The secret origins of BICP characters, part 2

Continued from the previous Secret Origins post: a brief history of characters from But I'm A Cat Person, as they've been reused through different universes with Erin Ptah's Star System.

Jany & Kara Lynn

For comparison, here's the BICP incarnations of Jany and Kara Lynn, on the cover of chapter 7:

Jany and Kara Lynn were both created for a Sailor Moon/Neopets crossover. I came up with the general premise, but by then I'd wised up to the fact that I couldn't create 50+ compelling and unique original characters all by myself -- and I had a lot of fun writing about other people's characters anyway.

So I made it an RPG and opened it to applications. And, listen, for an entirely-self-motivated project sustained over multiple years by a bunch of middle schoolers, I think we did a heck of a job.

Can't find a lot of the art anymore -- this was before I routinely uploaded everything to DA -- but here's a handful of Neopet Senshi illustrations I did as a retrospective in 2007. Poor proto-Jany, hers didn't even get fully colored.

Jean, Sailor Shoyru, was an ordinary girl who went to school and loved her pets.

Kara Lynn, Sailor Buzz, was a genetically-altered experiment by a mad scientist who was raised in a lab, broke free, and now has to learn what "normal" is. As you do.

Here's Kara Lynn before she figured out plates:

They were intended to be an endgame couple, although I don't remember writing an actual getting-together scene, just lots of bonding and pining.

...and Jean's skeevy older brother dating Kara Lynn because she was naive and easy to manipulate, although I didn't want to write him too skeevy, and softpedaled it so much that people thought he was supposed to be a suave good boyfriend.

(He, in turn, got retooled into Jany's big brother Naresh, a former skeevy teenage boy who clued in that he was treating women badly, and puts actual thought into sexual ethics now.)

Note: Officially, I was still closeted in middle school. So I'm sure everyone believed there was a perfectly heterosexual explanation for why I spent so much time drawing pretty curvy elfin girls in bikinis.

Kara Lynn is the only BICP character who got imported to a major role in Leif & Thorn! A bunch of the others have cameos, but she's recurring and plot-relevant as Katya, a human servant.

In keeping with the "fraught issues around sexual ethics" theme I have going with this duo, Katya's always the one to worry about whether Leif is getting exploited by Thorn. For a twist, in this universe she's asexual. (Still likes girls, just not sex.)

Will we ever get to see her find her Jany in this universe? No idea. Right now she's too busy for a romantic arc, so I won't have to decide how they play out in the both-always-human AU any time soon.

In the meantime, let's move on to...

Miranda & Poe

Current versions of Miranda and Poe (with bonus Patrick), on the cover of chapter 12:

Miranda got her start from Colbert Report fandom. For anyone who isn't familiar, the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are/were late-night comedy shows that made fun of the news, but the Report had the host (Stephen Colbert) playing a fictional character ("Stephen Colbert") with his own whole elaborate backstory, and took place in a weird magic-ified version of reality.

Anyway, one time on the Daily Show they discovered a secret mad-science experiment to infuse children with Essence of Olbermann, so that if Keith Olbermann was ever unable to do his show, there would be a steady supply of Olberclones ready to take his place.

I did say it was weird.

So in 2010 I wrote a crossover spinoff of And Shine Heaven Now in which "Stephen" was a vampire, and then in 2011 wrote a spinoff of that in which Jon Stewart adopts an Olberclone. Specifically, Miranda.

The slightly sinister businesswoman with white eyes and iconic red dresses is...an adult tech-baron version of Little Orphan Annie. I put everything in this crossover universe, okay.

Ann Walker, as you've probably guessed, is an adaptation of that character design -- with original material replacing the Orphan Annie backstory.

(Blake was originally going to be named "Hobbes", as another shoutout to newspaper comics. They have nothing in common except tigers, though, and I eventually decided it wasn't Walker's style.)

This version of Miranda only appears as a small child. Later in 2011 I drew her as a young adult, already planning that it was basically how she would look in But I'm A Cat Person.

Original-flavor Miranda was positioned to become Master of "Stephen"-the-vampire when she grows up. BICP's Miranda uses the same traits to be a competent Master of Poe. 

Poe, for his part, doesn't have much of anything that parallels "Stephen".

But...as a ridiculously obscure in-joke that probably amuses nobody but me...I reworked his human-form design from this time I drew a racebent "Stephen" in 2010.

...and that's the post, but I should probably say a note about the main characters! Just so nobody's worried.

Bianca, Patrick, and Sparrow

Bianca and Patrick were both created from scratch. Since they were at the center of the story, I needed them to fit the main plot completely.

Sparrow, basically the same thing. She does appear in maybe 2-3 doodles inspired by "I like this name, gotta use it for someone" going back a long time (see this sketchbook post), but was never a proper character before BICP.

The rest of the ensemble could come up through the Star System, because the process was "now that I have a sturdy premise, I can get subplots and complications by throwing different pre-established characters at it to see what happens."

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