Homunculus #2: “Josef K.”

You might be saying to yourself, “I wonder what the artistic influences on these homunculi were?” And, if you do, I have some answers. First, I wanted to make something white. I think white can be very effectively creepy and supernatural. And Herman Melville makes an effective argument for white being a color of terror in a chapter in Moby-Dick, “On The Whiteness Of The Whale.” (He also makes a neat and not so subtextual anti-racist argument in the chapter). I think my fondness for Hayao Miyazaki’s kodama from Princess Mononoke is pretty apparent. The wire makes a nice contrast in both color and apparent texture, something I wanted. And I was also thinking of the leader of the Fir Bolg, Balor, from Irish Mythology. Balor had an eye that was so destructive that he kept it closed most of the time and could only open in with the aid of an wire embedded in the lid. I first read about Balor and his creepy eye-wire when I was a teenager and it’s stuck with me since. So there’s a little Balor here.

The rest of the design sort of relies on how the homunculus wants to go once I’ve started and on the material itself. For example, I would’ve had to use a different wire if the material weren’t so light and might’ve had to forego wire entirely if it weren’t so strong. And I didn’t plan on using graphite for eyes, but the material takes nearly anything without bleeding or smudging–ink, graphite, paint. I expect it would take ballpoint pen and good god would that be creepy.

I’ll be sad to see this little guy go. I’ve taken to calling him Josef K. He seems to like melodrama, but is upset by more violent television shows and movies. He’ll be watching Zombie Lake with me and the Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit tonight, then I’m mailing him out tomorrow.

Update: Packed for shipping:

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