Anyone who follows my twitter feed or even listens to me talk will know that I literally believe fiction to be better than reality, so it might not come as a surprise when I admit that I care more about fictional characters than I do about most people. I’m not even ashamed; I don’t think it’s a bad thing.
Characters are collaboration, and the best characters are the result of concerted effort over years by a number of creators and their audience. Christian Bale is just Christian Bale, but Batman is Christian Bale, Adam West, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, George Clooney, Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, Denny O’Neill, Michael Keaton, Kevin Conroy, Grant Morrison, Frank Miller, Paul Dini, and countless others. And that’s not even counting the fans.
This, to me, is more beautiful then the series of miracles that results in one real human being. A character is the child of a culture, born of conversation between creator and congregation. Characters cannot die, and their immortality only ends when our culture is lost and forgotten.
People are just people, but characters are what make us human.