I’m a pretty unrepentant collector of images. I find them all over the Internet, from MyConfinedSpace to 4Chan and everywhere in between. MCS, unfortunately, has become a haven for idiot Male Rights Activists and is starting to show its misogyny; there’s still some good stuff up there, but I hate how it’s becoming more and more a place for dumb asses to blame all the problems in the world on women. 4chan is still its delightfully insane self, less misogynistic than anarchistic.
Anyway, I love pictures. I’d love to blow some of them up and use them as posters but, alas, image resolution and pixel density for most pictures simply isn’t there. Plus, my trusty inkjet printer prints just like you’d expect a $49 dollar printer from Target to print. So, I find ’em, archive ’em, and largely forget about ’em.
While I was rooting around in one of my hard drives today, I came across a handful of good stuff I had pulled down years ago and stuffed in a folder. Some funny, some clever, some I was just holding onto, waiting for the perfect excuse to use. Just to keep people going, I’ll be dotting this post with some of these random pictures.
Among other things I found was a sense of inspiration for a couple characters. My main character, Steven, was pulled together from a whack of different sources. His name came from my deceased brother, his Kenpo came from me, and his personality came from various friends over the years. He’s a literary Frankenstein. Wait. Frankenstein was a literary Frankenstein. Oh, well. Wilford was based in part on a couple of friends I’ve had over the years, people I respect even if I don’t always see eye to eye with. Jacob was basically my dad. Frank was somewhat similar to Repairman Jack (who still really needs a movie!), although not as dangerous. Jean was built off a couple of guys I knew in college.
I had thought Eve and Jessica were built similarly but a couple of pictures I scrounged up kind of changed that assessment. Their personalities are definitely fresh creations but their physicality was pulled from two separate places. It’s funny what sticks in your subconscious mind, ready to be dredged up when you least expect it. I first noticed this early last year, well after Henchmen came out. I was rereading Transmetropolitan (the single greatest comic ever, IMHO) when I noticed Eve bore a striking resemblance to this woman:
Meet Channon Yarrow, Spider Jerusalem’s tough as nails bodyguard and my subconscious inspiration for the mighty Eve.
I noticed another interesting character sketch as I was digging. There’s nothing terribly special about Jessica, she’s young, strong, smart, has anger issues, but she could probably blend in with a crowd if she needed to. In that way, she’s the polar opposite of the level-headed but extremely obvious Eve. Again, I had always kind of thought I had created her out of a pastiche of various women I’ve known throughout the years. Then I stumbled across this:
Crap. Foiled again. Right down to the skirt with suspenders. This, by the way, is Tifa Lockhart. She’s from Final Fantasy, a game I’ve never actually played; I just found the image at some point and my brain filed it away. I can’t speak to Tifa’s personality, since I’m familiar with the character, but a lot of Jessica’s physicality came from her, right down to the fighting. Although I doubt Tifa was a Savateuse. Speaking of which, since it’s kind of an arcane martial art (at least in the States, I doubt anyone from France would consider it arcane), Savate is French kickboxing and it’s a really cool system. I chose it for Jessica because it’s unique, fluid, and dangerous; just like her.
I’ve actually been asked a couple of times why I made the main supervillain a woman. The answer is pretty simple, I think female villains get pretty short shrift in the comics and wanted to do something different. Outside of Cat Woman, who’s really less of a villain and more of an anti-hero and Harley Quinn, you don’t see that many female villains. The one’s you do see are usually romantically entangled with one of the male characters or have goals that are, at best, surreal. Think Poison Ivy; she’s an eco-terrorist whose costumes keep getting skimpier. While I’m not averse to that, I do think they could do more with her.
So, Eve’s stated goals (her actual goals are somewhat different) are probably more in line with Talia Al-Ghul‘s goals of burning down the world to save it. You’ll actually have to read Arise to get an idea of what Eve’s actually up to. As a side note, Eve’s getting an origin story, something every supervillain needs. It’ll be part of The Clock Man when I get it done and should shed some more light on her character and motivations.
There you go, my two female leads. I like to think I did a decent job of making them real and not just sexpots for the men to save, but time will tell. Although, just from a sexpot view, I really need to find a way to work these into a story soon. My buddy Sylva Fae scrounged up this image somewhere and these have to find a use in a story.
And with that, I’ll leave you with your Moment of Zen.