28 March 2007

Are you coming back to Gotham for long, sir?

Yes. I'm posting another blog. Mostly because I want to move forward and not dwell. So I'm going to go on a random tangent.

Lately I've been working on the DVD for the Batman Murder Mystery I wrote and which was played out, almost a year ago (sick). And while I've been interviewing people, attempting to create this digital scrapbook, essentially, this strange feeling has returned.

Like Herpes, it always comes back.

(Um... I was going to put a picture of herpes on here, but I looked it up on google, without a filter on the search, and the pictures make me want to barf. Sorry no herpes pictures here. Just imagine and insert your own here---->
Or better yet, google image search it.)

I wrote the first mystery, which had arisen out of a great desire to have a Batman costume party, after realizing that once you had a collection of people dressed like villains and heroes alike, what then? Thanks to Matthew Leavitt who, in his usual unassuming battle cry to action said, "Why don't you write one?" in response to my bemoaning an actual Batman-themed How to Host a Murder.


And so I did. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to hammer out the format, a format that other spin-offs, such as those my friend Paul produces, take for granted since I had no basis for what I was creating. I only knew in England, there were parties not designed as parts to be read aloud around the table.

I ran with this and created a game (a pretty decent game, I should add) that hinged on murder, deceit, larceny, scandals, sex, and lying and backstabbing. People could still be killed which added a new sense of tension to the format, and so on. Elaborately staged, from meeting in Arkham Asylum, a trip to a cemetary in the rain, and dinner at the Iceberg Lounge, the game exploded into craziness.

I recall ques forming to talk to characters, people wheeling and dealing where they had no place, vendettas being carried out, and objects and money moving so quickly, no one could keep track of things. The costumes, the food, the decor, was all quite wonderful.

I felt tapped out after that party. I thought I would let it be. But that lasted maybe a month or two before I discovered Hush. Batman: Hush is a series that was done by Jim Lee and Jeff Loeb, two amazing artists. Together they created a gripping epic storyline with a multitude of villains.


I can only hope to one day have such a fantastic product. Once I saw how nicely all these villains fit together in one story (which was a challenge in the first one) I went over the top. I began writing an overnighter mystery, with competing groups, physical objects to hide and have stolen, event cards to force the storyline forward and many other advancements.

And while the decor wasn't nearly as elaborate, the storyline became doubly complex, and anarchy reigned. Along with really great food, of course. There was murder, blood, set ups, dealing or drugs, catfights, stealing, a funeral complete with coffin and eulogies and Alfred/Leslie Thomkins, the moderators turned players.

It was loads of fun, loads of work, and loads of expense, since I footed the bill. But it was worth it. And I was exhausted after I was done.

I thought, perhaps, the itch was scratched and I was done. And for a bit, it was. And now, just like another outbreak, my inner demons are taunting me with new and better ways to advance the game process, characters demanding a story be written and murder be played out on the great stage of Gotham City.

Who am I to deny them? I have not the fotitude, for I too am a creature of the night, and I feel the passion driving me forward. Batman I am not. But he shall return, on a dark and stormy night in Gotham to vigilantly end the corruption of the madmen and women who scheme against justice.

Even if that night is one of my making.

Be prepared. A New Batman Murder Mystery begins.