Monday, April 25, 2016

Elevations Connection: Bright Husky of Joy and Wonder

Act I Character Sheet for Terry, circa July 2015; flowers are cool yo

In hindsight, writing a character introspective still early on the story for much character development to occur is narcissistic and odd, but what the hell? Better early on than never. 

Terry, while designed from the beginning, was ironed out at last minute. The name itself wasn't finalized until two months prior to the launch of the comic. For the longest time, I centered on Maxwell Hayward. Back when I was still envisioning the comic as a Valleydog spinoff, he was to be the ecstatic older brother of a peer, Jeffrey Hayward, with the city life being a sharp contrast to life in a farmland oasis. Needless to say, save for him coming from small town by Sacramento, fresh from high school, any connection with the previous work was severed and he just came off as goofy by design.

First concept of Terry (then Max), February 2014)

Around June 2015, when I was ironing out the story, I felt Max wasn't too memorable and sounded too similar to Mike (which I already had far too many people mistaking as the main character of Valleydog for years. Not wanting to make the same mistake, I looked for something more in tune to the character - a name that embodied a naive, happy curiosity that the husky had. Terrance (Teryn) Naively Coda was the result. This also resulted in an accidental pun given his fur pattern: Terry Coda (Terracotta).

But even before all this, back when I was still thinking of how to portray this comic, I just started out with some random canine... for a while Terry was to be a
Border Collie.

 First "comic" of Elevations, titled "Urban Living", circa July 2013.

This was dropped pretty quickly when I recalled how collies are the smartest of dog breeds and went against the comic's theme. So, naturally, you'd go to the exact opposite - a husky.  One thing kept though, surprisingly, is the blue jacket. This was entirely coincidental.

Terry's personality is one based on my own childhood optimism. He's a goof who thinks anything can be solved with a smile. I used to, and still do, imagine myself helping out others just by empowering them, talking down their enemies, and making friends in the process. He's also an airhead, much like myself, often forgetting important details due to improper listening, and runs off on his own adventures because he senses it like a calling, or just flat out curious.

The way I always pictured his personality is that he starts out as Sailor Moon and ends up as the Tenth Doctor.

There was a brief time when he had a crush on another one of the main characters, much as when I was going through infatuation myself. I thankfully wrote this out in favor of a father-figure idol relation for better impact (he will get someone in the future, trust me).

The character design is one that changed the least after settling on a husky. It just came to me: brown and red to appear warm, swirls of fur around the eyes to both emphasize and add a touch of cute, round eyes reminiscent of Luffy from One Piece, referencing the canine's idealistic, childlike personality. The result? Go for cute.

Well, I hope you enjoy this read of trivia! There will be more on this character and others as the story goes on. Check back Wednesday for the bear. Until next time,

Stay Elevated!

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