In the comics class that I teach, we talk quite a bit about panel composition and writing stories, about keeping text legible and making it clear what’s happening in the panels, etc etc etc. BUT! quite often, a student will ask, “Yeah, but HOW do you come up with a new character that’s all yours?” Well, here’s one of the ways that I do it, and the video above shows it in action. I start with a shape, I draw a character defined by those shapes, I let the art inform the personality, bam! characters. But there are other ways to come up with new original characters as well, and basically all of them are fun. You could:
- Parody a previously existing character
- Roll a D&D character, but put it in a decidedly non-D&D situation
- If you have a story you want to tell, let the story inform the character- If you’re doing a hero’s journey, start with a stereotypical hero, and then change them so they aren’t stereotypical. Give them an obstacle to overcome that will make the story more interesting.
- The blank slate! Build a character as anonymous as possible so that people can sort of read themselves onto it.
For the most part, I think people don’t come up with Original Characters because they think “oh, it won’t be that original”. Who cares? Just start making a character and let them develop on their own. Over time, you’ll figure out who they are. Here’s the comic strip from the video:
And here are the other comics I made this week:
I gotta say, the math class really is kicking my butt. My prof is great though, and seems committed to helping me get through it. I haven’t done hard math in over 20 years so it’s a steep learning curve- Just when I think I’m figuring out a solution, there’s some obscure (to me) rule that meant the last two hours I spent on the question was a waste of time and the actual answer is an obvious 2 minute solution. GAH! Well, I took it in the spring semester because I knew it would take me twice as long to understand it.
All I really wanna do is make comics all day you know? Maybe some day I’ll attain my cartoonist dreams. Do you ever play that “if I had a million dollars” game? Well, If I had a million dollars, I’d set up the most kick-butt ‘come and do art’ art studio. People could drop in and make art whenever they wanted. I’d have an espresso machine and I’d make people coffee, and when I wasn’t making coffee, I’d work on my comics and keep the place tidy. SOME DAY, you know? some day. When I have a million dollars, and the world isn’t burning down.