Spotlight on…”Skunk-Guy”?

I have a favorite superhero.  But most of you have never heard of him.  This young man is courageous and determined, willing to wage war on crime creatively and nonviolently…although he is a bit rough on the olfactory nerve.

Through a weird encounter with a piece of outer space debris, mild-mannered teenager Norman Flinch acquires an unusual ability:  he can smell like anything he thinks about.  He and his geeky junior-scientist sidekick, Wendell, determine to dedicate this power to fighting crime in their city of Fort Wayne, Indiana.    Norman’s mom and dad are equally decided in trying to keep Norman and his big sister Barbara out of harm’s way.   But as it often happens, both in the comics and in life, trouble keeps wafting their way..

Skunk-Guy, the hero of three novels for pre-teens, is the creation of my good friend Michael Wilhelm.  Michael is a professional actor who has worked extensively with my theater company (all for One productions, inc.) over the past nine years.  all for One was privileged to produce the world premiere of his  original play, Turtle Soup.  He has also had featured roles in several films, including most recently Healed By Grace.

Think a smelly superhero is too far-out to be appreciated by kids?  Think again.  Listen to what fans of the books are saying:

“I LOVE the Skunk-Guy books!  Each one is filled with excitement, action, and lets you clearly see in your mind exactly what’s happening.  They’re just like a movie on paper.
All of the books are excellent…if a little smelly.”  (from D.J., age 12)
And this enthusiastic young person:
 I like the Skunk-Guy books because there is one exciting thing after another.  I can’t think of a dreary part in the whole trilogy.  They are very fun books and I enjoyed them very much.
(from Nick, age 11)
Even adults (besides me!) enjoy Skunk-Guy:
Full of silliness and utterly wild and witty adventure, a grown-up may even find him/herself chuckling aloud as I did while reading these charmingly clever novellas.
(Dan Horn, reviewed for ComicBookBin)
There you have it, folks…a superhero for our times:  no guns, environmentally friendly, and can cut through the stench of villainy without breaking a sweat.  Maybe you could send Norman to Washington, DC in your next book, Michael?
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Besides hoping that you’ll buy lots and lots of copies of these books for your own favorite pre-teen reader (they are high-quality trade paperbacks available from Lulu.com, and are now also available as e-books for your electronic reading devices)…I have another reason for spotlighting my friend, Michael Wilhelm.
6818_1171862373917_3614399_nDid I mention that he’s also an artist who did all the charming pen-and-ink illustrations for his books?  His style is reminiscent of Al Hirshfeld who did those delightful caricatures of Broadway actors for years.
(That’s Michael’s self-portrait to the right, in case you hadn’t guessed...)
—–
Have you figured out yet why Michael Wilhelm is a good friend of Two Heads are Better Than One?
Yes, indeed:  Michael is the illustrator of our lovely banner caricature.  We thought our faithful readers would like to know.
Thanks again, Michael!
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6 responses to “Spotlight on…”Skunk-Guy”?

  1. LivinRightinPGH

    GBL: Sounds like a FUN read from a VERY gifted artist! Although, I must be honest and tell you that when I first read the title of the article, I was SURE you were going to do an Obama commentary……

  2. Notice how these super hero ability conversion incidents happen to the “mild-mannered”?

  3. Ruth Tyndall Baker

    Go, Skunk Man! RuthBaker

  4. Pingback: Some Notes on Production Design | all for One: Behind the Scenes

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