Convention Bound Yet Again! LosCon 39


11 Feb 2012, written by


As I said, I wanted my story to be easily relatable to contemporary readers.

A girl in 1812 inhabited a vastly different world technically and, as a result, culturally from a girl in 2012:
No cars, no airplanes, no supermarkets, no electricity, no TV, no Internet,  no telephones, no flush toilets.

But a girl on 1912 lives in a far more familiar culture:
Cars and planes (albeit primitive), electricity in most homes (ditto plumbing).  TV is still just a gleam in Philo Farnsworth’s eyes, but there are movies.  Radio is just beginning, but newspapers are linked by wire services.  No computers, but adding machines and typewriters exist so number pads and keyboards are everywhere.

And there are telephones.

Split the difference — 1962 — and not that much changes.  TV and radio, to be sure, but no Internet yet.  Still, most of the changes are in style and degrees; the world of 1962 is easily understandable to a reader in 2012.

Problem:  You can’t lose a bunch of school kids in 1962, either.

Split the difference again — 1937 — and suddenly the solution presents itself.  World War Two, at least the Pacific portion of it, started December 7th, 1941.

Now we have a logical reason why no one comes looking for the girls:
All hell is breaking loose, and the loss of a handful of girls is just one more tragic drop in a bucket brimming with tears.

Problem:  Every island worth fighting over was fought over.

This is why Google was invented.  A quick search revealed that every island capable of hosting a permanent human settlement had a permanent human settlement.

But what exactly constitutes a “permanent” settlement?

(to be continued)



Continue reading 'SAVAGE ANGELS — Update #3'

Art Challenge: SERENITY Vs The Ten Commandments

04 Feb 2012, written by

The theme is “Serenity Vs. The Ten Commandments”, the subject is our favorite blue haired girl facing a moral dilemma re one of the Ten Commandments (your choice which Commandment/s).

1.  Single panel illustrations preferred, tho short strips / single page stories are okay.  Any style you prefer (manga, realistic, cartoon, movie poster, chapel ceiling fresco, etc.) is okay.

2.  They can be:

A.  SERENITY: THEN — back before she became a Christian (we’ve established she’s never been pregnant & she’s never murdered anybody; anything else is open, tho we’d suggest if you show her doing something wrong, you also show her about to get caught, i.e., if she’s shoplifting she doesn’t realize a store detective is watching her, etc.)

B.  SERENITY: NOW — facing a moral dilemma after she’s become a Christian (how do we know?  Well, since becoming a Christian she always wears a small cross around her neck, so that’s how to show the difference between then & now; also, while she might succumb to temptation “then” she should be shown resisting it “now”)

C.  SERENITY: MAKE-BELIEVE –Serenity & her friends make amateur movies, so if you want to do an illo where they’re making a film & acting out a scenario based on the Ten Commandments (an elaborate jewel heist, f’r instance), go ahead

3.  Remember our venue, ask yourself if it would fly in an Archie comic or the Luann / Zits / Gil Thorpe /9 Chickweed Lane comic strips; if the answer’s yes, go for it.  (Do not — repeat NOT — use Love Is… as a template! =8O )

Sound Advice From The Late, Great Hugo-Award Winning
Sci-Fi Writer / Cartoonist / Director / Photographer Bill Rotsler:
Short is better than long. 
Funny is better than not funny. 
Short and funny is best of all.

4.  This challenge is for funsies:

A.  No monetary award or compensation offered or implied

B.  Send a link to your art either thru the comments section below or on the SnokieStories Facebook page.  You may show your art on your own blog, any art sites you might belong to (Deviant Art, etc.), and in your portfolio as an example of your abilities

C.  If working in traditional media (i.e., pen & paper) you may sell the original art as an example of your artistic abilities, but please state somewhere on the art the characters are © & TM Buzz Dixon & Snokie (this is for our protection & yours); a little notation in the lower corner is ok

D.  You agree that once your art is posted here, it may cross posted on the SnokieStories Facebook page as examples of your art using the Serenity characters; unless you prefer otherwise, you will be credited as your name appears in your comments or Facebook page

E.  These illos are for online cross-promotional fun; they will not be re-packaged, sold, etc. without first obtaining permission from the artist/s

Challenge begins in 5…4…3…2…1…GO !

Continue reading 'Art Challenge: SERENITY Vs The Ten Commandments'


30 Jan 2012, written by


Step one was determining who my characters were, which also meant determining when they lived.

I wanted them to be readily identifiable to my target audience (i.e., North American readers).  I have no problems re historical fiction, but I wanted my readers to feel familiar with my characters’ background so I could focus more tightly on the challenge of survival.

It’s awfully hard to lose a bunch of school kids in the 21st century.

They will be missed, somebody will come looking for them.

In Lord Of The Flies, William Golding handled the issue by integrating it into the core of his story:  Though never stated explicitly, the world his boys inhabit is engulfed in a great apocalyptic war.  The insane evil of nuclear brinksmanship was reflected in the deterioration of his characters’ civilized behavior.

Exploring the morality of nuclear war was not my intent; I wanted a story focused on survival, not conflict.

(Besides, it’s one thing to crib
the idea of kids shipwrecked on an island;
lots of books, movies, and comics have done that. 
Using those kids as a metaphor for the collapse of
modern civilization is exclusively Golding’s idea.)

I briefly toyed with the idea of a great natural or astronomical disaster but quickly passed on that; I couldn’t see how the story could not be about the disaster instead of the desert island fantasy.

I use “fantasy” advisedly.  There’s no magic in Savage Angels, everything is within the realm of the possible.  But the idea of the desert island as a new Eden, as a place to begin again, to somehow Get It Right This Time holds a fascinating allure to writers and readers.

Then I wondered, what am I thinking about when I say “contemporary”?

 (to be continued)

 SAVAGE ANGELS — Update #1

Continue reading 'SAVAGE ANGELS — Update #2'


26 Jan 2012, written by 1 Comments

I could backtrack a long ways to get to “the” origin of SAVAGE ANGELS, but let’s set our marker down here:

SERENITY started life as a monthly magazine concept; each issue would have a 45-page Serenity story, a couple of short stand alone stories, and an ongoing serial.

HITS & MISSES was supposed to be the first of those serials, Savage Angels was to be a follow-up.

Well, things changed.  Magazine publishing plunged into the toilet just as I started looking for partners so, finding no takers for a monthly mag, I went the original gn route.

…but that’s another story for another time.

Savage Angels came about during a long idea generating period where I was trying to come up with as many ideas as I could for the tween-to-teen / YA market (Angels is just the tip of the iceberg; wait till you see what we have on deck!).

I’ve always enjoyed shipwrecked-on-a-desert-island stories.  As a child, my grandmother and aunt gave me a wonderful slipcover edition of Swiss Family Robinson; I still have that book even though I almost read it to shreds while growing up.

And of course there’s the great-granddaddy of them all, Robinson Crusoe.

And Island Of The Blue Dolphins.

And even Gilligan’s Island.

And, probably most importantly re the origin of Savage Angels, Lord Of The Flies.

William Golding’s book is a harrowing tale of young boys stranded on an island descending into naked feral savagery.  It’s a kill-or-be-killed tale, and it does not offer a comforting view of humanity.

So I wondered, would the story have been any different if it was a group of girls, not boys?

…and the gears started turning.

(to be continued)

Continue reading 'SAVAGE ANGELS — Update #1'


12 Jan 2012, written by 0 Comments


Coming soon from Snokie
Preliminary art by Drigz Abrot (not final)
Savage Angels (c) Buzz Dixon & Snokie


Continue reading 'Coming Soon…SAVAGE ANGELS'