3 Character Building Tips from ‘Over the Hedge’ Cartoonist Michael Fry

11 10 2012

If you are interested in creating characters that will become household names, then you will appreciate these tips from Michael Fry, co-creator and writer of the Over the Hedge comic strip.  These are just a fraction of the practical and valuable information to be shared next week, October 15-17, as Michael and I (former Dilbert VP of Licensing) teach ‘Building Character-How to Cash In On Your Characters Without Losing Your Soul,’ a six-hour webinar that will guide you through the intersection between art and commerce.  (To Register or Learn More)

Character Building Tips from Michael Fry:

1. Most successful characters are extensions of yourself. Both your best and worst self. The more honestly and clearly you see your strengths and flaws, the more authentic your characters will be.

2. Audiences care about characters they can relate to. But not in a generic way. Your characters should be a specific as possible. The audience will relate to those aspects that are specifically relatable to them.

3. No one cares about your character or creation as much as you do. NO ONE! Your publisher or syndicate represents many properties. You represent one. Your interests are similar. They are not the same.

They say content is king. But the truth is that viewers and readers fall in love with characters, not content. Whether it’s a novel, graphic novel, children’s book, comic strip, web comic or web animation, characters are what attract loyal fans. Join us next week and learn, as Michael puts it, “How I got two comic strips you’ve never heard of made into a prime time TV series and animated feature film.”

This is part of the Worldwide Creators’ Intensive series from All Art Licensing, where our goal is to bring you the best information and advice for creators, at really affordable prices. Check out the details here.

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One response

10 06 2013
David Thompson

Great advice! I’ve designed hundreds of cartoon characters for use as brand mascots, and where most company’s fail is in making the character relatable; and the key to that is giving the character flaws. People relate to, and pull for, the underdog. It’s a good idea to write up a personality profile for a character, so you, yourself, have a clear understanding of what motivates the character, so they act consistently. Consistency is a critical element for brand building.

There is also a good way to bring a character to life, and build a large Facebook fan following for it. Learn more at Fun Feed Marketing.

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