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.

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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

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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…)

©2010-2018 Walt Jaschek, Don Secrease and Bill Lux.

Walt Jaschek home.

How to Kill a Pitch: Video Satirizing Ad Biz

Concepting and Copywriting, Entertainment, Humor Writing, Original Content, Short Films, Videos

Oh, creatives! Don’t fall on that sword over your favorite idea. Certainly don’t pull pistols! “How to Kill a Pitch” is a cautionary comedy video Walt Jaschek wrote on this subject, directed by Angie Lawling, shot by Chris Lawling, produced by Mercury Films. All in good fun: it’s movie blood. Client not loving your latest idea? There’s another one, you know. Come up with it and live, damn it!

Spoiler: look for a cameo by Walt himself in the final scene, amid the “agency in waiting.” Full credits on IMDB.

Bonus: For those who like to read this sort of thing, here’s…

“How to Kill a Pitch”: The Shooting Script
by Walt Jaschek

Characters:

Jon / Creative Director – Agency
Jeanette / Account Director – Agency
Bernard / Chief Marketing Officer – Client
Brooke / Marketing Manager – Client
Ethan / Office Assistant – Client

Extras: The next agency in line to present / 3 people, non-speaking, cameo

BLACK SCREEN

Fade in title: How to Kill a Pitch

Fade up sound of a small group laughing. Title fades out and the laughter bridges across the CUT TO:

INT – CLIENT CONFERENCE ROOM

Jon and Jeanette are wrapping up a presentation to clients Bernard and Brooke. It’s obviously gone well. The laughter is dying down. Jon puts the last of a series of foam core boards face down on a stack.

JON:  And with that final, funny scene, this spot serves as climax to a completely integrated, cross-platform marketing campaign that is “locked and loaded.” Let’s pull that trigger.

JEANETTE:  And from a strategy perspective, it is right on strategy. Right. On.

BERNARD:  Well, Jon, Jeanette: this is fantastic work. Wonderful. A home run. Hilarious, memorable, unforgettable, really. I was totally entertained every second.

Brooke is agreeing with her boss via a series of verbal cues:  “Right, Uh-huh, it is, yes.” The agency people are beaming. Bernard, though, has one more card to play.

BERNARD:  But…

Uh-oh. The agency people trade glances. It’s the “but.” The client’s demeanor changes to a concerned scowl.

BERNARD:  I worry. Is it TOO entertaining? TOO engaging? If we go on the air with something this noticeable, this excellent, will the spot wear out faster? Will people get tired of it? Will we have set a standard of being “excellent” that we’ll have to meet each time?

He gives the word “excellent” air quotes, of course.

Jon and Marcy are completely drained by this exasperating reaction, which they’ve obviously heard before.  It’s just too much.

JON (to Jeanette):  Will you just kill me now?

JEANETTE:  I’m sorry?

JON:  Will you kill me? Right now? Here? On the spot.

Jeanette considers this with sobriety.

JEANETTE: Well, hmmm, yes. Yes, I will. But only if you kill me simultaneously.

JON:  Simultaneously? 

JEANETTE:  Yes.

JON:  That’s a deal.

JEANETTE: Let’s do it.

JON:  I’m in.

Jon pulls a pistol from his sock.  Jeanette pulls a pistol from a Coach handbag.

The clients seem to be bemused by this. But sure enough, the CD and AE point the guns at each other.  Creative director counts down:  “3… 2…. 1…. now.”

Reaction shot of the clients as the creative director and account executive shoot each other in the heads.  BLAM! BLAM! The clients get a little splattered blood on them. We see the bodies of the CD and AE slump to the floor.

But the clients aren’t really disturbed. Brooke turns to Bernard with a studied earnestness.

BROOKE: I don’t think he knew how to answer your question.

Bernard nods. This is the right response from his subordinate. The onus is on the agency, which obviously flaked out.

KER-CHUNK! The client assistant, Ethan, opens the door to the conference room.

ETHAN THE ASSISTANT: Shall I send in the next agency?

Bernard and Brooke straighten, gather papers.  Brooke smiles up at Ethan.

BERNARD:  Certainly.

BROOKE:  Yes, please do.

CUT TO: EXTERIOR HALLWAY

Ethan, holding the smile, turn and looks down the hallway.

REVERSE ANGLE – HALLWAY – ETHAN’S POINT OF VIEW

A group of anxious, smiling people from the next agency, all holding their presentation materials, looking to Ethan for the “come hither” signal.

REVERSE ANGLE – Back to Ethan

With a small hand gesture, he beckons the next agency to advance.

CUT TO BLACK

CREDITS SEQUENCE

Quick single-screen credit cuts and scroll over a lively, jaunty “Ragtime” tune.

“See?,” the music seems to say. “It was all in good fun.”

THE END

Walt Jaschek home

Marvel Comics Flashback: Walt’s Team-Up With Jim Lee in What The–?! #5

Collaborators, Comic Writing, Comics, Humor Writing

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Walt Jaschek looks back on his story in What The–? #5, Marvel’s self-parody comic, originally published in 1989. Walt recalls:

“Just as my freelance writing business was heating up, my friend and superstar comic artist invited me to do a short piece in Marvel’s humor anthology” His idea was teaming up characters who really didn’t belong together. I called it ‘Ill-Conceived Character Couplings.’  As I look back now, I see it was really a bunch of inside jokes for those reading comic at the time. But it was such a privilege to work with Jim and get that first check from Marvel. Even now I think back and say, ‘Did that really happen?’ In other words: ‘What The–?'”

Here is the Hilary Barta’s cover to the issue, followed by the story itself. Credits below.

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“Ill-Conceived Character Couplings: Team-Ups That Just Wouldn’t Work”
Comic for Marvel’s parody anthology What The–?! The Marvel Mag of Mirth and Mayhem (Issue #5, 1989.) Script: Walt Jaschek. Plot and Pencils: Jim Lee. Inks: Al Milgrom. Letters: Jim Parker. Cover: Hilary Barta.

See more comics written by Walt

Walt Writing and Pacing in His Home Office: A Typical Day Compressed Into 43 Seconds.

Process Posts, Video, Walt a Life

Yes, I pace and write, simultaneously, all day long. I move from MacBook to sketchbook to iPad to popcorn. Especially to popcorn. These 43 seconds demonstrate one thing: a writer’s life makes for kind of a boring video. Oh, well, at least you can see our living room!

Walt Jaschek home

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. Artists: Don Secrease, Bill Lux, Rick Burchett, Bill Vann. Here 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

Golden Adventures of Brett Hull: Issue 2 of 3

Branded Entertainment, Comic Writing, Comics, Concepting and Copywriting

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Issue #2: “Power Play: 2094” | Continued from Issue #1

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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

Golden Adventures of Brett Hull: Issue 3 of 3

Branded Entertainment, Comic Writing, Comics, Concepting and Copywriting

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Issue #3: “Sudden Death Overtime!” | Read series backstory and full credits

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Read issue #1: “Slap-Shot to Destiny!”

Read Issue #2: “Power Play: 2094!”

Read series backstory and full credits

Walt Jaschek home

Walt Jaschek Looks “Professorial” Promoting Webster U. Radio Class.

Appearances, Radio Commercials, Teaching, Walt a Life

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Come on, a little too professorial. The elbow patches are spot on, sure, but who lines up markers like that, and why would the guy who tries to simplify everything write so much sh*t on the board?

“Don’t blame me,” said Walt Jaschek. “I’m teaching radio advertising again at Webster University School of Communications during the Spring, 2018, semester, and a student at the end of class snapped at pic on my phone.”

At your own request?

“Well, sure,” Walt admitted. “I promote the class as a way for advertising majors to learn to strategize, write, produce, cast, direct and engineer a original, 3-spot radio campaign — — and I wanted to look the part.”

Walt’s slogan for the class, which is filled with mostly funny radio, old and new: “Laugh Your Ads Off.”

That might be better slogan than the one he had for his previous presentation to UMSL ad students about thinking big: “Let Loose the Large.”

Okay, “professor.” Just please don’t tell us you have a pipe in your pocket.

P.S. Hear funny radio commercials co-created by Walt.