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 jötunn 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