The Origin Of RomaWelcome back to the Teacher’s Lounge!  It’s been a while.  The site is still a work in progress.  We’ll see more sections popping up soon, but for now all the necessary parts are up and running!  Hope you’ve enjoyed the first comics of Hallway 100.  It only gets better!

Over the next couple weeks we’ll delve into the backstory of the main characters.  Today we’ll focus on Roma.

When you first start writing a comic, you need a main character.  Is it going to be a goofy character?  A normal character?  It’s a tough call.  I needed someone to play the straight man, more or less, but still have a few quirks of their own.  So in that sense, Roma was the first character created for the comic, but she was one of the hardest characters to complete.

It’s no secret that I’m a history nerd, so naturally I made the head character a history teacher.  But as I began writing, it seemed like something was missing.  There was so much more you could do with history, but I needed a different personality.  Roma (who at this time was labeled in my strips as “main”) was not taking full advantage of what a crazy history teacher had to offer.  So her history degree was scrapped (and would later be reincarnated into Cleo).

This did not affect Roma’s personality.  In fact, that remained stagnant from the start.  Roma was the sarcastic teacher who’d given up due to the warped management of the school.  It did not matter what subject she taught.  For a while she had no subject, and I still wrote comics.  I don’t know what made me decide on it, but finally I chose foreign languages.  This was a natural fit—foreign languages is that department that should really be several different departments (one for each language).  It was the perfect job to drive her nuts.

And with that came her name.  Roma seemed like somewhat of a foreign twist on a name, and so it stuck.  Her appearance was harder to come up with.  The other characters seemed to come more naturally.  But eventually I settled one what we have now.  Her constant change in clothes will be addressed in upcoming strips.

So that is Roma in a nutshell.  The burned out teacher that once loved her job, and still does a good job in the classroom, but could care less about the bureaucracy outside it.