Dynamic Characters and Static Characters
If you want to become a writer of comics, it’s good to know the difference between dynamic characters and static characters.
Static characters generally don’t develop or change in personality as the story unfolds. If a story isn’t concerned with internal struggle or introspection, a main character can be a static character. On the other hand, if a character does change and grow as a person as the story progresses, he or she is a dynamic character. In this case secondary characters are often still static.
Dynamic characters aren’t necessarily better than static characters. Whether to use one or the other depends entirely on the point the author is trying to convey with the story as a whole.
Examples of Successful Static Characters
- Indiana Jones – Indiana Jones Trilogy – Fedora-wearing, whip-wielding, pugnacious archeologist.
- Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Sherlock Holmes – Pipe-smoking, deerstalker-doning, bipolar, neurotic brilliant detective.
- Captain Nemo – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Revenge-driven, isolated, morose, technological genius.
- Homer Simpson – The Simpsons – Balding, slow-witted, Duff-chugging good-hearted father.
- Beavis – Beavis and Butthead TV Series – Horny, stupid, immature teenager.
- Donald Duck – Donald Duck Animated Shorts – Quick-tempered, lazy water fowl.
- Long John Silver – Treasure Island – One-legged, traitorous, greedy pirate.
- Kramer – Seinfeld – Bumbling, clumsy, delusional, slacker.
- Han Solo – Star Wars – Grumpy, sarcastic, opportunistic smuggler.
- Guybrush Threepwood – The Secret of Monkey Island – Goofy, quick-witted, naive pirate wannabe.
- Kermit the Frog – The Muppets – Green, pig-loving, humble amphibian.
- Eric Cartman – South Park – Outrageous, lethal, fat child.
- Tarzan – Tarzan Books – Vine-swinging, fast-learning, athletic ape-man.
- Mario – Super Mario Games – Mustache-wearing, pipe-hopping, mushroom-eating plumber.
- Robin Hood – Robin Hood Legend – Tight-wearing, arrow-shooting, merry outlaw.
- Classic James Bond – James Bond Books & Movies – Martini-drinking, Tuxedo-wearing, Aston Martin-driving, manly assassin.
- Dracula – Dracula Novel – Blood-drinking, virgin-seducing, ancient vampire.
- Classic Superman – Superman Comics – Cape-wearing, kryptonite-avoiding, flying humanoid alien.
- Asterix – Asterix the Gaul – Clever, potion-swigging, boar-eating, Caesar-defying Gaul.
- Classic Batman – Batman Comics – Grim, rich, humorless, athletic, costumed detective genius.
- TinTin – The Adventures of TinTin – Intelligent, lucky, determined reporter.
- Captain Haddock – The Adventures of TinTin – Heavy-drinking, cursing, hot-headed ship captain.
- Classic Spiderman – Spiderman Comics – Web slinging, quick, costumed young adult superhero.
- Fone Bone – Bone Graphic Novel – Kind-hearted, innocent, Thorn-worshipping Bone.
- Classic Wolverine – X-Men Comics – Cigar smoking, quick-healing, hairy clawed mutant.
- Hellboy – Hellboy Comics – Catholic, Nazi-fighting, supernatural mystery-solving Hell Demon.
- Scrooge McDuck – Scrooge McDuck Comics – Cantankerous, greedy, honest, hard-working Scottish duck.
Examples of Successful Dynamic Characters
- Rick Blaine – Casablanca – From cynical, war-neutral casino owner to passionate selfless freedom fighter.
- Disney’s Aladdin – Aladdin – From thieving street rat to dishonest prince to honest hero.
- Rorschach – Watchmen – From unstable but sane crime fighter to uncompromising sociopath.
- Dr. Manhattan – Watchmen -From mortal average physicist to omniscient demigod.
- Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit – From hobbit homebody to adventurous brave hero.
- Harry Potter – Harry Potter Books – From skinny orphaned child to mature world-saving wizard adult.
- Batman – Batman Begins – From orphaned billionaire to cowl donning merciless dark knight.
- Jean Valjean – Les Miserables – From ex-convict outcast to saintly mayor to beloved father to revolutionary hero.
- Edmund Dantes – The Count of Monte Cristo – From peasant ship captain to tormented prisoner to wealthy revenge-seeking count.
- Buzz Lightyear – Toy Story – From delusional hero to flightless self-accepting action figure.
- Michael Corleone – The Godfather – From optimistic war hero to ruthless mafia don.
- Darth Vader – Star Wars Episode VI – From dark villain to redeemed father.
- Maximus – Gladiator – From patriotic Roman general to Colosseum gladiator to savior of Rome.
- The Joker – Batman: The Killing Joke – From downtrodden comedian to insane brutal murderous clown.