Brainstorming new background characters?

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Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Jin-roh on Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:08 am

I have thought about adding a few new "characters" in as supporting roles to draw out more of the personalities of the main cast. Here are few. My comic is about a cast of six college-aged folks, four of whom attend "Trinity Pacific University," an evangelical Christian college. There personalities and interest arrange from moody introverts who stick to the nerdy hobbies, to energetic extroverts who do musical theatre.

Here a few random ideas.

-White Chocolate Guy. WCG is a character who is very white, but was raised around Black, Gospel-preaching culture. He loves Gospel music and sings it like the best of them.

-Overtly Non-Christian transfer student. A rebellious kid who was raised in a strong Christian family whose parents still hope he'll make it back in the fold someday. He casually smokes pot around Trinity Pacific University.

-Distractingly Hot Teacher's Aide. Either male nor female, this grad-student keeps the eyeballs of all the opposite gender when in class assisting the proff.

-Other weird or clever chacters that might make into the comic. What do you suggest? This is an open brainstorming session. So anyone is free to submit ideas, no matter how bad or cheesy they might think they are.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Phalanx on Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:55 am

A non-arrogant, downright-meek atheist? Just to mess up most people's preconceptions of them?

"What is an atheist doing in an evangelical Christian college?!"

*insert long, ridiculous, ironic origin story here*
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Jin-roh on Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:32 pm

Phalanx wrote:A non-arrogant, downright-meek atheist? Just to mess up most people's preconceptions of them?

"What is an atheist doing in an evangelical Christian college?!"

*insert long, ridiculous, ironic origin story here*


Huh... that's actually kinda clever. I can't imagine it though. That could say something really bad about me, or something really bad about atheists.

I closest thing I can I think of are the agnostics in my graduate program.

I suppose an athiest might be there because.
1. He is the aformentioned overtly non-Christian student.
2. He became a athiest while attending there. A really horrible chapel message convinced him there was no God.
3. He's undercover for the super secret atheism league, which intends to tarnish religion from within.
4. He read a theologian like Paul Tillich and is now completely confused about terms.
5. Is scared of sex for some reason, and figures dating Christian girls will be safer. This plan backfires.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Phalanx on Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:12 pm

Jin-roh wrote:
Phalanx wrote:A non-arrogant, downright-meek atheist? Just to mess up most people's preconceptions of them?

"What is an atheist doing in an evangelical Christian college?!"

*insert long, ridiculous, ironic origin story here*


Huh... that's actually kinda clever. I can't imagine it though. That could say something really bad about me, or something really bad about atheists.

I closest thing I can I think of are the agnostics in my graduate program.

I suppose an athiest might be there because.

...
2. He became an atheist while attending there. A really horrible chapel message convinced him there was no God.
...



Or maybe he read the Da Vinci Code and is convinced that it is all a crazy secret society out to get him with assassins hiding in every corner. ;) Kidding!

But seriously this one sounds quite plausible. To make it interesting you might make him a closet atheist and pair him/her with your non-christian student or something.

Quite challenging a topic to portray realistically though. As long as you don't turn it into a theological straw man it should be ok I think. My experience with atheists: there is a small but extremely vocal and loud (and arrogantly annoying) percentage, while the remaining are rather low-profile silent majorities who are most of time, interesting and agreeable people. However they seem to prefer to go by the title "Secular Humanist" instead of "atheist", probably because of the common preconceptions about atheist.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Jin-roh on Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:19 am

Being a secular humanist implies that your offer something affirmative to the table. A secular humanist could be described as someone who believes a set of ideas, and thus can offer them as alternatives to religion. Atheists, on the other hand, is defined by negation and doesn't necessarily affirm anything specifically.

At least that's how I see it.

Most of the agreeable silent majority athiests I know (or have known) fall into the "apatheist" category. I can think of one who simply out-grew his religious upbringing without the common angry period.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Phact0rri on Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:30 am

an agnostic would be pretty interesting. On a search to find proof of god's existance.

An atheist who is studying because his family have been clergy for hundreds of years and he's just taking over the family business.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Phalanx on Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:31 am

Jin-roh wrote:Being a secular humanist implies that your offer something affirmative to the table. A secular humanist could be described as someone who believes a set of ideas, and thus can offer them as alternatives to religion. Atheists, on the other hand, is defined by negation and doesn't necessarily affirm anything specifically.


True. It's probably like comparing apples to vegtables. Different categories entirely.

If I am not mistaken, atheists are simply people who do not believe in the existence of a divine deity, whereas agnostics have come to the conclusion it's impossible to be sure on whether there might be or might be not, but aren't too bothered about it either way.

In my experience both atheism/agnosticism and secular humanism tend do go hand in hand however. Or at least, one is a subset of another. After all the crux of secular humanism is that it's a set of values not based on religion, and to subscribe to one does have to have some measure of skepticism with regards to theism to begin with, otherwise it would just be religious humanism. So theoretically one could be an atheist secular humanist, but one does not have to be an atheist to be a secular humanist.

Wow, I think you already have an interesting plotline for your story already Jin-roh. This stuff just writes itself.

Phact0rri wrote:an agnostic would be pretty interesting. On a search to find proof of god's existance.


I think so too. Imagine if it was an super indecisive agnostic too. The potential for comedy is there.

"Could be, could be not. Ok maybe. Sort of... sometimes...I think..."
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Jin-roh on Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:26 am

I'll have to re-read my William James.

I'm currently working on a short little plot to get two characters in a relationship (finally).

He's a bitter pastor's kid, who was the "romeo" type in high school. He's finally at a point in life where he can explore relationships again. The dangerous rock-star type attracts all kinds of conservative Christian girls!

She's a missionary kid from Asia who has come to United States. She's trying to adjust, but is always never sure where here cultural identity truly lies! She also loves the spotlight and is used to the stage! Hurray for vocal performance majors!

They both got drunk and made-out that one time!
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Lisket on Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:53 am

Most other atheists I know are pretty quiet about their (non)beliefs. They don't want to be judged. I, on the other hand, am not at all shy about letting people know, but I'm also very tolerant, understanding of religious people's views. My hope being that people will realize I'm not amoral, evil, or as arrogant as they think of atheists as being. Because if that prevading image of atheism is going to fade at all, the more tolerant atheists are going to have to speak up. /soapbox

In any case, a closeted atheist would be a very realistic choice, and the true agnostic sounds fun.

I'd suggest someone like my former roommate, who was very Christian, but also very liberal and pot smoking, but I don't know how she would have ended up at your school.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Jin-roh on Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:14 am

can you give me some clever suggestions of atheists getting judged? That might be fun!

There were a few pot smokers at my alma mater. It is not entirely unrealistic. Usually, they are either experimenting for the first time, are at the school for "christian culture" reasons, or got there because their parents sent them there.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Lisket on Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:56 am

Um, well... Atheists are often automatically assumed to have no morals, since people think that you can only get those from religion, where you have concepts of sin and eternal consequences. Or... eternal rewards if that sounded too negative... I think that's the big one. And it'd be your job to make it funny. I don't really do gags...
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby BionicDance on Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:25 pm

Jin-roh wrote:Most of the agreeable silent majority athiests I know (or have known) fall into the "apatheist" category. I can think of one who simply out-grew his religious upbringing without the common angry period.


You're clearly not hanging out with the atheists who are MY circle of friends.

But then, my circle is the rabid-and-screaming wing of the YouTube atheists; not so much with this "agreeable silent majority" business. ;)
Heck, my own videos have got something of a following at this point, if 1,700+ subscribers is any indication.

Phalanx wrote:If I am not mistaken, atheists are simply people who do not believe in the existence of a divine deity, whereas agnostics have come to the conclusion it's impossible to be sure on whether there might be or might be not, but aren't too bothered about it either way.


Ehhh...more or less. The last time I did a count, there was approximately eleventy-billion different ways to be and define "atheist" and "agnostic".
There are some--myself among them--who would claim that agnostics are, in fact, atheists because the single solitary thing required to be an atheist is lacking a belief in a deity. A person ignorant of the existence of the concept of a deity is, technically, an atheist; a person explicitly repudiating the existence of a deity is also an atheist. The only way to not be an atheist is to profess belief in a god of some kind.
But, as I say, that's one of a bajillion ways to define these terms; I've seen others, including the notion that the existence of gods must be explicitly denied to be an atheist...but I usually see that argument made by theists who want to make their job of refuting atheists easier. The reverse--lacking belief being the only atheism requirement--being atheists making their job easier, however, is not so; how can a-theism, lacking theism, not reasonably be inclusive of explicit or implicit non-belief?
And, of course, some agnostics are very bothered by the ambiguity of god's existence. Some want desperately to believe but can't bring themselves, others are inclined to disbelieve but are terrified by eternal consequences if they're wrong, and pretty much every position in between is occupied by somebody, somewhere...

Jin-roh wrote:can you give me some clever suggestions of atheists getting judged? That might be fun!


Well, a lot of theists like to lay the blame for Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot at the feet of atheists...not realizing, of course, that atheism is not a church or religion with dogma and congregations and such; they try to lump all atheists together, presumably because they figure that the opposite of having faith is just like being religious, only opposite. Truth is, atheists just plain aren't that organized; "herding cats" is the analogy most used. When the only requirement to be an atheist is to lack belief, there isn't really a unifying force that brings atheists together...except, occasionally, in self-defense.
The "Hitler, Stalin, Mao" accusation is usually used when the Crusades, the Inquisition, and other explicitly religious atrocities are brought up; at best, it's an "I know you are, but what am I?" defense.

'Course, there'z also all the accusations of immorality; without dogma against it, it's presumed that atheists are wantonly having pre-martial sex, doing drugs, eating babies, etc... Pick something you imagine went on in Sodom and Gomorrah, the accuse an atheist of really diggin it, and you're pretty much there.

And the inevitable accusations of being in league with Satan...not realizing, of course, that disbelief in god kinna comes part and parcel with a repudiation of the devil as well.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Lisket on Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:05 pm

BionicDance wrote:And the inevitable accusations of being in league with Satan...not realizing, of course, that disbelief in god kinna comes part and parcel with a repudiation of the devil as well.


Oh yeah, those can be funny.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Jin-roh on Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:31 pm

hmmm....

I lot of the Youtube Atheists are kinda funny by themselves. Youtube is funny by itself.

In fact, I should just find some random youtube atheist for inspiration.

Maybe I could imagine an atheist with the intellectual capacity of Christian weirdos like Kirk Cameron.

Or maybe I should just make fun of Kirk Cameron.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby BionicDance on Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:39 pm

If you want a YouTube atheist to make fun of, I'd recommend TheAmazingAtheist; he's perfect fodder f'dis stuff, I'm thinkin'.

But making fun of Kirk Cameron would probably be more entertaining, if easier. ;)
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Jin-roh on Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Yeah....

I can't ever unpeel a banana without thinking about how much that guy embarrasses my religion. Thanks a lot Kirk.
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby BionicDance on Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:46 pm

You heard about how he and Ray Cumfart (har!) are re-releasing Origin of Species with a new Foreword explaining how the theory of evolution led to the holocaust...and distributing it free on college campuses...right? *shakes head sadly*

I'm gonna see if I can get a copy or two; could be fun fodder for the ol' YouTube channel. ;)
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Re: Brainstorming new background characters?

Postby Jin-roh on Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:23 pm

Thanks!! That's a comic story in itself.

Besides, why would you need to re-release orgin of species? You can read it on guttenburg.org
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