Saturday, October 12, 2013

Working on Characters - Character Questionaire for Black Dahlia

As I said previously, I don't think I captured this character's voice well or gave her a distinctive voice, but I did finish my questionaire last night and at least filled in some of the background details on the character.  This one's not funny like the previous, but here's some of the highlights.

7. If you could have any tangible thing, what would it be?  I collect Elder Gods trading cards and there are certainly a few special cards missing from my collection but on the whole the things I desire most are knowledge -- specifically, spells.  Ancient spell books that I can not find in Dark Dr. Dark's personal library or in the rather extensive library of the Second Banana Society for preference -- I have a list of such books that are exceedingly difficult to come by.

9. Did you have a happy childhood?  My upbringing was drearily normal -- well, as normal as you might expect given that my parents were second generation bohemian hippies.  My mother was the lead singer of a folk-rock band in the seventies called Silver Tulip, and my father was one of their roadies.  They named me after their stupid band, actually -- that's just one reason I go by Dahlia.  They had a following in the Midwest for a few years I guess.  Then they settled down in Dubuque Iowa, my father became an advertising executive and my mother an artist.  They are nice people and did not discourage my interest in goth culture or the magic arts.

10. Describe the childhood event which most affected you.  There is a song called The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnatti -- a silly song, perhaps you've heard of it?  When I was in high school we had a similar event in Dubuque Iowa -- they called it the Giant Wasp That Stung Dubuque.  It was the results of an experiment gone awry -- the doctor in question was named Vernon Strauss.  He was an employee of OmniGen, the Omnipotent Genetics & Robotics Corporation, and he managed to transform an Asian Giant Hornet into the world's biggest hornet ever.  It was about 60 feet long and weighed about twenty tons they say, and it terrorized my home town.  The League of Two-Fisted Justice managed to kill it -- Grandpa Anarchy, Dark Dr. Dark, Unpossible Man, Deep Fat Fryer.  I can't say  that that was the day I decided to become a superhero or anything, but eventually it steered me towards that goal.  That might be where my fear of giant insects comes from, though I have never liked insects much.

12. What kind of education have you had?  I have a two-year A.A. degree from community college, but the rest of my education has been with Dark Dr. Dark in the study of the magical arts.  I do a great deal of reading however so I do not think my education has been lacking or had hindered me in anyway.  If I had time I would probably seek a four-year degree in English Literature or History.

14. What is your deepest fear?  I have to say that some of the insectlike aliens and servants of the old gods that I've encounters have really freaked me out.  I mean, I have magic to protect me, and Fire Maiden can light them up like nobody's business, but big bugs are definitely high on my list of things I absolutely want nothing to do with.  Lune tried to get me to watch an anime movie once, Nausicaa, and there were all these giant bugs... I couldn't do it.

16. What do you dream about?  I want to become a more powerful sorceress, of course, but I do have a kind of private fantasy.  I've been to a couple of fairylands so far and I like the Oz books, so secretly I imagine that I could one day I could retire to a place like Oz, or Amethyst, or Elowhen.  I'd be a good sorceress, of course, but one that dressed all in black which would probably really confuse all of the Munchkins.

19. What are you most ashamed of?  I am fairly ashamed of the fact that I am now known as the "Gender Switch Witch" of Hollywood.  It's certainly not something I set out to become and not the reason I learned magic in the first place, but it has paid for a very modern super hero team headquarters, so I can't complain about that.  In a way I'm grateful that the youth spell that Mr. Medberry supplied to me is so difficult to cast and requires such rare and hard-to-find spell components, or I would likely never have any time to actually fight crime.  But yes, even my mother has commented on the gender swap thing -- I  fear that's what will be written on my tombstone, actually.

23. What is your usual approach to a problem?  I try to be rational and examine the problem from all angles, I try to understand it instead of just rushing in.  Believe me, with this group it's hard.  But Sherlock Holmes never rushed in like a madman.  Hercule Porot or Miss Marple didn't rush in.  Rushing in is more the territory of a Mike Hammer or Dirty Harry I guess, but the superhero world is full of would-be Mike Hammers and Dirty Harrys.

25. Describe a situation where you feel you have behaved courageously.  Where should I start?  When we sailed into the void and visited the mausoleum of the sleeping god Shag Sogoth, I think that required a lot of bravery, especially the insectoid creatures that we fought.  I've been on many similar journeys with Dark Dr. Dark and it takes a great deal of courage to step into the void, to journey into unknown lands and strange dimensions.

33. How successful are you?  I own my own store -- not a highly successful one, mind you, but it wasn't really meant to be.  Second hand goth clothing is not a high-profit enterprise.  I am in charge of my own super group, and we've done very well so far.  All four of us are members of an exclusive private club related to our status as super heroes, so that indicates that we have the respect of our peers.  Our fame continues to grow and we continue to get better at what we do.  Lastly, I've made a great deal of money in a short time by changing the genders of rich people in Hollywood.  Sad but true, and in some ways a statement of both how successful I've been and how low I've sunk, actually.

35. Name the four things you most often object to in yourself.  A part of me feels that running my own superhero group, owning a store, being in charge of others, providing a magical service to the rich and powerful in Hollywood, being a member of an exclusive secret organization... that all of this is selling out, that I've become boring and predictable and mainstream.  And I hate that, because it's partly true but also I hate that I ever saw the world that way, as if you could remain completely outside of the mainstream your whole life and accomplish anything.  Mostly it's just that the world is hardly that black and white.  So that's one thing.  Tangentially related is that I kind of loathe how responsible I've become... I mean, with DarkFireNinjaCatgirl around I feel like a Mom who has to lay down the law and send kids to their room when they misbehave.  I hate that -- I never saw myself being anything like that at all.  Heck, even my own mother wasn't really like that most of the time.

Let's see... I do hold my lack of education against myself sometimes.  I would have liked to graduate with a four-year college degree, but I jumped into the whole superhero thing quite early so there's never been the time.  So that's three things.

This is probably a complaint of a lot of people, but I feel like I never have time to do all of the things that I want to do or need to do... I feel like I waste a lot of time not accomplishing things.  I don't even know where all the time goes, but at the end of the day I typically feel that I should have accomplished more than I did.

Although really the thing that I despise most is how I've allowed myself to be swayed by money and turned myself into a kind of Hollywood side show with the whole gender switch business.  Yes, that's probably what I object to most, actually.

40. Do you believe that there is anything worth dying for? What  experiences led you to this conclusion?  I am a hero and would lay down my life to save innocent lives should it become necessary.  With any luck, my friends would find a way to bring me back from death's door -- it might even be an interesting experience.  I know that Grandpa Anarchy has died several times -- whatever else you might say about him, he clearly knows what it means to be a hero.

41. What do you worry about most?  As the leader of the Black Moon Maidens I have a lot to worry about.  Finances, for one thing -- you'd think having millions rolling in from my Hollywood gender consultations would mean I don't have any money worries, but it just means my money worries are different and more complex.  It's surprisingly easy to spend millions of dollars when you're trying to build a first-rate superhero group base, and difficult to keep an accurate track of the money and to make sure you're also investing a part of it wisely.  There are contractors to deal with, salesmen, I have a staff for the store to manage now, contracts with the cleaning crew (we use Mr. Sparkle).  It's a lot to deal with, and that's not even counting managing the actual superhero team.  DarkFireNinjaCatgirl is a bundle to handle by herself, and Fire Maiden and Lune are prone to going off half-cocked as well.  We're placing ourselves in danger all of the time, so of course I worry.

42.  How do you feel about violence? Under what circumstances would you kill another sentient being, and how does killing others affect you?  I've helped to destroy zombies and other-dimensional monstrosities so depending on how you define sentient being, I've already done this.  Clearly as a superhero crime fighter you have to be willing to kill or at least have considered this question well in advance of ever being in such a situation.  I'm lucky that I haven't had to kill a human yet, but in the real world it's difficult to be a Pollyanna Superman-type and never shed blood.  If the choice is the death of a criminal or the death of innocent victims, I know what I will do, and I'm willing to have all of the blood on my hands if necessary, and not that of my fellow teammates.  Dark Dr. Dark taught me that much -- and I know he's been willing to kill before.

43. What makes life worth living for you?  I am in a position to make a difference in the world and change things for the better, and I really believe that so far I've done exactly that.  Running a supergroup isn't easy -- well, I should say that being in charge of other people is never easy no matter what the situation -- but it was what I had to do in order to do the most good in the world.  I had to meet the world on my own terms.  I know we haven't done everything right yet, but we're learning all of the time.  When I consider that the two best-known supergroups in the West are nearly 100% men -- and not young men at that -- I think the perspective that the Black Moon Maidens bring to the table is invaluable.

47. How do you feel about Grandpa Anarchy?  I have never been a fan of the "less thinking, more punching" school of crime fighting.  Of course he's good at what he does and I'm certainly grateful for him taking me on as a sidekick -- like many, it was my first chance to fight crime -- but growing up I was not one of those kids who watched the Grandpa Anarchy cartoon show.  I was much more a fan of mystery books.  I am a member of the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes and also the Baker Street Irregulars, though I joined the ASH much earlier.

No comments:

Post a Comment