Today’s blog at Don’t Pick the Flowers I want to talk about my character Claudia and her slight change of appearance. Claudia is very dear to my heart; she is Suzanne’s best friend and a part of Don’t Pick the Flowers comic I don’t want to lose. So to set the story up I want to give a little history of why there is a slight change in Claudia’s appearance. Back in June (the 18th 2014 to be precise) I posted the comic “The stars shine bright”. I received a tweet that said Claudia looked like Pepper Ann (A cartoon that aired on ABC in 1997 and ended in 2000). The exact words were “Isn’t that Pepper Ann?” (I will keep the identity of the person who sent it private). Honestly, I had never heard of Pepper Ann, my apologies to the creator of the show, so I Googled “Pepper Ann”. And I will admit, there are similarities (not of my intent of course), like orange hair, glasses, and a purple shirt. I tweeted back to the person, “would have been too obvious on my part. Thank you for pointing that out to me”. I did ask a cartoonist friend of mine what she thought, but I never received a reply. That’s okay I knew she was busy. So I put it behind me, because I never intended my character to look like Pepper Ann. Fast forward to August, a friend dropped by my house and saw me drawing Claudia. She said, “It’s Pepper Ann”. I was a little irritated that she said that, but she had no idea about the tweets. There were now two people that had mentioned Claudia looking like Pepper Ann. I decided to address the issue through my comics instead of ignoring or fighting the resemblance. I don’t want Claudia to be known as a Pepper Ann clone or that I even slightly got the idea from someone else. With that, I have decided to adjust Claudia’s appearance, without someone saying, “Who is this or what have you done?” I have added 2 examples of Claudia and how she has changed.
The reason I changed to a ponytail was honestly it was easier to draw. I can see NOW why there might be a comparison, that and the purple shirt. At this point in drawing Claudia, I’ve decided not to use a ponytail or pigtail, and have added a little shawl to cover the purple shirt slightly. I’m not planning to change her appearance again, so I hope this will identify Claudia as Claudia and no other character, this is a choice I want to make. I don’t want my character to be identified as Pepper Ann. Plus, I have known other cartoonists who have had their work (basically) stolen. I know that would suck, and as all creators I have drawn something and thought someone stole my idea. It doesn’t mean they did, but the internet is a big place. There never was any intention on my part to copy anyone else, but I do want to distinguish my characters as different from anyone else’s. I am gladly making this adjustment, especially if it is something as beloved as a cartoon character. That is all for now, so I want to clarify why Claudia is going through a slight change of appearance and hope the adjustment doesn’t confuse anyone. And here are the the 3 comics showing Claudia’s dilemma. Until next time, take care and Don’t Pick the Flowers!