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Y'know, I really hate intros that I have to skip when I'm looking for recipes or ideas for places to visit when travelling. I don't give a toss about how the guy's nan used to make this most excellent lemon pie with Smarties, and how she used to sit by the fireplace knitting chocolate bras-- I JUST WANT THE DANG RECIPE. So here's the list:
Joey's Personal Top 5 Orbus Characters
(In Currently Released Media)
No. 5 - Unnat Lee
Series: 'Ellie The Artist'
I guess it is unusual for me to write a comic relief character, but I also know the importance of having them as a character first and comedy second. Unnat is a fan favourite for readers of ETA, and I think I may have accidentally spawned a few cartoon crushes from fans!
How did I come up with the idea of the "Young Asian guy who makes wisecracks, loves partying and has a heart of gold" character? I literally cannot remember. I guess for one thing, I do know a few Nepalese and Chinese people in real life, and I wanted to give them a positive representation? But then his race is pretty much the least important part of his character, so...
Unnat is the guy who lights up the room when he enters, and as his closest friend Mara even said, he is genuinely happy in most parts of his life, but he does have his demons. For those who have read the first three books of Ellie The Artist they'll know what I mean, and can look forward to it being further explored in #4. He shows the unusually depicted trope of being super popular and youthful AND being genuinely good hearted and non-superficial. Of course plenty of these people exist, and I've had the pleasure of knowing plenty! I suppose I was kinda sick of seeing the "underdogs vs. the Chads" bull***t in every story written by a dualistic mind.
No. 4 - Crackabilly Dan
Series: 'The RAD Show!' and 'Acrylic Vent Comics'
Ouch... is what I say when I write this guy. He is a small town punk rocker over 50, and he is here to lead the rebel movement of his street; which apparently involves peeing on the wall of the doctor's surgery because their vaccines are trying to hypnotise him.
Ok, I need to clarify. I love punk rock and rebel movements. For real, Johnny Rotten, Banksy, Kowloon Kurosawa, Atari Teenage Riot, I love all of those people and what they do. I would probably be more anarchic myself if I weren't so inclined to persue a peaceful life.
But Crackabilly Dan - real name: Danny Von Krausen - is my personal pisstake on overly zealous wannabe rebels from small towns. The guys who have their smug cliques in rock pubs, and lord it over anyone who hasn't heard every single obscure track by Slayer. The old men who think they are owed respect because they once walked past Bob Dylan. Oh yeah. This character is my own satire on a stereotype that I've rarely seen shown in comedy. His short segment in Acrylic Vent #2 was my rehaul of the character from his last appearance in the 2015 animated episode of The RAD Show! , where he was essentially just a surreal comedy drug-taker. That animated segment was my second-year piece when studying animation at university; and I'll never forget the reaction in the student cinema when we were showcasing our animatics!
No. 3 - Vojtech Jancowski
Series: 'Ellie The Artist'
So when I show my work to my friends and family, they often ask "Is this character you? Or is this one you?", but the truth is none of them are entirely me. All of my different walks and phases through life and other people's lives are represented in fragments of my characters. Sally herself was based more on various friends I've had, than me personally. But then there's Vojtech (pronounciation: VOY-teck), the goofy eccentric grandpa friend to young Ellie.
I myself am only 27, and I believe I have the mind and maturity of my actual age. But I also feel what can be described as being an "old soul". I am the grandpa friend. Most of the fictional characters who inspire me are elderly men and women; specifically Mr. Miyagi, Uncle Iroh and Jean-Luc Picard. I am youthful but also a jaded person.
Vojtech is such a fun character to write, because he says all the things that I can't wait to say when I am his age. He first appeared in ETA#3 as someone who saved Ellie's life (no more spoilers than that), and was this cheeky-chappy Polish Dumbledore with a mad sense of humour and a height that towers above petit Ellie giving a fatherly appearance. I'm not Polish or Dumbledore, but I am a half-Asian cheeky sod with an apparently wise exterior and soft sweeping clothing, and I love to make people laugh and feel safe. I love Vojtech.
No. 2 - Oscar Walker
Series: 'That's How Sally Walks'
The father of sweet soft Sally is a rough and burly man with a questional past of crime, and his introduction to the series was that of a villain. And it truly was my intention to keep him a villain at first, but immediately after his first episode I knew that I was better than that as a writer. Things were not going to be so black and white, because they never are in real life; and at its core, the webcomic That's How Sally Walks is about life.
Oscar's story arc is about forgiveness, and about knowing it's never too late to turn your life around. I honestly don't want to go too far into this bio, because of spoilers, but I will say this about his final episode:
Life can be cruel and horrendous, and sometimes we can encourage it. And we can work on something with pure intentions and it still won't work out. Life is rarely fair to us and very rarely a fairytale, but sometimes, once in a while.... it is.
Mara Pott ('Ellie The Artist')
June Hawkes ('That's How Sally Walks')
Dr. Platurius ('Search For Catharsis')
No. 1 - Sally Jane Walker
Series: 'That's How Sally Walks'
This was inevitable. Sally - a name I hope could one day become synonymous with her - started out as a bit of fun and an experiment, which then evolved into a cute marketable character for t-shirts and onesies. But Sally is absolutely - in my opinion - the best character I've ever created. She has helped hundreds across the world feel not so alone, and in the words of a close friend of mine, "she's brought joy to many for seeing someone just like them grow as a person". She is the most pure human in the Orbiverse, because she is all of us. Every single one of us can relate to her in at least one of her short comics. But she's more than that too!
She's more than just cute and relatable. She's weird as hell, and unapologetically so. She's naturally so kind and sweet hearted, to the point where she avoids swearing well into her 20s! She wears her stripey sweater sleeves over her hands because she loves penguins and wants to look like one. She was a pushover at the beginning, but much later in the series she quite comfortably outsmarted a mysoginist. At the beginning, going camping was a huge event, but by the end she literally went to China just to help someone like it was nothing. Sally is proof that you can do it too. Because I did.