• Giselle Clarkson

The Giselle Clarkson Comic: Number 28

Giselle has visited the theme of anthropomorphism in her comics in the past⁠—remember birds with arms?⁠—but recently she has been pondering the scale of it all. Why is it that sometimes dogs are dogs, and sometimes bears are...well... lets find out.

a scale of anthropomorphism
whenever i need to draw an anthropomorphic animal character, i struggle. How far do I take it?
It got me thinking about how picture book animals can fall anywhere on the spectrum. Like, here's Hairy Maclary. Literally just a dog.

Snowy from Tintin (ok, they're comic books) is a bit further along the scale.

Jemima Puddle-Duck is about 90% duck, but with a lovely bonnet and shawl.
Uselessly non-opposable feathers. The wingers* demarcation. Handy bendy feathery phalanges.
Just imagine what I could achieve with thumbs - Puffin the Architect - literate, highly qualified, earning at least $100k, owns own home, life on track, feathers are dextrous

Richard Scarry's Busytown residents take it a step further.

Rupert Bear represents the furthest end of the spectrum. He and his friends could be the product of some deeply unethical experiments.

Regular Rupert is bad enough, but the brown-furred variant is straight-up sporting human hands.

My best guess is that it's like in the 1958 movie 'The Fly' and somewhere in the Arctic lives this... [giselle as a polar bear.]

giselle clarkson

Giselle Clarkson is a freelance illustrator and comic creator from Wellington. Her work has appeared in a bunch of School Journals as well as Gecko Press’ ANNUAL. She illustrated the 2018 picture book Secret World of Butterflies by Courtney Sina Meredith (Allen & Unwin NZ) and the 2019 children's novel Hazel and the Snails by Nan Blanchard (Annual Ink/Massey University Press). Her most recent illustrations are in The Gobbledegook Book, by Joy Cowley (Gecko Press), for which she is nominated for the New Zealand Children and Young Adult's Book Awards. Giselle's secret talent is rescuing moths from the shower without accidentally drowning them. Visit her website: www.giselledraws.com.