Monday, September 28, 2009

Your Crack at "Jack!"

David says: If patience is a virtue, as the old saying proclaims, this is definitely the first time I've ever thought of Skip Simpson as being virtuous. (And write down this date, because it'll probably be the last time, as well.) Skip's been waiting for me to find enough time in my ridiculously-hectic schedule to post "Jack," our very first completed collaboration, so that those of you who are brave enough to read the whole damned thing will have a chance to do so before Skip and I begin the literary ping-pong game we're writing, a sequel to the original entitled "Look Out! Ol' Jack is Back!"

(Skip sez: "And hopefully, the sequel will be filled with lots of gratuitous sex and violence...")

As mentioned both here (if you want "my" version) and here (if you want Skip's more fanciful -- and more entertaining -- version), one night I sat at Skip's desk, and while he sat nearby wondering what I was doing, I wrote slightly more than a page of text. I handed it to Skip. He read it and said, "Okay, now what?"

(Skip sez: "When dealing with David, I would ask that a lot.")

"Now," I replied, probably less dramatically as I now recall it, "it's your turn."

We began taking turns writing between one and two pages at a time, each time leaving the other with a cliff-hanger of sorts. The story was crammed with private jokes, mainly references to movies we were both familiar with, and mostly from those we'd seen together, like Eyewitness, Apolocalypse Now, The Funhouse... Blame the beer. Some of these private references were so private, they were no doubt lost on anyone other than the one who'd actually included them! (To this day, for example, I'm betting that even Skip doesn't know why I mentioned a "1973 Ferrari" at one point. The only one who'd stand a chance at getting that one would probably be regular reader "Subby"... but I digress.)

(Skip sez: "Wasn't that the car Twiggy was driving in "The Blues Brothers???")

There were several running jokes, if the word "joke" can even apply. Words like "damn" and phrases like "full-grown moose" kept resurfacing. Blame the beer. And each of us built upon the other's newly-created mythology.

After a long partnership, and more than ten years after we wrote "Jack," Skip and I -- as noted elsewhere -- fell out of touch. A few months ago, I included one of "my" sections of "Jack" in a Theme Thursday post on my The Lair of the Silver Fox blog, and when several readers asked for the whole story, I apologetically declined, saying I had no way of contacting Skip for his permission to post the entirety of a story which he co-owned.

Approximately three months later, amazingly, Skip contacted me.

How, and why?

Well, would you believe... My blogs are so darned famous that Skip stumbled across...

No, huh?

Would you believe... Karma/God/Fate decided that the two of us...

No, huh?

Would you believe... Dumb luck?

You'd better.

(Skip sez: "Actually, I had been thinking about David, and finally got ahold of Paul Howley, who gave me the "heads up" on the "Lair Of The Silver Fox." So blame HIM!")

Anyway, one of the first projects the newly-revived team of Simpson/Lynch decided to write was a sequel to "Jack," one where I'd write a bit, then Skip would write some, and so forth... However, this time we've discussed various plot points ahead of time. I'll be starting the sequel, as I said, so don't hold your breath please be patient. After all, if Skip can be patient... Well, I have more faith in you, dear reader. (But please don't tell Skip I said that!)

You don't have to read "Jack" to understand "Look Out! Ol' Jack is Back!" However, you may want to... but be warned that it's seventeen pages long. (Pack a lunch.)

Two more notes before my scanned paged complete this post. (I had to scan it. If I were to re-type it, I'd never finish it.) Please forgive any typographical errors or misspellings. Blame the beer. Also, I wish I could tell you that this was the original, unedited version from 1982, but both Skip and I tinkered with it a bit in 1988. Just sayin'.

And now, without further ado... "Jack."

(And don't be intimidated by the tiny pages pictured below, folks! Clicking on each image will result in a much larger image!)

Thanks for your time.

(Skip sez: "I'm poppin' a beer and reading along!")

(Skip sez: "Yep. That's the way I remember it! Good job, my friend!")

Monday, September 14, 2009

So... Is This A Good Thing?

Skip says: I just had our horoscopes done. David being Scorpio, and me being Aquarius... parenthetical comments are my own. Double-parenthetical comments are David's.

(Turns on 16mm projector... David and Skip start watching educational film, and make their comments.)

TITLE: Scorpio and Aquarius... The Final Conflict

(Narration begins.)

When Scorpio and Aquarius come together, it mingles different needs and different philosophies (so true). Scorpio has an emotional intensity with which they face life. ((and my date for the evening)) Aquarius has an unusual, idealistic worldview (so... I have this wacky-doodle view of the universe?). When Scorpio may be more introverted and prefer to be alone with their lover, Aquarius enjoys a night out with friends (again so true, I don't want to see David alone with his lover)((I'm not too thrilled with that idea either, bucko!)).

They may appear to have few common interests (like money)((Yeah, what Skip said!)), but these two are both possessed of strong willpower. When they set this force to a common goal, they are assured of success (yay).

Both Scorpio and Aquarius can be incompliant and opinionated (yep).((I am not. And Skip, don't you dare edit that!)) They like things to go as they dictate, with no questions asked ("I AM the LAW")((If and when I allow that.)).

Scorpio is probing, delves deeply into the hidden meaning of things (like probing one's navel) ((Hey, it could be worse.)). Aquarius is modern and does not enjoy detail (that's why I do plots and David writes the dialogue). Scorpio will find Aquarius exciting, yet may feel frustrated trying to penetrate this revolutionary's mind (bwa-ha-ha) (("Frustrated" is only touching the surface of that one.)). Aquarius will not appreciate the possessiveness of a stinging Scorpion or the amount of attention they require, but will find the devotion Scorpio provides to be a great support (Okay, I'll give him that. He's hopelessly devoted to me) ((Skip, I think you have me confused with Olivia Newton-John.)).

Scorpio is ruled by the Planets Mars and Pluto, and Aquarius is ruled by Saturn and Uranus (Great! I get Uranus, and HE gets Mickey's dog). Mars is a radical, belligerent, aggressive and courageous masculine energy ((Accent on "masculine, ladies!)) and Pluto enlightens these impulses and adds a rebirthing, cyclical quality (like Rambo). Saturn is a cool, contained energy (like Perry Como), and Uranus is about all things different and unusual (I'm not going there...) ((Me, neither, except to say that it's not quite so unusual nowadays...)). Mars is emotional, reacting without thinking things through; such is the nature of Scorpio. For Aquarius, Saturn is about hard work and discipline to achieve goals while Uranus determines thinking ahead (How can you be thinking ahead when talking about Uranus?). Scorpio will teach Aquarius about life based on emotional impulses and what it means to peak behind the surface. Aquarius can teach Scorpio to be more aloof, to detach themselves from uncontrollable situations and to re-evaluate their goals if they are off course (Yeah right. Like I could ever get him to re-evaluate) ((As Archie Bunker once said, "I will gladly apologize if I am ever wrong.")).

Scorpio is a Water Sign ((Actually, I prefer beer.)) and Aquarius is an Air Sign. Aquarius moves through life with pure inventive exploration, while Scorpio is more analytical. Scorpio looks for purpose and Aquarius seeks the stimulating (like a cheap massage parlor in New Jersey). ((The way my social life's been lately, the Jersey massage parlor doesn't sound half bad.)) These partners may find it difficult to understand the other's origin of thought. This pair may have confrontations if Scorpio is too possessive or if Aquarius seems too cool and flippant and denies Scorpio emotional reassurance (What? We need a group hug, or what?). Both partners need to learn that they view the world in different ways and they should celebrate and laugh at their differences (ha ha ha ho ho ho) (("Celebrate? Oh, good, another excuse to get drunk.)).

Scorpio and Aquarius are both Fixed Signs (like "Stop", or "Slippery When Wet"). Both can be rigid, opinionated and unyielding (Man, you hit it right on the head, there). (("Rigid" and "unyielding?" How'd this get to be about my sex life?)) Both partners tend to persist when laboring toward a goal. If they have a plan, they'll stick to it until their efforts are rewarded (like money) ((Yeah, like Skip said, again.)). Once they have made up their minds that they are good partners for each other, they will never be discouraged from maintaining the relationship (except if a pretty woman comes along) ((She doesn't have to be all that pretty, actually...)). But if they have differing ideas, they may find that the Scorpion is the more tenacious, more dogmatic partner who is not beyond emotional manipulation of a partner (David plays these mind-games with me) ((You and the rest of the world.)). If they each believe in the value of the relationship ((There's that "money thing again!)), they will be able to overcome differences.

The best aspect of the Scorpio-Aquarius relationship is the capacity for success in their synergy. Both Signs have very powerful personalities, so neither will openly dominate the other (picturing whips and leather here) ((...and chains... and mayonnaise and rope... and a chandelier...)). Once they can work out their differences, come together and agree on their individual roles within the team, the fruits of this relationship can be fulfilling (like money) ((Yup. Like money.)).

SKIP: Wow.

DAVID: Pay me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Aaron Eckhart... The New Mark Slamm!

After an exhaustive search, David and I both agree, that Aaron Eckhart would make the ideal Mark Slamm, if the idea ever sold! He has demonstrated his versatility in both comedy and drama, he has blonde hair, and that great chin! We were originally going to go with Daniel Craig... but he appears to be busy, in doing something or another called "The Bond Series." The team of Simpson and Lynch hope that Mr. Eckhart will see this post, or read the one I posted on his website, and ask to see a screenplay...

Here's a link to his website.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mark Slamm!

He was more vicious than The Executioner. He was more athletic than The Punisher. He was prettier than Doug McClure

It wasn't enough for Mark Slamm to kill the denizens of the underworld. No, he had to humiliate them as well.

Mark Slamm was... The Humiliator. (Dun dun dunnnnn!)

The Stories Behind the Stories Behind the Stories Behind the... Oh, never mind.

An early concept from the team of Simpson and Lynch (your humble Silver Fox being the Lynch) was a comic strip called Hawklad (which was later published as a comic book called The Bird). We received seven rejections from seven newspaper syndicates. Two of those seven said that they liked our stuff, but wanted to see something other than a funny superhero.

So Skip and I decided we'd try to give them what they wanted. The second comic strip concept from Simpson/Lynch Studios was a sitcom of sorts called Life with Skip. The comic strip "Skip" -- who bore an amazing resemblance to Skip Simpson and every other main character Mr. Simpson ever designed -- was a single father raising an eleven-year-old son, Harlan.

(To eliminate confusion here, from now on I'll refer to Skip the character as "Skip," and to Skip my writing partner as "Simpson." And just to be fair, I'll refer to myself in the third person as well, as "Lynch.")

A prominent member of Life with Skip's supporting cast was Skip's next-door neighbor and de facto best friend, author Mike Serf.

Mike Serf wrote the incredibly successful "Mark Slamm, The Humiliator" series of novels. (Plus a sleazy R-rated autobiography called Serf's Up... but let's not go there.) The main character, Mark Slamm, was fighting a one-man war on crime like The Executioner, The Punisher, The Destroyer, The Butcher, The Penetrator, The Sharpshooter, The Death Merchant, etc.

Naturally, Simpson created the visual for Mike Serf. He also gave him his name. And it was Simpson's idea that Mark Slamm shared his initials with his author, Mike Serf. Mark Slamm also bore an uncanny facial resemblance to Mike Serf, as well... although Mark Slamm was in much better physical shape.

At the time of Simpson and Lynch's creation of the Life with Skip comic strip, they decided that the Humiliator series consisted of twenty-three novels, with more to be added later, presumably.

The titles all included the word "gun" in them. Running with the concept, Lynch listed them all. Some of them were:

This Gun Feels Good
My Gun Feels Good
Your Gun Feels Good
My Gun Feels Better Than Your Gun
Gun for the Money, Two for the Show
I'll Follow the Gun
Going, Going, Gun
Gun with the Wind
Bang the Gun Slowly
Gun Silent, Gun Deep

You get the idea.

Lynch continued "running with the character," creating a ton of backstory which never found its way into the initial submission package for Life with Skip.

Lynch also wrote a one-page example of Mike Serf's writing style. Up until now, no one but Skip Simpson has ever read the following page!

(An interesting twist -- well, Lynch thought so, anyway -- was that Mike Serf designed all of Mark Slamm's mobster foes to fit the classic Italian Mafia stereotypes. This did not sit too well with Serf's editor, Frank Sinatra (No, not that Frank Sinatra.) Frank deleted every single Italian surname in virtually all of Serf's books. This resulted in The Humiliator's facing such adversaries as Guido Smith, Antonio Jones, Enzio Adams, Giuseppe Johnson, Rinaldo Brown... Again, you get the idea.)

Mark Slamm had been born into a wealthy family as Mark Slamezy (sla-MEE-zee). Feeling somewhat guilty for having so much more than the rest of the world, Slamezy became an investigative journalist. When his fact-searching brought him too close to upsetting a major mob family's plans, the mobsters trained a great white shark to leap onto Mark's yacht. The shark devoured Mark's wife and children, but Mark himself survived, having bested the beastie with a flare gun.

I -- I mean, Lynch -- began that story here:

When Mark Slamezy decided to begin his war on the underworld, he cut all ties with his previous life and changed his name from Slamezy to Slamm, because, as he said it, "Nothing in my life will ever be 'ezy' again!"

Hey, don't blame me. I mean... don't blame Lynch. I mean... don't blame either of us!

Mike Serf wrote it!
A quick sketch of Mike Serf, as
re-imagined by Skip Simpson in 2009!

Now, the next time you hear from me about Mike Serf, it'll be when I tell you about a certain major comic publisher who "showcased" one of our ideas!

So stay tuned, sports fans.. and thanks for your time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Welcome, Readers!

Skip Simpson writes: Unbeknownst to me, the Silver Fox set up this site as a surprise! In a rare serious moment, I have to say, there is NO one in this world that has ever been, or ever will be a finer writing partner to me, than David M. Lynch!*

(*David adds: Oh, really? And how many others have you ever had? One? None?)

David and I could almost read each other's minds in our collaborative efforts! Our styles are very similar, and we both share a wacky sense of humor. After 17 years... I wonder if the team still "has it"... It's up to you to decide. We'll be taking turns, writing... trying to "paint each other into a corner." End of seriousness.

I remember back in the early 80's, we'd signed up for a four-week correspondence course that we saw on the back of a matchbook cover advertising "How To Write Good."

David scored 100%. I scored a 98%... all because I screwed up in the parenthesis and ellipses final exam. He reminds me of that to this day!**

(**David adds: Well, okay, maybe I do, but only because my 100% score qualified me to sign up for their advanced course, "How To Write Even More Better!")

Well kids, I can surmise we're all in for a fun, roller-coaster ride, showcasing the warped (and hopefully talented) minds of the team of Simpson/Lynch. (breaking out the champagne) I take you now to our dedication ceremony:

An outdoor rally. Sitting on the stage are Skip Simpson and David M. Lynch. They are surrounded on the stage by people they never met***, and one celebrity.

(***David asks: Kinda like a Comedy Central Roast?)

DAVID: (whispers to SKIP) Is that the best you could do?

SKIP: (whispers to DAVID) You said you wanted a celebrity.

DAVID: (whispers to SKIP) Joe the Plumber??? (DAVID glances over to the bald head of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher AKA "Joe the Plumber." Joe is happily sitting there clapping his hands for no apparent reason.)

SKIP: (whispers to DAVID) The agency said we could get him real cheap... I gotta make my speech.

(quickly taking a shot of Jack Daniels "Green Label" for liquid courage, Skip staggers to the podium, and annoyingly taps the microphone)

"Ahem. To all..."

(voice in back row) "We can't hear you!"

"Oh yeah? Well I can hear you! And soon the whole world will hear you!"

(clap clap clap)

(Joe The Plumber stands up and claps, but quickly sits back down, after seeing the icy stare of David. Joe stares at his feet.)

"Ahem. To all who come to this happy place - welcome! Simpson/Lynch Studios is your... uh, studios. Here, age relives fond memories of the past and here, youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future... because my friends, that's where we'll spend the rest of our lives. In the future."

(departing from the script, and leaning on the podium in a folksy manner)

"You know... and I'm especially talking to all you young people out there (gives a Sarah Palin patronizing wink). I'm reminded on this historic occasion, of a song I sang in nursery school. It went something like this. Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout. Out came the rain, and washed the spider out. Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain. So the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again. Somewhere... I feel, there's a lesson to be learned there, somewhere."

(young people in the audience are stunned)

"Yes... ahem. But, let me reiterate... at this crucial time in American history, Simpson/Lynch Studios is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of the almighty dollar. With the fervent hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world... oh yeah, and bring world peace, too. Remember, my fellow Americans... it must be terrible to lose one's mind. Always remember, that if you live in Alaska, you can see Russia from your front porch. (getting folksy) You know, there's a saying we have here in Alabama, and I'm sure it's true in the rest of the country, also. Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice... we won't get fooled again! That is the dream we share here today. And that dream shall never die. Thank you."

(clap clap clap)

"And now, a few words from a fine person, a great humanitarian, the father of my children, and a friend to those who have no friends... Mister David M. Lynch!"

(clap clap clap)

"Thanks for the clap... I mean, the applause. Thank you. Thank you. And I especially want to thank you. (points to attractive, thirtyish-looking Latina in front row of audience) And thank you, Skip, for that inspired speech... much of it sounding oddly familiar. Thanks as well for the reminder, in your speech and (indicates Joe the Plumber with wave of hand) right here on our stage, that it's not only Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck who can't get over the results of our last election."

(Skip gives David "the finger" behind David's back)

"Now, I'll be brief..."

(voice in back row) "Yeah, right!"

(David clears throat, begins speaking in what 99% of the world thinks is a Massachusetts accent... in other words, like JFK)

"Skip and I dare not forget today that we are the heirs of our partnership's first incarnation. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been re-lit by the old generation of creators -- born in the last century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage -- and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of the proper use of the English language to which the internet should have always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home in our bathrobes and scuffies. Let every nation connected by the WorldWideWeb know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, begin the Beguine, pick a little, talk a little, climb every mountain, ford every stream, wait a million years, walk a million miles, cry a million tears... (pause, checks notes) Where the hell was I? Oh, yeah... in order to assure the survival and the success of good grammar and proper spelling. In the long history of the world, only a few creative minds have been granted the role of defending good writing in its hour of maximum danger. Simpson and Lynch do not shrink from this responsibility -- we welcome it. We do not believe that either of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light the internet and all who subscribe to it -- and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. Or burn it to a freakin' cinder, for that matter. And so, my fellow netizens: ask not what Simpson and Lynch can do for you -- ask what you can do for Simpson and Lynch. Because frankly, my dears, this gig doesn't pay worth shit."

(stunned silence, then gradual applause)

"Thank you. (in Elvis Presley voice) Thankyuhverrahmuch!"

(David returns to seat)

SKIP: (whispers to DAVID) Nice, original speech, there... "Mr. President."

DAVID: (whispers to SKIP) Yeah, like I didn't recognize half a dozen quotes in your speech!

SKIP: (whispers to DAVID) Nag.

DAVID: (whispers to SKIP) Mule.

And so it goes...

LET THE SHOW BEGIN! ooooooooooo!

And now... our logo for when we produce videos...

Finally... let's bring out the dancing gals!

Thanks for visiting!