October 24 - "Forbidden" WOMP Character of The Day - Mr. Big! No, I didn't invent the character from the famous HBO series, but my Mr. Big does look a bit like Chris Noth with a more conservative hairstyle. Dating from about 1990, Mr. Big was intended to be another finders, inc. villain. Basically, he was a ginormous Republican. Wearing natty 1940's attire, he sort of resembled a doughier "SHAZAM" Captain Marvel, except that he was always scowling. I envisioned him as the last angry conservative, upset that society was moving ahead, leaving him and his outdated, often oppressively backward, belief-system behind. Then everything went nuts. For the last fifteen years or so, we've all been living in Mr. Big's world. There's not much fun in imagining Mr. Big's "traditional values" villainy when similar real-life Right Wing nightmares are daily committing worse. Maybe I should create a liberal villain (Mz. Little?), as an interesting counterpoint to current politics. Of course, things may be changing yet again. I guess the lesson, then, is that characters created to speak to a current political or social condition do not age well. Plus, the name "Mr. Big" is now forbidden anyway because people will assume that he is the guy who dates Carrie Bradshaw!
October 25 - "Forbidden" WOMP Character of The Day - Albaric, the Elf Lord! Again, here's a character with some copyright troubles. In 1989 or 1990, it was Eric Gillitzer, then a very youthful O.F.O.WOMP, who first drew this warrior elf character. Let me try to remember how this all happened (keep in mind that my memory is not, well...kept in mind). Eric may have been just thirteen or fourteen years old at the time, but he was a very good artist with a lot of imagination. I can't remember exactly why, but I showed him that his drawing, with a few tiny tweaks, could be a viable comics "character." I redrew the character, pointing out some of his costume features as I did, while asking "What's this?" As Eric answered, imagining reasons for the elf's silver headband, unusual sword, and so forth, he began to form a backstory wherein Albaric was an embittered, deposed elf royal. I'm also pretty sure that I came up with Albaric's name, which was a variation of Eric's own. From there, Albaric briefly folded into The World of Monkey. Again, I don't remember how. I do know that it has always been my intention that other creators be able to add to the Monkeyverse. That Eric, first Official Friend of WOMP, should do so...well, it just makes sense. A short while later, Albaric, as drawn by Erik Larsen, graced the very first WOMP trading cards. Unfortunately, at the same time, both Eric and I realized that there were many other similar characters in the comic book world. There were all sorts of elf lords, the elves of Elfquest, and, of course, the elves of Lord of The Rings. Almost as soon as his "life" began, Albaric was dead in the water. Now, even though Eric and I could probably come up with not only some sort of amicable copyright agreement, but an interesting story as well, I fear that the lonely lord of the elvish realms is doomed to obscurity as he wanders in exile through a barbaric, forbidden land forever. In fact, let me do this; I hereby relinquish all claims to the character of Albaric (the Elf Lord), to Eric Gillitzer. There. Now he's Eric's "forbidden" character!