Let’s get into Avi’s origin story!
Avi was originally named Arin (a name that I liked so much that I repurposed it in IC), and was created somewhere between 2008-2009. I managed to find a single piece of art of him from around that time.
He was an OC that I created for a Livejournal Pokemon RP group! This was after Diamond/Pearl were released, but right before Soul Silver/Heart Gold came out. I imagine that I held onto this sole sketch because 1) I liked his design and thought that I might reuse it down the line, and 2) it was the only one that I wasn’t embarrassed by a few years later lol. In case my chicken scratch is too hard to read, he was a sports physician for the Elite Four in Sinnoh, and an avid snowboarder. He also ended up in a relationship with Morty, the Ecruteak City gym leader (they met at a Pokemon League summit that took place in Hoenn, and a LDR eventually happened after a lot of awkward back and forth flirting).
Oh, and he was 6’1!
Anyway, when I got into Pokemon Sword, I remembered him and did this quick sketch, but decided on a new name and some new details.
Then the pandemic hit. Around the summer of 2020, I decided that I wanted to write a book about wrestling because I missed going to indie shows so very badly. I also decided that I wanted it to be a reboot of Interpersonal Chemistry, because I hadn’t done anything with those characters in nearly a decade and good lord I missed them as well. Anyway, after a lot of changes and reshuffling and whatnot, I was trying to figure out if I should bring back Bailey; except something about it didn’t feel right despite my efforts to get him to fit into this setting.
At the same time, I was also fleshing out other characters, specifically the wrestlers. I kept coming back to this idea of a veteran type character that’s beloved and talented beyond measure, but never quite made it to the big leagues (I’d been binging some much old PWG/ROH, and may have been thinking about the likes of Alex Shelley and Matt Cross and Davey Richards quite a bit). And I doodled this guy:
I let it gestate for a bit, than decided that Arin/Avi would in fact be a good fit. Made a few tweaks (can’t have him being 6’1, or else he would have gotten signed). Thought about what a fun foil he’d be for Mitch, this ray of sunshine during a really dark period. How annoyed Mitch would be by him initially, just for existing and because he’s had all of this success and seems to have it together (lol he does not).
Then I was like, wait. Oh no. Mitch would also be head over heels in LOVE with this guy, once he got past that initial luster and came to realize that they’re both very much so kindred spirits. And Avi would adore Mitch equally, drawn to lonely and despondent types, wanting to help and make things better for those around him, and deep down inside needing to be needed. From there, their story came naturally.