Hey, you know how they say that good things come in threes? Sounds like an arbitrary number. But there are some good things that DO come in threes: three-ring circuses, three wishes granted by genies in fairy tales, three Back to the Future movies, three Marx Brothers who were actually funny (sorry, Zeppo, you contributed nothing to the act). That sort of thing.
Here’s another good thing associated with the number three: I’ve written three Red Titan graphic novels. Well, so far, anyway. The first two Red Titan GNs came out last year. (I wrote about that in a previous blog post.) And I’m writing THIS post to tell you that the third one, Red Titan and the Floor of Lava, is out now. It was illustrated by Patrick Spaziante.
Red Titan is the superhero alter ego of YouTuber Ryan Kaji (who can be seen on the Ryan’s World YouTube channel).
And while the Ryan’s World videos are shot in live-action, the Red Titan shorts are animated. The Red Titan graphic novels are illustrated in a colorful, lighthearted style similar to that of the animated shorts.
All three of the Red Titan graphic novels are set in the Ryan’s World universe. They were all published by Simon and Schuster’s Simon Spotlight imprint, and they’re part of the Ready-to-Read Graphics line.
I had a ton of fun writing these books. I tried to give them a sort of “classic kids comics” vibe, similar to those Little Dot stories Harvey Comics used to publish. Or Sheldon Mayer’s Sugar and Spike comics (published by DC back in the day). That’s what I was going for, anyway.
Here’s the official publisher description of Red Titan and the Floor of Lava:
“Red Titan and his friends want to have a picnic, but…the floor is lava! Will Red Titan be able to use his super strength and his scientific observational skills to save the day?”
When I was a very young child, I thought The Count (from Sesame Street) was Jewish because he talked like my maternal grandmother.
When my daughter Aviya was a baby, I used to hold her horizontally and pretend she was a tommy gun and that I was using her to obliterate mobsters in the 1920s. See, her legs were the butt of the gun, and her arms were the trigger, and um…Please don’t call Child Protective Services.
One time, I formed a boy band with some of my fellow MAD Magazine writers. (Well, more of a “man band,” because we were all adults…technically.) We assigned roles to everyone, because the people in boy bands always have roles, e.g. the leader, the romantic one, the cute one, etc. My role? The sexy weirdo.
According to my wife Nadine, the other day I talked in my sleep. I got up (still asleep), stood by the foot of the bed, and yelled, “There should be more comedy concerts!” And I’d just like to say: Sorry, sleepwalking-and-sleeptalking Arie, there’s still a pandemic going on. So there are limits on live indoor entertainment for now!
Speaking of the pandemic, one of the things I’ve missed about the pandemic is attending comic book conventions in person. One thing I don’t miss? Being asked by random strangers whether I was cosplaying as Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters, which honestly has happened too many times for me to count. For the record: No, not cosplaying as anyone. This is just what I look like.
Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season! If you’re not, maybe it’s because you don’t have these amazing books that I wrote! Which books am I talking about?
I’m so glad you hypothetically asked…
If you’re familiar with the Ryan’s World YouTube channel (starring Ryan Kaji and his parents), you may know that the folks behind that channel also produce animated shorts featuring Ryan Kaji’s superhero alter ego, Red Titan. I’ve written three official Red Titan graphic novels, all of which are set in the Ryan’s World universe. The first two are out now from Simon and Schuster’s Simon Spotlight imprint.
Both books are part of Simon Spotlight’s Ready-to-Read Graphics line.
Here’s the official publisher description of Red Titan and the Runaway Robot:
“Red Titan is enjoying a day in the park with his parents when his friend Peck calls for help. There’s a gigantic dancing robot on the loose, and it’s about to destroy the city! Can Red Titan and his friends try to stop the robot in time?”
In other words, it’s just like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, only it’s totally G-rated and there’s no violence or disturbing imagery and also it’s nothing like Terminator 2: Judgment Day!
And here’s the official publisher description of Red Titan and the Never-Ending Maze:
“Red Titan and his friends are on their way home when a giant box fort maze springs up in front of them, blocking their path! Will they be able to work together and use their powers to find a way out before dinnertime?”
True story: I actually did a ton of research on box fort mazes while I was writing the script for this graphic novel. Some of them are really intricate. I would go out and build one right now, but I have these silly things called “responsibilities”! Isn’t real life inconvenient? I think I’m having an existential crisis!
Moving on (perfect segue, you’re doing great, Arie), I see that the movie SING 2 is in theaters now. I had nothing to do with that movie. But I did have something to do with the SING Little Golden Book, which is out now from Penguin Random House. In fact, I wrote the manuscript for that book. And it was illustrated by Elsa Chang.
The SING LGB is a retelling of the plot of the first SING movie from 2016.