This month marks the arrival of the 5th annual 30 Characters Challenge, the excellent event run by ComixTribe publisher Tyler James, where participants have to create a new comic character for every day of the whole month of November. I participated in the first year, successfully completing the challenge with 30 badly-drawn characters of my own, but haven’t done it again since. I won’t be participating this year either, but thought it might be fun to spend each day writing up a little showcase to celebrate a new comic character who showed up in comic pages for the first time this year. Comics are one of the most highly inventive mediums around, and this has been a particularly strong year for pumping out exciting new stories packed with compelling new characters. Let’s take a look at some of my favourites.
29. RAYGUN ROADS
One of the true delights of the British independent scene this year, Raygun Roads is a concentrated blast of wild, psychadelic comics joy. It tells the story of a teenage boy called Vincent, and how he’s rescued from his humdrum life by the Kittlebach Pirates: a rock band that come from a realm of pure pop culture, or perhaps from Vincent’s own imagination. And the band’s lead singer is Raygun Roads, a hyer-charismatic whirlwind of pure sexual energy and creativity that inspires riots of adoration wherever she goes.
All of the Tittlebach Pirates are fantastically vivid creations, as brought to life by the crazy invention of Indio’s manic art style. But it’s Raygun Roads herself who is the best-realised of the bunch, characterised by Owen Michael Johnson’s lyrical writing as this primal force of creativity, the artist and the rebel dwelling within all of us. That’s right, folks: on some level, we’re all Raygun Roads!