Name: Rhia Beckenridge
Date of Birth: December 14th, 1967
Hometown: Carnlough, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Height: 5ft 7in
The ying to Matt’s yang, Rhia is Matt’s childhood friend and lover back home in Northern Ireland. Initially she appears in a flashback from 1984, but at the end of the series Matt brings her to visit Hue and finally meet Maddie and the newly reunited Siobhan and Ebony.
While Rhia’s role in the story is comparatively minor, I still felt the need to give her a full development. As I’ve mentioned before, a majority of the characters in my story based off aspects of my own personality, and Rhia takes on the more sporty side of my life. As seen in Volume 4, Rhia enjoys sports such as Fencing, Hockey, Netball and good old fashioned Football!
I would be a much more sporty person myself if it weren’t for the fact I’m heavily asthmatic and can barely walk to the end of my street without coming over all fuzzy headed, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a bit of physical exertion. Specifically, I enjoy sports such as Fencing and Swimming, anything to help keep the demon Asthma at bay, and hopefully one day develop my lungs to cope better with more activity. Another point of interest is that her and Matt like to bake cakes. I know growing up in school baking was seen as weird and not particularly interesting, especially if you’re a boy, but to be honest it’s an incredible talent, and the work you put in is well worth the results you get out. I personally couldn’t bake a Bagel, though I can create a wicked Chilli con Carne!
Rhia’s physical design in the comic isn’t actually the same as it was originally. In the webcomic series I uploaded to Deviantart she had much more hair across her face, with a somewhat more rough n’ tumble look about her. However, I received a lot of complaints that she looked to much like Maddie, some going so far as to say that she was her long-lost sister. Though I was reluctant to give her a full redesign, and was willing to make the argument that there are a lot of similar looking people in this world of 7 billion inhabitants, when creating a comic like this similar character designs can be seen as lazy, which is one thing I’m not, so I gave her some minor tweaks to give her a more ordered look.
One thing people also found a bit strange, and this personally is strange to me, is that Rhia is ginger. Why is this an issue I ask myself? I know people seem to have a real hangup when it comes to people with orange hair, but to be honest there are some very pretty ginger haired people in the world, and I felt that I’d variate the hair colours from the regular browns and blondes. I personally am very happy with Rhia’s design and even her new look, as well as her personality of being the chirpy and somewhat sarcastic sports girl who is able to see the qualities of a friend and lover who isn’t particularly sporty.