Pole-Land.com 20th anniversary – Part 4

Continuing our 20th anniversary nostalgia trip with the other perennial background lurker 675 and everyone's favorite genderfluid hobo engineer, Blender!

675 here, as you no doubt have noticed by now, has by far had the least aesthetic changes over the last 20 years, on account of the fact that "Asian lawyer in a suit and tie" is a look that doesn't really have a lot of wiggle room for iteration. There is one specific major change to the character's design but that won't be revealed until later. A side note: not all of my friends who were originally part of this project were artists; while 675's concept was still the brainchild of my friend Frank, his design was and remains entirely a product of my very smooth brain. Also the only reason I changed his name/numerical designation for the final iteration is because it sounds more like an actual person's name when you say it in mandarin (Liu Qiwu).

Blender is an interesting one, in that her and the rumor are the only two members of the main cast whose names have never once changed during the development of this comic, not even slightly. He was also meant to be genderfluid from the jump, which sounds shockingly progressive for 2004 until you realize that it was done more in the zeitgeist of the early-aughts' comedic sensibilities, ie: "hahaha crossdressers are funny." Of course, the inevitable march of time and twenty years' worth of learning about and hanging out with gender nonconforming people, as well as closely examining my own relationship with the gender binary and my own sexuality, all contributed toward hopefully making him a more nuanced character here. I won't pretend that I wasn't an idiot back in 2004, or that I'm particularly proud of a lot of the character decisions from the outset (such as, once again, Walt being literally Rorschach from Watchmen), but I am grateful to Blender for how she did force me to reexamine my own biases over time. 

Two more to go!

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