I got this great question from Rayanne over at the facebook page: “Ok, so here I go: Rhodes is of course a music major, and he has been in college for quite some time. What if in future comics he became a band director?” After trying to type up my response four or five times, I realized that I had quite a bit more to say than would nicely fit into a comment box. So I decided to write up this blog post in response to the question.
I think about this a lot, actually. The future of the strip, the future of the characters, where I want certain story lines to end up, etc. True, Rhoads has been a music major for “quite some time” and I don’t think it’s been established EXACTLY how long he’s been in school because I liked the ambiguity of not knowing. The strip could just be about being a student and go on like that forever with the characters never aging (e.g., The Simpsons, Peanuts). If there are enough interesting stories/jokes to tell I think the strip could go a long time being about students in college.
However, I want Odd Quartet to be about all the different experiences people have being musicians, and being a student is only one part of that. Sometimes you’re the student and sometimes you’re the teacher. I think eventually I want Rhoads to have those kinds of experiences, but that would also mean he would have to leave behind that college environment – and most likely leaving behind Jason and Cara. Why leave behind Jason and Cara? Think about it, how many of your closest friends followed you from elementary school to high school, from high school to college, from college to wherever your first job took you? Unless you’re really lucky (or extremely afraid of new places and things), you don’t get to stay in that bubble your entire life. You have to experience the world.
So, yes, I want Rhoads to experience what it’s like to be a teacher. I want him to learn how not to be a student. I want him to grow up…eventually. When exactly will this happen? I’m not sure. I think when I’ve told all the stories I want to tell with Cara, Jason, and Rhoads it will be time for the story to move on.
Thanks for the great question, and I’m sorry for the rambling answer.