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  71 - Not Helping  
  Not Helping  
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02/02/08 IC strictly enforced  
I know some of the editing in this one sucks. But... hey, at least it's up, right? That's got to count for something?

Yeah. Maybe I should aim a little higher than my current strategy of "Update more regularly than VG Cats"...

When I first introduced Tryphosa to the comic, I was worried that she might end up being Pantariste Mark Two. They do have a lot in common, even if you ignore their improbably simliar (and similarly improbable) physiques. But I think this comic illustrates the differences between them very clearly. Pantariste pisses people off because of selfishness, or because it's funny. Tryphosa, on the other hand, honestly means well but ends up pissing people off anyway. These things aren't always easy to express in the fairly restrictive format of a comic, and I suppose this got me thinking about the differences in how I view the characters as opposed to how they might be viewed by other people. The first chapter established the characters with very broad strokes: Ess is the underdog, Androdameia is the overachiever, and Pantariste is the comic relief. When you're also telling a story, and usually fitting in some sort of punchline as well, fifty pages isn't a lot of space for subtle character development. But if it was the job of Chapter One to introduce the cast, then it's Chapter Two's job to colour them with more subtle shades. If there's an overarching theme to this chapter (which, I have to admit, has barely even begun), then it's characters turning out to be not quite the people they always seemed. Not just in the eyes of the audience, but in the eyes of the other cast members.

I'm sure that this isn't especially scintillating reading for most of you, but what can I say? It often plays on my mind. I have very specific, detailed ideas of who these characters are, but I'm entirely relying on these comics to communicate these ideas to you, the audience. Obviously, things end up getting abbreviated for the sake of the story. There are some tiny details of the characters' backgrounds which, for me, are set in stone... but they'll probably never be officially established via the comic. I suppose this is why some people write massively detailed essays on every aspect of their fictional universe... but I think this spoils the game somewhat, doesn't it? Movies don't come accompanied by books explaining the life histories of the characters, their motivations and so forth. Well okay, maybe Star Wars. But I'm not sure I want to be Star Wars. Not unless I can be as rich as George Lucas, anyway.

My main worry, I suppose, is that characters who seem like fairly balanced (maybe a little eccentric) individuals to me come off as ludicrous stereotypes to the readers. Take Pantariste: she's an arse, but she isn't a monster. As a matter of fact, I had a very specific anime character in mind when I first devised Pantariste. But I'm not saying who it was, because, through the strange forces that govern character design, she bears a slight physical resemblance to said character as well... and honestly, I think that'd make me looks just a bit too much like a plagiarist.

Not that I am a plagiarist, you understand. It's just that other people have my ideas before I do...
  I like bouncing, boing, boing, boing. Up and down until I get a pain in me groin.  
© George Hutcheon 2007, 2008