Friday, April 9, 2010

Jotun Troll and Catoblepas

Ahh a real post, back to business. Well here they are unwieldy monsters from legends past. Well as for what I did I think I could have improved more on the inking weights on Catoblepas and the heads on the Jotun troll could have flown better or as one instead of all over the place, but I suppose the asymmetry is OK. time for some info

After doing about forty some of these and researching the monsters, you eventually come to the point where you understand the guys in charge of finding these monsters either A) had no god damn clue what they were talking about, or B) combining a bunch of odds and ends of different monsters to make some ungodly amalgam of pseudo-beasties. The Jotun troll is the first of many. A combination of some Jotun traits and Troll traits gets you a Jotun troll, but one would ask what is a Jotun and Troll and why both? Well that's fun to answer because it fudges all the creator's legitimacy.

Jotuns or j├Âtunn if you have a fancy keyboard (which I don't), were giants in Norse mythology, generally entwine with nature and bearing strength that would put roid ragers to brittled shame. they were separated by humans in their homeland of Jotunheimr by dense forests and towering mountains which they lived upon. They came from what the Norse believed was the first thing ever, their despicable creation god Ymir(who I will go into at a later date), wherein the Jutun sprouted from his icy god armpits, and then out of Ymir's horrendous feet sprung another tone of the disgusting when a six headed Jotun birthed itself from his feet and became son of the pit Jotuns. To go with their disturbing creation Jotuns are usually featured as hideous and unpleasant beings characterized by their claws fang, deformities and some having multiple heads. One specific multi-headed Jotun would be Thrivaldi who had 9 ugly bickering went and took on Thor who would then quickly waste the Jotun as fast as his stupid 9 heads could turn. The multiple heads was enough of a characteristic to give Jotuns some individuality among other giants and was probably the chief inspiration for the MIMP guy's Jotun Troll. Among other special traits like several bickering heads, they were surprisingly wisdomous and had names that meant the opposite of their appearance, like a fat Jotun being named skinny Pete or something.

Where the Troll Part came in is not too far-fetched. Trolls in Norse mythology were similar in nastiness to Giants and Jotun and had links to nature spirits or could be them. However they are usually smaller than Giants an more human like and dwelt in caves or under hills or mountains. The Jotun Troll seems to be a multi-headed giant that lives in caves and has a very unsavory appearance.

From what can be said about the Jotun troll is mostly what you can say about combining things, its fun but results may vary.

Catoblepas, or as I stoopidly misspelled with the addition of an N, is one of Pliny's bullshit monsters he said he saw on his treks to Africa and had appeared in legitimate textbooks through the 1800s(the image below is from a dutch 1600s text) where in some one who went to Africa finally found out that someone really was not calling enough shenanigans on Pliny. As going by what the big bag of feces Pliny said, is a oxen like beast having a scaled back, whip-like tail, tusks and feet like a boar, a shaggy lion like mane, and a head like a buffalo which sank to the ground and was to heavy to be lifted. The beasts lumbering head was a disadvantage because it's blood shot eye's could only look down, but to compensate if one was to stare into it's eyes the would be turned to stone as if one gazed at Medusa.

Many people said they had "seen" the beast most notably Pliny but other great minds had written fiction about it like french novelist Gustave Flaubert, Royal English poet Sir Philip Sidney, and Even Leonardo da Vinci. Most modern works and depictions of the Catoblepas have a more boar like appearance and emphasising the horns, such as the video game Final Fantasy which apparently recycles the monster on a new game basis. Or other appearances give Catoblepas a more lizard-like scaly look and also giving it wings, the wings being flightless usually, the best example of that would be the figurine itself, which is almost completely different than how Pliny described it.

Its also worth saying Catoblepas was "seen" around Ethiopia, which after research has a surprising amount of MIMP monsters dwelling in or around the area, stay tuned for more.

Credits Go to wikipedia and strange spanish site that had Cantoblepas information

well here she is my least favorite and least inspired of my older MIMP drawings, I must have felt like crap drawing it and I remember not enjoying inking this at all, it is the number one priority on my list of redos after I finish inking a few more recent drawings. Oh and sorry for all the people who don't follow my blog or have even looked at this. All of this is experimenting and such from my posts and drawings, I'm still trying to find sweet spots in the balance between images and wordy information. It seems like I've been mostly on info overload as I did with my Wolfman and Mad scientist, which is another drawing I think I could have put more justice into, I'm going to try adding more pics and less esoteric stuff to maybe even the playing field. and for those who also care my post are very sporadic because I absolutely hate typing in blogger and that is what is usually drives me to half finish a post and come back to it around a week or two later. Well as for my progress the inking is OK, but I still think I could have had a large value range and I really think I could have just done more overall with the designs and everything, well that will be for another day so here is some fun info on your favorite biblical monsters.

Leviathan and Behemoth are monsters that appear in both the Hebrew bible and the old testament, also among Arab writings and stories. They are primarily featured in the book of Job as monsters God had created to test the Hebrews. Leviathan is usually pictured as a large cycling fish or spiraling sea serpent that stretches for miles of ocean and could swallow ships and all beasts of the the sea whole. Behemoth is usually pictured as some kind of lumbering horned mammal, consuming mountains and rivers in its wake, however it is herbivorous and only eats plants and such, but it seems it is m ore likely to basically eat EVERYTHING accidentally. The beasts could only be slain by their makers, otherwise only God or the Hebrews, and their flesh would make the finest banquet for the world and their skin to be made into canopies for the world to rest under, which would apparently happen in "the end of conflict" or essentially when world peace would be struck, which at this rate is basically as impossible as it was then.

What the basis of these monsters were off is a mystery. Some say it was things like mundane animals like goats and fat catfish that someone hyperbolied into true fish tales that hooked peoples attention. Others believe it may have been large beasts like hippopotamuses and great sharks that inspired people with their massive sizes and unparalleled power. Also Behemoth is male and Leviathan is female, so go ahead and start writing you biblical fan fiction immediately!

well there isn't too much more I'd like to add until I have something decent to merit a big post so stay tuned as I reveal more monsters.

Credits go to wikipedia articles and the book of Job itself I suppose for summarizing the monsters