Covington Mom Never Expected She'd Be a Comic Book Author
Rene King Thompson never imagined herself as one day writing a comic book, but the Northern Kentucky woman ended up doing just that when she volunteered her idea for a character to her husband's friend, Mort Todd.
“My husband is a pop culture blogger,” she explained. “His specialty is comics, so he knows an awful lot of people in the business. He was discussing with editor Mort Todd the need for new comic superheroes and especially small superheroes since Ant Man is coming out.”
That was when she had the idea of her creation: Ms. Molecule.
“Ms. Molecule is an individual who was disabled through illness and her last chance was doing some experimental treatments,” Thompson said of her character. “The treatments were going fine until the doctors put her in an MRI to see whether or not her tumor had shrunk, and instead of the tumor shrinking, she shrunk. The group that she is working with is able to bring her back but they realize a couple of things: While she is small, all the things that had been taken away by her disease—her ability to walk, her balance—had been returned. When she goes back to being her normal size, she's back to being disabled. She ends up working with the scientists and when we first see her, she's basically working as a human nanotech, going into bodies and doing reconstruction work, eliminating debris, that sort of thing.”
Through her new adventures, she discovers that she's not the only micro superhero and that not all of the micros are as altruistic as she.
Thompson said that she simply chimed into their conversation when she overheard the two men discussing the need for a new character over the phone.
“So they're talking and being the smart aleck I am, I popped up with Ms. Molecule. Mort thought it was a hoot. He said 'Okay, go with that. What would you do with it?'. That's when I gave him the story of Ms. Molecule. Then he told me to write it up and send it in and I thought he was kidding. He wasn't kidding.”
Mort Todd is an American writer who is best known as being the former editor-in-chief for Cracked Magazine in the early 1990's. He has also contributed characters to Superman and Spiderman comics.
Once Thompson floated the idea and Todd liked it, the process picked up, which surprised, thrilled and overwhelmed Thompson all at the same time to be thrust into the comic world.
“We've already had an artist attached to the plans, Sandy Carruthers, who is great, and it's been up and running for two days,” she said. “You have to understand, I am not in the comic field, I am in social services. I work for the Center of Accessible Living, I'm a disabilities advocate.”
Thompson said that while she does want to bring awareness to the rights of disabled people, she does not want to go over the top broadcasting the message.
“I don't want to hit everybody over the head with a hammer. I want, just as in real life, others to see that sometimes people have disabilities, and instead of concentrating on what their disabilities are, I want them to concentrate on what their abilities are, which is the way we should treat people anyway.”
As for the future of Ms. Molecule, things are still a little up in the air, but there has been interest expressed from other publications.
“I'm flying by the seat of pants learning how to do this. It's going to be a running comic strip. In fact, we're already getting nibbles from actual newspapers who are interested in putting it in their papers. Some of the stuff that's going to be run on Pixie is done by Steve Ditko.”
Ditko is a renown comic book writer and was the co-founder along with Stan Lee of Marvel Comics' Spider Man.
“I've known their names because my husband has been in the business, but to actually be working with them and working in the field is just breathtaking. Even if it goes absolutely nowhere, I suddenly have a rep. My 18-year old son is shocked that his mom is writing comic books.”
Thompson said that as long as her work remains in demand, she intends to carry on writing further adventures of Ms. Molecule.
“When you have a good editor and an absolute excellent artist, it makes it very easy for the writer.”
Users must create an account on Morttodd.com to view the online comic version of Ms. Molecule which can be found here.
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor