Friday, July 24, 2009

Twittering Fantasy Fiction

A funny thing just happened in the world of Twitter. Reality and fantasy crossed over. I was watching the tweets of new twitterer BeatriceBitcher, whose profile says she's a lawyer. I thought her name was a little odd, but that was about it. She had a lively banter going on with her tweets. Her avatar looked like a cartoon rendition of her photo. So I followed her. I follow a variety of people, including authors, writers, freelancers, agents and lots of animal rights people (yup, I love animals, keep up with the issues and try to help in any way I can). And I also follow some attorneys.

Beatrice got into a legal discussion with Victoria Pynchon (@vpynchon on Twitter), an attorney mediator-arbitrator. They were short discussion topics, of course, because the tweets are only allowed a maximum length of 140 characters. I looked to see who was followed by this Beatrice Bitcher person (notice I used the word "person"). One was Richard Prickman, listed as Beatrice's law partner at Prickman & Bitcher.

OK, it has to be a hoax, I thought to myself. But what was it, really? I went to what I thought was the Web site for the law firm Prickman & Bitcher and this is what I read, in part "Bitcher & Prickman is a weekly law comic strip. These female and male partners are from the dark side of law. They rag on associates about billing and make plans to buy city commissioners." Now, it seems, they'd jumped off the cartoon page and into Twitterland, where they were--and still are--being taken seriously some of the time. I'd been snookered, at least for a tweet or two. I tweeted something to the pair about being "comic characters." Beatrice responded with, "Ha. I'd expect a crime writer to come down on the side of truth and justice. You have exposed Beatrice's denial. Caution." I responded, ""It's the skeptic in me -- and the reporter." Beatrice added, "And I thought women stuck together." My answer? "We do. Do fictional cartoon characters stick together too? (Or are you based on a true character?)"

And so, Beatrice Bitcher was outed and exposed on Twitter for the cartoon character she is. A little while later, I wrote a post that said, "Meet & enjoy comic characters @BeatriceBitcher, her law partner @RichardPrickman & their creator @LawComix."

When Victoria Pynchon also realized Beatrice wasn't real, this is what Vickie posted on Twitter: "I'm tweeting 2 a cartoon character - someone slap a 72 hour hold on me!" Beatrice responded with this: "Sometimes, dear Victoria, fantasy is more real. 24-hour hold...DENIED."

It's a novel idea, taking a comic strip to Twitter and passing off the characters as real-life lawyers. And it's no doubt a first for Twitter. Clearly, Charles Fincher, Esq., the person behind Beatrice and Richard (or "Dick," as Beatrice fondly refers to him), is enjoying himself. He not only pulled it off; he's gaining a wide readership for his already-popular LawComix cartoons, bringing his characters to life on the pages of Twitter. In this case, Beatrice is right; fantasy sometimes does seem more real.

Cartoons of Beatrice Bitcher and Richard Prickman by LawComix.


Ellen said...

While role-playing of fictional characters on Twitter and on blogs is not unusual (I enjoy following some of those role-plays), it's quite amusing when it is this difficult to tell the difference between the cartoon characters and the real lawyers!

Patti said...

Thing I love about Beatrice and Richard is they say what us legal professionals are really thinking but can't/shouldn't say!

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Ecological Printing in UK said...

Twitter is a place of short sentences and bright ideas. And as for the cartoon charaters existing in twitter, it is no wonder - there so many of them in the real world...

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To Ecological Printing in UK: So true! ;-)

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