I gave a brief summary of how Evil Squirrel came about in my second post ever on this blog, which you can find under the “Intros” category off the sidebar (Yes, I finally went through the trouble to categorize my posts, to help you find the right type of porn you are looking for, you crazy Taiwanese!). But I didn’t delve much into his origins, including the prototypes that existed before ES was even named, let alone defined. So today, just 3 days shy of ES’s fourth birthday, we’re going to dig way back into the archive to find out just where ES really came from, and how he was developed via my first major project, the portrait series…
ARTIST GENERAL’S WARNING: Much of the artwork you are about to see here comes from my primitive period when I first began drawing again. It is not good. It hurts my eyes to even look at most of it. As embarrassed as I may be to even post some of it here, it is lessened by the fact that without all those crummy pictures I drew over four years ago, I would never have become as talented with the mouse and Paint as I am today. Just brave yourself, and please don’t submit any of this to the Museum of Bad Art…
I have mentioned before, the vast majority of my early works centered around a portrait series I drew in secret for my pals on my main forum. I started the series right around New Years 2008, and continued until there were 115 in total by March 2009. These portraits were not drawn freehand in Paint like my current works, but were sketched out on copy paper first, scanned to my computer, then painstakingly colored in and retraced in MS Paint (Which is STILL my exclusive drawing program today…. yeah, take your fancy art programs out there and sit on them!). The basic premise of these portraits was to include my anthropomorphized version of the particular member the picture was for in a scene themed around something that relates to that particular person, along with any number of props and anthro animal extras. I also would include in some portraits a real animal sidekick or two, usually for some comedic effect. This animal, more often than not, wound up being a gray squirrel….
Here is the third portrait I drew in the series, and the very first in which that little grey squirrel appears in (You can click on any of these portraits to view them larger, though you will just be even more disgusted by my terrible early attempts at art). There he is, just sitting there on a rock eating, who knows, maybe an acorn, and admiring Peacock as she expresses her signature line “Bite Me!”. It would be another eleven portraits later before our little grey friend appeared again, but this appearance would amazingly foreshadow the circumstances under which Evil Squirrel would emerge as an icon on the message board….
Ignore my terrible attempt to draw a car and check out how prescient this picture was to become. It was drawn almost exactly 3 months before I even registered the Evil Squirrel name on my board that essentially created the official character. Here is Annie Camaro, whose constant complaints about the evil squirrels in her backyard, helped inspire my portrait for her mother Sliver. The pre-ES squirrel is merely filling in for the adventures his more defined successor would often engage in as he was establishing his early identity. It was part of the inspiration for ES’s first ever official appearance, which you’ll see in the second part of this posting later this week….
The squirrel would continue to rack up appearances as the series went on. Here he is in the very next portrait I drew:
Here he is helping out a friend in need….
His next appearance came a few weeks later. He damn near looks like early ES now, except for the solid color tail….
Here’s the little guy again a month later. Just two weeks before his official birth….
He wouldn’t appear again until late May, one month after official ES. He’s still sporting the white paws he had in the last picture….
Hey….. I see someone else familiar in this one!
And then, there is this…..
Kay (aka Kiki) is a character I haven’t really brought up as much as I should. Anyway, it was her portrait that had the honor of being the first ever to feature the modern day Evil Squirrel in it. He would become a fixture in almost every one of my portraits I drew in the second half of the series, but this was just a one time deal. It wasn’t until portrait #73 that a spur of the moment addition turned into a tradition….
Once again, there’s a lot of little inside jokes in this portrait that would take paragraphs for me to explain, but they’re neither here nor there. We’re concerned about ES there peeking out behind Frogman’s legs. This is the portrait that really led to ES’s appearance in all future creations in the series, and he was a completely throwaway addition to this one. He does not appear in my sketch of the picture, and that’s because I literally decided to add him in after I had finished coloring the picture. I added ES in several other pictures afterwards, sometimes much like this one, as a last minute addition to for comedic effect. The portraits helped establish the ES character before I began drawing several-times weekly avatars in the Spring of 2009.
So I’ve shown how Evil Squirrel traces his roots back to the portrait series and evolved through the later images. But I didn’t begin unveiling the portraits until mid-August 2008, which was after ES was already known on the board. So how was the first introduced to my ever captive audience? We’ll find out ES’s birthday this Wednesday….