By Joe Infurnari
A long while back I had the idea that I should develop my worst ideas into hypothetical book proposals. It was a personal challenge to treat questionable content as base matter for an alchemical transformation into comedic gold. I’m not sure the experiment was a complete success but it did yield some interesting illustrations and at best some anecdotal fool’s gold. The first of these is Wreck’d ‘Em. More examples will follow in subsequent weeks leading up to SPX and the debut of the Time F*cker book on September 15th and 16th. Time F*cker is the only one of these thought experiments that actually yielded real comics; all others being, ‘Before Time F*cker.’
Graphic novel proposals are usually comprised of some art examples to give a sense of the storytelling, look and feel of the book. This can be just the cover but oftentimes it’s more substantial including actual comics pages, character designs and more. The written component to the proposal can be a simple plot summary for the book all the way to a full script! I limited my investment to the bare minimum consisting of a finished cover and a paragraph plot summary. The Wreck’ed ‘Em! plot summary went something like this…
“Booze, boobs and wreckin’ balls and not necessarily in that order!” wasn’t always the Bulwark family motto. In 2008 the economic collapse placed severe economic pressures on grandpa Jebediah, the eldest Bulwark. Threatened with bank foreclosure of the family farm, Jeb began moonlighting as a freelance wrecking ball operator. It was during a job demolishing foreclosed properties that Jeb saw the termination listing for his own home. With no choice but to accept the work, Jeb swung the massive wrecking ball through his multi-generational family home while stifling his rage and choking back his tears. It was all the devastated Bulwarks could do but to climb aboard the giant mechanized tractor and to seek their destiny off into the sunset.
The family built a home atop the wrecking ball out of bricks and wood beams salvaged from the homes they destroyed. There was lots of work and money to be made but it came at a toll to the family’s conscience. In his heart, Jeb believed in the American promise of hard work being the great emancipator and felt that America was ultimately going to make things right for the families he helped render homeless. He would bolster the family’s crumbling morale promising that “the wisdom of America’s free market will turn on these crypto-corporate goons in the end, you’ll see!” But as the number of destroyed homes continued to grow, Jeb’s idealism and pleas to “have faith in the bigger picture” crumbled and cracked under the weight of so many broken dreams. He hoped one day the pendulum would swing back and he would be able to participate in the reclamation of the American ideal by bringing down the glass and steel symbols of corporate oppression. It wasn’t to be, unfortunately. Jeb died disillusioned with his government’s failure to hold the guilty accountable for their greed; the rich got richer while the poor and middle class continued to struggle against a system stacked against them. The rest of the Bulwarks vowed to no longer work within the system but to tear it down. They were going to help rebuild the America of Jeb’s dreams.
Lead by Jeb’s memory and a leering happy-faced wrecking ball forged with his cremains, this was a new Bulwark clan! With new focus and new leadership! Behind the wheel was Jeb’s son, Zeke who along with his stalwart wife Hort has three children; the sassy Snap! the ‘complicated’ Krackle and Jesse, just Jesse. The third generation of Bulwark is Snap’s daughter, Doozie. Together, the free-wheeling family embarked on a cross-country campaign of corporate terrorism. Gone was Jeb’s resignation to work within a failed system. Instead, the Bulwarks took out human slave networks, sweatshops, local branches of the Internal Revenue Service, Post Offices, DMV Branches and Denny’s locations with extreme prejudice. The Bulwarks were kicking ass and taking names all the way to the top! Any institution or social construction that abused the ideals of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness fell to the Bulwarks’ wrecking ball. Reviled by the corporate mass media and much of the populace, Wreck’d ‘em! tells the true events that brought these contemporary freedom fighters to the highest doorstep of social injustice and financial negligence. That’s right, they took the fight all the way to the White House.
Thanks for taking in this first installment of Before Time F*cker. I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tooned next week for another bad idea brought to life; Pep-Tide!, the maritime tale of love, teen angst and water-blading.