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Posts Tagged ‘dragon’

IMG_3164Been too long since I’ve posted (sorry), so Memorial Day seemed like a good opportunity. I don’t illustrate scenes from books very often, but it occurred to me that Astrid Lindgren’s children’s book Bröderna Lejonhjärta (The Brother’s Lionheart) is about as appropriate as you can get for a day commemorating the death of soldiers. The story as a whole is about death, and revolves around a dying boy (well, I could be more precise, but I really don’t want to spoil things–the twists and turns of the premise are powerful, though may be too much for some people). Starting as a meditation on mortality and premature death, done fantasy-style as a way of helping kids work through this difficult topic, the book soon expands into a meditation on the evil that people inflict on each other. Near the end of the book a peaceful valley rises up against its oppressors and many die, including some important to the two brothers. The main character’s idealistic (and ideal) older brother Jonatan refuses to fight in the climactic battle (let’s remember as well that he and his brother are still kids, however heroic Jonatan is throughout the book)–in response to those who say “If every man were like you, the Tengils (dictators) of the world would rule everything!” (or some such, I’m going by memory here), the main character Kalle (Karl) points out that if everyone in the world were like Jonatan, there would BE no Tengils (again, Tengil is the primary villain). Maybe feels a bit naive, but I do like it as a way of affirming pacifism at the same time that the story also affirms the freedom fighters, who have been forced to the point they are at. All in all the book is a beautiful meditation on the twin subjects of natural death and death from strife–heavy for a children’s book, but I think it fits the mood of the day. Not that I expect all the motivations and justifications for the wars our country has gotten into to be valid in the end (and plenty are already, and sometimes always have been, manifestly invalid), but I know that there are soldiers who go out there and die doing their best to make the world a better place. My heart goes out to those who have lost anyone in war, and my heart goes out to those who have been damaged by war in mind and body. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but the scene I chose to illustrate is the two boys Jonatan and Karl leading the dragon Katla up the mountain with the horn that Tengil had used to control her originally. The battle is done, but death still rides at their heels, and it takes all the bravery they have to walk in its shadow and bring everything to a finish.

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Grim Bunny 12

The Grim Bunny #12! As we reach the end of this series of 12, TGB looks off into the distance, the sky an open canvas, all set for… another series of 12? Maybe! Thanks for those who have followed for these 12 pics (plus a few extras included below), and keep evangelizing for TGB if you want to see more in the future! I may try pursuing a stronger narrative arc next time (assuming I have time for a next time… fingers crossed). For now, in addition to needing to focus on my translation, I’d like to be able to do some non-TGB blog posts, put together some TGB merchandise, and do all sorts of other things.

But don’t despair! You can always visit the Grim Bunny archives at DeviantArt or here on WordPress! Also, feel free to follow me on tumblr, and please consider supporting my creative work by visiting my store either on DeviantArt or Redbubble! TGB merch will one day be available at both–hopefully one or two things relatively soon.

And here are a few more sketches, just for fun!

TGB Bonus Sketch 1 Final

TGB Bonus Sketch 2

TGB Bonus Sketch 3

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Grim Bunny 6

Uh oh! What has our hero/heroine/? gotten into now? OK, I originally did this sketch really super quick without thinking it through much, and the end result maybe was not as “readable” as I would like–but since this is kind of an informal sketch webcomic, I thought I’d keep it. I did try doing an ink wash to highlight things a bit more. Please share, like, etc! And if you’d like to participate more, great! Just tell me in the comments what you think is going on! Who is the Grim Bunny? What is TGB doing? What is the larger story arc? Or if you want to wait till I have more pics up so you can try to figure out how/whether they go together, that’s fine too! Just enjoy it!

Original tumblr post is here, and you can find archives of TGB here on this blog and here on deviantart.

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Late Sun Tomte Fox Dragon copy

The results are in. Spoiler alert: I GOT THIRD!!!  Pretty excited, considering the quality of first and second, and the fact that my entry was more tangentially related to Norse mythology (I didn’t have time to pull together a contest-specific entry, but thought maybe my recent Tomte and Friends Summer Sun pic would be appropriate enough).  Check out the winners for the different age groups (and awesome work by the other age groups!):

Kid Category

Teen Category

Adult Category

Sound like they are already gearing up for a Yule art contest, so get ready! Personally, I think it would be neat if people tried doing art in one of the Viking Age/Medieval Scandinavian styles, so I’ll try to (finally) get around to putting together a nice summary of Viking Age art for you all. Meanwhile, I know that Peter Foote’s The Viking Achievement has a good summary of Viking Age art, but it is out of print. Most larger introductions to the Vikings will probably have something on the art, but find one with pictures so that you understand what they are talking about!

My entry (which I first put up in this post) is part of what seems to be becoming a series, so keep coming back if you want to see the further adventures of Tomte and Friends. I cropped it to a wider size more suited for a mug from DeviantArt–I don’t know why, but I think the mugs are my favorite DA products…. though they do occasionally send you the wrong product, so watch out.

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