Woohoo! Issue 50, so we have another long comic!
So, yeah, when I was a teenager I seem to have had a habit of making my characters kinda look like me, though they were always reasonably different from me when it came to their desires and personalities. But as I drifted away from modeling their looks on my own, I found that some people were determined to see them as “me,” no matter what I did.
While it’s frustrating that some people insist on considering similarities as evidence that characters are self-inserts, I don’t really see a reason to deliberately create characters who are nothing like me just to answer and fight this misconception. We tell stories about people who are sometimes kinda like us. That’s all right for authors to do, though they can be boring for others if the stories we write are nothing but idealized versions of ourselves or wish-fulfillment fantasies.
We DO put ourselves into our characters. But at least in my case, that does not mean those characters “are” me, nor do their characteristics manifest identically to the way those same characteristics might manifest for me.
Long story short: writers, there’s no need to attempt to excise every particle of yourself from your characters in the name of avoiding the self-insert, and readers . . . just remember things aren’t necessarily what they seem.