When I was very young, I'd thought Hobbes was a real creature. I pointed to how he pitched in baseball and did other things that an imaginary creature couldn't pull off, no matter how determined their creator was to suspend disbelief. I suppose, as a young mind, I didn't want to look at the mental machinations of a young boy's brain, or analyze the psychological realities of a creature like Hobbes, without just believing he was just as real as my pet cat, only appeared as a store-bought stuffed animal in the presence of others, kind of like the WB frog's jovial show-tunes and their sudden ceasation in the presence of anyone other than his discoverer. As I grew up, I lost touch with the comic strip. I'd once owned all the books, and knew about every story thread and had my favorites. The strip stopped, of course, and Watterson lost interest, realizing he shouldn't keep going on something that didn't have the steam that it started with, which I feel is commendable. I found them online again, repeating through the old comics every day, and started reading through the archives. With my much older mind, I was looking back on an adult's perception of childhood and analyzing the reality of Hobbes in a completely different light. He wasn't the friend of Calvin that I wanted to believe was real, as something from a fantasy book would depict. He was a manifestation of Calvin's mind - a part of his personality personified in an imaginary friend so vivid to his developing mind, that the aspect of Calvin's own personality that was projected into a stuffed animal, became as real to Calvin's mind as another person, going so far as to surprise him and hold conersations. In the most extreme case, one would say this reeks of split personality. But I think it's far less extreme than that. Hobbes is the manifestation of Calvin's conscience, the part that's more pensive, controlled, and thoughtful. The part that holds him back from doing bad things, and gives him a sense of responsibility. Having shoved all these mental aspects into an entirely seperate entity of his own creation, he's free to disregard these moderating traits and act out in wild, childish ways. That may not be the purposeful intent of Calvin, or even Watterson, but that appears to be the result. Just as well, it equates to a very amusing comic premise. I'm far more pleased looking at the comic as an adult than I was as a child, and I'm able to relate far better to my adult analysis than my childhood hopes.
I began to think about how easily characters that people create start to become manifestations of their personality traits - aspects of people who have deep, multi-layered personalities, that they need only to take one slice of it and use it to make the basis of an entirely different person. Those who create characters and write stories around them, develope them, and follow their lives, may be able to relate to what I mean when I say they tend to take lives of their own, and are often magnifying glasses focused intently on one aspect of ourselves, their creators. My own characters have gone through the same treatment, and many of them do represent aspects of myself. Some of these aspects are those that are ingrained into my outlook, philosophies, and general personality to the point where they earn themselves a good deal of permanence. Others represent phases of life where I've explored aspects I rarely dabble in anymore, but have maintained the experiences and knowledge enough to manifest into a personality trait. Yet others are aspects of myself that are, for lack of a better term, Mister Hydes. They're dark, subdued aspects that manifest in moments of release and through channels of pure fantasy where responsibility matters not, and consequences don't exist. Even though most people know of my characters through individual pin-up pictures - drawing conclusions about them through snap-shots of their lives, filling in the spaces left by non-sequential pictures, and threading together their own perceptions of their lives and personalities - they do indeed usually have back stories, and reflect aspects of myself that may not control my behavior, but exist, undeniably. The following list contains links to my Velar art archive, which contains images that are sexual and designed to be viewed by adults. Don't browse the directory if you do not wish to see such things.
Fisk Black - Fisk is the character that most personifies my outward attitude which is a reflection of my inward introspectiion. He's the main focus of the upcoming comic that I'm working on, which will be online as soon as I get webspace. It will be his development, most of which I already have set in stone. He's got as many layers as myself, and is a complex endeavor to tackle. He is the outward appearance I try to project, the buffer that screens others around me, the receptionist and security guard at the same time, sizing people up, determining if I should or shouldn't. He's also the heart that's capable of giving affection, tempered by logic, and the wisdom I hope to develope. Most of all, he's the kind of collected, calm person that I aspire to become, but probably never will. In order to humanize him (for lack of a better term), I've taken his life through phases of arrogance, crassness, naivety, detached bemusement, disregard, and other flaws that make a character all that more believable and well rounded.
Scarlet "Red" Mallory - I'm still finding discovering the part of my personality where Red comes from. In the storyline of her life, she's chosen by Fisk as his replacement for his clandestine Government job. Their meeting is relatively brief. At first, Red was nothing more than a female version of Fisk. I knew this couldn't last. Her namesake was developed through online roleplaying on a muck known as Furryspace MUCK, in which she was a rather to the point otter with a particular talent for angering those around her. You could say she was a young, female otter version of Donald Rumsfeld, the current Dark Prince of American foreign policy. I realized the need to focus more on this character, and her hstory will be told, perhaps in parallel, or perhaps after Fisk's is covered. I've moved her away from being a near personality clone of Fisk, representing the more passionate side of conservative logic, the kind that shows affection toward innocence, while Fisk didn't seem to, amid the inceasant brutality and conflict that surrounded their professions. I'd say she's the part of me that shows a weakness for affection, for helping those around me, at the same time holding to the ideals demanded of your profession or outlook. Where Fisk looks within his own circles to cast his affections, Red looks toward those with misfortune, fallen to circumstances beyond their control. To better explain things: Fisk wants to defend the United States by destroying Hussein's regime. Red wants to defend the United States, while liberating the downtrodden people of Iraq, given the hypothetical situation where they were both in the position to express themselves on that issue. Fisk is my realist while Red is my idealist, even though they hold the same conservative lean.
Flounce - Flounce is an aspect of myself that went on as a phase, and carries on as meerly residual aspects of myself that rarely manifest, but exist. He's the part of me most open to being taken advantage of by others, so I keep this aspect reined in pretty tightly. He's the part of me that doesn't mind tension, so long as there's just no fighting. Even if he's being used and rolled over, he fears conflict enough and the emotional tides that come with it, to not lash out. If he does, he embraces a cease-fire too quickly, seeking to repair the emotional damage in the arms of those who hurt him. It's almost like a battered wife, but it's a strange emotional surrendering that curiously exists, and has to be controlled, even soundly stomped out at times. As a result of his eagerness to accomidate even those who abuse him, he'll be forever hurt, and the good times he has will be make-up on a black eye, covering up the tension and soreness he knows is there. Yes, he has a detailed history, and no it doesn't have anything to do with his sexual preferences, and the acceptance thereof. The last thing we need is another one of those fucking things. I'll get to his story eventually.
Sparky - Sparky is Mister Hyde. She represents abandon, and those uncaring, inconsequential moments I was speaking of earlier. Some could say it's selfish, but that's fine. It's there nonetheless. She's part heartbreaker, part fantasy fulfillment, the things you think about inside your head that you could never do among others, whether sexual or not. She has a tale that's just being recently congealed together at a leisurely pace, though I don't think I'll get to it any time soon. The primary reason this aspect remains nestled away is that it is not condusive to a society, and is meerly a release valve manifested into a character, and most probably a shallow one. It also tends to attract a rather uncooth side of the fandom I wish not to draw affiliation with, due to the extreme expectations and uncomfortable, worship-minded behavior of those who seek more pictures to satisfy their own Mister Hydes.
This is just a snapshot of these aspects. I could write entire entries on each one, but I'm not comfortable going into intense self-analyzation on a public forum, for fear of sounding self-centered, as well as just wanting to keep many deeper things about myself, to myself. Those are who are looking for more snapshots into my thoughts will find many of them inbedded in the stories in Better Days, when it's up and ready. You can be assured I'll not start wearing WWFD bracelets anytime soon.