ILLUSTRATION AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
With his illustrations, Jacob Yerex contributed a huge amount to character development. In this post, let’s look at the way he depicted the character Boom-Boom, NPK’s drummer. I have to say Jacob has a fantastic vision for my characters. Sometimes that vision was different than I imagined them, while other times it seemed like he could read my mind. Along they way he gave some of the characters certain actions and bits of dialog that helped to bring them to life wonderfully.
When we first meet Boom-Boom, he’s playing in a punk band in a basement dive in Kensington Market. He’s bald and he looks menacing, but you can’t judge a book by its cover. Through the novel we learn he and his partner Ndidi are readers. There’s a scene in which they are in bed, and lying there beside them is If on a Winters Night a Traveler, by Italo Calvino. “Tell me about the Reader and the Other Reader again, Darling” is one of my fave lines in the graphic novel.
We also learn that Boomer has a wicked sense of humour, something which was not in the scripts but was developed by Jacob.
We never discussed Boomer sticking out his tongue at the other characters. Jacob added it in and showed me a side of Boomer I didn’t even know existed.
Boom-Boom loves to tease Staashu….
When we meet Boom-Boom and Ndidi we don’t know too much about their relationship, but later we find out they are deeply in love, and their relationship endures.
When Boomer proposes to Ndidi on-stage we also learn that his real name is Sonny. “Yes Sonny, of course I’ll marry you, silly man!” This doesn’t get past Lazy and Staash, who only know him as Boom-Boom. At the same time they both say, “Sonny?”
Boom-Boom and Ndidi also show us they are the most grounded characters in Squeeze Box Man, and if anyone in NPK owns the moral high ground, it’s them. For instance, when the band is touring Northern Ontario and they read about the arrest of Jerzy the Rounder, it’s Boomer and Ndidi who tell Staashu he should call Sabina. “It’s the right thing to do.”
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