Peppi and Bernadette Cacca might seem like empty characters at first, however there is a much darker side to them. Like all my characters, they are based off a combination of real people.
I have known the person on whom Bernadette is based my entire life. She lived next to my grandmother. As kids, she was the entitled brat who wanted things her way or the highway. I used to try and dodge her because she annoyed me so much, but then she would not leave me alone.
I clearly remember her insisting on calling me my deadname, despite my pleas for her to stop. Bernadette hasn’t any concept of boundaries and neither does that person.
In high school, she had found a way to manipulate people into thinking she was a wonderful person. I had to ask her a urgent question for a design I was creating for a play in which she starred, right before I had to catch the bus to trade school. Instead of turning around and answering me, she kept talking faster and louder to the other student, drowning me out.
To add insult to injury, this real-life communal narcissist tricked the teacher into making ME apologize to HER. I will never forgive her for that abuse. The real-life Bernadette is now working on an HBO show of some sort and playing piano for charity. I read she yelled at a late-night television host for getting too close to her piano. This behavior does not surprise me.
I created my character to help cope with a lifetime of abuse from a narcissist who tricks virtually everyone into seeing her mask. Bernadette is a parody of the real deal. Have you known a person like this?
Peppi Cacca’s name initially came from a rabid doorman in Italy who sexually assaulted me. I based my character Peppi off a toxic neighbor who stunk up my apartment with skunky weed and abused his cat. I got the idea from Pepe LePew and used to call him Pepe LePuke as i heard him through the ceiling vomiting every morning.
I recently saw him on the bus bragging to the driver about his drinking, making the excuse “can you blame me?”
Konrad “Kon” Teirant, CRASS Chief of Accounting is a piece of work. You may not be surprised that the main person on whom I base him is pretty messed up.
When I was a high school graduate, all of 17, I worked a total of two days at a drive-in movie theater (yes, we still had one). The first day, I did really well and my supervisor really liked me. I was happy to have a job, even in the horribly run-down concession stand. Don’t ask me about the bathrooms.
The next day, in comes the owner. He could not be more miserable. He could not wait to complain how he thought every little thing I did was wrong: “Fill those popcorn bags. Fill them more. Does that look full?”
This tyrant let me go and never paid me.
He owns a chain of theaters across my area. I saw him a few years later in a restaurant gloating about getting “big bags” and how he was flown down to Georgia by Lord only know who, and “given an Armani suit.”
Below is a very early idea for this character, orignally named King Tyrant, circa 2003.
Not only am I a writer and cartoonist, I am also a musician. When I write about these silly characters, I listen to a certain playlist dedicated to just them.
Each character has a theme song. Not only does it remind me of said character, it gives the reader insight behind the character’s personality, behavior, and interests. Please stay tuned as this list will grow over time.
Methinks I pulled a Trifecta of morons. The person on whom I mostly based off PJ Hurlbutt, Sybil Kibble’s next-door neighbor, moved into the building next to mine.
The person on whom I based a lot of Dale Davis’s personality replied to my dating ad and has been trying to talk to me on the bus. He complimented on my shirt two days ago. The fictional Dale has a crush on his boss, Sybil.
And today, I saw the person on whom I based the look and much of the personality of the world’s biggest moron, Sybil Kibble herself, in one of my favorite cafes. Like one of the many people on whom I based Pat Splatt, whom I had also spotted near the cafe, Sybil Kibble’s inspiration also hails from the Prairie State, Illinois. I am thinking they are out here working on a project at a sister site to the workplace at one time we all shared.
Sybil was buying a Father’s Day card in Barnes and Noble, just like I was doing.
Sybil is busy calling up people and bothering them right now, so this is Jen here filling in.
Some people have been asking about the inspiration behind such a silly person.
Back in 2014, when I lived in Illinois, I had been receiving relentless calls on my mobile phone from a collections agency in Kankakee County. It was ridiculous. No matter what I did to block these fools, they would find another number to call me. I was in an abusive marriage, disabled from a brain disease with no cure.
I had to quit my toxic job due to my illness. My former supervisor was harassing me, threatening to fire me if I do not come back to work even though I had already applied for disability retirement which was extremely pending and dragged out as was Social Security Disability. I had no income, no support system and was in extreme neurological pain.
I created Sybil in response to the constant harassment from the moronic debt collectors who could not care less about my situation, and started writing to help cope with my extreme physical and emotional pain.
I named her — ironically — after the tragic Oscar Wilde character Sibyl Vane from The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Sybil’s middle name Katrina comes from a villain I had created as a ten-year-old when I used to draw comic books on notebook paper. I wish I still had those. Her surname Kibble, of course comes from her love of dog food.
Her look was mostly based off an extremely miserable co-worker at the toxic workplace from which I had retired.
I used to pass through Kankakee and stop there off Route 57 on the way to Chicago for medical treatments.
I originally intended to make Sybil an evil, narcissistic character but I did not think that was funny. Now Damien and Robbie Hurlbutt — another story for another article. Stay tuned.