Snarkclaw Snarkclaw: Art And Comics by Sheryl Schopfer. Illustrations include characters from Deer Me and Sharpclaw, plus fan art, mostly in a cartoony style.

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Character Names

A comic forum thread asked about character names, and that inspired some explanations I think I have not previously shared.

Deer Me Characters:

For first names, I mostly utilized baby name websites and picked normal-sounding names, with a few exceptions. For last names, I often referenced the animal's original breed in some language or used another (often less common) first name.

Normal first name and animal-reference last name include: Alicia & Nichole Muis, Cory Carniche, Devan Ramson.

Two first names include: Aaron Vaschel, Jared Raul, Rasha Zwi, Blaire Evans-Keene (pluralized "Evan"), James Keene.

Exceptions: (in order of character creation)

Velvet Hairyson: "Velvet" for the velvet of a horse's nose and "Hairyson" as a fur-based play on the common surname Harrison.

Viana Doesulen: "V" for the "V" in "cervine" (or possibly for "venison;" I may have been in a dark humor at the time) in front of "Diana" for the Roman moon goddess, one of whose symbols is the deer, and "Doesulen" was from putting "sullen doe" together out of order and removing one "L." Though "Viana" came from "Diana," I pronounce it "Vee-ana" rather than "Vi-ana," to emphasize the "V."

Woola Ramson: "Wool" for sheep coat and "Ramson" also for sheep plus playing on the commonality of "some name or title"+son for last names.

Thondy Ramson: "Thomas" + "Andy" hybrid. After 20 years of the comic, I have yet to canonically address that Thondy's name is a combination of his first and middle name that a family member came up with when he was young and he just stuck with it because it is unique.

Thomas Millwood: Common first name (shared with Thondy!) and I previously lived near a neighborhood named "Millwood" and that name stuck with me.

Sharpclaw Characters:

Almost every name -- first, last, and even every location name -- is either a word straight out of the dictionary or a combination of words from the dictionary. I especially focused on colors, plants, gemstones, and emotions.

Heath, Heather, Holly, & Ivy Marchen (plant, plant, plant, plant, another word for folktale)

Douglas, Fraser, Opal, & Ruby Benison (tree, tree, gem, gem, another word for blessing)

Bole, Dawn, & Dusk Gramary (color, liminal time of day, liminal time of day, archaic word for magic knowledge)

King Cole, Prince Jasper, Prince Jet, & Queen Rapunzel Guardbone (titular nursery rhyme character, gem, gem, titular fairy tale character, stereotypical habit of dogs condensed into one word)

Black Shuck (a.k.a. Big Bad Wolf) gets his name and nickname from the folklore and the fairy tales, respectively, that inspired him.

The Rumpelstiltskin brothers -- Adze, Auger, Bradawl, Burin, Gimlet, Mattock, & Pritchel -- were all named for tools that can be used for mining and digging. Their last name is for the titular fairy tale character.

Sharpclaw characters also were often named in themed pairs (or larger groups, like the Rumpelstiltskin brothers):

Heath & Heather: father-daughter pair; similar words

Holly & Ivy: daughter-mother pair; referencing a Christmas song

Douglas & Fraser: brothers; referencing fir trees

Opal & Ruby: sisters; white & red, referencing their roles as the fairy tale sisters Snow White & Rose Red

Dawn & Dusk: sisters; referencing beginning and end of the day

Jasper & Jet: brothers; red & black

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