Tuesday, December 30, 2008
And -- once the new episodes are done -- may you spend 2009 listening to SuperHuman Times (which won't bring me wealth or prosperity, but will bring me immense personal satisfaction after all the work we've put into these things).
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Just wanted to plug a big event from my benefactors at Prometheus Radio Theatre: the final episode of "Contents Under Pressure," the six-part series finale of The Arbiter Chronicles has been posted, and is available for free download from the Prometheus site, or via iTunes subscription!
I celebrate this for two reasons. First, without ruining your enjoyment of it one iota, it's a solid finish that marks a genuine passage into a new age for the survivors, uh, characters. Everyone involved delivers a terrific performance. Its creator, Steve Wilson, wisely left himself enough latitude to return to the Arbiter Universe in the future with more stories, at his leisure. I think you will want him to do so.
But not right away. Why?
That's the second reason I celebrate this event. With the deck clear of Arbiter, the return of SuperHuman Times is imminent! Imminent, I tell you! I'll keep you posted as "Once Upon a Times" comes together. As much as I enjoy listening to and chatting up Arbiter, I've missed hearing my stories brought to life by my gifted friends. I hope you have, too.
Stay tuned. (Can't wait? Relive old Times here now!)
PS: The photo above is of some of the gang shortly after the troupe won its 2003 Mark Time Award Silver Medal. You've heard many of them in Times episodes. In case you care, the batting order, from left, bouncing between "rows", is: Eli Senter, Steve Wilson, Beatrice Kondo, Renee Wilson, Renfield, Scott Farquhar, the Head of Cindy Woods, John Weber, Cindy Shockey, June Swords and, in the front, Ethan Wilson. I grabbed this from the website and am using it without permission, because I took it, so there!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I've messed with the website and moved some of that content to the blog. What other mischief can I get into?
Well, I turned in my first new Times script in many, many months to Steve Wilson last week. I'm pretty jazzed about it, mainly because it's the first one to feature Dunbar from "The Hot Property," the original Times graphic novel script. He was my first character, so I'm very curious as to who Steve picks to record him. I'll keep you posted.
While you're waiting for that and the rest of the Times scripts to go from stockpile to studio, take a few minutes to check this out: Ape Entertainment's Super Human Resources. The first issue hits in early '08 and the previews are hilarious, with very sharp writing and art. (Now if we could just figure out a way to do a crossover between a comic and a podcast...) I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of this book. And I'm relieved that we don't spell "superhuman" the same way. Neither of us needs the brand confusion. Although if we gotta be confused with something, I hope it's something as promising as this.
Want something a little darker that's also hysterically funny? Give Cemetery Blues a try. If you know your Disney animators -- specifically the fabled Nine Old Men -- you may see hints of Ward Kimball's character designs for the Haunted Mansion in the art. And the dialogue is some of the funniest I've ever read in an all-out monster romp. Their miniseries came out this summer, so this recommendation is long overdue. But thankfully, you can get the trade paperback from any comic shop that knows what it's doing.
Need to find a comic shop? You can do it here.
Monday, October 6, 2008
NOTE: If you got here from the SuperHuman Times web page,
you're in the right place. Welcome!
Yeah, it's a sneaky way to get you to check out the "Behind the Times" blog as well, but you'll also get what you came for: story summaries and cast/credits for the episodes we've produced so far. Once you do, we hope that you'll click on the story/episode links to hear them, then check out our other fine podcasts at
Hopefully you'll want to read more about the show here, click on the story/episode links to hear them, then check out our other fine podcasts at
NOTE: All Prometheus podcasts are presented in high-definition imagination -- yours!
An all-too-human office drone learns about his late parents’ super-heroic pasts – and a few surprising things about his own.
Cast: John Scheeler, Marty Gear, Cindy Woods, Renfield, Eli Senter, Cindy Shockey, Paul Balzé, Steve Wilson, Renee Wilson, Ethan Wilson and John Weber as Malvolio Nacht
Risk Management (3 parts) 1 2 3
The world’s greatest sorceress faces three challenges: protecting a valuable magical tome during a high-profile museum exhibition; grooming her two daughters to take over the family security firm; and dating – after a 20-year lull.
Cast: Renee Wilson, Heather Mikkelsen, Paige Strehlen-Senter, Eli Senter, Steve Wilson, Scott Farquhar
The former butler of a dying super-villain receives a gift from his ex-employer that arrives at the worst possible time. Comic mayhem ensues.
Cast: John Weber, Heather Scheeler, Eli Senter, Lance Woods, Steve Wilson and Sandy Zier-Teitler as Mrs. Jensen
A romance novelist who’s built her career creating dream men for her readers finally meets the man of her own dreams – literally.
Cast: Heather Scheeler, John Scheeler, Maureen Connolly, Renfield, Ethan Wilson, Cindy Woods
Dashing (3 parts) 1 2 3
An arrogant action-movie star with superhuman healing powers is targeted by a mysterious assassin and his only hope of uncovering the killer rests with a meek special effects technician who believes he's Dash Tarragon, the debonair superspy the actor plays onscreen.
Cast: Scott Farquhar, John Weber, Cindy Woods, June Swords, Marty Gear, Renfield
Created & Written by Lance Woods
Directed by Steven H. Wilson
Back to SuperHuman Times web page.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
I’ve been at kind of a writing lull for the last couple of weeks. I’m in the middle of a Times episode, but I’ve written myself into a corner that I didn’t expect to hit, and I’m trying to figure the way out. This is actually a good situation because it forces a writer to be inventive and examine new ways to resolve a story. So I’m doing that as I write this.
I also thought, after blogging so much about death recently -- our dear Tucker, my pal Robbie – that I’d turn a little non-Times space over to some good news for a change. It’s especially good because September 10 will be the first anniversary of Tucker’s passing. We still miss him terribly, we still fight back tears, but recent events have reminded us how much we love the “sister” he left behind.
Shalla (named for the Silver Surfer’s lost girlfriend, by me) is our terrier mix. We adopted her a year after we adopted Tucker so he'd have company. But she hates other dogs. ALL other dogs. we didn't know this until we got her home, though She and Tucker rarely got along; I often feel guilty for bringing her into the house and stressing him out. But on her own, she’s a sweetie. She’s three years younger than Tucker, based on her shelter records.
This makes her about 12-13, or 69-70 in human years. She’s an old lady, but as anyone who’s been at the other end of her leash can tell you, she’s strong. Strong enough to show her displeasure at being crated last year by walking the crate out of the living room, around a corner, and down the hall, until she hit a wall.
Here's a detail of where she shoved her snoot through the bars to move forward. One of these bars ultimately fell off. She is STILL that strong.
So, she tore what’s called a cruciate ligament in a rear leg that day and, astonishingly, healed very nicely without so much as a limp.
This year, though – and we have no idea how – she tore the same ligament in the other rear leg. This time, it was a complete tear, one that required surgery last week. We were very concerned for several reasons:
1. Shalla hates going to the vet hospital. She’s been there numerous times for exams and boarding, but she shakes like a leaf and is ready to tunnel through the foundation during every visit. This isn't very helpful to the doctors or techs who have to deal with her (never-realized) bite potential.
2. The surgery was $$$$, and we had to wonder if it was worth going through much financial strain – or worth the stress of surgery and recovery -- for a dog her age. (The attending surgeon dispelled that idea quickly, proclaiming her amazingly fit for a dog of her years.)
3. The surgery was routine, but with the anniversary of Tucker’s death approaching, we feared something might happen – like Shalla working herself into shock on the table – that would take her from us.
I am pleased/relieved to report that Shalla has been home for a week now and is progressing nicely. She’s actually walking on her repaired limb tentatively, but with growing confidence. We still have to walk her out in the yard on a leash for bathroom breaks. However, unlike Tucker during his hip replacement surgeries, Shalla is encouraged to walk on the leg when we go out. The max is five minutes, but she’s usually back in the house of her own desire in about one minute. Best of all, after going without an appetite or food for about a week, she’s finally eating meals and biscuits again, a sure sign that we’ve dodged another canine apocalypse for now.
Like I said, some good news for a change. I think Tucker would approve. Then he'd ask me why I wasn’t getting back to work on the script.
So, if you will excuse me, my dog and I will return to my corner.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
In desperate need of relief from my selfish mourning rage (see last post), I've been watching the just-released two-disc set of Filmation's DC Super Heroes cartoons from 1967 -- 18 cartoons that initially ran between the Superman cartoons that aired on CBS on Saturday mornings and later in syndication.
Historical note to youngsters: in my day, there were no 24/7 kids/cartoon channels like Nick and CN; we ruled the TV ONLY on Saturdays from roughly 8 AM-1 PM, and maybe for a few hours on Sunday mornings, and that was it. If Whitey hadn't taken all the satellite dishes from the much smarter Native Americans, we'd still be getting TV signals for the three main broadcast networks via aerials atop our covered wagons. It's all true! Google it!
(And, yes, I am sure they had some formative influence along with the old '60s Marvel cartoons and the West/Ward Batman series on me that ultimately led me to come up with SuperHuman Times, so there is some relevance to this blog.)
Anyway, the set contains cartoons featuring pre-Paul Dini/Bruce Timm renditions of the JLA, Green Lantern (Hal), the Atom, Hawkman and the Teen Titans. They HAD to have inspired them to become artists so they could create something better.
Among the highlights (for me, anyway):
* The limited animation makes the first season of The Flintstones look like The Clone Wars.
* The menu screen shows stills of Hanna-Barbera's Birdman instead of Hawkman. (At least he earned his own DVD set.)
* Green Lantern is voiced by the animated Fantastic Four's own Reed Richards, radio star Gerald Mohr, and his first cartoon has Paul Frees (the animated FF's Ben Grimm) voicing every other character.
* When Paul Frees doesn't voice all but the central character of every cartoon, Ted Knight does.
* The opening music in the JLA cartoons sounds like they're taking the stage in Vegas instead of preparing to fight evil.
* There are too many "WTF?!" moments in every episode to describe here.
Check it out here if you get a chance. For all their flaws, I treasure them more than ever because they couldn't have come out at a better time.
PS: Check out the documentary about Filmation founder Lou Scheimer on disk 2. You may not come away with more respect for the cartoons, but the man responsible for them has class.
Friday, August 15, 2008
There’s no other way to start an entry like this, so: last night, a good friend of mine passed away.
Robbie Greenberger – son of Bob & Deb Greenberger, brother of Katie Greenberger – had been diagnosed with leukemia in January. His fight wasn’t a long one, but it was a powerful one, all documented by his dad on his blog. I’m probably getting my chronology wrong, but I think he’d just completed his first semester (year?) at Towson University when he was diagnosed. So he was young. Too young for this.
I’m sure I’m wrong about this, but I can’t bring myself to check for his obit to confirm his age and brief life path. All I know is that the little months-old baby I first met when he wore Superman sleepers, a swell kid who grew into an ace convention masquerade ninja, was snatched too soon.
And having him taken from his family, and from us, so soon really pisses me off. So much so that I can’t even restrain my rage long enough to go to the funeral home’s online condolence book to leave the message I know I should leave.
I’m mad that someone as young and vital as Robbie had to be chosen by The Machine to suffer this fate. I’m mad that his parents and sister have to live the rest of their lives with an unimaginable void that will surely shrink in time, but can never close. And, selfishly, I’m REALLY pissed off that I’ll never get to have breakfast with him again, because the last time I did was one of the most fun times I’ve ever spent around Clan Greenberger. (And we’ve had a busload or two.)
That was back in 2003. Bob and the brood were guesting at a local s-f convention that I couldn’t attend because I was watching Greg at home while Cindy ran the convention art show that weekend. Still, they wanted to get together with us for breakfast at a neutrally located IHOP, so we did. When people you’ve been friends with since ’82 still want to eat with you in public, you go, NQA.
So we arrived, there were hugs and kisses and pancakes and bacon, and Robbie just fell in love with Greg. They sat across the table from each other and played constantly while Bob, Deb and Katie grilled me about the latest that was going on in our lives and beyond. I wish I’d taken a camera, because the boys were distracting -- and hilarious.
But what also stands out about that breakfast was the fact that I’d ordered a large orange juice. And that Greg was having such a great time, he wrapped his little 3-year-old hands around my tumbler at one point and chugged about half of it down. It was the first and only time he ever drank orange juice, and I always wondered if Robbie loosened him up enough to give it a shot. I don’t know if I ever thanked him for that, but I know we mentioned that breakfast to each other on occasion when we intersected at later conventions.
If Greg ever does drink OJ again, I’ll think of Robbie because of the fun he had with him that day. And if he doesn’t, I’ll think of Robbie because we’ll never have another chance to have breakfast with him and test the theory. Maybe we never would have. As Robbie grew older, our time together grew shorter as we – especially he – had other things calling to him. Like the entourage of girls he acquired at the last convention where we crossed paths. It was something to see. I’m not sure, but I think that was the con where Katie, an accomplished ballroom dancer, hauled Robbie’s skinny ass out on the floor to teach him a few steps during the convention’s Saturday night dance. And he went! They were a unique pair of siblings. But they were born of unique parents, so no big surprise.
And none of them deserved this. I know, I know, his fight is done, he’s at peace, and that’s a good thing, but this family holds a special place in my heart for numerous reasons, so I’m mad again at their having to endure this pain. It’s a waste of energy and emotion, and if Bob, Deb and/or Katie ever read this, I hope they’ll forgive me, but this kind of rage has no place in a condolence book or a private email.
Maybe I’ll be able to contact them in a few days, but for right now… I just don’t have the words. None that can help them, anyway.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pour myself a tumbler of orange juice and drink a toast to a fine young man, a great kid, and a wonderful friend. (Greg's not here, so I'll get to finish it.)
Friday, July 18, 2008
Okay. So if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you’re wondering what’s going on with Season Two of SuperHuman Times. Or you couldn't get in to any screenings of The Dark Knight.
When we last left our everyday heroes and villains, we’d completed four episodes of the planned six-episode season. But that last episode was released nearly two months ago. Wha’ hoppen?
The answer can be summed up in five words: The Arbiter Chronicles Season Finale.
Briefly, Steve Wilson’s been busting his artistic and technical balls to create a mammoth showstopper that will blow away everyone who hears it. Understandably, this means Times episodes must wait until his deck is clear.
When will that be, you may ask? Well, it could be as late as this fall, in which case the last two episodes I’ve written for Season Two will become early episodes in Season Three – yes, Virginia, we will be making more of these.
Just to give you a quick review/preview of what to expect, we have a nifty, dark supervillain-centric tale coming up, as well as a return case starring the ladies of Tzone Defense Security, and one – possibly two – tales from the notebook of Times reporter Kevin Dunbar, the first character I created for the series and one to whom I’m eager to introduce you, along with Mnemonica the memory lady, Rei Shinozaki (a comic-book artist with a secret), soldier/scientist Rhett Corsair and many others.
During this hiatus, I’m also thinking of adding a couple of minor improvements to the Times website, including – maybe – PDFs of our production scripts that let you see the blueprints we follow for each story. Let me know if you’d be interested in something like that and I’ll spend more money with Go Daddy to make it happen.
So that, in a proverbial nutshell, is where things stand. I will keep you posted as events warrant. In the meantime, I learned tonight that Prometheus Radio Theatre scored MULTIPLE submissions -- not nominations; if we're lucky, that comes later -- in the 2008 Parsec Awards (after winning one trophy last year). Funny thing is, we have no idea who actually submitted us for consideration. We'll find out if we actually win anything at Dragon Con. But for now, at least somebody out there likes us -- and if it’s you, thanks!
If it's not, use this time to hit libsyn and listen to our previous stories so that you, too, can keep up with the Times!
Friday, May 2, 2008
After 25 years since I first came up with the story -- and five months since we opened Season Two with "Close Encounters" -- part one of "Dashing", our three-part,superhuman-murder mystery-Bond movie, is finally online at libsyn & iTunes!
Personally, I think it sounds great, and not just because the Mrs. edited it. Steve directed it nimbly with one of our best casts, and they all sound like they're actually having fun. (They laid down their tracks in one very long day, so you can truly appreciate their acting talents here.)
When you get a chance, please get over to libsyn and check it out. If you like this first episode, you won't want to miss episodes 2 & 3 in the weeks ahead.
And, oh yeah: Steve's letting me host all three episodes.
Check it out anyway.