Summer Drawing Challenge Days 7 & 8
My next graphic novel project has mermaid characters in it. But for the purposes of this story, I was bothered by the idea of traditional mermaids, being half-fish, half human, though they do offer lots of opportunities for some beautiful artistic interpretations.
For one thing, how can a cold-blooded fishy tail integrate with a warm-blooded mammalian upper half? Also, I want some characters who are half-mer, and that is definitely stretching the bounds of the magic, as I see it. I know, I know, it’s magic: maybe I’m being too literal-minded and I should just let it be. But we’re talking about a whole underwater civilization here, with day-to-day living going on, and possible interspecies romances, and I’m trying to think about… practicalities.
So my mer-folk will be all mammal, but there will still be magic involved in their makeup. I initially wanted to have some kind of plausible evolution thing happen so that they still had the internal anatomy of a human; but the knees presented a big problem in the way I wanted their mer-half to flow. I might still experiment with that idea. The other options were to have them similar to dolphins or seals. Dolphins are very easy, because they are essentially fish-shaped, just with horizontal flukes instead of a vertical tail fin. But their posterior skeletons have not even a remnant of leg bones. Pinnipeds, on the other hand, have actual leg and foot bones, but vastly distorted from land-moving creatures. Seals have a venerable history as shape-changers, however, from the selkie legends of Scotland and Ireland. But I felt that was getting a bit too far away from the mermaid theme. So, for now, dolphin tails it is.