He was originally called William Buckle, but that only lasted as long as the first rough plot outline. As with Lily Lawrence, I wrote and drew an origin story for Pickle, this one seeing print in the Accent UK anthology, Twelve, in May 2005. For this I had to base a story on one of the twelve tasks of Heracles, and I was given the ninth task - the Girdle of Hippolyte. This became 'The Girdle of Polly Hipple', a story that saw Pickle accompany his mentor, Seth Surrey (whose name was taken from Eurystheus), on a job to get a photograph of the famous Eye of Horus, an Egyptian artefact to be used as the centre-piece of an exclusive fashion show. It was here that Pickle learned the power of nudging the news along if it didn't quite live up to expectations, a realisation that caused the corner of his mouth to take on an involuntary and permanent crooked scheming sneer.
Even so, Pickle isn't really bad. He's impatient for sensation but lives to be able to report a good story and write it up for his readers.
Incidentally, some of my favourite bits of writing in The Rainbow Orchid have featured William Pickle ... when Sir Alfred bamboozles him with botanical terms and his awkward fight with Newton, both in volume 1, and his attempted escape from the clutches of Urkaz Grope in volume 3.