WARNING: You should probably read Kim Meets Cottonmouth before looking too hard at these!

Even though Kim Meets Cottonmouth is a radio screenplay, I jumped at the chance to commission my friend Geoff ( hingehead ) to do some sketches and concept art for it anyway. His art is on the top, while mine (which I drew to kind of clarify some shapes/expressions for the characters) are on the bottom. 

I really like how Geoff draws Kim, he totally nailed his body type and general laid-back attitude. I like Cottonmouth’s thin body and dark, kind of tired-looking eyes, too (but then again, that’ll happen in a fight with Cowboy Kim). 

Here are transcriptions of my notes (top to bottom, left to right):

  • Kim: 1) “Eyes big, but more oval! Square jaw.”) 2) “Hat hair.” 3) “Mostly faces, b/c your body for him is already A-OK by me. Maybe just move his hips up/lengthen legs?”
  • Cottonmouth: “Not sure what you’re expecting from me, cowboy.”
From Boy With a Gun: A Cowboy Kim Retrospective (TT Electro Press, 2008):

Kelly Kim is soft-spoken, kind-hearted, with a mild manner and a gentle smile—“the kind of man I’d trust with my children,” as singer Nina Maria famously said. Bringing up Cowboy Kim to the current generation of stars brings forth almost nothing but glowing memories and rave reviews. You’d be hard-pressed to find a parent in Electricopolis who didn’t let their children listen in to Cowboy Kim’s Radio Rodeo after school, and plenty of stars count him among their inspirations.
The stories in Radio Rodeo had simple, rollicking plots that traded off action-packed scenes with calm moral lessons. However, his later series, Cowboy Kim’s Tales of the West, was far darker and more dramatic, with tightly written plots that often ventured out of the Western genre and into noir, slice-of-life, magical realism and even psychological suspense. (It’s worth noting that, as with Radio Rodeo, Kim wrote most of the episodes himself.) Tales of the West, while critically acclaimed, was not as popular as Radio Rodeo, though it did introduce a character who would cross from one to the other: Cowboy Kim’s rival, the bandit Cottonmouth, played by game show host Bob Sparker (né Robert Bianchi).
Cottonmouth first debuted in “Kim Meets Cottonmouth,” the final episode of Tales’ first season. Sparker, known for his loudmouthed, larger-than-life persona on Shock ‘Til You Drop, at first seems completely unfit to play this role: Cottonmouth is subdued, languid, and “wastes no unnecessary time,” as Kim’s notes put it. However, Sparker brings a vitality to the character that pulses in the background of the story, bringing a palpable feeling of danger to the script from the second he’s introduced. Though the episode was criticized as being, perhaps, too dark and unexpected, given the oeuvre of both actors, both Kim and Sparker recount it as one of the most fulfilling points of their careers to date.

What follows is the entire script of “Kim Meets Cottonmouth,” in both HTML and PDF formats. Please enjoy this slice of history.
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From Boy With a Gun: A Cowboy Kim Retrospective (TT Electro Press, 2008):

Kelly Kim is soft-spoken, kind-hearted, with a mild manner and a gentle smile—“the kind of man I’d trust with my children,” as singer Nina Maria famously said. Bringing up Cowboy Kim to the current generation of stars brings forth almost nothing but glowing memories and rave reviews. You’d be hard-pressed to find a parent in Electricopolis who didn’t let their children listen in to Cowboy Kim’s Radio Rodeo after school, and plenty of stars count him among their inspirations.

The stories in Radio Rodeo had simple, rollicking plots that traded off action-packed scenes with calm moral lessons. However, his later series, Cowboy Kim’s Tales of the West, was far darker and more dramatic, with tightly written plots that often ventured out of the Western genre and into noir, slice-of-life, magical realism and even psychological suspense. (It’s worth noting that, as with Radio Rodeo, Kim wrote most of the episodes himself.) Tales of the West, while critically acclaimed, was not as popular as Radio Rodeo, though it did introduce a character who would cross from one to the other: Cowboy Kim’s rival, the bandit Cottonmouth, played by game show host Bob Sparker (né Robert Bianchi).

Cottonmouth first debuted in “Kim Meets Cottonmouth,” the final episode of Tales’ first season. Sparker, known for his loudmouthed, larger-than-life persona on Shock ‘Til You Drop, at first seems completely unfit to play this role: Cottonmouth is subdued, languid, and “wastes no unnecessary time,” as Kim’s notes put it. However, Sparker brings a vitality to the character that pulses in the background of the story, bringing a palpable feeling of danger to the script from the second he’s introduced. Though the episode was criticized as being, perhaps, too dark and unexpected, given the oeuvre of both actors, both Kim and Sparker recount it as one of the most fulfilling points of their careers to date.

What follows is the entire script of “Kim Meets Cottonmouth,” in both HTML and PDF formats. Please enjoy this slice of history.

Updates!

Hey everyone! Just a couple bits of news:

  • The Story Index and Characters page have been updated with information on Bad Memories and Sam Gale! These will be added onto as each story is completed, so check back often!
  • The Askbox is now open! Please feel free to send questions to myself (madamluna/Queen Stardust/”the boss”) or Electricopolis’ cast. There will be some things we can’t talk about due to spoilers, but we’re happy to answer what we can. 
  • Bob Sparker, Percy King and other characters may also handle updates here on occasion. Stay tuned!

Now, over to Bob for a couple words…

—-

Hey folks, Bob Sparker here! Haha, wow, I’m used to performing, but talkin’ direct to people is a little new for me. I’m kinda nervous! Sorry if it shows.

Anyway, all of us here at Queen Stardust HQ have been absolutely bowled over by the response to Bad Memories and Shock ‘Til You Drop. Thanks a million, folks! We got a lot in store for ya, and we hope you enjoy it. Me, the boss, Mr. King, and a bunch more types you haven’t met yet are all really excited to get these shows on the road! Stay tuned!

Like the boss said, feel free to bug us via the askbox. I’m always up to answerin’ stuff, so’s Mr. King, and I bet I could even wrangle Alice and Sam into it too, so knock yourselves out. 

That’s all for now, folks! Love ya! 

-Bob Sparker

The second Electricopolis story, BAD MEMORIES, is now complete! If you’d like to read the entire thing from start to finish, I have it up on electricopolis.net. If you’d like to read the previous parts on tumblr, they’re here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

And if you’d like to read the first story, SHOCK ‘TIL YOU DROP, you can do so here! Both stories take place in Electricopolis, a city of neverending night, where electric lights shine like stars and TV is big business. Even if you’re a top-tier game show host, though, you’d better watch your step…both on and off the set.

Please enjoy the stories, and thank you so much for reading!

Bad Memories (part 3)

[Also available on electricopolis.net here. Previous chapters: part 1 and part 2.]

 —-

"It’ll be fine," I insisted. "It’s nothing to be afraid of."

What you did was you leaned into the street like a marathon runner, and when you heard the sound of a car coming around the curve, you got ready to dash across. Sometimes the cars would try to get out of the way if they were fast enough, but most of the time they just kept going.

I went first. I ran across the road in front of a four-door sedan that clattered so hard it sounded like it was gonna collapse.

"Now look," I said, waving to Rob as I waited on the other side. "I’ll do it again. See?"

The second car was some big truck, and I must have gone a little early because it really laid into its horn as I passed by. I made it back to Robbie’s side of the street, panting, catching my breath with my hands on my knees.

"Great," he mumbled. "Can we go home now?"

"What? You haven’t even gone yet."

"I don’t want to," he said. "This is boring."

Read More

[Also available on electricopolis.net here. Other chapters: Part 1 and Part 3.]
Bad Memories (part 2)
"Robbie!" I called out. I’d spotted him eating at a hot dog cart near the studio lot, and I waved to get his attention. "Hey, Rob!"
He’d been yammering to the vendor about something or other, but he froze, his mouth open, and then he whipped around. He looked nervous, maybe even a little suspicious, but I guess I would be too if that happened out of nowhere. 
"Hey, it’s just me," I laughed, strolling up to him. "Long time no see, huh? How’ve you been, buddy?"
He swallowed, looked me over, and then it clicked. “Sam!” he exclaimed. “Oh, uh, hey there! Yeah, it’s been years!”
"Buddy of yours?" said the vendor, glancing from him to me. “‘Robbie?’"
Bob waved a hand. Maybe it was the cold white lights of the streetlamps, but he looked even paler than I remembered. “An old classmate. And just Bob is fine, really…” 
I chuckled. “Really? I thought you hated being called Bob. You used to throw a fit over it in school.”
"It’s Bobby that I hate, not Bob," he replied. 
"Oh, sorry. Who knew?." I shrugged. "Hey, are you busy right now?"
[[MORE]]
He glanced from me to the hot dog vendor, and they shrugged at each other. “Sort of,” he said. “We’ve wrapped up filming, but I gotta head out soon. Is there, uh…” 
He took a bite of his hot dog and chewed on it for a bit. His eyes flitted up to my own, held them for a second, then settled somewhere around my shoes. “Is there something you need?” he asked. 
"Something I need?" I repeated. "Just to catch up with an old friend, you know how it is. Hey, gimme one of those too, will ya?" I said, turning to the vendor. "One with everything, thanks…"
Bob was still regarding me with a little bit of a cagey look. “Hey, relax,” I said. “I’m not trying to borrow money or anything, if that’s what you’re thinking. I was just walking around, figured I’d ask how your show was doing…”
He brightened up at that. Probably he’d gotten a lot of old acquaintances trying to wheedle money or favors out of him now that he hit the big time. It’d make sense he’d be suspicious. “Oh, it’s going great,” he said, smiling. “Have you seen it?”
"Oh, yeah," I replied, as I took my hot dog. "I caught it on TV the other night. You’re a natural, Robbie, you really own that stage."
He grinned, and I could see some color in his cheeks, too. “Thanks. But, uh, just Bob is fine. So you like the show?”
"Oh, yeah," I mumbled, through a mouthful of food. "It’s pretty good stuff. Some of those contestants really make it look easy!"
Bob laughed at that, a sharp loud laugh that echoed between the buildings. “You’re telling me!” he said. “Well, I’d better get going, but maybe I’ll save a spot in the hot seat for you, huh?”
"Well, not that I’m asking any favors," I chuckled. "But hey, if you’re offering. Say, will you be free anytime soon? I think we’re way overdue for a catch-up. Maybe over a sit-down meal."
Bob thought about this, hemming and hawing, and finally he responded. “Yeah, I think I can make some time,” he said slowly. “Maybe Thursday night.”
—-
"Do you listen to Cowboy Kim?"
"No," I responded. 
"How come?"
"It’s kids’ stuff."
"No it’s not. He had a shootout with Bankroll Bill last week," Robbie replied, sulking. "That’s not kids’ stuff."
I rolled my eyes. “Everything’s got guns in it now, Robbie. Lay off.”
"He lives on our level, you know. On the outside, near the wall," he chattered. "I wanna go visit him sometime."
"Great," I said. "Maybe he’ll put you on his show."
Robbie’s face lit up, and he grinned at me from ear to ear. “You think so?” he asked. 
"Yeah. You can be a radio star," I said. "I keep saying you’ve got the face for it."
—-
We met up on Thursday night, like he said. We grabbed a meal at a sit-down diner in the tourist district, and little by little Bob started to open up again. I asked him a lot of questions about the show, which he loved—he talked all about the process of rehearsing, costuming, recording, and how fascinating everything was. I could really see the kid in him, explaining breathlessly what it was like to be a star.
He was in such a good mood when he left that he offered to drive me home.
"So how’s Cowboy Kim doing?" I said, raising my voice above the wind. I’d never ridden in a car before, and his was a top-down convertible, bright green with yellow headlights. To be honest, I didn’t like it, but Bob looked like he was having the time of his life.
"He’s doing great!" he yelled back. "We’re gonna get together for movies on Sunday!"
"Wait…you actually met him?"
"I did!" Bob said gleefully, grinning over at me. The car slowed as we pulled up to a red light, and he managed to explain without screaming at the top of his lungs. “Nicest guy in the world. I’ve actually gotten a part on his show!"
I stared at him. “Really? Playing who?”
"A low-down dandy who’ll do anything for a buck," Bob explained in a low, gritty voice with a Western drawl. "That no-good, good-looking Cottonmouth."
I laughed at “good-looking,” I have to admit. “Well, I’m not surprised,” I said. “We were always into those kinds of games and stuff. Remember how I used to chase you around?”
Bob fell quiet as the light turned green. He drove down under the plaza, following the curving road that led to the tier below. “Yeah,” he said. “I remember.”
"Sammy and Robbie," I reminisced, leaning back in the passenger’s seat. "Robbie the rabbit. You could really run like hell. Remember?"
"Yeah, Sam. I do."
"Hey, that reminds me," I said, turning towards him. He wasn’t even giving me a glance—just staring intently into the dark. "You kept saying you went up to the top tier all the time. How’d you get the bus fare for that?"
"I didn’t," he responded tersely. "I walked."
Why the cold shoulder? It was like all his goodwill had suddenly been sucked inside him again, leaving him even less friendly than when I first saw him. Frankly, it annoyed me. What’s wrong with making a little conversation?
I looked back at him and tried to shrug it off. “Don’t get so weird about it,” I laughed. “I just have a bad memory, that’s all.”
"What, just one?"
"Huh?"
"Nothing, nothing," said Bob. "Hey, you’re not still in your old house, are you?"
"No, I’m in an apartment on the west side of central. Pretty close, though. It’s right near that blind road we used to play chicken on," I said, grinning. "You remember that too, right? That one time in eighth grade?"
I leaned back in my seat again, laughing as I thought back to that night. “That was really something,” I marveled. “The way you jumped in front of that bus, man, I thought you were outta your mind!”
"Jumped, huh? That’s funny," Bob said coldly. "I remember being pushed."
I blinked over at him. “Pushed?”
He didn’t say anything, but his hands tightened on the wheel. Then he swerved the car hard to the left, off the main street and onto the road that led toward the bus terminal.

[Also available on electricopolis.net here. Other chapters: Part 1 and Part 3.]

Bad Memories (part 2)

"Robbie!" I called out. I’d spotted him eating at a hot dog cart near the studio lot, and I waved to get his attention. "Hey, Rob!"

He’d been yammering to the vendor about something or other, but he froze, his mouth open, and then he whipped around. He looked nervous, maybe even a little suspicious, but I guess I would be too if that happened out of nowhere. 

"Hey, it’s just me," I laughed, strolling up to him. "Long time no see, huh? How’ve you been, buddy?"

He swallowed, looked me over, and then it clicked. “Sam!” he exclaimed. “Oh, uh, hey there! Yeah, it’s been years!”

"Buddy of yours?" said the vendor, glancing from him to me. “‘Robbie?’"

Bob waved a hand. Maybe it was the cold white lights of the streetlamps, but he looked even paler than I remembered. “An old classmate. And just Bob is fine, really…” 

I chuckled. “Really? I thought you hated being called Bob. You used to throw a fit over it in school.”

"It’s Bobby that I hate, not Bob," he replied. 

"Oh, sorry. Who knew?." I shrugged. "Hey, are you busy right now?"

Read More