The Origin of Hax (SPOILERS)

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The Origin of Hax (SPOILERS)

Post by Geoduck on Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:54 pm

Some time back a reader asked about Hax the Fixit, and I was going to write up this description, but then the old Forum died. So, better late than never.

possibly-disillusioning SPOILERS follow


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First off, Hax's name was inspired in part by the word "hackers", and in part by a villain-character in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern novels named Fax.

Secondly, Hax and his original Pale-mount offer a perfect example of how I originally went about creating the strip, way back when. First of all, the version of the MoE that now exists on ComicGenesis is/was a reboot; when I started drawing the strip, I posted it on my personal website, and maybe (fortunately) only two or three people saw it. I got as far as Rosemary and Sylvester going into Le Tree, when I found out about CG and similar sites. Having this resource, and my artistic abilities having improved somewhat, I decided to start over. I completely redid all the earliest strips, up until about the moment where Rosemary decapitates the Trog in the elevator. I also added in more all-new strips; in the original version, for instance, Fred, Myrrh, Amos and Comshaw&Co. did not appear at all. When I reached the point where the art wasn't totally horrifically bad, I started reposting tweaked copies of the originals instead of redoing them completely, interspersing them with new/additional strips. (Which is why the art in the early strips might appear to be so erratic.)

Even then, I still did not follow any set plan or plotline, and pretty much just tossed in whatever goofball idea occurred to me. That included adding new species. And so, when it came time to repost what was now my 100th official strip, I decided include a minor celebration. Since by chance said strip was also scheduled to be put online Thanksgiving Day, 2003, I added in a vague humanoid figure in the background of the Hall of Achievement displaying a WOO HOO sign and wearing a pilgrim hat.

I went on with the plot, such as it was, but then, as I remember it, I started idly wondering about who that figure was, and why, in-universe, they were holding up that sign, and so came up with a clearer design for it/him/them, along with the idea that.. hey.. that buckle on the hat sure looks like an eye. Just for something different, let's say the hat was the one controlling the wearer. (My main inspiration was almost certainly an episode of the Disney animated series Darkwing Duck, which featured similar extraterrestrial critters as its villains.) And since Camora now existed as well, and was out stomping around, let them meet each other.

Of course, in the process of doing this, I created the character of God. At the time, it was just another fourth-wall breaching gag, with me, the artist, being God and ordering one of my creations to do this. But it was also about this time that I finally got serious about creating a coherent backstory and plot, and that idea was out. And so "God" got some details established: he is not me, and he sends out "Fixits" like Hax to further his goals. (Which are also no longer mysterious to me, at least. There is a reason why God's doing all this.)

As I've said before, if I had planned all this out in advance, I would not have called him God. "The Lord" would have been a far better name.

And I decided that Hax's mount was the same species (if altered in some fashion) as the one that Mortimer encounters here. Which meant I had to work out details about the Pales, and if they lived in the forest, why no one was terribly surprised to see on underground. Of course, it took even longer before I arrived at their current insect-like physical design. All part of the snowballing mass of continuity which swept over the strip and my life.

So anyway. God, the Fixits and Pales all exist because I drew a guy waving a sign and wearing a pilgrim hat. Yeah.



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Re: The Origin of Hax (SPOILERS)

Post by Geoduck (testing) on Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:05 am

This the forum-operator, testing to see that the posting system works like its supposed to. Carry on.

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Re: The Origin of Hax (SPOILERS)

Post by whitehound on Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:26 am

"God" could of course turn out to be a bloke called Godfrey.... Since their main religion refers to their deity as The Brush rather than God, somebody using "God" as a nickname wouldn't seem as culturally loaded to them as it does to us, because to them it would be an unloaded name for an unspecified deity. It would be more like the way we use the term "avatar" without thinking much about the fact that it's a Hindu term for an aspect or incarnation of their creator deity.

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Re: The Origin of Hax (SPOILERS)

Post by Geoduck on Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:00 pm

You're right about how the characters would/do react to the name, but it was the readers who I wish I had given a different impression to.

And no, God's full name isn't Godfrey. Smile
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