Princess Pricklepants Presents Issue No. 3
Princess Pricklepants Presents Pricklepants Labs
Princess Pricklepants Presents Issue No. 3
Princess Pricklepants Presents Pricklepants Labs
Princess Pricklepants Presents Issue No. 2
Today we presented our first installment of Princess Pricklepants Presents, an artful webcomic of delight and wonder. The single greatest webcomic ever created by us. Since this is our first comic, we had a lot to say that didn’t fit in the little speech bubbles, so in this post we’ll share details of the art, comments on things, and notes about notes. In case you missed the comic, here it is:
In this comic we managed to include references/homages to Alphonse Mucha, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Magritte, Rembrandt, the Flammarion Engraving, Hergé, with subtle references to a few other artists of note, as well as hitting the minimum recommended daily allowance of jokes, both visual and written. We also drew a whole lot of quills.
Perhaps you’re asking, “why a web comic?” Well, you might remember that Princess Penelope Pricklepants used to write stories on our blog featuring herself as a model. Now take a look at this rare behind the scenes photo of Princess Perdita Pricklepants.
As you can see, Princess Perdita is not at all fond of posing, and immediately on coming on set, is ever intent on climbing under any and every element of the set, making the old format much, much more difficult.
But we still liked telling stories and we’ve been making art that told stories. We even made a few early web comic sorts of things like Princess Pricklepants and the Mystery in the Hundred Acre Woods and Princess Pricklepants, Astrophysicist. Also we’d made little single panel comics like this off and on.
So a proper webcomic is a natural progression, and it seems like a nice way to do the kind of things we like to do. Doing these is a fair bit of work, so we created ten comics before we published to make sure we were up to the task, so you’ll be (hopefully) happy to know there’s definitely more to come. We also have many plans for more comics, and hope you’ll come along for the ride.
While this might come as a surprise, we’re huge fans of Art Nouveau and especially Alphonse Mucha, so our title image is a cartoon homage, mixing the silly and sublime in what we hope was the right ratio.
Now you probably noticed the Magritte between the Leonardo and the Michelangelo, and thought to yourself that there had to be some kind of symbolism of a surrealist sandwich with Renaissance bread. You are very astute, dear reader! There is indeed symbolism there.
While not so easy to see in the full comic, we were really happy with the comic version of Magritte:
The apple’s brush strokes, the subtle two-dimensional cubist geometric clouds, the hat’s shading… It is a tiny happy thing.
Michelangelo in comic form. I bet if he’d thought of it, he’d have done it this way.
It’s a self-evident truth that monkeys and squirrels improve everything they’re involved in. While drawing this panel, we learned a few things. First, drawing each quill and coloring them individually is a lot of work. Second, hand painting each individual square in the gingham tablecloth to define the form was probably a mistake. Third, chairs are surprisingly hard to draw.
If you’ve ever read the Tintin comics by Hergé, you’ll be familiar with the comic style called ‘ligne claire’ or ‘clear line’ which we’re using here. It’s one of our favorites. The lines are drawn with a consistent pen width, there’s no hatching/shading lines, there’s a consistent naturalistic perspective, all forms in the image are in focus with each object clearly outlined, coloring tends towards lighter tones, and in general there are no shadows. (We took a few liberties with the tablecloth and chair cover because we’re free.) We’re not going to be using this style aways, but we really like it, so expect more.
You have no idea how many times we repainted this and changed colors around and fiddled with the stars. The hedgehog running in the wheel space station is a highly hedgehog-centric joke we couldn’t resist. If you’ve looked somewhat obsessively you’ll have noticed that we’ve drawn hedgehog quills in three different styles in the first three panels.
If you’re new to this blog, you might not be familiar with our cow, bear, and robot friends. We’d encourage you to catch up on some of our favorites:
Princess Pricklepants, Startup Founder Extraordinaire
Princess Pricklepants’ Guide To Politeness, Manners, Delightfulness, Grace, and Related Things
Princess Pricklepants, Magnificent Mender of Monkey Manners
Princess Pricklepants, Blogger, Anarchist (An early work, and odd, but still a fave.)
There are many more in the archives.
There’s much more to say about our friends, but we’ll be introducing you over time. Now, let’s take a closer look at that cartoonified Rembrandt hedgehog in the back.
Just look at it! Magnificent gloriousness.
And of course, we had to include a close-up and a nerd joke. Penning those quills took much time. Since this was our inaugural comic, we perhaps took the detail in the art a little further than we’re going to for every comic. In the end, we used five (or maybe six) stylizations for quills. We believe that is a record, and will be contacting Guinness.
We’re looking forward to sharing our comics with you. We’re currently planning to publish weekly on Saturdays, though there’s a chance we’ll change to biweekly, since they are actually a good bit of work to make. If you’re not following us, please follow us on social media where we share comics, art, jokes, and all sorts of wonderful things.
or you can follow our blog with the little link thing on the side.
We also have an Instagram account, but note that we won’t be posting comics there (with the scale we prefer, they just won’t fit): https://www.instagram.com/princessperditapricklepants/
If you like our art, you can find shirts, posters, mugs, notebooks, zipper bags, and other delightful things on our Etsy Shop.
We also have a wider variety of tee shirts on Amazon.
Do let us know if you have any feedback, questions, or comments, we’d love to hear from you. (Twitter/Facebook preferred, but any work). See you next week. Excelsior!
Hi everyone, we have exciting news! We are starting an artful webcomic of delight and wonder titled ‘Princess Pricklepants Presents.’ And look! Here it is!
next: Princess Pricklepants Presents It’s the Great Pumpkin Spice Princess Pricklepants
“You played it for the hedgehog, you can play it for me.”
2001 A Hedgehog Odyssey
Just when mealworms though it was safe to go back in the water.
Darth Pricklepants was our favorite part.
Raiders of the Lost Hog
It’s a trap!
The Nightmare Before Hedgemas
My Patronus is a Hedgehog
PP was the best Seeker in the films.
Dear Australian Tourism Bureau,
First thanks for having an Australia to promote as a Tourism Bureau, it’s a lovely place. We had a genuinely delightful trip to your continent/country. While we saw only a little of a huge place, what we saw was wonderful, excellent, and amazing. But. Unfortunately, with all due respect, and in full politeness, you have failed us terribly as a country, continent, and tourism bureau.
You might not be familiar with who we are, since Her Highness is not so well known in Australia, so we should briefly introduce ourselves.
We are hedgehog aficionados, regular commenters on hedgehog culture, and deeply dedicated to the study of hedgehog arts, literature, history, etc. Therefore, the echidna, the most hedgehog-like animal was the one we specifically visited Australia to meet. And yet, somehow, we did not see a single echidna.*
We saw this kangaroo mom with her joey, mom standing in an area that seemed like a fine meeting place for echidnas, yet look very, very carefully at that photo. The most prominent aspect of the photo is a clear lack of echidna.
Echidna-ness-less matters deeply to us. Not only are echidnas very hedgehog-esque, making them subjects of great interest, but they are also monotremes who lay eggs and raise their young in a pouch like a platypus and have a very ancient divergence from other mammals that makes them extremely fascinating. The fact that they are adorable also made them a very important animal to meet. Look at this photo someone else took when they were blessed with a meeting with an echidna!
Everyone in the world obviously would want to meet one of those, and as a tourism bureau you know this! Naturally, we assumed Australia would deliver on our reason for going there.
Echidnas aren’t Australia’s national animal (oddly), but they are still a prominent national symbol. Looking closely at this Australian flag, you might spot the echidna cleverly embedded in it…
It’s part of the echidna constellation. Echidnas play a large and prominent role as a national symbol, another reason we came to the Homeland of Echidnas (our motto for Australia which we really think Australia ought to adopt, please consider this, Australian Tourism Bureau).
It’s such a lovely place. Gorgeous coastlines everywhere and beaches that feel like this:
We began our trip in Tasmania, which is a majestic wonderful place full of rugged natural beauty and very long hikes that leave your legs sore but you happily run out and do more of the next day. There are so many beautiful and fascinating habitats all full of slightly odd but lovely plant species (so many lovely mosses and ferns and the fern trees are glorious), as well as animals that were all new and interesting.
Wild koalas are fascinating and adorable and we saw them a number of times! Amazing! What’s also amazing is that many and various websites discussing these areas mentioned echidnas as a thing you would see sometimes, we were fully expecting to meet an echidna to help promote interspecies friendship and understanding, yet there were none. Many of those websites mentioning the high echidna levels contained in Tasmania had ads from the Australian Tourism Bureau so you knew full well that you were promoting this information that was completely false as we met no echidnas. Our concerned queries to locals claimed that it was colder so they were going into hibernation, a thing these websites had not mentioned, or maybe something we skimmed past a bit. No echidnas. This is on you Australia.
We did have the distinct pleasure of meeting Molly the wombat and having some really wonderful talks/experiences with her and several other wombats. We stayed at the Wombat Haven in Tasmania, an orphanage for wombats whose mothers have died (generally in car accidents). Wombats are rather unusual in that they’re very playful and sweet as children (young wombats are called “joeys”), but they hit a terrible teen stage where all bonding to humans is dropped, and they become the grumpy, solitary, and kind of frightening animals we know and love in the wild without issues from initial human and/or hedgehog contact. We guiltlessly pet a wombat joey and played with it. They are very playful and intelligent little wonderful creatures of marvel and happiness.
We enjoyed introducing Molly to the Pricklepants Media Empire. She was delighted. We worked on opening up possible interspecies kindness and mutual tolerance were hedgehogs and wombats to interact.
We also introduces Molly to hedgehog art, which she was also delighted by. She liked this notebook’s art so much she even tried to eat it!
So, with that kind of an experience with a wombat (a creature rare to see in the wild, though we did see one in Hobart at the Waterworks Reserve), a creature much less common to encounter than an echidna in Australia, we assumed this portended well for the Echidna Emissary Quest we had made the long journey for.
We saw a lot of very pretty parrots in the trees in Australia like this crimson rosella. Just look at it!
There were a lot of parrots. These red-rumped parrots were also fairly common. It was a little distracting, since we know echidnas do not dwell in trees, but we had to look in them regularly as there were parrots in them. We still did monitor every potential echidna habitat with great care.
We spent a lot of time at aquatic habitats like this one where we saw this lovely white-necked stilt. The shore birds were sometimes the same as those one would see elsewhere in the world, but with many species like this that have similar relatives elsewhere making them extra interesting.
For instance, these brolga are huge cranes with relatives like the sandhill cranes in the US. Magnificent creatures, and an absolute privilege to be able to see such a glorious thing in nature.
While the parrots were the show stealers, the finches were absolutely gorgeous. The red-browed finches above are also known as Firetails for their bright red rumps. We also saw a wild flock of zebra finches which was fascinating and wonderful!
We saw a lot of rainbow lorikeets, another bird common in the pet trade out in the wild living their best rainbow lorikeet lives, which was wonderful. Again note that in all these pictures there have been no echidnas!
One parrot we saw quite a lot of was cockatoos. They’re very beautiful birds.
While beautiful, they did attempt to steal our binoculars. They can become a bit too clever if people leave food out for them, though this is really a human-related issue.
Cockatoos are very clever. Despite our directing the handservants to close that lid and even put a rock on it, they managed to find their way in.
We also saw emu chicks, and melted inside. Emus get to be about as big as ostriches.
Please, share the road with Emus.
We did meet one King Parrot, and it was delightful to make a calling on parrot royalty. While slightly less polite than we had expected, they were very noble, lovely, graceful, and generally stunning. Their etiquette issues only appeared in areas humans were hand feeding them, which is a human issue, really. They remained uninterested in our Echidna Emissary Quest.
The Great Ocean Road was especially beautiful as there were lovely islands, beaches, habitats with various interesting creatures, a fern rainforest that was near magical, and general loveliness all around.
We also met a number of laughing kookaburras. Their call is featured as a generic “jungle” sound in various movies, like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tarzan, Jurassic Park and other films not set in Australia which made hearing them very curious. They’re very patient birds that don’t mind people or hedgehogs much, so they were very nice, though none had seen echidnas.
I don’t think we mentioned the lighthouses, but there many lovely sweeping views from the cliffs, and the heather and other habitats we meandered through were all lovely in themselves and full of birds, especially fairy-wrens.
Fairy-wrens! Superb fairy-wrens are cute little birds, small puffs that are fairly curious and great tiny hunters. The males are incredibly lovely in their breeding plumage (less showy but still lovely in their non breeding plumage).
There are so many other new and fascinating things we saw, like spoonbills.
And New Holland Honeyeaters that were incredibly common.
And so many birds of prey! Many kites, a number of hawks, and even a few falcons. And we saw the strange and super-cleverly camouflaged frogmouth.
We saw the frogmouth at the Serendip Sanctury where it was captive and part of a breeding program. Despite much time spent searching for frogmouths at the Victoria Botanical Gardens (lovely place) and elsewhere we did not find any. Much like echidnas.
We also met many wallabies as well which are macropods like the kangaroo, but smaller and more common in most areas we were in.
While we have mentioned the breathtaking views, they were really stunning. This is honeymoon cove in Freycinet National Park. It’s literally impossible to look at this cove and not experience a sense of awe, wonder, and delight. And yet even with that, there is still that nagging sense of lack of echidnas.* Australia Tourism Bureau, why did you hide the echidnas from us? We don’t expect a refund, that would be unreasonable. But we would be very pleased and happily accept were you were to offer a replacement Echidna Emissary Quest so we could have a do-over and find your national animal.
Kind and Noble Regards,
(and handservants not notable enough to be named)
* We did see one echidna in a wildlife rescue
this doesn’t count. It was nearly hibernating, and since we must meet animals in the wild in their natural habitat for it to actually count.**
** Also, at one point drive we were driving along the road, the handservant driver spotted the echidna, turned around to investigate, but the echidna fled almost instantly, long before there was any hope of a photographic record which makes spotting wildlife count doubly since there’s clear evidence and nearly properly counts.***
*** To properly count we need an excellent photo.
For example, this photo’s reasonably well shot for an action shot, nicely composed, tells a story that’s very interesting, and has great things going on with color. We expected something similar with an echidna, obviously.****
**** Now we’re done with these footnotes. If you’re reading this, thank you for your careful followup and attention to detail.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve made a new Etsy store full of many and various wonderful things. In addition to the endlessly delightful tee shirts, we have lovely designs on mugs, sweatshirt/hoodies, notebooks, pencil bags, phone cases, posters, and even leggings. Happily, the notebooks can be ordered with lined, blank, graph, or bullet (dot) paper.
We order samples of things to ensure quality is up to our standards, and the notebooks are especially wondrous (perfect printing/registration, excellent paper, nice binding), though we also love the mugs (really excellent printing as well), and the pencil bags are both beautifully printed and basically just right.
Here are a few samples with a helpful hedge-model.
A lovely pencil bag:
A notebook both stunning and really very good as a notebook.
And mugs of joy and delight:
And look, here’s one out in the wild:
For our loyal blog readers we’re offering a special coupon – 15% off two or more items.
If you’re looking for a delightful, witty, charming hedgehog-related gift, or just feeling the need for a hedgehog lifestyle accessory, please do take a look. We really hope you’ll be pleased.
Finally, if there’s any design we’ve made in the past that you’ve liked but don’t see, please do let us know – we are happy to do custom orders.
We have happy news! We wrote a children’s book which we weren’t enthralled with so we set it aside and wrote a couple more children’s books until we found a story we really liked. We’re in the (long, not very easy) process of illustrating it now.
This little story was mostly just created to force ourself to practice at illustrating (still working at it). Hence there are no photos, though there are still many pictures with words under them.
The book itself will be a long slow slog since we’re going to be submitting to publishers and all that business. If anyone has any helpful advice on that front, we’d be delighted to hear it.
And now we begin with our first nicely illustrated picture with words under it.
Princess Pricklepants was sitting at the table with a nice cup of tea on a quiet day, thinking about things, which was her favorite thing to do. After a bit of reflection she was overcome with an unusually strong feeling that she should do something good for the world, something big. Really big.
She ran into Sam, a trusted old friend who’d always been there, and had been in many adventures, despite what some pedantic nerds might say about it. “Hi Sam, I’m working on something big!”
After fourteen seconds, Sam the sloth had finished asking, “aren’t you already big enough?”
Her Highness made a note to schedule another manners lesson with Sam.
“We need to have a talk about manners. Soon. But not yet, as I’m working on something big.”
After a long silence that implied quiet agreement, Her Highness wandered off to the study.
Approximately ten seconds after she had left, Sam had finally finished saying, “no, but I didn’t mean you were big like that.” Alas, he saw Her Highness was already gone. Sam hoped that was the end of the excitement for the day and decided it was time to slow things down a bit.
Her Highness decided to develop a theory of astrophysics that explained dark matter more satisfactorily than current models. That seemed big in every sense.
As she worked, it felt like she was in some kind of wonderful montage with a cool, kind of edgy pop soundtrack driving her quickly towards a discovery that would take far too long to describe in a narrative story format.
She developed her hypothesis:
Dark matter is actually the interstellar dispersal of lost pens and socks!
So elegant! It explained dark matter. It explained the mysteries of pens disappearing all the time. It explained singleton socks. It fit the evidence – socks and pens both had mass. This was science and this was big.
She performed an experiment to test her hypothesis. She took a nice pen out to a patisserie where she bought some nice macarons (mmm).
When she returned, the pen was gone. She then looked everywhere for it and even got helpers to look. It was nowhere to be found, thus proving it was nowhere on Earth and must have drifted off into space. Eureka! Science!
She brought her paradigm shifting work to the Forest Science Council to explain, but the idea that dark matter is actually the interstellar dispersal of lost pens and socks was received surprisingly poorly. Mr. Badger went so far as to call the idea “tosh,” which seemed rather extreme. After a disappointing meeting, she returned home to have a cup of tea and work out a better plan for sharing her amazing new scientific paradigm.
As luck would have it, that very evening the James Webb Space Telescope was brought online, and discovered remarkably unusual and unexpected forms in dark matter which the surprised space scientists described as “like a bunch of pens and socks.”
Princess Pricklepants was delighted to hear this news! With this evidence, her science was even more science-y!
She returned to the Forest Science Council to present her case with this new data, knowing there would be much less risk of having her theory labeled “tosh.”
Unfortunately, despite unimpeachable empirical evidence backing her case, the theory was still not well received. Ms. Bluejay was still concerned. Thus far the council had only seen a few articles on Facebook, but no serious academic work, and the Forest Science Council had just issued another advisory to not trust science journalism posted in exuberant articles on social media until one had reviewed the original research.
Her Highness briefly considered renting a skywriter to send the message “Dark Matter: Really Lost Pens And Socks!” but deemed it impolite to write on the sky. Also, skywriting wasn’t exactly scientific… Still, it was fun to imagine.
She realized that she would have to write a paper including the notes and research from the James Webb Space Telescope space scientist people along with her own significant parts.
Happily, once the Forest Council reviewed the work, they agreed that her work in the sciences was indeed valuable and significant, and the paper was published in their newsletter.
While it felt strange to have a story wrap up with so few twists, fairly minor conflicts, and personal stakes that really weren’t very high, she was pleased enough with the illustrations, and was honestly pretty relieved to know what had happened to all those socks and pens.
“Sam, in my heart I’ve missed spending time on art history, manners, and related things, even if they aren’t big. I suppose being small is still fine.”
“Silly Princess, your work on art and manners and that other stuff amuses, delights, and brings a bit of wonder to the world. That’s no small thing.”
“Well thank you, Sam,” said Princess Pricklepants politely.
We regret we’ve been remiss in reporting our wonderful journey into the world of hedgehog art history. The good news is we’re working on a children’s book that should be something delightful and quirky assuming everything works out well.
We’ve discovered quite a number of works since the book was published. In case you’ve forgotten to buy the book, you can find it here. Well worth buying. And if you already have a copy, you’ll find a second copy incredibly useful as you can read it in stereo.
While the book covered the period from the Renaissance forward, here we present works from the prehistoric to the Modern era. We’re so excited to share these, we’ll skip a wordy introduction and present our first picture with words under it.
We begin with a truly thrilling discovery. Further archaeological research of the El Castillo cave paintings discovered in Cantabria, Spain, has discovered this, the earliest hedgehog art yet discovered. The work, from c. 39,000 BCE, used stencils and ochre to create this simple but charming and historic painting.
This is a doubly exciting find. First we present a recent discovery of an ancient papyrus (apparently inadvertently misplaced by E. A. Wallis Budge in a nook in the British Museum) presents a fascinating view of what scholars believe is a hedgehog goddess judging the souls of the deceased. Equally fascinating is that the transliteration of the hedgehog goddess’ name in Egyptian is ‘eid-zil-la’ – it appears that we have discovered the most ancient reference yet know in art history to Hedgezilla!
Here we present a truly remarkable Assyrian bas relief of the Assyrian Hedgehog warrior goddess, Kwillamash, aiding soldiers in a siege. This piece is a detail from the North Palace at Nineveh belonging to Ashurbanipal (668-631 B.C.E.). This piece was only recently discovered in 1985, though was lost in Mosul in 2003, and is now only preserved in photos. It’s believed that Kwillamash was represented by a hedgehog due to their legendary ferocity and deadly quills.
This Greek red figure vase from the early 5th c. presents many mysteries to the hedgehog art historian. It’s possible that the figures depict the tale of Aleterix answering the riddle of the Sphinx (in an unusual Lydian hedgehog form), or alternately this might a tale of Croesis where the figures were replaced with hedgehogs, or one of several dozen other accounts because hedgehog art historians with time on their hands can fill in blanks is all sorts of ways. Regardless, so far as as ancient hedgehog art goes, this is a wondrous masterpiece worthy of a long discussion we will spare you, dear reader, out of the kindness of our hearts.
Here we present a charming Medieval manuscript depicting a hedgehog battling an owl. 15th c., from the Hatton Manuscript. This margin drawing depicts a hedgehog armed with sword and shield fighting an owl. Monks of the era must surely have known about the owl’s cruel habits and enjoyed drawing the underdog getting the upper hand.
Sacred Hedgehog of Mary, Stained Glass, Cathedral of Trier (1430s). This is a very… odd work. Originally commissioned for the cathedral by Otto von Ziegenhain, Bishop of Trier. At the time due to an outbreak of lead poisoning there was a dire shortage of stained glass artists. A mysterious artisan named Egelkopf appeared and offered his assistance. While he was quite skilled in glasswork, he was quite poor at following instructions, and oddly obsessed with hedgehogs. While Bishop Ziegenhain was displeased at the results, and the piece created some controversy, it was eventually accepted. At some point later the phrase “NESCIMUS QUID SIT ERICIUS IN FENESTRA” (we don’t know why there’s a hedgehog there) was inscribed below so people would stop asking.
Egelkopf has been found listed in the mysterious manuscript from the 1500s, “Annales sermonum sublimis inter homines circa erinacei” (Annals of acts of greatness by humans to hedgehogs), a document deserving greater scholarly attention.
Recently discovered, Da Vinci’s L’Ultima Cena Ma Con Ricci (The Last Supper, But With Hedgehogs) is difficult to explain, but clearly means something, and something big. We’ve spent many long hours examining this work and seeking the secret meanings, and believe we’re onto something very, very big. We’ve reached out to Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown about the many new layers of mysterious and conspiratorial meaning this adds to everything, though so far he hasn’t been very polite.
One Da Vinci isn’t really enough, so here we share this, a likely second. Vitruvian Hedgehog (c. 1490). Experts remain unsure whether the work is an original by Da Vinci, or a student’s sketch, but we think those experts are just afraid to admit the truth partially revealed in The Last Supper, But With Hedgehogs which prove this is also a Da Vinci. Regardless of origin, or experts being picky about things, the work illustrates the perfection of proportions, and remarkable mathematical harmonies found in the hedgehog form.
Sorry to double-up on artists, this is the last time we’ll do that.
Monet’s “Hedgehog with a Parasol” (1874). This masterpiece of hedgehog impressionism is so well known it needs no description other than simple words like “painting,” “pretty,” “awesome,” and perhaps a few other descriptive terms you can come up with yourself.
Okay, this one was in the book. But we’re throwing it out there, since it’s a Van Gogh, and we haven’t blogged about it, and it’s truly delightful to behold repeatedly. “The Starry Hedgehog Night” was a view painted from the east-facing window of his asylum room in 1888. The nurses noticed the various hedgehogs hidden in the painting and were concerned, so Vincent repainted the more well known version of the painting.
Much could be said, though it’s better to just look at it.
Remember when we said we wouldn’t double up on artists? We don’t either. Here we present Vincent Van Gogh’s 1889 self-portrait, painted in the sanitarium at a point when he mistakenly believed he was a hedgehog. This work presents a fascinating view of the post-impressionist hedgehog art master.
Every collection of hedgehog is better if there’s an Alphonse Mucha work involved. Here we present a print entitled, “Hungry, Hungry Hedgehog.”
Finally, we present “Drawing Hedgehogs,” a lithograph by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher first printed in January 1948. While there are copious words that could be expended on this work, we’re already well past the arbitrary 1000 word limit we set for blog posts, so we’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to come up with a proper description.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy these magnificent works as much as we do, and until next time, adieu.
We have a secret to share. You see, all these years, we’re sure you’ve been hearing about Hedgezilla, famed savior of Tokyo and all around amazing gargantuan hedgehog. What you did not know is that this is our secret identity. Thanks to a leak by Hedgehog World News our secret is public, so we wanted to share a few notable moments from our story.
Long ago, when we were young, there was baby Hedgezilla, still learning to save major metropolitan areas and bring wonder and delight to concerned citizens by smashing things.
Soon we learned valuable skills like radiation-breath that kept King Ghidorah at bay.
Though sometimes we just had to manage things the old fashioned way.
Super-quill powers activated, failure was not an option in our mission to protect the world from King Ghidorah.
We also saved the world from Anguirus, a somewhat hedgehog-like kaiju.
Mothra was very uncomfortable when we visited, since Mothra larva look very delicious.
Eventually we became friends, though, playing radiation-breath games together.
At times we faced our arch-nemesis Mecha-Hedgezilla with grace and aplomb and a few other fitting adjectives.
These were notable enough that there was a movie about it you probably remember.
In addition to Tokyo, we also protected Kyoto.
Unfortunately our efforts to protect San Francisco went more poorly.
Sometimes protecting Tokyo also went poorly.
Frolicking on Monster Island was always delightful.
And while initially we didn’t get along well with King Kong…
Eventually we grew close, thanks to the power of good manners, grace, and politeness.
While by day we are a mild-mannered hedgehog art historian, world explorer, pirate, and entrepreneur, by day we also sometimes transform into a world-saving super force.
So now you know.
Today we bring you the fruits of our labor that we’ve spent many hours working on while also not creating blog posts. In terms of hedgehog film criticism, this work is notable as being by far the most technically advanced of the Pricklepants film oeuvre, lovely in its synchronization with Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre, and is quite charming as an animated musical comedy. We bring you:
The Quilly Quest – Episode IV: A Bleak Hope
We hope you enjoy this fine and fascinating venture into hedgehog film criticism.
If you like our aesthetic and would like a delightful shirt featuring our art such as The Little Princess below, visit that Amazon link, and click ‘Urchin Wear’ to see the collection.
Her Highness has been busy directing a few new films recently.
First, there’s Hedgehog Earth Defense:
This was inspired by the Hedgehog Space Agency’s noble scientific work:
Second, we present The Duel (also known as The Hedgehog’s Revenge, though that seemed a bit too stark a title).
This was inspired by this 15th century marginal hedgehog art (which was inspired by a 15th century English Eng. manuscript in the Bodleian Library improved by adding a hedgehog).
Hope you enjoy!
Hello dear reader,
We have wonderful and exciting news: We’ve been selected as one of Bel-Rea’s Top 25 Small Animal bloggers:
The judges had very kind words for us:
In particular, I enjoy the silliness you bring to every blog post. The artwork you put your hedgies in makes me laugh every time, and I especially love the doll house the princess lives in! Many of our vet tech students end up working with exotic animals like your hedgehog, and so your blog is a great resource to them. Your post about what it’s like to have a hedgehog as a pet is especially informative.
Fear not, we probably won’t let it go to our heads too much.
In other news, Her Highness has been researching a new and fascinating branch of art: hedgehog album art.
And finally, a secret hidden hedgehog recently discovered on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In other news, this book should thrill and delight all:
That’s all for now!
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, Her Highness woke up feeling rather less beneficent, gentle, and kind than her usual self. It was Apr. 1, so the news couldn’t be trusted, and everyone was trying to trick everyone else. This was confounding to say the least. And so began the turn. To the Dark Side of The Force.*
At first, things seemed to go well. She imagined the cool (and rather nicely done) movie posters she’d be featured on as Darth Pricklepants, terror of the Galaxy:
The work on the Deadly Planet of Quilly Despair (DPQD) was proceeding nicely, and soon they could dispense with the Galactic Senate and rule the galaxy with an iron paw.
Unfortunately, she was soon awakened from her 14 hours of beauty sleep in her “meditation” chamber:
“Your Highness, I’m afraid we have some fairly annoying news. The plans for your super-weapon, the Deadly Planet of Quilly Despair(DPQD), have been stolen and taken to the rebel squirrel base.”
“It was the bear, you Highness.”
“That accursed bear is as clumsy as he is prone to inopportune napping! General, prepare your troops for a surface attack. How many Quill-fighters do we have available?”
“Two hundred and eighty seven, your Highness.”
“Round them up.”
“Three hundred, your Highness.”
Her Highness briefly considered giving the obtuse general a nice Force Choke, then did so.
“Do not make math jokes! After you are done never making any math joke ever again, prepare the attack.”
Battle preparations ensued.
As preparations were proceeding, she learned that two of the rebels had been captured. It was time for an… interview.
She first interviewed the droid. Her Highness impolitely shouted at the droid. “Where are the plans!?”
The droid was unhelpful, as it only spoke beepish, a strange bleepy language nobody really understood, but whose sense was detected by a sympathetic audience. Her Highness was not sympathetic. Her Highness stormed off dramatically, and with great flair to interrogate the other prisoner.
The saiga antelope was just as unhelpful, as it communicated primarily with snuffles, body language, and at times, a nasal roar.
Being a Sith was not as fun as she’d expected. All that force-choking, and shouting orders, and people failing her for the last time. She thought about nicer times, like the epic and very nicely produced fight scene with the Gorn.
The general impolitely interrupted again, “Your Highness, the Gorn is actually from…. From Star Trek…”
After a rather intricate but well executed segue, she boarded her Spike-fighter and set off to attack the Rebels.
The battle scene was dramatic and stirring, and very nicely produced with top-notch special effects.
Unfortunately, and somewhat confusingly, the Empire fared poorly against the scrappy band of squirrel rebels, and thus began a slow downhill slide.
Even the raid on the rebel base, which started out with very effective and nicely lit and very stirring light saber scene didn’t really go that well. The stirring and beautifully choreographed light saber battle between Darth Pricklepants, Kylo Quill, and the Rebel Jedi squirrel Caff Nutwalker ended with the accursed Jedi escaping.
The stolen plans were not secured. Force Chokes were doled out all around. The frustrated Dark Lord, Darth Pricklepants, decided that this was all too much. Besides the Force Lightning, being a Sith Lord was really overrated. So she back to being the average and typical princess hedgehog, art historian, advice columnist, manners expert, and space traveler she wanted to be. There was only one thing to miss about being a Sith Lord: Force Lightning.
Note: While this story is a new work, it is based on sharing a set of things that emerged for April Fools Day. Unfortunately, there really was just no plausible way to work in this image:
To see the collection of things in their original context, see here.
An Interview with HRH Princess Perdita Pricklepants Laura C. Dunklee, HWS Co-Chair for Health, Research, and Education
Thank you, your Royal Highness, for making yourself available for this interview. I know your time is valu- able and shall strive to be respectful and mindful of your commitments. For those not familiar with the groundbreaking “Hedgehog Art Through the Ages,” might you explain your vision for the book?
We had a few goals.
First we wanted to delight readers with the magnificent world of hedgehog art. There’s so much wonderful work out there from the Renaissance through the Modern period and we’re glad to be able to share this wonderful, lovely, and often fun world of hedgehog art. From Botticelli to Warhol there are so many ways to represent hedgehogs and capture the mysterious quilly essence that it makes for a fascinating journey.
Second we wanted to give each work enough context to be appreciated while keeping a light touch and a sense of humor. And lastly, we wanted to be sneakily educational, by describing major art periods, notable things about individual artists, their styles of representing hedgehogs, and their innovations.
Many people, even art historians (who should know better!), are unaware of the vast repository of art that includes – correction: celebrates – hedgehogs; why do you think this is and what can we, your subjects, do to raise visibility about this most important subject?
“Rembrandt’s Portrait of Hedgehog Noble”
Hedgehog art history and art criticism is a young field, which does mean fewer will be exposed to the many works which are, even now, still being found. For instance, just this last month a 40,000 year old cave painting of a hedgehog was discovered! We work with the Royal Society of Hedgehog Art Historians, and hold the public outreach chair, so we’re promoting a greater knowledge and understanding. When notable discoveries are made, we share them with our subjects.
We published this book to give a nice overview of hedgehog art, and so far readers have responded delightfully well. In an effort to bring hedgehog art in the public eye we (shameless plug alert!) produce tee shirts (search for “Urchin Wear” on Amazon), and have other merchandise such as note cards and delightful things on Redbubble.com. If subjects would like to raise visibility, following us on Facebook or Twitter and sharing anything that you particularly like would be a great way to spread the word, and of course, if you should purchase a book (we’d be endlessly grateful if you did) then writing a review would be very helpful. And if you really are an enthusiast and would like a tee shirt, there are many designs to choose from, in case one delights.
In the past we tried to reach out to various scholars at universities to further promote a popular knowledge of hedgehog art, though strangely professors rarely respond, and when they did they seemed to get confused. They’d just send notes saying things like “Please stop emailing me,” or “Do I need to get a restraining order?” For the record they don’t need to put in an order for art history retraining, we’d be happy to advise at no charge.
How do you feel about the way the artists’ models were treated as they posed for these remarkable works? What do you know about these models and their lives beyond the art world?
Well, I think we can say the first poor hedgehog used in the cave art was probably not very happy. An ancient human effectively blew ochre all over the poor thing to create an outline – horrifying. People apparently weren’t very polite 40,000 years ago.
“Detail of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel”
There are a number of unknown models in works from the Renaissance, and little is known about the day to day lives of common hedgehogs (Hedgehog Cultural Studies is also a very young field, though the Hedgehog American Cultural Association is making progress researching and promoting public awareness). Given the refined and subtle poses in works through most art history, we want to assume that models were treated with the gentleness and kindness all hedgehogs deserve, but this is something we must research more to be sure of.
One of the most remarkable things we’ve learned about this is that Her Highness’s forebears are occasionally represented. In this case we do have various records and stories and know that as nobility, they were generally treated with due dignity, decorum, and politeness, though human social norms were odd.
For instance, the culture of Renaissance Italy held unusual superstitions regarding the idea of hedgehogs crawling in their food as “unclean,” and in Paris in the late 1800s the mere presence of hedgehogs could scandalize literary salons. We also know that there were various court intrigues among Renaissance hedge- hogs, especially the Venetians, with conflicts and even impoliteness.
I note that “Hedgehog Art Through the Ages” has you listed as a secondary author; what was it like to collaborate with a co-author, what was your writing and editing process like, and do you feel S.M. Bach was appropriately respectful of your vision for the book? Also, why did you choose to be listed second?
“David’s Discomfort of Socrates”
S.M. Bach is our loyal hand servant who has worked diligently with us in our research and cataloging, has helped with preparing photos of the art, and is a far better typist (a good hedgehog keyboard is a challenge to design). In working on the book, I would select works, dictate accounts for each, and then we would go over edits and layouts. Editing is definitely not fun, though I left most of that kind of menial labor to the handservants so we could live the true life of mind every hedgehog aspires to.
Due to persistent and pernicious pet prejudice in publishing, the human was required to be listed first – it’s shocking to see such a thing in this day and age, but the fight for progress truly never ends.
As a pet’s rights activist this was very troubling, but we are working on expanding awareness and will work to see the day a hedgehog can publish without the sad specter of speciesism.
What has been the critical reception to this revolutionary work? Do you feel this reception is appropriate? Will there be a second book?
We’re very happy to say the reception has been universally positive. We’ve gotten reviews from several readers (art enthusiasts) who said they felt the book was written specifically for them, and the reviews on Amazon are all very positive, and what reviews we’ve received from websites have been very positive (for instance BoingBoing reviewed our book). Needless to say more reviews to help popularize this important topic would be both delightful and a great contribution to aiding the advance of knowledge.
“Mucha’s P. Picklepants”
At this point we’re still mulling a second art book. We are planning work on a children’s story book (not art related), and once that’s done we’ll need to see where things stand. There are a number of traditional hedgehog folk tales not well known to humans that we are considering adapting. Needless to say we will continue sharing art research that is not in the current book since there are so many dimensions to it. While the current book begins in the Renaissance, we’ve since found cave art, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek art, and have shared various wonderful works from the Middle Ages, as well as Chinese art, and other things. It’s an exciting time to be in the field, and we may really need to publish a second volume.
Are there any artistic periods you are personally drawn to? Are you a collector of hedgehog art and, if so, where might your subjects view some of your private collection?
We usually feel that whatever art we’re looking at is our favorite, but we are uniquely drawn to Art Nouveau works. We are also deeply drawn to Japanese ukiyo-e print making (there is a section on Japanese art in the book). Since we do some work in graphic design, that may be part of the allure of poster art and print making.
And now, more general questions, if I may… As a Princess, you have many responsibilities; do you find these annoying or enjoyable? Are there any you have decided you’d rather not be bothered with and thus have delegated to others?
We are a very busy hedgehog, but we like to keep busy. We do try to delegate to tasks that are more physical (or which don’t require the keen intellectual abilities of a hedgehog) over to the handservants. Fortunately, they are reasonably competent so long as one is patient with them.
You are the second Princess Pricklepants, having succeeded Princess Penelope; how has she inspired or influenced you as a leader and as a Princess?
Princess Penelope is the stuff of legend, a pioneer in so many fields, and even a presidential candidate. Her example is a daunting one to live up to, though from her we learned that grace, gentleness, good manners, a deep dedication to one’s duties, and careful management of handservants to keep them on task and help them when they get a little confused will yield tremendous results
We also learned from Princess Penelope the importance of developing one’s own vision and voice and pursuing it. While she was more focused on the dramatic arts and being a photo model, we’ve grown more focused on the fine arts, and even learning video animation and production.
We’d recommend taking a look at the book trailer we’ve produced, as well as our various animated features – we’re especially pleased with Hedgezilla vs. Mechahedgezilla, and Hedgezilla vs. Mechahedgezilla II.
You are known for being a highly visible and vocal advocate for politeness and have also gained a reputation for diplomacy: might you share with your subjects how we might emulate you in our daily lives?
“Vermeer’s Hedgehog With a Pearl Earring”
We are very glad you asked. Today’s world has seen a sad decline in politeness, manners, and etiquette, and it’s well worth bringing this back to promote a more civil society and civil discourse so we can live together without so many petty conflicts.
There’s no better guide to manners than the works of Princess Penelope, which begins here and carries on extensively and in much detail.
You have a very active presence on social media: Do you maintain all your accounts, yourself, of have you tasked others to handle your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, and Blog? Further, how do you feel about sharing so much of your personal live—and many adventures—in a public manner? Are there some topics you feel are inappropriate for social media discussion?
As royalty, it is our duty to share updates to the public, and we’re so used to it we don’t really even think about it. We often dictate and delegate the typing to the hand servant, as well as much of the clicking parts, and the photo editing, and photography, but we do most of the work.
While Princess Penelope was a bit more open, we are a little more reserved, which is why you see fewer domestic things generally, but it is our duty to serve as an ambassador of manners, and we find it fun to chat with subjects who chime in on our adventures.
We do keep some things to ourselves, though just common sense things that wouldn’t be good etiquette to share.
And finally, four personal questions:
What is currently on your bedside table?
Haley’s Guide to Manners, 2015 edition (the classic), a teapot with a bit of chamomile left and a teacup, and a very small rubber crocodile.
What music are you currently listening to?
Currently listening to Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Sad he didn’t write a hedgehog piece, it surely would have been glorious.
What are you planning for your next adventure?
We tend to play things by ear, but we’ve heard about a country populated with tiny hedgehogs that we would really like to visit soon. Also there is space travel. Or perhaps working on solving the Mystery of the Moroccan Monkey Mantelpiece. And some are suggesting a trip to Castle Fischer-Price to look for a grail thingie.
Is pink still your favorite color?
Yes, that and indigo. And also emerald green. And sometimes burgundy. Except when it is royal purple.
Thank you for the gracious sharing of your time, Princess; on behalf of your subjects, may I say you are truly an inspiration and we are fortunate to have you.
If you, dear reader, would like to know more about HRH Perdita Pricklepants, she can be found on: Facebook (princesspricklepants)
Youtube (urchinwear) Her blog (http://princesspricklepants.com)
And occasionally on Instagram.
Hedgehog Art Through the Ages — A Review Laura C. Dunklee, HWS Co-Chair for Health, Research, and Education
Van Gogh’s The Starry Hedgehog Night
I am an art lover. I am a history lover. I am also a hedgehog lover .
How is it, then, that I was completely, embarrassingly unaware of the vast realm of historical hedgehog art?!
Thankfully, Her Royal Highness, Princess Perdita Pricklepants, and her devoted handservant, S. M. Bach, have devoted so much time and energy to painstakingly researching and documenting this vital, and yet — until now — little known and explored field.
Hedgehog Art Through the Ages is a text that delights, as the authors share with us many recently discovered artistic masterworks. Not only have the authors chosen to include photos of these works, but they have also written engaging, informative comments, introducing the reader to the artists, their place in history, and various important bits about their lives and the masterpieces.
Do not allow yourself to gaze only at the art, only skimming the accompanying text! It is in the words, thoughtfully placed below the images for the ease of finding, that one gains the greatest insights into the importance of each piece. For example, the descriptive words under “The Starry Hedgehog Night”:
Van Gogh’s 1888 “The Starry Hedgehog Night” was a view painted from the east-facing window of his asylum room. The nurses noticed the various hedgehogs hiding in the painting, and were concerned, so Vincent repainted the more well known version of the painting. Much could be said, though it’s better to just look at it.
Upon reading the above, I took the authors’ advice and just looked at it.
I was pleased.
The perfect text for any lover of art, of history, of hedgehogs: go forth, purchase, and savor Hedgehog Art Through the Ages!
Our preamble will be brief, since we’re attempting to disempreambulate our writing. There has been much posted to Facebook/Twitter since our last blog post, far too much to cover here, much of it delightful and entertaining. There have been many art discoveries that probably merit another post or two, notable Disney things, new hats, and many dozens of other fascinating things of great note we’ve written about elsewhere. One notable thing was the discovery of old family photos from WW I from an ancestor in the 151st Flying Hedgehogs.
Also, here are a couple of the hats.
Rather than bore you with with catching up on all that (which you still can catch up on by visiting Facebook/Twitter), we’ll just begin our story with a picture with words under it.
One day, very recently ago, Princess Pricklepants was sitting in her room chatting with Monkey.
“So Monkey, what are we going to do today?”
“Ooh ooh, ah ah”
“Blast it! I don’t want to do music lessons!”
Her Highness was not entirely pleased to learn that she had to practice music. While she enjoyed many things, her time with music practice wasn’t always one of those things. Nevertheless, duty called.
She set out her flute and music stand and started off into space, hoping she might be able to just stand there for a while and somehow call it done. Surprisingly, this didn’t work.
“Princess, time to get to practicing.”
Her Highness decided to hide under the desk and hope nobody would find her until such a time as everyone forgot about music practice and she could enjoy a nice cup of tea and read Hedgehog Art Through The Ages once more, since it somehow got better every time she read it. Surprisingly, this didn’t work.
She decided to stand and sniff the flute, thinking this might constitute practice. Boris dropped by to offer some words of encouragement.
“Your Highness, are you familiar with the Myth of Sisyphus?”
“It’s the story of a man condemned to push a rock up a hill every day only to find it back at the bottom. It’s a metaphor for the… Something. It’s about why we have to do tedious things we don’t like. Be like Sisyphus and press on.”
“Those were not words of encouragement.”
“Perhaps it’s a metaphor for punishment and suffering then.”
Jane the Cow Accountant and Bessie the Generic Cow came in to give a pep talk. Her Highness attempted to sneak off to return the lovely space under the desk. She crouched so that she would be invisible.
The crouch of invisibility seemed to work since she also ran very quickly. Under the desk everything made sense. It was the best of all possible spaces under a desk. She tried to crouch a bit so she could continue to be invisible while lingering in sublime sub-desk perfection. Puzzlingly, she was still quickly discovered.
Back in the practice room, Jane and Bessie blocked the way to the desk, which Her Highness looked at forlornly. The alluring space under the desk still beckoned to her, like destiny calling.
“Do you suppose I could sit quietly and read a Music History book instead? Dr. Petunia Pricklebottom’s ‘Pointed Notes: A History of Hedgehog Music’ is highly acclaimed and would be quite edifying to a young hedgehog princess’s musical education.”
“Say, I think there might be something under the table. I should check into that. Could be important.”
“Ignore it. Just practice.”
“Oh, but it’s… There is something there. This is just too important.”
She checked under the table. There wasn’t much there, but it was still very lovely to be under any furniture, and it brought her closer to the Desk of Wonder. Unfortunately along the way she inadvertently tipped a cow, Bessie, who was distraught.
Back in the practice room there was much discussion of the value of practice, the importance of persistence, and the inappropriateness of tipping cows. Her Highness listened, and agreed, and tried very hard to practice. Unfortunately, she had an idea.
She realized that if she were to crouch low enough, then she would be invisible, which was exactly the thing she needed to reach the desk.
It seemed to work pretty well. Very hard to notice.
But for some reason, it didn’t take long before she was noticed. The cows attempted to stage an intervention.
Jane explained that all this escape artistry and delaying was just wasting time since she would have to practice at some point.
Bessie explained that crouching did not make one invisible. Also if cow-tipping were to occur again there would be Consequences.
In the practice room, Her Highness decided to spend a short while beholding the bust of J. S. Bach in order to gain sufficient inspiration.
She was inspired to check in the corner where the somewhat objectionable lamp was.
She then decided to check under the music stand, in case there was any inspiration there. She didn’t find any.
She returned to the lovely, inspiring, alluring spot under the desk. This was the place she truly wanted to remain forever. A small amount of cow tipping occurred on the journey, but she hoped it wouldn’t be noticeable.
Unfortunately, the cow tipping was noticed, and Bessie, the tipped cow, fully blocked any possible exit, leaving her forced to face the flute.
And so, after a few minor distractions, she got to practicing Bach’s Flute Sonata in E Minor, which was lovely. Once she got playing, it was really quite fun. After she’d played for an hour and a half, it was time to practice calligraphy. Her Highness was not entirely pleased to learn that she had to practice calligraphy. While she enjoyed many things, her time with calligraphy wasn’t always one of those things. So she decided to hide under the desk.
Stay tuned, Princess Pricklepants and Somehow More Hedgehog Art Through The Ages will be coming soon to a blog near you. While we enjoy many things, our time with blog posts isn’t always one of those things, and there is the great distraction of that alluring space under the desk. But we’ll try to get to it soon.
Exciting news! We now present to you two animated features highly worth watching.
First, we present Hedgezilla vs. Mecha-Hedgezilla, our very brief homage to Godzilla movies. It even has a delightful soundtrack.
Secondly, we present to you this magnificent, refined, and tasteful book trailer which is an elegant and captivating viewing experience:
As an added bonus, we’re included for free, this additional video, which is less magnificent, refined, and tasteful, but still delightful as a viewing experience:
We hope you enjoyed these. The book trailers refer to this remarkable work of literature which if you don’t have a copy of you should make sure to order so you can get it in time for Christmas:
In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been working on learning how to create animations. Expect more to come, and subscribe to our Youtube channel if you’s like to keep up.
As a special ultimate bonus finale, we present yet another new video:
Coming soon: Princess Pricklepants, Novelist.
It’s here! Our new book is now up on the Createspace site and you can order it:
Just go to the page, hit “Add To Cart” then check out, and in some amount of time the book will be in your hands to read, admire, impress friends with, trick museum employees with, confuse art historians with, or to use in any other way you see fit, though we ask you to be nice to the book.
The book features more than 40 works of hedgehog-centric art from various periods of art history along with original amusing and delightful commentary.
Also available on amazon here:
For those across the pond, it’s available here:
If you’re looking for Hedgehog Art Through The Ages Shirts, they can be found here: