I’m willing to defend Colonnus the Congenial a little bit here. Yes, he’s a bit casual with the ablism and the shapism, but context matters: he’s inviting his friends and fellow founders to participate in an exciting new event, clearly treating them as valued equals.

Although he’s more ridiculous than his inspiration, Colonnus is loosely modeled after one of my old history teachers, a practice I had already followed with the central male protagonists in my first two series, Fans and Rip and Teri. His name was Jett Colonna, and he likewise had a surfer’s tan and an ability to treat people (like me) as equals when they (like me) really didn’t feel like equals. Sadly, he left us a while back: this pic is from his obituary, showing him where he was probably happiest.

It’s Braggadocio’s anti-avian sentiment that gets an “ummm…” from me. Fightopia may have cut ties with the mainland, but these guys aren’t that far off, culturally, from still being Gastonians, which makes the prospect of restoring them to Gastonian society more believable. There wasn’t much difference between how the English colonists and the newly independent Americans treated the natives, either. Funny coincidence there: Mr. Colonna’s the one who introduced me to the concept of ethnocentrism.