View Full Version : Importance of the NAME

05-06-2020, 02:01 PM
Ok. Having the countdown for these forums over our heads I want to drop my POV on how to create comics.
Maybe this can be of use for some of you, maybe it would not. Here are my insights in the subject.

On comics creation
Importance of the NAME on a comics character.
Comics, the best place for matching writing and artwork in a unique, personal cinematic experience.
Before the scripts are done, in order to start writing a successful comics book we do need to create a successful main CHARACTER a.k.a. The HERO/HEROINE.
Which of course, are stereotypes. We need to create that particular character that owns and posses all the qualities and attributions that are proper of the heroes. Or the antiheroes, if we are creating an antihero. A character that can make use of these attributes on his/her own way.
Now, how do we create a character?

1- Choose a time period from past, present or future. ( 20 century, 200 BC , 1870's, year 2018, WWII, year 5999 AD.)
2- Choose the location and settings for the hero’s adventures. ( Cimmeria, South Dakota, New York, Shanghai, London, Congo, Haiti, Alaska, or any place of the universe, real or fictitious of your preference)
3- Choose a profession or activity for your hero. ( Judge, carpenter, demon, journalist, pirate, farmer, outlaw, beggar, ex soldier, detective, Angel, Assassin, Priest, Gambler, Whatever, etc.) By its profession we can learn about his skills, temper and modus operandi. How he can react to danger. On what side of the Law does he walks. Therefore, we may have a hero or antihero as character.

Having the time period, location and profession for the character established, we need to give him/her a proper NAME.
For Elmore Leonard and Stan Lee, the RIGHT NAME of the character is of utmost importance, a Paramount.
Having the right, PUNCHING NAME is a powerful SALES FACTOR. Also, the name is the TITLE that will sell the comic's book. We all know famous character's by their name, as Conan, Superman, Zorro, Sailor Moon, Judge Dread, Tarzan, Wonder Woman, Hellboy, Batman, Mickey, Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, Archie, Xena, the Hulk, Solomon Kane, Jonah Hex, etc. When we see these names in a cover of a comics book we know what to expect from our comics fix.

We see these character's name in the cover of the book and that is what would drive and compels us to buy the book. Later on, we may read the inside title referred to that particular adventure. The script could be memorable or forgettable, who knows. But what got us on identifying and buying the comics book in first instance was the NAME of the character in the cover. NAME matters, especially for comic's books. A character's name has its own weight. It makes the 50% of a full character creation. It is the I.P, the intellectual property. It could become a Trademark in the future, who knows?

4- Having the character name, and M.O established, next comes the work on the character visuals. The proper DESIGN. And this implies, body type, ethnicity, customs, clothes, accessories. We surely can tell by the character's design, the visual, physical differences between Conan and Sherlock Holmes and the way on how they may behave in a dangerous event. The same principle works out for contemporary characters, as Batman, Superman or Spiderman. Or Jonah Hex and Lone Ranger. Their design made them unique and different.

5- So, the FIRST thing to do is to create the main character, the HERO. Having the hero well defined we can start working on the STORY.
What else we do need to know? Having all these previous clues solved, we can start by digging on our hero's personal life story. Before releasing our character in the world of ACTION we need at least to briefly know about his basics of life. We already know him by his name, profession, and time for living. OK. Also, we need to figure out about his personality, where he was born? Where he did grew up? How he got to be whom he is now? Etc.
What are his secret traumas, his commitments and pursuit. Of course, we are the ones who made up all these things.
OK. Enough for embodiment. Is time for finally put our Character /HERO in ACTION. Having him or her working and walking on their own stories.
Because HAVING the CHARACTER and the character's NAME in hand is having the grip on the main STORY. And therefore, the further stories or adventures that eventually would develop our character. Bringing our character to life.

Next step, would be to start actually creating these adventures. Each new book is a new script. And each script is a new episode with a new adventure for the audience to be read. We must put our hero in every stressing dreaded situation, danger or peril, we can possibly imagine. Having the hero in a mission, saving or helping somebody else or himself in the meanwhile. Always confronting a powerful and evil antagonist. The villain. (The creation of the antagonist works the same as it was for creating the hero. A right name for the bad guy is preponderant as well. Having our hero being defeated by the villain half way on the script. The hero falling near to dead or close to Hell, and suddenly turning the tables, overcoming the situation, defeating the enemy and saving the day. Rinse and repeat. Do you think this is too formulaic? Maybe, but this has proved to work well. Ask to any of these comic’s characters we already know and love.

To be continued...