The Amazing Adventures
of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey
Figure 1 Sara Corel
There's really only been one picture in my mind as I wrote this story, from
a photomanipulation I spotted once on DownAndOut's 'Super Angelic Hunting
Ground' website. I wrote him and asked who the model was for this picture, but he
replied that he didn't know. It was just something from a magazine that caught his fancy,
so he scanned it. He also said it was the most inquired-about pic he had, and considering
the competition on his site, that's saying something.
I clumsily applied my own color scheme and
changed the eye color to fit my conception. But it's her wonderfully innocent joie de
vivre and youthful exuberance that captured my heart. And her smile, of course. She
embodies everything I could possibly hope to convey in a physical model for Sara.
Wish I knew how to do this
picture justice. There should be deep blue reflection highlights shining
from the black of her costume top. I can't get rid of the red from the
original photomanipulation. And some of her hair that cascaded down her
front got cut off which is a shame.
Maybe some day, someone will fix
it. I'll be happy to supply the 'original'.
Figure 2 True Colors
Werner Burgin, one of the
Aurora Universe Writers' Group authors, sent me a black-and-white cartoon of
DC Comic's Supergirl for me to experiment around with so that I could show a
prospective illustrator for the Susan book my ideas for Sara's color
scheme. I'm really not a very good computer artist, but I think I managed to
render what I had in mind, as described in Part One, Chapter Two: Arrival.
Her top is black with intense, deep-blue reflection highlights. Her skirt,
slippers and the back of her cape are black with intense, deep-red
reflection highlights. The emblem, trim and inside of the cape are a dull,
This illustration has a lot going
for it. The hair is just about perfect wild and free, untamed but not
unkempt, it has a mind of its own. It's not straight and doesn't have a
discernable cut (certainly no bangs), and has a shining 'aliveness' to it.
I wish her skirt was a little
longer. I'm not trying to be prudish or anything it's just that such a
short skirt is way too cutesy. After all, she has to wear this outfit
everywhere, including formal events, where the floor-length cloak/cape can be
drawn around her completely (it'll stay where she wants it). I certainly
wouldn't want a mini-skirted Sara to meet the President of the United States
of America (at least, not the one we have now
Another stylistic convention of
DC Comic's Supergirl is the ridiculous 'V' motif of the belt, sleeves and
boots (I changed the boots to slippers much better). It's just wrong,
wrong, wrong <shudder>. And comic book artists are enamored of the
over-emphasized musculature and washboard abs look. I think Sara's
Cryptoalien creators were after a kinder and gentler look.
Lastly, the cape. We've had quite
a bit of discussion about capes in the Aurora Universe Writers' Group forum.
AK (Julie of Velor) wrote, "I don't understand the capes. I've
always thought that they were ridiculous. If you're going to wear a
skintight costume so as to get as much freedom of movement, why would you
want a cape billowing around and getting in your way?"
My reply: "Oh, but capes are
wonderful. Ya gotta have something to contrast the skin-tight uniform
or it just looks like a swimsuit. Which is OK for the beach, I guess. But
the long, billowy, swirling flag of Our Favorite Flying Blonde lends flair
and drama to otherwise utilitarian scraps of (usually) tightly stretched
"Don't you see, it's the way
two disparate elements complement each other that make the whole greater
than the sum of the parts. It provides a backdrop, sets the stage,
emphasizes the curves, teases the imagination and stirs the soul.
"Draped completely around
the body, it's an instant formal gown suitable for a diplomatic reception.
Hanging from the shoulders, it's a canvas upon which the eye paints the loveliest
of visions. In flight, it waves and flutters majestically in human sight
when close to the Earth, and clings tightly to the body, shrouding her like
the skin of a supersonic missile when speeding through the stratosphere.
"Mortals cannot don a cape
without looking and feeling silly. They are reserved for those special
beings of our imaginations whose soaring confidence bears their uniqueness
with pride. Capes never get in their way."
Anyway, here's a cartoon version
of Sara Corel colored by the author.
There's a passage
in Chapter Twenty-nine: Interview that captures
the kind of feeling I want to convey about Sara's appearance.
glowing through the neighboring windows wanly illuminated the
figure casually drifting in the grey gale just a few feet away.
Her hair flowed wildly
around her, highlights from caught snowflakes glinting like
sequins as it tumbled and tussled. The bitter cold seemed to be
harmless to her, beneath her notice, unable to bite her with its
stinging rebuke. Her cape billowed magnificently, at its own
majestic pace independent of the furious wind, a dramatic
backdrop against which she was gloriously displayed. She was a
study in effortless levitation, heedless of the giddy height and
unfazed by the storm's commotion, anchored to nothingness by her
© Patrick Hill, 2000