One of the best aspects of working on Hollywood Heroes is getting to use some previously created characters created by some friends of mine who also share a love for serial heroes. In a small way, using previously established characters such as these, although not actually created in the 1930s & '40s, seems to ground this project in that era. One such character is Mike Indovina's Chimera, first published by Mike in mini-comic format back in the 1990s before graduating to full-size comics.
Mike's love for pulp & serial-style heroes really comes through with the Chimera although the character isn't anything as simple as a pastiche of such iconic characters. Mike toils over his plots and characterization like no one else I know and the end result is worth his mental anguish. When Richard Penn dons the mask and fedora of the Chimera, a pulp character created by his grandfather decades earlier, Richard takes on the persona of the masked mystery man. Complete with a "flashgun" and a not-so-typical "girl Friday" who shares the same last name as the pulp hero's assistant, Penn slugs his way through the crime ways of Mike's fertile imagination.
I had the privilege of working with Mike on an upcoming issue of the Chimera, a book he'd waited patiently for me to angle enough free time to work on, which is kind of ironic as I'd pestered him for quite sometime to relaunch the character. So, when I began to work on Hollywood Heroes, I was thrilled that Mike was gracious enough to allow me to continue drawing the Chimera in my own book. But to further add to the Chimera's already complex history, I added a twist of my own.
Richmond Kane, reclusive actor and conspiracy theorist not only played the Chimera in such Saturday morning serials as "The Chimera Strikes" and "The Chimera vs. Doctor Satanic," but played a number of other roles as well, including co-staring with the lovely Kay Campbell in "Tasma the Congo Queen & the Pharaoh of Fear" where the two shared a romantic, off-camera interlude. Smelling a good mystery, when Kane was asked to join the Hollywood Heroes he was on board quicker than a flash from his flashgun which was supplied to him by the team's inventor Professor Armstrong. Jack Hart, the All-American Hero might be the team's heart, but the Chimera is its brains.
Keep checking in, boppers, more updates are right around the corner. Don't worry, there's a black & white Tasma coming soon.