RUPERT

"All they wanted to do was survive, and they did everything they could from murder, lying, and manipulation. They lived through countless bodies of humans and animals that life was mostly a blur. During the last legs of their time as a mythical creature, a young girl stumbles upon them resting in the woods. She had no fear, only awe and curiosity, and eventually the name 'Rupert' falls from her mouth as she decides that it will be the creature’s name from now on. 'Rupert' is now stuck with a child clinging to their side, but they don’t mind. Because while a little noisy, their next host body has come to them quite easily."

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Rupert started off as a random design for the chimera/exquisite corpse project by combining the torso of a giraffe, the head, wings, and legs of a heron, a butterfly I do not know the name of, and a Stargazer lily. I imagined them to be a parasite that looks like a large butterfly with a lily in the middle. There are root-like veins on the underside of Rupert. They pass off as a decorative artifact or a rare insect-plant hybrid, and they use this to their advantage to either fly under the radar or to catch unsuspecting people by surprise. I developed this idea into a now scrapped story about the familial bond between them and a little girl named Tracey. The original story was based on Crane’s Return of a Favor, more specifically on the “making and keeping promises” aspect of it, and was an overall wholesome story about Tracey discovering and maintaining a friendship with Rupert during her summer visits to a town.

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I would like to change the story because the idea of Rupert of being an overall morally good character did not sit right with me, especially when I think about the experiences they had up to the point they met Tracy. I currently want Rupert to be someone that  prioritizes their survival over anyone else through means of deception, manipulation, and murder. So, Tracy and Rupert’s relationship will be different than what it originally was.

In the two illustrations above, it tells you the general direction I want their story to go. The left being the first pinky promise between Rupert (Ru) and Tracey. It is a clear and crisp memory of one of the few happy moments of Ru's life; one that would continue to haunt Ru to this day.

 

The accompanying illustration on the right turns it more tragic, as you can see Ru holding Tracey's hat with traces of blood on the underside of it. Ru also holds the hat in a way that is trying to obscure their smile, but the viewer can obviously see it and their small smirk as they finally gotten rid of a burden from their life.

After Tracey's death, Ru would continue on living as normal until they meet Viridian in the future.