BOCA RATON, FL — Author Kathy Johnson says its high time women made their mark in creative entertainment, and she’s put her money where her mouth is! She’s had a guest column published in the International Business Times contending Women Have the ‘Right Brain’ for Humor“, and has put her fun ‘n pun-filled STARLETTE Universe into high gear!
Featuring six teen beauties and their pet schnauzer Punkin (“PUN”kin, also female), incessant confrontations with evil and envious teen queen Eva spice up their stories.
An accomplished superstar in her own right, Kathy’s a long-successful attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, and she’s mother to Miss Vermont 1999 and Miss USA Vermont 2001. Add to the mix that Miss Vermont has gone on to become a highly respected defense attorney, and you get the picture.
Through her Starlette Universe, Kathy dazzles young readers with colorful, pun-filled poetic verse and at the same time imparts valuable knowledge to younger girls just beginning to face life decisions. Simultaneously, Kathy’s striking a blow on behalf of female writers and creatives everywhere. “It’s still a man’s world,” Kathy says, “(and) I want to help change that.”
She hopes her efforts will inspire thousands of other female contemporaries to jump into the fray.
The Starlette Universe offers a slight religious undercurrent as well. Its “Good versus Evil” theme is presented as “Team G(o)OD vs Team D-evil” in order to demonstrate why “right” is good and “wrong” is bad. Further, “sophisticated vocabulary and pop culture, biblical and historical references are defined so that the young reader can better understand the world in which she lives,” says Kathy. “Literary forms, such as the pun, semordnilap, idiom, metaphor, haiku, word mash and neologism, abound and make for interesting verse and rhyme, introducing young people to the joy of wordplay.”
Dick Kulpa, Starlettes illustrator and editorial adviser, added this comment: “While entertainment is our prime directive, one additional goal is to re-insert wholesome values and positive peer pressures into a youth culture now permeated with violent video games, movies and sexually-charged literature.” To translate Kulpa’s comments into plain English, Kulpa actually raised kids himself and saw how potentially influential and destructive some of the media fare could be on them.
After her first Starlette Universe book opened to solid reviews, Kathy’s producing a second edition, going all out with a fully illustrated book!
“Filling 100 pages with full color artwork is a daunting task,” says Kulpa, “to meet deadline, this will require hiring assistants, something we won’t do without cash on hand.”
But wait…Dick Kulpa is known for more macho features, like the Bruce Lee, Star Trek and Ghost Story Club newspaper strips — not to mention his creation of the iconic Bat Boy character and a stint as publisher of CRACKED(teen humor-satire) Magazine. What’s he doing drawing a girly-girl feature? “When I first saw the Starlettes I saw ‘six Barbies with attitudes’ “, says Kulpa. “As I got into it, however, Kathy’s writing increasingly intrigued me. Her incredible manipulations of puns, poetry and word-mashing got my attention…I’ve seen colorful language before, but nothing quite like this. And it’s the right color too”
Kulpa went on to describe one scene: “The six raincoat-clad Starlettes are on their way to school and suddenly find themselves charged by a wild boar,” he said. “That boar is actually the evil Eva, a jealous, demonic teen girl who can shape-shift into anything she wants. What do these girls do? they start throwing puns at the boar — and drive it off.”
“If folks want freshness and originality, it doesn’t get any better than that,” he added. “When I created the Starlettes video, my goal was to highlight Kathy’s highly entertaining wordplay, which is why word balloons are used in lieu of voice-overs.”
Stay tuned to this WordPress page as updates to Kathy Johnson’s efforts are posted. Feel free to “spread the word” about the wholesome Starlette Universet.
That, and Starlette Universe books make for great holiday gifts for teen and tween girls.
Check out our Starlettes Video!