When Endings Begin: Walt Jaschek on Recycled Man

comic books, Comics, Original Content

This is writer Walt Jaschek’s introduction to the comic book Recycled Man: What Goes Around, published by Comicmood Studios, and available now on Amazon Kindle. The text introduction is titled, “When Endings Begin.” It’s about the impulse behind Walt’s creation of Recycled Man, and in particular about his power to “accelerate Karma.”

“What goes around, comes around.”

A somewhat world-weary, cigarette-smoking art director I worked with back in my ad agency days used to say that a lot. 

He was right a lot.

He wasn’t talking metaphysically. More transactionally. If the flu is going around, you’re going to get the flu. (That was before the the shot. I am pro-shot.) If a client pays late, the agency is going to pay late. If somebody buys lunch with a counterfeit dollar, you’re going to get it as change.

He also used lean back, blow a smoke ring, and say, “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” My younger self had to actively shrug that off. My carefully crafted optimism had to be shielded. 

But he was right about that, too, in his way. We’re here for a blink, the challenges never stop, and if you don’t hone optimism and resilience, life will seem, as per Thomas Hobbes, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”  

“Life’s a bitch and then you die” is snappier, I think.

All those quotes were on my mind when the notion of Recycled Man was born a few years ago, in a notebook, late at night.

My concept of Karma – as in, creating your ultimate fate through the arc of your daily behavior – was continuing to evolve. I kept seeing both good and bad behavior manifest fate indirectly, and over time. Thieves don’t necessarily get robbed in return, but check out prematurely. Robbed of time. The corrupt are called out, at least by history. The poor winner loses it all.

Eventually. But often the pace of Karmic repercussions can be glacial, as in glaciers, which we used to have.

My impulse for Recycled Man was that he could accelerate Karma. He could cut to the chase. See the nasty out the door.

This introductory story, in which he does just that, hints – not subtly – at a backstory I worked out in the very same notebook.

It is, I hope you’ll understand, a deliberate change-up for me: a toe-tip into (what I hope is) pulpy drama. That’s new for a writer whose work is typically more light-hearted. Or was.

But as Don Secrease started adding seer-your-retina color to Paul Daly’s evocative art, I knew we had to get a print and digital edition out there – partially to gauge reaction, partially to give our new publishing company, Comicmood, a jump-start. (Will the story continue? Oh yes, if engagement and sales warrant. Let us know what you think at comicmood.com.)

Filling out the issue: a new story I guest-wrote for Terranauts: 2020, an incarnation of the long-running team created by Paul and Don, and on loan for this appearance. “The Call of Cold, Dark Places” matches the book’s tone, I thought. 

More Comicmood characters are in development — get ready, here they come —and I think they all have a certain Karma of their own. The unworthy will vanish quietly. (Or maybe not-so quietly. I’m a comics fan, too. I know how we are.) The worthy?

They’ll come around.  •

Recycled Man: What Goes Around is available as a digital download on Amazon Kindle.

Walt Jaschek IS Dr. D’abo IN “Sons of the Saddle” (1995) B-Western Movie Parody

Comic Movies, Videos, Walt Jaschek on Camera

It’s 1899 and Dr. Devlin D’Abo (Walt Jaschek) believes he alone can lead the United State of America into the Twentieth Century. To help him take control of the federal government, D’Abo creates a weapon that will make his arm of desperadoes invisible. Only the Sons of the Saddle (Don Secrease, Rick Burchett, Bill Lux) stand between the mad doctor and his plan to unite western hemisphere under one supreme leader… D’Abo himself!

— From the DVD jacket for “Sons of the Saddle: The Invisible Rayders: Chapter 4: Doorway to Doom”

Writer/director Don Secrease (working under pseudonyms Sean Ryan and Manny Handz) was the creative force behind this amateur film and B-Western movie parody made by enthusiastic B-movie fans. As backstory, Don wrote the below…

Abbreviated Backstory

This serial chapter of Sons of the Saddle’s “The Invisible Rayders” (chapter 4 “Doorway to Doom”) was made by a group of B-movie/serial fans for fun, to be shared by friends and family.

It was the summer of ’95, a few of us were discussing fan-made, straight-to-video movies, comparing good to bad, FX, etc., produced by Skeleton Creek Prod., W.A.V.E. Prod., B. Black’s Nightveil Media (its contemporary name.) These films were viewed, discussed, admired for their ingenuity and enthusiastic presentations.

Our ragtag team of B-movie aficionados decided to gather friends and family and create our own movie-making inadequacy.

We selected characters from our daily gag comic strip, “Sons of the Saddle,” wrote a 12-chapter serialized story, picked a random chapter, scripted it – then started rounding up the usual suspects – not to mention costuming, horses and tack.

All fell into place once we scouted our locations. Our major battles filming that summer: a Missouri heatwave, reliable video cameras and, finally, appropriate music. Since this was made for private amusement (or condemnation) and nor for sale, we picked background music from a few public-domain serials & B-westerns.

Enjoy!

Why we created the Herobots™: It begins with a bored boy…

Coloring Books, Creator-Owned, Herobots, Walt a Life

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By Walt Jaschek

When I approached ace St. Louis illustrators Don Secrease and Bill Lux for help in bringing to life The Herobots and launching the characters in a coloring and games book, I was thinking of a bored 6-year-old boy. And myself.

It started with a specific 6-year-old boy. A crabby, impatient, hungry one. I don’t know his name. But he was part of a big crowd enduring a long wait in the lobby of a pancake restaurant with his mother. He was squirming, and I could tell he was desperate for some stimulation, any stimulation. His mother didn’t engage him; didn’t hand him a pencil and paper; or even her phone. (I guess I should be happy about that part.)

I felt the restless boredom radiate out of this young man, and I immediately I wished I had on me a coloring book young kids might like, about, oh, say, superhero robot action figures. I wished I could also hand him some crayons and tell him to “have at.” (With Mom’s permission, of course.) I even had a name bouncing around my mind: the HEROBOTS.

A few months later, after great work by Don and Bill, working from a script by me, we sent to the printers Herobots Coloring and Games Book #1. Here’s the front cover…

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Here’s the back cover.herobots-backcover

Here are a few pages from the story-to-color. The Herobots are actually action figures, you see, by day, living on the shelf of Sally’s Comics and Toys store. 

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2009646_herobots-coloringbook2-int (1)_Page_13The plot thickens.

And yes, there are also games!

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The 48-page softcover is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but it’s the stack of hard copies I keep on me at busy pancake restaurants that I value most. Because these are the copies I can hand…

…to give random, bored 6-year olds. Bless them. Because I am one of them. Always. It’s why I create, I think. Or at least why I created this video preview of the first few pages of the book. Warning: the narration is by me. (Which you can turn off — just watch the captions!)

So, you ask, is the Herobots Coloring and Games book selling on Amazon and Barnes and Noble? We wouldn’t say it’s selling like, well, pancakes. But we don’t mind. It’s that moment of handing one to a bored kid — for free — that makes up for it.

And speaking of free…

Here’s a FREE boredom-busting bonus!  With just a few clicks, parents of young readers and colorists can get FREE downloadable, printable coloring pages of the Herobots and their foes. Bots of fun for rainy days.

I like to imagine a restless 6-year-old being a little less bored now.

At least for a while.

Walt Jaschek home

Free, Downloadable Coloring Pages of the Herobots™: Superhero Robots and Dinosaurs

Coloring Books, Coloring Pages, Creator-Owned, Herobots
Video preview of the Herobots Coloring and Games Book

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Walt Jaschek and Don Secrease offer free, downloadable coloring pages of superhero robots: the stars of the Herobots Coloring and Games Book #1. Below, you’ll see the three Herobots  — Props, Wheely and Fynn — along with their foes, TREX and the Terrobot. Want to download any and all for the young colorist in your life? Just drag the image to your desktop, click on it, and hit “print.”

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Want more Herobots action? Take a look at the Herobots Coloring and Games Book, for young readers, on sale on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble

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 They are the Herobots! They’re bots of fun!

(P.S. Read about WHY we created the Herobots. It begins with a bored boy…)

S

 

 

Golden Adventures of Brett Hull: Issue 1 of 3

Branded Entertainment, Comic Writing, Concepting and Copywriting

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Golden Adventures of Brett Hull #1: “Slap Shot to Destiny.” Publisher: The Patrick Company. Agency: Hinkle & Company. Writer: Walt Jaschek and Brock Hanke. Artists: Don Secrease, Bill Lux, Rick Burchett, Bill Vann. (Full credits and backstory here.) Below are the interior spreads! Enjoy this journey back to St. Louis, 1994. “Hold on to your seats, Blues fans,” the story begins. “We’ve got some kind of hockey game here at the Kiel Center tonight…”

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To be continued in Issue #2: “Power Play: 2094!” (Read it now.)

Series backstory and full credits | Walt Jaschek home

Here’s the 1994 TV spot promoting the release of these comics. Cool work by The Patrick Company.

Golden Adventures of Brett Hull: Issue 2 of 3

Branded Entertainment, Comic Writing, Comics, Concepting and Copywriting

bretthull-2-cover

“Golden Adventures of Brett Hull” Issue #2: “Power Play: 2094” | Continued from Issue #1 | Publisher: The Patrick Company. Agency: Hinkle & Company. Writers: Walt Jaschek and Brock Hanke. Artists: Don Secrease, Rick Burchett, Bill Lux and Bill Vann. 
Read the series backstory and full credits

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To be continued in Issue #3: “Sudden Death Overtime!”

Go back to Issue #1 | Read the series backstory and full credits | Walt Jaschek home

These comics were unveiled in this 1994 TV commercial starring Brett Hull, produced by The Patrick Company.

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