One is a ninja, the other’s insane

Posted Thu, 1/7/2010 by Dave

So! Ted and Enigma.

Ted came into the comic after the concept sketches for the first three horsemen (Death, War and Pestilence) during a particularly dreary semester of literature discussions. The three by themselves would be amusing, but heck, there needed to be something more. I can’t recall if I came up with Ted before or after I decided to scrap the idea for the comic entirely–who was I kidding? I couldn’t do it on my own! Then Joe showed up and things…worked.

Ted’s name came from the one-time boyfriend of a girl who lived three floors above me (two above Joe). It seemed to me like a pretty good generic name for a guy–and Ted being our everyman, he should have an everyman kind of name. Joe, as I recall, was not particularly fond of it. He asked if I could come up with another, different name. I thought on it for a while. I didn’t come up with anything. Joe came around after a while. Ted it was.

Enigma was part of a conscious effort to introduce a lady into our comic. Her character design was inspired, at least in part, by Ninjette from Empowered and Shinobi from the video game series of the same name. In a dusty corner of my notes there were plans for a vampire girlfriend of Death’s at some point, but that never panned out–Joe wasn’t excited and I realized I wasn’t much either. Enigma was a character we got fired up about–we could turn some stereotypes on their ear. I think we may have dodged a bullet; if we’d picked a vampire after all, our readership might be huge now…but at what cost?

Enigma also served as a way to deepen Death’s character. If anything, I’ve always felt over-cautious when writing for Death. The “Death is a character” archetype’s been done a lot of different ways by a lot of different authors, and going up against portrayals like Gaiman’s Sandman and Pratchett’s Discworld series is daunting as can be. So Enigma let us establish a tone for Death–he’s a romantic at heart (albeit one looking for a woman who can keep pace with him). If anything, Death became normalized with Enigma’s introduction. He’s the closest thing to a normal roommate Ted can hope for. The power of a woman.