Admit it: It's a small thrill to pick up a book or settle into your movie seat and realize that a character that sprang entirely from an author's imagination — an enigmatic underling or even the leading lady — hails from Smalltimore or at the very least, Maryland. We've assembled a sampling of fictitious characters that you've probably heard of, though you may not have realized that they're from here. (It's worth noting that we've eliminated the obvious, characters created by writers such as Anne Tyler, John Waters, Tom Clancy, Barry Levinson, Edgar Allan Poe and others who already are indelibly associated with the Free State and Old Bay.) That's too easy. You probably have your own list from novels, comic strips, TV, the movies and even Broadway. Feel free to send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.