Collaborative 1920s Superhero Stories

9 years ago | Robert Rodgers (Member)

I've been talking to Jim Zoetewey (the author of Legion of Nothing) for a few days about a project that combines the dexterity of our previous successful crossover (on his website--'The Omnisphere') with the pleasure, momentum, and creative output of a larger group (an attempt that failed earlier). The idea we're working with is something I'm tentatively calling 'The Pulp'.

The idea is this--a set of 1920s/30s 'comic book' serials, each concerning either a specific character or organization, each with a set core author. All of them would be hosted on the same site (with individual blogs 'nested' into the primary blog), all of them with one author dedicated to writing their story. Also on the site is a forum for us to brainstorm about characters, work on plots (that unite several several characters), omnivillains (that unite several stories), submit chapters for proofreading and feedback (optional, but probably an excellent idea), etc. In addition, we'll probably have a 'primary' story feed that involves short one-shots with a rotating author schedule.

Some of the benefits of this model: If an author gets sick, has to quit, can't keep up with the update schedule, or otherwise loses interest, we have options--we can 'cancel' the series, write an ending, put the character/organization on a bus, collapse it into someone else's narrative, or even have another author take over the whole thing. If you can't make your update just for a week, someone else can step in and write the story for you for that week. Crossovers are easier, and can either be just a two-person thing or a grandiose all-involved thing; we can have multiple story foreshadowings (a villain foreshadowed in one narrative, appears in the other), have guest stories (I take over your story for a week, you take over mine), and do all other sorts of interesting authorial hijinks. Authors are allowed to do 'their own thing' without having to double-check everything with the community; also, you get the benefits of brainstorming and feedback with a group intimately involved with the project, as well as a pool of interesting bit characters that everyone can trade around freely.

I picked 1920s/30s pulp serials because I have a particular love for that century's feel of heroism--but also because it's something I haven't seen often done. I love the process of world and character building, and I feel like there's a lot of material to chew on in that era--characters like the Shadow, Doc Savage, and others offer a whole platter of ideas to modify and make our own. There's also the fascinating possibility of ending the pulp era and moving on to other periods of superheroism with the background established in this first part.

If you're interested, feel free to register at and post under 'Anything Goes - Introductions' to tell us what part you'd like to take in the project. We've got a forum up now, and we're getting into the nitty gritty of the basic rules/characters that occupy this setting--fresh ideas and writers are always welcome.

Thanks for reading!

Read responses...


  1. G.S. Williams (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I recommend this to anyone with an interest in superhero or adventure or science fiction -- Jim and Robert are two very solid writers with broad imaginations, and the chance to work with them is one everyone should take.

    I know I'm already signed up.

  2. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Hmm, dueling superhero stories? Do you mind if anyone working on the collab we've been setting up here uses the same characters or backgrounds for the modern stories we might be doing?

  3. Robert Rodgers (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I've actually been doing precisely that, so it'd be silly to complain about it!


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