Blake acts like a 9-year-old, but is probably more intuitive than the average kid of his age; the only time he breaks away from his mold is when some of my own personality becomes present in his character, if you can imagine. He tends to overthink a lot of trivial issues and overreacts to a variety of situations. In Lunch Break, which I now have scanned in and up in The Comic Zone, he finds something strange on his pizza and spends the entire lunch period in a state of shock and picks the subject apart until its dead; he does finally eat the pizza though--its very Shakespearian. He's usually well-mannered but sometimes gets in a state of mind believing that only his perspective can be correct. His worries and fears as a child are expressed through a more mature dialogue, but I aim at preserving his innocense as a child more than anything. His personality can work on two levels. At times he can be a cute and harmless little kid, and at other times he can get so worked up about some stupid issue that he seems like a more mature stressed-out adult trapped in the mind of a child. Blake works as a character in that he puts common day issues in the perspective of curious inquisitive little kid.
Dustin is the one force that holds the comic together, and is often the sense of comic relief. He replaces what Blake lacks in common sense, and provides a very simplified and down-to-earth solution to any problem. Though sometimes he tends to get on the annoying side because he can be so civil, I enjoy using him as a catalyst to get Blake going off the deep end. It's hard to the describe, because the two play off each other so well that neither one of them alone can hold together the comic by themselves. Sometimes Dustin tends to overplay an issue just to play with Blake's mind. I think that their friendship is what makes the comic. In a normal storyline, Dustin's mother babysits Blake and his sister, Becca, after school. They live in the same neighborhood, and do everything together.
Becca is Blake's little sister. She's a typical little sister stereotype, other than that sometimes she outsmarts Blake. She always wants her way and resorts to yelling and crying a lot. Becca's actually a lot like Blake in many ways, but sides with Dustin most of the time just to get Blake annoyed. Her only appearance so far has been in The Bottomless Closet where she saves the day, but plan on seeing a lot more of her in the future.
A Brief Word About NAMES...
People often ask how I choose the names of my characters. The way I see it, it's a lot like naming a child. Sometimes I use phone books, but now I just go through indexes of names; I found Blake while searching in a baby book! Usually I try to find a name that suits the character, but also something that is different enough so that when you hear the name you automatically associate it with the character. That's why it wouldn't be wise to pick a name like Michael or John, because they're too common. Clyde worked great for my other character--odd name for a baby too, and I think Blake works just as well. It's kind of an art in its own I guess. I pull a name out of the hat and stick with it. You probably noticed how Blake isn't listed with a last name. When I named Dustin, on the other hand, I chose a full name all at once--don't ask about "quagmire," it's a word I've been dying to use. Looking back, I remember how easy it was to name Dustin; he just looked like a Dustin. Blake took a little more time. He may someday have a last name, but for the moment I've choosen to preserve the simplicity of the comic by not making it too complicated. The comic is just Blake, and that's the way I like it.