When I began to draw Bits & Bytes the idea was quite straightforward: videogame characters came to visit Nolan’s restaurant and there would be a joke regarding their respective games and such. As the strips kept coming, the ideas began to go a bit thin. Nolan was a guy who didn’t feel surprised at all of the strange clientele his little restaurant got. He needed support characters.
The first two support characters were Zess T. and Mama from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Cooking Mama, respectively. I thought the duo formed a well-balanced Ying-Yang of cooks, and for a while the cast worked like a charm.
But I didn’t feel right about using other people’s characters as co-protagonists of my webcomic. It didn’t feel fair. I needed an original character to join Nolan in his work. Thanks to the advice of a friend, I was reminded that I already owned such a character. A long time ago, and purely out of boredom, I sketched the shape of Gretha the Geek, a nerdy girl with a wide smile and bucked teeth. I decided against adding glasses to her design because, despite I love girls with glasses, I didn’t want to give her SUCH a severe Geek attitude.
I considered her and decided she would be perfect for a videogame strip, so I turned her into a Gamer instead (also a nice kind of Geek). Her introduction on the final par of the Christmas 2012 Trilogy was quite a surprise for the readers. A couple strips later, and due to her weakness for videogames, she was fired from her job as cashier at a supermarket, and Nolan took pity on her, offering a job as waitress. Gretha was now part of Bits & Bytes.
As the comings came and went, her backstory and relationship with Nolan became richer. Gretha is a loner who just tries to survive one more day, every day. But she’s also very proud and doesn’t want to be the “damsel in distress”. She can’t deny she likes being around Nolan, however; and after a trip to the world of Don’t Starve (where we learn she is terrified of the darkness) her relationship with Nolan feels ready to take a turn either for the worst or for the good.
Luckily, the unexpected (and sadistic) help of a Videogame Fairy (a wonderful crossover with a friend’s awesome comic) brought them together as boyfriend and girlfriend, much to the rejoice of the readers.
Ever since (and curse you, Tumblr, for not allowing me to attach more than 10 images per post) Gretha and Nolan’s relationship has gone well. And, recently, there was a proposal of sorts: now Gretha lives with Nolan, and the future is full of all kinds of potential.
I keep promising myself I’ll translate this webcomic. I really need to get on it. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed meeting Gretha Sharp, a nice break-out character in Nolan Nett’s videogame restaurant.