Saturday, January 29, 2011

Captain Wonderful and the Mischief in Me

I will now admit my enjoyment of thieves, scoundrels, rogues, ninjas and various other undesirables in literature and popular culture. I understand that maybe such a character is not to be admired or emulated and of course I don't emulate them but oh, what fun it is to imagine being one with shadows, or fooling the corrupt lawman or outwitting a cruel lord or master. I love the book Les Miserables for this reason - that the policeman doesn't win and the hero is a thief - albeit one that deserves our sympathy. I also enjoy folk heroes - the clever foxes, rabbits and coyotes of fables and, of course, the unforgettable Robin Hood.

I have often felt a bit outside the normal, as undesirable as a rogue, so maybe that is where my enjoyment of them comes from because I can identify. I also tend to be playful, I enjoy being clever and surprising people - which is what the best scoundrels do.  I'm not physically strong either, or powerful really - so it is from below, from the shadows that I can express myself - and if things go wrong, I can always run away and disappear. These archetypes influence my art, in furtive faces and sly smiles, in the figures of animals peering forward or the running rabbit who has heard the farmer's gun in the radish patch.

                                                        Jack of Oak - 10 inch porcelain bottle
I wanted to write about this because I took pictures of Captain Wonderful and Jack of Oak this morning. They both look so darned pleased with themselves! I think Captain Wonderful has accomplished an excellent heist. Jack of Oak looks well fed and confident, farmer and predators be damned!

                                                Captain Wonderful and his schemes

In online games I almost always find a way to play a roguish type  - I rarely play a type of character that is all "bang you're dead!" I like to be at a slight disadvantage - so the bottom of the heap wins, the dark horse crosses the line. Even if my chosen class or profession has ways to make themselves ridiculously powerful, I will often role play them and gimp myself - the assassin in Guild Wars has, on and off, been overpowered for game balance, but I usually stuck to my favorite builds and ignored the craziness that was Shadowform. My characters are the of the trope 'rogue with a heart of gold', I don't normally play evil or wicked characters - there's enough of that in the real world without infesting my fantasies with it!

                        My assassin character in Guild Wars enjoying a bit of darkness.

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