November 29, 2010

Super Animation #1


See more Super animations on Aaron Dietz's YouTube channel.

November 21, 2010

A Superhero Meeting


In Super, there's a chapter that consists of the minutes from a regular ol' Superhero meeting. During the TNBLE Seattle reading, I wanted to present this chapter, and instead of just reading the minutes, I ran a live meeting similar to the one that transpired in the book, including the audience as Superhero attendees of the meeting.



Thanks to Arianne Garden Vazquez for videotaping the reading, and thanks to Priya Keefe and Chris Hammersley for playing the parts of Moonclaw and Auslander!

November 17, 2010

Harry Potter Book 7 Summary - SPOILERS!!!



In honor of the Harry Potter release of part 1 of the movie of book 7,
I'm reposting my entire book 7 summary, from way back when. There are
spoilers, but if you haven't read it by now, when are you ever going to?


Chapter 1


Voldemort invites a bunch of boring aristocrats over for dinner. Nobody eats.


Chapter 2


Harry Potter reads the news.


Chapter 3


Harry Potter's uncle exhibits his wizard-phobic tendencies for the
hundredth time in the series. Dudley, Harry Potter's cousin, confesses
his love for Harry.


Chapter 4


The wizards spend six pages discussing a simple plan to move Harry
Potter to a safer place. Then, Harry spends nine pages crashing a
motorcycle.


Chapter 5


Apparently, some wizard I can't remember from previous Harry Potter books dies. The remaining wizards drink.


Chapter 6


Harry, Ron, and Hermione do chores.


Chapter 7


Harry Potter opens birthday presents, makes out with Ginny, and then
makes out with a snitch left to him through Dumbledore's will.


Chapter 8


A decidedly ordinary wedding and celebration drones on for 20 pages
before an exciting message is delivered: "The ministry [of Magic] has
fallen." The chapter finally ends.


Chapter 9


The wedding celebration is crashed by Death Eaters, but Harry, Ron, and
Hermione escape lickety-split. Harry gets a headache, for the second or
third time already in this book.


Chapter 10


Harry Potter rummages around in Grimmauld Place, an old hideout of the Order of the Phoenix. He finds nothing.


Chapter 11


Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue hanging out in Grimmauld Place, doing
nothing. Harry is mean to their only two visitors: Lupin and Mundungus.


Chapter 12


Harry, Ron, and Hermione actually do something, and by "something", I
mean they sneak into the Ministry of Magic's headquarters. However,
their sneaky plan takes so long that the chapter ends before anything
cool happens.


Chapter 13


After 340 pages, something finally happens! Harry, Ron, and Hermione
steal the horcrux from inside the Ministry! Of course, I am still trying
to remember what a horcrux is and why they need it because despite this
book's excessive length, it hasn't managed to fill me in on that
(perhaps it's my fault I can't remember anything that happened in the
last book except Dumbledore dying like a wimp).


Chapter 14


Harry has a dream that doesn't make sense (for about the fifth time in the book).


Chapter 15


Ron and Harry have a fight over -- surprise -- they have a fight over how they never do anything. Ron goes home.


Chapter 16


Harry's been wanting to go to Godric's Hollow for 400 pages. He finally goes there.


Chapter 17


Harry and Hermione are attacked by a snake but escape, at the expense of
Harry's wand, which is broken in the confusing battle. The battle would
have been less confusing (and much more exciting) had Harry not been in
a magical stupor or dreaming the whole time. As it is, this fight
sequence comes across as a bad description of a drug trip.


Chapter 18


Harry reads an entire chapter of a book.


Chapter 19


Ron is lead by a mysterious light to rejoin Harry, whom Ron saves from
drowning. Ron also finds the sword of Gryffindor and destroys the
Horcrux. Then, they talk about all this with Hermione for 10 pages.


Chapter 20


Ron catches Harry and Hermione up on the latest wizard news, then they
all visit the Lovegoods to find out more about the symbol of the Deathly
Hallows.


Chapter 21


Harry, Ron, and Hermione spring a trap at the Lovegoods, but not before
they listen to tales about the Deathly Hallows. Somewhere mid-chapter,
they discuss wand lengths in a thinly-veiled penis-size joke.


Chapter 22


Harry, Ron, and Hermione listen to the radio. Then, Harry says the word,
"Voldemort" and suddenly they are surrounded by nasty folks, as the
Ministry has instituted a way of tracking the name.


Chapter 23


The trio is captured by the nasty folks (which begs the question: if
Hermione has time to cast a spell on Harry in order to disguise him, why
didn't she just grab Harry and Ron and Disapparate out of there like
she's been doing time and time again throughout the book so far?).
However, the disguise spell doesn't even matter, because Harry is
eventually found out and they are brought to the Malfoys. Voldemort is
summoned but before he can get there, Dobby the house elf saves Harry by
Disapparating him away, with the sword of Gryffindor and the goblin,
Griphook. There is a confusing moment in which I think Dobby dies
because the sword accidentally punctured him, but in the next chapter I
learn that Dobby died from a dagger thrown right at Harry Potter as they
Disapparated. Don't ask me how a dagger thrown right at Harry ends up
killing Dobby because I don't know. Dobby's last words are,
"Harry..Potter..."


Chapter 24


Harry Potter digs a grave for Dobby and figures out where the Elder Wand
is (at Hogwarts). He figures that Voldemort is going after the Elder
Wand, but since Dumbledore wanted Harry to go for Horcruxes, he decides
not to go after the wand himself. This is probably a good decision,
because if someone told me about a wand that made you unbeatable, and
then explained how the wand had been passed down from wizard to wizard
after each new owner defeated the previous owner, I'd be a little
suspicious of the "unbeatable" claim.


Chapter 25


Harry is a little surprised at himself for deciding not to try to beat
Voldemort to the Elder Wand, especially as he can "not remember ever
before, choosing not to act". Apparently, Harry has forgotten most of
the first half of this book. Harry makes an ill-advised, sneaky deal
with Griphook, the goblin, that contains a lot of ultimately irrelevant
foreboding overtones, for while Harry, Ron, and Hermione think that they
need the sword of Gryffindor to destroy Horcruxes, they are
conveniently proven wrong later on in the book.


Chapter 26


Surprise! What with all the foreboding undertones and all, no one would
actually be surprised that Griphook takes off with the sword the minute
he gets his hands on it. However, he does help Harry, Ron, and Hermione
break into a Gringott's vault. Then, the three of them escape by riding a
dragon out. In the meantime, they manage to steal the cup of
Hufflepuff, which is apparently a Horcrux. I know I'm not reading this
as closely as some Harry Potter fans, but this is the first I've heard
of this Hufflepuff cup being a Horcrux. Was this actually mentioned
somewhere earlier?


Chapter 27


For some reason (perhaps a lack of fact-checking), Voldemort thinks he's
the one that killed Dumbledore (on p. 704). He also finally figures out
that Harry is hunting Horcruxes and goes to check on them to see that
they're safe. Harry, meanwhile, reads Voldemort's mind through his
dream/bond connection and thusly finds out the "last Horcrux" is at
Hogwarts.


Chapter 28


Harry, Ron, and Hermione Disapperate into Hogsmeade, but the whole place
is swarming with Death Eaters looking for them. They are saved by
someone they recognize as the bartender from the Hog's Head, then no one
expresses any amount of surprise when they discover he is actually
Albus Dumbledore's brother. He agrees to help them sneak into Hogwarts,
then Neville Longbottom hops out of a portrait.


Chapter 29


After walking through a portrait into Hogwarts, Dumbledore's Army
gathers (this includes people I actually remember, like Luna, Fred,
George, Ginny, and Cho). Somehow, they reason that the "last Horcrux"
looks like the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw, so Luna takes Harry to
see a sculpture of it so they know what it looks like. Then, they are
caught by Alecto Carrow (apparently one of the evil people I don't
remember from previous books), who immediately summons Voldemort.


Chapter 30


Luna takes care of one Carrow (both the Carrow twins I don't remember
are there now), then Professor McGonagall shows up and takes care of the
other. Then, McGonagall decides to risk it all, sends Snape into
cowardly running, and alerts the entire castle while beginning an
evacuation plan for the kids. Meanwhile, the rest of the Weasley family
shows up, as well as Lupin, Harry's whole Quidditch team, and more--they
are all ready to fight Voldemort who is at the gates.


Chapter 31


Ron and Hermione figure out a way to destroy the Hufflepuff Horcrux,
then they catch up to Harry who has figured out where the "last Horcrux"
is. They find it, destroy it, then mention that they still have to
destroy the snake, Nagini, who is apparently now the last Horcrux.
Meanwhile, they have a run-in with Crabbe, Goyle, and Draco. Crabbe dies
of his own ineptitude and Goyle and Draco need to be rescued from
Crabbe's fire creatures. At the end of the chapter, there is some kind
of confusing event (explosion?) during the battle of Hogwarts and Fred
Weasley dies.


Chapter 32


Harry, Ron, and Hermione fight their way through mayhem including
spiders, giants, and dementors. They use the tunnel that starts at the
Whomping Willow to crawl to where Voldemort is talking to Snape. Harry
spies on Voldemort as he tells Snape (essentially) that he experiences
erectile dysfunction whenever he faces Harry Potter (this is couched in
terms like "my wand failed" and such). Then, Voldemort explains that
since Snape killed Dumbledore and that Voldemort took Dumbledore's wand,
Voldemort must kill Snape to be the full "owner" of the Elder Wand. So
he has Nagini bite Snape and runs off to join the battle. Harry comes
out of hiding to watch Snape die, but when Snape sees him Snape says,
"Take it...take it..." and then dies, but not before he emits a shifty,
silvery blue non-gas that Harry and Hermione collect in a flask. We know
that Harry knows what it is because Rowling tells us, but I don't know
what it is until next chapter, because I don't remember every solid
thing about the Harry Potter universe.


Chapter 33


Voldemort gives everybody one hour to send Harry Potter to meet him in
the Forbidden Forest. Then, Harry ditches Ron and Hermione and uses the
vial of Snape's memories to do some sightseeing in Snape's past. We find
out that Snape was on Dumbledore's side all along, and had even been
asked to kill Dumbledore, and this partnership came about because of
Snape's childhood crush on Lily, Harry's mother.


Chapter 34


Harry Potter decides to go through with the plan: give himself up to
Voldemort. Apparently, Ron and Hermione could give a crap because they
don't even bother trying to find him and help. Harry grabs the
Resurrection Stone, chats with a bunch of ghosts (his parents, Sirius,
and more), sees Neville Longbottom (and tells him to kill Nagini), then
meets up with Voldemort. Harry lets Voldemort draw his wand and flash a
green light at him.


Chapter 35


Harry is suddenly in some sort of other-world. He has a conversation
with Dumbledore, where Dumbledore sort of explains that Harry is dead,
or not, depending on Harry's choice. Dumbledore seems to be saying that
since Voldemort and Harry are bound as one, Harry can go back to life,
now, without the part of Voldemort's soul that he used to be carrying.
This doesn't make a ton of sense, but whatever.


Chapter 36


Harry comes back to life, then plays dead as Voldemort has Harry's body
carried back to Hogwarts. When they get to the school, there is a brief
demonstration of Voldemort's power just before all heck breaks loose.
The centaurs and house elves get involved and Neville destroys the
"last" Horcrux by slicing up Voldemort's serpent friend (even though
Dumbledore described Harry as the last Horcrux in Chapter 35). Hasn't
there been at least three different things in this book described as the
"last Horcrux"? Never mind. Then, a battle takes place in which the
Death Eaters are routed and somehow Harry and Voldemort end up facing
off with everyone watching (and doing nothing). Then Harry explains that
Draco is the "real" master of the Elder Wand and since Harry defeated
Draco during the last few chapters, Harry is the real master now. I'm
completely unclear on a bunch of things, here. How did Draco become
master of the Elder Wand? How did Neville get a hold of the sword of
Gryffindor? (Last I knew, it was in a goblin's hands.) And I'm still
thinking it doesn't really make any sense that Harry came back to life
and all. But, whatever. Harry wins.


Epilogue


We are presented with proof that Harry and Ginny finally got it on,
because now it is 19 years later and they have three kids. Ron and
Hermione managed it, too, as they are there, sending their kid off to
Hogwarts, also. Neville is apparently a teacher at Hogwarts, but we are
given no information on what Harry, Ron, and Hermione are doing (besides
raising kids). Maybe they're just doing a lot of camping.

Super Dumb Survey/Quiz MySpace Laserz ♥ Vincent Truman Gus Sanchez Sequel 2 Conspiracy No Joke!!11!!!1!

It's the Super Dumb Survey/Quiz MySpace Laserz ♥ Vincent Truman Gus Sanchez Sequel 2 Conspiracy No Joke!!11!!!1! quiz!

Neither Gus, nor Vincent, nor anyone else (all the paloozans, etc.) can be blamed for what follows, which is my attempt at writing a MySpace quiz based on my novel, Super.


1-If you were a Superhero, what would your Superhero name be?
Superman. What? Is that taken or something?


2-What would your super power be?
The power to have more than one super power. Otherwise: useless.


3-Name the first thing you would use your super powers for.
Curing starvancer (Hey, I'd do two things at once)


4-Describe your archenemy.
My archenemy would look like, sound like, and be Tila Tequila.


5-What would your weakness be?
My lack of weaknesses--gets me every time!


6-Would you have a secret identity or would you go public?
Probably secret identity. I'm not ready to go corporate.


7-Name something you would keep in your utility belt.
Another utility belt. Just in case.


8-Alleyway or rooftop?
Am I choosing where I want my groceries delivered?


9-Work solo or with a team?
With a team, until I was popular enough for my own comic.


10-Complete this phrase: "Stand aside, civilian, I'll ______"
...be wanting to use this sidewalk from 4 to 4:30 every day.


11-Would you rescue the puppy, the cow, or the snake?
I'm a vegetarian, so whichever's handiest at gardening.


12-How much do you think Superheroes should be paid?
I've heard about something called "Spades". Is that a lot?


13-Sidekick or no sidekick?
Sidekicks are basically slave labor. Accept only Fair Trade Sidekicks!


14-What will your battle cry be?
I like Monty Python's: "Run away! Run away! Run away!"

November 12, 2010

Become a Superhero: The Video


My novel, Super, is a very interactive novel, and even a year or so ago, I was experimenting with ways to demonstrate what the book was like in a live setting.

The following is one such experiment, attempted in December of 2009, well before I even had a complete Superhero costume.



Thanks to Arianne Garden Vazquez and Kymberlee della Luce for volunteering, and thanks to Arianne for filming!

November 07, 2010

Become a Superhero!

At the Book Release Party for Super on Tuesday night, guests will walk in and be transformed into a Superhero with complimentary capes, Superhero logos, masks, and more!

If you're not able to make it to the book release party, there are still many ways in which you, too, can experience a transition into a Superhero lifestyle!

1. Turn your phone into a Super phone by downloading a Super mobile phone background image, designed by Super book designer Charlie Potter.

2. Turn your computer into a Super computer by downloading a Super desktop background, also designed by Charlie Potter.

3. Photoshop images of your own by adding the Super logo and other official designs to your images. Download a set of Super assets here (for personal use only--you may not sell or distribute works made with these assets). Here's a low-resolution preview of the assets:



Just putting the logo on a sign is hilarious enough (see example 1 and example 2), but the following is an example of someone going way overboard (in a delightfully positive way):


November 04, 2010

Free Chapter from My Novel, Super

First, download a free chapter from my novel, Super. Then, print it out (it’s one sheet of paper). Next, follow the instructions below to fold it up into a booklet.



If you’re in Seattle on Tuesday, November 9, stop by the book release party. If you don’t show up in costume, we’ll turn you into a Superhero on the spot! It’s at The Hideout, at 8pm.