Katchoo – Needless Character Analysis
For this week’s Needless Character Analysis, I went for a non-mainstream character, Katchoo of Strangers In Paradise. This is one of those series that, while it ended several years ago, it still remains popular due to its complex characters a strong story. Because Katchoo is one of the central characters, consider this a spoiler warning for the series, if you haven’t read it yet.
Katina Choovanski has been in love with Francine Peters since high school. However, Katina had an abusive life and after running away, fell into a life of prostitution under the service of Darcy Parker, a power broker who used prostitution to control powerful people. She gained the nickname Katchoo and became extremely close to Darcy Parker, but eventually escaped with her lover Emma and $850,000 from Parker’s cartel. Emma later died from AIDS.
On the run not only from Parker, but from the FBI as well, she returned home and resumed her friendship with Francine who had discovered her fiance, Freddy Femur cheating on her. At this same time she began being pursued by a young man named David Qin, and while she constantly rebuffed his affections, the two became close friends. Her past eventually catches up to her and she is integral in the takedown of Darcy Parker, which results in Parker’s death.
Her relationships are complex as she learns that David is Darcy’s brother, and that two of Darcy’s enforcers are her half-sisters Tambi and Bambi, who aid her in taking down Parker. She strives to keep Francine protected from her world, occasionally pushing her away. She becomes a successful painter, and gains as one of her closer friends Casey Femur, the ex-wife of Francine’s former fiancee. She and Francine find themselves in a romantic relationship that ebbs and flows due to the tumultuous circumstances of their lives. She and David grow closer and when he reveals that injuries from a plane crash years before are going to finally kill him, she agrees to get pregnant with his child at the request of his girlfriend Casey, who cannot have children. She and Francine, also pregnant, reunite and raise their children together.
Katchoo is a complex character who is completely in love with a woman that is afraid to love her back. She runs from her past, which has left her very angry and very damaged. She finds herself surrounded by friends that she never expected to have in her life. Her heartbreaks are almost tangible, which makes her “happily ever after” all the more satisfying.
She remains one of those characters in comics that is so completely well-rounded that you can’t help but fall in love with them as if she were a real person. If you know of any fan of the series, ask them how they felt when they read the final issue of the series, and you’ll realize how great a character Katchoo is.
You can find out more about the series at strangersinparadise.com.