Fan(art)uary roundup #2 – doodles and media reviews

Fan(art)uary: beloved characters, every day in January. Inspired by Sam Orchard of Rooster Tails comics.

For all of January I’ll be drawing fanart of a favourite character each day, inspired by the lovely Sam Orchard of Rooster Tails. Each weekend I’ll be posting a roundup here, but if you want to follow day to day, follow me on Instagram. Of course, it’s still worth it to catch up on the blog, where I’ll be writing a bit more about what I love about these characters and the media they originate from.

This week I’ll be talking about Remy from Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille, Townsen from Karl Kerschl’s The Abominable Charles Christopher, Mary from Natsume’s Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, Louise from Bob’s Burgers, Olive from Little Miss Sunshine, Sylveon from Nintendo’s Pokemon XY, and the Pikmin (yes, all of them!) from Nintendo/Shigeru Miyamoto’s Pikmin series.

fanuary5

Day 5: Remy from Ratatouille

For day five, I’ve drawn Remy from Ratatouille! I always insist to my partner that Remy’s desire to be with humans and cook is a metaphor for queerness, but honestly it could be anything that leads one away from their family’s “traditional” way of doing things to something that feels newly true. Either way I love it.

This movie also contains one of my favourite long quotes, courtesy of the critic Ego:

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto, “Anyone can cook.” But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.

Notably this is not the first time I’ve drawn Remy and gushed a bit over Ratatouille!

anyonecancook

I just enjoy the message very much. That where you come from is not an inherent limit on what you can accomplish. That anyone willing to put their heart into something is capable of accomplishing greatness if it exists within them. As a primarily self taught artist and cook, that type of encouragement means a lot.

fanuary6

Day 6: Townsen from The Abominable Charles Christopher

For day six I’ve drawn Townsen from The Abominable Charles Christopher by Karl Kerschl! I love this comic, Karl is an amazing artist (and Canadian!) and Abominable.cc is his pet project. Because he actually also makes comics for DC! So Abominable is in a bit of a hiatus right now, but there’s lots to catch up on in the archives. If you like Charles’ style, you can check out his work for DC in Gotham Academy.

Abominable is pretty different than Karl’s usual work. (I’m not a huge superhero comic type, to be honest!) Abominable is set in a magical sort of mountainous forest, where the various animal life go about their days as one might expect. But there’s something rotten brewing outside the forest walls, and Charles is the only one who can sort it all out. Charles is one of the only creatures in the world seemingly without speech, but Karl’s art never fails to communicate his every emotion as he struggles with the task that has been assigned to him. I recommend reading through the archives or grabbing book one and two now so you can be all caught up with Karl finishes with Gotham Academy!

fanuary7

Day 7: Mary from Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town

For day seven, I drew Mary from Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. In the various Harvest Moon incarnations that she existed, Mary was always my favourite bachelorette. Her favourite line initially was probably “…” and she worked at the town library. She was a little hard to get to know, and it took me so long to get her to accept my proposal with the blue feather! But it was worth it. Our baby was adorable!

If you’ve never played the Harvest Moon series, it’s basically a farming simulation game. But I swear it’s a lot more fun than it sounds! It’s no Farmville. The seasons change based on an in game clock, and your farm and skills expand based on what you invest time in. Plus you can build relationships with anyone in the game. If you’re looking to get into the series for the first time and want to start out old school, I recommend Harvest Moon 64. It can be a little hard to find, but it’s a great game. Unfortunately Natsume is not capable of re-releasing it on virtual console for whatever reason, so if you want to play it, you’ll have to get the original. Maybe check out your local used game store? For mobile gaming, pick up a used Gameboy SP and check out Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, of course. My favourite 3DS incarnation of the game (so far) is Harvest Moon: A New Beginning–that game almost kept me from graduating on time, so that’s an endorsement, right?

fanuary8

Day 8: Louise from Bob’s Burgers

For day eight, it’s Louise from Bob’s Burgers! I love Tina, and we’re probably more kindred spirits than Louise and me, but there’s just something about conniving Louise. If you’ve never seen it, Bob’s Burgers is an animated series focusing on the lives of the Belcher family (Bob, Linda, Tina, Louise, and Gene) and their various hijinx. Oh, and there’s a burger diner in there somewhere.

I think something that keeps a lot of folks loving Bob’s Burgers is that unlike a lot of family oriented sitcoms, even when the Belchers are behaving badly, they still love and actually enjoy spending time with one another. It’s from the currently airing season, but I adored Louise’s interactions with her sister Tina in “Tina Tailor Soldier Spy“. Family are the primary folks in everyone’s lives, and that’s how it was for me growing up, as well. One big, happy antisocial family!

 

fanuary9

Day 9: Olive from Little Miss Sunshine

For day nine, it’s Olive from Little Miss Sunshine! I adore Olive. To me, in this film, she represents the precious, unflinching, and completely vulnerable goodness that exists in all things. A small spark that is easily snuffed out.

olive

For someone who’s grown up with body image issues, I think the character of Olive hits close to home. The basic story of Little Miss Sunshine is of Olive qualifying last minute for a talent and beauty competition, and her somewhat ragtag family making the long journey to ensure she gets to compete. There’s a lot more going on, but Olive eclipses a lot of it for me.

In this heartbreaking scene, Olive confesses her fears that her father will stop loving her if she doesn’t perform well in the Little Miss Sunshine competition. Throughout the film you watch Olive’s dad pick at her, using the same manipulative language he employs in his somewhat sad sack work as a motivational speaker. Do winners eat ice cream? Are winners fat?

The most depressing thing about Olive’s dad is that he isn’t necessarily a bad father. He’s present in her life, he works hard to make things happen for her. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t fanning inside her a flame of self doubt and body conscious anxiety. The movie ends on a high note, but it still leaves me with an aching heart for all the Olives out there.

 

fanuary10

Day 10: Sylveon from Pokemon XY

For day ten, it’s sylveon from Pokemon XY! For me, sylveon is the trans pride Pokemon. I mean, they’re the colours of the flag! Also, I think it’s amusing that they’re in Pokemon “X & Y”. That being said, Sylveon is adorable and powerful, in that they are one of the new Fairy type Pokemon and perform well against the often over-powered Dragon type.

If you’re not familiar with the Pokemon series, somehow, or you’ve just never picked up a game, it’s essentially a role playing game with a highly customizable team battle function. I’ve played just about every game in the series, what can I say, I’m a Pokemon nerd. Still, regardless of everything that came before, I really enjoyed Pokemon XY. I had been a little disappointed in Black and White–I had wanted something more. Pokemon XY definitely delivered. With lots of new play modes and adorable new additions to the Pokedex, this was a big jump forward for the series.

fanuary11

Day 11: The Pikmin from the Pikmin Series

For day eleven, it’s the pikmin (yes, all of the pikmin) from the Pikmin series. I adore this series from Shigeru Miyamoto, even though it hasn’t been what you’d call a Nintendo flagship until recently. Miyamoto developed the idea for the pikmin based primarily on daydreams about tiny creatures in his garden. The result is a whimsical world similar to our own, except the protagonists are in miniature. The most recent incarnation, Pikmin 3 for Wii U, has absolutely gorgeous graphics to breathe exceptionally lush life into the pikmin planet.

There are, tragically, only 3 titles in the Pikmin series so far. The original Pikmin put me off a bit–I struggled with the concept and notably the game is hard. You, Olimar, a native Hocotatian, crash land on the alien pikmin planet and suddenly it’s up to you to survive and rebuild your spaceship within 30 in game days with the help of the pikmin. What happens if you don’t? Well, your life support systems run out and you die. Yep. Pretty rough. Also the enemies are enormous and they want nothing more than to devour you and all of your dutiful pikmin followers. Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3, however, are better designed (as far as difficulty scaling is concerned) and are a lot of fun. Although a lot of your pikmin will probably still die. Just saying.

The pikmin series technically falls into the category of real time strategy games. If you’re like me, and strategy games generally make you yawn, don’t be put off by that description–Pikmin never stops and stutters. The action is quick, and your decisions have to be quicker. It takes some getting used to, but once you’re accustomed to the idea of controlling adorable armies of tiny plant people, I feel pretty confident you’ll fall in love with the pikmin too.

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