Team Ups and Crossovers

cover4_6

Typhoon, Velveteen, Astra, and The Mighty Halo. Not quite the finished cover-art, but close…

So I’m two months late. I’ve learned two things this year; 1.) I don’t multi-task at all well, and 2.) writing short stories is as hard as writing novels. Well you live and you learn, especially when you have no choice but to scale that learning curve, and Team Ups and Crossovers is now in the finishing stages of editing and I can talk about it.

Team Ups and Crossovers started with simply remembering how much I enjoyed the Marvel/DC crossovers. You know: Spider Man vs. Superman, the Justice League vs. The Avengers, etc. The comic writers had tremendous fun with them, and certainly a lot of readers did as well. Crossovers have actually become quite the fiction-trope, fueled by the internet’s powers to spread fanfiction far and wide (some of it as good as or better than the source material). Fanfiction.net is a guilty pleasure of mine, where you can find just about every kind of crossover you can imagine. For example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supernatural, Castle/Firefly, Naruto/The Avengers, or Harry Potter/Buffy/Avengers/Firefly.

Of course most of these crossovers are less than serious!

I don’t read as much as I’d like to (I could read every hour of the day, but it cuts into writing), but I am currently enjoying several superhero series and it occurred to me to approach a couple of authors to see about co-writing a collection of crossover stories, the idea being that something happens to catapult Astra into a cross-worlds journey through several superhero universes. I was very fortunate; both of the authors whose universes I was most interested in being allowed to play in answered back affirmatively.

Seanan McGuire

I’ve reviewed her stuff here before, but I’ll say it again; Seanan’s Velveteen Vs. stories, taken together, give us one of the most imaginative superhero universes out there today. Velveteen, Jackie Frost, The Princess, Polychrome, Action Guy, Victory Anna, and many more are all original, delightful, fully realized characters inhabiting mostly stock superhero-types. The action in her stories spans the gamut, from foiling mundane crime to cosmic adventure, and while she peppers Velveteen’s world with a lot of joke-villains (good jokes!), her serious, plot-driving bad guys are serious, scary, and real. Real people under the powers, with believable motivations. Seanan is very, very good at portraying convincing evil.

Unfortunately for me, Seanan writes hard. I don’t think a year passes without her turning out at least three titles. On top of that she does the convention circuit, so she really didn’t have time to write or co-write a crossover story. Fortunately, when I reached out to her she admitted that while she hadn’t read my stuff she’d heard good things; she kindly gave me permission to write an Astra/Velveteen crossover, and approved the two linked tales I came up with for adventures in the world of Super Patriots Inc. I hope I got Velveteen right.

Dave Barrack

I don’t know who introduced me to Grrl Power. I think it was one of my readers. There are a lot of online comics out there today, but Grrl Power is in the top 10%. I rank it up there just below Girl Genius and Schlock Mercenary. Dave is both the writer and artist of Grrl Power, and while his art has improved since the first pages, his humor has always been first-rate. I encountered the series when it was already two years in, and reading Sydney/Halo’s first “adventure” (of course it was a bank-robbery) I laughed so hysterically I couldn’t keep reading. So of course I had to ask Dave about an Astra/Halo crossover.

Dave has been writing/drawing his webcomic full-time for two years now, but he said heck yeah and together we were able to co-write a hilariously fun story. Naturally Astra plays the straight man to Halo’s insanity. I don’t know about Dave, but I had so much fun with it that the door is always open to a sequel.

K.F.Lim

Funny story. I don’t respond to most reader reviews, but some I do. Some reviewers ask questions. Others make suggestions. When a reviewer addresses me in any way I take that as permission to respond as I would to fan-mail. I met KF on Goodreads, where she critically gushed over all of the then-published books in the series and proceeded to ship Hope hard with another major character. (For those not familiar with the terminology, ship is short for relationship; fans of well-loved characters will often ship them with other characters with whom they think they should be romantically involved). KF shipped so entertainingly that I had to ask her where she was getting it from; I expected some throwaway comment back, but KF is a lawyer and she laid out the subtext she read into certain scenes in the first few books and argued a case so convincing I can’t unsee it now. Not that things progressed that way of course, but that was the beginning of a long and enriching correspondence relationship.

KF wrote the last short story in Team Ups and Crossovers, in which Hope meets a very different CAI team after returning home from her cross-world adventures. My sole contribution was style-editing (after grad school law she writes too correctly). Her dialogue is dead-on and hilarious, she nailed Astra near-perfectly, and the new capes she introduces, beginning with Typhoon, are wonderful. I predict that many readers may find hers the most entertaining story in the book.

Publication Schedule.

As has become the practice, Team Ups and Crossovers will be released in Amazon Kindle format first, on November 1st. It will be followed within a few weeks by the print-on-demand edition. Again, I apologize for the lateness of the book, and hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

M.G.Harmon

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About George

I am a reasonably successful self-published author ("successful" means I can pay the bills and am highly rated in my Amazon category), former financial advisor (writing is more fun), and have something in common with Mitt Romney and Donny Osmond. Guess.
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32 Responses to Team Ups and Crossovers

  1. Michael D'Auben says:

    I’d be pre-ordering this right now, but it doesn’t seem to be up on Amazon yet. I’m already a big fan of Seanan McGuire’s Velveteen stories, and I look forward to discovering these other characters.

  2. Gwendolyn Patton says:

    I’ve been a big fan of Astra and the Mighty Halo for a long time now.

    I’d love to see Astra team up with Mustang Sally from the Just Cause series! (That’s Ian Thomas Healy’s series.)

    If you ever want to do something with my version of Jenny Everywhere, from my comic at quarktime.net, just get a hold of me and we’ll talk. Love to talk even without a crossover, you rock.

  3. ArdRhi says:

    I’ll be getting this too. I’ve been a big fan of Astra and The Mighty Halo for years. You should get in touch with Ian Healy and see if you can do a crossover with Mustang Sally and the other Just Cause heroes. I think it’d be a blast.

    Of course, if you ever want to do something with my edition of Jenny Everywhere, from my comic at quarktime.net, just let me know. I’d love to chat with you in general, I’m a fan, but I know better than to go all fangirl and get squee all over the place. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Elizabeth Creegan says:

    Will you post something when the pre-order is available?

    GrrrlPower is one of my favorites (though it’s dragging at the moment) and I love everything Seanan McGuire has written under her own name. (The stuff she’s written as Mira Grant is just as good but less to my taste.)

  5. charcamolson says:

    This sounds great, and I will almost certainly get it.

    But be warned. If you got Velveteen wrong I will cut you!

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I’ve never read any of the Velveteen stuff (only recently heard of it) but I love Grrl Power with a passion. Now I just have to wait til I’m in a position to afford to buy the book.

  7. James says:

    Do you know if Seanan will be making Velveteen available for Kindle again?

  8. +Oh and lets have a comic book devoted to Hope/Astra. Wearing the cape should be worth a series and a movie and animation. But Im just obsessed. Come on Nov. 1!

  9. This is great news! I can’t wait.

  10. danschubert says:

    I don’t know any of the crossover characters, but I’ll eagerly read every word you write about Astra and/or her world. Pretty sure I’ll buy the game, even though I haven’t done any ttrpging since the 90s, don’t know any gamers around here, and wouldn’t have much interest in learning a new system even if I did. Every. Word. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kinda hoping there well be a few tidbits that aren’t in the stories, though.

    I should probably look up the source material you’re crossing over with, huh? I trust your taste.

  11. Iain Burgess says:

    … oh my god.Astra and HALO! that’s it. *maniacal laughter* i can’t wait.

  12. Iain Burgess says:

    …. i’m geeking out. a Halo/Astra teamup, three other stories with Potential… ah, i can’t wait. i keep coming back here to re-read the synopses and giggle.

  13. Louis Launer says:

    I am so delighted that you are busy writing. As for the teamups, I like to keep the different “universes” separate. I like Firestar in the Marvel Universe. But she is her own personality. I haven’t been too keen with comparing her with her DC counterpart. I guess I write as realistic as I can (my characters don’t have superpowers, but they have brilliant minds). Yet, I couldn’t compare my characters to, say, any of John Green’s characters in his novels or Tim Tharp’s characters. We all write and develop our own setting and our own environment. Granted, I do change certain things about suburban St. Louis, Jefferson City and suburban Kansas City. You do that to Chicago, Springfield and southern Illinois and I appreciate what you do.

    I guess I try to be as original as I can.

  14. Max Woldhek says:

    Good thing you didn’t try for a crossover with the supervillain serial Worm. Astra would have come back from that one with a drinking problem. ๐Ÿ˜€
    (Also, Worm’s really good, but also really depressing at points)

  15. Daric says:

    Wow each one of those are ranked in my top 10 superheroes. Absolutely can’t wait!

  16. Russell K. says:

    I’m all for this! I’m big fan of Grrl Power (and of course a bigger fan of Wearing the Cape) and these crossover stories sound hilarious and awesome… with the very important caveat that they’re non-canonical for everyone involved. Can’t wait!

    • George says:

      Actually… The stories I wrote and co-wrote are canonical for the Wearing the Cape universe. The two linked stories that involve some of Seanan McGuire’s great characters are not canonical for her Velveteen Vs. stories; in fact that was her sole condition for letting me play in her world a little. How do you square this circle? Easy: simply assume that the Velveteen crossovers take place in a close parallel, not the Velveteen-Prime reality. That said, I did carefully write those stories so that they can slip into the chronology of the Velveteen Vs. stories without affecting the ongoing arcs of that series at all.

      The same is true for the Astra/Halo story I co-wrote with Dave Barrack; canonical for my world, optional for Dave’s. Personally I’d love for him to make it canon in the world of Grrl Power as well, but we wrote it in a way that allows it to be ignored by readers who don’t consider it canon.

      • Russell K says:

        Ahhh, well I’m not quite so fond of that choice but it’s still only a minor concern. Far from a deal breaker, that’s for sure. I couldn’t even tell you why the idea make me nervous, but I CAN tell you I have absolute faith it’ll be great; your books are the direct inspiration for me writing my own superhero novel, and you have yet to write one that I’ve been even the tiniest bit less than in love with.

      • Duende Sociopata says:

        Just so you know that Dave announced in today comic’s blog that the Astra/Halo story is CANON in the GrrlPower universe ๐Ÿ™‚

      • George says:

        That’s good, since it’s Canon in mine… ๐Ÿ™‚

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  18. Russell K says:

    I’m 80% way through the book and have to say, all my little doubts about canonical-ness were completely unfounded. Book 6 is par for course with Wearing the Cape, which is to say absolutely fantastic. Half the time I’m reading I can’t keep the smile off my face.

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  21. C.T. Phipps says:

    I absolutely loved your series here, Marion! Bravo! I’m also jealous and wish Hope had visited the Supervillainy Saga universe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Amy Amethyst says:

    I just finished “Team Ups andย Crossovers” and I loved it! Grrl Power lead to your writing, and I’m so glad.

    Oh, and you should encourage K.F.Lim to write some more, also.

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