The idea of Rickets is that he’s a robot that’s destroyed his memory chip, so he’s not quite right in the head. He destroyed his memory chip after a traumatic breakout with a boyfriend robot he had, and then set off on the road to find a new life. I wrote the story of his relationship with the boyfriend robot and him destroying his memory chip in a storyline called Marching to “The City,” which you can read here . The story of what happened next, and how he ended up living with the rabbit and Prester the bear is something that I’ll tell later on.
Before destroying his memory chip, Rickets was one of many robots that worked at a large factory where they created teddy bears. Rickets created Prester the bear after his breakup with the boyfriend robot, and so Prester was a little bit off to begin with, because his creator was in an off mood. That’s sort of my metaphor for how I created Rickets, because I made him after a traumatic breakup on which I based his storyline. Originally the cast of my comic was mainly the rabbit, and his boyfriend, who I drew as a monkey because I called my boyfriend Monkey as a pet name (Aw) and Capitalist Pig, who I used as a way to complain about my job and a lot of other things. After I broke up with the monkey, I wanted a new character for the strip, and I came up with the idea of a little robot who was broken and had been discarded. It seemed like a fitting, if somewhat dramatic, representation of how I felt.
Rickets is now in a highly dysfunctional relationship with Prester, wherein they like each other a lot, but Prester can never admit it because he’s a born-again Christian and professes extreme homophobia. Rickets doesn’t understand, because he doesn’t have his memories from those days, that he’s actually in love with the teddy bear he created himself. This is supposed to be my metaphor for an artist being in love with his own art, and it’s the same reason I find it funny to draw my rabbit lusting after twinky guys wearing rabbit ears. I think what I’m trying to say is something about a choice we have, which is to fall in love with a real person, and appreciate the people who are really in our lives, or to yearn for a kind of idealized romance that we’ve created in our heads and possibly doesn’t exist. The Narcissism of affection, and also of art. This is one of the reasons I like to joke about art and sex being the same thing, because they’re both forms of communication, or connection, but whether we’re truly forming a bond with somebody else or just talking to ourselves is the question about whether it’s healthy or not. Where Rickets’ relationship with Prester will go, that remains to be seen.
Rickets’ personality has evolved a bit. Originally in my sketchbooks as the discarded robot in the gutter, he was much more of a sad sack kind of character.
I think that’s about all I’ll give away about Rickets at the moment, although I do have big plans for his future, and also the future of the boyfriend robot character, and even a love interest that’s going to try to tempt him away from Prester. So check back, a lot more coming up.
Next up, I’m doing a post about Prester.