Author Webpage


Be sure to stop by my author page from time to time

In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

WONDER WOMAN LOSES HER CLEAVAGE by Shane Gericke

Shane Gericke is the national-bestselling author of the crime thriller TORN APART, which launches worldwide this week from Kensington Publishing. He starting writing for the local town weekly in high school, and liked it so much he never looked back. He spent 25 years in the newspaper business, most prominently as an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, then left for the heady world of novels. 

His first, BLOWN AWAY, was named the nation's best mystery debut by RT Book Reviews (which will feature him on www.rtbookreviews.com starting July 6) and has been translated into German, Turkish, Slovakian, and two forms of Chinese: traditional and simplified. The series continued with CUT TO THE BONE, and now, TORN APART

Shane is chairman of ThrillerFest 2010, a founding member of International Thriller Writers, and a member of Mystery Writers of America.
 

He lives with Jerrle, his wife of 31 years, in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, where his series is set and is also home to noted crime-fighter Dick Tracy.

Shane invites you to visit him at www.shanegericke.com, where the words are hot and the drinks are cold. Albeit digital.

WONDER WOMAN LOSES HER CLEAVAGE

 by Shane Gericke

Thanks for inviting me into your digital home, Kaye. It's a privilege to be here. Because of the erudition and intelligence of the people who read you, I thought I'd begin my essay with a detailed analysis of the past pluperfect gerunds found in Tolstoy's grand romp through the absurdities of Czarist politics, SNOW JOB, DA. Then, if I had space, I thought we'd all diagram this sentence from James Joyce's ULYSSES:

"In ward wary the watcher hearing come that man mildhearted eft rising with swire ywimpled to him her gate wide undid. Lo, levin leaping lightens in eyeblink Ireland's westward welkin. Full she dread that God the Wreaker all mankind would fordo with water for his evil sins. Christ's rood made she on breastbone and him drew that he would rathe infare under her thatch. That man her will wotting worthful went in Horne's house."

Fun! Particularly the "Christ's rood on her thatch" part, which sounds deliciously naughty but is surely a literary allusion to the Bible or Stonehenge or something.

But then I thought, "Aw, #$%^&, who am I fooling? We wanna talk about Wonder Woman!"

And so . . .

Did you hear they've changed Wonder Woman's looks? It's true. In the latest edition of the long-running comic-book series (No. 600, for those keeping track), young huntress Diana Prince--aka, Wonder Woman, shazam!--loses her cannonball cleavage and butt-huggin' shorts. Instead, she's remade into Corporate Woman, kablam! Complete with long, black tights, a blue-black jacket, contrasting yellow accessories, and sensible navy shoes instead of the thigh-high red boots of old. No more red-white-and-blue lingerie for the world's most recognizable female crime-fighter!







Not only recognizable, but long-lasting. The DC Comics superheroine first appeared in December, 1941--right about the time Japan bombed Pearl Harbor--in All Star Comics No. 8. She's one of only three DC superheroes to be continuously published since DC began, the other two being Superman and Batman. (For a fuller discussion of her roots and symbolism, click on this Wikipedia entry.) She's worn the same outfit since the beginning, so the change was overdue.

But I sigh nonetheless. I loved Wonder Woman growing up, and not just for the (lack of) clothing. She was a feminist long before Helen Reddy sang "I Am Woman, Here Me Roar." She kicked bad-guy booty all over the world. She was strong and tough and powerful and had that golden lasso that forced people to tell the truth. She was smart and gutsy and rolled with the punches. She talked back to authority. She took crap from no one. Everything that women of the era were not allowed to do.

Yeah, her getup was sexist--in a 2006 interview about her work on the series, the novelist Jodi Picoult said: “One of the first things I did was ask if we could give her breast-reduction surgery, because as a woman, I know you wouldn’t fight crime in a bustier. But I was somehow shot down by DC.” Uh, yeah, no kidding. It's comic books, not Proust! Nothing about comics is PC. Superman had that big ol' bulge Down There. Batman lived with his, uh, "young ward" Robin--boy wonder indeed!  WW's attire grabbed millions of eyeballs, which sold lots of comics, which was the entire point of the drill. The great side benefit was that generations of children saw that girls could do great superhero-y things just like boys. And it was Good.

Bad lingerie included. Uber-feminist Gloria Steinem liked the getup so much--it symbolized Something Important, she said, though I don't recall what--that when DC tried to alter the costume back in the '80s, Steinem raised enough hell through her Ms. magazine that they changed it back to the Frederick's of Hollywood look we all worshipped.

But time marches on and sensibilities grow too urgent to deny. Thus, the makeover:

“She’s been locked into pretty much the exact same outfit since her debut in 1941,” J. Michael Straczynski, the new writer of the series, told the New York Times. He also altered her birth history, from Amazonian to something more modern. “If you’re going to make a statement about bringing Wonder Woman into the 21st century, you need to be bold and you need to make it visual. I wanted to toughen her up, and give her a modern sensibility.”

Exit, undies.



He's right, of course. This change is sensible, and good, and way overdue. We beat the Nazis and and Japan and the Commies so the red-white-blue scheme is a fossil (albeit sexy!) of Cold War muscle-flexing. And La Wonder will still kick bad-guy booty all over the universe. 

But the little Shane inside me still sighs for the bowling-ball chest and tighty-tights.










































MY NEWEST THRILLER:    TORN APART
(and the gentlemen who were kind enough to blurb  about it - Jeffery Deaver and Lee Child; two of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet).


The proprietress of this space has been very kind in telling folks on the Internet that that my new thriller, TORN APART, launches worldwide this week.


It's the third in my cops-vs.-psychos series starring tough cops Emily Thompson (my own little Wonder Woman, but in police blue, not red-white-and) and Martin Benedetti. I really liked how this story turned out. It's exciting as hell, and the romance between Em and Marty is balanced nicely by the crashing mayhem of the murders, explosions, car chases, kidnaps, aircraft crashes, bombs, bullets and knives. The bad guys are real bastards, and you'll enjoy how Emily and Marty deal with them. And, there's cop jokes! I put an excerpt on my website, www.shanegericke.com, and I invite y'all to come over and read. Buying links are there too, and I'd be pleased if you bought a copy at the recession-friendly price of $6.99. It's also available as an e-book: Kindle, Nook and more.

What Kaye didn't tell you because she's too modest is that I named a character after her. That's right, our own Kaye Barley is a crime-fightin' radio dispatcher. She appears in a number of important scenes, complete with that adorable haircut and those dangly-thingies she loves to put on her ears.

I did this to honor one of the world's most avid and erudite lovers and bloggers of books, one who is so supportive of us everyday writers that it tickles me to be mentioned in the same space as her. So Wonder Woman, this character's for you! May you kick bad-guy booty wherever you go.

To the rest of you, thanks for reading this essay, and I hope you like my book.

Now get cracking on diagramming that James Joyce sentence. Call me when you're done . . .

Shane

P.S. To celebrate the launch of TORN APART, I've created a contest starring our very own writer of fine Irish crime fiction, Ken Bruen! He's a dear friend, and as supportive of fellow writers as anyone could possibly ask. This is my salute to Ken and his marvelous style of writing: Prose so tight and lean that it fairly drips with poetry.

Here's how the contest works: I wrote one entire chapter in Ken's dark, highly poetic style. You can't miss it; the style is very different from my norm. (But fits the mood of the chapter perfectly.)
I'll award an Advance Reader Copy of TORN APART to the first reader who sends me the correct chapter number. Then, I'll draw four names  from everyone who sent in the correct chapter number, and send those four people ARCs too. It's a cool prize; only 100 of these full-color Advance Review Copies exist on Planet Earth. I had them printed special, for magazine reviewers whose long lead times require copies of the book months before my publisher hooks them on the printing press. When these ARCs are gone, there ain't no more nowhere except the ones in your hot little hands. So buy the book, find the chapter, send me the chapter number--it's right there on top of the chapter--and you could win something cool. I'll even sign to you personally.  Send your answer via my website, www.shanegericke.com; my contact page is right there on the home page. Here's hoping you win! 

Employees of Shane Gericke Worldwide are not eligible to enter. Which means, uh, me, since I'm the only one. Makes me sound important, though, that "Worldwide," doesn't it? 







11 comments:

Julia Buckley said...

I'm not thrilled with the new look for WW, but I don't like that super-masculine, muscle bound picture at the top, either. I liked Lynda Carter's Wonderwoman--soft yet superstrong, like lots of women.

Good luck with the contest and the new book!

Shannon said...

I sympathize with your loss of the classic WW, and I too feel the sadness of losing such an iconic superhero, in as such that her clothes did in some sense define her. However, the good news for me is that I can now dress as WW for Halloween, since the new look is one I can marginally pull off, but the bustier and shorty shorts I would never have attempted! Waiting patiently for my bookstore to call me to tell me my copy of your newest is available to pick up.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Shane, I hope you'll come back and finish those intriguing insights into Tolstoy and Joyce. We don't get enough of that these days.

I feel a sense of loss over Wonder Woman's update. Growing up and wearing a uniform to school (girls only - what's that about?) WW and her outfit represented another way to live! I wanted that lasso too. Thanks for giving us this entertaining look at a great role model and something to think about.

Congrats on the new book!

MJ

Charlotte Adams mysteries

Meredith Cole said...

Those executives can never leave anyone's look alone! Sigh. Did they at least leave her the whip and tiara?

Happy launch week, Shane.

Jen Forbus said...

Shane, I almost stopped reading at the Ulysses excerpt. I loved my education in English literature, every single iota of it - except for Modern Brit. Lit. where we studied, no dissected, what I still hold to be the worst book ever...

O.k., start throwing rocks because I don't mind Wonder Woman's new look. But, then again, I was never a big superhero fan. YES! It's true, can you believe it? I cheered much louder for the common man hero. And I always thought the super hero outfits were absurd. But, I'm weird that way.

YAY for Kaye's character! What great taste you have in characters, Shane! Have a wonderful release and a wonderful ThrillerFest!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Can't wait to read about Kaye in the new book! She's clearly a superhero. And so--does she have an outfit?

Shane, you must never sleep! can't wait to see you in NYC. Let me know if there's anything I can do.

Kaye! xo as always...

Earl Staggs said...

Hey, Shane. Congratulations on the coming out of TORN APART. I know you've poured a lot of sweat and time into it. I also know it'll be a big hit for you.

How cool to put Kaye in your book. I think I'll put her in my next one. And since Wonder Woman has a new outfit, I'm sure she won't mind if I dress Kaye in her old one for my book.

Kaye Barley said...

I think Shane's at ThrillerFest, so who knows when we'll see him again!!!

I'm not thrilled with the new Wonder Woman look either. And like Julia, I liked Lynda Carter's portrayal. But - like Shannon, the new look will be lots easier to pull off for Halloween for those of us not blessed with Wonder Woman's "charms."

Mary Jane - I know you're at your cottage, and I'm betting you're busy diagramming sentences, right?!


EEK! Surely they didn't take her tiara?! Say it ain't so? And her whip?! Noooooooo . . . .

Cool news about me being a police dispatcher in TORN APART, huh?! Tickles me to death! I don't think I got to wear a cool super hero costume though, dern it. So wearing Wonder Woman's old costume in Earl's next book sounds fun!!

Shane Gericke said...

Hi, everyone! Sorry this is so late, but I'm at ThrillerFest this week and people are forcing me to drink against my will and stay up late n stuff. Honest, I'd much rather be in bed reading Beowulf, but I am the genial sideshow barker--er, chairman!--of the convention so what can I do but say yes. I frown inside, though, I swear.

Hi, Julia, great to see you here. Agree completely with comments about Lynda. She was the best, and what I think of as Wonder Woman.

Shannon, I too cannot pull off bustier and shorts. I have the legs but not the bust. And bless you for ordering the book. I get the Visa bill for this conference I gotta have all the royalties I can get.

Thanks, MJ. I tried diagramming that sentence just for fun and my head exploded. I think the WW update was designed to "internationalize" her for a bunch of different markets. The former WW was so U.S.-centric with the red-white-blue.

It's been a great launch week, Meredith, thank you. People actually remembered and bought me drinks on Tuesday. Naturally I drank them but only to be polite. See above. Not sure about the whip and tiara. My eyes were filled with tears when I wrote about the chance so I could not see. Also don't know about the golden lasso of truth.

Thank you, Jen, just for being you! Kaye is a marvel, isn't she? I just had to put her in my novel. She deserves something really special, but no great novelists were available so I said what the hell, she'll have to do with me.

Hank, I've already seen you here in NYC and you look wonderful as you always do. Great to see Jonathan out an about, too. You two are such a wonderful team it makes me happy to see you. Plus you're such a gifted talent as writer and person. Be well.

Kaye, you were wearing superhero underthingies under those blah police dispatcher duds. But we shall leave descriptives to your men Donald and Harley, for we are nothing if not Sensitive and Discreet here at Shane Gericke Books and Antelope Skinning.

Thank you very much for the kind words, Earl. They're appreciated. And I would pay big money to see Kaye in the late lamented WW garb. Golden lasso yippie-ki-yi-yay!

And now it's 1 a.m. in NY and I'm seriously sleep-deprived so I'll sign off to crash. Gotta be up at 8 for the debut author's breakfast, then on to other chairmanly things like ... well, whatever. Night, all!

Shane Gericke said...

Hi, everyone! Sorry this is so late, but I'm at ThrillerFest this week and people are forcing me to drink against my will and stay up late n stuff. Honest, I'd much rather be in bed reading Beowulf, but I am the genial sideshow barker--er, chairman!--of the convention so what can I do but say yes. I frown inside, though, I swear.

Hi, Julia, great to see you here. Agree completely with comments about Lynda. She was the best, and what I think of as Wonder Woman.

Shannon, I too cannot pull off bustier and shorts. I have the legs but not the bust. And bless you for ordering the book. I get the Visa bill for this conference I gotta have all the royalties I can get.

Thanks, MJ. I tried diagramming that sentence just for fun and my head exploded. I think the WW update was designed to "internationalize" her for a bunch of different markets. The former WW was so U.S.-centric with the red-white-blue.

It's been a great launch week, Meredith, thank you. People actually remembered and bought me drinks on Tuesday. Naturally I drank them but only to be polite. See above. Not sure about the whip and tiara. My eyes were filled with tears when I wrote about the chance so I could not see. Also don't know about the golden lasso of truth.

Thank you, Jen, just for being you! Kaye is a marvel, isn't she? I just had to put her in my novel. She deserves something really special, but no great novelists were available so I said what the hell, she'll have to do with me.

MORE NEXT

Shane Gericke said...

PART II

Hank, I've already seen you here in NYC and you look wonderful as you always do. Great to see Jonathan out an about, too. You two are such a wonderful team it makes me happy to see you. Plus you're such a gifted talent as writer and person. Be well.

Kaye, you were wearing superhero underthingies under those blah police dispatcher duds. But we shall leave descriptives to your men Donald and Harley, for we are nothing if not Sensitive and Discreet here at Shane Gericke Books and Antelope Skinning.

Thank you very much for the kind words, Earl. They're appreciated. And I would pay big money to see Kaye in the late lamented WW garb. Golden lasso yippie-ki-yi-yay!

And now it's 1 a.m. in NY and I'm seriously sleep-deprived so I'll sign off to crash. Gotta be up at 8 for the debut author's breakfast, then on to other chairmanly things like ... well, whatever. Night, all!