From the goshiwon.

If there’s one thing i’m sick of, it’s people demanding certain versions of a character already created.

In 2016, there was this push to make the character Hermione Granger from Harry Potter black.

I was against it.

Why ask and plead and beg for something that exists to be what it’s not?

I kept asking myself, “If people want that character to be black so bad, why don’t they create their own?”

Will not lie, I was guilty of this myself when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was 17 I realized that creating my own stuff was better. Would it take off? Who cares. I created something. Together, my dad and I built something.

Today’s society feels it needs permission to create something. It feels it needs permission to make what already exists into something else. Creators will feed off of that just to make themselves money. It doesn’t mean they’ll cater to what the fans want.

For five years, I studied comic creator LeSean Thomas. He worked on series such as The Boondocks, Black Dynamite, and Avatar/Legend Of Korra. In addition to those works, he has TWO ORIGINAL animated series in the works. TWO. ORIGINAL.

Thomas never asked for permission to do this. HE JUST DID IT. He had an idea, worked with the right people to increase his skills, and made it happen.

For 10 years, I worked on many original ideas. They were terrible early on but they had to be. You have to be terrible to get the bad out of your system. Right now, I have a YouTube channel where I talk about my life in Korea. Everyone and their mother is doing that here. How am I different? Outside of my skin color, I show no fear in interacting with random people. I can’t speak Korean all that well but it doesn’t stop me from trying.

I’ll admit when I wanted to do a new YouTube channel in 2015, I tried to be an adaption. In my mind, I wanted to be a black and/or male version of other successful YouTubers. I came to my senses after one year. Instead, I studied them and did things to make myself different from them.

The differences are no fear and no shame.

All I have is my brain, my nuts, and my guts. It takes those to do something original in world full of adaptors.

When I was a teenager, I met two comic book creators. One was Ben Dunn (who’s on the cover) and Fred Perry. Growing up, Dunn was a fan of Japanese animation. He loved it so much, he decided to create his own. His series Ninja High School is still in print today.

While serving in the first Gulf War, Perry often drew beautiful women for soldiers (they paid him for it). One day, he decided to draw a female version of Indiana Jones. After his duty, he went home and created a bodyguard for the female Indiana Jones. That’s how his long-running series Gold Digger was created.

In order to create something original, one has to be in motion. They have to move OFTEN because that’s how original ideas get created.

People that want different versions of an existing character are never in motion. They use their phones or computers to whine and moan and complain about a character they love not being who THEY want to be. I’m perfectly fine with Tony Stark being Iron Man. Pandering is what kills businesses.

What have you done today to be original?

Peace and love
Shaun


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