Over the years many characters have become mainstays in ImaNewbie's life in Britannia. Friend and foe alike, these supporting characters have developed identities of their own. Some, like the Killer Chicken have made many repeat appearances and have their own fan following among the readers. Here is a little information about them which I hope will add to your enjoyment of the comics.
ImaNewbie started out as a fairly simple character, but over the years has become increasingly more complex. When I first dreamed him up, he was a simple newbie, unskilled in just about everything, and a target for any pk or grief player that he happened to cross paths with. His choice of weapons was questionable and his dress sense even more so. His main weapon, the War Axe came to be know as his "9-iron of vanquishing". But as the 'toons progressed a sort of latter day hero began to emerge. ImaNewbie became a kind of symbol of hope for all the downtrodden individuals in Ultima Online. No matter what evil preyed upon him, no matter how many times he died, was ripped off, or was killed by his own inteptness, his spirit was not broken. He was (and still is) the ultimate roleplayer, greeting passersby with a friendly "Hail and Well Met!", charging bravely into battle, no matter the odds, and always turning the other cheek.
ImaNewbie's Other Main Outfit
No ImaNewbie portrait gallery would be complete without a picture of Ima sporting his second favorite outfit, the death robe. I haven't actually counted how many times Ima has died in the 'toons but I would daresay it is about 60% of the time at least. Anyone who has played UO has probably had their own share of running around in this drab outfit, able only to utter various combinations of Ooo ooOO oOo and searching desperately for a healer or a shrine so they can hopefully get resurrected and back to their stuff before it is looted or decays.
Around about toon #21, I decided that it must be pretty lonely for ImaNewbie out there. I mean getting killed, scammed or otherwise abused every episode without having a shoulder to lean on had to be pretty depressing, so I decided to have him meet ImaDufus, a sort of mirror image of Ima, same bad taste in costumes, same lack of skill in anything meaningful, etc. Over the years, ImaDufus developed into ImaNewbie's main confidant, best friend and companion. Oh, and of course, brother to the girl that would become Ima's significant other, IrmaDufus.
Well they say that there is someone special out there for every one of us and it only seemed right that ImaNewbie would at some point meet the girl of his dreams. Trouble was, given the way he dressed and his penchant for dying frequently, how was he ever going to meet her? That is when I came up with the idea of ImaDufus having a sister. And since they say opposites attract, it seemed only natural that what Ima lacked in savvy and fighting skills, Irma would have in abundance. But as anyone who has read the series will know, all is not sunshine and roses with our two lovers. Their on-again, off-again romance has been a re-occuring theme throughout the series.
Ruler of Britannia. Ima's encounters with Lord British have usually ended up in disaster. I mean, who would have ever dreamed that the comely lass ImaNewbie meets in that Tavern one night would end up being LB's significant other. It seems Lord British had it out for Ima from the start. Lord British appears in several episodes, his last formal appearance being the tribute 'toon I made to honor Richard Garriot (Lord British, and the creator of the Ultima Series) when he decided to leave Ultima for other pursuits.
The 'Other' Woman
Dubbed a "Barbie Clone" this mysterious lady in pink first appears in episode #23. Little did ImaNewbie know, when he decided to 'taste the forbidden fruit', that this lady would end up to be none other than the girlfriend of the ruler of Britannia himself, Lord British. Few people remember this, but ImaNewbie actually meets "ImaBarbie" ten episodes before he meets Irma. Since Ima and Irma's love affair kind of reeked of a Soap Opera, it only seemed natural that infidelity and betrayal should rear it's ugly head, and who more appropriate for Ima to cheat on Irma with than this 'temptress'?
The Killer Chicken
Definitely one of the most popular characters in the series, the Killer Chicken has made many appearances. I was looking for the most insignificant beast that ImaNewbie could possibly come across. At first it was a toss-up between a bunny, a kitten or the chicken but as soon as I decided, the chicken immediately took over and his sinister character emerged. Far from being a helpless, docile lump of poultry, this Chicken had an attitude and murderous skills to match, including an uncanny ability to polymorph into 'Foghorn Leghorn'.
Or, as his full title reads, "The Glorious Lord Lance Sterling Grandmaster Everything". Everyone has met a guy like this, good looking, sharp dresser, natural athlete, excels at everything he does, etc. Just one problem, this "Legend in His Own Mind" is really a rotten bastard who seduces Irma when she is on the rebound from leaving Ima, then preys upon her, forcing her into the "world's oldest profession" on the streets of Britannia.
Your Typical PK
Some of you may think I am stereotyping this guy, but the death robe, skull helm and halberd outfit of the typical player killer does have a lot of basis in truth. PKs and thieves traditionally adopt this outfit so that if they are killed or caught by the Guards, they have little of value to lose. This character is probably second only to Ima in the number of appearances he has made in the toons. He speaks fluent "K3wL dOoD" and will kill and loot you then berate your corpse with phrases such as "U SUCK!", I RoXxOrD jOo!, etc.
The Unscrupulous Vendor
Most newbies have at least once fallen prey to this guy. You tend to find him hangin around the bank offering anything from a house ridiculously cheap, a full spell book for only 2K, or a rune to wherever. He is a master of trade window scams and can part you from your cash faster than you can say "Are you sure this is a FULL spell book?" In ImaNewbie's case one of the most popular scams seems to be charging Ima a fee to gate him to a town or dungeon and then gating him to that tiny little island.
The Lost Tribe of Amazon Women
ImaNewbie and the Lost Tribe of Amazon Women was probably the most popular of all of the multi-episode series. I guess it is just about every guy's dream to be stranded in the jungle or on a desert island with a bevy of lush babes who will cater to his every whim. I realize some women may find this concept politically incorrect or explotive but hey, I don't make the rules. I just tell it like it is. Anyway, the image of the pregnant amazons waving a fond farewell to Ima as he utters the immortal phrase "Well I guess my work here is done" generated more positive emails that just about any other toon.
No chronicle of life in UO would be complete without these guys/gals. Hamstrung by OSI's tight rules on what they can and cannot do to help, these hard working (for the most part) individuals have borne the blame of most of the problems in the game. Prematurely decaying houses, disappearing items, you-name-it. I have poked fun at these individuals in many toons giving them names like GM ImSorryBut (taken from the immortal phrase "I am sorry but I cannot help you with that"), but I bear them no ill will and hope they have taken my pokes with a sense of humour. It just that when you log in, find your house of two years has disappeared with everything in it and you page a gm, find you are #1,965,237 in the queue, wait seven hours and then hear the words "GM's are not allowed to replace lost items"... (I exagerate :)
This character was the offspring of the mating of ImaNewbie and one of the Lost Tribe of Amazon Women. Imbued with mystical powers, SuperNewbie bravely sets out to right wrongs, help the poor and downtrodden, and fight crime, only to find out that he has more that his share of his father's ability to screw up everything he tries. Disguised as Klark Bent, a mild mannered town cryer for the town of Minoc, his secret identity as a super hero ... Wait, this story seems a bit familiar.
The L.O.S.E.R.S. acronym is short for "The Loyal Order of Sosarian Enthusiastic Roleplaying Soulmates. Led by noneother than ImaNewbie himself, this colorful and loyal guild of bumbling would-be warriors has been the subject of many episodes of the ImaNewbie 'toons.