Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More odds and ends + Mickey Salo

Working on  the finishing touches for Brothers Part 3. Originally, Tuck's section was supposed to be the 4th part, and his brother Tyler was to be part 3, but certain story beats play better with Tuck going first before Tyler.  Expect part 3 tomorrow, and part 4 a few days later. That leaves the finale, which concerns a character we haven't heard from yet: Marie. After that, Brothers will be collected into a kindle/ebook version for all to read.

With Brothers wrapping up, the next multi-part story will be Misguided Ghosts. The format will be much the same as Brothers, releasing each chapter(usually 1000-1500 word instalments) on a regular basis, before collecting it. Misguided Ghosts is much longer than Brothers,l much far reaching. You'll go from Baltimore to Hawaii to London to beyond.

Before I get off here, I figured I'd share with you a comic series summary I sent an artist. Unfortunately, it fell through because we couldn't agree on a price, but it's still something I wouldn't mind doing someday.  Check it out.


Salo 1
"Call Me Mickey"
-Pleasure Plane, Zombie Girls, Dr. Setsam(recurring character), intro the workings of Op-Quo. Throwing a lot out here in the first issue. Establish the rhythmn of this world. Balancing the crazy fucked-up world with the quiet character moments. Delilah is intro'd at the end of the issue.

Salo 2
-Mickey is in France to assasinate an oil baron for Op-Quo. He is ambushed by Juan Rapier, the 10th best(after killing Ernie Hudson) assasinn in the world. He is a gimmick assasin, one who kills with his rapier. So, Mickey shoots him. Dead. While on the phone with his Dad and sponsor, Paul Gass. The hit goes wrong, after a pigeon caues Mickey to drop his sniper rifle, and he has to make a run for it. Unfortunetely, the worse of Mickey comes out, and he fucks a mime. The issues will have various scenes of Mickey at his addict meetings, establishing the fragile nature of Mickey. No Delilah, but we flesh out Paul Gass and Rose, two core characters. They help form Mickey's family structure, a prevalent theme. I also want to establish a clear divison, between Mickey's "work" life and his family life.

Salo 3
-Mickey is assigned to protect baby new year, who has somehow arrived a day earlier on Dec. 31st, as oopsoed to January 1st. The idea behind baby new year is, whoever is in possesion of the baby, takes control of the next year. I.e., great economy, good fortune,etc. So the baby arriving a day early, means everyone and their mother is trying to take possesion of the baby. We're talking the Chinese, the Japanese, Russians, even the Dutch. A very frantic issue, lots of action, lots of craziness. Just picture Mickey, with a baby bjorn on, fighting Ninjas and Russians robots. This is probably the "lightest" issue, as it really doesn't move the theme/overall arc forward too much, but is a good showcase issue of the fun of Mickey Salo. The end of the issue, Mickey at Delilah's diner, where they have a small conversation and she gives him a new year's kiss, is the major plot point of this issue.

Salo 4
-At this point, i think we are really hitting our stride, balancing the crazy and the quiet. This is a turning point isue, for a few reasons, which I'll get to. Mickey has to travel to Florida, where Op-Quo wants him to hunt down and kill a genetically manufactured hyper-intelligent Velociraptor. Op-Quo makes the Velociraptor out to be dangerous, violent, and deadily, but when Salo actually hunts down and corners the raptor, he finds out that he is quite pleasant, and a pacifist. The real reason Op-Quo wanted Salo to kill the raptor, is because he was a failure. They wanted an intelligent killing machine, and instead they got beneviolent creature interested in helping, not hurting. Also, he has a Phd. Doc V, to his friends. Mickey decides to go against Op-Quo, and help Doc V reach snactuary:Cuba. So it becomes a race, with Mickey and Doc V trying to get to Cuba, while Op-Quo and Dr. Setsam send Dragon Monkey Assasin(DMAs) after the pair. Mickey gets Doc V to Cuba, and we end the issue with a narration about the human condition, with the last page a beautiful shot of Doc V observing a butterfly on his clawed hand. Mickey asks Delilah to his brothers wedding.

Salo 5
-Op-Quo is pissed at Mickey and send him on a punishment assignment: To track down and kill the man who recruited and trained Mickey. Mickey's mentor retired years earlier, enjoying his retirement living in a song. But he has gone awol, and op-quo wants him dead. Throughout the issue, we flashback to how Mickey became the man he is today, how he was trained by his mentor(a man who is very much a father figure to mickey, in keeping with the famlial themese). This issue is going to be hard, but could be amazing. To put sound/music in a form without sound, is a tough challenge. Mickey finally tracks down his mentor, who jumped art forms and is now living in a painting. His mentor tells Mickey why he retired, and why op-quo wants him dead: Op-quo is only interested in controling and keeping every normal, everything status quo. After years of experencing the crazy, the magical, that comes with being an agent, his mentor was fed up.
"Don't you realize you're killing everything thats wonderful, that you're just making the world boring?"-Mentor
"I don't care..."-Mickey
Right there, we show the fundamental difference between Mickey and his Mentor. Mickey hates his job, and prefers the quiet moments and normal life. Knowing that they'll never fix the rift between them, the Mentor tells Mickey why he pissed off Op-Quo, and had them send Mickey after him
"I'm getting old, and they're going to send someone after me eventually. Quite frankly, I hate the thought of being killed by someone inferior. That's why it has to be you."
So Mickey kills his mentor, his father figure, and the painting that his mentor had been lviing with, becomes a scene of his murder. The violence became the art. Mickey hangs on to the painting, his last moment with his "dad", and a sense of closure.

Salo 6
"I like the quiet"
-No Op-Quo, and very little crazy in this issue. A character issue. The issue is split between 3 different days in a week of Mickey:Tuesday w/ Paul, Thursday w/ Rose, and Sunday w/ Delilah at his brother's wedding. Basically this is an issue to focus on Mickey with his family(Gass, Rose, Delilah, and even a small bit with Doc V), but there is a key moment where Mickey's worklife persona bleeds into his regular life, and you see just how important his "family" is to him. It happens with Rose, where he learns why she only has sex anally, and it is actually one of the more painful and grisly acts in the entire series, one of the darkest. Lets just say it involves her father and a cigar. Rose confiding in Mickey is a watershed moment for her, as she lets done her "I-don't-give-a-fuck" persona, she takes off the mask. Mickey decides to visit her father later that night, and it is uncomfortable for both the reader and Mickey. Not for any violence, no, but because this is in stark contrast to anything Mickey has done. Yes, he is an assasin and all that, but his job is so fucked up, so far out, that there is a disconnect. This, is just an old man, a 4 star general, sleeping in his bed. A man who apparently, did a lot of good for his country. He's broken down, feeble, and can't get around except in a wheelchair. It's one of those character moments for Mickey. We see him, standing over the bed of this old man gun pointed at him. Mickey's narration:
"And he was just sleeping, his raspy breathing the only sound. And I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. This isn't me, this isn't my job or any of that. I cannot kill an old man, someone who was a hero to so many, I cannot be that person, not here in my life"
He doesn't want to pollute his normal life with his work life, which is key. In Mickey's head, there is a very distinct possiblity. So he leaves.
"I was in his lawn, leaving, when I thought of Rose. I thought of she is, and why she is that way. Thought of all the chances of happiness she could have had, all the chances at a normal life, if not for her father...so I went back into the house."
Mickey murders Rose's father. We don't see it, we don't need to. The fact that he cares so much for his family, that he is willing to break down the barrier between his normal and work life, is key. At the end of the issue, after a entire day together where Delilah and Mickey pretty muchf all in love, Mickey says goodbye to her and....she gets hit by a truck. Mickey rushes over, only to find the truck bent and broken, and Delilah perfectly fine.

Salo 7
-For the finale, we break tradition, and start right after the end of last issue. Mickey doesn't know what is going on, but knows he only has moments. A girl destroying a truck will grab the attention of Op-Quo. And Op-Quo comes, en masse. At first, they don't realize they're going against Mickey, and just send regular troops/agents. But after Mickey blows up their helicoptor, well, they bring out the big guns. Everything we've been building toward, comes to a head in this issue. Mickey Salo vs. Op-Quo. Mickey Salo vs. Dr Setsam. Everything and the kitchen sink is thrown in this issue. Among other things, the return of Doc V, Mickey attacked by Juan Rapier's brother, Don Rapier. The origin behind Delilah(a robot who can control her density. Basically, she is meant to go onto a plane with the target, alter her density, and cause the plane to crash. No one would knows its an assasination. But Delilah was programmed too good, had a conscience, and ran away. Not wanting to hurt people) Eventually, Mickey fails to protect Delilah, and is kidnapped back by Dr. Setsam. Mickey attacks Dr. Setsam's lab("The Toybox"). Again, more crazy violence and action. Finally, Mickey finds Setsam and Delilah. Delilah is on a table, motionless. Mickey points his gun at Setsam
"Fix her! FIX HER!"
"It's too late! She's gone"
Dr. Setsam has wiped away everything, back to default. Mickey shoots Setsam, and we fade out. The next few pages is essentially a wrap up page, as we get various scenes of the characters from the comic, as the narration is purely voicemails from members of Mickey's family, checking up on him. We end with Mickey, at the diner, staring at a cup of coffee blankly.
"Excuse me." a voice from off-screen snaps Mickey out of his funk, we look up, and see Delilah.
"Do you know how to get to route 2?"
"Yeah, yeah, go down the road and take a left."
"Thank you", she says as she begins to leave, and then turns, "Do I know you? You look familiar?"
"I'm nobody."
"Oh, I'm sure you're a somebody" Delilah says with a smile, and leaves. The narration box, from Doc V, gives a hint to what happened"She'll be happy, Mickey. You did the right thing"
We end the issue, and the series, with Mickey checking his watch, then looking over to Duff(his imaginary teddy bear sidekick. I didn't go into him much in the summary but he is a side effect from the LSD eyedrops and all the drugs)
"Alright Duff, let's go kill some psycho Clowns."
Mickey has gone solo, no longer a part of Op-Quo. But he is still Mickey Salo, and his life is still fucking insane.

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