Neurotic Owl

flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread

The Devil/The Gingerbread Cottage

Buckle up, here there be LAYERS.

This is another one of the first cards I imagined, and it’s really pretty out of character for me. I hate drawing architecture; I love drawing animals, ladies in pretty dresses, and ladies in nothing at all. Still, I do enjoy detail work intensely, so once I got the basic slightly wonky house roughed in, the candy bits were pretty fun. I soooort of zoned out while I was drawing details and put a smile on the gingerbread kid before remembering that it is a MURDERED CHILD, soooo I added a teardrop and now it’s far more creepy and upsetting than its Mr. Bill-faced friend across the way.

Hansel & Gretel isn’t one of my favorite stories, although some of the imagery is marvelous. For one thing, as a Jew, I have to side-eye a story where an old woman living away from town is accused of eating children (blood libel anyone?) and then burned in an oven. We did H&G as a recital at the Jewish Community Center one year when I was little and the show was interrupted at the oven shoving scene by an old woman in the audience having hysterics. She was a Holocaust survivor, and no one had foreseen what that part of the story was going to trigger for her. I don’t think anyone was to blame, it was just one of those horrible moments when everything has gone entirely wrong, but I also don’t think the JCC ever did that recital theme again.

Anyway, that may be part of why I didn’t imagine the witch even appearing on this card at all. It’s all about that tempting candy house and the real malicious force; the tempter, the betrayer, the trickster.

Which is also very off-brand for me in a different upsetting way: I have worked very very hard over the years to undo as much of my cultural conditioning as possible insofar as applying morality to food goes. Cookies and candy are not evil tricksters; they are morally neutral treats that I can have sometimes. Phrases like ‘clean eating’ and their attendant bullshit are really insidious, and the idea that some foods are clean and some are dirty is one of those things that I can really spiral into, sliding down till no food is okay and I can’t eat at all. That’s a problem what with humans needing to eat to live and all. So, hopefully no one blames the cookies and candy here; they’re not evil in and of themselves, it’s the use to which they’re being put.

The tower is up next, and it’s ANOTHER one I decided on early. Weird when they’re all in a row like this.

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2021 by and tagged , , , .
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