REV: Robservations #2

Tarq mitchell_crouch at
Sun Mar 4 23:27:34 PST 2007

On Mar 4, 5:17 pm, "EDMLite" <robroger... at> wrote:
> Robservations:          "All Reviews That Fit We Print"
> In this issue:             LNH: Possum-Man: Relinquished

I've read this entire thing five times now, and I still squeal with
joy every time. One more time for a reply!

>         Although I'm a fan of "Alt.stralian Yarns" (and "Sea Monkeys I
> and II
> -- heck, if Tarq posted his grocery lists, I'd probably read them), I
> wasn't
> sure if the world needed a "Possum-Man" series.  Possum-Man was my
> least favorite character in "Alt.stralian Yarns," a cheerfully
> ineffectual
> nuisance, reminiscent of the Joey Tribbiani character on "Friends."

Which is why I cut him out of Yarns sooner than I had originally
intended. Let me interrupt here with a brief anecdote to expand upon
just why the world needed not one Possum-Man series, but, as my grand
schemes will eventually reveal, probably over the course of a long,
long time, many, _many_ Possum-Man series.

When I was but a wee youngun, I went to the university for a seminar
one night, all very interesting, many irrelevent details, yadda yadda.
On the way back, decided I would take a different route around the
duck pond than I usually did, closer to the UniBar. Meandering along,
I heard a shuffle in the bushes. Pausing, I looked a bit closer, and
caught a glimpse of what I thought was a cat. "How cute!" I thought to
none other than myself. "A kitty!"

Little did I know, this 'kitty' would change my life... forever!

It leapt out of the bushes at me, and I barely had enough time to
register that it was, in fact, a possum, before ducking out of the
way. It landed on the ground behind me and dived into the bin for a
snack. After wandering closer for a better look, the possum (which I
have since nicknamed "Kit") ran off into the bar, presumably to get
drunk. From this single event spawned countless "rabid possum fodder"
jokes (heck, my old emo OpenDiary still comes up if you type that into
Google), and from there, an early image of a character who would
eventually come to be known as Possum-Man was created in Hero Machine.

Later that year, in my sprite comic series 'FiddleSticks', the main
character was bitten by a rabid, drunk possum, and thus had its powers
transferred to him. It was from around this era that the massive
Possum-Man poster I made and curently have up on my bedroom was

>From there, the idea continued to snowball. The Possum-Man mythos
continued to grow and grow and grow, until eventually I had to sort it
into several distinct 'eras' -- the one I'm writing in now being,
obviously, 'Relinquished'.

In short, I already have years and years and years of Possum-Man
stories locked up in this modestly attractive head of mine, and after
a short introduction in Alt.stralian Yarns, I finally felt prepared to
start writing them down.

>         I should have known better.  What Tarq has done in
> "Relinquished"
> is to make Possum-Man into one of the most complex, interesting
> characters I've read about on RACC while staying true to his essential
> characterization as a cheerfully ineffectual nuisance.


>         Tarq doesn't do this.  Possum-Man isn't the kind of hero
> anyone
> would want to be.

That made me laugh so hard, considering that the Possum-Man character
was based on me.   XD

>         Possum-Man is a lonely, possibly disturbed dreamer who fights
> crime without really knowing what he's doing.  In other words, he's
> the
> kind of person who might really become a super-hero.

See above comment. =D

>         So why am I so interested in poor Possum-Man?  For one thing,
> he's funny.  Tarq is just as off-the-wall here as he is in
> "Alt.stralian
> Yarns," even if the pacing and plotting of the story suggests that
> he's creating something a little more polished this time around:

Oh yeah. This is like, the last many years of my life. I want to get
it done right. =)

>And I haven't mentioned the
> ways Tarq manages to describe settings beautifully while
> making the reader think that he isn't taking any of it
> seriously.

That would have to be just about the best thing you could ever have
told me about one of my stories -- too often, I feel, I skip right
over the setting, which I assume leaves the reader feeling lost and a
little confused. You have no idea how big a relief it is to know I did
it right here.

>         While "Relinquished" is a mystery, I'm much more interested
> in finding out what made Possum-Man give up the tights for five
> months than I am in whether he's able to find his classmates' killers.
> I want to know whether he'll allow himself to be manipulated by
> his old girlfriend.  And I want to know more about why he thinks
> he does what he does.

Sssh!! Stop reading my mind and ruining #3 for everyone. Jerk. =(

But seriously, thanks so much for this review. It's really good to be
able to read through something like this and see that _this_ little
detail wasn't done in vain, or _that's_ where I need to improve.
Perhaps more importantly, it's great to be able to read something
(especially something written by another author) that tells me that
people are enjoying what I write.

More Alt.stralian Yarns (two this month) and Relinquished (no more
until April, I think) on the way, and thank you for reading,

More information about the racc mailing list