Saturday, May 28, 2011

'Supernatural' Saturdays: What If Writers Were Heroes Enough For Action Figures?...

Supernatural may be on hiatus-- or hellatus, as we like to say-- but I have a brand new "Supernatural Saturdays" thanks to Jess, who you may remember was the woman from whom I commissioned custom action figures from the show almost exactly one year ago today.

Back in October I ordered a figure that she told me was her most challenging one to date. She put it aside around the holidays to get the more simple ones out to me first because the original package was for six figures in six months, and by those parameters, I should have received everything a long time ago. But Chuck Shurley proved to be quite the feat, so he only showed up on my doorstep last week.

Yes, Chuck Shurley (Rob Benedict).

See, when I was a kid I began building my dream house in doll house form when I was around ten. All of the pieces came from a shop a short drive from my house, so I couldn't just walk over after school and peruse what I wanted next. Plus all of the pieces were handmade, so they were pretty pricy. A bowl of cookie dough with a cookie sheet with unmade cookies, ready to go in the oven, cost $5 at the time. It was barely bigger than my thumb is now, but I had to have it and happily spent the money on that instead of an actual piece of furniture, or, you know, doll to live in said house. Anyway, the point is, I had purchased a desktop computer back then (this was 1994). In four pieces: a CPU, a big bulky monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse, I saved it in a ziplock bag and haven been keeping it on my coffee table, to remind me that it is my work station and that just because I'm sitting around in pajamas watching television, it doesn't mean I can slack off!

So when I was thinking about the fifth figure I wanted to commission, my mind didn't go to one of the great demonic villains like Rub or Azazel or even Lucifer (after all Mark Pellegrino already has his own action figure from his LOST character). I looked at that little computer, and it clicked: why not Chuck?

Chuck was an inspiration to me because he had a gift for the written word. Sure, it was a bit more of a curse for him, and sure, it didn't seem to help with his self-confidence (well, not at first) or his bank account, but he was writing a story that was once in a lifetime and enough to touch even a small group of very devoted people. That's all a writer can really ask for. The fact that it turned out he was much more important to the story than he let the Winchesters, or the audience in general at first, know was just a bonus.

So I asked for a Chuck figure from when we first meet him: disheveled, in his bathrobe, experiencing writer's block. It pretty much sums up at least 40% of my average work week, and I thought looking the figure on my coffee table might remind me of the greatness that lived within Chuck, regardless of the mess he sometimes appeared to be.

Yes, it took much, much longer to receive Chuck than I expected. Yes, I thought it might be a lost cause-- something that would never actually arrive because it proved to be too much for the artist but she just didn't have the heart to tell me. But then there he was. And he came with his own accessories which really went above and beyond! The desk, the chair, the little wadded up pieces of paper, and the notepad with the words "The father kills the son" on the top page. It all fit perfectly. Good things do come to those who wait.

And along with Chuck came the sixth figure I had commissioned: one of know, if I was a Supernatural character.

Now, I know what you're saying: it's a bit narcissistic to have an action figure of yourself displayed in your house. It might even be right up there with those giant (and often times naked) painting-portraits the women of the various Real Housewives installments display in their foyers. But I can't make excuses other than to say I look pretty kick-ass as a hunter! And putting the figure of me on the shelf right next to the figure of Dean (Jensen Ackles), and well, we do make a cute couple!

Plus, I came with my own little laptop, too, proving that action figures don't always have to be about those who pull guns or samurai swords or even high kicks out when things get tough. Writers can be powerful, too; writers can be inspirational, too!

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