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.


  1. ...and twelve others!!! SHEESH! And you talk about me and my parenthesis hang-up...

  2. On my way to work. Will come back when I have time to read. Looks good. I'm a comic book fan-girl.

  3. ha. love it. especially the book i grew up on comic books...particularly batman and xmen, but punisher was in there as well. i have also read a few mack bolan novels in my day...the

  4. I read the post fascinated. There is one hell of a lot of material there. The Mark Slamm stories themselves could feed an entire blog - but there again, perhaps they already do.

  5. "prettier than Doug McClure"-LOL! Why Mr. Lynch, you've been holding out on me! In any event, don't see why this strip couldn't work in to-day's papers( printed or electronic ). And looking forward to your "rip-off" story, as aI'm not sure if I can recall it or not...and noticed the new word verify...damn spammers! Two more are loose (at least from what I'm now seeing )...

  6. Thanks, everybody, for all your words of encouragement. I'd love the chance to sell the Mark Slamm charcter to the motion picture industry, comics, etc., but that greedy Simpson would demand half of...

    [remembering that Skip reads these comments, too]

    Ummm... Crap.

  7. Yes, I do... (giving you the same look you gave Joe The Plumber.)

  8. We're currently in negotiations with Aaron Eckhart to star, and produce our screenplay, (and give us a lot of money in the process). So far, it has amounted to me signing up for his fan club and posting a note. (Read above) David and I are awaiting Mr. Eckhart's e-mail.

  9. And Skip wasn't kidding about the last two-thirds of that comment...!!!

  10. All I have to say... is that in the immortal words of Gordon Gekko from "Wall Street"... greed is GOOD! (That last statement was not meant to imply any views from, nor any potential advertisers, the United States government, or any person alive or dead.)

  11. I'm glad that in this version of life, Tina got a gun.