Monday, December 7, 2015

Page 114: Bruiser

The character name “Bruiser” may sound as cliché as his evil-Popeye appearance, and initially I only intended it as a placeholder for a to-be-determined better name. But as I wrote this scene, I recalled the old Steven Wright joke:
“Some friends of mine got me a sweater for my birthday. I'd have preferred a moaner or a screamer…”
Once I made that connection, I was in love with the name. It’s one of my favorite jokes in the book. And—unbeknownst to me when I wrote this scene—over the course of the story Bruiser would turn out to have a host of other little problems.

Despite my describing him as an “evil Popeye,” his dialect is actually an homage to another comic book character: Ben Grimm, better known as the Thing from the Fantastic Four…my favorite comic book as a child.
An example of Ben Grimm's dialect, from Uncanny X-Men Annual #5 (©1981 Marvel Comics)
[written by Chris Claremont, pencilled by Brent Anderson, inked by Bob McLeod,
colored by Glynis Wein, and lettered by Tom Orzechowski.]

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