Curt (Rhymes with Self-Insert)
Is Curt a self-insert?
I’d like to think not. I usually find self insert characters to be annoying and obvious; they always have the witty remark, get the girl, win the game, whatever. I do have to admit, though, that Curt, at least initially, and for a long time, WAS based on what I felt were my worst attributes dialed up to 11. Depressive, angry, frustrated, useless, and unmotivated were ways I tried to write him, because they were what I saw as my worst tendencies.
I literally and very specifically set out to write a comic featuring unlikable characters, living toxically and in abject failure by most standards. With mixed success, because I don’t know how well that really went as far as being a writer, but that was the goal. I wanted characters to be failures because I felt like a failure in a lot of regards for a long time, and it’s still something I struggle with.
But like any work of fiction, I think the characters often all reflect at least some of the author. I feel like all the characters are influenced by how I often see the world and how I feel, and usually it’s negative in the strip, because it probably serves in that regard as a therapeutic outlet. I think that because of that, most of my characters, and MOST CHARACTERS in general are to some extent author self-inserts of varying degrees.
But I’m not Curt. I’ve worked really, REALLY hard at making myself better and addressing my personal issues, and I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m a fair bit further than he is.