universe.

    As the war rages, he and several other cloned escapees have trained to be great warriors. Now he and his team, Lucy, Kimsu, Josephine, and Jhon, are forced to deal with the science believers, the magicians, and a dark sect of alchemists known as The Resurrection.

    The Resurrection want one thing: to eliminate everyone. They are driven by the greedy idea that, if they were to kill all the rest, they could bring up a new, stable, universe, where neither science nor magic would rule.

    Greed has always tempted Dirk, and his growing ambition must be channeled so that he can avoid the ranks of The Resurrection.