Gothilocks Introduction

In the early aughts, I took a creative writing course at Broward Community College in Ft Lauderdale, FL (they have since dropped the “Community” part of the name and go by Broward College) which I enjoyed immensely. One day my professor tried to explain to us the concepts of the protagonist and antagonist in a story by using the example of the fairytale of  “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. Apparently, in the academic community, there is an ongoing debate on whether it is a story about a golden haired girl who gets lost in the forest and takes shelter in a lodging apparently owned by three bears, or is it a story about a family of bears that go out for a walk only to find upon returning their residence usurped by a squatter? After some discussion, he gave the class the assignment of writing our own stories using the model of Goldilocks. Of course, my imagination being filtered through a Gothic lens, I came up with “Gothilocks”, a young Goth girl who stumbles upon a cottage in the woods inhabited by Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, and a Wolf-man.

The story went over so well in class that I decided to write more in that vein and ended up writing a whole series of stories involving Gothilocks and her friends interacting with faeries, and various monsters from legend, mythology and Gothic literature and film.

Bandido Studios, circa 2005: Me, Jessica (Gothilocks), Jesus and photographer Juan Sanchez. @ Gothilocks debut signing.   

In around 2005 I collaborated with an Arizona indie comic book artist named Jesus “Jessie” Gutierrez on a comic version of the story. The initial book was sold at comic conventions and the Phoenix Comicon at the Bandido Studios table, which was owned and run by Jessie and had modest success for such a homegrown effort. One of Jessie’s favorite ways to plug his own comic series (Barrio Blues, a “Mexploitation” comic with gun-slinging vatos and voluptuous Latina hotties) was to talk his female acquaintances into donning “Bandido Studios” t-shirts and pretend to be the characters in the stories. This helped a bit to draw interest to his table and when he suggested I do the same for Gothilocks, I gave it much thought and decided to ask my good friend Jessica (I have chosen not to reveal her surname for her personal privacy) to be my spokesperson. I spent lots of cash getting her costume together and she took to the part with gusto! She would show up at in-store signings and would sign the comics with her real name–LOL! She fit the character so well, that she inspired me to write more stories and, in my mind at least, she became synonymous with the character. When we did a reprint of the comic in 2006, I included a few photos of Jessica dressed up as Gothilocks in her cape, corset, mini-skirt and knee-high boots. We did a few different photo sessions around town in a local cemetery and a wooded area by a roadside in Surprise, but none of the photos made it onto any comics as Jesus and I drifted apart before we made any more Gothilocks comics. Also included was the original text of the story since I felt that the comic had cut out way too much of it for my taste.

For the proposed second comic in the series, I had decided to do the prequel, “Belladonna”, which doesn’t feature Gothilocks per se, but does mention her in passing and sets up the pretense for her being in the forest in the first place. After much soul searching, and one failed attempt to recruit a former co-worker, I decided to go with another friend, Shawna (again, surname withheld for privacy). Jesus took some photos of her in her father’s backyard, which came out nicely, but the comic was never made.

Me and Shawna in her Dad’s kitchen after taking photos for the Belladonna comic.

 

To this day, the series has remained largely unread by others because I cannot find the right artist to do the spot illustrations I want. What I hope to do someday is make the series into old fashioned Penny Bloods featuring a few illustrations and a lurid cover. I have approached many artists for this over the years, with interesting results, but none ever really caught the right feel for what I wanted. What follows will be the Gothilocks and Belladonna stories, (as two separate entries) accompanied by their respective artwork and photos…

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One Response to “Gothilocks Introduction”

  1. Hi Manny, I don’t know if you remember me, im a friend of Jesse also a comic book artist. Last year I lost contact with Jesse and ive been trying to reach him but his cell number was disconnected. Does he have a new number? if you see him can you tell him to email me his phone number. My email address is on my deviantart page. victomon.deviantart.com

    Thanks.

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