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September 30, 2012
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Hon no Mushi by JohnSu Hon no Mushi by JohnSu
Aya Lepismatidae will literally die of boredom if she fails to engage herself in stories regularly. This is because she is a Bookworm - a creature who live on tales instead of food. Luckily for her, she's in no danger of running out of reading material. For as long as she could remember, she's lived in a great expansive Library with no windows and no doors, and only the small indigenous iflits for company. Were it not for the inexhaustible supply of books, she probably would have turned into mold long ago.

  Bookworms have 4 arms, 2 legs, and a pair of antennae. The first pair of hands are used for holding the book and turning pages, while the second pair are used for either supporting the head, picking the nose, or feeding tea to the main body (drinks are a luxury, not a necessity. Here she is drinking Mystery Tea, brewed from the pages of a bad mystery novel she didn't care to finish). One might at first think "Hey, I can do all those things with just two hands," but one does not realize that turning pages for a Bookworm is a full time job, and how much work is involved in cleaning out their nasty nasty noses (they easily congest with plot twists).
  The antennae are used for "self-insertion" into books - a strange activity that allows the Bookworm to visit the world of the story they are reading. Aya looks for weak spots in the page's Fourth Wall and then bores into it with her antennae, after which she is able to channel herself into the world beyond the page. What does she do there? I don't know. But considering that she is an abomination and her primary drive in life is to be amused, she's probably up to no good.
  The legs are normal legs. Used for locomotion, just like a human's. They are very very pale, because there is no sun where she lives, but aside from that there's nothing special about them.

  The iflits are fiery little creatures. Normally the presence of fire-people in a Library full of flammable materials would be a concern, but iflits are pretty weak as flames go and for the most part try to conserve energy by not burning everything they touch. Their diet consists primarily of lipids and fats (Candelians do not like iflits. Not at all) and fiber. When Aya is done brewing tea, she will often feed the used pages to her iflits. As for candles, there is a gross cave somewhere in the Library where waxes come out of the walls and can be harvested for candles. It is a disgusting cave. Who put that there? Probably me.
  Aya and the iflits do not talk very much. Aya is more accustomed to absorbing knowledge than sharing it, so conversation does not come to her naturally. Also, iflits can't talk. However, they seem fairly intelligent and willing to cooperate, so Aya is able to form a sort of symbiotic relationship with them where she opens books and harvests easily consumable pages for them, as well as making candles for them from "the Booger Cave." In return, the iflits heat her tea, provide her with reading light, and keep the Library from freezing over. Well, they would have done those last two anyways, since light and heat are just part of their metabolism.

---

HOLY MOLEY those couple of paragraphs took me forever to write. I finished drawing this picture three days ago, and then spent all weekend coming up with ideas and writing them down and then being disappointed with how messy and unorganized it was, and I was just taking it way too seriously. In the end I said to myself "Okay, it's already Sunday night. Let's just try to keep this simple and not go into detail about where the books come from and how she produces bookmarks and uses them. We'll talk about her legs." And there you have it.

Did I actually spend more time on the description than the picture? The answer frightens me.

Anyhow, hopefully this is not the last we see of Aya, since she was created for the sole purpose of being reusable and I actually want her to stick around for longer than all my other one shot characters.

My work has a distinct lack of representatives.

Made in Flash
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:iconthessssfactor:
TheSsssFactor Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Hi, John! I've only recently come to know about your art, and I must express my great admiration for your work. Your settings and characters are simply enchanting, and your style is amazing! The concept of Aya here is very interesting to me; I love the idea of an endlessly vast magical library with only one person to explore it. It's a couple of years late now, but if you decided somehow that you'd like to do more art of her, I'd be very glad to see it! Happy arting, and have a nice day! 
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! I still have the intention of using Aya again, though...no concrete plans I'm satisfied with yet. :(
Reply
:icondandare-rastaban:
Dandare-Rastaban Featured By Owner May 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Uhm.. okay...


I'll pretend I did not see anything ^_^;
Reply
:iconchibi-kyo-chan17:
chibi-kyo-chan17 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Student Filmographer
nice backstory, really like your art style
Reply
:iconredwinterwolf:
RedWinterwolf Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
Oh god, I only just saw this....sofreakingadorablegwah.
Reply
:iconblackoctoberindustry:
This was made in adobe Flash??? I can't believe you're able to get this incredibly detailed with vector and I've been working with Flash for years.
Reply
:iconyuukikawashiro:
YuukiKawashiro Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013   Traditional Artist
Beautiful and mysterious. Great work X3
Reply
:iconnlistening:
NListening Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That Gulliver Group in the corner...
Reply
:icongenericfandom:
genericfandom Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Student General Artist
This is an amazing concept. I love it!
Reply
:iconduwee-davisii:
Duwee-DavisII Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013
This is a totally cool concept... more insect youkai need to exist as OCs, heh heh heh.
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