The Seven Sisters
Names and Letters:
This was a somewhat later development since the original names were as follows:
With Eleanor as the most important (main character.) And if you get THAT earlier reference I was going to make with their names, I will be THOROUGLY impressed. Eleanor is an expansion of Ellie’s name. In the sense I wasn’t COMPLETLY sure if her real-life-namesake had a longer version. It was my first year of high school when I saw a girl in my class named Ellie. Never talked to her, never properly met her. She sat at the other end of the classroom. She was a twig standing over 6 foot something, and brunette. Nothing overtly feminine about her. Nothing at all to do with our Ellie. I simply liked her name.
From that, I crossed over a concept I had from another story: The seven sisters. I could elaborate on this story, but it’s far removed from what you’ve been reading. Each of them used to elaborate on Ellie, and the world in which the comic exists. I wanted Ellie from a large family to oppose Quinn from a small one. Ellie had no choice in her circumstance to survive unless she became outgoing. It’s also where she’s going to garner her observations and experience of relationships. Some of this sister-idea-insertion was also provoked from my own experience working with sisters from an similarly large gaggle of siblings… And last but not least, it’s that family with all the HAWT DAWTERS. From there, we entered “sister developmental hell.” At which I wasn’t satisfied with ANY of their names, personalities, age placements, etc. Much of their creation was BEFORE the comic, and all the finalizing was DURING. For example, the N on Ellie’s cheek was to spell SHOTGUN. Not GUNSHOT. SHOTGUN would place her as either the youngest or the oldest depending on how I ordered the ages on the cast panel for them. But I needed Pumpkin for the intro plot (“Pumpkin” just being a pet name originall.) Ok… Ellie’s the oldest now. So Ellie has no twin, and tons of little sisters. Well, maybe she has a twin, and then it’s Pumpkin after… then a bunch of mini-Ellie’s. I’LL FIGURE IT OUT LATER!
But man I really wanted those older sisters. What’s interesting about a bunch of little blondes all stuck at home or school? Ok.. the mom is saying something now. “Ellie, all your other sisters moved out…” Good I like it.
Aww crap… what does this spell with cheek letters NOW???…
So one happy accident later, we have GUNSHOT, and I’m not redoing Ellie’s letter on every previous comic. The reasoning behind the letters was my drawing a squiggly lightning bolt on her cheeks when designing her. I decided it passed for an N and went from there. So the names and personalities evolved from THAT comic to me solidifying their permanent names, LITERALLY, the night I posted the comic “Tarragon.” Their names constantly swapped between characters. Going from Nicolas Cage’s car fetishes, to herbs n’ spices, to just spices. Gotta be specifc on that. So I nixed any herb refs. And many of them were named Ginger or Juniper at some point. And they’re not the KFC Girls. They’re the Spice Girls. Everyone’s guilty pleasure is the Spice Girls. Anyone who denies this is obviously lying, and liars are not good people. Don’t lie. Pick your favorite, admit it, and move on. So now we’re making progress:
Josephine > Juniper > Ginger
Natalie > Holly > Tarragon
Denise > Scilla > Juniper > Anise
Vanessa > Ginger > Juniper
Eleanor (Ellie) > Peppermint > Lavender
Angelina > Cinnamon
Rachel > Pumpkin
Ellie’s spice name as Peppermint was a play on her shirt being originally red with white stripes, but as someone pointed out it looked similar to Meg’s from Family Guy. So I changed it. Not a big deal really, but a change regardless. The new worked as a ‘Sunny Day’ palette nicely. L for Lavender also worked with the pronunciation of L.E. sounding like “Ellie.” I did, btw, settle on the spice motif by comic one. Thankfully.
Now individually speaking, I always had rolling loose concepts of what I wanted out of her large family, with the girls ranging in interests and personality types. This is why the “tons of younger siblings” idea got canned quickly. They were originally all blonde. Barely changing from Ellie’s exact hair color. I moved away from this as well since they likely wouldn’t all be blonde. … why I set most of my ideas on simmer for a good year or two before it’s time to write them. My thought pipeline is atleast that. All my ideas are at the height of immaturity when I come up with them. They’re more mature when writing with age.
From what we gather from their mother (Rosemary, for anyone that’s interested) she’s lost patience with Ellie at the beginning of the series. And as we expand on the sisters, it becomes obvious it’s like they’re from a cloning machine that makes weirder and worser clones over time (see “House of Cosbys.) While Ellie herself isn’t HORRIBLE, she was in a position of degradation at the start. Ellie, Cinnamon, and Juniper are the cluster of sisters really mucking things up. It can be assumed the eldest settled down with a family, and then the two right after her were successful to some extent. Terra is perfect, and Anise runs her own tattoo deal. Then we had Juniper drop a nuke on the family. Ellie never went to college, and Cinnamon is just an idiot. These issues don’t need to be rubbed off on Pumpkin from the mother’s standpoint. She’s probably had issues with Ellie in the past, she gave her fair warning, and it was time for Ellie to take the bullet. She wore out her welcome, and Rosemary didn’t have the energy for her youngest to be screwed up too. Or the screw up screwing her up.
And there’s our beginning to Shotgun Shuffle.
Spice Rack (pun intended if you prefer):
Hair: Brunette (dyed)
Distinguishing attributes: The only sister raising children. The only sister of non-comic normal weight. The only sister that’s married.
Occupation: Stay at home mom. Home-schooler.
Concept: The sub-mother. Married to a guy making a decent living to let her stay home and raise the kids. Something she chose. Frequently visits her mother for R&R. Responsible, and becoming more empathetic of her own mother daily. Earning her Masters in time management.
Inspiration: All those classy women raising their own little ones. Those that sacrific all hours of the day with little downtime for themselves. Having children at the hip 24 hours a day with home school is far different than being a homemaker with kids off at school for seven hours.
Hair: Various tones of blonde
Distinguishing attributes: The first sister to start her own business. The tallest sister. The sister with the longest hair. The only sister whos birthmark doubles as blush. Most envied sister. The only sister that never sleeps. The only sister to run for public office. The only sister to travel abroad. The only sister to solve a Rubik’s cube. The only sister who can juggle Rubik’s cubes while solving them. The only sister to win a lifetime achievement award (twice!) The only sister to swim the Atlantic, then earn her pilot’s license to fly back. The only sister that owns patents (75.) Named what science now calls “Hyper Death.” Invented “Tarra”-forming. Can successfully perform the Fusion Dance. The only American Canadians approve of. The only sister to survive the zombie apocalypse (as seen in comic #12,957.)
Concept: Outgoing and charismatic. Everything to everyone. Divinely talented. Midas touch. Bulletproof.
Inspiration: Not visually, but otherwise completely based off a real person I had the brief experience of working with. She left the company totally beloved by everyone. We were left with her sister, who was more of the “fallen from grace, but never had grace to begin with.” This is one of the ‘true sisters,’ whereas, she’s part of mention-large-family the seven Buckingham sisters were based off. The real Tarra is indeed a fantastic person. I worked with her one time and bought her flowers when she left that same night. You would swoon. She’s a doll.
Hair: Platinum blonde (dyed)
Distinguishing attributes: The second sister to start her own business. The sister that visibly wears lipstick. The second shortest sister. The sister that ‘shows some shoulder.’ Sister with the oddest fetishes.
Occupation: Tattoo artist (shop co-rented with another artist.)
Concept: Lil’ Miss Weirdy. Gothy. Emoish. But that cute kind of emo. Where it’s really just about the fashion, and not so much the “Cradle of Filth.”
Inspiration: This is what I call a ‘split character.’ Where one person in real life has given me enough to go on, I actually develop two characters. Anise acquired all the cutesy, goofiness of said person. A reluctant goth, who barely hangs onto her gothiness. She’d totally be goth if she weren’t so cute half the time. And VERY particular about what she likes in men. But I hate vampires, and I didn’t go with that crappy fetish. ALLTHO…. (looks at first cast panel.) So she likes beards. That, was not made up. I know quite a few ladies who’re into the face forests. We will meet Anise’s other half later in the story (unrelated.)
Hair: Dishwater/dirty blonde
Distinguishing attributes: The only sister to have unkempt hair. The only sister to drop out of high school. The sister that wears the most revealing clothing the most often. The skinniest sister. The most inebriated sister.
Occupation: Probably nothing
Concept: Anti-Midas touch. Not in control of her life. Makes the wrong decision every SINGLE time. Getting too old to still act so childish. Emotional regression. No concept of future repercussions. Perpetual 15-year-old.
Inspiration: Another ‘true sister’ and also a split character. Real Juniper to real Tarra. Polar opposites. One third of her is seen with Megan from Ellie’s fast food job. This real life person who inspired Juni has so many issues, I actually split her character concept into three. Two redeemable, one not. Megan’s general concept is ‘having lots of children young, and having seemingly NO consequences from her parents.’ Both are highly sexually active, young. Both have no concept of sexual, or personal, responsibility. Megan is the one who can’t grasp her high fertility status, had a child in the past, and knows her parents will bail her out again. And again. The difference between her and Juniper, is my wanting Juni to actually see the ramifications of her actions. If this real person actually faced moral consequences, not indifference. Both live for the moment, but Megan has, in my mind, some concept of being at home at night. Juniper is out running the streets (or as we in central Florida would say: in Ybor.)
The third incarnation will be seen at the end of the series (unrelated to both.)
Hair: Blonde / Yellow Blonde
Distinguishing attributes: The only sister to legally change her name. Sister with the biggest…eyes… I’m going with eyes.
Occupation: It’s about to change, cause you picked option B.
Concept and Inspiration: Ellie will have a very overblown and elaborate breakdown in the future. Just as I will with Quinn and the other A-stringers, castwise. A little blerb won’t do her justice right now. But as I’ve stated in the past, she is a composite character. Four women make up Ellie. Her visual and emotional aspects, along with her quirks and general personality, are all separate traits of four different women.
Age: Lavender’s (given 22 minute difference.)
Distinguishing attributes: Self-professed “Only sister with a twin.” Only sister with pupil-less dead eyes devoid of a soul. The only sister to find a rich boyfriend. Suffers from Ganser Syndrome.
Occupation: Party Hostess
Concept: Evil-twin trope, visually (minus goatee.) My daughter has her exact outfit. My daughter is not an evil twin. Cinnamon is the name of an actual news reporter in Lakeland. I thought the name was awesome. Who doesn’t like cinnamon? Weirdos, that’s who.
Inspiration: Cinnamon had numerous scrapped designs and concepts. She started off as an identical twin, but it didn’t lead to enough ideas for stories. Mostly since I write from life and this character was completely fabricated. Now I DO NOT write specific people. Tarra is not ‘really’ Tarra, and the same with Juniper. I’ll have characters mirror some in real life, be heavily based upon, etc. But when I create a character I’m going off a person’s, part of a person’s, or amalgamation of various persons’, shells. It’s a rough generalization of what I think makes them unique physically and in personality. “What makes this personality type tick?” I’ve done quite a few caricatures in my day, and I’ve drawn some people no one liked, and passed on some people who were very deserving (I did these for free, mind you.) I drew what interested me. These people had to spark my creative interest. So I attached a general persona concept to Cinnamon, and I got the Cinnamon you see. The person in real life actually suffers from Paraphasia, but I didn’t want to go that far typing out odd speech impediments. I can barely spell as it is. That and I’d probably assume ones that were not correct. This girl… bless her heart. Not a Cinnamon stand-in by any means ‘lookswise.’ And she’s certainly not evil or conniving.. but man is she oblivious. Good Lord. Me and some friends from back then still make fun of her. Not for how she talks. Let me be clear. We all have hearts, okay. But this girl lives in outer space. I know I’m going to get into trouble over this… but once her parents were on vacation, so one friend called her house, knowing she was alone, and said a paddy wagon full of felons got in an accident and tipped over near her house. All the murderers got out, ready to murder again, and he was warning to lock the doors and not answer them. Less than 10 minutes later someone’s over pounding on the back door screaming to be let in ‘OR ELSE.’ One shriek of terror later and a phone call to the police.. had her parents ending their vacation to Hawaii early. They had to come home and deal with their hysterical daughter. Needless to say, we felt bad for her folks. Don’t get me wrong… it was a riot about her. But her parents man… that sucks. The pranksters didn’t want that. Then there were the times we’d chase her around with a dirty sock we soaked in mop water…
Hair: Fair blonde
Distinguishing attributes: The sister with the shortest hair (intentionally.) The shortest sister. The sister with the most boyish clothes. The sister that currently induces the most speculation. One of two sisters still in school. Cuter than she wants to appear normally.
Concept: Playing Skipper to Ellie’s Barbie.
Inspiration: That same person Pumpkin reminds YOU of. Pumpkin’s look is one specific aspect I wanted her to have. She also has a Disney obsession I withheld for timing. We’ll get to it later. THAT obsession relates to everyone YOU know that drools for Disney so much it borders on scary. That person on your Facebook that has 10 Disney related posts a day. And they’re always telling you how they “squee” or cry over something Disney just did. Or post Disney art. Or fanfics. Or something to the level you think they need help. Deep, expensive, emotional help. Just to save myself future emails, I’m not saying one way or the other on Pumpkin’s sexual orientation since I want the reader’s curiosity or speculation to follow Ellie’s. We’ll find out. Eventually.