Tag Archives: The Heroic League

That’s So METAL!

This is partially going to go hand in hand with my NaNoWriMo and the fact I’m writing about superheroes as they might exist in our world.  It’s a tale that starts in the 1970s and keeps going right up to present day.

A big part of that includes the changes in music, and I often get the feeling that the music is being played by a particular band in this universe (named Blanc Noir, but could be changed to Seven Years of Blood because that sounds way cooler).  The band is unorthodox, because it doesn’t really fit into what might be considered the mainstream metal norm.  Unfortunately, the mainstream metal norm often includes bands like Metallica, Megadeath, Iron Maiden, and even Van Halen (which could be considered pop metal).  Even bands like Amon Amarth might fit that more mainstream feel.

Here in North America, we often think of a metal band being something akin to Bon Jovi, Poison, Warrant, Metallica, Megadeath, Van Halen, Helix, Kick Axe, or Guns ‘n Roses.  But metal has a wide diversity.

In Europe, artists are marrying metal with symphonic and operatic sounds and coming up with things like Nightwish, Within Temptation, or even Amaranthe.  In Japan, there’s Baby Metal, combining the bubble gum sounds of pop with gothic death metal.  And then there’s the metal bands which could be considered mainstream but are often forgotten by the mainstream for one reason only.

Those are bands like Living Color, Wicked Wisdom, and even Sevendust, all of which are either fronted by or are completely comprised of African American musicians.  It’s still the same kind of metal, but with a bit of a different twist.

It’s combinations of these that I’ve put together with this fictional metal band in the Heroic League Project.  Three of the band members are costumed crime fighters themselves, two of which are the daughters of former heroes and have taken up their parents’ (or aunt’s) former code names.  The band plays a huge part in this universe, a gothic metal band from Montreal that’s completely bilingual and records many of their tracks and even performs in Quebecois.  Four of the members are women (which is a call back to the 80s glam metal group Vixen).  Two members, brother and sister, are Haitian Canadian (rhythm guitar and lead vocalist). one is Jewish (drummer), one is Metis (lead guitar), and one is Dakota (bassist, who is also blind).  The lead vocalist is male, everyone else is female but performs vocal duties as well as their regular addition to the band.  Two of the members are lovers (lead guitarist and drummer), who also happen to be costumed crime fighters, as is one other (bassist).  All but one (bassist) are from Quebec; the fifth member is from Saskatchewan.  One former member was from Nova Scotia.

So, in my head, as the story unfolds, there’s almost like a backing soundtrack of a modern day metal band that’s performing in my head, almost as though accompanying the story with music to fit.


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It’s only a few days away.  And I’m planning on trying to give it a go once again.






I’m giving it a go this year with my super hero group.  In a full book titled Five Origins, it will contain five stories which are the origins of the first five heroes to be dubbed The Heroic League.

Britannia – Melanie Cooper is given the opportunity to server her country and be a beacon of hope.  But at what cost?

Canadien – Teenager, Jean Pierre Turgeon faces the ultimate struggle.  To don the maple leaf and help protect his countrymen against attacks by the terrorist organization called the FLQ.

Free Spirit – Patriotism was never the fore of Regina Morgan-Simms mind.  She was always a voodoo priestess, but with her powers, she manages to don the colours of Old Glory to help protect her neighbours in Detroit.

the Mannekin – Wealth and power is meaningless if it’s not used to benefit your neighbours.  This was a decision Donelda Stewart came to.  But she also realizes with her ability to observe the socialite set, she can actually see just who the real criminals are.

Yellow Jacket – Richard Hargrove had always dreamed of becoming a police officer.  But thanks to a medical condition, he was rejected for police work.  This didn’t stop him from opening his own private investigation office, finding the use of a moniker helped circumvent acquiring clues for some of his clients.

The year is 1970, the world is moving on and advancing.  Imagine a world with super powered humans, those with mystical abilities, and costumed vigilantes.  Would the world be a better place?  Or would the events of history as we know it still march on?


  • Simon & Garfunkle – The Boxer
  • The Guess Who – American Woman
  • Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
  • Alice Cooper – Mr & Misdemeanor
  • Elton John – Take Me To The Pilot
  • The Beatles – Let It Be
  • Supertramp – It’s A Long Road
  • Stevie Wonder – Signed Sealed Delivered
  • Aretha Franklin – One Way Ticket
  • James Brown – Brother Rapp (Part I & II)
  • Black Sabbath – Paranoid
  • Led Zepplin – Immigrant Song
  • The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
  • Jefferson Airplane – Somebody To Love
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen The Rain
  • Jackson 5 – ABC
  • Diana Ross – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  • The Temptations – Ball of Confusion
  • Aretha Franklin – Border Song (Holy Moses)
  • Free – All Right Now
  • Wilson Picket – Sugar, Sugar
  • Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – Tears of a Clown

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Let the research begin

So yesterday, I let it slip out that a friend of mine (Claire) began talking about making The Heroic League Project into an actual webcomic.  Right on!  Very cool!

I know less than nothing about writing comic scripts.  Yeah, I’ve written two novels, and even that process was long and tedious.  There’s a lot of background stuff that has to be done in writing a novel.  Everything has to be described.  So a lot of questions began cropping up; do I describe each panel; how do I set up dialogue; is this like writing a script for a stage play or television show which I also know zero about doing?  I needed answers, and I need to learn.

Fortunately, I live in the 21st Century, and there’s a thing called the Internet!


One of the first sites in a google search (Creative Comic Art: Tutorial On Writing Comic Script Basics), plus three books I can purchase to help learn the comic writing process.  I’m all about learning what other writers have done before, especially if it means I don’t have to nag people (warrenellis, ruckawriter, kellysue, gailsimone, and mattfractionblog, you are wonderful writers whom I follow on tumblr, but I’m pretty sure you don’t want me nagging you about writing comics, ergo, THE INTERNET!)  Tip for the kids: the Internett can produce some good search results along with a large amount of crap.  You just have to be able to filter out what you don’t need from what you do need.

That one site alone won’t be the be all and end all of my research.  I’ll also most likely look into the three books they suggest.




Which, I’ve also put all three of them on my wishlist at (’cause, I’m Canadian and buy stuff through the .ca, not the .com).  Which reminds me, here’s my wishlist!  My birthday’s only 9 days away!

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Posted by on June 1, 2014 in Fun, randomness


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Heoric League Project: Valley of the Damned

And early work from Canyons of Steel, as John Walker takes his team and joins agents from the FBI, CIA, Interpol, the RCMP, MI5, and the Mossad to take down a group affiliated with the old Nazi Party of World War II, a group of powerful mages known as the Weavers, and an ancient elven vampire.

Science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes collide as Walker enters the Valley of the Damned.

Valley of the Damned

Creative Commons License
The Heroic League by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Creative Commons License
Canyons of Steel by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at


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Story prompts

I’ve posted this to my tumblr, but I’ll take them here as well.

Comment on this post with story prompt ideas and I’ll write short pieces with characters of the Heroic League Project.

For a complete list of the characters thus far in the project, click this underlined link thingy here, and read up on the different characters you’d like to see in a short story.  Or, just comment here with a prompt and I’ll choose the characters best fitting for it and write it.

I’ll take prompts over the next couple of days and write them up on the weekend.


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Another round of shameless self promotion

I haven’t done this in a while, so here goes!

From time to time I’ll post up information about the first book I’ve written, called the Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider.  Here’s a little synopsis about the book, which is a western/fantasy.

bmprfront-smallElven magic meets gunslinger grit. What happens when two elven travellers find themselves in the United States in the middle of the Civil War? The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider tells the story of two elven women who’s curiosity gets the better of them.

The wild ride takes them from the Union to the Confederacy and back again. Along the way they make enemies and friends and learn a little bit about this world, and about themselves. An adventure of six guns and sorcery.

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider isn’t the only book I’ve written, Canyons of Steel is also available.  Here’s a quick synopsis.

5.83x8.26_Front_EN-smallWhat happens when an old gun hand makes a decision to turn his life around and set a new course? In Canyons of Steel, Johnathon Tiberius Walker makes the choice of turning his back on the underground military of the Red Hand and try to make right his own sins. All because he wants his daughter to live in a better world than he does.

Both my first book, Black Mask & Pale Rider, and my second book, Canyons of Steel, are available for purchase online through many different online book sellers. (where both books were published)

  1. Tim Holtorf Author Spotlight the front page store for my books on (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel (price not listed and currently out of stock)

  1. Canyons of Steel

Barnes & Noble (for the Nook)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

iTunes iBook store

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

I’ve also written a sci fi novel (not published, but available for download) called Rocket Fox: Flight of the Nighthawk.  Here’s the synopsis:

Vulpinia Prime.  A utopian paradise on the edge of the Lupine Sector of Space.  The third planet of the Vulpine Star System, her inhabitants take to heart their age old adage that they are meant to protect the sector from any and all threats.  For many, it is an honour to be chosen at the many Academies of science, engineering, mathematics and even the famed military colleges that dot the planet.  Rarely has there been a serious threat which the Royal Vulpine Armada has had need to deal with.  But Article 16 of the Space Exploration Charter is there for a reason.  And for many of the cadets at the Chattingham Academy, they are soon going to find out why.



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Ravenport: Chapter One

The first chapter of the February Writer’s Challenge!

Ravenport, Maine is a mysterious place.  East of Bangor and only twenty minutes from the U.S./Canada border lay this sleepy little port city.  It holds a dark secret and draws in some of the worst kind of people, seeking power and fame through unnatural means.  But it also draws people who want to prevent the perversion of the power and keep it hidden away.

A series of murders has taken place.  Is this just a random act, the actions of a serial killer, or someone who is trying to find a way to appease the evil that resides around Ravenport.  It’s up to Yolanda Morgan and Chelsea Morgon to find out.

Click the link to download the first part of the adventure.

Ravenport Chpt 1


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