Inked/Black & White
Write-Up: I based this design off an artist I discovered shortly after the first semester. His name is Doug Winger. His design for squirrels was exactly what I was looking for in anthropomorphic beings. So I used his design as a reference. I started with the three facial expressions. I believe that these are the strongest pieces of artwork on the project. Despite little experimentation, the lines are consistent with one another. It helps create the form I was trying to emulate. Using much smaller lines, I created a fur texture.
Universe: This story takes place on earth thousands of years later. The year that the story is taking place in is 9,929. The world no longer has humanity ruling over it. In fact, they do not exist anymore. They are extinct. What’s left is anthropomorphic beings. Specifically, mammals that have been modified by humans. They are human-like in their appearance with having two legs and two arms. They stand up straight and are capable of speaking. They are about as human in every way. They were created in 2,100. It was the pinnacle of humanity’s scientific achievement where they could play god. Many species of mammal were converted as such. Examples being squirrels, foxes, lions, bears, chipmunks, wolves, tigers, etc.
What brought the end to humanity and the rise of these anthropomorphic beings was nuclear war. Seems cliche, yes, but with how things were going on with the world in the 2,100s, peace was the least of humanity’s concerns. Worldwide civil unrest, food shortages, and wars over water were some of the causes of turmoil. Eventually, World War III happened and ended in less than an hour. Nukes were launched from all corners of the earth. Most of the world’s population was wiped out. The remaining humans and humanoids were all that were left. Humanity never recovered from that point onward. They died out or were hunted down leaving the world to the humanoids.
Progress was slow to rebuild the world. Like how humanity began, they were initially nomads who were hunter/gathers among the wastelands. Then they settled down and began to farm after hundreds of years. Later, cooperation increased between the species and led to cities. The rest is history. Technology developed slowly too. What humanity possessed before the war was lost. By the time we get to the story’s date, technology is mirrored to the early 20th century’s with some hints of futuristic tech scattered about.
The Setting for the story takes place in what was once called North America. The states of New York, Pennsylvania, and all of New England make up the United Kingdom of Squirrels. It is under the control of the Vulpes Empire. There home country is located across the sea on the British Isles. They set out to take control of the whole world. They control parts of Europe, Africa, Middle East, and North America.
The Vulpes Empire are made up of foxes that believe that they are superior to all other species. They were the first animals to have been turned into humanoids. They are an imperialist regime that set up shop by invading countries and jacking their natural resources. Foxes are downright universally disliked by most of the other species because of this. However, they are very kind to there own. Like other species, they tend to look after their own.
In the United Kingdom of Squirrels, the town of Wallkill is under the thumb of the Vulpes Empire. However, they are losing control of its inhabitants. People are rebelling day by day to try and overthrow their influence over the town.Governor Bori has received an enforcer from Vulpes military to try and straighten things out with the people.
Wallkill’s countryside has remained peaceful. The farmers are doing their jobs and selling crops, as usual. On one farm, called Darren, Kyle Thompson seeks to make his fortune elsewhere. However, he cannot because of the crisis going on at home. They are running low on labor and will be lucky to even make ends meet by time harvest comes. The owner, Patrick, objects to Kyle’s dreams of leaving and wishes for him to remain here. Kyle’s mother, Marion agrees.
One day, on a later summer morning, Kyle is awoken with news from his friend, Katherine. She is a squirrel, who is much taller than him. They have been friends for a few years now. In fact, quite more than friends. But it has never been out in the open. She has a surprise waiting for him at Marsh Point. He agrees to accompany her there. A long the way he keeps guessing, but never gets it. The two here some gun shots in the distance and take it as the fox soldiers putting down resistance some where.
The two get to Marsh Point. It is a trade depot located on a marsh. Here is where all the kids and teens hang out. There are parties every weekend. The place is entirely made out of wood. Boardwalks connect the buildings to one another. Katherine splits from Kyle saying she has to go speak to her father. She points him to Sean & Son’s Scrap Supply. He heads in. The place is loaded with tools and scrap for sale. Behind the counter are two friends of his, Sean and Hayley, sleeping on the job in a torn round chair. Behind them is a a wood wall and glass frame from the waste up that divides the two places. There are four teenage squirrels in the back playing pool and smoking cigars. Kyle grabs some junk and throws it onto Sean & Hayley waking them up. One of the squirrels turns around and reveals himself to Kyle.
That squirrel is Kenny. He is Kyle’s best friend. The two have been friends ever since they were kids. Kenny is like an older brother to Kyle and has always tried to steer him in the right direction. The four of them all go in the back to sit around a round table. They catch up with each other. Kenny has been gone for six months. He left for Chipmunk Country, the place south of the UKS which is free of the tyranny of the Vulpes Empire.
Later, Kyle and Kenny go outside to talk one on one about all the things Kenny missed since he’s been gone. However, Kenny has something else in mind. He tells Kyle that he did not come back to say hi. He came to get his closest friends to bring them with him when he goes back to Chipmunk Country. Kenny has a good deal with some mercenaries he’s met. He has a place to live completely free. Kyle wants to go with him, but he can’t. He has to stay home and help with the harvest. Kyle’s upset with this, but he does not have long to chose. The caravan that will take them down safely is leaving tomorrow.
At dusk, Patrick, Marion, Kyle, and Katherine are all at Darren farm eating dinner together. Kyle has thoughts racing through his head about what Kenny told him He eventually tells Marion and Patrick. Of course, the two object. Kyle tries to reason with them, but it is not effective. He gets shot down by Patrick saying he does not even know how to defend himself. Kyle leaves the table in frustration. Katherine is excused to try and comfort him. The two head outside and look and the sunset.
Meanwhile, at Wallkill’s inner town, Governor Bori has gathered some of the officials together to discuss the current situation. The inhabitants are becoming increasingly hostile toward the foxes. Next to Bori is Fegelein. He was called in to crush the resistance that is going on. Fegelein is a squirrel, which is rather unusual for the Vulpes Empire to be using. The officials all disrepect him, but do not openly show it. For he is menacing in his appearance. He is a tall fellow with stiff upper lip. His stare alone is enough to make anyone soil themselves. There are rumors that the resistance base is located at Marsh Point. There is no concrete evidence for this. But they act anyway. Fegelein heads out to Marsh Point with a force large enough to do so.
At Marsh Point, a party is going on. Kyle and Katherine are there. However, Kyle is outside looking at the stars while it happens. Katherine is next to him holding his hand. She tells Kyle that she is on board with Kenny’s plan. Her father even agreed to let her go. Kyle still isn’t sure. Things take a change for the worse when Fegelein shows up. He recognizes Katherine, stating why she isn’t with her father in a mocking manner. She taunts him and escapes through a window into the water. Fegelein orders the troops to raise the place. It is set aflame. Gun shots go off. Many are short and killed. Kyle and Kenny quickly jump into the water and swim away in the nick of time. When they are safe enough away, they go onto dry land. They watched Marsh Point burn.
The two assess the situation they’ve gotten into. While Katherine was swimming away in the other direction. She yelled Mercury City to Kyle. Kenny knows of Mercury City. It is an undergound city beneath Wallkill. It is currently at war between the Vulpes Empire and inhabitants over salt mines. The two agree that they must head there to find Katherine. They head to an abandoned bunker out in the countryside. There is a secret entrance to the city. It is under Katherine’s father’s control. Fortunately for them, they are let in with them explaining what had happened and they are friends of Katherine.
They enter an elevator that takes them hundreds of feet deep. They then are greeted by blue lights that light up the entire environment. It is emitted from long giant blue vines that hang from the ceiling of the area. They get down to the bottom and not much is different from the surface life. However, people were living cared out rock houses. The area they were in was one trip over to wear Katherine was located.
On there way, they encounter a battle going on between Vulpes forces under Fegelein and soldier’s under Katherine’s Father.The two sneak past there way through the battle. Kyle is horrified by what he sees. So much death and mayhem. He thinks that Patrick may of had a point earlier when saying he couldn’t go off with Kenny. The two are spotted by Vulpes forces and are captured. They are taken to Fegelein where he then recognizes Kenny. Fegelein wonder’s where his mercenary friends have gone too. He says that they are far from him and will he will never find them.
The meeting is interrupted by forces from the opposing side. Kyle and Kenny get caught in the crossfire. While trying to escape, Kenny gets shot by Fegelein. He leaves with his troops. Kyle goes to his dying friend. Kenny’s request for Kyle is to get Katherine and leave together to see the world. He dies in Kyle’s arms.
The upset Kyle is then captured by the inhabitants and is brought to Katherine’s father. His name is revealed to be Benny. Katherine later comes out and is thrilled to see Kyle again. Benny realizes that this is the Kyle she always talked about. He then mocks Kyle’s size for not being big enough to take care of his daughter. Katherine wonders where Kenny is. Kyle tells her what happened and this brings her to tears. They discuss what their next move is. Benny would prefer to have his daughter leave the UKS. He calls it a cesspool and believe she is capable enough to survives on her own. However, in a turn of events. One of the guardsmen in the room turns out be spy for Fegelein. He hits Kyle in the head and shoots Benny. He dies. Katherine shoots the spy. She cries over her fathers corpse holding him close to her. Kyle loses contentiousness.
He wakes up in a different bunker closer to the city. His friends Sean and Hayley are there with him. Katherine isn’t there. He is informed that she had planned to sneak into the governor’s office to try and kill him and Fegelein. No one could stop her so she went out. News of Kenny’s death has brought them to tears. But, Kyle doesn’t have time to mourn. He decides to head out and try to get her. She is on a suicide mission.
He makes it into town. He climbs the governor’s office building. He gets to a third floor window where it is safe to open. There he sneaks around. He gets t a barracks room filled with lockers. He puts on a soldier’s uniform. This is somewhat believable due to some of the soldiers being volunteer squirrels. Everything seems to be working in his favor. He hears yelling going off in one the rooms.
He speeds to it revealing it to be Katherine confronting Governor Bori, Fegelein, and some other officials. Bori challenges her an old wartime tradition, a sabre duel. Bori is shown to have much skill that surpasses Katherine. He anger makes her blows filled with force. However, this leads to her demise. He stabs her in the stomach. Kyle rushes in. It catches everyone by surprise. He comforts her dying self. She dies telling him that she loved him. Bori turns toward the officials and Fegelein with s smurk on his face. Kyle angrily gets up and charges toward Bori. The two fall out of a window. Bori falls to his death. Kyle hangs on to some rope that was on the curtains.
He is then assaulted by soldiers and is put in hand cuffs. Fegelein orders him to be thrown into the dungeon. Kyle spends about a week there. All of sudden, Fegelein comes down with some soldiers quickly moving. It’s as if they were running from something. Fegelein turns to Kyle and tells him that they will meet again. He leaves toward an escape tunnel.
Rebels show up and free all the prisoners including Kyle. He makes his way to the street levels realizing that the Vulpes have been overthrown. In repsonse to the Marsh Point Massacre, people rebelled and outnumbered the Vulpes. Kyle was now free to return home. However, he does not. He takes some gold from dead soldiers’ bodies to buy himself a place in caravan heading out of town.
He thinks of what Marion and Patrick. He then thinks of Kenny. Most importantly, he thinks of Katherine.