Monday, March 15, 2021

Adding a New Character


The introduction of any new character can be a worryingly heavy burden on the sensitive, creative mind. 

But when the creative part of that mind is screaming 
'Go with it, yeah, have a ball. It'll be a blast!' 
And the part of the brain that deals with trying to NOT get sued by megalithic corporate behemoths screams 
'Don't listen to him, he has no real grip on reality and he's probably been drinking anyway!' 

Then you have problems.

Not the drink. That's never been a problem.

Yet this is the very problem that faced me (once again, not the drink. The whole 'not-getting-sued-bit.' All clear now? Right, continue). I had created what I believed to be a great new addition to my Adam & Eve comic strip, a character that was different enough to add a whole new direction to the comic and, most importantly, a new stream of gags and material. 

My new character was going to highlight the anomalies of the internet and social media. To hold up a mirror to the absurdities of the more dubious sides of the web and wag a mocking finger at the odd balls and idiots who cause it. The internet is a huge subject and one that I have been trying to into my strip for a long time.

My problem was that Adam & Eve is set, effectively, at the beginning of time and so far as I am aware, no computers have been dug up or discovered next to any of the bones of early man. But the web is such a big part of everyone's lives that to miss out on referring to it was, well, too big an opportunity to pass up.

So I created Googol.

And that was the problem. 

Actually, there was no problem with the character, just his name.

The second I created the idea I just knew I wanted to call him Google. It said it all. Google being the most recognised feature of the internet. Google being a font of all knowledge---dubious or otherwise--- Google is, to most people, the face of the internet.

But to call a character Google would be to potentially incur the wrath of a giant. A giant, admittedly that knew nothing of my insignificant existence, but a giant non the less. I knew that if I ever wanted to grow this comic strip to such a point that it was a source of income for me, then this character could be the cause of its downfall.

So I sat on it.

I sat in it for a year.

Then I read an article, an article that told the story behind the name Google, and the clouds parted, a ray of sunshine hit my fevered brow and said; 'Now is your time my boy. Go forth and populate the world with giggles'. I said to the ray of sunshine 'Giggles? Have to read the drivel I come up with? And the rays of sunshine muttered amongst itself for a while then said 'Well, yes we have. Just do your best and DON'T SPOIL THE MOMENT. WE ARE RAYS OF SUNSHINE AND THIS IS WHAT WE DO YOU INSUFFERABLE LITTLE INGRATE!!'

Well something like that.

It turns out that when the original owners of Google were casting around for a name they came up with Googol, which meant: the Figure 1 followed by 100 zeros. Basically it's a very complicated mathematical thing, but to the Google guys and girls it was ideal, because it meant an infinite number of possibilities which was what they wanted their search engine to provide.

So they sent someone up to register the name. Unfortunately that person spent a large portion of their time in the registry office misspelling the word 'Googol' and put down Google instead, the rest is dyslexic history.

Okay, very interesting right? Too darn right it was. It meant that I could, theoretically, use the correct spelling of the word for my character and hopefully see off any future lawsuits from suits. Because I'm pretty sure you cannot own a word. Didn't that Hilton creature try and own the term 'that's Hot' and ban the world from using it?  And we all know how that worked out for her.

So now I only have to worry about the day that I'm big enough and successful enough to be noticed by Google and hope that they see the funny side. Oh, and I have to make it big and on that point...

Any suggestions?

Anyway, here's a few samples of the sage himself, not that being classified a sage in Adam & Eve's little Eden is much of an accolade.

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