Here at ComicsAlliance, we love Pokémon
. Part of it, of course, is that we fully endorse the idea of dropping out of elementary school and wandering the country alone at the age of 10, fighting massive gangland conspiracies with the aid of a trained animal that can shoot lightning out of its face. But the other part of it is the Pokémon themselves, and the designs that take familiar things and mash them up into adorable new animals.
But with only 649 official Pokémon, there just aren't enough!
That's why I'm so excited about Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson's Capture Creatures
, a year-long project to create 151 new Pokémon-style monsters, complete with their own encyclopedia descriptions.
The results are absolutely amazing, with Dreistadt's painted designs delivering monsters so adorable that I almost don't want to see them knock each other out with lightning bolts. Check out a few of my favorites below:
The most notable feature of the Bon Bon Fire is the flaming bamboo that resides atop its head. This allows it to stay warm in the winter months. Generally congregating in packs, their cheek markings vary from region to region and are used to identify unfamiliar creatures.
As a fire-based starter, Bonbonfire doesn't quite have the zing of Tepig, the pig that is also on fire that also grows up to be pro wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow, but what it lacks in wrestling references it definitely makes up for in the sheer adorability of having a little campfire on top of its head.
Tumblehop is the infant form of Jumpalope and was until recently completely undiscovered. Their primary habitat is interconnecting networks of burrows and warrens. They scarcely leave their home, but if they do it is under the cover of night. They are rather small and particularly fast.
Much like Cubone, Tumblehop comes equipped with a skull on top of its head, but manages to stay cute instead of just being thoroughly depressing.
Often sighted by weary travellers, the Jumpalope was once considered to be a mythical creature. This behorned lagamorph thrives in the desert as it can store a week's worth of water in its cactus tail. To provide camouflage, its ears change colour with the leaves of the seasons.
Not only is Jumpalope a nifty take on the Capture Creatures' evolutionary stages, it's also one of the perfect examples of Dreistadt's art, and how it echoes storybook illustrations and classic animation.
Cuttler generally congregate in feudal packs. Utilising the shedded antlers of the creature Budu as a sword, they attempt combat with Cuttlers boasting larger swords. Upon defeating a Cuttler, smaller weapons are often eaten to absorb the owners power and larger weapons are taken as their own.
Remember how a second ago, I talked about Bonbonfire not having the combative thrills of the originals? Well, here's a giant samurai insect that tears antlers off of lesser creatures and then sharpens them into swords so that they can prove their martial skill
. And it's so happy about it, too!
Dustfluff's appearance has evolved to disguise it from its primary predator, the snake-like creature Charming. Its primary defense mechanism is rolling in the dirt to create camouflaging dust clouds. It then protrudes its Charming lookalike ears to confuse and intimidate its pursuers. It also uses the dust to bathe.
I love the way Dustfluff's ears echo Arbok's "scary face" design
, as well as the fact that yes, these cute fluffy animals are definitely out there eating each other. It's the circle of life, kids.
Often mistaken for a shooting star, the Flystar can't actually fly at all. It simply glides from tree to tree, but its small size creates the illusion he is further away. As it is a psychic type, many believe Flystars can hear the wishes children make when it passes overhead.
I don't have a joke for this one, I just honestly think it's one of the cutest things I've ever heard of. Not even kidding: I would cry like a child
at the part in the movie where it granted someone's wish to bring their dead Pokémon back to life.
Cubdensation is one of the longest polar dwelling creatures. Curiously, it journeys towards more preferable warmer climates during the summer. During this time the creature sheds most of its icy body mass. During this migratory period, creatures unfamiliar with a sleeping Cubdensation can mistake it for a watering hole.
A polar bear made of icicles...
Although it is much more compact than its previous form, the evolution of Cubdensation distills the powerful creature into an indestructible box. Cubcube thrives in the warmer climes sought by its predecessor. In cold weather, Cubcube can revert back to its previous form, pulling freezing moisture out of the air.
...that turns into a polar bear that is also an ice cube. This is maybe the best idea in the history of bears. And that's saying something.
Ruffsicle, the evolution of Pupsicle, displays a youthful energy somewhat at odds with its large frame. Ruffsicles are social creatures at heart, often befriending humans and other non-canine creatures. This creature is at its happiest when it has a purpose, often holding jobs such as herding and pulling carts.
If this thing doesn't evolve one more time into an ice-breathing, super-friendly version of Cerberus, I will be shocked
. And again, the storybook art, the clever evolution and the adorability come together to make something great. I mean, let's be honest: Would you rather be capturing this thing, or, say, your 834th Sentret? Yeah, I thought so.
The only thing the Capture Creatures are missing are the disturbing and somewhat terrifying descriptions that a few of the originals have
, but hey, there are 10 months left in the project. So check out more fauxkémon at CaptureCreatures.com
, and be there for each new creature as they go up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
and Benito Cereno