Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Characters based on real people?
authorfly at 1:08AM, Sept. 11, 2008
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Just the other day I was enjoying a lonely one player game of Sing Star on my not yet retired PS2, When one of the music artists looked like he would make a good main character for the story I'm presently writing. Since I'm not a fantastic realistic artist I figured I would use his appearance and it really would not look too close to the real thing anyway.
My question for the other Drunk Duck users is… do any of you base your original characters on real people you think are pretty or attractive? Whether you do or not, if you ever thought that somebody elses' character looked too similar to a real person would you point it out as being any less original?
For the moment I'm going to continue writing my story and coming up with some new concepts.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM
ozoneocean at 3:46AM, Sept. 11, 2008
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Yes, I've based some characters on real people, it makes them easier to realise.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Steely Gaze at 10:20AM, Sept. 11, 2008
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None of my characters in my comic are based on real people, but I have, shall we say, “cast” real people in other stories I've done.

The only way I could see them as being less original is if you take the real person's personality and use that instead of actually forming a character yourself. If a character just looks like someone real, I would hardly consider it to be less original than if it looked completely unique.

Many a time while reading comics here on DD and elsewhere, I've found myself saying: “Gosh, I know who that looks like!” And then finding myself unable to get the actor (it's usually an actor) from voicing that character in my mind. :)
A Roll of the Dice now with full-size pages!

John Clyde now with ten times the tacky Hawaiian shirts!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
lba at 4:55PM, Sept. 11, 2008
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Steely Gaze
The only way I could see them as being less original is if you take the real person's personality and use that instead of actually forming a character yourself. If a character just looks like someone real, I would hardly consider it to be less original than if it looked completely unique.

I don't even know if that's right really. I think as long as you give them a backstory and make them a fully fleshed out character it doesn't necessarily detract from their originality. I would be surprised if there was ever a character outside of biographies that was a carbon copy of the person it was based on. No matter what, 99% of the time, you end up adding yourself, your ideas or your fantasies to it, and you end up with someone different than the original. Even characters I've based on myself aren't totally like me. Some times they don't even look like me any more once I'm done.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
authorfly at 12:14AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Whew back from a lllooooonnngggg day.

Anyways back to the topic, so it seems that characters based on real people dont bother any of you very much. However what do you feel about shameless celebrity plugging? What if it was almost as silly as the Hoff's appearance in the Sponge Bob Square pants movie?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM
Steely Gaze at 4:34AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Shameless celebrity plugging annoys me unless it's handled very well. If it's used for humor, then it can occasionally work in my opinion, but not often.

Iba
I don't even know if that's right really. I think as long as you give them a backstory and make them a fully fleshed out character it doesn't necessarily detract from their originality. I would be surprised if there was ever a character outside of biographies that was a carbon copy of the person it was based on. No matter what, 99% of the time, you end up adding yourself, your ideas or your fantasies to it, and you end up with someone different than the original. Even characters I've based on myself aren't totally like me. Some times they don't even look like me any more once I'm done.

Well as an example of what I mean, Iba, take Britney Spears. Making a character based on how she looks wouldn't bother me at all, but if that character was a former pop sensation now falling as fast as a meteorite, getting into nasty public spectacles, than I would be far less interested than if this crashing pop star looked like someone else.

Large things like that would indeed bother me. It's like a lot of these forensic investigation shows that use real cases only slightly doctored, or base their victims on real people only slightly altered. Beneath the mask, it's obvious who they are talking about, and it turns it into a strange facsimile of fact and fiction that I don't like.
A Roll of the Dice now with full-size pages!

John Clyde now with ten times the tacky Hawaiian shirts!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
lba at 9:15AM, Sept. 12, 2008
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That sort of a celebrity look-a-like is understandably not interesting. I guess it's a little more interesting and acceptable when you don't know the person whom the character is based off of. In that case it's ok because the reader doesn't ever really know.


Never do celebrity plugs outside of parody or lampooning them if you can avoid it. Speaking from the point of a humor writer, there are ten million things you can do that are almost always funnier. There are rare occasions when it's ok, but they don't happen often and usually you can get the same humor effect by using a different character.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
authorfly at 1:37PM, Sept. 12, 2008
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Ah I see, I just thought I'd ask if anyone found that kind of thing funny. When I see celebrity plugging it seems like a massive comedic cop out, a kind of trying too hard. However being annoyed by this is a rare case for me because I seem to have been born with celebrity ignorance syndrome.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM

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