October 9th, 2007

The Zombie

The Dumbest Character I Ever Created...AND MORE!

October 8 -  Let's play "Catch-Up," shall we?  Back to my "forbidden" characters (hooray?)  Tomorrow, strength and time provided, I hope to give you a rundown of our "adventures" at FallCon (quick preview: HOT!).  So, I'll get the ball rolling tonight with what should have been October 4th's "Forbidden" WOMP Character of The Day - Captain Bronto!  I was a big fan of classic monster movies when I was a little kid.  I remember literally begging my parents to allow me to stay up one night to watch the Late, Late Cinema showing of King Kong vs. Godzilla, citing the film's "historical importance" (yep, I was a very strange kid).  Toward that end, I wanted my own gigantic monstrosities to draw.  One of those was the aforementioned Captain Bronto, who very closely resembled a long-necked version of a Sleestak from Land of The Lost.  Here's his Encyclopidia entry -

Captain Bronto - after freak accident this man's head took the shape of the last dinosaur on Earth.  On the side of evil

Where do I start?  Pretty quickly, like within a few weeks, I realized that the good Captain was a bad character.  What was the nature of "freak accident?"  How could it cause his head to take the shape of anything, nonetheless the shape of, presumably, the head of the last dinosaur on Earth...and, aren't there still "dinosaurs" (like crocodiles)?  Why, then, did this cause him to be "on the side of evil?"  And, for goodness' sake, why was he a "Captain?"  Sheesh!  I suppose that they can't all be winners - and none of my characters really are - but Captain Bronto may be the dumbest character that I'd ever created.  Maybe.  Nipping at the Captain's heels for that title is October 5th's "Forbidden" WOMP Character of The Day - Truel "Jay" Wayne!  OK, time for some more insight into my weird childhood.  Here's the short version; I was not given many toys, so I eventually bought my own.  With $1.00 per week allowance earned doing dishes and taking out the garbage, I bought action figures.  Hundreds of them.  Hundreds and hundreds.  Then I built a scale-model city for them in my parents' basement, complete with streets, airport, schoolhouse, radio/TV station, and so forth.  There, playing with the figures, I imagined a world that is now the basis for The World of Monkey.  As such, the basement city seemed very much like something of a soap opera to me.  Whenever I bought a new action figure, I had to figure out how to fit him or her into the continuing storyline.  That proved a bit more vexing than usual when I brought home the bendable figure of the "main" alien from Close Encounters of The Third Kind.  He was from places, and motives, unknown.  He did not speak.  He was nude.  Worst of all, he had no name.  So, I resolved that he was named for the planet from which he came, Truel (heck only knows from where I got that).  Naked as he was, I placed him in tattered remnants of an older Robin figure's costume.  This gave rise to the thought that he was taken in, and eventually adopted by Bruce "Batman" Wayne, thus "Truel Wayne."  The "Jay" part came from my impression that he had formed the sign-language gesture for the letter "J" when he used hand signals to communicate with the scientists at the end of Close Encounters.  He didn't (a "J" being a pinky finger air-tracing a capital "J"), but I thought he did.  Yep.  Well, the many, many reasons for Truel's state of being "forbidden" are pretty obvious now.  Slightly better, but no less sad, are October 6th and 7th's "Forbidden" WOMP Characters of The Day - The Blackhawk and Maroon Falcon!  For those of you who stuck it out during Sidekick Month here in the WOMP-Blog, have read my story Sidekicked posted elsewhere on the WOMP-Site, or picked up a copy of Tales From The WOMP-Blog #3 at the FallCon comics convention this last weekend, you may know that these two characters, originally intended to be the "Batman and Robin of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin," are slowly working their way off of the "forbidden" list.  I suppose that, now that I've been tweaking them a bit, they may merely be "forbidding."  There is just so much that's wrong with the characters, and so little that's right...but I'm working through that, bit by bit.  I think.  In that four part Sidekicked story, I cleared up my problems with some of their stupidest elements (stupidest?  Is that a real word now?  Gazillion is.  Hmm...Gazillion.  That's a great name for a character!  Maybe even Captain Gazillion!  But I digress...), like their totally lame names, weird costumes, and even the very concept behind their "millionaire and youthful ward" relationship, but there is still much more work to do before I can imagine incorporating these particular childhood characters into current WOMP continuity.  Not all off-limits characters are from my fabled childhood, though.  For example, take tonight's "Forbidden" WOMP Character of The Day - The Mime!  Coming from my days at the Joe Kubert School, The Mime is now a no-go because of uncertain ownership.  In a college for cartoonists, all-night comics discussions were the rule, rather than the exception.  One night, Dave Weiser (my first roommate), and I gabbed all night, pitching ideas to each other.  Somehow, we began to formulate the story behind a superhero called The Mime.  Nothing too deep was discussed, mostly just visual stuff, like how the "mime powers" would work and how we might design his costume.  We even followed up with a series of concept drawings, but, when Dave left school after a couple of months, The Mime became trapped in an invisible box of copyright limbo.  Just as well, because others have used the same basic concept in the years since...with little, or no, success.  Maybe Dave and I dodged a bullet there.  More "forbidden" tomorrow, when I talk about one of my characters based on a real person...a very famous real person.  See ya then!