A bit of a write up on the Piqha from the List of Projects.
It all started with the first video game I made. It was called Win Dozer. You had a bulldozer-shaped space ship, and you shot down the windows logo. Very edgy. Anti Microsoft. Wasn’t I the 1337 h4x0r.
Made in Microsoft Visual Basic for Microsoft Windows 95. Self awareness fail.
Here’s a panel from the story screens, with a modern remake underneath because I’m just as bad as Hollywood.
I called the creatures “scuzzies” at the time. Later I would rename them piqha. I’m not sure why. I like the name. It fits. And I like the letter Q.
Here’s the cast of Jump the Shark re-imagined as Piqha. You will note the cameo by the mysterious Linus…
I conceived of them as psychic mollusks. They would secrete a liquid that would harden into a shell, like a clam. But the crystals in the sides of their heads were telekinesis projectors that they would use like hands. Because of the latent telekinetic fields around their bodies at all times, the shell would harden into a shape that somehow reflected their personalities.
As time went on, I went back again and again the the piqha idea. Little cartoon characters. Almost 100% face, but with a hard, toy-like exterior. Adaptable to any story or character, and unique to me the way Seuss has his whos and Jim Henson has his muppets.
I toyed with giving them hands.
And I worked out what exactly they were. My Star Lancer setting already has human-descended genetically engineered slave races for the evil United Peoples of the Cosmos. One of these races, the goblins or gremlins, were designed to live inside the walls of starships and serve as maintainance crews/living components. What if those crystals were aether uplinks? What if gremlins escaped from ship wreckage and forged their own societies?
So many children’s stories have existential horror baked in if you think about them too hard. I am not opposed to this, as a rule, though I think the authors should try to grasp their own settings and at least intend the existential horror.
Anyway, I’m pondering using them. They fit well in almost anything, especially as I aim at little kids. Specifically, I’m pondering making a bunch of Piqha illustrations for Inktober, alongside the labor of continuing work on Hat Trick. Perhaps if I illustrate more of their world, they will come into their own in time.