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Originality...?

Banes at 12:00AM, Sept. 17, 2015
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A friend of mine, many years ago, showed me a cartoon that was fascinating, funny, and horrifying. In my memory, it was the first anime I'd ever seen. I'd forgotten most of it over the years, and would try to find it once every so often, without knowing the title or any character names or anything.

Finally, as the Internet became more and more comprehensive, I found that it was not an anime, but a Canadian made cartoon called Rock and Rule. I watched parts of it online, and it was nice to catch a little piece of my forgotten history!

What surprised me about it, though, was how much a minor character named Cindy (see picture above) resembled my own beloved character Penelope!



Penelope is one of my favorite creations, and I was stunned to find a character that resembled her so closely, both physically and personality wise.

I'm aware of many of the strong influences on my own comics, but it freaked me out to learn that there were influences I had no conscious memory of!

Weird.

What are the big influences on your comics? And is there anything new under the Sun? I kind of think not.
But that's probably not such a terrible thing…

Happy Thursday!
-Banes

comment

anonymous?

Peipei at 1:50AM, Sept. 19, 2015

What can I say? It's really hard to be completely original in a world where EVERYTHING has virtually been done several times over! And when you think you've come up with a new idea, you'll eventually learn that that, too has been done before...Shux! I think my primary inspirations for most of my stories comes from various sources, my love for video games and sci-fi come mind! As far as story and character inspirations go, I can't quite pin point anything that's necessarily been the driving point for me. I would like to think that most of my work comes from the imagination alone. I guess if there is anything in my stories that happen to resemble other characters and themes that already exist, it was done unknowingly. :s

Stellar at 3:39PM, Sept. 17, 2015

I find questioning my originality to be like questioning my sanity. I'm not. For example I thought I was being really clever having zombies be not only intelligent but likable, then finding out Romero had done it long before I was even born. The tried and true ways to make engaging characters and thrilling plots have been around for so long because they resonate. Even if most of it isn't original it's bound to be new to someone who hasn't been exposed to such ideas before.

bravo1102 at 1:04PM, Sept. 17, 2015

It's all grist for the mill. Everything that I've ever seen anywhere and at any time will be dredged up, borrowed or stolen. Whether it's using names of people I knew or setting something different in a film style that I enjoyed as a kid (1960's Italian space opera for Interstellar Blood Beasts for example) I'll throw it in there. And someone will point out a similarity to something and I'll say, "Hey you mean someone else remembers that?" I also throw in references because I have a good memory for where I stole stuff. I freely acknowledge that in Tales of S.I.G., SIG got its initials from Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

jerrie at 10:49AM, Sept. 17, 2015

A big influence on my comics has been movies, believe it or not. I do a comic I dont post on the duck called Neva Knownes...I loved the movie to live and die in LA...fascinating seeing the ''good guy'' just as crooked as the ''bad guy''...made me want to do stories like that...where there is no clear cut ''good'' or ''bad'' guy. The wrestling comic I do, was influenced from the old Raquel Welch movie One Million BC...omg...seeing that catfight corrupted me!

awsome owl 98 at 10:19AM, Sept. 17, 2015

I think all of Rock and Rule is on youtube at least that's were I watched it. As for my webcomic it started off when I was 11 and back then almost all of it was heavily inspired by newspaper comics since I hadn't really read many webcomics at the time.

KimLuster at 8:29AM, Sept. 17, 2015

Now the idea behind my story itself I will readily admit is sort of an idea-child, a fusion, of the Matrix movies and the movie Inception, plus a few others thrown in (Forbidden Planet, Dreamscape...) plus my own ponderings, drawn from my readings on Physics, Biology, and Philosophy, as gravy on top (or some unpalatable sauce :D)

KimLuster at 8:23AM, Sept. 17, 2015

Another great topic of thought!!! Hmmmm... If I were to go by a certain recent discussion of Mary Sue's (along with that notorious online test) then obviously the greatest influence on Kimber Lee is Me!!! :D And ya know... while I bristle at the notion, I can honestly say that no particular character that I can think of was the inspiration behind Kimber Lee - she just sprang, Athena-like, from my head. If anything, it's totally subconscious... In self-reflection, I do admit to being a fan of Tomb Raider (even mentioning it once in the story) and there are certain resemblances between Lara and Kimber Lee, but it was never purposeful and I'm only thinking that *might* be somewhat the case in hindsight!!

usedbooks at 6:41AM, Sept. 17, 2015

Also, I get to combining elements for characters from anime series I watch. Blond-haired smoker villain in a long coat. Pince-nez for an aristocrat villain, short genius in glasses, etc. Honestly, most of my characters started out as tropes. But for each one, I love to play a contrast card. An antisocial badass in dark sunglasses who doesn't talk about her past and dresses androgynously -- but she loves babies and antiques and wears purple silky pajamas. Suddenly, she's not any other character but my own. I guarantee, if I watch and read enough, I will find a doppelganger for each unique character. As you said, there are no new ideas, but it may not be direct inspiration as much as writers thinking alike. Tropes come from somewhere.

usedbooks at 6:31AM, Sept. 17, 2015

Hahaha. When I watch shows I haven't scene in a while, I see resemblances in some characters. I think some of it is more a coincidence than anything. Directly, I know my character Yuki was inspired by a mix of my former roommate and the character Mihoshi from Tenchi Muyo (or Tenchi Universe? because of interactions with Kiyone). Then I watched Trigun after many years and realized that Millie IS Yuki. It blew my mind for a moment. Then I realized Millie is kind of Mihoshi too, and that maybe it's just one of those set anime archetypes.


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