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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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:icongreed03114:
Greed03114 Featured By Owner May 29, 2015
I like the story in the description.
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:iconvifdor:
Vifdor Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So poetic !!
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:iconlyerix:
Lyerix Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This makes me wanna make a bookworm for my own .-.
Reply
: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! 
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:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Professional 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
: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.
Reply
:iconego-kronos:
Ego-Kronos Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
You've probably gotten aLOT of feedback saying "you should make a manga out of this or something". But even then I honestly wanna say I truly wish you did and it would not matter how long it took, the quality of the art. The thing is that you are one of the most magnificent artists/story tellers I have ever seen (and that's coming from a weeaboo book worm ;P) but the point is that you really could do so much more, even if you make yourself out to be as some lazy crappy artist.
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:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
aww, thanks bro!
Reply
:icondarkwingdork1:
DarkwingDork1 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
Very cool character concept and story. :)
Reply
:iconsmeapancol:
Smeapancol Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
More!
Reply
:iconmathkor89:
mathkor89 Featured By Owner May 15, 2013
thankfully life is made easier for the book worm with e ink readers, now she has a free arm to do with it what she will, probably try and read from 2 e-ink readers
Reply
:iconmgartist:
MGartist Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Student General Artist
I thought I recognized your display name! I remember seeing this pic months ago, before I got a da account.
I really like it! :)
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:bow:
Reply
:iconcommode7x:
commode7x Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013
Great. Now, I can't stop thinking about how she makes bookmarks and uses them.

I imagine that they're used as a weapon when she goes into stories. They turn into an epic sword of sorts, but I doubt that they're very useful, being made of paper and all.
Reply
:iconlindafox:
LindaFox Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I was looking for this for a while. It still is amazing and I totally love the concept. :iconbegplz:
Reply
:icontheanonymouspen:
TheAnonymousPen Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I really love your creative style and your descriptions always bring new life to the picture! I especially love the iflit here, and was delighted to discover that it wasn't just a flame as I had thought at first glance.
Reply
:iconqanmeansblood:
QanMeansBlood Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Haha, tell me about it. Writing a story based on an intricate universe that nicely situated itself in one single picture... can prove to be difficult. You did a great job though.
Reply
:iconminkymy:
Minkymy Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013
I wish I had four hands.
Reply
:iconbrixmon:
Brixmon Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
AWW, that's so cuuuuute!
...I don't care how many masculinity points I lost just now. :(
Reply
:iconrosella-of-daventry:
Rosella-of-Daventry Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I looooove her. :rose: :heart:
Reply
:iconraiha19:
raiha19 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
Normally I don't like antennae, or extra limbs, or anything to do with bugs, but Aya's adorable! Great job making not only making a bug cute, but make me wanna be one too! :D
Reply
:iconphenoca:
Phenoca Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
The ... Lol.
Reply
:iconshaduf:
shaduf Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Student General Artist
I want her awesome antennae. The fun I would have messing about in books~!
Reply
:iconleoyun:
Leoyun Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm suppose to be called a book worm (looks at limbs) *gasp* I should mutate them! And grow myself antennas!
Love the good work and how cut the situation is, and the info was very interesting!
Reply
:iconevarusso:
EvaRusso Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
I really love this. your style is great and I'll watch you if you don't mind.
I somehow look like her (I mean I am not so pretty and I miss a set of hands but...) especially for the fact I'd love to be buried in a library... :D
Anyway, I love this work very much!
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconevarusso:
EvaRusso Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
:aww:
Reply
:icontenko72:
tenko72 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
Great scene and I like the designs of them both.
Reply
:iconbmocat:
BMOCAT Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i just realized the flame was a little person :3
Reply
:icondarylchin:
DarylChin Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
Hmm, according to the description, she lives in the Library pretty much all her life. I'm really interested to know how she get her eyes checked and fix herself a pair of glasses.
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
She never checks her eyes, and uh, really hopes she doesn't break her glasses.
Reply
:icondarylchin:
DarylChin Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
*rub rub*
Me: Hmmm... they are smoooooth...:iconblushplz:

*rub rub rub*

Aya: Let go.:iconnot-amusedplz:
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
H-her eyes, or glasses?
Reply
:icondarylchin:
DarylChin Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012
The legs
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:iconordoncrane:
OrdonCrane Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
hahaha, that took me a while to get
Reply
:iconkurotsukineko:
kurotsukineko Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Your stuff is always so goofy, weird, or just plain awesome X3
I love you John, for making me smile even when I'm having a bad day~ :3
Reply
:icondoomios:
Doomios Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist
That book in the foreground... Liver Group? Sounds interesting. What would you say it's about?
Reply
:iconjohnsu:
JohnSu Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's about a gang of vigilante doctors who patrol the city at night, detoxifying it of crime and producing chemicals to help it digest ummmmm immigrants

Or it's a partially exposed reference to the Gulliver Group
Reply
:icondoomios:
Doomios Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist
Oh yeah. Those guys are a lot cooler than what I was thinking. Anyway, congratulations on another great art and also brain-child!
Reply
:iconleon0015:
leon0015 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
looks like a friend mine, but she is a human (or a fox here on DA XD) and have 2 arms XD
Reply
:iconpredisposition:
predisposition Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
I wonder if Yan and Steiner visit her every now and then. That thing about Candelians and iflits not liking each other implies that they would have at least met at some point. Maybe despite the lack of windows and doors there's an opening in the wall, or Yan just torches herself a door every time she drops by, and Aya can be all "danget Yan I just fixed that door."

This is me hypothesizing about character interactions and this makes little sense at all but okay.
Reply
:iconndgmtlcd:
ndgmtlcd Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
To me the descriptions are completely different from the picture, except for one element. They too are wonderfully zany. This is the link. I see a picture like this one and I am transported by the wit and the marvelous elements. Then I read the description. It turns out that it takes me to a very different place than the picture, to situations other than those which had automatically sprung to my mind when I was looking at all those rich image elements. But it is full of wow too.

So, aside from being delighted by both the image and the text, I think that you are producing true art, by my definition of it. I'm taking my definition from Stanley Kubrick, who took it from a lot of other people. He thought that true art was supposed to elicit totally different reactions from different people. One person was not supposed to see the same thing as the next, and third one would see something different. Of course, this means that many "viewers" will see something completely different from what the artist sees in his/her own art.
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