It’s true, SUPER-POWERED REVENGE CHRISTMAS started as a stage play in December 2010, written and directed by me, produced by and starring Mr. Joseph Scrimshaw. Our set had design by DC Comics artist Chris Jones. It was done in the quick-changing story theater mode. A review from the City Pages:
In a nameless bar on Christmas Eve, the future of mankind will be decided.
Okay, it’s more the future of a nutty comic-book writer, his long-suffering artist, and a trio of lonely sad sacks, but it still makes for a fresh holiday-season delight from playwright Bill Corbett (of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and Rifftrax fame) and Joking Envelope. Super-Powered Revenge Christmas #1 posits a world without Christmas—and with the blood-red avenger from the planet Yoooool.
Writer Desmond (Joseph Scrimshaw) has an idea that will shake the comic-book—er, graphic-novel—world to its core and help to restart his own fledgling career: a reboot of the holiday season, in which Santa Claus becomes the brooding Red Avenger, a not-at-all-jolly elf with rippling abs, a rocket-powered sled, and a “ho ho ho” meant to frighten the thugs he battles.
Photo: Craig Van Der Schaegen
Trying to talk some sense into Desmond is his artist partner Libby (Emily Gunyou Halaas), who thinks he may have gone just a bit too far in his attempt to “retcon” the holiday. Their judges? Bartender Carl (John Middleton
), lonely Francine (Mo Perry
), and antisocial Grub (Matt Erkel
While the “real” world provides an anchor for the story, it’s the comic-book creation that really takes off. It’s not just the delight in seeing familiar creations recast as muscle-bound, barely clad superheroes. There’s a lot of pulpy fun in the comic-book story itself: Who doesn’t love a small band of heroes fighting insurmountable odds against legions of robotic death machines?
That makes Super-Powered Revenge Christmas #1’s final “battle”—in the bar, about how to truly end the story—all the more touching and insightful. Sure, it’s all silly, but you want an honest, earned end to the silliness rather than the cynical one Desmond thinks will sell out on day one.
I’ll always be indebted to the amazing cast: Joseph, Emily Gunyou Halaas, John Middleton, Mo Perry, and Matt Erkel. They threw themselves into this joint with such gusto I wanted to find another way of telling this story.
At one performance we got a visit from some aspiring young writer named Neil Gaiman, who gave me excellent storytelling notes for such a n00b.
Among those notes: shorten the title, jeez. (Paraphrasing. Mr. G sounded more sophisticated / mellifluous.) (I did shorten it. A little.)
I am thrilled to announce that my comic book SUPER-POWERED REVENGE CHRISTMAS is now available!
Written by me and illustrated by the awesome Len Peralta, SUPER-POWERED REVENGE CHRISTMAS features the icons of pop-culture Christmas doing battle as superheroes and supervillains. It is mostly a…
I’m super excited about this comic book! Bill originally wrote it as a live theater piece. My comedy company produced the show and I played the frustrated writer character…who still looks a little like me in the comic book. I am thrilled by this.
FOR SOME REASON, I LOVE FRUSTRATED WRITERS!
Anyway, Bill and Len knocked it out of the park and I think you should buy one million copies of this book!