“Fandemonium made me angry. This is because it came as a surprise. I don’t like surprises. The surprise was that a book about comic geeks and comics culture could be so well-written, so engaging and so much damn fun. Stop this man before he writes again. I hate surprises!”
Ted Rall, award-winning editorial cartoonist and graphic novelist
Ray Sirico used to have it all. Once, he was the brilliant and outrageous Clown Prince of Comics, who reinvented the venerable superhero Skylord, who lived a rock and roll lifestyle of sex and drugs, ranting and rollicking everywhere from TV talk shows to Hollywood premieres.
But that was in the ’70s and ’80s. Now it’s 1993, and Sirico is a washed-up has-been. His wife has left him, his movie flopped, and his comics’ publisher is doing so poorly that its new corporate parent has come up with a radical marketing stunt: the Death of Skylord.
Still, Sirico has one last chance to recapture the limelight: Fandemonium, the nation’s biggest fantasy convention. But others are coming to the con too: Harmony Storm, the sex-crazed actress who broke up Ray’s marriage; his former collaborator Tad Carlyle, who now has his own company, and a troubled relationship; Fred D’Auria, a fanboy fleeing adolescent traumas, and corporate conspirators who are plotting to sacrifice Sirico’s greatest creation for motives deeper than even his fevered imagination could conceive.
Together, antihero Sirico and his superhero Skylord stand at the crossroads of comics and commerce, where quirky creators, fervent fans, conniving businessmen and preening celebrities converge. Deal-making, drug-dealing, lovemaking and truth-telling all collide at the riotous climax of a fateful weekend that leaves no one unchanged.
Fandemonium is a hilarious satire of business and society, a portrait of an artist no longer young, and a sometimes poignant look at a universal challenge: to grow up, face the world, and put away childish things.
About the Author:
Rick Schindler is an award-winning journalist. He is an editor, writer and producer for NBC News Digital.