John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Entities and Oddities in ... um ... Artity (AnthroCon bit)

Saturday morning at AnthroCon, the dealers all had to be up way too early to get in their preregistrations for next year's dealer room; so I spent the morning listening to Jim Groat, BushyCat, and a few others trade war stories about obnoxious fans they love to hate. A particular topic of complaint was that once upon a time, fans wanted artists to draw their own characters (e.g., "Could you draw me a picture of Tiffany, Mr. Gneech?"), before the proliferation of the MU*s.

Then, according to the gripe session that morning, all the fans started wanting character portraits of their own personae, which tend to come in exacting and often odd detail. Well, that's understandable ... to a lot of people, their online persona is a distillation of their best self, or at least a self they're a lot more comfortable with than their too-too solid flesh. However, in order to put an individual stamp on a persona -- and there are a lot of, um, individuals out there -- a lot of them are just plain strange.

I haven't encountered a whole lot of that myself ... most people's online characters are pretty straightforward ("a happy, toony blue dragon," "a sleek fox," "a big, brawny tiger with black hair"). However, I did get one at AC that I ended up not being able to do because of time, that was just ... um.

Leonard!The character was a bat-like, three-eyed, devil-creature with a face somewhat like a Roswell alien ... except for the aforementioned eye in the middle of his forehead, with the personality of Mr. Burns off of The Simpsons. The woman who asked for the design was completely unfamiliar with me or my work, as far as I could make out, but wanted me to do the picture because she saw the Leonard Lion "Are you crazy, is that your problem?" button, and thought I could express the character's Burnsian personality.

Although I was a bit taken aback by the request, at the same time, it was something of an artistic ego-boost to have somebody want my artwork on its own strength, rather than because of my association with Suburban Jungle. I did regret that I couldn't get the woman's artwork done in time ... although at the same time, I wouldn't have wanted to bang it out in the rushed manner it would have required.

-The Gneech

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