Aside from Michelle, I really don't have much experience drawing non-white characters, but you know me, I'm always looking to broaden my horizons. So I sketched out this African-American girl recently, and I'm so satisfied with how she looks that I want to make her a recurring character in "Forever 16".
I decided to name her Kendra Williams, but I'm still ironing out her role. I'm against the idea of tokenism, so I know I don't want to have an African-American character just for the sake of having one - I want to give her a personality, and something to do with the other characters. At first, I wanted to make her Aaron's girlfriend, but then I realized that I'd have to get rid of one of Aaron's funniest character traits - lusting after celebrities that his friends know he'll never get to meet (he used to have a crush on Britney Spears until she shaved her head; now he's got a thing for Megan Fox, and he's eagerly waiting for Miley Cyrus to turn 18). So now I'm thinking she might work better as Michelle's friend, someone who can give her romantic advice. And since I've gone this long without Joel or Michelle or anyone else ever realizing that Abby has an unrequited crush on Joel, maybe Kendra should finally be the one to see the light there...that could open up some intriguing story possibilities.