Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Realm of the Claw

It is only recently, that I found out exactly what had happened to my beloved Realm of the Claw series. It has been cancelled. It's not only quite disappointing on a personal level, but it also represents something much more, it represents the disappearance of a fine piece of unique culture. And when I say unique, I mean it, which is quite astounding when you think about it.

Think about most comic book/graphic novel (yes they are both the same, you pretentious geeks, you) literature. Most of it is...well, about stupid action heroes. Spiderman, Superman, the Fantastic Four, Batman, etc etc all the same we've seen it all before. You've seen one goddamn hero wearing some damn variation on a lycra suit with a troubled past and a dual identity, you have seen them all.

You're all boring. Take that, you grossly proportioned lycra wearing pansies.

Now I don't like most comics. I like the Sandman series by Niel Gaiman, and especially his character Death. I love her. And, I like the lesser known series by Stan Winston, called The Realm of the Claw.

Anyway, dear old Stan got annoyed with having all his most famous creations, bought by others, and having his name relatively unknown while his creations were known by all. You would, wouldn't you? So he went and made some figures. His studios (note the s, it's not a type, he has more than one), aptly named 'Stan Winston Creatures, started to make their own branch of figures. They have several on the go right now,including Blood Wolves, Extreme Gargoyles, Trakk, and, my favourite, The Realm of the Claw.

Now if you didn't know who Stan Winston was (I said get out! I knew you wouldn't), or I just don't like you anyway, here is your chance to redeem yourself. Go look here

And then click on the collection. Then select a figure or six, and then use the mouse to drag them round in a circle so you can see them. And then...

...tell me those are not the most beautiful things you have ever seen. Ever. I dare you!

I have those, and they actually look like that...all of them. Stan Winston's idea of mass production is the same as most people's idea of individual care and attention. They are phenomenal. Quite large heavy things, too. Not only that, but they have more points of articulation than I can count, all cleverly concealed, but fully working. They also come suppled with several sharp well crafted weapons, and the best part, they come with two heads. One looking neutral and peaceful, the other snarling and roaring. Their paint job is fantastic, and each little bit of armour is made and applied separately to the body. The moss on the base looks like moss, Nakuru's eyes are the most beautiful blue ever, you can see all the little individual ridges on the roof of Kaela's mouth, Tare's claws are sharp enough to cut you...

Look this is just art at it's finest. Ever. And that is not just the manufacturing, the sheer fact that these are anthropomorphic creatures (anthros, anyone who does not understand this abbreviation, I dislike you even more now, just...go away) makes them better than everything else.

Don't argue with me. It does, I am right and I know it. Anthros rule. Tare could knock Batman out with one paw tied behind his back. Sabyr would just eat Superman for breakfast. Kaela and Zynda are proper catwomen, not like that stupid fishy lady with cat ears they call Catwoman. Nakuru would fall on Spiderman like a tonne of bricks and kill him. Tswana is somewhat more crap....but he's still cooler than even the best superhero all the mainstream JUNK can offer.

Yes I said mainstream JUNK. Junk junk junk. Anthros rool, superheros drool. Nyeh.

Anyway, dear ol' Stan, decided to make a comic book series out of his The Realm of the Claw series. He did this with several other of his creations, too. Now these comics, are the best in the world. Have I read all the comics in the world? No I have not. I don't need to, I just know. And this is my blog, this will be truth whether you like it or not. Why are they good?

Mostly the artwork is why they are good. David Yardin, is the artist. His artwork, is possibly the best artwork you will ever ever see. I aspire to be like this man so much. Look.

The whole thing is just phenomenal, it really is. Now there were scheduled to be six comics in the first series. Here is the storyline, summerised a lot.

Click here to see the main characters, in their anthro forms.

In the Garden of Eden, humans ruled over the animals. As they indeed did, according to biblical lore. Except, the humans were ruling unfairly and caring only about themselves, and not their subjects, the animals. Eventually, it got so bad that the humans were abusing their power so that they became tyrannical and all ruling, and the animals suffered for it. The Gods above them, were outraged. So they created some new beings, and sent them down to the Garden of Eden, to ally themselves with the animals, form an army, and fight the human tyrants. These beings were the cat dieties that you saw above. They first created Nakuru

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And then they created Sabyr.

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Sabyr and Nakuru turned the animals into an army, and waged war with the humans. The humans were almost all killed, and the remainder, were banished. They were banished into the world that we know today, and that is how humankind started. They were not created by God and then kicked out for eating an apple, they were forced out of the Garden of Eden by Nakuru, Sabyr, and their army.

But now the animals needed a new god, a new leader. So the Gods put forth a test, to see which out of Nakuru and Sabyr should rule. Nakuru passed the test, Sabyr did not. Nakuru ruled. Nakuru and Sabyr fell out, Sabyr killed innocent humans nearby, and Nakuru banished Sabyr to another part of his Kingdom.

Nakuru then had two sons. Tswana

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And Tare.

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Nakuru, tiring of ruling Eden, left his kingdom to go and live in the world of the humans for a while. He left his kingdom in the hands of his two sons.

Tswana was lazy and spent all his time enjoying the luxury that is royalty, until he eventually neglected his responsibilites, and left and went into the world of humans, to live as a human too. Tare stayed. Tare was ruthless and power hungry, and ruled the kingdom with an iron fist, killing any who dared disagree with him. The animals suffered.

When Nakuru returned to his kingdom, he was outraged. He fought with Tare, eventually besting him and near killing his son in the process. Tswana returned, to find his father almost killing his brother, and jumped in to stop them. Nakuru was outraged by his two useless sons, and banished them to the world of the humans, with no memories of their previous lives. Now they live their lives as humans, Tswana as a penniless animal loving zookeeper, Tare as a multi millionare trader who deals with illegal taxidermy and illegal hunting of endangered animals.

While this was happening, Sabyr bode his time and waited for the opportunity to overthrow Nakuru and take over Eden. Zynda

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allied herself with him, and together they are plotting to kill Nakuru. However, Zynda is secretly in love with Nakuru. Oh the drama!


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has allied herself with Nakuru, and, realising exactly what Tare and Zynda were trying to do, she has gone into the world of the humans, to try to find Tswana, bring his memories back to him, and bring him back to help his father fight Sabyr. But in the meantime, Sabyr has gotton hold of Tare, brought him back, and is currently training him to serve him and kill Nakuru for him. Sabyr plans to steal the kingdom from Tare, once Tare does the dirty work for him, but Tare does not know this. It is only a matter of time before Tswana is pitted against Tare, his own brother, and Nakuru will have to fight Sabyr, and Eden will either fall into the hands of good or evil.

Uhm, I think that covered it anyway. That is as far as the series has gotton, because, as I said, it has been cancelled in a crime against, well, me. And everything else. It's such an awesome story, you do not just cancel things when they are that good, and have so much potential!!

Anyway, that is why I am sad. And annoyed that such a great series will never fully come to be. Crime! I think I mentioned that. Oh well. CRIME! It's a crime because there are no good comic series, or action figures, nothing, that deals with anthros quite like this. I love anthros. Everyone should but they don't, you philistines.

Oh and it's my birthday today too, but I don't care about that.


Blogger Denny Crane said...

Great blog! I just finished my own comments on this awesome series and a tribute to Stan Winston. If you'd like to read my blog feel free. I'm still learning how blogger works, so I'm not sure how to post a link yet, but you can always email me if you want the direct link (if it doesn't post here)

Denny Crane

6:32 am  
Anonymous Scarecroodle said...

"Most of it is...well, about stupid action heroes. Spiderman, Superman, the Fantastic Four, Batman, etc etc all the same we've seen it all before. You've seen one goddamn hero wearing some damn variation on a lycra suit with a troubled past and a dual identity, you have seen them all."

Strongly disagree, especially since the same accusation of "sameness" could be leveled at any comic. And they would be right, considering comics have a far greater tendency towards derivative content than anything else...

And, let's face it, the stories for the Realm of the Claw characters are bland at best (overlooking that the Garden of Eden has been used more times than the last survivor of a doomed planet).

"Don't argue with me. It does, I am right and I know it. Anthros rule."

A popular idiom comes to mind: "Anthros are great out for artists who have difficulty drawing people" =p

As much as I love anthros, I do agree that it's far easier to design a competent anthro than a person.

"It's a crime because there are no good comic series, or action figures, nothing, that deals with anthros quite like this."

Four Horsemen Studios has released quite a few beautiful anthro pieces, although many are hard to get ahold of. They're also far more articulate than the McFarlane figure-esque Realm of the Claw although some of the series consist mostly of palette-swaps. If you're into anthros, definitely check them out.

7:50 pm  
Blogger MoriUmbra said...

I just discovered this awesome serie and I'm sad to learn its been canceled. Anyway if you like anthros you should look for "blacksad" the drawings are very similar.

1:33 am  
Blogger Lance Zimmerman said...

We have the comics, and all the action figures, and they are still in there original boxes. I was so sad when he died, this story died with him.

11:31 am  

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