Analyzing younger me, the media machine, and its effect on budding creators.
I write to you, now, from the outer edge of a depression spiral, trying to get back on the other side of it before being pulled deeper. Time will tell how well I do!
Our family is in the process of cleaning out my grandmother’s home, also the house where I grew up. As such, I’ve spent a good amount of time going through my old artwork, and while I skimmed over most of it, having not seen it in years, I was able to find some of the first comics I made, from the age of maybe 10 or 11 years old, or so. Anyway, what I thought was interesting about them aside from being, you know, the mad-girl scribblings of a clueless kid flailing for proficiency, sometimes ranging into 20+ panels per page (hahaha!), were the casting approaches I took, and what they really meant from a media consumption standpoint.
Two of them (out of about 8 different sagas that I found) got quite far into a storyline, but none of them were ever completed, and on average they were about 2-3 pages of false starts. They did have something in common, though - all of them had a variation on a garden variety boring dude at the helm. You know the dude I am talking about. He isn’t very compelling, but he has the right set of traits. Yeah! You know the dude I am talking about.
In uniformly every case, in MY stories, the “lead” was actually ridiculed and hated by the remainder of the cast. But he was the lead! Younger me obviously felt that he had to be there, or else my story wasn’t properly staffed.
Man, this makes me feel like I was pretty lucky to miss out on a lot of mainstream media growing up… Instead I devoured fairytales, mythology, and older literature (lots of classics. And weird renaissance epics, that’s some whacked-out crazy stuff right there.) And Oz books, which tend to have little girls in the lead, so I could totally get on board with those.
As a result I think I managed to sidestep Mr. Average Garden-Variety Boring Dude… Instead I usually ended up with a lot of princesses and witches and goddesses and supernatural freaks and nary a “normal” character in sight (I suppose this might explain a few things.)
Though I did have an embarrassing quantity of alter-ego characters, haha. Some stories were practically an entire cast of variations of me. In a whole assortment of ages, sexes, species and lord knows what-all. It got rather strange.