Sunday, February 10, 2013
I've been fascinated this month with the classics. Comics...Mac's new Archie's girl line with it's white packaging littered with hearts and the Veronica/Betty bad girl and good girl looks (masterful). Stan Lee of Spiderman and Fantastic Four fame (as in creator and of more) starting Kid's Universe. These images resonate. And Mac's earlier collection was based on Marilyn Monroe, hence the picture.
I looked up iconic and it was a bust. Having to do with an icon. So I looked up icon. It basically means a symbol or a person that represents something greater...an idea...a deity...a God...or art... Lovely.
Marilyn is an icon (not was). She represented the dual side of women, the innocent and the sexual. She was Betty and Veronica in one. The Archie's comics represented the innocence and youth of American culture. We had no overhanging past just endless hope and possibilities. Peter Parker was the nerd, with personal problems, who still managed to pull himself together and save the world from evil forces.
How does a writer create that icon? Obviously the elements are easy...you start with a character who is a symbol of something greater then himself/herself. See the definition of "icon" above. Then add in a distinctive defining feature that sets your character apart. Every actress wears red lipstick at some point but none wear it like Marilyn. Put them in turmoil and have them save someone of something, if only emotionally. The formula is complex yet if mastered transcends.
Elsewhere, I've declared this month that of the Comic and Story book. The magic; think Walt Disney. Step one in any classic story is beginning with an icon.