In 2006 I made my first trip to
. It was the most intense sensory screw I’d
ever had. You get a sense of a city’s
heartbeat through exposure, and with Los
Angeles being what it is
it fooled me into thinking that I knew it. L.A.
|LAPD arrest Spider-Man. In a statement Web Head states "I was just happy|
he didn't hit me with his shoe then vacuum me up."
I stayed in a ten dollar a night fleabag hostel right on
Hollywood Boulevard. A busker woke me most mornings with an
acoustic guitar rendition of Hotel
California… in Spanish. On my first
day there I watched with wonder as three of the LAPD’s finest (an oxymoron if
ever there was one) handcuffed Superman, read him his Miranda rights and
bundled him into the back of a squad car.
Later that week, I’d witness angry tones and fists exchanged between
Batman & Spongebob Squarepants, and Spider-Man & Shrek. These internal “turf war” beefs between
sidewalk performers occurred sporadically, however the police presence was a regular
|You know you're doing wrong when even Vader isn't on your side|
what’s going on? brought about
the answer “It’s the cops, man. They’re
harassing us.” Rarely is this an answer
that’ll satisfy an inquisitive mind.
Surely there must be something
else going on; but it was as simple as that.
By 2010 the “Hollywood Characters” were taking the LAPD, and in
particular Officers Chacon, Gonzales, Jordan and Rutkowski to court claiming “Violation
of their First Amendment and Fourth Rights” by repeatedly arresting them,
citing the Los Angeles Municipal Code, section 41.59 (aggressive solicitation)
and 41.18 (obstructing pedestrian travel/loitering). Like a Golden Age comic book, the heroes won
in the end but not without significant damage to their image and their bank
|Bats thought the valet looked familiar|
It was on a second trip to
in 2010 that I began thinking about how there was a story there. Yeah, there is a story actually there… their story but that was pretty roundly
covered by the documentary Confessions of
a Superhero. The story that called
to me was one of fiction. The story of a
normal guy who finds himself in an extreme situation that calls for him to step
up and become the character he plays on a daily basis. L.A.
I dipped my toe into the world with a short story as part of my 2015 book, White Mexicans. Now, ten years after that first encounter with Superman in handcuffs, I’m gearing up for the release of Heroes of Hollywood Boulevard.
Available to buy in paperback and on Kindle from Monday 21st March.
|Released the same week as Batman v Superman, because|
I have no morals
Stu Hogan is idolized by every child walking
Hollywood Boulevard except his own.
Working the star-studded street as a Batman impersonator alongside good
pal Brian (Superman) and steroid shooting Ricky (The Incredible Hulk), Stu’s
love of alcohol, gambling and strippers has left him behind on his alimony,
down on his luck and looking for a quick fix for both.
Seeing an opportunity to change his circumstances, Stu enlists his fellow superheroes for a daring heist that has the impersonators fall short of their counterparts’ lofty standards causing friendships to fracture and divisions to become deadly.
I’ve just launched a temporary website to accompany the book. It’s my hope that I’ll be able to add additional content, fill in some backstory with short posts, and maybe even share the court records of the real “Hollywood Characters”. If you’re from
you’ll be able to avail of a copy of Heroes
of Hollywood Boulevard from the ever excellent Comic Book Guys, in Spires
Mall. The first ten customers will
receive a free, limited edition chapbook called Hated. Citizens outside of Belfast
can grab one on Amazon, or through Barnes & Noble, Borders, and various
other reputable bookstores (maybe even some disreputable ones). Fast City
|Kermit got angry when he heard Elmo was talking shit behind his back|
Feel free to check out the site by clicking on the link above. The book comes with a foreword from one-half of the Comic Book Guys, Austin Flanagan and a letter called “Be the Bat” from Kevin Porter (Batman: City of Scars). Books sell because of their reviews. If you’d like an advanced copy of Heroes of Hollywood Boulevard in exchange for an Amazon.com/co.uk and GoodReads review please hit me up, here.