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breeden
ursulav

Fear of Anime Ratgirls as Threshold Drug

I figured it out at last. My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to track down every cliche of fantasy art and poke it repeatedly with a pencil. (This probably explains why I revisit the "evil unicorn" theme about once a year. God, I hate unicorns.) I sneakingly suspect this has to do with my inherent rather perverse nature--whenever I see something done badly, I want to see if I can do it better, or failing that, drive a stake through its withered little heart and bury it under a crossroads at midnight with a clove of garlic shoved in its mouth.

As usual, my metaphor got away from me, and now I have no idea what I was saying.

Well, anyway, yesterday's amusement had to do with "anime catgirls." If you hang out on furry art boards with any regularity, you find people grumbling about anime catgirls, so being me, I decided to paint an anime ratgirl and see if that got a warmer reception. Judging by the response--and I uploaded that bloody thing at 1 AM, nobody shoulda seen it--either the anime ratgirl is a success, or people hate catgirls so much, they will take any opportunity to express their distaste, take your pick. The style is one that I'd been vaguely aware of, mostly through wallpaper at Deviantart, and which looked to me like Painter. (I still don't know if it IS Painter, or who started it in the first place, but I can duplicate it in Painter with ease, so it very well could be.)

The scary thing is that it was fun. I mean, I haven't painted anime in...well, I did something vaguely anime-like four years ago, and then there was some really regrettable concept art two years ago, but so far as my artistic skills are concerned, "painting anime" has always ranked a bit below "reading the future in sheep entrails" as one of my talents. But this came out well, and it was fun. Which makes me want to paint more. Which scares me. Is this a threshold drug? Will I casually paint an anime batgirl, and then an anime dragongirl and then suddenly one day I'll wake up to discover my bedroom plastered with Dragonball Z posters and Sailor Moon t-shirts forming the better part of my wardrobe? Will I find myself sneaking extra highlights onto my chupacabra's eyes until her irises appear to be covered in a multitude of shiny cataracts? Will the word "kawai" ooze into my vocabulary like a verbal remora, sapping the strength from more robust words? Is this the end of realism as I know it?!

Naaaah.

Anime Ratgirl. (Be warned. It's pink.)


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It's a beautiful piece (though the inside of the knee may need some examination). It hink what sells itis that its fairly subtle, andthe mood is warm, friendly, and appealing. (anime Catgirls all tend to be selfishly bitchy comfort whores) She looks like the sort it wouldbe same to lend money to :-)

Scott

I'm sorry, this is too competently drawn to qualify as an 'anime catgirl' parody.

Damn! I knew I shoulda made cardboard-circle ears...

When I think 'anime ratgirl' I can't help but think of cruder drawings. Something akin to this, except probably with less energy to it.

Peggy, you are awful. I think I broke something laughing. XD

Yeah! I knew you were forgetting something, Ursula! I was going to mention the lack of a peace-sign, but it also needs bad kanji to qualify as a "true" anime __-girl. XD

And cell-style coloring is always a bonus. Particularly if you make the cleavage reallyreally shiny. ;D

And cell-style coloring is always a bonus. Particularly if you make the cleavage reallyreally shiny. ;D

In the absence of any sort of coloring at all, I think the violently lopsided-appearing breasts are a very classic touch. However, I think it falls down as anime in that the eyes are outlined all the way round.

This is the bit where I wander off into self-absorbed mutterings about my novel-in-progress, because there's a thing in it I suspect would amuse ursulav. I hate unicorns too (except for Peter S. Beagle's. Come on, I grew up on him), but along with the elves, horses that can run indefinitely, taverns, cannibalistic pygmies, untrustworthy travelling folk, a magical dingus, and the total absence of any kind of sword, there had to be a unicorn. So it's basically a tank with a horn, bloodlust to taste. It's bigger than a draft horse, totally insane, about seventy-five percent mechanical, runs on a radioactive power source, and it's completely blind, so it navigates by sonar.

I do like to keep myself entertained.

That's awesome! In my obligatory-cheesy-fantasy novel, (doesn't everyone have one?) I had to have a unicorn too, but I went t'other direction--they're big goat-like vermin, basically equine rats, who hang around garbage dumps and carry the plague. (They do cast a bit of a glamour on virgins, but fortunately for our heroine, there's always a couple of heroes around who've been around the block.)

Oddly enough, this particular description occasioned what I believe may be the most left-field comment I've ever gotten over at Elfwood/Wyvern's Library (and that's saying something.) It went something like "i liked this xcept 4 the unicorn that was horrible dont you know that unicorns are symbols of christs' ressurection why do you hate jesus?!?" (sic)

I'm still scratching my head over that one.

In my obligatory-cheesy-fantasy novel, (doesn't everyone have one?)

And if they don't, they should. If nothing else, writing a Cliche Fantasy Epic has given me an excuse to buy Diana Wynne Jones' Tough Guide to Fantasyland and to see the LotR movies in the theatre repeatedly, because it's research! I have to find tropes to subvert! And yes, that's a book recommendation, if you haven't already read it.

I had to have a unicorn too, but I went t'other direction--they're big goat-like vermin, basically equine rats, who hang around garbage dumps and carry the plague. (They do cast a bit of a glamour on virgins, but fortunately for our heroine, there's always a couple of heroes around who've been around the block.)

And this is the bit where I shuffle my feet and admit that I know, because I've read the novel like four times. Look, I'm not actually stalking you, it just looks that way. It's a damn good novel; I don't reread things for no reason.

i liked this xcept 4 the unicorn that was horrible dont you know that unicorns are symbols of christs' ressurection why do you hate jesus?!?

... uh, wow. That's a pretty elegant merging of the traditional 'this is good, but please fix fantasy creature X, which I consider you to have represented inaccurately' and 'why did you draw/paint/write X? Don't you know that this is an offence to my deity of choice?' comments, but I think the commentor should have gone for the hat trick and gotten Jesus' gender wrong.

Actually, throughout a good chunk of the Middle Ages...

(Anonymous)
...the Unicorn was the Western Church's symbol of the Holy Spirit, much as the dove is used today.

Remember, back then the unicorn was just another part of natural history. Few people claimed to have seen one--but few Europeans then living had seen real lions, either, and no one doubted their existence.

Besides, you could go down to the apothecary in any large city and find unicorn's horns..."What's that? You say they actually come from a giant, hot-blooded fish that breathes air? And it bears its young alive and nurses them, like horses or cattle? And it lives in seas covered with ice? Oh, you jest with us, or call us fools!..."

Re: Actually, throughout a good chunk of the Middle Ages...

Actually, throughout a good chunk of the Middle Ages...

...the Unicorn was the Western Church's symbol of the Holy Spirit, much as the dove is used today.


I'm quite aware. My point wasn't that the commentor's connection of ursulav's unicorn (as distinguished from unicorns in general, or any other given unicorn) to Jesus was spurious, because it wasn't, but that it was ludicrous, because it was. It's like looking at the protagonist of my work in progress, a vegetarian, and then asking me why I hate Zhang Fei. I don't care about Zhang Fei one way or the other. He never enters the picture. This is all wild and unauthorized speculation about Ursula's actual intent with the unicorns, of course, but I don't think it was the Church's nose she was tweaking.

*laugh* Don't worry, I'll take it as a compliment. I don't consider it stalking until the phone calls start, or I start getting body parts in the mail or something. And I have indeed read the Tough Guide, and laughed like a lunatic. The color guide was particularly good--I should start tailoring my art to fit.

I love her, and the little rat head on her top. And I hope it doesn't cause you too much wailing and gnashing of teeth to know that the face reminds me a little bit of the title character's human form in "The Last Unicorn." I think it's the delicacy and the paleness, along with the shape and color of the eyes.

It's a cool - if slightly creepy - bit of art. (Creepy in that I have a slgiht phobia of all things rodent.)

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