I thought I’d take a moment to talk about one of my favorite characters in the strip–Fluff Boy.  I get so much mail on Fluff Boy, and most of it is quite funny.  People ask me if he’s Eve’s pretend friend.  I’ve had folks ask if he’s invisible.  People think he’s just so random!  –WHY, is there a dude dressed as a superhero drinking coffee in their kitchen with no explanation?  So here is my official Fluff Boy explanation.

Fluff Boy’s real name is Isaac.  He first entered the strip as the voice of pop-culture, hence the word Fluff in his name.  He knocked on the door whenever the main characters discussed celebrities or music, and threw his two cents into the mix.  In his very first appearance, he came on as Zealot’s arch-nemesis.  I have only rarely mentioned this in the strip since then, so most people don’t know this.  I keep meaning to do something with this relationship in the strip… it has been neglected.

Here is the first strip that Fluff Boy appeared in and the one setting up that strip.  They ran on 9/28 and 9/29/2004.

The set-up

The set-up

 

The pay-off

The pay-off

 

I really like how I drew FB here.  He looks a little more masculine than he currently does.  Notice that he used to talk in the third person.  You might ask yourself why he doesn’t do that anymore?  I have two answers for that.  One, I simply got sick to death of writing it, and two, in December of 2004 I decided that I was too wordy and started self-limiting myself to 70 words per daily strip.  Sometimes I might hit 74 or 75, but for the most part, I was pretty strict.  (Since going web-only, I’ve loosened it a bit, but I’ll probably go back to that soon.  I think it really is a good editing technique.)  Anyway, having a character talk in the third person and have a catch-phrase (which he also had at one point  “I’m DOWN with the fluff!” I phased this out, thankfully) simply required too many of my precious 70 words to keep it going.

A few weeks after his first appearance, Easily Offended Man decided that Clear Blue Water needed some color.  They had to hire a black character.  Eve wanted to hire Isaac, but  Easily Offended Man’s nemesis Right Wing, was quite hesitant to make the lone black character a flamboyant superhero.  How would that look?  He was out-voted, and FB signed a contract that stated that he had to appear once a week, regardless of storyline. 

Hence, FB was there the week Eve found out Seth was autistic.  He was at the hospital while she was in labor with her twins.  He was there when she was going through a bad bout of post-partum depression.  He was there so often, in fact, that he became like a member of the Torres family, and he’s currently Eve’s best friend.  He’s revised his contract twice, and now he gets vacation time, he only has to wear his superhero outift every other week, and he’s not limited to pop culture discussions.  I often use him as the voice of reason, and I just really enjoy him.

He is an openly gay character who got married (this was before it was legal to do so, so it’s not binding yet) to his long-time partner Carlos in the strip in late 2007.  Eve served as his maid-of-honor, and Ivy was the flower girl.  It is a testimony to my readers that I didn’t receive even ONE negative response to this entire sequence.  Everyone was so supportive and happy for Fluff Boy, and I thank you for that.

During the first six months of my strip I wrote superhero stuff all the time, and then I was asked to back off from it.  I did, and I’ve never gotten back into it at the same level.  I plan to do more with them now.  I am glad that of all the superhero’s, Fluff Boy is the one who thrived.

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