Nothing About Us Without Us:
The Adventures of the Cartoon Republican Army
by David Perlmutter Genre: Fantasy
Anybody who loves animated cartoons should be interested in knowing the truth about them. Which is that they have lives after the camera stops filming, and pretty interesting ones at that. This book will give you the truth about who they are and what they feel, direct from their lips. Particularly about how the leaders of the world want them out of the way, for good....
As per our plan, I entered the gymnasium’s raised stage from the wings. If I had expected to be treated with respect by those grasping ghouls, I would have been thoroughly mistaken. But I had gotten used to them by now, so I knew not to expect that from them. They leaped into their Screaming Mimi mode as soon as I sashayed on, and I was assaulted by dozens of pointless questions, dozens of cameras flashing in my eyes, and very obvious attempts to hem me in so I could answer the pointless questions. Typical talentless bastard stuff from talentless bastards.
To assert my authority, I whipped the blanks-filled gun I had out of my pocket, and fired it into the air, which got their attention- and silence- immediately.
“CAN IT!” I shouted. “You will listen to us and treat us with RESPECT- which, in case you parents failed to teach you, means that you will wait until we finish talking before you start repeating those damnable circus sideshow tactics of yours! Otherwise, you will get NOTHING from us, now or in the future. If any of you have a problem with this, leave now- or I will MAKE you! UNDERSTAND?”
They seemed to get the message. A few of them angrily left the room, cursing me and the CRA both, but I kept my cool. They didn’t matter. The ones who stayed sat down and stayed silent. One woman, though, didn’t.
“Exactly what are you trying to prove by this?” she asked.
“Just this,” I said. “That we deserve far better than the witch hunt you’ve been putting us through, and that you have undermined the ethics of your profession by engaging in such tactless savagery. No further questions.”
“I said NO FURTHER QUESTIONS!”
“You have no right to do this to….”
In a rage, I jumped off the stage and began hustling the woman off, pinning one of her arms behind her.
At this moment, the General entered from the opposite side of the stage from where I had existed, script in hand. This was not something we had planned. She saw that and was outraged by my behavior. Her face turned as red as her dress and shoes.
“COLONEL!” she snapped at me.
I threw the reporter to the side and turned to face her.
“What the hell are you doing?” she asked, archly.
“She kept asking me questions,” I sputtered, “and I just…”
She turned to the reporter I had manhandled, and pointed at her.
The reporter got the message and left.
“You!” she said to me. “Get back up here. NOW!”
David Perlmutter is a freelance writer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is the author of America Toons In: A History of Television Animation (McFarland and Co.), The Singular Adventures Of Jefferson Ball (Amazon Kindle/Smashwords), The Pups (Booklocker.com), Certain Private Conversations and Other Stories (Aurora Publishing), Honey and Salt (Scarlet Leaf Publishing), Orthicon; or, the History of a Bad Idea (Linkville Press, forthcoming), The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows (Rowman and Littlefield) and Nothing About Us Without Us (Amazon Kindle Direct Prime). His short stories can be read on Curious Fictions at Curious Fictions/David Perlmutter. He can be reached on Facebook at David Perlmutter-Writer, Twitter at @DKPLJW1, and Tumblr at The Musings of David Perlmutter (yesdavidperlmutterfan).
What is something unique/quirky about you? I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I was diagnosed at a very young age. I wouldn’t classify it as a disability, but as a mild mental disorder, since I am still capable of doing most things other people can. I may do them in a slightly different way, but they still get done.
What are some of your pet peeves? Loud noises that are not music, people using their cell phones and ignoring other people in public, and people saying and doing things that are wrong while believing incorrectly that are right.
Where were you born/grew up at? Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I haven’t lived anywhere else in my life, which I suspect is rarer than it used to be. Originally I lived in the West End on Sherbrook Street, then moved to Somerville Avenue in Fort Garry, then lived 28 (!) years on Montrose Street in River Heights, and now live with my parents in a condo on Victor Lewis Drive in Lindenwoods.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day? Quietly, at home, waiting for the end to come, preferably in my sleep.
Who is your hero and why? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was one of the most thoughtful and compassionate men who ever lived, and one of history’s greatest orators. In a terrible and violent time in American history, he seemed to be the sole voice of reason, especially looking at him now. If he had not been assassinated, I suspect his influence on the world would be even greater than it is now, and we would all be living in better circumstances because of that..
What kind of world ruler would you be? Benevolent, fair, just and kind. The best ones in all of history had those qualities.
What are you passionate about these days? What I’ve always been passionate about: animation, music, literature, movies and TV. Particularly in trying to show how others how important they are through my own non-fiction and fiction writing, because some people still don’t get that about any of them.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Listen to the radio (chiefly the CBC) and music, mostly.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less! Eager to please.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? I always knew writing was going to play a role in something I did professionally, but it wasn’t really until I sold my first story in 2009 that I knew it could be a career for me, even just a part-time one.
Do you have a favorite movie? Yes. “Blazing Saddles”. I thought it was brilliant the first time I saw it, and I still think that it’s one of the funniest and most audacious comedies ever made in Hollywood. Mel Brooks is one of the few people in the world I can truly say that I idolize, and I have always tried to follow the example he set for me in that movie with what I write now.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie? Any of them, but they would have to be animated for them to really work; in live-action they’d look stilted and fake. But I’d have to write the scripts, if they’d let me, for them to be truly authentic.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? I can’t really say I have gone on any, yet. It’s hard to do that when your literary idols all live- or lived- very far away from where you live. But, before I die, I want to pay tribute to the man who really turned me on to reading fictional prose in junior high- Jack London- by visiting his home town, Oakland, California, and seeing if there are still traces of the impoverished 19thcentury world he grew up in and escaped there.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? The animal I have written about most in my work so far: a dog.
What can we expect from you in the future? I am awaiting the publication of my first novel, “Orthicon”, which has been locked up in the vaults of the publisher I sold it to a couple of years ago for a while now, but they assure me it will be published soon. I also intend to continue writing and publishing new non-fiction and fiction. Recently, I joined Curious Fictions, and have started publishing things I can’t sell anywhere else there, and I hope to put things from my back catalogue up there as well. Readers interested in my stuff can follow me there, as well as on my social media accounts (provided).
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors? My top ten writers are, in no particular order: Jack London, Robert Bloch, Frederik Pohl, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edmund Wilson, Northrop Frye and G.K. Chesterton.
What book do you think everyone should read?
“Patriotic Gore” by Edmund Wilson. The Civil War as told by the people who lived through it. You’ll never look at those times and those people the same way again.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write? It never comes completely at once. Things evolve as I write about them. That’s why I keep going back to my main stable of characters- to flesh them out and be able to tell more fully developed stories about them.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book? Extensive. I spend much more time doing research than writing, to make sure I get things right.
Do you see writing as a career? Yes.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre? Yes. Science Fiction, Fiction and Horror. Especially the old masters and mistresses, who did it so much better than I possibly could.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why? I put music on and let it rip. It really stimulates my imagination.
Pen or type writer or computer? Usually, pen first, then computer, to work out and eliminate the kinks so I don’t have to spend so much type. Occasionally, if I’m pressed for time, direct to computer.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book. Buck, the protagonist of Jack London’s “The Call Of The Wild”, the book that made me want to write novels. What he goes through no self-respecting dog should, but the fact that he survives it all intact is even more remarkable. It’s a real feat to write a book without a human being as a protagonist, and London did it so brilliantly. Besides, he was up in the Klondike for the Gold Rush himself, so he had absolutely no problem getting the setting and characters just right.
Advice they would give new authors? What my half-namesake Davy Crockett is said to have had his motto: “Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.”
What is your writing Kryptonite? Trying to write more than 40,000 words in one piece. Do you know some publishers won’t even read something you write unless it’s at least twice that? They need to try bring it back to the basic novel word count if they want something short, simple and accessible.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? Half of one, and half the other.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex? Fearing that the people of that sex will reject my writing about them just because you aren’t one of “them”. Which is dumb, because the best writers can make a character believable regardless of their gender. But, in my case, there are still a lot of man-haters who think women are the only ones capable of “really” writing about women, and there probably always will be.
Do you believe in writer’s block? Certainly. It goes hand in glove with depression, which I have suffered from many times in my life. You get thinking that you can never come with anything original because it’s all been done before. But what’s all been done before, really, is the stereotypes, the false and imagined expectations of readers, and the recalcitrance of certain publishers to try anything “new”. If you write something that you really have faith in, and you can convince yourself (and then a publisher) that it has some merit, then you really can’t go wrong.
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