Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Pic!

Here's a shot of Twilight Guardian by my pal Foo. Check out his blog here. Thanks, Foo!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Read Twilight Guardian For Free!

Newsarama is running the entire first issue here.

If you haven't already, give it a read, and if you enjoy it, please vote for it every day from now until Sept. 8 at


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Page from TG's Journal

Twilight Guardian Information File (TGIF)

September 20, 2008

10:37 p.m. - I'm a bit late getting ready for my patrol tonight. A woman came into the drycleaning shop with a blouse that had a strange red stain. I believed it might be blood. I took samples and have been analyzing them with the home crime lab equipment I recently purchased online. As it turns out, the stain is apparently some sort of fruit-based compote. My best guess would be pomegranate, but I won't know for sure until further tests can be performed.

11:30 p.m. - Time to read my nightly comic. Tonight's choice is Jungle Justice #14 from 1975. The comic originally featured fairly cheap knock-offs of Tarzan and Sheena, but as of issue #5, sales were down so low that they switched to more of a superhero format, though they tried to keep it at least marginally jungle-related. The star from that point on was Bananas Froster, the super-chimp with ice powers. I particularly like this issue, as it has a reality-bending story where Bananas travels to Earth-Ultra and meets the writer and artist of Jungle Justice. It's an interesting concept. I wonder what it would be like to find out you're merely a character in a comic book?

12:00 a.m. - I don my mask and costume. I never feel more alive than I do at this moment, every night. Time to go.

1:13 a.m. – As always, I see the elderly woman in the yellow house watching "War of the Gargantuas." There is a slight change tonight, however. Normally her snack of choice tends to be a small plate of braunschweiger with crackers, but tonight it’s Bugles stuffed with what I believe to be cream cheese. I’ll enter this information in her file later.

2:24 a.m. – I see the shadowy figure on the outskirts of my jurisdiction again. What does he want? Why do I see him so often there, just on the periphery? I sense some sort of skullduggery, but I can’t be sure yet. Is he a villain? A fellow crimefighter? A sleepwalker? This is a mystery that must be solved.

2:57 a.m. - I stop for my repast at the bait shop. The machine is out of Choc-ola (due to its popularity, no doubt), so I have to make do with Bubble Up. It's a fine soda, manufactured right here in Indiana, but the lemon-lime flavor does not complement my peanut butter and bologna sandwich so well.

4:02 a.m. – Tomorrow is Trash Day, and everyone has their refuse out on the curb. In front of one house I find a pair of Wii boxing gloves. Apparently someone must’ve tired of the game already and threw them out. I discover that the pads inside can be removed, and could theoretically be replaced by weights to create a cestus of sorts. I take them with me. The uninitiated might call this good fortune, but I know that Justice provides for her agents.

4:57 a.m. - Through the window of the old Miller house, I see a man and woman, a new couple in the neighborhood, arguing. I stop to watch, in case things become heated (relationships are never easy). After a while they hold each other and kiss, then fall to the couch together. I move on; sometimes the line between crimefighter and voyeur is a simple act of discretion. I feel strange, though I'm not sure why. The sun's coming up, anyway. I need to go home.

If you want to read more about Twilight Guardian, gang, you can pick up Twilight Guardian #1 at all fine comic shops (and is set to run it in its entirety later this week).

And if you'd like to see her continuing adventures, please keep voting for her every day as part of Top Cow Pilot Season 2008!

Troy Hickman, August 2008

Twilight Guardian #1 So Far!

For the second week in a row, TG has come in #1 in the Pilot Season voting. First of all, thanks all of you so much for the support you've given it. In all honesty, if I can pull this thing off, it's going to make a big difference in my life, and it's going to be because of you.

Secondly, the competition is going to heat up something fierce from this point on, so please, gang, if you can, keep voting for Twilight Guardian from now until September 8, once a day from every computer you can get your hands on. Ask you friends to vote, ask your family to vote, ask your pets to vote if you think they'll make the right choice.

And again, thank you so very, very much.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why We Fight

Here's another piece of mine that just ran on the Pilot Season blog, in case you missed it:

We Can Be Heroes (and not just for one day)

Not long ago, I received a very nice letter of comment from someone who enjoyed Twilight Guardian, someone who probably understands her quest better than most. His name is the Crimson Fist, and he's a superhero.

No, he's not the stereotypical, media-driven notion of a superhero in the real world. He's not a used car salesman dressing up like "Rebate Man" for his new spate of commercials. He's not even Mark Millar's Dave Lizewski from "Kick Ass" getting his head handed to him by thugs on a nightly basis.

No, the Crimson Fist is one of the (at least) hundreds of folks out there patrolling our neighborhoods who are part of the RLSH (Real Life Super Hero) community. These are individuals who have decided that one person can make a difference in their corner of the world, so they don a mask and colorful costume and take to the streets.

No, they don't save us all from a Skrull invasion (that I know of). No, they don't keep the Red Skull from getting his hands on the Cosmic Cube. But if I ran into a mugger, I'd sure be glad to have one of them around. If someone were burglarizing my apartment, I'd be overjoyed if a RLSH were there to send the thieves packing, or to alert the police. Heck, even if I was in the situation I went through a few weeks ago, when I lost a contact lens during one of my late-night strolls, I'd be proud to have a superhero down there with me, on my hands and knees in someone's driveway, searching with a flashlight at 2 a.m.

Some people might compare these masked protectors with neighborhood watch groups, or to organizations like the Guardian Angels, but I'd say a more apt comparison might be made to a man named Lenny Skutnik. I've written about Lenny before, written about how, in January 1982, he risked his own life when Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River. Lenny Skutnik jumped into the frigid water to save a woman who was too exhausted to grab the rope that had been lowered to her.

I don't think there's anyone among us who wouldn't consider him a hero, but think about this: if, instead of his street clothes, Lenny Skutnik had worn a big red "S" on his chest, he wouldn't been indistinguishable from a superhero. No, not just indistinguishable; he would have BEEN a superhero. And for my money, he was anyway.

When asked about it all, Lenny Skutnik said "I wasn't a hero. I was just someone who helped another human being. We're surrounded by heroes. What made this different was that it was caught on film and went all over the world." And he was right.

So whether it's the Crimson Fist in Atlanta, Zetaman in Portland, Insignis in Salt Lake City, Tothian in NYC, or any of the rest, real life superheroes are out there doing what they do. For some it might be breaking up a fistfight between teen-agers, helping someone who locked the keys in their car, passing out "survival kits" to the needy, or getting the word out about a blood drive or Toys-For-Tots event. For others...well, who knows? That darned Cosmic Cube is still out there somewhere.

And in a nine-block area of the midwest, a young woman in a hoodie and domino mask does her part.

Keep voting Twilight Guardian, gang.

Troy Hickman, August 19, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Behind the Mask

Here's a little piece I just wrote for the Pilot Season myspace blog regarding TG:

Who Guards the Guardian?

In some of the recent interviews I've done regarding Twilight Guardian, I've noted that the book seems to serve as a real Rorschach test for her audience. How a reader responds to the one-shot can tell us a great deal about his/her take on comics, on superheroes, on the narrative form, and on and on. In fact, it's one of the facets of the book that makes me particularly proud.

Last night, though, I realized that Twilight Guardian herself is going through something of a Rorschach test as well. With the advent of the Watchmen movie, I've started reading the trade paperback collection to my girlfriend Lea (one of the nice things about our Felix/Oscar, Carville/Matalin relationship is that she's almost completely unfamiliar with the world of comics, which allows me to see a lot of my favorite things anew through her eyes).

As I read the first-person narratives from "Rorschach's Journal," I was struck by the similarities to TG's own nightly reports, and I began thinking about the two charactyers, about their differences and commonality.

Obviously, they're both masked crimefighters who prowl the night. They're both fiercely dedicated to the concept of justice. They've even both worked in the garment industries in their secret identities (I'm never going to look at One-hour Martinizing the same way again). But are they really cut from the same cloth?

When it comes down to it, Rorschach is an ultra-violent vigilante, while TG has never done anything more extreme than marring the paint of an expensive car. Rorschach is definitely a cynical misanthrope, but Twilight Guardian seems to retain a genuine bond with and affection for the people of her nine-block "watch."

Rorschach, through the lineage of the Question (the character he was originally going to be), was spawned by the Randite/objectivst beliefs of the great Mr. Steve Ditko. And Twilight Guardian? Well...I guess she was spawned by the rampant insomnia and night-time wanderings of the not-so-great Mr. Troy Hickman.

So, given their similar drives, their shared obsessions (and my own love for both characters), what has kept our heroine from becoming another Rorschach? At the risk of going all Hallmark on you, I think it's love. Rorschach was raised, if you can use that word, by an abusive prostitute. Twilight Guardian's mother, on the other hand, is a woman who bakes raspberry squares and buys sock monkeys from church rummage sales for her adult daughter. Rorschach was never shown having any sort of romantic connection with another human being, while we know that TG has experienced at least one great love.

Ah, but perhaps that's where the questions begin. We know that the aforementioned love is a love lost, and we might well assume it's part and parcel of what drives TG into the night. So, having potentially lost that firewall between grim avenger and the "friendly policeman on the corner," is Twilight Guardian destined to become...something else? Will she eventually trade in her deer jerky and funnybooks for breaking fingers and dropping perps down elevator shafts?

Only time will tell. Time, and readers' continued interest in knowing the truth. So keep voting Twilight Guardian, my friends, and we shall see.

Troy Hickman, August 14 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Twilight Guardian #3 and closing!

Folks, Twilight Guardian is currently third in the Pilot Season voting, and closing in on the vaunted #2 position. We just need to get out there and vote, vote, vote, and she'll get her own mini-series! Voting will continue from now until September 8, and you can vote ONCE PER DAY (on each computer), so if you can, please get out there and help make this happen!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Quick Note From Canadiana

Thanks for all the votes, gang! Please keep it up! Voting lasts from now until September 8th, and despite the tremendous odds, I think we can do this!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Vote Twilight Guardian!

OK, folks, Pilot Season voting has begun! EACH DAY, you can vote here or here (more sites later). I need your help, gang. Vote every day if you can (voting last all through August) and if you can get your pals to lend a hand, that'd be great. Thanks in advance for any help you can give. I'm in Canada, but I'll be checking in daily with updates and such. Vote Twilight Guardian!