I’ve started reading a new comic book. This month has been a big comic book reading month for me.
This comic book I’ve just started is Italy’s Dylan Dog. Within the first five pages, I was in love. I wished I had a paranormal problem for him to solve and I’d gladly give in to his charms at the end. But it got me thinking. I love really great characters.
Weirdo no. 1
Sure, everyone loves great characters. But I love weird, self confidently socially awkward types. Types that don’t know they are socially awkward. I do like my typical hero’s but it’s not the norm for me. I don’t want a dashing Fabio type. I want the one that doesn’t care about society’s norms and does what they want. I don’t want them to sit there and wine and moan (Jack Kerouac is the exception to this rule. In many ways he was a mythical character. I will always adore him. and his daughter! Google Jan Kerouac. Now. Then read her amazing books.)
Emo weirdo no.2
The thing I hate is when authors stick to the same characters over and over again. I read a couple novels (well half of them) where the characters from their first book was so painfully similar to the characters in their second book but the plots were incredibly different. It was as if i could pluck them right out of the first book, and transplant them into the second. It would’ve gone unnoticed. I also hate when you can easily label each character. I know that it’s good to have a protagonist, antagonist, etc. But I don’t want to be able within the first chapter be bored by your characters. I love when characters surprise and shock me. I love when they step out of their comfort zone. And no, being in a zombie/Apocalypse/rapture scenario does not count. I want a prude to decide to go skinny dipping because that makes the character more real to me.
I think it also boils down to your personality. I’m a strange person. I love being optimistically sarcastic, depressingly funny, and saying nonsensical words for the hell of it. I love drug fueled movies/literature but have never tried any hardcore drugs myself. I love the idea of promiscuousness but am not myself. I LOVE Samantha types (aka sex and the city) and hate when people vilify them. When one of your best friends say’s, “I had anal sex to relieve my constipation.” (You know I’m using this line for my story!”) you know you aren’t surrounded by prudes. I hate when people criticize sexually free characters. Sex is to be enjoyed not damned. And love is flawed. You can’t always help who you fall in love with. Sometimes your greatest love is the world’s biggest asshole. I think that makes the character even more real. Has it been done? Sure, but if the writing’s good, I could care less. And please, let your characters HAVE FAULTS. HUMANS and NONHUMANS have flaws! It’s okay. I haaaate when people judge characters based on their faults. YES SOOKIE CAN STILL LOVE BILL DAMMIT! Whew. had to get that one out.
I think that’s why I love the characters that I do. Because they reflect the people I surround myself with. I’ve known some crazy, unreal, people in my life. People that I look at/look back on and wonder if I imagined them. People that have made me into the person I am today. I have to say, once Loud MB enters into your life, life as you know it will forever be changed. She is the template for a lot of my characters. That and my lovely Blond Warrior. I’ve known these ladies for almost 10 years and I AM STILL amazed at their awesomeness.
And on the flipside, the types of characters I hate the most, often remind me of people I loathe in real life.
If I knew a real life Dwight, my sarcasm would drown him like a giant flood. but then he’d probably just look at me stonewalled and state a bear/beet/battlestar galatica fact. These types give nerds a bad name.
I hate when someone gives their opinion as if it’s an absolute truth. Dwight does this quite a bit, but in real life it’s annoying as hell. I’ve known many of this type in my life. But that’s what’s so great about Dwight, he’s fictional and I get him in small doses. I’m not sure I could handle a whole novel of Dwight.
There’s my take on characters. I think I’ll do a follow up post on my fav and least fav characters. Disagree? Agree? Want to duel me? I only duel after work. I’m not a morning person.
And just because I’ve mentioned assholes, I’m going to end on what is the great analogy of character types in modern film. A small monologue from the movie, Team America. It has language and it is not safe for work.
The south park guys really don’t get enough credit for the absolute genuis’s they truly are.