Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Golden Mask: The Story Behind the Story

Nope, don't worry. This is not another post explaining the "voting" process that led to the creation of "Meet Mark," Parts One, Two, Three, and Four!

I received one public comment and two private emails saying approximately the same thing -- I'll quote from Blunoz' comment, here -- "I was intrigued how you wove yourself into the background of the story, too. How much (if any) of the story about you was truth? Did you ever really have some idiot try to rob you with a knife at That's Entertainment? Did he really threaten the comics with a Bic lighter?"

How much of all that was true? Not much. Quoting -- and slightly editing -- from Part 3 of "Meet Mark," here's the genesis of the original, non-psychic costumed hero named Golden Mask:

Paul Howley and I had been talking about publishing a "real" comic book, based in Worcester. I went home and came up with a character -- a so-called 'costumed athlete,' no one with real powers -- named Golden Mask. A guy based right there in Worcester. A simple uniform, all black, except for a gold-colored mask which gave the character his name.

Not long after, I showed up at the store again and started telling Paul Howley about the character I was developing. I didn't even get to say the name before Paul said something to the effect of, "Oh, I already
have a character. Insect Man!"

After Paul had said that the so-called "Worcester comic" was going to be
Insect Man, nobody ever got to hear about my Golden Mask character...

....until "Meet Mark," of course. (David M. Lynch's Oft-Quoted First Rule of Writing: "Never Throw Anything Away.")

Part of my mid-1980s plot for Golden Mask's origin, designed so that the comic could "plug" That's Entertainment, was that a would-be robber (not a strung-out addict, just a run-of-the-mill idiot) would attempt the "lame" robbery I described, armed with only a knife and a Bic lighter.

In this earlier version, the non-psychic Golden Mask (who was not named Mark Arthur, although I don't recall what his name was) visited the store in his civilian identity to see if there was a comic book superhero named Golden Mask before him. My storyline established that there was such a character & title -- although, to my knowledge, there wasn't a "real' Golden Mask Comics title in reality -- but since he was a fictional character whose copyrights and trademark had expired, "my" Golden Mask decided to use the name anyway.

Golden Mask foiled the pathetic robbery attempt in the old-fashioned way. He beat the crap out of the guy, and the clerk -- who I may have intended to be me, but was more probably T.E.'s owner, Paul Howley -- called the cops.

(In my original version, neither eggs nor an umbrella were involved. Sorry.)

A few weeks later, Golden Mask returned to the store in his civilian garb and bought the Golden Mask comic he'd found during that earlier visit.

Hmm. Wonder how much Golden Mask #1 would be worth today on the collectors' market?

Thanks for your time.

1 comment:

  1. I am not into comic books so I will make a guess and say it would be worth slightly more than Golden Mask #2? lol


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