In which there is a bad moon on the rise.
In which Merton deals with some unforeseen medical problems.
Johnny gets another shot at his education, and something else comes to town.
Our cast is introduced, and one character is promptly removed.
In which we are introduced to our cast of characters, the town of Whitby, and the strange things that reside within.
It’s 1959, and things are about to get weird in Whitby.
A long, long time ago, I decided I wanted to try drawing a comic. I’m not a very good artist, but in high school it was a thing I was interested in purely because I love comics. One of the (many) concepts I came up with was supposed to a sort of serial. The original version of this involved a high school reporter who starts investigating after a classmate comes back from the dead. Each chapter would be her investigating a different supernatural happening. I decided a 1950s aesthetic purely because I wanted to mimic horror movies from that era. It was actually more scifi in the beginning, with one character originally intended to be an alien, and I ended up shifting some of that thanks to deriving more from the classic Universal monsters. I came back to the concept after some time and adjusted it to fit a novel format. I was in college at the time, working on other projects and my masters, and I ended up finishing Men and Monsters, a similar concept with similar influences, having a much easier time writing it.
I fumbled around with what I’d written for a while, worried it was too similar to other things, struggling with finishing the segment I was on, but I ultimately decided the concept was something I wanted to write. I was attached to the characters and the setting and decided the best way to motivate myself to finish it was to post it here. At least then, even if I do nothing with it, it’s out in the world, and I can see how this tiny concept I drafted out years and years ago has changed. So here is your introductory post to Laemmle High. Like the movies it derives its origins from, I give you the cast of characters and title card up front, before you enjoy the picture.
Beverly Jones………………………………………………………..high school reporter, friend to the undead
Merton Dewitt.……………………………………………………………..nerd, photographer, alien enthusiast
Marya Zalesk.…….………………………………………………a stranger in a strange land, also a vampire
Betty Isen…….….….………..prom queen, science fair winner three years running, dating Johnny
Johnny Maxwell…………………………….…….quarterback, most popular kid at school, dating Betty
Shelley Rathbone…………………………………….….…….…..science fair runner up three years running
The small town of Whitby was a community built for scientists at the height of World War II, meant to house the smartest, brightest, and most extreme leaders in new sciences. Since the end of the war, the families have settled down and are now enjoying the town that was built for them, and the children of those scientists are growing up. Nothing in Whitby is what it seems, and several students are about to learn firsthand how strange it can be. Join us next week for the start of Laemmle High in…
When creativity is at a minimum, we turn to other sources.
I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. I started this blog to give myself some accountability in my writing, so I could work and focus on projects like I need to. Unfortunately my depression an usual avalanche of ideas makes it difficult to focus at times, and lately I’ve been struggling. I’ve been trying to come up with something I would update regularly here. Not something on a schedule, or anything concrete, but a story I could add a few thousand words to, slap it up here, and consider myself a content creator. Of course, since I have so many ideas, it was hard to choose one, and to help my creative juices flow I ended up making a few mood boards.
Ghost Girls was a concept I came up with while over at my Fear Street blog. There were several aspects to my fake pitch for a Fear Street TV series I liked, mainly a Scully/Mulder dynamic between a girl who’d experienced things and another girl who’d been Scooby-Doo’d. I bumped them up to college age, and added a few more aspects: a conspiracy, no concrete proof that the supernatural is real, a haunted house. I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to these kids, but I had fun making a spooky board for them.
A story I’d started working on back in high school was that of a high school that suddenly had an influx of monsters and creatures out of a horror movie, and a girl reporter went around collecting everyone’s stories. A little while later I revisited, gave it a more concrete plot, a time travel element, and focused on each generation’s fear of the future. The story came a little to close to Men and Monsters purely because of its monster mash element, and I ended up dropping it for a long time. When I came back to it, I worried the frivolity of it had gone out, and I reconsidered Dracula Drive as a monster hop. Now everyone’s a vampire, a werewolf, a catwoman, a mummy, and they all do normal 1950s teen stuff. I worry, of course, about its resemblance to another popular franchise about monsters going to high school, and honestly I have such a soft spot for the original concept that I’m not quite ready to change it, but I’m a little proud of this board.
This story came strangely easily to me. I’ve wanted to do an adventurers style story for a long time and have come up with at least three different crews and eventually rejected them all. The idea of an adventuring school was a fun one, Harry Potter-esque while stealing more from D&D than other fantasy stories. I wanted it to be kind of fantasy punk as well, with the students dressed in a median between modern fashion and renaissance faire, and allowing them to talk like humans instead of Ye Olde Speech. The concept is fun, colorful, and I found a good team to work with, so I dashed this together to give myself some inspiration.
An excerpt from a love letter to the Universal Monsters.
I’ve had an awful lot of fun lately taking concepts I started a long, long time ago and revamping them. It’s shown me how much I’ve grown as a writer, and how much experience I’ve accumulated. This story started as something very different. It started a long time ago. But in reviewing the concept, I considered a few things: 1) I liked the idea of a gaslight horror mystery, and the Victorian era became an easy ground to sow these seeds, and 2) I’d grown up on the Universal Monsters, so I included more characters to better match the traditional monster lineup. This became a love letter to things I adored, from monster mashes, to goofy ahistorical histories, to the only classical literature I enjoyed, to the things I longed to see more of in fiction. This is the story I’ve dedicated my time to finishing and will begin editing soon, so I thought I’d give a little sneak preview.