Power User Profile: Sutter Kaine

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!

  1. Online name used in HeroMachine environs: Sutter_Kaine
  2. A photo (or drawing) of you in "real life":

    I think it's a good likeness.
  3. Real name: Rick Studwell (aka James Pratt)
  4. Real city/state/country: Sewell/NJ/USA (Originally from Virginia, found out the hard way everything they say about NJ is true.)
  5. Real job: Data analyst for a telecommunications company that will one day rule the world, blessings be upon them.
  6. Real age: 42, but if you're as old as you feel I'm 112.
  7. Gender: Male the last time I checked, which granted has been awhile.
  8. 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.

  9. Online archive of your creations: http://s761.photobucket.com/home/hastur1/index
  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.
  13. 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".
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.

19 Responses to Power User Profile: Sutter Kaine

  1. Gero says:

    First off, congrats on the Profile, Sutter. Second, I was pissed off about Mountains as well. Universal are (is?) a bunch of idiots. They cancel movies like Mountains and Dark Tower, but spend $200 million making an adaptation of Battleship with aliens that shoot pegs. Go figure. The Thing prequel looks pretty good, at least on paper, and I’m looking forward to it. I just knew that with the Mouth of Madness name and creepy designs that you were a Lovecraft fan, knew it! Are your stories Cthulu mythos inspired?

  2. Dan says:

    Congrats Sutter Kaine! And you’re absolutly right, they say NJ is awesome and it’s true!! (I know you ment it the other way, but I hate Jersey bashing. It’s not like we’re Delaware.)

  3. Hammerknight says:

    Welcome aboard.

  4. Oquies says:

    Favorite thing there was your super power. :p

    P.S. Wasn’t there a preview comment button once upon a time?

  5. Myro says:

    Congrats Sutter. This was a really interesting profile, filled with equal parts information, humor, and passion.

  6. Trekkie says:

    Congrats Sutter Kaine!
    That CthElvis image is great, by the way.

  7. Kaldath says:

    Welcome aboard Sutter! You do good work with HM!

    @ Sutter & Dan – I’ve lived in Jersey my whole life and yes the place does suck, but I don’t imagine it sucks anymore then any other state in the Union. NJ has its problems but so does everywhere else!

  8. Watson Bradshaw says:

    Congrats Sutter Kaine, Man I want to read Cthelvis! It seems like an amazing mash up of iconography like a A peanut butter and banana sandwich 🙂

  9. Sutter_Kaine says:

    Gero – Damn Universal. Damn Universal to hell. Probably about half the stories I’ve posted on Smashwords.com deal directly or indirectly with the Cthulhu Mythos. It’s my fall-back setting. If I have an idea that’s refusing to cooperate, I can usually get it to germinate into a full-fledged story by placing it in a Lovecraftian context. This little collection consists exclusively of overt Mythos-inspired stories: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75241

    Dan and Kaldath – I grew up in a little town in the southwestern tip of VA so there was a bit of a culture shock. Granted, I live in South Jersey in a little town which is far from urban. And I was surprised to see how popular hunting, fishing, NASCAR, and jokes dealing with them dang furriners and minorities are up here. Yankees have rednecks too. Who knew? Long story short – Being close to everything: good. Population density, hideous traffic congestion, and some of the highest tax rates in the country: bad. Also, since Jersey Shore went on the air, I’ve been seeing a lot more guidos around the neighborhood.

    Trekkie – Thanks. Someday I too hope to command an army of Viva Las Vegas-era Ann-Margret clones.

    Watson Bradshaw – I think you mean “peanut butter and ‘nanner sandwich”. Poppy Z. Brite wrote a story dealing with Elvis called “Are You Loathsome Tonight?”. It appeared in a Lovecraftian anthology but doesn’t actually involve Elvis interacting with the Cthulhu Mythos. This story is my attempt to rectify that.

  10. Movie adaptations of Lovecraft / Cthulhu tend to be low-budget and nothing like the stories. However, I bet Del Toro would make an interesting if not fanciful version.

    One of the best was HBO’s movie “Cast a Deadly Spell.” Though not directly a Cthulhu story, he does make a cameo.

    I like your minimalist approach. I checked out your gallery. Instantly, I thought of character backstories and origins. Not to say I don’t like action scenes, but they often have a set story written by the creator. Simple, direct poses allow the viewer to imagine his or her own adventures.

  11. Gero says:

    @Punk 10: There was a pretty well made adaptation of Dreams in the Witch House that was made by Masters of Horror. And In the Mouth of Madness, while made by Carpenter, was inspired by Lovecraft, and uses a lot of his terms/names in it. But you’re right about most of them being cheaply made b-movies. We need a movie like Mountains to change that, so once again, screw you NBC Universal!

  12. Sutter_Kaine says:

    Atomic Punk – Yep. I was pretty happy when I found out about an Italian adaption of “The Colour Out of Space” because those Italians take their horror pretty seriously, but the movie ended up giving it a supernatural/satanic angle. Very non-Lovecraftian. Gero’s right about “Dreams in the Witch House” though.

    I thought “The Unnameable” wasn’t half bad as far as Lovecraft adaptions go. And you might want to check out some of the films put out by The Lovecraft Historical Society. They’re obviously low-budget/amateur, but they do “get” Lovecraft and are pretty faithful to the source material.

  13. ams says:

    Congrats Sutter_Kaine! Cheers!

  14. Gero says:

    There was a version of Call of Cthulu made a few years ago as a Dollar Baby that’s really good. They did the whole thing as a silent, black-and-white version, like an old turn of the century movie…

  15. Kaylin88100 says:

    OMG I love your work! 😀

  16. Vampyrist says:

    Great job on earning Power User status and your work is great. It is both simplistic and brilliant.

  17. Dan says:

    @Sutter_Kaine (9) I grew up not far from where you live, but now I’m in Cherry Hill. It is quite amazing how there are such radically diffrent areas that are within a few minutes of each other here. I’m a stone’s throw from Camden, the murder capitol of the country. I guess it’s where you are that shapes your opinion. I still love it though.
    @Kaldath, I’ve been a Jersey boy for most of my life, with a brief 3 year stint in Massachusetts back in the 80’s, a hell I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. To this day, I still hate every single Boston/New England sports team because of my time there. I’ll take Jersey ANY day of the week.

  18. spidercow2010 says:

    Mmmmm, Ann-Margaret… Oh, sorry, I drifted off there. Congratulations, S_K!

  19. Sutter_Kaine says:

    Watson Bradshaw(8) (and anyone else interested) – If you want to read Cthelvis, go to Smashwords.com and create an account. It’s quick, easy, and free. Then go to the story page (see link below) and go through the process of purchasing the story for download. During the process, you should be prompted to enter a discount code if you have one. Enter “ZZ42V” and you should be able to download the story for free. The coupon should be good until September.