Dick Rivets and Other Stories is a collection of book pitches and was mostly drawn in my sketchbook to amuse myself as I walked around, inspired, overwhelmed and jet lagged at San Diego Comic Con in 2018.
My son pointed out to me that Dick Rivets’ nemesis, Rick Divets is also his twin brother, meaning their parents named both their twin babies Richard. So be it. I don’t make the rules.
I’ve recreated the book here for the web for the sake of readability.
The foreword to the book reads:
Are you fairly high up in the worlds of publishing? Perhaps you are a Hollywood star-maker or some kind of animation guru. Maybe you have an enormous social media following or do sponsored instagram posts for trainers or something. You might be some kind of celebrity, even. (I’ll accept reality tv show contestant and above)
If you are none of those things, please consider returning this book. Actually, put it in the fire or find any other way of destroying it. I can’t have these incredible ideas in the wrong hands. Your wrong hands. Do it now, get rid of it.
This is a collection of pitches for comics, tv shows, animations or films. I thought that the images spoke for themselves, but decided to add a short elevator pitch for the imaginationally challenged.
These ideas are all copyrighted, protected and I will unleash a rabid legal assault if I see anything remotely similar pop up in my Netflix or local cinema.
You have been warned.
Dan Berry, August 2018
Astro Stagg Issue 1.
The origin story of Astro Stagg!
Let me give you the short version. Astro Stagg is a Stag who somehow managed to get hit by Space Radiation or something. As you can see from the cover, the empty vacuum of space seemingly has no effect on Astro Stagg, who has startled a couple of unsuspecting astronauts.
It will be unclear in the first issue whether Astro Stagg has the ability to navigate by his own movement in the vast expanse of space or whether he is adrift until he dies of starvation. Either way, his inevitable corpse will no doubt be a real treat for space archaeologists in the distant future.
Astro Stagg Issue 2.
The origin story of Astro Stagg continues!
Issue two firmly establishes that while Astro Stagg may be able to survive in a vacuum, he is however absolutely, definitely, heartbreakingly mortal.
He is also wounded from crash landing on the moon and is now starving to death. Think about that Matt Damon film but instead of Matt Damon, there’s a stag who doesn’t need a space suit and doesn’t know anything about science instead.
Let me level with you, I’m not completely sure what is happening here. A guy reads erotica on a park bench with his friends a duck and a frog? I’m sure you could agree that the potential is literally limitless. Here’s a couple of interesting directions this could go;
The Frog is his conscience and The Duck is his libido. Kinda like a Jiminy Cricket kind of thing but for horny middle-aged men. The guy (let’s call him Buddy) has no dialogue so the story is told from the animal perspective. Other people can hear the animals talking and this freaks them the heck out.
OR – hear me out;
The Duck and The Frog are just that – a real-life duck and an actual frog that find this guy looking at saucy pin-ups in the park. They imprint on the guy and consider him their ‘Mama’.
This new responsibility causes Buddy to reconsider his life choices.
I’m sure we can all agree that we are all enthralled by Buddy and his pond-dwelling buddies!
Dick Rivets Touches A Butt
Let me introduce your new favourite private eye – Dick Rivets!
Dick is a small town boy learning to get by in the big city. It doesn’t help that alongside investigating a variety of cases (murder, libel, burglary, infidelity, stolen treasures, magical artefacts, copyright infringement and more) Dick is perpetually taunted by the disrespectful taunts of his mysterious nemesis…
In Dick Rivets Touches A Butt, while investigating a possibly bogus life insurance claim, his gun holster inadvertently brushes the upper rear thigh of a woman in a grocery store. Mortified, Dick’s explanations only serve to dig himself into a deeper and deeper hole.
Case closed! This book has it all!
Dick Rivets Learns to Love Again
Cold open on a chase sequence – lots of jumping down fire escapes and tumbling into cardboard boxes in alleyways. Who is Dick chasing? A murderer? A scam artist? His Mysterious Nemesis?
Yes, yes and yes.
Dick is hot on the heels of the mysterious criminal who keeps on mockingly taunting poor Dick.
Dick rounds a corner to a dead end. It is EMPTY. But what’s that, hanging out of a window?
Curse you, Nemesis! Dick takes aim with his pistol and
Flashback! but not entirely sure what we are flashing back to. Some trauma in his childhood? Tune in next time to find out!
Dick Rivets Conquers Crime
Once again, Dick Rivets takes on an exciting new case! This time, it is investigating the disappearance of a literal entire bank vault! The clues lead him on another chase, this time up a clock tower.
Hard cut to a young Dick Rivets in a barn. He’s just drowned some kittens and he’s sobbing his poor little heart out. At this point it is unclear what any of this has to do with the story.
Back to the present day; Dick is faced with a crisis! Should he grab at his nemesis and potentially fall to his death or wait the 55 minutes until he can safely disembark the clock face he is dangling from?
Dick Rivets And The Mayan Mask!
Dick Rivets has been chloroformed! He awakes in the belly of a cargo plane headed for the Amazon Rainforest! Dick needs to rely on his small-town charm, his three weeks as an eleven year old boy scout and his eagle-eye for clues to solve the mystery of the Mayan Mask.
The investigation is hampered however by a familiar shadowy figure lurking menacingly in the undergrowth, gently gyrating their hips to and fro in a mesmeric yet bawdy display of defiance.
Not Again, Dick Rivets!
Dick has dropped his house keys down a drain while chasing a criminal. In one go he has lost his house keys, his car keys, his handcuff keys and a couple of keys that he’s forgotten what they are for. His bike lock? He can’t remember, he just can’t remember. He does have a spare set though;
INSIDE HIS HOUSE.
At the hardware store where Dick goes to get tools to let himself into his own house, Dick’s gun holster once again brushes against the upper rear thigh of a customer in the queue in front of him.
As the Police put him into the back of their car outside his house Dick’s blood runs cold: shimmying back and forth in his own bedroom window are the exposed upper rear thighs of his Nemesis.
Dick Rivets: Sick With Rickets
Long since banned from the grocery store, Dick Rivets gets the majority of his vitamins and minerals from a bottle of Bourbon. His professional standing is falling, and Dick often treads a fine line between crime and crime-fighter.
This is of course all seems part of his Nemesis’ master plan to discredit, dismantle and demolish the legacy of Dick Rivets; Master Private Eye.
FLASHBACK! Again, we see a young Dick Rivets hunched sobbing over a bucket in a barn. What does it all mean?
FLASH FORWARD! A now grown and broken man sobs on his back porch trying to shimmy open his kitchen door with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.
This is one of those ‘edgy’ kids cartoons that aren’t really for kids. Think ‘2am’ on one of those cool networks that like to push boundaries.
Deeply violent and technically enough of a metaphor to be ‘political satire’, Dinky Spats features barnyard animals that build, run and destroy an entirely new socio-political hierarchy each week.
With weapons. And ATTITUDE.
Monster Monk was created when he partook of the wrong sacrament and ingested the blood and body of Satan himself.
Can there be any redemption for this Beastly Brother? Who can stop this Freaky Friar? Can anyone cure this Abnormal Abbot? Who really is this Hellish Hermit? I’d bet the story would answer those questions.
Monster Monk is obviously a social satire. Probably about the evils of social media or something about organised religion. The kind of thing Banksy would be all the way into.
Here’s one for the gym rats! Who wouldn’t like to read a book all about The Flexterminator? He’s HUGE!
It’s basically a love-letter to diet, supplements and Getting That Pump from a Meat Master who pushes all the limits both inside and outside the gym.
What do we want?
When do we want it?
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!
Think back to your childhood and how gentle and slow Sesame Street was. Now imagine Sesame Street had the Intergalactic-era Beastie Boys running the show instead of all those soft toys!
So Whatcha Want?
Let’s learn to count the three MCs and one DJ, we’ll identify the sounds of science and then we can all get some action from the Math Section!
Obviously we can’t use actual Beastie Boys or Sesame Street stuff, so it will be as close as we can land it, legally speaking.
Rick Divets: Making It Work, One Day At A Time
Meet Rick Divets! Separated at birth from his stuck up do-gooder twin brother, Rick has learned the hard way to live life to the full and take each day as it comes.
Rick lives by a simple mantra – “No Guilty Pleasures, Just Pleasures” and he applies this to every facet of his being. Have you ever felt the sweet kiss of motorcycle seat leather against your bare upper rear thighs? Rick has, and I’d argue that he is living a better life than you are.
Be more like Rick!
Let it (your bare upper rear thighs) all hang out!
Rick Divets, Will You Marry Me?
Rick teams up with a family of hens beleaguered by a wolf so big that some speculate it might be a man in a dog costume.
This ‘wolf’ keeps causing complete havoc, so it falls to Rick to help hatch the new batch of eggs into a battalion of fighting hens using his warm bare upper rear thighs.
Love Really Hurts Without You, Rick Divets…
Another year has come and gone and it is time for Rick to move on. The family he has been lodging with have loved having him around. He has helped collect in the harvest, he’s kept the barn spotlessly clean and managed to fix up the old tractor that everyone else had given up on ever working again.
Still, the siren-call of the road calls strong to Rick Divets and he packs his bag, pulls on his walkin’ boots and confusingly exposes his bare upper rear thigh to the festive fireplace before hittin’ the road!
And What Do You Call That, Rick Divets?
Rick arrives at a small town and stumbles into the middle of a land rights dispute between the wicked owner of the local hotel and the good townsfolk.
Rick sets up a lake-side camp on the disputed land and begins a year-long wildlife survey to establish the nesting sites of various endangered wildfowl and small mammals.
Rick spends all day sitting in his hide, taking photographs and jotting down notes about the wildlife he sees, and at the end of each shift he gently dips his sore bare rear upper thighs into the cooling waters of the subsequently protected lake.
Smush Cuddins Gets It Done.
This one is a big ol bait-n-switch! Gotcha, suckers!
It looks really cute on the outside and yes, it does have cute characters on the inside too, but it is pretty much a shot for shot remake of all of the Saw films but with cute characters instead of creepy clockwork clowns or whatever was in those films.
I’ve not seen the films myself, but from what I gather the kids went nuts for them and were just puking in the cinemas.
With this book, they can puke wherever they want because books are far more portable than cinemas.
Vino Ravioli Issue 1
Vino Ravioli is a tough guy. He is pretty cool.
He makes a bet with a bunch of guys in a bar that he can beat them all up in a fist fight. Which he then does. Preeeetty Cooooool.
It turns out that one of the tough guys was SATAN himself and he grants Vino three wishes for winning the fight.
Vino should know better than to trust SATAN though – these wishes come with a very hefty price tag.
Vino Ravioli Issue 2
Turns out SATAN’S wishes are a bit of a mixed blessing. Vino wished to be the best at fighting, and SATAN has granted him the power to cause instant death with a single touch!
Vino’s cat is the first to die. Then his houseplants. Then his stomach bacteria, which causes him very intense gastric distress.
Hunched in the shower fully clothed, Vino is visited by DEATH who is annoyed that SATAN is stepping on his territory.
Vino Ravioli Issue 3: Mi-Death Touch!
Vino travels to a haunted house to spend the night. If he can last the night, he will inherit the whole house! The house is a wreck, but the land is a really good location for a fast food franchise.
Vino uncovers a plot to murder him and then something about fire insurance? He didn’t get all the details as he accidentally touched everyone involved and they all dropped dead.
A lengthy investigation ensues, but Vino is long gone, run away to sea.
Vino Ravioli Issue 4: Undersea Intrigue!
Understandably distressed by his involuntary death- touch, Vino takes a job on a deep-sea exploration vessel. As the ship’s diver, he gets to explore the depths and search for lost treasure.
This is a good time for Vino and he takes to wearing the full diving suit nearly all the time. The ship’s boy who was tasked with manning the pumps to supply Vino with a constant supply of fresh air sadly dies of exhaustion and an undiagnosed seafood allergy.
Vino Ravioli Issue 5: Damned If You Do…
Flash forward 10 years!
Vino finds himself on the trail of a kidnapper who has abducted his landlord’s daughter!
He also finds that his death-touch works just as well on very large mammals as it does humans.
This book features the very shortest elephant chase sequence in any of the Vino Ravioli books.
Let’s Shhh Each Other At The Old Viking Funeral
Meet Hatton the Cat and Peplow the Dog!
The world divides itself into two types of people;
Cat People and Dog People.
This is why Let’s SHHH Each Other is very much a guaranteed hit. It is a book for both cat AND dog people. That is literally 7 billion sales almost completely guaranteed.
Hatton (Cat) carries a sword and Peplow is a dog.
I think we can all agree this is a pretty universal story.
In this issue a day trip to a Viking enactment event goes chillingly awry. Tale as old as time.
Let’s SHHH Each Other Until We Can’t SHHH No More
On the advice of their relationship counsellor, Hatton and Peplow try to spice things up by trying something new together; navigating the Pacific Ring Of Fire in an antique biplane.
They are denied the chance to talk about their feelings for each other by the roar of the engine.
Peplow finds a penny on a beach and Hatton drops his sword somewhere.
Let’s SHHH Again, Like We Did Last Summer
Hatton and Peplow race across the tundra to retrieve Hatton’s sword, which he dropped from a biplane while trying to chop a seagull in half.
Let’s SHHH Each Other With Love & Sensitivity
Hatton and Peplow decide to try their hands at the noble art of professional wrestling! Things don’t pan out too straightforwardly though – turns out biting is frowned upon and trying to bisect your opponent with a sword is utterly forbidden by most of the more well-respected wrestling companies.
Let’s SHHH Each Other As Hard As We Possibly Can.
Hatton and Peplow go camping! In the wilderness they learn to tolerate each other’s idiosyncrasies. Peplow experiences limited success fishing using a broad sword. Hatton tries bush meat.
In the evening they play a game called ‘Digits’ where they take turns biting each others fingers with increasing force until one submits.
Hatton and Peplow it turns out are Very Stubborn.
Close your eyes for a second and really think about nature’s most terrifying creature. Some would have you believe that Man is the deadliest animal, but when you think about it properly, that doesn’t make much sense. Your grandpa was a man and while he could be stern, he wasn’t PROPERLY terrifying.
Enter Mecha Mandrill. Not only does this primate have TWO GUNS, but she also smokes. Bad. Ass.
Just think about being asleep in your bed, you’ve had a long day and it is all quiet, and then the window suddenly bursts inwards and there’s glass everywhere and a howling monkey shrieking bloody murder and firing two pistols into your furniture and walls. You’d utterly cack yourself.