The sapphire seas of Melemele Island swam into view as the cruise ship sailed in. On the pier, hula dancers in Hawaiian garb greeted and graced the disembarking travellers with swaying grass skirts, twanging ukuleles and bright flower leis. Dartmouth and Jollimore stepped out into the cerulean skies, azure ocean, golden sands and tawny sun.
(Continued from last week’s exhibition.)
The city fan characters of the IAmMatthewian Project are a dying breed compared to their newer Project Canada reincarnations. With the exceptions of Calgary, Edmonton and possibly Regina and Saskatoon, many of the characters have had a dramatic makeover in both personality and style.
You could then consider this drawing a sort of last hurrah for the older versions of Victoria and Vancouver before I finally started to draw the newer versions as of 2017. As the title implies, this is a meeting-up of the biggest cities of the western and eastern coast of Canada, and it’s also a great wordplay reversal of the common phrase “East meets West”.
From left to right:
- Halifax (Henry)
- Dartmouth (Diana)
(I still drew the older versions of Halifax and Dartmouth as late as 2016, but mostly left the others to the past.)
This drawing is actually a redraw of another artwork I saw online by Misharoyuki on DeviantArt, which is seen below and was obviously re-interpreted into my own artistic style:
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.
Notes from the Author:
After playing through Pokémon Sun, I became inspired by the wonderfully tropical islands, beaches and oceans of the Alola region. After writing Life is a Beach starring Dartmouth and Jollimore, and seeing as Alola has some golden beaches of its own, I thought it’d be amusing if the two teachers embarked on a summer vacation there and got involved in the island challenge, which provided a great opportunity for their usual antics. Which one of these two will become Alola’s first-ever Champion?
The Skype dial tone rung out from Jollimore’s sleek black laptop as he slipped his equally-dark thin blanket down to his lower torso. The emerging white light from opening the upper screen further up shone like a bright flashlight onto Dartmouth’s still-asleep face, irritating him awake. “Ugh… What, Jollimore…” he groaned lowly, shielding his sleepy eyes from Jollimore’s laptop screen with the back of his hand. “Shh, Dartmouth, this is a very important call,” Jollimore hushed him. “We gotta sign up for the Alola League.”
“Alola…?” Dartmouth trailed off, being shushed again by Jollimore. His answering was greeted by a webcam video of Professor Kukui, whose half-bared figure was somewhat sinisterly illuminated by the bright white backlight from the monitor. “Hello, Alola!” the Professor greeted Jollimore, waving to him over the camera. “Alola, Professor Kukui,” Jollimore returned his greetings, waving too. Dartmouth stared out towards them with widened eyes of disbelief.
“So you’re coming to Alola to become Pokémon Trainers, yeah?” the Professor asked Jollimore and Dartmouth. “And you’ll also be getting your Pokédexes and your amulets that are proof of your participation in the island challenge.” “Pokémon Trainers? This is like Pokémon Go all over again…” scoffed Dartmouth sarcastically. “No, we’re going to be Pokémon Trainers for real this time. Won’t it be exciting?” Jollimore grinned, and Dartmouth gruffly nodded.
“Okay, I’m gonna need both of your names for your Trainer Passports. They’ll record all your adventures and achievements here in Alola,” said the Professor. Dartmouth shuffled across the bed closer to Jollimore, his white sheet-thin blanket still wrapped across his naked torso. “I’m Dartmouth. Dartmouth McKinnon-Graham,” Dartmouth stated. “And I’m Jollimore. Jollimore Ferrison,” Jollimore followed.
The Professor wrote down the two teachers’ names onto some paper, the tiny scratches audible through the camera. “Alright, now let’s take your pictures. Sit in the square.” Dartmouth felt edgy as he glimpsed down at himself, seeing deep red ingrained scars. “With a body like this, I’m not exactly photogenic…” “Oh, Dartmouth, it’ll only be from the neck up, you won’t see anything else,” Jollimore reassured him.
“Okay, you two sit together as still as you can…” The Professor readied his camera while Dartmouth and Jollimore sat up straight in front of the screen, Dartmouth scowling and tightly crossing his arms. Jollimore smiled, without grinning, and the camera flashed vibrantly, snapping their photos. “I’ll crop your faces separately,” said the Professor.
At that moment, a sole ray of amber sunshine sneaked through the closed curtains, tinting the room with a light orange. “Ah, dawn’s breaking. Alright, I’ll be awaiting your arrival in Alola, hopefully very soon,” noted the Professor. “And then you’ll get to start on your very own journey with Pokémon!” “Okay, Professor, see you later,” Jollimore bid goodbye. “See ya,” the Professor replied, and he signed off. Jollimore clicked the laptop lid closed, and gave Dartmouth a playful jab in the shoulder to spur him on. “Gah, I just wanna go back to sleep…” he groaned, trying to fall back onto the bed. “Hey, good Pokémon Trainers always start early,” Jollimore winked, and he arose to have a refreshing shower and get dressed into his summer attire.