PITSIDE: An Interview with Hordak Alpha
This month, He-Man Tales chats up MOTU e-comic creator, Hordak Alpha! Through the bad to the worse -- through critical firestorm and scandal -- Hor has been in our corner, in spite of being one of the busiest fan fiction authors around. We're NUTS about him, but HMT feels it's time the rest of fandom took a better look at this sometimes controversial artist. Our conversation revealed a simple, old-fashioned, cowboy charm under the gruff, chalky exterior we know so well.
HMT: You're not exactly a shrinking violet or one to bite your tongue in a discussion. Ever feel like that's misunderstood about you or taken the wrong way?
HA: There were a few times where some people misunderstood some jokes I said at a forum, but I'm pretty sure anyone who has taken the time to talk to me through forums or email know pretty much what I am like and accept me for who I am.
HMT: You like a good scrap, every now and then?
HA: Sometimes. I usually like my scraps to be with people who know I am kidding around with them. That way both of us can get a good laugh and not actually mean anything that may sound hurtful. I don't believe in putting people down unless the ones I talk to at the time are real asses. Then they deserve what is coming to them.
HMT: Which Masters character do you feel is the most like you?
HA: Well, my answer will have to be two characters. He-Man for one because he embodies the same values and morals that I do. Then there is Orko who is fun-loving and usually a clutz. I've been through a clutzy phase. In some aspects I am still there.
HMT: What got you into writing fan fiction? Was it the idea that you could recreate MOTU in your own image or just missing the show, after its cancellation?
HA: What really inspired me the most was reading Gary Wolfchild's yet unfinished novel "Grayskull". It was at a point in my life when I was rediscovering He-Man and the MotU so it really struck a chord with me and inspired my imagination to write my own stories based around He-Man and friends. Also to recreate MotU how I see it.
HMT: So far, you have come closer than any fan to reviving the minis -- you're truly a pioneer, in that respect. What spurred you to create your own MOTU comics?
HA: An online friend of mine, Mike Bock, wanted to do a MotU fan comic with someone but didn't want to write it. I took up the mantle as writer because I liked the classic mini comics so much that I wanted to get a chance to write a fan comic from the perspective of an adult fan. No kid stuff and plenty of bloody violence.
HMT: What did you find so cool about the Pre-Classic minicomics?
HA: The first minicomics had a very different feel to them than the later minis. The He-Man in the first comics seemed like a guy, who wasn't going to piss around and get the job done. A real bad ass when he had to be and a noble friend to the people close to him.
HMT: Are you more comfortable with writing comics than prose fiction?
HA: I actually like writing prose better than comics because I've done it longer. But comics are a close second because, when I write fan comics, the whole process kind of takes me back to the comics I read as a kid.
HMT: People are bound to compare your comics with the licensed comics and cartoons. How do you feel about that?
HA: Well, there is a major difference. The comics I have written contain alot more violent scenes than the licensed stuff. Do you think you would ever get to see Mekaneck blasted through the chest by a Horde Trooper in the kid friendly licensed stuff? I think not.
HMT: How did the 2K revival of MOTU play with you? Anything about the new MOTU comic or cartoon that rubbed you the wrong way -- anything you would have done differently?
HA: Well, I actually enjoyed the 2002 revival. The cartoon ,action figures and comic. For the cartoon, I would have made He-Man kick ass more often. The comic is just fine the way it played out, but I would have done the whole action figure thing more differently. Mattel is just inept, these days.
HMT: What is Hordak Alpha's MOTU about? Is there a mythology built around your MOTU comics that differs from the licensed version?
HA: Not much is different with the mythology. I'm just not afraid to explore the characters from the mythology like the classic mini comics and new comic were. Of course, Mattel was too pussy footed to allow characters like He-Ro, Eldor and others of that interest to be used in any of the newer licensed stuff. As for me, I'm not afraid to use these characters in fan comics and fan fics.
HMT: What are the stakes here? What do the 'masters' have to lose, by spending every day picking blueberries or skinny-dipping, while Skeletor wails the hell out of the Sorceress?
HA: The MotU would lose everything if they just sat on their asses and let Skeletor take over the planet and perhaps even the universe. If they want to protect all of the good things they hold dear they have to not be afraid to bash in some skulls and kick some ass. He-Man especially.
HMT: Would you say that your Eternia is more defined by beings like Skeletor and Hordak, than by He-Man? Is it all about reacting to evil forces?
HA: Well, a MotU story wouldn't be very good if there wasn't someone or something threatening the free world. Beings like Hordak and Skeletor define the evils that exist in the universe and He-Man defines the good guy that is strong enough to kick both of their asses back to the fiery stenches of hell. So both good and evil define my Eternia.
HMT: Is your He-Man a facade for Adam or the other way around?
HA: In all of my fiction, He-Man and Adam are just the same guy. None of that cowardly Prince Adam BS like the kid friendly stuff.
HMT: What role does He-Man play in the lives of average Eternians? Messiah? Sports hero? Santa Claus?
HA: He-Man is pretty much the guy that holds the fate of Eternia in his hands and is someone that inspires good people. Since He-Man is touted as the Most Powerful Man in the Universe, he cannot fail in any task. If he ever did, Eternia would be screwed.
HMT: Explain your Prince Adam's relationship with some of the supporting characters -- Teela, Man-At-Arms, his parents.
HA: Adam cares very much for Teela, like a cherished friend and even more. Man-At-Arms and Adam share a mentor bond like a grandfather and grandson. Adam loves his parents very much; he just isn't into all of the politics of being a prince.
HMT: In Roget's Thesaurus, one of the synonyms for 'God' is Master of the Universe. Being a Christian, how comfortable are you about the Heroic Warriors being referred to as 'masters'?
HA: Well, the term of Masters given to a group such as the gang of MotU can have many meanings. Mine is a group of people, who are appointed by God to protect the innocent people that cannot protect themselves. Any extremist religious nut, who says that such a thing is witchcraft and that BS are full of crap and too touchy. I am a Christian, but I don't accept everything supernatural as being "the devil's work", especially if such supernatural powers are possessed by good, honest people.
HMT: Nick Alimonos's naked He-Man in DARK AGE has been called a 'nudist' hero. In what ways does your He-Man represent the things that are important to you? How much is there of Hor in this He-Man?
HA: The He-Man in my fiction represents my entire moral code. Alot of myself goes into this He-Man. He never gives up, when the challenge is too great. He stays in the fight, until he figures out a way to win.
HMT: What's going on with He-Man and the Sorceress, dude? Is she the ultimate *milf fantasy or what?!
HA: In a way she is, but not for perverted reasons. To He-Man, she could be considered a fragile beauty that needs to be loved. Even sexually, if needed.
*For those of you who don't know, "m-i-l-f" is slang for a 'Mom I'd Like to F**k'.
HMT: Is there anything about your Sorceress that would shock and awe us, besides the fact that she's humping a sixteen year old boy?
HA: Well, the fact that she is a person like everyone else. She can't stand being lonely and needs companionship. She sees Adam the most, since he is basically her eyes and ears to the outside world. That itself builds an intimate closeness between the two characters.
HMT: Any Tipper Gore types giving you s**t about this? Nasty notes?
HA: Not yet, but I'm sure there will be, if they find out. If they do, I could care less. I'm not going to let feminists tell me what I can and can't write.
HMT: Your work is pretty action-oriented. What got you experimenting with sex in your stories?
HA: I read a few stories where the sex worked. I've wanted to write stories like that for a long time. I just never found the right reasons, until now.
HMT: Who gets more pun tang, Filmation He-Man or Original He-Man?
HA: I'd probaby have to say the original. The way he interacts with Teela in an original mini says that they do the nasty alot.
HMT: You've started a Mineternian fiction series. What got you interested in resurrecting the Pre-Classic He-Man through fiction?
HA: Just by reading the original minis and fan fics based from it. The Mineternian side of MotU gave me a whole new character universe to explore.
HMT: Your He-Man is already pretty hardcore? How much harder can your Mineternian He-Man be? How are they different?
HA: The Mineternian He-Man I write has experienced a great loss and actually holds a burning hatred for Skeletor and Co. for it. This He-Man is hell-bent on avenging the deaths of those he lost. The classic He-Man never had to deal with such feelings.
HMT: It seems like you're having alot of fun with this. Are there any characters from the Classic toon that won't be showing up in your Pre-Classic fiction?
HA: Any fluffy ones that have no reason to be on Mineternia Eternia. Maybe the *Widgets would appear, if they were foul mouthed, sex-crazed drunks.
*The Widgets are like dwarfs in the Wizard of Oz .
HMT: On to She-Ra ... What was your chief motivation in hardening her up in your story, 'She-Ra: Genesis'?
HA: I wanted to make a She-Ra that guys could like along with the ladies. For the ladies crowd, I made her a strong woman, who stands her ground. For the guys, she also has a sweet and sexy side.
HMT: Some purist POP fans argue that She-Ra's world should stay pink and fluffy. For them, that's She-Ra -- Lookee, Perfuma and that big Swan-thing she used to ride around on. How do you feel about that?
HA: They are entitled to their opinion. If they are more comfortable with that vision of She-Ra and her world more power to them. But for fans of more serious, dark material, I write a She-Ra that caters to that.
HMT: T. F. Cooper's He-Man is so alien to civilization that he would pull out his pecker and show it to you, if you asked him. Is there anything about your He-Man that might surprise us?
HA: Perhaps the fact that this He-Man can be a bloodthirsty warrior, when it is required. He isn't going to be giving Skeletor a slap on the wrist and telling him to go to his room and think about the evil things he has done.
HMT: What do you want folks to know about your work, before they approach it?
HA: That my work is not for the kids and is intended for real, serious adults, who don't cringe at the violence and sexual content.
The silence of Pre-Classic MOTU fans is over, and Hordak Alpha is the most prolific of the new authors! If you haven't visited Hordak Alpha's SLIME PIT, get your butts over there now and check out his growing archive of Mineternian stories! With pal, Mike Bock, Hordak is the FIRST fan to create an online comic based on the Masters of the Universe.
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