Friday, April 1, 2011

SignifiKate - Pop Culture-Based Super Sidekick Bio & Sketch

This is the first of the Bios for my Pop-Culture-term based Super-Powered characters, who I made up for a project for my Mass Media and Pop Culture course. I created an animation about them, and I thought it might be fun to post more detailed sketches and descriptions of these characters, their powers, relationships, etc. 'm really getting into it! Who knows, I might do something more with them in the future.

Pop Culture-Based Super Sidekick:

She can imbue things – people, objects, words, etc. - with meaning, significance, and importance. She can use it to make certain words or phrases popular, to make an article of clothing or accessory fashionable again, to lend an an actor a certain air bout them of special-ness, etc.

Her Relationship with the Polysemic Protector:

SignifiKate became the Polysemic Protector's sidekick for several reasons. The main one is that her powers make it so that she can be of enormous help to him, and she likes that. With him, she isn't just giving an actress some extra charisma to help her win an audition, or making the quilts constructed by a little old lady seem a little more special in order to help them sell so she can afford medication – for the Protector, her powers can mean the difference between defeat and victory, life and death. In this way, her makes her feel important, meaningful and useful.

She also does so because she likes to live vicariously through him – she has powers, but they aren't very badass and they don't allow her to fight injustice, corruption and evil as directly as she would like. However, when her power gives the Protector what he needs in order to kick ass, she feels the satisfaction that he was able to do that because of her. It helps quiet that little part of her that always feels that her, and her power, are just useless.

Plus, she thinks he's pretty cute. She may not want to really get into a relationship him, but she likes his personality – a bit innocent and na├»ve, but still very courageous and morally strong – since she herself has some very strong convictions. She can also appreciate his fine, muscular-but-not-offputtingly-ripped physique, and enjoy watching him use that strong body to fight.

In battles SignifiKate will often make sure to give the Protector the ability to erect telekinetic defenses, then he wraps one around her and she can stay safe while helping him do what he needs to. She doesn't help him all the time, since often she is busy with work, or sometimes he's doing things in areas that will definitely have enough people around to give him the powers he needs.

Her Costume:

Her superhero costume is different from a normal superhero one – it consist of a variety of ordinary clothes and accessories, and can change and vary from day to day but is recognizable because of its overall style. She always wears her hair in a specific way as signifiKate, and always has a headband and large sunglasses (which help to hide her identity just like a mask would, by hiding her eyes). She also wears large gaudy earrings (usually hoops), a scarf, a few large necklaces, lots of bracelets and bangles, and sometimes leg warmers. Other components of her costume are changed depending on the season, the weather, her preferences or what is currently in the laundry.

She uses a specific style rather than one fixed outfit to make up her look as a super-sidekick for several reasons. First, traditional fancy spandex superhero outfits are difficult and expensive to make, launder, etc. She isn't terribly poor, but she doesn't have a lot of money to budget for her sidekick-self if she wants to be able to save up for the future. Having her super-look rely on accessories paired with normal clothing keeps costs down in buying, repairing and replacing any part of it. It also means she can't be identified as SignifiKate as she might be if she was seen wandering around the few shops in Semio City selling spandex costumes.

It also makes it easier to change between her civilian and super identity quickly, efficiently and without suspicion. She can carry most of the accessories needed for her costume (along with products to use to tease her hair up into SignfiKate's signature style) around with her without having to fear their discovery as she would with a spandex suit. A woman carrying around hair gel, sunglasses, necklaces, a light scarf, etc. is quite a normal occurrence. It also means that if she needs to help the Protector all she has to do is run into a secluded area, tease up her hair and whip everything on over her normal outfit. If she ever gets worried about having her identity found out, she can make anything suspicious about her, or any articles of clothing that are signiKate's, seem as inconspicuous and ordinary as possible with her powers.

Secret Identity and Career:

Real Name: Emmeline Plymiran (might be subject to change) 

Age:  mid-twenties

Look:  While she goes for a quite gaudy and bold look as SignifiKate, in everyday life she dresses in a much more normal fashion – nice blouses, jeans, sometimes dress-pants and jackets. Depending on her client, she can choose to be more casual or more formal, but she always tries to look professional either way.

Also, where she normally wears her hair up as SignifiKate, in normal life she'll leave it smoothed down, so that it looks quite different, despite her highlights and coloring being the same. She still wears jewelry, but the pieces she chooses to wear as herself are elegant and simple rather than bright and eye-catching. While as SignifiKate she aims to look a bit younger and more like a teenager, as herself Emma likes to look a bit more her age. She also acts different in each role - as Kate she's tougher, more assertive and aggressive. As Emma she smiles more, acts a bit calmer and more polite.

She works as a freelance marketing/public relations consultant, helping companies, stores, or aspiring people in creative or political fields with their appeal, popularity and image. She works as her normal civilian self, of course, not as SignifiKate, and only uses her powers discretely and secretly. She has gained a reputation as being very effective. She is often of invaluable help to her clients, since once she works her wonders on a product, person or location, interest and popularity always rises. Any logos, slogans or jingles she comes up with are sure to become hits.

Despite her renown, her paychecks are never regular, for she has a pretty strong sense of fairness, and only works for cases she thinks worth helping. She often turns down jobs by very wealthy corporations or clients if she believes their products or people to be corrupt. She also will also take up clients who can't afford to pay her well, if it all, if she thinks they need and deserve her assistance. In hard times, she will often take up odd jobs on the side to support herself.

When she uses her power on things, she is always careful not to use too much of it. She'll give people a boost, but she doesn't make it a crutch – they can still lose the added popularity or interest she bestows upon them if they don't work hard to keep whatever has been boosted worthy of it. If, for instance, she uses her powers to attract customers to buy a product that turns out to be junk, her powers' effect on it will cease; the feelings and perceptions she conjures will always crumble in the face of real ones, if they are opposed.

She also has the ability to work her powers on herself, and maker herself popular and loved, but she has vowed to never do it. Although by doing so others will see her raised in esteem, her powers do not work on her own perceptions, and she would in fact feel incredibly dirty and angry with herself. She actually did use her powers for this purpose at several points in her life, and while she enjoyed the benefits of it temporarily, she would always feel even more horrible for using them than she had felt because of the circumstances that drove her to do so. She strongly believes in earning respect, reputation, friendship, etc. with her own strength, with her powers only used to help this along by using them to help others.

So that's what I've cooked up on SignfiKate! If you have any ideas, comments or suggestions about her, I'd be happy to hear them. Otherwise, go check out the other character bios (which will be posted shortly) or watch the animation.

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