Gloomy Gus Giveaway

downloadSince I’ve been rather a Gloomy Gus lately, it’s time for a giveaway. Who knows? It might become an annual event. (Yes, I realize the irony of using a smiling sun with a “gloomy” giveaway. Irony is what I live for.)

What is a Gloomy Gus? “A person who is habitually gloomy” according to Out of curiosity, I searched for the origin of the term Gloomy Gus and found this:

From a comic-strip character created by Frederick Burr Opper 1937 American cartoonist
First Known Use: 1904

3372691-hap1Thank you again, Merriam-Webster! Go here to find out more about Gloomy Gus and his brother, Happy Hooligan. This Gloomy Gus is not to be confused with Gloomy Gus the Homeless Ghost, developed by Herbert W. “Red” Holmdale. You can read about that here. There also was a football coach nicknamed Gloomy Gus. The list goes on.


Here’s an idea for a Halloween costume: Gloomy Gus. Imagine trying to explain your costume to someone without a long discussion of existentialism.

16101109Okay, let’s get to the meat and potatoes, shall we? By that I mean the giveaway, though I hope to have meat and potatoes at some point today. One of you will receive a copy of Rogue while another of you will receive an author-signed copy of Gringolandia. These young adult novels were written by the wonderful Lyn Miller-Lachmann, a good friend and supporter of writers whose enthusiasm is always contagious. Here’s the synopsis of Rogue, which was published by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin:

Kiara has Asperger’s syndrome, and it’s hard for her to make friends. So whenever her world doesn’t make sense—which is often—she relies on Mr. Internet for answers. But there are some questions he can’t answer, like why she always gets into trouble, and how do kids with Asperger’s syndrome make friends? Kiara has a difficult time with other kids. They taunt her and she fights back. Now she’s been kicked out of school. She wishes she could be like her hero Rogue—a misunderstood X-Men mutant who used to hurt anyone she touched until she learned how to control her special power.

When Chad moves in across the street, Kiara hopes that, for once, she’ll be able to make friendship stick. When she learns his secret, she’s so determined to keep Chad as a friend that she agrees not to tell. But being a true friend is more complicated than Mr. Internet could ever explain, and it might be just the thing that leads Kiara to find her own special power.

In Rogue, author Lyn Miller-Lachmann celebrates everyone’s ability to discover and use whatever it is that makes them different.

hbc_gringolandia_front_medHere’s the synopsis of Gringolandia (Curbstone/Northwestern University Press):

Daniel’s papá, Marcelo, used to play soccer, dance the cueca, and drive his kids to school in a beat-up green taxi—all while publishing an underground newspaper that exposed Chile’s military regime.

After papá’s arrest in 1980, Daniel’s family fled to the United States. Now Daniel has a new life, playing guitar in a rock band and dating Courtney, a minister’s daughter. He hopes to become a U.S. citizen as soon as he turns eighteen.

When Daniel’s father is released and rejoins his family, they see what five years of prison and torture have done to him. Marcelo is partially paralyzed, haunted by nightmares, and bitter about being exiled to “Gringolandia.” Daniel worries that Courtney’s scheme to start a bilingual human rights newspaper will rake up papá’s past and drive him further into alcohol abuse and self-destruction. Daniel dreams of a real father-son relationship, but he may have to give up everything simply to save his papá’s life.

This powerful coming-of-age story portrays an immigrant teen’s struggle to reach his tortured father and find his place in the world.

Lyn_photoIf you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that Lyn was interviewed last year when Rogue debuted. Since Gloomy Gus is a cartoon character, it’s only fitting that I give away a book about a character obsessed with a comic book character. Also, the cover reveal for Surviving Santiago, a companion book to Gringolandia, took place here recently, so one very fortunate winner will be all caught up before Surviving Santiago debuts.

For an extra bit of cheer, winners also will receive some crocheted flowers like these (but not these—they’re already spoken for).


Flowers are usually cheerful. Even the rare corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) has a jaunty air. (And no, I will not comment on why this flower is so named. Google will help you there.)


Comment below to be entered in the drawing. If you feel like it, tell me about a time when someone cheered you up or you caused someone to stop being a Gloomy Gus. Winners will be announced November 5. Looking for Lyn? Look no farther than her website.

Happy Hooligan and Gloomy Gus from Gloomy Gus from Sun from Corpse flower from

46 thoughts on “Gloomy Gus Giveaway

  1. Nice post. My daughter who is on the spectrum, cheered my whole life up, forever, when after being beaten up by a gang of ‘popular girls’ outside of school, because she stood up to their bullying, made a book filled with photos of natural beauty to remind her that life wasn’t nasty, brutish and short. It was this that ultimately inspired her to get some books, study and go to university. She’s now doing her master’s in physics. I will probably write a story about it one day – or hope that she will, as it’s hers to tell.

    • Thanks, Laura.
      Wouldn’t you know it? The day is cloudy. Not a bit of sun in sight. I’m glad I can at least look at the sun on this post.

  2. Rogue was one of my favorites when I was a teen. Very cool that she’s part of that book, especially since I don’t hear about her doing much in today’s comics. Not even sure who the big X-Women are these days.

    • I love Rogue too and Storm. And I’m not sure either who is the top X-Woman. This is an ongoing issue with women in comics! Marvel has gotten a lot of mileage with Black Widow. DC is trying to do something with Wonder Woman finally. I don’t know why they couldn’t produce a Wonder Woman film since the animation department managed to do so years ago.

      • DC is always scared to do anything other than a Batman movie. Even Superman gets pushed aside after a few bumps. As for Marvel, I heard they’re doing Captain Marvel in a few years. There’s also a Supergirl TV series being produced. Maybe superheroines are going to get a boost in the coming years.

    • I was really disappointed when Lego issued new X-Men characters this year and didn’t include Rogue. The only female character is Storm, who I like but wish they had more than one.

      • At least with the more recent movies, there always seems to be a solitary central female character and the others are background. Currently, it’s Mystique and before that was Rogue. Though I have X-Men 3 blocked from memory. Think that was Jean Grey.

        I remember when there were a lot more female X-Men on the team. I have on comic that had Rogue, Psylocke, Storm, and Dazzler in an adventure. It was where Jubilee debuted. This is way back in the day. Don’t even get me started on Jubilee. Last I heard she was turned into a vampire.

      • I’ve never been a Jean Grey fan, even with the Dark Phoenix storyline.
        Yes the antihero is huge these days. Black Widow has her dark and light moments.

        I stopped following some comics. I get tired of all of the iterations. Writers leave or grow bored and try to come up with angsty storylines for characters. But I shouldn’t complain if I’m not willing to try to come up with some characters and stories. I’ve been giving the female superhero some serious thought lately. . . .

      • Black Widow has always been like that, so I think she gets a pass. Jean Grey . . . I always preferred Shadowcat, Rogue, and Jubilee. I couldn’t get into her dying, coming back, not really her, etc. Though I did like her in the ‘laid back’ books that were solely for character building.

        American comics have the rough time of being never ending. So you get repetition and things have a high risk of going stale. This is probably why DC recently restarted everything. Not sure why angst turns up so much though.

    • Hee hee. 🙂
      Yes, aren’t they great? I used to read the Sunday comics faithfully. I love comics, animated shows–you name it. But I’d never heard of Gloomy Gus. It’s interesting to find a whole slew of comics with different gloomy characters.

  3. This post is so jam-packed. Two great sounding books, term origins, and a chuckle or two. On the Gloomy Gus front, I think October has been hard for a lot of people. Maybe November will offer a respite from the emotional glums.

  4. What a great Gloomy Gus Give-Away.

    I’ve met a Gloomy Gus (or two hundred) . . . and YOU are no Gloomy Gus. 😀
    Love that you started the post with a sun and ended with flowers. Cheers!

  5. Gloomy Gus and motivation. agree with nrhatch, you are too cheeful to be a Gloomy Gus, but it is fun to write. I like the parodox on your post as well with a sun, flowers and title of Gloomy Gus. I think we all have a little of both within us, it is just a matter of deciding who takes charge of our time and life. I choose 🙂 Cheers!!!

  6. No particular Gloomy Gus cheer-up stories, but it’s good to have people around that will help you out — my wife and a close friend being my two go-to individuals that I can let it all out with.

  7. I wrote you a letter last night. It cheered me up (and I hope it cheers you, too.)

    I can be a very Gloomy Gus. MTM has been tonic for my negative tendencies. He can always make me focus on the positives in any situation, even when we have to dig to find them.

    And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being down sometimes. It’s human. Normal. Even healthy. I don’t think we should STAY down, but we all have slumps.

    Here’s to hearing something good very, very soon.

    • Yay!! Looking forward to it, Andra! And yay for MTM! I’m still impressed about the smartphone in a steel pot or whatever you guys used to amplify sound at you party. That was totally awesome.
      I would love some good news! 🙂

  8. Lyn, these sound like fantastic books. I love Rogue as a character – nice to meet a fellow fan! Have you heard that Marvel has now confirmed a Captain Marvel movie for 2018? Finally! Maybe we’ll start seeing more female characters in the future…

    And L., thanks for sharing the story of Gloomy Gus…and making me laugh about existentialism. Didn’t think that was possible. 🙂

    • Ha! Thanks, Sue. 🙂 I remember my pain in high school when I studied existentialism. Waiting for Godot anyone?

      I hadn’t heard about Captain Marvel. I heard Doctor Strange will make it to the big screen.

      • They announced a whole bunch of their future films this week, which included Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel. Looking forward to them all!

  9. A very clever, fast-moving post.

    When one of my kids calls, that cheers me up immediately. My daughter, the deputy prosecutor, has some gloomy days. When she calls and wants to talk about criminals’ dastardly deeds, I let her talk for a while and then change the subject to something I know she enjoys. My two favorite remedies when I feel gloomy: turn on something like a Bruno Mars album and dance, or go outside and walk. There’s something about that big sky and all that space that makes me feel better. (Today, though, it’s raining and rather gloomy. Sunshine works better.)

  10. I’m glad you’ve been able to maintain a sense of humor about being a Gloomy Gus. It’s interesting — whenever I find myself getting pessimistic about my work, and I say out loud “I just can’t stand my work,” I have a tendency to burst out laughing. There’s something about verbalizing those thoughts that puts them in hilarious perspective.

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