Writing characters based on loved ones is a mistake. A BIG mistake every time for a multitude of different reasons and it could not be any more clear why as with the recent Frank Cho vs. Robbi Rodriguez dispute.

Allow me to explain, Robbi Rodriguez is one of the brilliant people who created the now-extremely-popular series Spider Gwen. Recently, a known comic artist, Frank Cho, did a sketch cover of Spider Gwen that Robbi took issue with (pictured above).

His response was less than flattering…

Here’s my take on the frank cho sketch cover. Your drawing dirty pics of one of my kids. Be lucky your never around me. #spidergwen

— RobbiRodriguez (@RobbiRodriguez) April 7, 2015

The full controversy can be read about here if you’re so inclined.

Now you can say that the cover is distasteful and maybe even pornographic, and that’s fine. I’m not asking anyone to like it or hate it. Whether you do or not is your own personal opinion and you have every right to it.
That being said, Mr. Rodriguez is 100% in the wrong here. The comic book industry is no stranger to objectifying women in poses like this or with… physically impossibly large body parts. They do it with men as well, but it’s less sexual and more masculine steroid looks. In any case, this is a fantasy world with characters that have been around since the 60’s yet have somehow barely aged 10 years.
Put aside your view whether you’re okay with this or not and look at it from an objective viewpoint.
Robbi, you create a character based on your daughter, put her into a comic book… a medium known for… as you call it, creating pornographic images, which is something you were very well aware of, and you’re mad at someone who takes the character you created and builds their own rendition of that character in the way they see fit?
Is it really Frank Cho’s fault or your own that this happened?
Characters in the comic world have been drawn and redrawn in multiple forms by multiple artists, that’s the industry.
This is one of a million reasons why you don’t base a character on someone you know or care about, especially a main character. Things happen to characters in stories that may be less than flattering and if god-forbid the person you wrote about ever recognizes themselves, you can deny it all you want, but it’s still going to look sketchy.

Even if that is not a problem or hasn’t happened, or you’ve somehow managed to avoid that in your writing, let’s say your writing becomes popular and someone does a fanfic of it at some point and it gets posted online, or you sell the rights to you story to a publisher or movie company. Guess what can happen to that character once other creative eyes get a hold of them?

People, do yourselves a favor, DO NOT base characters on people you know. It’s not as flattering as it sounds and it is prone to causing problems as we’ve seen.

Trust me, you’ll be a lot happier.


Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!


2 Comments on “Basing Characters on Loved Ones #Fantasy #Fiction #Advice

  1. Wait, shouldn’t we also be pointing out how lazy this is, since it’s ripping off a fairly recent, and also controversial, Spider-Woman cover?


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