I have had a few world-building efforts over the last few years. Most of my efforts have been centered around enormous cities, retro designs, ancient civilizations, environmentalism, and post-humanism. I would work, sometimes intensely on an idea, then I would flake and the idea would transform or sputter out. Files and files of paper, stacks of detailed notebooks. Dozens of sketches, finished art. All good, but come to nothing. Beautiful parts of incomplete wholes.
Part of what you will see here is an effort to make good on that work. Much of ‘Mice on the Moon’ will incorporate that old work. We’ll talk about it.
But let’s go back earlier.
I watched ‘The Secret of NIMH when I was too young to understand it. Images from Don Bluth’s epic animated feature would be forever scorched on my soul and in my brain. I would forever afterward love the characters, the setting, the idea of hidden worlds within worlds, scavenge-punk, and the secret lives of animals.
After watching ‘NIMH’, I held a predisposition toward similar features of fiction. Last Unicorn, Lord of the Rings, The Rescuers and its sequels, Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Tailspin, Darkwing Duck, Duck Tales, Classic Fables, Raynard the Fox, The Dark Crystal, Island of Dr. Moreu, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, an obsessive reading of a wide variety of the world’s folklore. All of that, I think started there, with ‘The Secret of NIMH’. I think that perhaps even my interest in government conspiracy theory may have started while witnessing the secret and clandestine operations of the National Institute of Mental Health, and their experiments on rats and mice.
I recall reading ‘Flowers for Algernon’, one of the first books I read for school that I legitimately enjoyed, and noticing something like a common ancestor. Later I would read the actual novels, ‘Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH’, it’s sequels, and every scrap of related material I could find. I would learn to draw in the Don Bluth style, would dream of becoming an animator, and would fuel my creativity with NIMH’s fire.
I always knew I wanted to do something with my passion for this subject, but avoided it as I got older. I continued to read, enjoy the interest, read about naturalism, plants, animals, rodents and anthropomorphism. I went from being a fan to being educated in the science and literary criticism of the subject. I became an academic superfan of cute animals in clothes, pretending at being men.
I also realized that I just LOVE rats. That will be a topic that deserves it’s own post, but I would become a rat owner in the intervening years, and would become incredibly fascinated by tightly symbiotic relationship between man and rat. That subject absolutely never gets old for me. Later, we will investigate.
I mean, rats are going to be a BIG part of this blog. Rats, just, everywhere.