Archive for the ‘Comedy Writing’ Category

2021 Interviews With Yours Truly!

10/19/21

Last month, I was interviewed by Rebecca Kaplan (no relation) for the geek culture site Comics Bookcase. During the interview, I talked about my career as a comic book writer and children’s author.

Around that same time, I was a guest on Jeramy Moore’s Storymakers podcast. This was a wide-ranging interview about my writing career.

And, just in case you missed them, here are some other press interviews with yours truly from earlier this year:

For Jurassic June (which happened in – wait for it – June), I was interviewed by Thomas Fishenden for the Jurassic Park Podcast. In this interview, I talked about the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World children’s books I’ve written. That interview was broken up into two parts. Part one is here, and part two is here.

In March, as part of WonderCon 2021, I was on a virtual panel that attempted to answer the question: “Who’s the most neurotic superhero?” The other panelists were Travis Langley, Leandra Parris, J.J. Sedelmeier, and R. Sikoryak. The panel was moderated by Danny Fingeroth. 

Also in March, David P. Levin hosted a panel discussion on his Pop Goes the Culture show to discuss the Disney Plus series WandaVision. I was one of the panelists. The other panelists were Danny Fingeroth, Ray Alma, Steve Van Patten, Adam Freeman, and special guest Fred Melamed, who played Vision’s boss in WandaVision.

And last but definitely not least, in February, I was a guest on the MulDiversity podcast, where I was interviewed by Jonita Davis, Mike Majett, Quamani Greer, Avia Knighten, Aaron M. Johnson, and Keisha Malone. During the interview, we discussed my career in comics, my work as a television comedy writer, and more.

Time-traveling Socks and Neurotic Centaurs

9/22/21

Recently, I wrote a short story called “Previously On ‘Time Sock: The Sock That Travels Through Time.’” It was published in the August 2021 issue of Defenestration, a literary magazine dedicated to humor. “Previously On ‘Time Sock’…” is a story that parodies some of the more ridiculous, convoluted science fiction-themed TV shows from the 1970s and 1980s, especially shows that were produced by Glen Larson (e.g. Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Knight Rider). But “Previously On ‘Time Sock’…” isn’t a parody of a specific show; just the type of science fiction TV show that used to be quite common on television, 40 or 50 years ago. 

Here are some other short stories and humor pieces I’ve written during the last few months:

I wrote a story for The Daily Drunk called “If You Act Now…”

And I wrote a list for Points in Case. It’s called “Other Things That Were Considered Evidence of Witchcraft in 17th Century Salem.”

Last but definitely not least, I wrote a piece for Weekly Humorist called “Thanks To The Pandemic, Nobody Cares That I’m A Centaur.”

 

 

Welcome to the Lodestars!

3/24/21

I’m currently writing the scripts for a mobile game called eQuoo: The Next Generation: Lodestar. The game is a complete, top-to-bottom relaunch of a game called eQuoo, which came out a few years ago. PsycApps, the company behind both versions of eQuoo, uses gamification and psychology to help people maintain their mental health.

In early 2020, Silja Litvin, the founder and CEO of PsycApps, brought me on board to write this “Next Gen” version of the game.

You enter the game as a newly-minted member of a secret order of “time-jumpers” called Lodestars. As a Lodestar, you use a portable time machine called the Dial, which whisks you from one historical era to another. In each era, you have adventures and learn psychological skills that will help you build your emotional resilience, boost your relationship skills, and lower your anxiety.

Each era is also its own separate story. For example, Story 1, which is called “The House of Krondolar,” is a parody of fantasy epics like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. You can see all of the “House of Krondolar” characters in this poster for the game, which was illustrated by eQuoo’s multi-talented lead artist Celia Rodriguez.

eQuoo: The Next Generation is currently available on Google Play and the iOs App Store.

Here’s a YouTube trailer for the game, where you can see what the Lodestars and the Dial look like. The trailer also explains a little bit of the lore behind the game.

And check out this interview with Silja Litvin from the MiTale blog. Silja said some very nice things about me!

 

Getting To Know Franz Kafka

12/20/20

Recently, I wrote a humor piece for the comedy site Points in Case. It’s called “Franz Kafka’s Bar Mitzvah Speech.” You can check it out HERE.

I was inspired to write this piece when I was doing some research for a nonfiction project and I accidentally came across images of the Old-New Synagogue in Prague. My research told me that this was where Franz Kafka had his Bar Mitzvah. All of a sudden, images of Franz Kafka as an awkward, obnoxious 13-year-old Bar Mitzvah boy filled my head.

It struck me as funny. What would his Bar Mitzvah have been like? What gifts would he have received from his friends and relatives? What would his Bar Mitzvah speech be like? Who would he thank in that speech? Then I realized that I should write that speech. So I did.

When I first started working on this humor piece, it didn’t seem like it was really coming together. Kafka’s novels and essays and short stories are SO relentlessly dark and depressing and bleak. How would I make his Bar Mitzvah speech funny while still making it feel like something the REAL Kafka would write?

Then I realized I should make the adolescent Kafka sound like a combination of Gru from Despicable Me and Nandor from What We Do in The Shadows. What both of those characters have in common is that they’re very whiny and petty. If I could make teenage Franz Kafka that whiny and petty, while still making him somewhat dark (but, you know, not “adult-level-Kafka” dark), this humor piece could work.

Also, I needed to tap into teen Kafka’s anger, his rage against his parents and other authority figures. If he wasn’t angry, he’d just be sad, and this humor piece would ALSO just be sad. But the more teen Kafka railed against his parents and his rabbi and the frustrations in his life, the funnier he became. He was like an angry chihuahua: tiny and physically frail and not to be messed with.

There was just one last component I needed to really make this adolescent Franz Kafka come to life: I had to think about some of the things that were on my mind when I was preparing for my own Bar Mitzvah. So yeah, I put some of my own teenage grievances into the mix while writing this piece.

Hope you enjoy it! (Which is a needy thing to say, and one that Franz Kafka totally wouldn’t be on board with. Oh well…)

 

Please contact me if you want to use this for any reason. arie@ariekaplan.com