FOMO– New Novel Kickstarter

FOMO.  Miss this Kickstarter and you will kick yourself in the ass.

Its me again, Mitch Hyman.  You probably know me for my comic book work and the popular film I produced based on that book, Bubba the Redneck Werewolf. Now, you’re probably asking how does a guy who writes about a beer swilling cigar chomping goofy ass werewolf go to writing an adventure tale based on a world-famous LGBT icon? Hell, if I were you that’s what I’d ask.

Actually, both are about something important to me and all of us these days… Acceptance. Bubba was just a dog catcher who caught the wrong dog and turned into this big hairy monster with a good heart who even the folks in his town still treated the same because at his core, Bubba was who he was. Chavela is the same.

She was not born in Mexico but she fell in love with the place and its people the same as I did. To quote her, “A Mexican is born wherever the F-ck she wants to be born.” Like I said, it’s all about acceptance and heart.

How I found Chavela goes back to my days in FM radio. I was in charge of a world music program that aired on weekends and so one day during my search for cool vocals and style I found a song called “La llarona”. So, I’m sitting there in the dark studio around 2 am and this voice comes over my headphones that chills me to my bones. It’s sweet but hard. It’s like someone vocally exposing their soul to the heavens above and a threat to the demons below. It was strength and afterward I went to find more of her music, and all had the same beauty and depth. I asked some Latin friends about her and found out she was like a lot of people who had depth and a social conscience. She was lost and found at the same time. She was an influencer before there were such things. The worlds of art, music and even politics were influenced by her. Frida Kahlo, the famous painter, was her lover and confidant. Politicians respected and feared her. The world of music changed in ways because of what her style brought to it. But best of all, she was a fighter. A fighter for rights for all people. An icon to the gay community and an ally to all oppressed folks.

She was also hilarious, dangerous and adventurous. Learning all this made her to me seem like someone who no matter what the odds were or how crazy a situation got, she could power through it. Nowa few years ago during the pandemic I was like all of you and locked down and so was Skyping and Zooming with friends I couldn’t visit with my buddy Adalisa Zarate was one of those. Ada and I had been going to San Diego Comic Con and doing panels on film making and story telling across our countries borders. What a lot of people don’t realize is that during the great depression bit these countries saved each other from starvation and fascist invasion.

In 1940, where this story takes place, the Vice President of the US had a secret plan and took a road trip driving his family to Mexico to be at the inauguration of Mexico’s new president. Along the way his niece and artist met Chavela and they both wound up on an adventure involving mysticism, ancient gods, nazis spies, romance and hilarious misadventure.

Simply put, I gave Chavela the adventure she was not only qualified for but deserved. I gotta say during my years long research I learned more about Mexican culture than I think I even knew of my own. And I even discovered I had family who left Europe in the early 1930’s to seek a new life and freedom in Mexico. So, here I am talking to you about an amazing woman who carried a pistol and a guitar and could use both to great effect when needed. So, Adalisa and I promise you an adventure that with keep you turning pages and a woman who was and still is the role model for so many millions of people. We are also proud to offer the book initially in Latin Spanish because Chavela would want it that way to honor the ones she loved most. The people of Mexico and Latin America. Yes, her life was tragic and she had struggles for many years, but still she survived and always got a standing ovation when she spoke or performed. You’ll do the same when you finish the last page and see just how sweet revenge can be and how bittersweet love between two people can turn out to be as well.

One last thing, this book is the only project that has been officially approved by Chavela’s family and loved ones and so it is highly collectible and does honor to those she left behind and loved. Adalisa was one of those as she was like a daughter to Chavela. That’s all I have for now. To see the stretch goals and how many wonderful and mainstream artists and others have committed to be on this project, just read the full proposal here on this page.

Now, to close this, let’s do this the way Chavela would want and this … ok you people, Let’s fund this F’in g project and go have a drink!

Viva Chavela!

Viva Chavela!

Every country has their iconic voice in music and social awareness.

Singers and musicians have always been flag carriers for causes or for changes in society; marching under a banner as it were is just human nature. Chavela Vargas was all this and more to not only Mexico but quite a bit of Latin America.

She was a strong believer in human rights for all and the inspiration for many other musicians, artists, actors and even athletes. A famous player, Jonathan Gonzales, who left USA Soccer to play in Mexico quoted her famously to the press by saying: “Un mexicano nace donde se le da la gana!”  Translated – “A Mexican is born where he wants!”

Simply put, Chavela felt that your heart is where your love, loyalty and identity dwell.

I have a branch of my family that emigrated to Mexico from Europe during the 1920s.  As they had been involved in agriculture, they saw that Mexico was becoming a very progressive country with innovations to feeding their people and the world. But, that’s not where my love of Chavela started.

My love for Chavela began when I was working in FM radio in the USA. I had worked in Rock and Pop, but I saw that Jazz was a place where diversity and so many styles and voices were trending and so like my relatives, I went to find new venues and pastures to cultivate.  I was lucky enough to get a job at a progressive station that wanted to feature world music as part of its programming. I worked my way up to being music director and host for a special show that became a major force. The show was “Landscapes” and featured Jazz and global music.

One day, a shipment of recordings came in and one of these was a CD of Ranchera music. The music truly spoke of the soul of Mexico and one voice on this collection was amazing and chilling. It was Chavela Vargas who had reignited her career after many years of being silent. The song was “Paloma Negra” and it was haunting and beautiful. I sat in the studio just transfixed and I featured her for several shows over the months after. The response was as magical as she was. My listeners would call and ask for her and they even said that proudly they were now learning Latin Spanish so they could appreciate her further. I thought that was wonderful, but I knew somewhere in my DJ soul that it didn’t matter because they fell in love with her before wanting to understand her completely. The point was that they felt her and embraced her like a warm hug hello and a sad good bye at the same time.

Today, Chavela has become a force of nature once more as she has begun to entwine her way into all cultures again. If you watched the Netflix series “Wednesday” based on the Addams Family, you heard her music. She was playing in the background of several scenes, and you could not miss her soulful lilting voice taking over the atmosphere of the scene.

Now, as to the book I’ve written, I wrote this a year before that show premiered. When I watched and heard her, I knew that there was still a magic that came from her that was unfaded. From there, the book began when a dear friend of mine and the person who illustrated the novel with quite a few cool one-page images to accent the story came into help. That person was Adalisa Zarate, a well-known comic strip artist from Mexico City that I met at San Diego’s comic con.

Ada, my wife, and I hit it off like we had always known one another, and we knew eventually we’d do a project together. You’d expected it to be a comic as we are both comic folks but when we were discussing Mexico/USA history, Chavela’s name came up and I found out that she had been like an aunt to Ada. Ada’s mother was close with Chavela. Ada told me how Chavela and Ada’s family had been LGBT allies and Chavela was the banner carrier for that along with other important social change. I respected that as I had sought to help friends over the years to find their identity or defend the one, they had always known. It’s what humans should do, and love is important and knows no gender or caste. Love is a pure force and is powerful.

So, that was when I decided that Chavela was more than she appeared.  Her sense of adventure and the risks she took and the defiance of her beliefs inspired me to see her as an action hero.

A hero of mythical proportions. She struck me as Jane Goodall, Lara Croft, and lady Gaga all rolled into one.  She was cagey, resilient, horribly flawed but filled with light and passion. If you want to know what the novel is about, I was able to boil it down to what I put on the book’s back cover.

But, a warning!

Adalisa and I packed so much into his book that a few spare paragraphs don’t do it or our hero justice. You’ll just have to be satisfied with this basic description until you can geta copy which will be first published in Latin Spanish in honor of the people she loved the most and that being the Mexican public. I thank them and all who believe that we are our own destiny and joining with others all around the world can make it truly the global village we all so truly want.

The book will be available to the public soon. Keep coming back here and when it is mass market available, I’ll give out all details. One last thing, no one has rights to her character or story besides Adalisa and me, so if you want the real deal, this is the place to come.

Be well and keep faith!




Chavela, Chocolate and Cthulhu” back cover synopsis:

One thing about Chavela thought Diana Hutchinson (who was Chavela’s latest romantic interest), was that the hard drinking and boisterous Ranchera singer had no filter when dealing with people. If she thought something, it was out of her brain and on her tongue with no delay. Her candor was refreshing and assured you that you always knew where you stood with her, but Diana now understood why Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband and a great artist too) had said that Chavela’s greatest weapon was her mouth and not her pistol or the half dozen razor edged knives she had stashed under her red jorongo.

In 1940’s Mexico, Nazi spies with their SS troopers discover a way to mix the old-world magic of ancient indigenous gods and vicious were creatures with new world science. Their plan was to try and end the newly formed partnership between the United States and Mexico. All this was for the glory of the deadly dangerous third Reich and global fascism.

With the help of Chavela Vargas, a rising star of Mexican music and social change, a young academic student who was the niece of the current Vice president of the US under Franklin Roosevelt who are about to form a passionate and powerful team that will take them on thrilling journey not only through Mexico but to regions beyond our universe. Fate is throws them into the very jaws or power mad nihilists and the dark entities they have vowed to serve.



Chavela, Chocolate and Cthulhu

Two years ago, my dear friend Adalisa Zarate who lives in Mexico City, and I, began a noble experiment.

At the time, we were all in the midst of the global pandemic and so travel was not an option. Most of us wound up locked in or with limited ability to go farther than our towns or front yards.

We all began to find innovative ways to communicate and keep one another’s spirits up. We had Zoom meetings, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime. Tik Tok became the land of interpretive dance and other pretty cool ways to express ourselves to the world we no longer could physically travel.

We used these methods to cheer each other up. It was during one of these “support” sessions that Adalisa and I hit on what is now about to become something very special. I was working with Adalisa on a “Bubba” comic that is scheduled to be released only in Mexico. It is an exclusive to honor all the wonderful folks I’d met from there over the past few years who enjoyed my film and the comic book antics of the big hairy guy.

We were talking on FaceTime one afternoon and started discussing comedians of the past and present. We enjoyed and how comedy was the link between diverse cultures. I said Shakespeare had it right with the speech the money lender Shylock made when defending that even though he was from a different faith than most, he was still a human being with all the emotions and pain that every human feels. Ada and I both agreed that the arts were a binding force and through them cultures could learn to understand one another better.

We both talked about films, comics, books and music we both knew. We both liked Stephen King, Tolkien, Van Gogh, Sergio Aragones and so on. But it was when we got to talking about Mexican Wrestling that things really clicked.

I would talk about how I would watch the matches on Spanish language stations and even though my Spanish was poor to non-existent. I could enjoy the matches because it was all about the action and passion of the crowds just like in the USA.  I would watch WWE. It was all so “over the top”. It came at you with such force that not knowing the language did not interfere with the tableaus being played out. We began talking about telenovelas which are Mexican soap operas and how they were so over acted in both countries that again you didn’t have to be verse in the lexicon because the emotions were so clear.

By the way, I learned a lot of the Spanish I do know from those wrestling matches and the shows on Univision. It’s like how kids learn words from songs and TV shows they watched when small. You just picked things up by immersing yourself. Funny to note that there are several apps that can teach you other languages because they immerse you in the day-to-day conversation not just robotic repeating.

The conversation turned to music. I had been an FM DJ years ago. I worked at a jazz station for a few years that had a global music program where we would play music from everywhere. I was given the show as a specialty to do on Saturday nights and I would find out from all the countries I explored what groups or artists the most popular.  I found a lot of people doing “covers” of US hits and that was not what I wanted my audience to hear. I wanted them to take them to the places where people gathered to listen, dance, and celebrate their own unique artists.  Museums for years would have gallery showings of art from other cultures, and I wanted to showcase the music like it was a night of fun and learning at the museums and galleries.

To get back to the story here, I was talking to Ada about several musicians I liked from her country and spoke about the most soul wrenching song I ever heard and played a few times on the air by a person named Chavela Vargas. The song was the mournful but beautiful, “La Llorona”. I told Ada I had listeners who would request that other of her songs because of the amount of soul she put into them. You could not listen to any of them and not be moved.

Ada was not only familiar with Chavela, but was like a niece to her as Ada’s mother and Chavela were lovers.  So, what I learned about her from Ada and Ada’s mom let me know that if Chavela was still around, she would have gotten a big kick out of becoming an action hero. At a panel we did at SDCC ‘s 2021 November event, Ada was wearing the red sweater that Chavela had given to her “stepdaughter” to show her affection. Chavela Vargas was a pioneer of many positive societal things that today we hold dear and protect. Her life and experiences are fascinating. She touched so many lives of people that changed the world and some because they met her or supported her art.  I will not go into details here because you need to go explore on the internet and find her story and music and not just Wikipedia, make the effort to dig to the newspaper and other articles about this incredible woman. She was Frida Kahlo’s lover at one time and a major influence on many artists, writers, politicians and even some less savory folks in may parts of not only Mexican but global culture. She is a well-known music icon to those who are into such things.  Think Elvis Presley, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and others who are of legendary status in the music world.  Chavela like many celebrities also had another side besides performing.

She was an adventurer. She lived in a time where it was not only just unacceptable to be part of the LGBTQ community, but she lived in times where you could be arrested and prosecuted for it. She was a woman who wore men’s clothing, carried a gun and knives in the tradition of the notorious female rebels “the Adelitas”, and was as strong and independent as they.   She was a standard bearer for anyone not born where or how they were told to be but embraced that though passion and a great soul you could be whomever and wherever you wanted to be.  To put it simply, she was a hero for today that Ada and I agreed needed to be shown to the world.

And so, the noble experiment began. I was to write a story where Chavela became an action hero which if she had the opportunity of living in today’s world, she would be just that. I can picture piloting her own plane or sailing her own boat all over the planet. She would be getting into one crazy adventure after another and then going on stage after all the dust and smoke settled to sing the ballad of it to standing room only audiences and inspiring those who feel that they don’t belong could not only achieve that but to carve out their own section of the universe to be and live within.

Chavela, Chocolate and Cthulhu takes place in the year 1940. That was a pivotal year for the world in general but especially for two good neighbors who needed one another as both were starving and coming out of deep financial depressions. The US and Mexico had common needs and threats at the time and so a meeting between the two nations was arranged and it became more than just a political occasion as events unfolded that involved espionage, occult mayhem, ghostly intervention, and a romance that bloomed between two women who found more than just passion, they found purpose and acceptance.  Forgotten were the cultural and language differences and instead was spirit of cooperation to save their peoples from being crushed under the hells of fascist authoritarian boots coming from Europe and the way to a bright and prosperous future for the countries they loved.

Sound familiar? Sound like today’s headlines and news? Well, sorry to say not far off and sad that we are almost in that situation again. But the good news is that if we can learn to understand the lessons from then and like that money lender in an English play form almost 500 years ago, we all have damn good chance of understanding and working together to get fully into the light of a bright future. Yeah, I sound idealistic, but I’m only   relating a true and proven history where we did do just that and damn it, we can again.

The book will first be published in Mexico and if our dozens of test readers are any indication, the rest of  the planet will be reading and taking a roller coaster of a journey filled with Nazis, frenetic car chases, ghosts, combative elder gods and a romance that is both bitter and sweet that runs it’s true course as the tale is told.

Salud and cheers to you all from Ada, Chavela and myself!

See a lot of you soon at San Diego Comic Con 2022 where we are doing special panel about how our cultures can combine to do mighty things.