Out of all the city fan characters created for the IAmMatthewian Project (now Project Canada), the Maritimes are probably the least heard-about. I’ve only ever seen one or two artworks of them, which also includes the newer PC reincarnations, pushed aside in favour of their further-east or western brothers and sisters. It’s become sort of a mission of mine to promote the eastern seaboard of Canada to the rest of the country and the world via my art and writings, so I set out to do exactly that with the IAMP as well.
Due to the increasing Japanese influence on my art in recent years, I decided to try out drawing Halifax (real name: Henry) and Dartmouth (real name: Diana) in a manga style, as per Hetalia‘s origins, and contributing once more to my ‘mission’. Although the finished artwork isn’t technically in a manga style as only their eyes are drawn like that, I consider it to be in it just for convenience.
Halifax has a golden star beside his name, indicating his status as the provincial capital of Nova Scotia, while the yellow kingfisher bird motif and blue hems on his shirt are reminiscent of the former city flag of Halifax (seen below). Dartmouth’s eyepatch may be a reference to her informally being nicknamed the ‘Darkside‘, since one eye is dark (covered) and another is light (visible), or it could just be a reference to Dartmouth supposedly being ‘rougher’ and ‘tougher’ than Halifax. Both have shades of turquoise and teal on parts of their outfits, tying in with the sea and overall maritime-influenced culture and geography of the twin cities.
This is the first part of a two-parter exhibition; part two will be published next week.