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Comic books: 365 new superheroes; some anthropomorphic

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Dog Wonder WomanCat Wonder WomanWired has an article and interview with Pixar artist Everett Downing, who made a New Year’s resolution to create a new superhero for each day of the new year. That was three years ago, but Downing currently has 285 new heroes and plans to have 365 by the end of 2013.

Many of the superheroes are not anthropomorphic, but the Wired article shows several that are, including the Hulking Mulch, Lance-a-Lot, Dober-Man, and unnamed others.

What are Downing’s plans after he finishes? “A comic book ‘one-shot’ featuring the best of his creation seems like the logical next step.”

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And super heroes come to feast / To taste the flesh, not yet deceased / And all I know is . . . still the beast is feeding.

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Is it really a new superhero if it's basically just dressing some other person/creature in the exact same outfit as an already iconic superhero? I mean right on this page we see two different Wonder Woman characters - a cat and a dog, dressed just like WW and armed with her lasso.

I mean it's an interesting goal but a quick glance makes me wonder if he took the laziest way out of completing this goal by just redrawing a ton of already patented characters rather than really come up with something new. Maybe he'd have had an easier time of it establishing a superhero world first and then creating 365 characters to populate it.

I'm reminded of one of the stories from the Wayside School books, one character tried to draw as many things as possible within the lunch hour. By the end of the story she learned that quality is better than quantity and ended up spending the following day's lunch hour just completing the whisker of her next art project.

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The Wired article lists several non-anthropomorphic superheroes that do not have existing counterparts, like Power Fist, Re-Pete, Pandorceress, Chip Scarab, Dollar Bill, The Rookie, Flora, Ed Nauseam, Envy, and a lot more that are not named such as the superhero with an acorn motif in the final drawing. There have been so many costumed heroes and villains from the 1930s to the present that it can be argued that any new hero looks suspiciously like some former character. Downing admits that not all of his ideas are winners; presumably the more ridiculous, ugly, risqué, and derivative heroes will be weeded out.

Fred Patten

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Actually, Power Fist sounds like the original Heroes for Hire, Luke Cage a.k.a. Power Man and Iron Fist squished together, and there was a Dollar Bill in Watchmen.

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Wow, just spotted that there already is a Dober-Man character... and I think the original version is probably ten times better than whatever he imagined as a "new" character XD

http://comicbookdb.com/character.php?ID=22308

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http://www.comics.org/issue/19944/cover/4/

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Well, yes. There is something cheesy about creating new superheroes and THEN figuring out stories to justify them.

Fred Patten

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We need superheroes (and villains) relevant to today's issues, like Tax Man and the Tea Partiers, and Captain Twitter.

"If social networks had super-powers . . ." - I can see the photo montage on Cracked.com now!

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"Tax Man"

There was Captain Tax Time.

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Tax Man and the Tea Partiers sounds more like a retro rock band than a superhero team.

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How is that dog even running? Her ankles are obviously broken.

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics