The Monster as Hero (Or, More BioShock Drawings)

I drew this ages ago but I never got around to coloring it. Keeping to a rigid once-a-week updating schedule means bringing a lot of unfinished drawings out of mothballs, shaking them out, giving them a quick coat of Photoshop paint and throwing them, unloved, out into the cold cold world.

I spend a lot of time thinking about villains and monsters. Some of my favorite media (Frankenstein, Hellboy, BPRD, BioShock 2, obviously Proof) feature monsters in leading man roles. The problem inevitably arises that the hero (conflicted about his role as a horrible monster but working for good) must rationalize his presence in a world that rightly fears him. It seems artificial; nobody I know walks down the street to fears that he/she is suddenly going to Hulk out and start throwing cars. It's unrelatable. The notion that it somehow boils down to 'fitting in' is laughable, too. A tyrannosaurus can't change its haircut and start working out in order to mesh with its chosen social subculture. (Although that'd be a sweet comic.)

The appeal of the monster-as-hero is obvious; they are fun to draw (artists love that), they are challenging to write (good writers love this) and they are excellent power fantasies (RAAGHH! BOOM! ROAR!). But, at the end of the day, it's always easier to massage the tropes if you pick a regular fellow who perhaps has a weird scar (Harry Potter) or the proportionate speed and strength of a spider (Scrooge McDuck). That way you can include lovely things like 'romance' (nobody wants to see Fin Fang Foom kissing anything), 'emotion' (besides, "Why do the villagers hate me?!"), and the 'redemptive arc' ("Does not killing this old man make up for totally killing that little girl?").

Anyway, I wrestle with this stuff as I try to figure out what's next for Archie Snow.

Here's Webisode Four of That's So Kraven!, my weekly webcomic with Trina Johnson, where we remove Raven-Symone from her own show and replace her with Kraven the Hunter. This week: Donna and Spiderman show down!

EDIT: Wow! The trailer for BioShock: Infinite was released today. Looks even more old-timey.

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