Monday, January 28, 2008

Shadowline Contest Entry: The Otherwoman

Ever since Kristen Simon (editor for Image Comics' Shadowline) announced a contest at her company looking for a newly created superheroine, I've be toying with the thought of offering a submission. Being a comic geek, I have plenty of pre-existing fantasy creations I could have tossed out, but we're all a bit covetous, aren't we? Those are my babies, and part of the fine print is that I'd have to share copyright on whatever I submitted with the artist, assuming I might actually win the thing by some longshot happenstance (like no other soul remembering to enter.) Knowing said artist would be Franchesco!, I also wanted to play to his strengths, as well as my own. I think I had the name down that first day, and it started to grow from there. I did some research online, interviewed an acquaintence from Nigeria at work, and then sat on my work for a couple weeks like a proper freelancer. The deadline was coming due, and I didn't want to push it quite to the very end. I sat down and reread the guidelines again tonight, and that helped to narrow my ambitions (which included a mock Previews solicitation page and/or a Who's Who-style page. I'm thankful I was prohibited from supplying graphics entirely, allowing me to hunker down on "a BRIEF one paragraph story synopsis." I failed the criteria on several points (like brief was ever my specialty,) so hopefully I won't be disqualified outright. Anyway, the following is my submission, and you can read more on the contest at Newsarama

"Who is ~ THE OTHERWOMAN? She’s the lovechild of RKO Pictures adventure movie serials and Blaxploitation movies. She’s what would have happened if the white jumpsuit, super-spy version of Wonder Woman had gotten her start during World War II... and had a libido... and a sense of humor... and been African... and, you know, been generally written and drawn well. The story of the original Otherwoman would begin after her retirement in the early 1970’s, when she’s confronted by an obnoxious American capital-F “feminist.” The Otherwoman schools the initially incredulous interloper in what it really meant to be a take charge, kick-ass superheroine through a series of vignettes. We see, in no particular order: her supernatural origins in 1920’s Nigeria; her role in the East African Campaign against the Fascists; her battles with alien invaders in the 1950’s; political intrigues during the Cold War, and so on from a decidedly different perspective than your typical nostalgic/cynical analogue character. We’re talking 6-12 page snapshots, heavy on first-person narrative captions, so that readers would get a couple or three stories per issue. If Franchesco! prefers dinosaurs to tanks or splash pages to continuity—whatever—the Otherwoman’s seen it all, and I’m game as well. The mini-series would end with the American coming away with a different point of view, and allude to the need for an Otherwoman for our time, just in case sales were strong enough to continue on with her legacy. Kings are humbled and empires have crumbled at the whim of ~ The Otherwoman!"

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