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30 Characters – 2011 Challenger: Eric White

October 23, 2011

(this is the complete version of a very very long introductory post I just typed out on the 30 Characters site: All month long I’ll be posting my characters there…and the FULL, ultimately too wordy posts here on my site)


That’s me!! (well…sort of)

Hello everyone!! Eric White here having a go at my 3rd year of the 30 Characters challenge.  I have yet to make it through all 30 days but I’m determined to give THIS year my best effort yet.

Year One: I just played willy nilly with my drawings…just drawing that days goof that came to my head.

Year Two: I attempted to create the characters for what I had hoped would be a webcomic (BTW: that comic is still here on the back burner…but I let it go a little and never got back to it) (I’m just looking for the right collaborative team to work on it with me) (so…if you’re interested…)

Year Three!!: Here we are!! Year 3!! I was thinking about a my last couple of tries at this challenge and why I didn’t complete them.  Most of all…I’m am a busy dude.  What was going on two years ago at this time? Well my oldest daughter was about to start kindergarten, my youngest had just turned one, my wife was in her last year of nursing school and I was working 3 jobs along with trying to draw.  Year one was a casualty of me just plain not having time and since the characters were all basically just created for shiggles…I had no real motivation to keep working on them.

What happened during year two? I can still partially blame my failure on time issues (like I said…I’m a busy dude) but I think more than that I let myself get intimidated by my own work.  I planned this whole huge story idea and was trying to develop it at the same time as creating and developing the characters.  As the story, characters and my plans for the story evolved…I began to really feel like I had gotten myself in over my head. That pressure grew and I was feeling more and more like taking a break when I should have been drawing instead. In the end that left me with a failure for the second year in a row.

What can I do this year to avoid the problems I’ve had in the last two years?  I’m not nearly as busy as I have been in the past (wife is out of school and working now, my daughters are at an age where they can play and have fun without me hovering around them constantly and I’m down now to just my day job and my artwork at night) so that’s a HUGE hurdle that I won’t have to fight so hard to overcome.  As for my plans for my characters??  There IS a purpose to them this year.  I have a plan for something…but I’m NOT going to make some big premature announcement and try to develop a bunch of stuff all at the same time.  I want to use these characters for something but I’m just going to play with them…have fun with them…and make them fun.  Hopefully this will be the right balance this year between the carefree fun drawings and the purpose behind those drawings to help keep me motivated.

You may be wondering what my process is for my character crea…I’m approaching my character creation in a fun way.  The basis for my story idea revolves around somewhat classic super powered characters for both protagonists and antagonists. Like any good comic book fan who has some aspirations to draw comics…I’ve created a million superhero beings in my life.  Instead of making 30 more of my style of characters (which are mostly superman & spiderman clones) I decided to try something different.  I’m a big fan of Role Playing Games since, like…forever and I have a bookshelf full of game books.  I took one of  my favorite games, Heroes Unlimited, and rolled up the 30 character types and the powers that accompany them.  No character details, history or drawings…just the type and powers.  I used all the rules provided by the book for character creation (beginning from what type of character to create all the way through the process).  ALL rolls were actual and true.  There are a few character types in the Heroes Unlimited system that do not allow you to roll for which powers are available.  Psionics and Magic users for instance.  In the cases where those types of characters were rolled I intentionally left their power information slightly vague.  Here is the rolled information for the character which I will draw for Day 1.  If you’re familiar with the Heroes system or are a geek (which…lets be honest…if you’re reading this you probably are a geek) you’ll understand what all of that stuff means.

Power Category: Experiment – Chem & Rad – experiment that can not be replicated
Education Level: 3 years of college
# of Powers – 5 minor
Side Effect: Super Hairy
Experiment Sponsor: Military
Status with Sponsor: Allowed to leave peacefully

Extraordinary physical prowess
Heightened Sense of Taste
Energy Expulsion: Electrical Field
Flight: Glide
Heightened Sense of Smell

You may be asking…why did I do all of this work before hand? For one simple reason: I love role playing games and this whole character creation process and because of that I basically re-read the whole book. Once I decided to use this approach for character creation I knew it was going to take me forever. And I was right!! Rolling all 30 characters alone took me something like two weeks worth of evening to complete.  Every roll meant flipping pages and reading paragraph after paragraph…and I loved it! So much fun!!! Incidentally…if there are any people or groups in the Omaha area that are playing RPG and are looking for a new member…it would be kind of ok to let me know!)
So we’ll see what comes of all of this.  I’m looking forward to an exciting month of creativity.  I hope you’ll all follow along and have as much fun as I’m planning on having.
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