Growing up, I absolutely hated wearing glasses. It made me a target for a lot of bullying and teasing. Growing up, I was called “Steve Urkel,” the character that was played by Jaleel White on the ABC series, “Family Matters.”
As much as my mother wanted to make me feel better about the idea that “Steve Urkel” made a lot of money, truth is, it was not like I was getting paid for the mess I was dealing with in school.
By that rationale, Jaleel White owed me money for my mental suffering!
Kids (and adults) having to wear glasses all of a sudden can be a bit traumatic…a pretty big dea! With one of the characters in the comic strip, “By and By,” Dylan Randolmill, I wanted him to began wearing glasses in order to do two things: set him apart from the rest of the characters….and….to bring real childhood experience to light. Dylan’s disdain for wearing glasses comes from the desperation of wanting to be accepted and loved by a group of kids in the strip who appear perfect and without blemish. He wanted to be like the “cool kids,” and while we have not been introduced by the cool kids as of yet, just not seeing them is reflective of the invisible person or persons that we try to impress but never seem to make that mark.
And truth is, most of us never will….and that’s fine!
You’re unique and genuine! Why let it be covered up by “fitting in.” Now THAT is a blog post by itself!
My friend and author, Joshua Smith, gave me the idea of setting him apart from the other kids. I chose glasses as the way to do it.
Dylan absolutely hates it, but I think he’ll began to accept it. I know I did.
In fact, the older I got, the more glasses started becoming the new “hip” thing to do. I now have over 5 pairs of glasses that I can choose from because many of them are a lot nicer looking compared to the ones I had growing up.
I personally think that Dylan looks great with his glasses! Besides, his character is not the stereotypical nerd or geek…he’s a diplomat between the “cool kids” and the kids who are not so “cool.” Will the glasses create friction and trouble for him…only time will tell as I continue to write and create the strip.