BOYTOONS MAGAZINE #25 – The Intangibility of GHOSTBOY!

SPOILER ALERT: Those of you who have not read Guardians of the Cube #4 and #5 might want to steer clear of this article, as I do give a few things away. Those of you who don’t want to know anything that happens beyond those issues might also want to refrain from reading this. However, those of you who are looking for a little insight into Ghostboy and some fun info about projects to come involving him, should feel free to jump right in! Thanks! ;)

Characters are funny things. A lot of writers and artists would like to take credit for their evolution and development, but the truth is they have a way of evolving on their own. By this I mean that once you create a character and you start him or her off on their little existence, it often seems that the character will dictate exactly where they want to go, and in what direction they want to head.

Take Ghostboy for example. I created him back in 1995 along with the other Guardians of the Cube. I had this mental image in my mind of a superhero who wore a mask with facial features like the ones you might find on a Halloween pumpkin. His design is pretty simple, and hasn’t changed since his original conception, short of losing a bandana he wore with his mask. The irony is that back then, I had some really clear ideas of where I would take characters like Jeanne Darque and Diablo. I even knew that Brains was to be a throw-away character that would eventually lead to the creation of Numa. But with Ghostboy, I had a great big blank.

He has always been a blast to draw, and fun to look at. He is a pleasure to illustrate in fight scenes because I have always imagined him moving gracefully, like a real Olympic acrobat… with the added benefit of a nearly non-existent costume, hence plenty of eye-candy.

I have always known that he would be out to everyone in his life as a gay man, EXCEPT with his high-strung and overbearing mother, thus creating interesting background tension. But so far as where he as a character was headed… I always figured he would let me know when the time was right.

And boy, did he ever!

Along comes Naked Justice, and it seems pretty darn clear from the very first scene the two characters share together in Naked Justice #1, that they are meant for some pretty big BOOM BOOM!… and I don’t just mean sex. As much as Ghostboy motivated change in Naked Justice’s character, NJ managed to help establish Ghostboy’s persona a little more solidly. Their relationship heated up, and to my surprise I realized that all Ghostboy really needed was a catalyst. Something to come along to help him come out of his shell, and happily, NJ did all of this very nicely.

Lately, it has become obvious to me that despite the fact that NJ has been great for Ghostboy and vice versa, their relationship has also become something of a hindrance. For example, Ghostboy is intent on being serious with NJ, and having as monogamous a relationship as possible. Meanwhile, NJ’s adventures pretty much revolve around as much sex as he can possibly have. You see my problem.

Furthermore, in order to push Naked Justice even farther, I decided to do the unspeakable and “kill off” one of my most popular creations. Enter Guardians of the Cube #4 and #5 where it appears that Ghostboy has been eliminated. Sure we see some changes in Naked Justice, but how positive are they? He becomes a darker character and loses his humor (all of this I bitch about at great lengths in BTM #11!) And while NJ gets all sour, Ghostboy’s body is stolen, and his spirit is transferred into the recently deceased body of a woman. Hence, he returns as Ghostgirl, desperately trying to find a way to regain his original male body.

Great character development and story plotting…or great big fucking mess just waiting to blow up in my face?!?!

Well, that’s the beauty of comics you see…and it is certainly the beauty of these characters. The sky is pretty much the limit, and Ghostboy is a joy to write. Not every Boytoon would have gone along with taking a stint as a woman… but he obliged me, all for the sake of pushing his character to the limits, and taking NJ along with him.

Needless to say, I received a few rather angry letters about this little gender-bender… all I can tell you is that Ghostboy will get his balls back. It’s the getting them that will be tricky, and by tricky I mean things get REALLY complicated between he and NJ, who finds it impossible to express his love for Ghostboy physically while he is in the body of a woman.

I hope these 2 Boytoons work with me here and help me to rectify this whole crazy little story line in a neat and plausible manner. I guess only time will tell.

Meanwhile, in a recent Class Comics poll, Ghostboy won the “character I would most want to see in his own series” poll…BY A LANDSLIDE!!!! Makes me so proud of him! :o)

So while I can’t promise you that the whole gender bender thing won’t continue to piss some of you off, I can promise you this. My little Peter is getting his own book in 2007, and I couldn’t be more FREAKIN’ STOKED about the story! I am not going to reveal anything here, but suffice it to say that our Ghostboy is gonna see plenty of character development and you are gonna see a heck of a lot more of him!

I would really love to hear your thoughts on all that Ghostboy has gone through! If you think he and NJ are good for one another? All of it! Don’t be shy! Good or bad! I am ALL ears! :o)

Comments

  1. Asmodeus says

    I don’t understand why people would be mad about that? The ‘gender-bender’ twist’s great. A new conflict is introduced between the heroes, and that makes the story grow even more, not to mention the part where NJ struggles to adjust with the very ‘different’ situation. That’ll make Nj prove himself to Gb. Haha! (But if it were permanent, then it would not have been great.)

  2. Hey Patrick,

    Ghostboy, yes!!!!!!!!!

    Ok, just needed to get that out of the way first, lol. To be honest, I’m really not sure what it is about Ghostboy that makes him my favourite boytoon, I just can’t help lovin’ the guy.

    He’s my favourite character when him and NJ are in the relationship together, and he’s still my favourite in all the scenes when they haven’t even met yet. So, even though I really like the relationship, it definitely doesn’t bother me if you decide to have the two of them go their separate ways so NJ can party more (just as long as we still get plenty of Peter, and it doesn’t sound like that’ll be an issue).

    Thanks for the awesome update! I really love the picture you used for the Boytoons cover (so hot!) and the Ghostboy book’s great news.

  3. Good morning Patrick,

    thank You very much for being so open and discussing Your beautiful creation with us.

    Although I’m more the Cam/Lanor and Locus-fanboy, I really, really do enjoy the caracter. The reason is very simple, I am a Spiderman-fan and as I said before, I always got the impression that Ghostboy was kinda “Your” spider-man: Very young, drop-dead beautiful, athletic and supremely agile. And: With a very, very deep soul and a caring heart.

    You see, this is what makes a character really come to lief: his or her distinction from other characters. Not only physically, but also the way they “feel” and makes the reader care about them.

    NJ is a totally different caliber (pun 110 percent, totally intended hahaha) and he seems to grow more and more on me. But it’s characters like Ghostboy who make me wanna read more and more. He seems so shy and caring. He’s adorable and lovable.
    Not to mention his perfect legs! Yummy!! =D

    Well, all in all, I can truly say, Ghostboy is a very distinctive and unique creation. He’s gorgeous and I would really, really love to see way more of him and his background.

    Just a short question: On some pages, he seems more tanned than on others. I always thought he is a southern american or mexican. Am I right or dead-wrong?

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for being supremely cool, Patrick.

  4. MJR Charlie says

    Hi Patrick.

    You know, I was shocked as much as everyone at Ghostboys ‘gender bending’, but I’m confident in what you have planned for giving him back his balls.

    Truthfully, I think GB and NJ work very well together, they play off each other like a perfect pair of crime fighters, which make them right for each other, a proper batman and robin, or Apollo and Midnigher pair.
    True that NJ might seem to get involved in adventures which have him being fucked every other day, but I must say how amazed I was at the change in NJ’s character in the last Guardians comic. Standing over GB’s grave, trying to get drunk but unable to, it also sparked the real intention of emotions in NJ because its the one time you see him fully clothed, as a means of greaving all the more.

    For that reason, its obvious the pair work together, they are really Cyclops and Jean Grey because even when in the body of a woman NJ knew right away it was GB, he could sense it (although that might have been his powers).

    Perhaps after he’s gotten his body back, and you plan his own series, you could try something like Ghostboy being the one who’s involved in sexual foreplay just like NJ has been, and maybe NJ finally understanding what he’s put GB through.

  5. Hey Patrick!

    Just when you thought it was safe to Blog again, I come back online!

    Oh! What a house move it was full of all sorts of technical difficulties. First it rained, that wasn’t so torturous, then I discovered I have a cellar under my new house, very creepie and totally spooks me out, then as my phone and ADSL gets transfered, a technician trips the worng wire at the exchange and blows a whole suburb out of phone and internet for 5 days because of my connection LOL Oh Well, shit happens!

    Fantastic work Patrick, I love the bits you have posted over the past few days, can’t wait to really get stuck into them and cube #6 – I’m really looking forward to Jeststream and seeing more of my favorite boy in red (you know who I mean)

    So as I sit in my new study / office, it looks like a Class Comics explosion has gone off in here – Boytoon Goodies everywhere!

    BTW – Superman has his Australia big time, will be seeing it at IMAX tommorrow, I’ll let you know how it is! YAY!

    Licks & Chews!
    Manny!

  6. Damian & Trent says

    Terrific news about Ghostboy having his own book. One reason why he’s compelling for us is his mask. He’s a hunky guy, but wears a mask that contradicts his hunkiness. That’s a cool quality, that he’s not too full of himself, that he’s got some shyness to him. He’s a balanced guy. The drawing of him hugging NJ from behind, hands on NJ’s pecs, says a lot about the different ways the two guys relate at that point. Yet their hard meat shows common attraction. Reminds us of ourselves at times. Real stuff, in a comic. Nice! Thanks.

    Damian & Trent

  7. Charvolth says

    I think the whole gender bender would be an interesting test, see how much personality matters in a relationship like this, was it about the sex, or is there really true love. This could be the grounds for a break-up and a true branching off to a solo career for NJ
    The one reason why I thought NJ might be thrown off about the situation was that he seemed to be the bottom in the relationship, so unless there are some lowered inihibitions and a double headed dildo involved the carnal part of the relationship would have to hold off for a while.
    I wonder how well Ghostboy would do as a solo character, another reason why I preferred Locus in the ppole, he seemed to have the right personality for it, while Ghostboy seemed more a team player.

  8. Hello Again,

    Well afdter reading the comment people have made regarding GB’s Gender Re-assinment, I think it’s great even though it’s kind of freaky. But most things in Gateway City are kind of freakish and this blends in really well.

    GB & NJ are still very young and it will be interesting to see how they handle this kind of strain on their relationship and to see how the other Guardians cope with this as well, it will also be interesting to see if there is a slight change in personality in GB after this ordeal, maybe this is the situation that helps NJ grow up a little and realize that everything shouldn’t be taken for granted, who knows!

    Character development is a hard thing, in a line of comics you can strecth the development out over a long period of time unlike a screenplay and stage production, it has to be done withing a time frame. Drawing character devewlopment out over a long period of time can really let the reader get in to the head of the character and I think this GB’s Gender situation is going to give us all a much better view on what really makes these characters tick, also I think it will be a fantastic character build for each of their personalities, the pains of growing up!

    I’m really enjoying this story line and think it can open a whole new dimenaion to what we already know about our favorite hero’s, almost like Superman and Bizzaro.

    Is there an alternative universe that resembles Gateway City that has been breached by a rip in sub space and the two begin to blend with each other, who knows! Is there an altenative where everything is the opposite to what we know, male being female and vice versa?

    Can’t wait to see how it pans out!

    Manny!

  9. I just wanted to say that I’ve always thought that image of Ghostboy on NJ-GoodDeeds-Page-8 was one of the hottest things youve ever drawn, Patrick. This is the first time I’e seen it in color though! Niiice. I could go on about how much I like it but these blog-comments are still not quite X-rated yet… =)

  10. Please pardon my spelling (see above), bad night sleep last night, strange sounds coming from my cellar. I’m sure there is a crazy clown down there waiting to get me!!!! Damn the first Poltergiest Movie!

  11. Hello Asmodeus… Thanks for the great comment, my friend! I really appreciated your insight on the whole Ghostboy/Ghostgirl situation. I couldn’t agree more that this is going to be a great “test” to put NJ and Ghostboy through… but let me reassure you…there was no way in Hell this gender-bender situation is going to be a permanent thing. Not because I have anything against Ghostgirl as a character, but because Ghostboy is one of my personal faves as well, and I really like him with balls! LOL!!!

    Hiya TJ. Great to hear from you! It’s cool to hear how appreciated Ghostboy is as a character. I enjoyed your comments on how you view GB on his own and in his relationship with NJ, and how your opinion of him still kinda stays the same. I guess in a way that says that you feel the character has remained true to himself despite or maybe even in spite of his relationship with NJ. Well, you’ll be happy to know that no matter how their story line continues or resolves itself, there is plenty of Ghostboy stuff to come.

    Hi Phrog. Thanks for the wonderful comment on Ghostboy’s “heart” as a character. You know I also feel that of all the Guardians of the Cube for example, that he is by far the most humane. He does seem kind and generous, and that is something I have always really liked about him. He makes it easy to write him that way! LOL!!!

    I can promise you that you will be seeing more of Ghostboy, and that his very unique background story will eventually be revealed. Plus it is cool to hear that NJ is growing on you as well. Something else we have in common! HA! HA! HA!

    Hello Charlie. Wow! I was really touched by your comment. Thank you so much! :o) You really hold GB and NJ is high esteem, and place them in some pretty great company. Again, I was terribly touched by that!

    It is nice to hear from someone who appreciates Ghostboy and Naked Justice together as an item, because I myself have been so negative about it. You are completely right that GB has motivated some great changes and developments in NJ that have pushed him as a character to emotional depths we had until that point never seen. Who knew Naked justice could be so sweet, or even really truly think of someone other than himself? I think you really nailed it on the head. Ghostboy has really helped Naked Justice grow, and even if that growth has been shrouded in sadness, well so be it! We all learn from pain I suppose.

    I also liked your suggestion of reversing GB and NJ’s roles. It really could be interesting to do if the two of them survive this current story line as lovers. Again, thanks for the wonderful message! :)

    Hi Manny…welcome back! Glad to hear you had a good time discovering the latest posts upon your return to the internet. LOL!!!

    Glad you enjoyed the Ghostboy post. His current incarnation as Ghostgirl has freaked out a few people, but I like the message behind it. What would you do if you found yourself completely changed from one day to the next? I think this speaks of many different situations. In real life, because of illness or tragic accidents, people can lose their sight, their ability to walk, that sort of thing. It’s all about coping and how that challenges our strength as individuals.

    Ghostboy suddenly being a woman is also cool to me because it forces one sex to walk in the other’s shoes. It is so easy for us as people to judge one another, never knowing what the other is going through. I guess this is getting kinda heavy, but I thought to myself, even though this is an adult comic dealing with mature subject matter, it would be cool to touch on topics that will make people think. I am so pleased to see that in this case it has worked to some degree.

    Meanwhile, Cube #6 is still a ways away, but you never know. You may be seeing a bit of Jetstream before then! Keep posted my friend! ;)

    Hello Damien and Trent! You boys are too sweet! Thank you for the great comments on GB’s character and his “modesty”. I am thrilled you guys like his mask…mostly ‘cause I have always been awfully proud of the design. I’ve always really liked that he comes across as being really sexy despite the creepy mask that covers his face. I’d like to think that it is what he has inside that is shining through!

    Your comments on GB and NJ as a couple were also really fun! :o) I’m glad you find they have a sense of realism! That made my day! Take care boys!

    Hello Charvolth… Great of you to stop by! The nature of GB and NJ’s attraction will definitely be tested before the whole gender bender story line is resolved. I can promise you it is going to get really tricky, and maybe even really ugly… Uglier than Schoolgirl having sex with NJ even!!! LOL!!! But most of all, Ghostboy is one track minded: He wants his male body back. So in one sense, there may not be much time for nookie… but when the topic does come up, it will be really interesting to see what happens. NJ already said he wouldn’t have sex with GB as Ghostgirl in Cube #5…but maybe that was a joke.

    Hello JC. You are a sweetie! Thanks so much for the compliment on the Ghostboy page from the Naked Justice story. And you know, after the seriousness of this post, I wouldn’t mind hearing about how you feel about the image in the most X-rated way possible! LOL!!! Some other time perhaps! ;)

    Much love and thanks to you all!
    Patrick XOXOX

    PS – I hope this comment is coherent! It’s late and it’s been a HELL of a day! LOL!!! More from me tomorrow! Hugz + Kisses! XOXOX

  12. Hey Patrick and All!

    After reading your last comment, you made me think of all things that have happened to myself and my friends in the past 22 years and you are so right. When people have been confronted with the news of illness, or have been in an accident of some sort, regardless it does change them. In some cases physically but always mentally. But a persons will is a strong thing to crush and it’s in our nature to carry on the best that we can. I have friends on a daily basis who want to stop taking their HIV meds and just let nature takes it’s course, I have also seen first hand the damaging effects these medications have on a person mentally. People I have known for almost 20 years don’t remember me or their own name. But they carry on, and they carry on with the contining support of their friends and their inspirations.

    I also know what the effect it has on the people around them. I do a lot of crying for my friends because they don’t know how to do it for themselves or they can’t because they have passed away, but I think strength is the key word in all of this and this carries on with GB and those around him, only with a comical twist, this is why I love this particular story line so much.

    It is true that we take so much for granted, and that we never know what can happen to us when we leave the house.

    It is character building, and in some ways it happens to all of us eventually, our parents end up becoming the children and so the cycle goes on, and so does life.

    I’m sure that GB & those around him will fumble through this and come out shining stars.

    You made a very stong point, Patrick, not just with the story line but with your last comment aswell. Not a lot of people use this kind of twist in their work, unless your reading the “Death of Superman” comics. I know that this is deep but I really wanted to share this with you all. Struggles are hard but like I said, we always find our way one way or the other.

    Manny

  13. Ghostboy is actually my favorite character of yours, and one I have a HUGE crush on (and I don’t usually sweat comic characters). I can’t wait to see where you’re taking him next, and the4 gender beding thing never bothered me in the least. It’s a great plot twist adn it’ll be a…. unique hurdle for the couple.

  14. Hi Manny…

    I am glad you are appreciating my efforts at character development. My comics may be fantasy, but I like them to reflect real life in some way or another.

    Thanks for the post, my friend!
    Hugz + Kisses
    Patrick XOXOX

  15. Hello Gymtwin…

    Thanks for the message! It’s always really cool to hear that my Boytoons have such fans! Then I don’t feel guilty for my little crushes on Cam and Locus! LOL!!!

    Pleased to see you are enjoying the gender-bender twist. I’ve been working on the Cube #6 script and it is really going to put GB and NJ through their paces. I think it will be great fun! :o)

    Much love, my friend! Thanks again for the wonderful comment!
    Patrick XOXOX

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