Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Time Has Come

Covid has affected us all, but I had one other element over the past year that I haven't shared online, and that my mother is in a wheelchair. She needed three surgeries over the past year and her muscles have atrophied to the point where she can't walk. She not has trainers coming to her home to work with her. So yeah, this year has beaten me down in more than one way. In a year that has been absolutely insane, there was one thing that kept me going: I'm being published. Our pop culture; whether it be tv, movies, or comics, is in limbo and really doesn't know what to do with itself. We need Morgalla and more works like her; new and fresh. I had moved back from Florida to Michigan in 2000 after I had lost my job at Walt Disney World. It's a shame because I was looking to move up in the company and had a plan with schooling and work. I had a future. So I moved back home and spent a year trying to figure out what to do with my life. Then I remembered that I had this story about a demon girl who falls in love with a human, all the while evil forces conspire to invade Earth. This was the groundwork for "Diary of a Lonely Demon", which would turn into a trilogy. Sadly, no publisher or agent was listening. I went with self-publishing in 2009. I sold a few books and made some fans. I was honored. Sadly, one fan (for reasons that are her own) decided to try and destroy my career. She spent seven years doing so. I went on and self-published two more books. While I was in the middle of writing "WAR of the Dark One", my dad told me how proud he was of me for moving forward even though I had been through so much. My only regret is that my father isn't alive to see this day. A few years ago I started writing a prequel to my series, exploring Morgalla when she was younger and a tad naive in the ways of the world and of Hell. I had also grown weary of love stories. I was twenty years old when I invented Morgalla and was a hopeless romantic. It's changed a lot but the spirit and soul is still the same: love conquers all. Two years ago BHC Press picked up Morgalla and agreed to publish all four books. It's my honor and privilege to be partnered with them. I present to you the first of the Morgalla Chronicles: The Savage Peak!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Morgalla Inspiration: Battle Angel Alita & Other Animes

During the early 90's my brothers and I watched a lot of anime. Bear in mind this is before it was popular and in the mainstream. What most people knew about anime came from Voltron or Robotech.

We preferred subtitles to English dub. Heck, I knew a guy who taught himself Japanese through watching subtitled anime. We watched all we could: Project AKO, Devil Hunter Yohko, Kiki's Delivery Service, Vampire Hunter D, Devilman.

Hmm...I'm sensing a pattern with some animes.

We even saw AKIRA, the crowning jewel of animation, at the Detroit Institute of Art. It was awesome seeing a film like that on the big screen.

Anime was so different than anything shown on American television. Sure, there was Speedracer, G-Force, and Voltron which were all kid-friendly, but Robotech was very mature for the most part and even had characters DIE which was strange to see on American television intended for kids.

Among all these great (and many times weird) stories was one that really caught my attention: Battle Angel. It's the story of Gally, a cyborg girl who is found by Ido, barely alive and functioning. He rebuilds her body and she learns to survive in a savage city filled with killer cyborgs.

There's this huge and dangerous world above and all around her and she has to learn to survive in it. Her innocence and vulnerability draws you in. She's sweet and kind, you end up LIKING her:

But there are times where you don't want to mess with her.

Gally is just a young woman trying to survive in a dangerous world. She's not a violent person, but will be when the lives of herself and loved ones are in danger. Her story has heart and brains and it's a shame that anime never continued her story.

When I heard they were making a film adaptation I was 100% against it. Hollywood doesn't have the best track record with anime. Thankfully I was proven wrong. The Robert Rodriguez-directed adaptation is a great film and really captures the spirit. Let's hope for a sequel.

Alita/Gally, Battle Angel, whatever you name her, is Morgalla's greatest inspiration. She rocks.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Morgalla Turns 20!!!

2015 will mark the year that Morgalla turns 20. No, not in the literal sense, in the books she's in her early 20's already, but that I created Morgalla in 1995. Above is the oldest surviving drawing of her. 

As you can see, a lot as changed:

It was a little idea that turned into something else, growing into a trilogy (and possibly more) that I wanted to share with the world.

It started off as a short story, told mostly from the point of view of the male protagonist's point of view, in this case, Jasper. It was a romance where a human finds out his new girlfriend is actually a demon. Hilarity ensues, originally being a black comedy of sorts inspired by the writings of John Landis and Phil Foglio.

I went to work for Disney for a while and I did nothing of a creative nature and Morgalla remained "on the shelf", as it were. When Florida didn't work out, I found myself asking the question I think a lot of us have in our lives: "What now?"

Well, I remembered the little story I had. I converted it to a screenplay, then back to a short story, but it needed more. I continued to add and Morgalla grew into a trilogy: a story of a young woman wanting a normal life which is kinda tough when she has horns half the time.

The overall theme and Morgalla herself hasn't changed that much: A woman who is trapped between two worlds, who longs to smile and has a short of a dry, quirky personality but often has to hide it and force herself to put on a false face, both on Earth and in Hell. When one sees Morgalla smiling and even acting silly, that's her true persona emerging.

Another element that has not changed is romance. She falls in love with a human, a man who finds an inner strength that he never knew he possessed. He's the diamond in the rough who is forced to be brave. They become the ultimate power couple.

Morgalla's inspirations primarily came from some elements of comics and anime. Some anime and comics titles were filled with shallow versions of women who were no more than just window dressing or mindless t&a. I wanted Morgalla to be a bit more. Back in 1995, there were hardly any examples of this in the mainstream to her number one inspiration over all was what I wasn't seeing in all elements of our pop culture. I, on purpose, made Morgalla different from everything that mainstream audiences the time, anyway.

Which brings us to modern audiences and characters. Had Morgalla been picked up when I started my trilogy, she would be seen as a leader of the trend but now she's seen as a follower. In 1995, Morgalla was ahead of her time and in many ways, she still is.

I'd say she's aged well and will continue to do so.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Thanks for all the years of awesome work, in front of and behind the camera. Thanks for being a genuine spirit. You will be missed by all of us, Leonard. I have been and always shall be...your fan.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Morgalla Inspiration: Anne Lewis

Not inspired directly, but more on a subliminal level, Robocop & Robocop 2's Anne Lewis was a great (though underused) supporting character from these two films.

The goal of the first Robocop film was to tell a story about a bankrupt future Detroit that's a cesspool of crime and in desperate need of change...basically modern-day Detroit.

But still...

Anne Lewis is a regular cop in Detroit, fighting what seems to be a never-ending battle against crime. God knows how many partners she's gone through.

The character has many great qualities. One element that makes her unique is the fact that it could have been played by a man and yet was not. The director, writers, producers, casting director...doesn't matter, they could have all cast a man in the role but chose a woman. Perhaps the reason behind it was the fact that the rest of the film is a sausage-fest and at least one female was needed, but in the end her gender didn't matter.

Lewis is Murphy's tie to the human race and the soul of the audience. I state that she's underused for she basically is a sidekick to Robocop in both films, even though she has some great scenes. She is, first and foremost, a great woman of action in a time where that was non-existent. Heck, it's rare even for today.

Like I said in the beginning, on a subliminal level I suppose Anne was an influence on Morgalla, though not directly. What Paul Verhoeven and the writers of Robocop did was focus on all the elements that made a good character, albeit a supporting one, and the fact that she was a woman is merely a coincidence. THAT is what I feel should be the focus on most any character. No gratuitous shower scene (which is weird when you think about it, being Paul Verhoeven).

How many times have we seen in films the only female character happens to be a love interest, too? Glad they didn't try. That's something that's bugged me with many films where the filmmakers feel they "need" a romantic love interest for their male lead. You see it in all of the recent Marvel films with the exception of Captain America, The Winter Soldier.

Sad that we don't see more characters like this. Oh wait...I can think of one: