Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Meme following

A character-creation meme from a few months back is currently being perpetuated.

Basically, you go here and use the randomizing feature to spontaneously generate a new character. The results can be pretty ludicrous, as you can see from the examples in the links above...but surely the fun of this as a creative exercise lies in taking something that may appear patently absurd and spinning an explanation for your visually bizarre character.

This afternoon I gave it a try...and much to my surprise, the randomly generated character turned out not to be ludicrous, but viable and even fairly cool. I think I feel cheated in some obscure way. Regardless, here's what I got:

(Note: The generated image was in black and white...but rather than have the program randomly select colors as well, I made my own color choices. Even this much conscious decision-making might be violating the "randomness" of the original meme to some extent, but the line art was selected by the program.)

So...who is this ranting homeless man, seemingly unaware that he's missing one boot, but armed to the teeth and wearing a helm that generates lightning while his faithful dog yaps at his feet?

On his back we see what looks like the saya of a Samurai's katana as well as a bare sabre. They stay in place without visible straps. The dagger with the nasty spiked hilt doesn't match either of those swords, nor does the familiar-looking implement in his other hand. Could he be wearing a military longcoat from still another army? It's almost as if one lone survivor had wandered the field after a wildly mismatched battle between several factions, and scavenged what clothes and arms he could from the bodies of the fallen combatants. But how does he come to hold that hammer?

Was it the ordeal of this battle that makes old Magni Vingnirsson behave so oddly, wandering the city accompanied by the dog he calls Fenris, wearing two monocles and ignoring his bare foot as the energy crackles around him? Maybe the old man carries the hammer so effortlessly because he inherited it from his father...just as it was foretold he would, after the day of Ragnarok...


  1. He's staring right through my soul!

  2. Urrmmm...what exactly is that dog doing to his leg?

  3. Scaggs, the telepathic chipmunk would totally take that dog in a fight anyday.

  4. Ragnell: too late I realize those aren't monocles, but Magni is in fact a character from Little Orphan Annie. I should have colored Fenris differently to make it clear he's actually Sandy -- not the color, the dog.

    SallyP: He's begging for treats. Seeing anything else says more about the viewer than it does about the image. For shame, Sally, for shame.

    Spencer: I should hope so! I should make it clear that Fenris is just a stray dog tagging along, not some mystical creature with arcane abilities. But is this a challenge? Are you talking smack about my guy? Is this a throw-down? Random Civil War: Thunder Hobo versus Cosmic Air Guitar Centurion -- which side are you on?

  5. I sooo want to see this dude wail on some frost giants with his hammer.

  6. He looks like one of the 700 hoboes!


  7. Brandon: Frost giants...or just people he thinks are frost giants? Or actual frost giants that everyone else thinks are just people, but really are frost giants? Hmm, I guess I'm getting into Don Quixote/Fisher King territory there. Now you've got me interested in actually writing this someday.

    John: Yes, that was my first thought as soon as I realized the fates had granted me a character with one boot and one bare foot. And a few of Hodgman's entries are overt comics references -- such as #149: Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans -- so that direction seemed natural. And also I thought of the character of God in The Restaurant At The End of the Universe. Oh yes, Magni the Thunder Hobo is my ticket to fame and fortune as soon as I figure out the best way to make use of him. Thank you, random character-generating algorithm!


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