May Day! May Day! It looks like I’m heading straight into my second month of answering your prompts you left for me! Not that I mind… I’m having a blast so far, and there are still quite a few great suggestions to get to! But there’s always room for more! I gained only one new Friday prompt suggestion over the past week, giving me fourteen in total. That doesn’t even get me past my Big 4-0 coming up in July. Come on, we can do better than that! Everyone gets to send me one prompt! If you haven’t entered an idea yet, go directly to this post and submit one in the contact form. We’ll now take a five minute potty break while we wait for you all to do your duty…
Today I am choosing what I admit is one of my most intriguing suggestions I’ve received so far. It comes from JackieP who publishes the To Breathe Is To Write blog. She’s used April’s A-Z challenge to present a rather fascinating short story of murder, intrigue and fedoras. You should go check it out… after you read this post, that is. There will be no more potty breaks.
Jackie submitted this prompt:
What about when your creations were little? Like baby squirrels. How did they get to be like they are now?
If you were around back in the days when Saturday mornings meant cartoons, you probably are aware that seemingly every animated series eventually spawned a spinoff featuring the characters as little ones. These shows were pretty wretched, being as they got by solely on the age regression gimmick, which (ironically) got old pretty quickly. But they did provide a glimpse into the established characters’ youthful pasts, like who they dated in high school or how their parents used their psychic powers to pick their fucked up names.
I decided however, to add another element to this challenge… an effort to try and expand my artistic experience. I have long been fascinated by the pure, sugary cuteness of chibi style anime art. Chibi (not to be confused with chileh) can make just about anything look squishably cute, from a possum to a shit sandwich. If you aren’t familiar with chibi style, here is a good example of a chibi squirrel someone with actual artistic talent drew:
Chibi is exemplified by the oversized head and facial features (meant to accentuate the cuteness) in contrast to the rest of the body, which is often drawn small and very simplistic. Chibi works better than Oil of Olay on making any subject look younger, and in fact, the artistic method is most often used to render overly cute anime children.
So you may see where I’m going now… I decided to render a handful of my characters as chibis to use as a visual aid in addressing Jackie’s question about their younger days. I used the same program all of my art starts out in, MS Paint, which isn’t really a good template for what I was trying to accomplish, but oh well. Some of these drawings I am quite pleased with… and some of them leave a little to be desired. But after nearly 800 posts, you can tell by now I have no pride, so I am going to show them all off for you today, starting with the critter this blog’s named after, of course!
Awww, ES was even cute as a little squirrel scampering around the forest scooping up acorns from the bigger squirrels who would kick his ass. When it started getting too dangerous for him to venture outside, he’d stay in the nest and work on his drawing skills. Along with his warped sense of humor he gained from falling out of the tree several times, he would use his talent to start up a blog to make people laugh. If only he knew they were laughing at him….
Even as a little squirrel, MBRS was always obsessed with her crimson good looks. One day, she asked the mirror who the most beautiful critter of them all was. The mirror never answered her, because mirrors don’t talk.
Always naive, innocent and insecure, Angel would lag behind the other kids in her ability to adapt to the real world. While her mother always thought she looked adorable when she would grab her Rainbow Donkey plushie and suck her thumb, her high school guidance counselor thought otherwise and had her sent to special classes to sit with the stoners.
Hooly’s youthful exuberance and perkitude made her the most popular skunkette at school in her glory days. She was captain of the cheerleading squad, president of the student council, and had enough smart friends do her homework for her so she could join the National Honor Society. As chief editor of yearbook, she ensured that she won the vote for Most Likely To Get Called Skunkbitch.
Odyssey’s days of protests and rabblerousing began long before she was even old enough to not vote. While most kids occasionally think life is unfair, Odyssey was constantly finding something that offended her delicate sensibilities. The way grades seemed to be given out based on only schoolwork, the fact that dangerous cootie inoculations were state mandated, and even by the school mascot Billy the Bison, who she saw as an insult to indigenous critters.
As in her adulthood, Hottie was always a prozac bottle full of happiness, regardless of how much life poopooed on her. While all of her friends were holed up in their dens playing classic NES games, Hottie was out enjoying nature and making new friends. “Hello, Mr. Disheveled Looking Creature With The Windowless Van! Is that candy bar for me?”
Life was tough growing up for Rainbow Donkey, being a freak and all. But he didn’t let the name-calling and the bullies stop him from his dream of learning how to fly. Every day, RD would trot on up to the edge of the cliff, ready to fulfill his destiny as a flying unicorn. And every day, before he could make that leap of faith, the critters in the white coats would drag him back off the edge after someone called the suicide prevention line on him.
It was hard for Skanki to truly live up to her promiscuous name back int he day… you know, having not gone through puberty yet. But she tried… oh, did she ever try.
Sully and Blaze are already kids in my comic, so their present is their future past. But I wanted to give them a try in this drawing style anyway…
And Wiki as well. He’s a cute little chibi warrior, isn’t he? Shooting out the walls of heartache, bang bang!
And finally, there’s poor Buster… who somehow made it into his adult years despite constantly choking on small toys, getting tangled up in the cords hanging off the blinds, and riding his tricycle without a helmet in front of buses. Let there be no doubt that even in death, there is adorable cuteness to be found.
That’s all for this week’s prompt! I’d like to thank Jackie for this extremely fun suggestion that also taught me I can’t do kawaii for shit. I’ll return Friday with another suggestion from another blogger… but before you go, make sure to give my little friend a hug.