One of the most difficult tasks in writing is developing believable characters that readers will identify with … relate to … love or hate … but never ignore. Whether on screen or in print, the trick is to invoke a viewer/reader’s response: “I know a guy like that!”
A key component to creating believability is actually using characteristics from real people, or creating composites by blending personality traits of friends, family, even acquaintances. Nothing says a writer needs to replicate an individual in his or her entirety (unless, of course, the work is a biography or memoir). Little kernels of truth can go a long way.
Cartoon characters, too, are often modeled after — and demonstrate — the quirks and idiosyncrasies (or idiocies) of humans — common folks as well as celebrities. But now the question is, as evidenced by the images my brother sent me, which came first: the “lady” or the “panda”?