Now that my brother's color clipart kookiness called
"ArbyFish: A Webcomic" is now working on a fairly regular basis,
I feel an additional explanation on the true evolution of the ArbyFish
character would be beneficial. What you are about to see and read may
Behold, a black and white representation of the
dreaded Pink ArbyFish. Be glad you didn't have to witness it
pick daisies or offer you another a box of chocolates. Esa drew this one,
and I think it looks pretty cute... Which would be the point, of course.
A long time ago, ArbyFish didn't come in so many colors.
In fact, before 1997, the concept hadn't really even been explored. Then
my younger brother got interested in Skee Ball and other ticket-giving
games at a local miniature golfing/arcade place, and he acquired the oddest-looking
seal I had ever seen. It was colored in a green-and-white-net camouflage
and had this sort of defiant expression that made it look like it knew,
quite proudly I might add, something really important that it wanted to
taunt everyone else with.
brother, quite skilled in the art of fantasy, made up a personality for
the little stuffed animal. We called it an "Army Fish" due to
the seal's camouflaged appearance, but for various reasons, the name changed
to "ArbyFish" and the personality ended up quasi-Monty-Python/Irish
with a strange affinity for mold. The fungus and mushroom fixation came
later, if I recall correctly.
So, time passed, and I discovered fan fiction. For some
strange reason (possibly because 9 of out 10 fan fics are written about
it), I started with Ranma fanfics, which led to Sailor Moon and other
series. It was a vicious cycle, let me tell you. I found that I had a bit of a talent for writing,
and I saw the comments that the better authors had been getting (it
was just after the Revengefic Wars ended, truly the golden age of fanfics
where it seemed like anyone could get commentary), and I
wanted to see if I could make anything work.
I wrote two SIs, one that involved using a Sliders
device to get to the anime universe in question, and then there was the
unfinished sequel, which made use of a transdimensional parrot and featured
the first appearances of the characters of Terra who had
been Sailor Moon's tiara until she met an infinite improbability generator
and the ArbyFish as her guardian cute-animal-something-or-other.
I don't know where he came from in that story.
if you think that sounds bad, there was this Jurassic Park fanfic I did
way back when I was 12 that involved powersuits, lasers, and time travelers
who came from the future to desperately try and save the park. No, I didn't
understand the concept of overkill back then. Some might argue that I
still don't. They might even have a point.
Anyway, those stories are in the past, deleted on a hard
drive in a computer that's long been consigned to the graveyard. But some
nights, I can still hear the screams
Well, after that, I read some stuff by
Mark Doherty, who became my favorite fanfic author of the time, and I
got to work on "Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow!!" The story evolved
starting with a main character whose name was the Moonlight Atom Boy,
stolen directly from Sailor Jessica Rabbit's Sailors, Knights, and
Masks story. The name sounded weird, so I changed it first to Starlight
Atom Boy, then to Starlight Atomic Knight, and then finally
Atomic Starlight Knight. Terra, a nifty addition from one of
the earlier SI stories, came aboard as well. I considered the piece as
one of my most serious works up until that point, so I realized that everyone
would need a solid past of one kind or another. I had also read some concepts
that I'd liked in some fanfics, such as adding a special guardian animal
to annoying new SM characters, so I wondered what kind of creature to
Then, from the second I remembered Arby, NETTG's
fate as a parody was sealed.
The character soon became noted for his oddball logic
systems and very long rants about completely nothing in order to prove
a completely inaccurate point. Here is an excerpt:
"Oh, ya see, ya gotta 'void mold. Bad
for ya mushrooms. Mushrooms'd attempt ta foight it off, but it wouldn't
work all that well. But if ya've got mold, what ya need to do is
fill up somethin' loike eighty-BILLION gallons a' anti-mildew spray
and throw it all on the fire. The fire'll take out that mould roight
noicely if ya inject an anti-inflammatory inta' the mushroom's
ecosystem, and then if ya poile on soma'ya green beans
beanz'll work out, but the REAL powa' is in the GREEN beans
Truly magnificent power, along with the mushrooms and devastatin'
Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow!! Chapter Two,
Arby later recanted and decided that mold was an essential
ingredient in every situation
Every situation, even as
armor. "Ablative Mold" allowed him to deflect high-powered lasers,
for example. A truly fine example of his twisted logic lies in NETTG's
chapter nine, during a long flashback period where Arby was Sailor
Pluto's advisor, much to the Time Senshi's chagrin.
Since then, Arby has mutated and changed, adapted to
others' impressions and suggestions. Some have found the creature considerably
difficult to visualize. A fellow fanfic writer, artist and programmer
named Joe Fenton also took a crack at it. (In fact, he's my backup plan
if Esa suddenly decides to explode someday. ^_-)
Given Arby's attitude and general uniqueness, it's not
surprising that he should be difficult to work with. Esa has tried a few
ways to draw Arby, some of which have come very close, but true perfection
of the ArbyFish still eludes us all.
Our analysis continues, and little by little, we are
getting closer. We must improve our design, work to better portray his
refined manic obsessive-compulsive personality, and so we shall. One of
the key elements that made the fanfic actually work was Arby, a true original.
I feel that the comic is unable to exist without him. That's why I asked
Danny to make his random supplimentary ArbyFish comic to begin withNETTG
needs a constant source of chaotic randomness to serve as a firm foundation.
A contradiction in terms, I know, but such is the nature
of the beast. Expect a bit of ArbyFish in the main comic in a few weeks
or months. Until then, thanks for reading!