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Creating a comic book character's identity

Comic books have developed many iconic characters that have become household names, such as Spiderman, Superman and Batman. Many first started out as a fictional separate identity of the author. A character of sorts that became an outlet for their author to explore life as a different person, combining real characteristics of the author and also fictional superpowers that allowed them to participate in adventures. The realness of these characters is often manifested into two identities: with a seemingly ordinary person equipped with extraordinary superpowers. Popularity of these comic book individuals came because their readers could easily identify with the characters and still be taken through a fantasy journey. You can also create your own comic book character identity through following these basic steps.

Keep it real

A successful comic book "superhero" should be kept somewhat believable. Yes, the whole point is to add some elements that make the individual special or unique, however if you make them too special, your readers won't be able to indentify with them. Choose a combination of real characteristics, which you may even draw from yourself (putting a bit of yourself in your creation is a good way to personalize it). After adding some "real" personality traits, then you can begin to focus your attention on the "special ability" that will make your comic book individual identifiable. This can be a super power and should be one that is unique from other characters out there. The last thing you want your viewers to think is that you have borrowed a look/identity from another comic book series.

Physical identity

Successful comic book characters have a distinct physical identity, which helps separate them from other comic book series. Is your character going to be strong looking? Short? Tall? And will he/she wear a mask or costume to conceal their identity. These are all questions that you must think about when developing the visual style of your comic book's main individual. Will your character have a particular color scheme that's associated with their look? Again, spend some time on this section but remember that the identity you create will likely change overtime as you begin to think more closely about how your fantasy individual should be viewed by your reader base.

About the Author

DeRozen is a writer, musician, photographer, self-proclaimed technology junkie and cat expert.

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