Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 Human Squirrel Comicpalooza Commission by Kiriska

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Best (Martian Manhunter) Art Ever (This Week) continues! As I mentioned in a previous post, Kiriska was one of the many artists in the alley that veered toward anthropomorphics, and I have an admitted prejudice against the furry stuff. However, Kiriska's figures are more fully realized and better referenced than most, with her deviantART gallery demonstrating an aptitude for realistic portraiture, chibi, "manga" style, and is just plain diverse in its techniques. I knew I'd be looking to have many of the villains who put the "menagerie" in Martian Manhunter's rogues gallery drawn, so the main trick was to figure out who would draw whom. I thought it might be interesting to try a more "serious" take on the Human Squirrel, and since Kiriska seemed the least likely of the lot to default to "cute and cuddly," I'd try her on the project.

Kiriska worked out of her own "Fake Lemonade Stand," and had a sign up with with her quotes. Online, she's got a deal for a $35 8.5″x11″ Animal Fullbody in Color, but that is too time consuming for a show. Instead, the options were a $5 quick full body pencil sketch, or a $10 full color bust. I had my heart set on a full Human Squirrel, and I couldn't talk the artist into taking more money, so the Abe Lincoln bill would have to do. That being the case, I very concisely described the character, offered reference, and let her figure out what sort of angle to apply to him. Kiriska was backed up from doing a full set of Who Doctor busts, but said she'd text me when the Squirrel was done.

The text arrived not too terribly long into Friday, and I bounced back to collect the sketch. It's 8½ x 11" on tracing paper, fairly rough, and my girlfriend was rather critical of it. I'm somewhat frustrated by it myself, but I really like the layout, humor and personality of the piece. I'm pretty sure that's meant to be a rigid "helmet" mask, and I believe I can see the seams of a suit/gloves, but there's enough wiggle room that the Human Squirrel could be exactly as named. I get a kick out of the money bag with the huge (and well contoured) dollar sign on it. The way the sack hangs reminds me of that photo meme of the actual squirrel standing upright and display extremely prominent "nuts." All of this shows how good of an artist Kiriska is, putting so much thought and clever detail into a quick five buck sketch. That said, it feels like a great layout, whereas I want to see the completed piece, so "MOAR!"

The domino effect was that I got Kiriska to do a different, more fully rendered character within the established parameters of the convention menu, but I also needed to satisfy an ache to get a complete Human Squirrel elsewhere. Those are happy tales for other posts, though. In the meantime, check out the fun observations on "Kiri Yu's" twitter, don't miss her regularly updated tumblr sketch blog, A Question of Intent, and check out her Con Report: Comicpalooza 2012.


Anonymous said...

love it. this should be how the character is drawn from now on.

LissBirds said...

Oh, interesting. The more you look at it, the more you find. The sinister look is kind of interesting. I'm still partial to the Silver Age rendering with actual squirrel legs, only because of their absurdity and impracticality. But I could get used to this.