bride of the tornado cover dare to know cover order of oddfish cover

The Order of Oddfish


Post-show roundup: Freya’s Odd-Fish art

April 30, 2010

I had intended to blog about every single piece of Order of Odd-Fish fan art I’d received before our big gallery show. But then preparations overwhelmed me, time slipped away, the show happened, and there are still artists to recognize! Let’s enjoy their work in the next few posts.

This first is from my protegee Freya. There she is to the left, above, with Arne and Georgia. She came to the party costumed as “the personification of the Apology Gun” (there was a switch from “sincere” to “sarcastic” on her beret. It worked!)

Freya’s particularly good at taking the world of Odd-Fish and extending it in unexpected directions, enriching it in startlingly cool ways, and integrating her writing genius into the art. Here’s some of Ken Kiang’s diligent note-taking, from when he was choosing what costume he should wear as an evildoer (click image for a larger version, to read it better):

ken kiang costumes export

Freya nails Ken Kiang’s self-absorbed, absurd egotism. And these are some seriously dapper evildoer outfits! The perfect Kiangian touch: “Must get more of this desk stationery. I love it! It just screams ‘professional.’”

But Freya’s just getting warmed up. Readers of The Order of Odd-Fish may remember there are 144,444 gods in the story. Thus, keeping one’s Eldritch City catechism straight might be an onerous task. To help, Freya dreamed up the resourceful Nanookina Dinkle, a staff writer for the Eldritch Snitch, who has a weekly column describing various gods. This week, the indefatigable Dinkle chronicles god #97 (Vutowener, God of Flowers) and #98 (Mizz Magizz, Goddess of Circles) — again, click the image for a larger, more easily readable version:

Eldritch City Gods 97 - 98 export

An elephant who is “the patron god of an elite tribe of bouquet-arrangers, florists, and gardeners,” who communicates in an ever-changing language of whistles? And an orange circle who is worshiped by solid black cubes on hosiered legs? Freya’s gods, and the stories behind them, are frankly wilder and better than what I would’ve come up with. Here’s two more gods from Nanookina Dinkle (click to enlarge):

Eldritch City Gods 99 - 100 export

“Nuv, the Purple Shack of Politics” is awesomely weird and witty (especially the earnest scholar who actually listens to the talking shack’s lectures) but my hands-down favorite of all Freya’s gods is “Cqzxtoo, God of Chairs.” Just in case the scanned handwriting is hard to read, I’ve typed out her small masterpiece of theology:

Cqzxtoo can take on the shape of any type of chair in the universe. However, his favorite form is a Gosling 5200, perfected in the year X?018 by MipQuoo.

Cqzxtoo’s followers, the Jonkarsei, claim that every festival to every god in Eldritch City is actually secretly dedicated to Cqzxtoo. Thus, at times they will invade random parades and chant Cqzxtoo’s motto, “Nakeem goli meeta” (meaning “go away, I own this cannon and this bowl of soup”), completely ruining everything.

Then the Jonkarsei return to the “Chair Lair,” apparently some cave somewhere, but nobody knows where it is, and the Jonkarsei are so unpleasant nobody cares anyway.

Freya has better control of the precisely deployed absurd detail than many adult authors I could name. To paraphrase what Jack Donaghy said of Kenneth on 30 Rock: “In twenty years we’ll all be working for her, or dead by her hand.”