So I've been thinking a lot about Mike Trevino lately, as evidenced partially by the long post I did on Tumblr this past week. He's figured a lot into some of my recent Ginger and Lou pieces. It's been very interesting developing Mike and Ginger's interaction throughout the past three years and actually getting them to a place where they actually like each other and are comfortable being around each other. They don't confide in each other and probably never will, but Ginger finally apologized to Mike for the shooting (whereas previously he had only apologized to Lou).
I've thought off and on for years that I should probably make a Mike plushie to go with my Ginger and Lou plushies, but sewing is such a pain that I've always put it off. I decided I should really do it, so I used a coupon on Friday to get another pre-stuffed doll at Jo-Ann's for half-off and am planning to start work on the plushie this week, since I have materials for ears, hair, and pants already here. I'm already trying to start by finding a good picture of 1970's Joe E. Tata that I can use as a guide in making the expression, which I practice many times on paper before actually applying to the plushie.
On that, I'm running into some trouble, as it seems like most of his 1970's characters don't have much to smile about. I can't use a more recent picture as a guide. And the only 1970's shots I've got of him, save one, are side views. I'm going to need to get out everything I have with him guest-starring and study it for possible shots. If I don't draw the expression from an actual picture of the person, it never looks as accurate.
I finally solved my Amazon problem by waiting for another gift card that was just about ready to come and then using all of that plus a little cash to get the complete Cannon boxset. I waffled a bit on whether to really do that, since I'd end up having to pay a little more cash than before and I'd been hesitant to add that much cash. But the price was right and Cannon is a show we love in general and not just when darlings guest-star, so it seemed like a very wise investment. I don't have a lot of episodes recorded compared to how many there actually were, and I don't know if the ones I have might be cut. Some of them look like they might be. Crystal encouraged me to get the boxset and last Saturday I finally did, with no regrets. It came yesterday and Mom was thrilled. We watched a couple of episodes, including Don Knight's and the second one with Joe E. Tata.
Joe had a pretty big part, unlike a lot of the times when I see him. He appeared to work for an old man who did a lot of crooked things but had never been caught at it. I say "appeared" because he really seemed to be so much more than just an assistant. They'd been together for years; Cannon mentioned a drug operation that both Joe's character and the old man were involved in eight years ago. He spoke as though they were more like equals or partners in the operation, although I admit that could have just been my interpretation. But there was much more as evidence; it seemed like they lived in the same house, either that or Joe's character Higgins was just over there all the time. And when the nutcase in the episode sets a bomb in the old man's car and he's seriously hurt, Higgins is extremely distraught. He goes to the hospital and is there for hours waiting to hear if he'll be alright. Of course, an assistant or other employee could be that devoted to their boss, but all in all, I got the vibe that maybe even if he technically was an assistant, the relationship was more like a surrogate son and father or extremely close friends. We actually never learn the old man's final fate, but I like to think that he did pull through since Higgins would be so sad if he didn't.
In thinking about it in the hours since, I determined that there are two basic criteria that need to be met, in general, if I'm going to be intrigued by antagonist characters to the point of wanting to write about them. #1, For them to show some indication of caring about someone, and/or #2, That there is some indication that redemption is possible.
Of the two, #2 is the more important reason for me. That could manifest in several ways, including reason #1, or by them doing something decent, or even just by the idea that they will be going to prison and maybe they can be rehabilitated. In this case, while #1 is definitely present, there didn't seem to be any indication that either Higgins or the old man would be or could be interested in changing the way they handled life, so despite being curious and interested in their interaction, I seriously doubt I would write about them.
In the past I somehow got so intrigued by Gin and Vodka that I ended up being willing to write about them performing their jobs as assassins, although the stories were more about them as characters than about what they were doing. But I am still appalled that I did that. That just isn't me. More recently, when writing about Ecks and Wye, I did have to touch on their canonical jobs a bit, but mostly the stories were about them running for their lives after canonically betraying the organization and trying to start over and go straight. I still had to write Wye as having some darker views than I am generally comfortable with writing, but I tried not to touch on that as much and I did have him finally determine, at least, that the organization with which he had been affiliated did do things worse than most governments.
Sometimes I don't intend to get intrigued by a character and I end up doing it anyway because of what I'm writing about them to flesh them out. That was what happened with both Sephiroths (especially KH Sephiroth) and Snakes Tolliver. It also happened with Baby Face Morales. I had honestly originally intended that he would be the dark foil and counterpart to Micky and nothing more. I wrote The Return of Baby Face Morales with that idea in mind and I did not have the character show any redeeming qualities at all, that I recall. But then when I wrote the sequel and had to have Baby Face work with the good guys and later when I wanted him and Tony to patch things up, I got myself intrigued by the idea of him being more of an anti-hero and also developing his interaction with Tony. That was how and why I ended up changing how I wrote for him and started diving into his past and trying to flesh out possibilities of what could have made him such an angry and dark person. Some of it probably went into sob story territory and I might not follow that exact backstory now. I seriously doubt that I'd write about him at all anymore, really, both since his and Tony's story is probably as a standstill and since he really is a dark character and not one I'm that comfortable writing for anymore. If I were to do anything with those characters again, it would probably be to finish that hanging story about them and the Monkees held captive by mad scientists, and/or to keep writing that crossover with Kolchak. Tony Ferano would be the main character in the latter. I toyed a little bit in my last burst of Monkees stories about Tony and whatever goodness he still has in him. If I were to write about him again, I might further that angle and have him finally break away from Baby Face and try to get his life back in some semblance of order again. Even though I'm probably not comfortable writing for Baby Face, I have to admit that I do still love Tony. Jimmy Murphy's portrayal of him was classic.
Of course, Ginger is really quite a dark character too, so it's possible that in the future I will also not want to write about him anymore, either. But in his case, there was that actual chemistry I sensed between him and Lou (which could have been chemistry between the actors) and that is really what set the whole intrigue off. The fact of that chemistry combined with their interaction in general just fascinated me for some reason and led to me being unable to stop writing about them. And in their case, they really are trying to go straight after their stint in prison (something Baby Face would likely never do), so it's not uncomfortable writing about them. So I really hope that I will never feel differently about that, especially now that I've learned some more information that might possibly put a different spin on the elephant in the room of the shooting. I went into that in detail on Tumblr. http://lucky-ladybugs-lovelies.tumblr.com
. Of course, as I say there, I will never be fully satisfied on that, but this is the best I can do to handle it. And in my timeline, as I mentioned, Ginger finally has apologized for that.
Bottom line is, I usually really don't want to like or get intrigued by certain characters, but sometimes I do because of those criteria.
Occasionally, I suppose, I can also get fascinated by a character for one other reason: if it feels like they got a bum deal in canon. Dutch Ingram would fall in that category, because the idea that he committed a murder was just shoehorned in, said by Ken Swofford's highly questionable character, and there was no proof it was true. I still don't believe it is, and that is the basis of my Rockford fic featuring him. But if it weren't for feeling like he wasn't the murderer, I doubt I'd write about him. He isn't really the type of character I like either. I don't think just the fact of Christopher playing him would have made me want to write about him, since I don't want to write about every character played by a darling.
And I need to decide what to do about another Amazon gift card I got. There's no chance of any other one coming soon, so with their changed policies I'm thinking maybe I should get a few books with this one. I considered that recent set of Kolchak short stories, which I want to get since I know the author of one of the stories, but I keep hesitating on getting it since I don't know if any of the stories deal with Tony (Vincenzo now and not Ferano, heh) and his and Kolchak's intriguing relationship. I know that in general, the prose stories do not. That collection of 43 short stories I have only has one where Tony really gets to shine, so in a set of 14 stories, there's not much chance Tony will have good screentime. The comics are better than the prose at giving Tony stuff to do, but I don't know if there are any graphic novels out that give him a lot of "screentime" since there are also some comics where he doesn't appear much. If I knew of any I don't have with good Tony content, I would jump to get them.
Other possibilities are Miles Edgeworth manga or Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books or some combination of several things. There are also a couple of new Pony/Equestria Girls books I want, an artbook for the series and a new Equestria Girls novel that will be out a week from ... Monday, I think. I almost always ponder for ages on what to spend gift cards on, since it's a treat I only have several times a year and I want to make sure I get what I really want and what will be meaningful for years to come. Hopefully I'll come to a decision this week.