April 22, 2019

U is for Umbrellaphant

        My theme for this year’s April A-Z Blog Challenge is fantastical creatures, celebrating my upcoming book, On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination.  Please check out my Kickstarter Campaign to kick this project over the finish line!
        Be sure to check out the master list at the A-Z Blog Challenge for links to all my fellow A-Z-ers.

        The two U animals featured in my bestiary are the ancient and famous unicorn, and the more recent and less well-known umbrellaphant.  You can read about both of them starting with the
Click through from there for further details.
        As you will see if you read the previous posts, I had identified two species of umbrellaphant portrayed by previous illustrators: the tusk-umbelled and the trunk-umbelled.  Gustave Verbeek’s tusk-umbelled from 1905 is a “gluttonous brute,” “thirsting for gore,” while Jack Prelutsky and Carin Berger’s trunk-umbelled from 2006 is simply and straightforwardly equipped with a convenient umbrella.  When I decided to do my own, however, I always try to come up with something at least slightly different, so I had to discover a third species: the auricle-umbelled umbrellaphant.  And my version is a “most welcoming beast.  Should another creature desire shelter, the umbrellaphant will gladly make room, so that it is not uncommon to see a number of smaller birds and beasts accompanying an umbrellaphant, glad to find shade from the searing sun or shelter from the pelting rain.”  I hadn't thought of that aspect until after I made the print, though, so unfortunately I didn't show any other creatures in my illustration.
        Inspired by Verbeek and Prelutsky, however, I did invent the capybureau, and among the others I thought of (but have not illustrated) are the pelicanopener, hollyhocktopus, artichokapi, clockroach, kumquotter, and helicoptermite.  It’s a lot of fun to try to come up with them.  What mash-up critters can you discover?

[Picture: Umbrellaphant, rubber block reduction print by AEGN, 2018 (sold out).]


Rob Z Tobor said...

A grand idea for a beast . . . . . The Umbrellaphant

A great picture too

Erin Penn said...

That looks like a wonderful creature. Must have descended from the parasol-asaur. - Erin (http://www.erinpenn.com/blog/)

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

A great word and idea!

Visiting from A2Z

AJ Blythe said...

I love umbrellaphant! And your illustration is lovely.

Visiting from A-Z
AJ Blythe

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Good one, Erin! =D

Donna B. McNicol said...

What a fun challenge - have to go back and read all your posts about these creatures. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

DB McNicol, author
A to Z Microfiction: Unicorn

Deborah Weber said...

Your species of umbrellaphant is undoubtedly the best - and what's not to love about a kind and generous (and clearly lovely) beast?! Your list of mash-up creatures is hilarious, and I do hope you get around to illustrating them some day. What fun!