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Rat King by JohnSu Rat King by JohnSu
Ruoy Lygden was a simple landlord of a small 4-unit apartment until one day when he was cleaning up after an evicted tenant and rolled a waste bin over something... was a rat king's tail!

The act of crushing the knot of tails caused the assembly of rats to come apart, and they went scurrying into the darkness. Later that night as Ruoy lay in bed stressing out over his mortgage payments, he was startled to find himself surrounded by a crowd of rats.

"All hail the Rat King!" they squeaked in thunderous tumult. Ruoy had been made into the new Rat King after having slain the previous one in a supposed challenge to the throne. His body now houses a legion of rats, ready to come out at the first sign of easy food. Fearrr!

In this picture he is going out to buy milk and is like "Guys, I can do this. Leave me alone," but they are like "No, my liege! We will accompany youuu I shall comb your hair"

Ruoy is often accompanied by his royal familiars: Wulfram and Lars Gran. They are huge weird rats that come and go at their discretion. Each familiar has a single eye that can transmit its vision to the Rat King, resulting in much headache and motion sickness for Ruoy.

Ruoy's Rat King powers are kind of like a gross Dracula's in that he can disintegrate into a thousand rats and run away and then come together again and then he opens his cape and shoots three fireballs at the player. Aside from that, he can communicate with rodents and detect the presence of food. His rats will form a mantle on his back when they think it will help. But it never does.

Man, this took like 2 weeks to finish, but I'm happy with it. In the sketches I was worried Ruoy was coming to look a bit too much like Soma Cruz (with the jeans, fur 'round the neck, long coat, and girly hair). But I also wanted to start drawing, so oh well. Oh yeah, Ruoy's jacket pulling is inspired by ~arnistotle's APB Sketch. On a second look, I think I goofed on the motion here; Ruoy is more just clutching his side than actually pulling on a coat. Damn!

The background was the most exciting part for me, though! This picture sees a return of LINES IN THE BACKGROUND, something I haven't done since two years ago! Why did I forget this? It has value.

That being said, I have mixed feelings on how the subject and the background come together in this piece. They kind of compete for attention, and it's looking busier than I would have liked. I admit I only had a vague sense of the lighting when I shaded the characters; I should probably work on the background/environment first next time to solidify the ambiance and lighting first.

Well, anyway, that was fun!

Made in Flash
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MegaWario Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2016
Cool,i'l ladmit, i don;t know if this a based on anything because the only Rat  King I know is the one from TMNT
IricoIchusei Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2016
Never heard of the "rat king" phenomenon until now. I am both horrified and inexplicably interested... =google time=
WereWolfgang Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2016
I was recently reading Confessions of a D-List Supervillain, and one of the characters immediately reminded me of this picture. This scruffy little man went by the name "Rodentia" and could psychically control all the rats in a several mile radius. For the rest of the book, I couldn't stop trying to find comparisons to your pictures, seeing as the author seemed to have a similar sense of humor.
PeteysHenchman Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yep. that's pretty much what I'd imagine what the king of rats would look like in an anime
Imortal-Night Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really like the concept>, and Interestingly enough Dracula could also morph into many rats like  Ruoy, although Dracula's alternate forms (Bats and wolf) received more recognition.
JohnSu Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ooo, this I did not know
Imortal-Night Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
now you do :)
IchorData Featured By Owner May 16, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
That premise is fucking brilliant. Why is this not a manga in progress? Or animé? 
The-Orange-Cow Featured By Owner May 14, 2015
Oh man, I wish this was a novel or ongoing series or something.  Thanks for posting!
Vyctorian Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015   Digital Artist
Excellent detailing and shading!~
Konfusion64 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This character is AWESOME!! :D
Konfusion64 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This character is AWESOME!! :D
AncientDruids Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm so happy to find this. Or at least my rattish half is...

Overall the "rat king" from urban legend is a very interesting and cool concept.
Dr-GigglesTheFox Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't stop laughing at the back story help
DugatytheReaperX Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Student Artist
I like a lot! and to me he doesn't look like he's grabbing his sides and i like the fact that he hates being the Rat king and became one by not knowingly killed him LOL
GazenArt Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I don't know why, but this is my favourite.
AnimeDovahkin Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Dude, this is AWESOME!  Your character description is really cool too.  I would love to see this as an actual comic. 
Dragonborn-Rio Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014
This is awesome.
Iamnow-LIVINGPOTATO Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Eeeeeee! So cool!
Codeyellow07 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Guy needs a webcomic...
dragonkingofthestars Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
well that is a unique back story. Never said a charchter like this, the two big rat familiars are like Odins ravens right? least i think they had one eye, meh. any way this is very interesting charterer. shame he's a one off drawing, this guy needs a web comic for him. Well done
Darcy0414 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
Ooh~ :heart:
InYuJi Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
ah, so the background was almost an afterthought? Or you just wished you had planned ahead more?
Anyway, I seriously love this, especially those 2 rats and the eerie blue ghost "tails"?
JohnSu Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist

The background was planned; I just didn't start inking/coloring it until after I was done with the foreground. This meant I was doing the shading in the foreground without being conscious of the lighting in the background, which lead to some inconsistencies.
Kris18 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013
Its so cool
Void-Wolf Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wpud like to see something like this like an anime. Season finale, he goes to China and gets the power of the Fire Rat!
commode7x Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013
Maybe he should shoot rats at the player. Or throw them. Actually, he should shoot throw them.

Don't ask me how that would work.
LadySkyKattRavenTail Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013
I luv this one....>(^-*)< PFC Hale
hinata15hyuga Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
i totally love rats
Greenzly Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
this is epic O,O !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Colecanth Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
AquaLar Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
No offence intended XD i just loved it.
AquaLar Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
RespicePostTe Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Digital Artist
This is so cool! Also, I love the stories you put after the picture!
RedWinterwolf Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
This is just inspired. And, y'know, beautifully drawn. That helps, heh.
arcxont Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
Nice work!
Demialc-neeb-sah-em Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012
heh, Love his rat-cl;oak and his two rat assistants.

Also, hilarious concept.
Skipskatt Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student General Artist
so cool! Love the story!
Dragnia Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Student General Artist
This is a beautiful piece of art! And to be made on flash?! It's gorgeous!!!
ArtLovingTeenager Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
I REALLY want this to be a series.
Obsidian-Stone Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
Wow this guy looks awesomely badass and the story made me lawl x)
Pandor17 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Student Artist
NannaDoodles Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
haha i would love to be the new rat "king" or queen if they woul let me XD rats are my fave pet!
grimandgrimmer Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012
This looks really cool!
alethiophile Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012
The picture is really good, but the sarcastic commentary is epic win.
BellxSong Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
For a moment, I thought this was from show. This is awesome!!!
Smarted Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my god you're fucking hilarious. xD

That said, this is an awesome picture.
lord-of-the-trout Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012
If he can turn into a swarm of rats, what happens if a few aren't there when they all reassemble?
JohnSu Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
he coughs up blood
Serith Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012
Next he has to enter some kind of underworld tournament hidden right in the middle of the city, where he meets and falls in love with the queen of the cats.... right?
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Submitted on
November 16, 2010
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