REGARDING NORMAN #1: THE WALRUS UNDER THE SINK


If you are not yet aware, my first, full length, Norman Oklahoma novel is now available for pre-order for just 99 cents. Click here if you'd like to get it now before it becomes $3.99 when it is released on April 28, 2018.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about Norman Oklahoma.

BIG SIGH

Don't get me started on Norman Oklahoma. I've had more missteps with Norman than anything else I've ever written.

I have been writing about Norman for years. How many? Well, I started in on Norman Oklahoma not long after I met my wife, before we were married. We've been married now for 15 years.

So yeah, he's been living up in my brain for a while now.

And while he's been there, I've been writing, publishing, and then unpublishing ever since. How about we start at the beginning.

Back in October of 2001 I joined a message board using the screen name, Strangely Brown. The name came from an episode of the Blackadder.

I liked the name and so used it to register on the board.

It’s funny, I don’t remember seeing much out there on the internet at the time, but if you do a Google search for Strangely Brown now, you’ll find all kinds of stuff, including a flikr photostream by this guy who actually uses my old message board avatar as his buddy icon.

See - https://www.flickr.com/photos/41769472@N07/

Crazy.

Anyway, one day in January, 2002, I was at work and feeling somewhat bored. This was my previous job, mind you, not the place I’m working now. As I said, I was a member of a message board at the time and I felt like posting something. The problem was that I had nothing I wanted to talk about.

So, I opened up a new post which I entitled:

I AM THE WALRUS

Then I just started typing.

My first line was: I woke up this morning to find a walrus smoking a cigarette under my kitchen sink.

At the time I wasn't writing about Norman Oklahoma. I was posting as myself, Strangely Brown. And really, I was just messing around.

But not long after, I began to take it a little more seriously. That's when I came up with Norman Oklahoma.

Ugh, don't get me started about Norman Oklahoma.

Okay, so, as I said, I haven't handle Norman all that well.

I had big plans back in 2002 for Norman. I started a site and everything. But then it all fizzled because while I was taking the writing thing seriously, I wasn't really taking the writing thing all that seriously.

A few years go by and I had done nothing but write a handful of installments to a Norman Oklahoma serial I was calling Thrilling Adventures.

At some point after that, I was a member of another message board, this one dedicated to the Comic Geek Speak Podcast. That year, as they did the year before, the forum members were putting together an anthology comic. This particular year there was a theme. Create a story about what it meant to be a fanboy.

So, I wrote up a script, staring Norman Oklahoma, in which he is a survivor of a zombie apocalypse. He also collects comics. He knows of a comic store that has a prize comic and he has to battle a crap ton of zombies to get it. The last line being: "It ain't easy being a fanboy."

That went nowhere, but through it I met Harold C. Jennett III. He and I, to this day, do a web comic together: Our Adventure Continues.

After the comic story went nowhere, I decided to write it up as a short story. That became Norman Oklahoma and the Zombie Fanboys of Doom.

I wrote it and then published it.

Eventually I took it down. My first big Norman Oklahoma mistake.

I took it down, however, because I wanted to really make a go at this writing thing and I loved Norman as a character. But, my plans as I was formulating them, did not include him in the future after a zombie apocalypse.

So I rewrote Norman Oklahoma and the Zombie Fanboys of Doom using a new protagonist, and renamed it Fanboys of Doom.


Once I decided to give this Norman Oklahoma guy a serious try, I went back to the well and dug out the Walrus stuff and started rewrites based on the premise that Norman Oklahoma was a private detective who specialized in the paranormal, the unexplained, and the just plain weird.

From that came Norman Oklahoma and the Walrus of Death.

More on that later, I'm beginning to feel like this has gone on rather long so I'm going to do this in multiple parts.

But before I go, after I'd written the first pass of Norman Oklahoma and the Walrus of Death, Harold (that artist guy I mentioned earlier) approached me about writing a story for an anthology comic he was going to self publish. He even hooked me up with an artist, the very talented Andrew Charipar - SEE HIS STUFF HERE .


But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Norman Oklahoma and the Zombie Fanboys of Doom may have been the first Norman story I finished, and published, but it wasn't the first Norman story I wrote.

For that we have to go back to 2009.

More on that in Part 2.

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