Vampire Squirrel

I can’t think of a good way to introduce this blog with a post, so let’s jump right in.

One day I decided that a vampire flying squirrel would be pretty cool.

Not because of the general vampire craze, so much as my own personal weird obsession (which occasionally goes dormant and then flares up all over again at unpredictable times) with mimics — in this case, the idea of a real-life “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” an animal that looks like a harmless species but is very much the opposite. If milk snakes can look like coral snakes, why can’t vampire bats look like flying squirrels?

Without actually waiting for an answer to that (as that would have been sensible and taken all the fun out of it), I set to work sketching out the possibilities. The other, more-constant obsession — drawing up new animals out of spare parts — came into play, compelling me to try to figure out which elements would work for both model and mimic, which would need to be dropped for the sake of a predatory lifestyle, which things could be thrown in just for fun without looking too wildly implausible.

The first idea was more fantastical, with feathers in addition to mammalian characteristics. Not so great. Incorporating a batlike wing membrane gave me troubles, too (I’ll admit it, I’ve never been great with wings). Later incarnations more closely resembled the squirrel, with the claws and ears the main changes.

Image

That idea languished in the concept stage for a very long time, but just yesterday I decided to try a “complete” sketch based on the model I’d ended up with long ago:

Image

Perhaps more “weasel” or “cat” than “bat” about the paws and eyes, making it more of a Frankensquirrel’s Monster than a proper Vampire Squirrel, but all in all an improvement over scattered ink sketches. Maybe I’ll pick up the idea again later. In the meantime, I continue to scribble on math homework, work schedules, etc., so I’ll probably have a new monstrosity to present soon. If not, I have a griffin playing with a ball of yarn, and he wants a little time in the spotlight. Yay!

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