Red Light Bytes: 11-17-22
Updates, Op-Eds, Culture, & More!
Latest teaser dropped for the third adventure of the Urban Avenger (on Twitter and Minds), and work as usual continues on all fronts, with all five mainline stories underway, and work on Alan Firedale and other exclusives in progress. We’re gearing up for something really special in the coming year, but we’ll keep that on lock for now. But considering what’s already in my lap, I’m excited to share with you all of our latest tales. The Winter Edition is not only about quantity, it is about quality, and it is some of the finest writing I’ve had the pleasure to pen.
This week, I feel like telling a story. This is a story I’ve been carrying with me since about April, around the time the website launched. It was a story that gave me some perspective on what it is that I do and why I do it. And it all started with one episode of a very special programme.
I had been slaving over work that was going nowhere at the speed of sound, and my classes were eating up the calendar with all the rabidity of that wretched beast rifling through your trash at three in the morning.
It was to my delight that I found out one of my classes canceled. Away I flew into my collection, fresh plastic cases and discs galore, that wonderful sensation of the quilts and comforters at my back as I lay down to watch something.
I pulled out an old favorite: Thunderbirds. If half of my generation can get away with watching Spongebob until they molder into dust, I figure digging into a 50-year-old puppet show isn’t the crime of the century. And hey, it was science fiction, so it was fair game. And then a most magical thing happened when I pressed that play button: I learned something.
At college, for once, I learned something.
It was an episode called “City of Fire.” A terrific collage of incredible miniatures thrilling orchestral scores, and a cast of exceptional voice talent. It was all that I loved about Gerry Anderson and his Supermarionation empire since I discovered him through the Internet as a young lad.
Today’s episode concerned the plight of a family. A man, his wife, and his boy are journeying to a brand new high-rise. A city within a city, loaded with malls, food, fashion, and fun. It is upon arrival that disaster strikes.
In silver corridors, the family find themselves trapped as a fire erupts from the car park beneath the building, smoke seeping through cracks. Into action fly International Rescue (cue the march, Barry!) with two of the Tracy family’s daring sons, Scott and Virgil, on the scene. It is there that a life-and-death decision must be made.
The only way to cut through the walls in time is with a fast-acting fuel for their welding torches. The problem: the formula is experimental. After prolonged exposure, even with protection, the gas enters through the pores and attacks your blood cells. The building has almost been completely evacuated, so the lives of those three are paltry in comparison to the thousands saved.
And yet, Scott and Virgil suited up and went tearing through the steel walls with fire and fury, their lives be damned.
In a building of thousands freed, two men were willing to risk it all for the life of one family.
I thought back to my times in class, hearing cynicism, apathy, and irony on the tongues of classmates, teachers, passersby. I thought back to the deprecation of others and oneself made over the course of the day. I thought of the vapidity of the images and sounds that sat stagnant on the screens in everyone’s pockets, living rooms, and dorms.
Where was the sincerity? In my work, and in others. Where was the courage to do right by others? Where were the Tracys?
I’ve been trying to answer that question ever since. And while 365 is no kiddie affair, through the haze of blood, sweat, lasers, swearing, and so forth, I aim for a similar purity. I like to tell dark stories, but I like for them to have a point, and for there to be something to look forward to. A brighter future and a better tomorrow.
And I feel I’m not the only one, as the Iron Age is fast developing into an era of uplifting stories. Not in the vein of overly feelgood tales or squeaky-clean adventures, but in a positive vision for a future. A future for both the noble warriors and the craftsman who forge them. I’m proud to be here and to contribute that brighter tomorrow, however offbeat it may come out. Let’s keep it that way Gang!
This Week’s Set: The 70s Set
Imaginative title, I know, but it fits! The 70s was the era of “heavy rock,” a time where the line between hard rock and heavy metal blurred so frequently, it really was just rock-n-roll by any other name. With bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin taking centerstage, it was only a matter of time before rock as we knew it got heavier and wilder than ever before.
This week’s mix combines everything from metal legends like Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Motörhead, classic rock monoliths like Alice Cooper and Blue Öyster Cult, and punk godfathers The Ramones, with plenty of other awesome bands in the mix. With our complimentary Spotify playlist in the mix too, you’re all set to hit the road with some of the killer tunes that keep us rolling. Enjoy!
A Tale to Tell…
This week’s installment is something of a holdover. I’m a fan of “breakoffs,” stories told in service to teasing a greater tale yet to be realized.
“Ol’ Silver Eyes” was a breakoff intended for publication in parts elsewhere, a character piece centered on a father as he hightails it into the desert to escape the madness of his city in dystopic freefall. I had scrubbed the series-specific terminology to field it around, but I feel it’s more fitting to bring it into the fold than leave it out. I hope you enjoy this moodier take on the series’ scenario.
May God bless you and this Force. See you in December!
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