One of the great things about inspiration is that you never know where and when it’s going to strike. In March of 2011, a dry spell led to an outbreak of wildfires in Oklahoma. As with many tragic events like this, there is the occasional heartwarming story that emerges, and my Oklahoma connection Sliver let me know of a couple baby squirrels who were rescued from the charred remains of a tree in a southern Oklahoma town. The story was a blurb on one of the Oklahoma City news channels that doesn’t seem to exist anymore, or else I’d link to it here.
That got the wheels spinning, and I realized there was one thing missing from the cast of characters I had piled up over the years…. youngins! So I drew the following avatar of ES rescuing the squirrel pups from their former home…
I made one a boy and one a girl, and to pay tribute to the event that brought them life, I included black char marks on the tips of their ears and their tail. That night’s chat session naturally centered around names for the new characters, which I always leave open to my friends since I am terrible at coming up with good monickers. It was decided that the girl should be named Blaze, despite the fact that I had a pre-ES fox character of the same name and I really didn’t want to reuse it.
As for Blaze’s twin brother, that name was suggested completely by accident when Sliver mentioned having to make a trip to the town of Sulphur, and both me and Fanny instantly sprang upon that name for the little squirrel boy. So with names in hand and a few artistic revisions (As well as the helpful suggestion to make Blaze easier to tell apart from MBRS), I drew up this picture to give the duo their official intro:
And so became the two youngest members of the ES clan. I did my best to work them into as much of my drawings as I could to get them established, generally whenever I had a theme calling for a couple of troublemakers but didn’t want to drag out ES…
I never bothered to introduce them until today, however, because I hadn’t drawn them at all since I started this blog…. until last night when I needed them for the newest item in my ESN store….
I created my first bumper sticker which can be found in it’s own section under Squirrels x3 right here. I may have to order one myself for my little blue Neon. It’s a great way to show your appreciation for the little guys scampering innocently around on the mean streets of your hometown, even if the guy behind you’s just going to slam into your rear bumper anyway because they’re too busy texting their BFF….