Mynarski Forest Official Mirror Archive

This Week's Strip

#44 "It's Not My Fault!" February 23, 1998

As I mentioned last week, Clarence's chief purpose was to be a predator higher up on the food chain than Skippy and Liska, an adversary who would serve as a potential threat that our heroes would have to outsmart. The idea would provide conflict and lots of potential comic possibilities.

The problem I had with this premise was that it required Clarence to be a rather unsympathetic villain/bully of a character, and I found myself not liking him very much. This not only conflicted with my basic desire to make all of my characters likeable on some level, it also violated my general rule that Liska should be the nastiest character in the comic. So I found myself trying to put myself inside Clarence's head; if only I could understand his motivations, maybe I could rationalize his behaviour somehow. Why does he dislike Skippy and Liska so much? Why would ANYBODY dislike Skippy and Liska?!

Of course, I immediately slapped my head, the answer was so obvious. He dislikes Skippy and Liska because of Liska! It's all her fault of course, she started everything. Once I realized the basis of his antagonism, that he's actually the victim of the conflict, everything else fell into place and I was free to give him the sympathetic, likeable personality I wanted.

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