Mark Neumayer

author of the Valda & the Valkyries series

Tag: manga

The All-Father Gets His Cute On

This week’s kawaii art offering features Odin himself. I cheated a bit on this picture. Odin loved to disguise himself and wander the countryside to see what he could discover. One element that all of his disguises shared was they all only had one eye. Odin famously traded his eye away to Mimir so that he could take a drink from the Well of Knowledge. So while I have the clothes resembling one of his disguises I couldn’t resist adding Gungnir into the mix. I don’t think it would be much of a disguise if you’re also carrying around a magical spear that never misses its target. Oh well..

Posted by Mark Neumayer

A Horse That is Norse

Okay, we are back to kawaii-style  artwork this week with the fourth of Loki’s children – Sleipnir. He is different from Loki’s other kids in a number of ways. First, although he does have eight legs, he is not a monster. Sleipnir, whose name means “slippery,” is a friend and servant of the gods and serves as the mount of Odin himself. Second, while Loki’s other kids were born to the giantess Angrboda, Sleipnir’s mother is… Loki. Yeah, confusing, I know. Loki is a shape-shifter. One time he needed to lure away a male stallion so Loki changed himself into a female mare. The plan worked and some time later Loki showed up with an eight-legged, grey foal. The sagas tell us “This is the horse Sleipnir, which excels all horses ever possessed by gods or men.” His most famous journey was when the god Hermod rode him to Hel while trying to free Baldur from the clutches of death.

Posted by Mark Neumayer

More Kawaii Artwork

This week’s kawaii offering features Jormungandr. He is the colossal sea serpent that encircles the globe in Norse mythology. That’s really big, but I figure the guy couldn’t have been born that large even if his mother was a giant and his father was Loki. So we have my version of him when he was a wee lad.

This is the third in my series on Loki’s kids. We’ve covered Hela and Fenrir already so the only one left is Sleipnir. He’ll be racing onto the scene next week.

Posted by Mark Neumayer

Hela Goes Squee

Okay, the other week I mentioned thinking about the Norse goddess Hela lately. Then I shared some kawaii artwork which featured her brother Fenrir. I had a picture of Hela done, but I wasn’t happy with it. It was a more modern take, making her into something of a Goth girl. While I like the concept, the execution just wasn’t working. I started from scratch and so this week I have a picture of Hela to share with you all. What do you think?

She’s smiling but my concept for these is that the children of Loki are still young and haven’t yet arrived at the grim junctures of their fates. So we can have her a little bit happy for awhile.

Two of Loki’s li’l ones down, two to go. I’m thinking I’ll feature Jormungandr next, thinking of a way to chibi-fy an 8-legged horse is a tough one.

Posted by Mark Neumayer

Fenrir Pup

I’ve been thinking about the Norse goddess Hela lately, mainly because she plays an important role in the book I am writing Valda Goes Through Hel. I finished the first draft and have moved on to edits before I send the book off to my awesome group of readers. That means I am in the part of the book process where I don’t have to be as creative. So my mind is whipping off onto different tangents as it tends to do.

So I was thinking about Hela, which got me to thinking about the other children of Loki. There was Jormungandr, the sea monster better known as the Midgard Serpent. He eventually grew big enough to encircle the entire globe. There was Fenrir the giant wolf who bit off the hand of the god Tyr and is fated to kill Odin at Ragnarok. We also have Sleipnir, Odin’s 8-legged horse. Loki was not the father of this “best of horses,” he was the mother. Go here to read more about that if you want.

Definitely a strange batch of children and the thought popped into my head “I wonder what it was like raising that group of kids?” (I know normal people don’t think of things like that. I crossed that bridge many years ago, folks.) Thinking about them as kids lead me to doodling on the computer which lead me to today’s pictures. One of Loki’s li’l ones down, three to go.

Posted by Mark Neumayer

Feeling A Little Kawaii

I spend most of my time writing now, but I worked as a graphic designer for a long while. Plus, I’ve always been a doodling type of guy. So when I had the chance to buy Christopher Hart’s Manga for the Beginner: Kawaii I jumped at it. Very cool book with some great tips for the artist wanting to draw in the super-cute Japanese style. (Hey, I like Mixed Martial Arts and kawaii manga – I’m complex.)

Here’s the first piece I drew after getting fired up from reading the book. I worked up a kawaii version of the main character from my book Valda & the Valkyries. Sketched by hand, then scanned and built in Adobe Illustrator. I’m happy with it but I think we need a version with Valda having those Viking-style braids.

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