Sick. Maudlin. Reminiscing...
Jel ordered a bunch of comics from the Book Despository recently, and I'm slowly working my way through them.
The first one I read was Skim
, words by Mariko Tamaki, art by Jillian Tamaki. It's a about high school goth Wiccan girl who develops a crush on her English teacher. Which sounds a bit on the nose, but the comic is actually nuanced and subtle and funny and very beautiful. There's a six page preview here
Today I started reading Hope Larson's Mercury
. It opens with a teenage girl practising her long distance running.
And my brain went: "High school witches? Long-distance running? Hey, that's December Whyte."Who?
December Whyte was the character Jel played in Witchcraft High
, my Buffy
-meets-Southern-Gothic roleplaying game from a few years ago.
Now, Game Masters aren't supposed to have favourite player characters, especially not their girlfriend's character. But I always had a huge soft spot for December.
She was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Her family were petty crooks and jailbirds. She wasn't the smartest kid in school, nor the prettiest. But she could run
. Through the woods. Past the marshes. Running from her past. Running from her dead-end town, where everyone looked down on her because she was one of those no-good Whytes. Running into her future...
I was never really happy with Witchcraft High. We had a great set of characters, and an evocative setting. But I screwed it up. I didn't know what to do with it, so it degenerated into a "blah, blah, demons attack" mess of a storyline.
If I could go back and give myself some advice, it would be this: Plot is Character. Everything else should grow out from there.
- What do the characters want?
- Why do they want it?
- What's stopping them?
- How far will they go to get it?
All the demons and witchcraft and spooky stuff are just window dressing on top of that.
One of the things I did
like about that game was the soundtrack. I let each player chose a theme song for their character. Jel, with her impeccable taste, chose Palace Music's 'Horses (Lost Blues Version)'. It's a beautiful song, full of yearing and sadness and hope. Really, I think it's the thing that made me fall in love with the character of December Whyte.I'd be riding horses if they let me
Sleep outside at night and not take fright
I would ride the reigns and never worry
I would disappear into the night
Everybody needs an angel
But here's that devil by my side
Deaths head ring upon his finger
Poor boy hanging on the light