Anyways, finally back to my story again, I'd figured out most of how I could HTML code the comic before I had much of a story, or even a name for it. So at lunchbreak at my then temp-job at Moen, I would jot down story notes and strip ideas on a steno-pad. The first sequence I conceived was of a sprite getting a job as one of those annoying Microsoft Office Assistants. I liked the idea, and perhaps inspired by my temp-work lifestyle at the time, began to envision this sprite taking on multiple jobs. The next idea I had was that he could be a chatroom avatar.
As for where the title came from, I noticed there were a lot of "Kid" video game titles in the eighties, probably due to all the "Babies" and "Kid" cartoons of the time. I wanted some eighties slang in there, so crossing the titles of "Kid" from "Kid Niki/Kool/Chameleon/etc," and "Rad" from "Rad Racer/Gravity/etc" I came up with Kid Radd, extra 'd' added for flavor. There's also a pun on an 80's programmer slang "k-rad," k as in "kilo," or a thousand times "rad." In other words, very cool. To be honest, I'd forgotten about this term when I named my story; I think I'd buried it in my subconscious only to have it escape this way. Tangentially, "k-rad" is humorously outdated because a kilobyte seemed big back in the 80's, but perhaps today we should take a cue from gigabytes and coin the term "g-rad?" Man, I'm a nerd.
I tried out as many "Kid" and "Rad" games for more inspiration, and soon came upon a game called "Totally Rad," I changed Radd's design a little after playing that game - he's somewhat based off that game's hero, though he ended up looking kinda different. The main influence that had on me was the color scheme, as I liked the yellow and blue color combination of the main character. Something was weirdly cool about that yellow skin. That replaced the original red and black scheme I envisioned, which looked too Star Wars evil anyway. But as I sketched out Radd himself, the yellow skin idea sorta inspired me to give him a body resembling a Lego man. Skinny arms, big hands, big head, practically neckless. Hey, Lego blocks sure reminded me of my childhood in the eighties, so it felt appropriate. And Radd's powering-up shots are a pretty direct Mega Man rip-off.
Bogey is a walking plant, sort of a cross between the walking mushroom Goombas of Super Mario Bros. and the sprouts you toss in Super Mario Bros. 2. I wanted Radd's sidekick to have another eighties slang name, so I based "Bogey" off of "bogus," the opposite of rad. The name seemed to work on multiple levels, as "bogeys" are also enemy targets, or an undesirable score in golf. "Bogey" could also be a nickname, as in actor Humphrey Bogart. Come to think of it, "bogart" is another eighties slang, meaning to hog or swipe something. "Don't bogart the nachos, Ted." And lastly, groan, "bogies" are the British slang equivalent of "boogers." Well, Bogey is green...
Radd's brother Gnarl's name is probably self-explanatory. Sheena, on the other hand, took me forever to name. I coded the comics all the way up to her introduction before I at last finalized the name Sheena, after eighties rocker Sheena Easton. The name had popped into my head early on, but I kept thinking I should have her name be another slang word, to go with Radd, Bogey, and Gnarl. But Sheena sounded right, so finally I just gave in and went with it.
After I had jotted down a couple dozen strip scripts over a bunch of lunchbreaks, I felt confident that I had enough of a story to begin my project. Of course, as I fleshed out the long-term plot, I ended up using my original Office Assistant gag much later than I'd expected, and changed it to be a sort of chain-gang punishment instead of a job any sprite would willingly take on. Writing Kid Radd has surely warped my sense of humor beyond its original confines, which were pretty warped to begin with.
Well, that's it for now; I'll likely make another chapter to this at a later date. Hopefully this essay gave you some ideas for your own website, or will get you thinking about how to creatively use HTML. If you use any of these examples above, I'd appreciate it if you mentioned Kid Radd, but it's not necessary. I certainly don't have a patent on HTML. ^-^ Ta taa, and thanks for reading.
Back to Main: