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Sex, Drugs & Superheroes (full title: Sex, Drugs & Superheroes: A Savage Journey into a Wretched Hive of Scum & Supervillainy) is a novel by Wikipedia:David Reddish, first published in 2012.

Plot summaryEdit

The novel is told in a Wikipedia:first person narrative by Liquin Sonos, a self-described Wikipedia:geek for his love of comic books, film and the sci-fi/Wikipedia:fantasy/Wikipedia:superhero genre as he ventures to the Wikipedia:San Diego Comic-Con in 2008. Joined by his friends Kate Schuster, a first-time Convention attendee; the socially inept, would be-animator Windsor Kane; and the flamboyant Wikipedia:talent agent Brigham Truman, Liquin explores the strange nuances of geek culture and struggles against his own unfulfilled creative ambitions. While anticipating the year's biggest panel, a presentation on the film adaptation of Watchmen (film), the group fights the ballooning crowd and the takeover of the Con by the Hollywood establishment which seeks to make the Convention into an elitist trade show, and not the geek-lovefest Liquin believes Comic-Con was designed to be. Liquin also struggles with his attraction to the married Adam Powell, a handsome, successful emblem of everything Liquin aspires to be. As the Convention rolls on, the group bonds over their love of all things geeky, encountering properties such as Wikipedia:Battlestar Galactica, Wikipedia:X-Men, The Dark Knight and Twilight. Brigham signs a new celebrity client, Kate proudly accepts her own geekiness, and Windsor confronts his social awkwardness, as he and Kate begin a love affair. Liquin finds hope to go on pursuing his dreams, and manages to rebuff Adam's carnal advances, finding refuge in the arms of another handsome geek, Guy. The convention draws to a close and the group disbands, Liquin takes pride in his geekiness, realizing the beauty of his strangeness.[1]

StyleEdit

The novel relies heavily on Wikipedia:pop-culture Wikipedia:allusions, with the characters quoting heavily from movies, television and literature. Reddish has said in interviews that the novel is less about an actual plot than the psychology of its narrator—a creatively unfulfilled writer for whom the fictitious worlds of comic books and movies are as real as his own life.[2] Liquin Sonos is an outsider who finds a sense of community in geek-subculture, and cherishes Comic-Con as a place of refuge from his own mundane reality. The novel also has a Wikipedia:post-modern twist: many of the genre references are used to comment on the characters and action in the story. Moreover, Reddish himself appears as an implied character near the end of the novel, offering advice to Liquin Sonos, and hinting at the future of Comic-Con itself.[3]

BackgroundEdit

David Reddish had attempted to write a Comic-Con based story as early as 2005, and made several attempts to write a screenplay to revolve around a group of friends attending the convention.[4] Difficulties in structuring the story lead to Reddish shelving the project in favor of other work. After several years of unsuccessfully trying to sell screenplays, and with the Wikipedia:2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike affecting his workflow, Reddish found himself at a career impasse. At the suggestion of friends, and taking a cue from writer Wikipedia:Nicholas Meyer who also found himself in a similar bind during a strike in the early 1980s, Reddish decided to try his hand at writing a novel. Returning to the Comic-Con premise once again, the author "cracked" the story when he realized the prose format would allow him to write in first person as the main character.[5]

Influenced by the Wikipedia:gonzo journalism of Wikipedia:Hunter S. Thompson and the stream of consciousness Wikipedia:semi-autobiographical writings of Wikipedia:Carrie Fisher, Reddish found he could base the plot and structure of the story around Liquin's musings, with his inner monologue providing the main thrust of the story.[6] The author integrated many of his own experiences at Comic-Con into a fictional plot with the characters representing a "cross-section" of the diverse convention subculture. The full title, Sex, Drugs & Superheroes: A Savage Journey Into a Wretched Hive of Scum & Supervillainy, alludes to the title of Thompson's Wikipedia:Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the Wikipedia:Ian Drury song "Wikipedia:Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll", and a quote from the film Wikipedia:Star Wars (Wikipedia:Alec Guiness' character's description of the Wikipedia:Mos Eisley spaceport), in which Fisher appeared. In 2013, when asked if the author had based Liquin Sonos directly on himself, Reddish elaborated: "No, he's not me. The best way I can describe it...Liquin is everything I wish I was, and everything I'm terrified that I am. He's not the absolute; he's the polls of the spectrum."[7]

Reddish has acknowledged that the character names contain subtle references to their personalities: Kate Shuster is named for the lead character in Wikipedia:Shakespeare's Wikipedia:The Taming of the Shrew as well as Wikipedia:Joe Shuster, co-creator of Wikipedia:Superman. Windsor Kane derives from animator Wikipedia:Winsor McCay and Wikipedia:Batman creator Wikipedia:Bob Kane. Brigham Truman references Wikipedia:Truman Capote, who Reddish used as a partial basis for the character and who's writing also influenced Reddish's own. The surname of Liquin Sonos comes from Wikipedia:Sonos, the Wikipedia:Greek god of dreams, while the unusual first name, Liquin, Reddish has said just "came out of the ether" and has admitted that he has no idea how he devised the name.[8]

David Reddish wrote the novel in approximately nine months before spending a year trying to find a publisher to produce it. During that time, Reddish found himself out of work and living on modest unemployment benefits, taking odd jobs for income when he could, including work as a model and Wikipedia:go-go dancer.[9] The subsequent rejection of the novel by ninety publishers and agencies, coupled with financial strain sent the author into severe depression, for which he eventually sought medical treatment. Diagnosed with Wikipedia:unipolar disorder, Reddish continued to edit and refine Sex, Drugs & Superheroes until early 2012 when the author decided to pursue an Wikipedia:independent publishing contract to release the novel to Wikipedia:Amazon.com and Wikipedia:Barnes and Noble Booksellers. It finally saw release in April 2012.[10]

On 15 April 2013, author David Reddish announced via his Twitter account that Sex, Drugs & Superheroes had been acquired by Digital Fabulists Publishing for wider circulation in print and Wikipedia:audiobook. A recording of the novel, narrated by Reddish was released in July 2014.[11] Appearing at Bent-Con 2013, David Reddish announced a graphic novel adaptation with art by Jackson Eather is already in production, due for release in 2014.[12]

ReceptionEdit

Sex, Drugs & Superheroes met with positive reviews upon release.[4][13] Wikipedia:The Advocate called the novel "a humorous and memorable peek at the subculture" and named it to their "Hot Sheet" in July 2012. Literary website GuerrillaBookworm praised the book and declared it "geek out lit," comparing it to novels by Wikipedia:Carl Sagan, Wikipedia:Sarah Vowell, Wikipedia:Chris Hardwick and Wikipedia:Seth Grahame Smith.[14] Critic Jase Peeples of Gay.net praised the characterization, writing style and accuracy in capturing the Comic-Con experience also noting "the fictional story of Liquin Sonos, the novel's angst-ridden protagonist, offers as much fun as any graphic novel – and twice the charm."[4]

Author David Reddish engaged in a promotional tour in 2012, visiting comic book conventions in New York, Los Angeles and the Wikipedia:San Diego Comic-Con itself.[15]

SequelEdit

Author David Reddish has said in interviews that he may write a sequel to Sex, Drugs & Superheroes, should the original novel prove successful. Reddish envisions the full story of Liquin Sonos spread across a trilogy of books, and has both sequels fully outlined, set two years apart.[2] While discussing the forthcoming graphic novel adaptation, the author elaborated on sequel plans, confessing that he had begun drafting both sequels, though because of the darker storylines he felt compelled to shelve them for the time being, declaring "I'm just not ready to write them yet."[12]

Film AdaptationEdit

During a spotlight panel at Bent-Con 2012, author David Reddish confirmed that he was "having conversations" about a proposed film adaptation of the novel. Reddish has said his major stipulations with developing a film are that he is hired to pen the screenplay himself and that Liquin's homosexuality, though not a major issue in the story, remain in the film version.

During Wikipedia:Wonder-Con 2013, Reddish began sending cryptic messages via Twitter which included the tag #SDSTM and hinting at a major announcement. On 15 April 2013, David Reddish confirmed via Twitter that a film version is in active development, though no producers have officially optioned the rights.[16] While discussing the graphic novel adaptation during a panel at Bent-Con 2013, Reddish revealed that a proposed movie version had reached the pre-production stage in early 2013, but never came to fruition. His frustration with the film version led to the graphic novel adaptation.[12]

Graphic NovelEdit

Appearing at Bent-Con 2013, Wikipedia:David Reddish introduced artist Jackson Eather and announced the graphic novel adaptation of Sex, Drugs & Superheroes, as well as presented artwork from the graphic incarnation and debuted a trailer featuring both finished and concept art for the comic book.[12] Reddish and Eather, while fielding questions from the audience, discussed their collaborative process and approach to the comic book version, scheduled for release in 2014.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Reddish, David (2012). "Sex, Drugs & Superheroes". pp. 216. Template:Citation/identifier. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yacco, Patrick. "Author David Reddish on the glories of being a queer geek and Comic con International". GeeksOut!. http://geeksout.org/blogs/patrick/author-david-reddish-being-queer-geek-and-glories-comic-con-international#.UC5Ri9BYtW4. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  3. Slick-Haxx, Matty. "Template:Citation error". Antitwink.com. http://antitwink.com/sitemap.html. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Peeples, Jase. "Hot Read: Sex Drugs & Superheroes". http://www.gay.net/hot-reads/2012/06/04/hot-read-%E2%80%98sex-drugs-and-superheroes%E2%80%99#.T8zO_8LAROE.facebook. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  5. Schneck, Ken. "This Show is So Gay". http://thisshowissogay.com/node/419. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  6. Leona, Priscilla. "Question Reality". http://www.latalkradio.com/Players/Priscilla.shtml?date=October+28,+2012&file=102812. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  7. Reddish, David (9 November 2013). "Sex, Drugs & Superheroes Gets Graphic". 
  8. "Nerdy Show-Flame on". http://nerdyshow.com/2012/07/flame-on-s02-sex-drugs-and-superheroes-101/. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  9. Staff, Amazon. "Author Page". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/David-Reddish/e/B007Z4TDQG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  10. Reddish, David (10 December 2012). "Spotlight on Sex, Drugs & Superheroes". 
  11. "Sales page". Audible. http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Sex-Drugs-Superheroes-Audiobook/B00LLLDYSC/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1405304642&sr=1-1. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 "Sex, Drugs & Superheroes: The Official Site". http://www.sexdrugssuperheroes.com. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  13. "Sex, Drugs & Superheroes: A Review". http://guerillabookworm.com/?p=409. Retrieved 23 May 2012. Template:Dead link
  14. "Time to Geek Out!". http://guerillabookworm.com/?p=361. Retrieved 22 May 2012. Template:Dead link
  15. Stanley, David. "Queer Nerd Wrap-Up of SD Comic-Con 2012! Andy Gets Inkpot! Prism Presents Northstar Panel! And More! (photo caption)". Prism Comics. http://prismcomics.org/display.php?id=2110. Retrieved 6/4/2012. 
  16. Reddish, David. "The Gay Magneto Twitter". Twitter. https://twitter.com/thegaymagneto. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 


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