Goliath Art Reveal! (July)

Okay, I only counted the first 150 votes, then skipped ahead to see if anyone else did, because counting is slow and annoying. So I’m using Ren W.’s count at comment 250:

Number 1 – 26
Number 2 – 18
Number 3 – 47
Number 4 – 123

These are more or less accurate, I’m sure, and I think we all know who won.


So here it is in all its unredacted glory . . . “Kappa Surfacing”!

Keith Thompson

Click here for a GIGANTIC version, that will BLOW YOUR MIND when you zoom on it.

As you Pokémon fans have already pointed out, kappa are Japanese beasties. But they go back to before the Pokémon fad, of course, as part of Shinto folklore.

When I was your age, people often called Shinto “the national religion of Japan,” but these days it’s more common to call it “the indigenous spirituality of Japan.” The thing is, Shinto is a set of practices that come out of folklore and myths rather than a structured religion. There’s no single sacred text or founder figure, no Quran or Buddha or Bible, but it does have priests (male and female). It’s part of everyday Japanese life, both as a link to the traditional past and to nature and the divine.

So I figured that Japanese boffins would take their inspiration from creatures like kappa (who are water spirits), even if they were using the life threads of real creatures to make them.

What’s also interesting is that most people who practice Shinto are also Buddhists, Christians, or whatever. This Japanese readiness to mix outside cultural practices into their own (and to put an unexpected spin on them, as anyone who’s ever read manga can attest) is why I decided Japan had to be both a Darwinist AND a Clanker power.

(Yes, everyone in the modern world mixes up all sorts of stuff from outside cultures, but it seems like the Japanese are particularly awesome at it, and have been since at least the 1860s.)

Anyway, that was my thinking behind the kappa, and about how Japanese boffins would approach fabrication overall. Also, the Japanese Navy was bad-ass back then, so they had to look pretty scary too. And Keith is good at scary.

Keith News
If I haven’t mentioned it here before, Keith has an art blog now as well as his usual site.

There, you can buy big prints of two pieces from Goliath already! Both “Secrets in the Rookery” and “Crashing a Bash” are available.

95 thoughts on “Goliath Art Reveal! (July)

  1. That was AWESOME!!!!!

    I really hope he has some Clanker tech to show us next time. Most of what’s been shown is Darwinist, I want a fix of good ‘ol machines!

  2. Greetings from ENGLAND!

    Yeah, I’ve jumped the pond and traveled over to Europe a few days ago (which explains my absence from the blog for a while. Sorry!). Already visited Dublin (LOVED IT!!!!!) and London (eh….). London was nothing like what I imagined it to be…but I did get to see Buckingham palace, AND go through a very interesting museum, where one of the exhibits was about WWI and the Archduke. Very cool….

    Oh, also managed to finish reading The Book Thief during the plane ride to Europe. I’m now a fan….

    Scott-La: Really wished I could have been around for your chat. I actually have a question for you: If you could be any fictional book character (besides your own) who whould you be and why?

    Catch y’all later.

  3. ACTUALLLY…I have known about Kappa, not from Pokemon, but from Mario…which most people should know is Japanese :3

  4. Um…so on Keith’s site it says that “Crashing a Bash” is FROM Goliath….didn’t Scott-la say that the picture was an April Fools joke? But Ketih’s site made it sound like the picture is actually from the book….opinions? Or am I getting something wrong?

  5. First of all, I’d like to point out that I knew of Kappa not from Pokemon (there’s a reference to Kappa in Pokemon? I’m out of the loop…), nor from Mario but from… oh, the actual mythology? Haha.

    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to all of the new fabrications and machines. Kappa look EPIC.

  6. I don’t know, Emmiline. We haven’t seen an Edwardian Kappa, so we can’t judge. I do want an Edwardian Loris, that would be almost as awesome as a Stormwalker.

  7. See that guy falling near the top right corner?

    That’s Alek doing what Alek does best. Not helping.

    Lolz, I’m kidding, I love you Alek.

  8. In the summary for Goliath on Amazon, it says there’s a “homicidal lunatic” aboard the Leviathan.

  9. @Kailey-wa
    I saw that too! I waas supposedly an April Fool’s joke, but then why would you be able to buy it under Goliath? I mean, there’s not really anywhere else he could put it, but why is it there at all? It is possible that it’s actually a part of the book. I personally don’t see why Keith would go to all the effort of drawing up a whole new piece of artwork just for a joke. I mean, now he can sell it of course, but unless he can draw pretty quickly, I don’t really see that it would be worth the time if it was just a joke. Hmmmmm…at least now we can imagine what could possibly happen if it IS part of the book. I really hope it is because that would be AWESOME!

  10. “Crashing a Bash” was photoshopped. You can clearly tell where the seperate images meet. There’s a faded area between pics. Tho, where the original pics came from, is still a mystery. It’s sold so those of us who wish it were real, can frame it and put it on our walls.

  11. yay!!! with me, hannah and RandomPieGirl, we have a trio to make our pie!!!! soooo….any ingredients???

    and ya, i agree with Edward V. i do think it’s photoshoped. but it’s totally amazing!!! maybe we could see where the pics came from once we get Goliath….hehe

  12. This isn’t related, but I saw fireworks today, and I thought of Uglies!( or, actually, Pretties. But Uglies was the series.)

  13. Is the man standing on the upper port gun emplacement surrendering?
    If he is, I don’t blame him in the slightest.

  14. Woah, those are super awesome sauce… I want one.
    *goes to father*
    Me: hey dad can I have a Kappa?
    Dad: is that some kind of dog?
    Me: nope 🙂
    Dad: Then sure 🙂

    yay! I can’t wait for Japan. damn straight they had a bad ass navy. They totally kicked Russia’s bum in … when was it … 1900 I think?

  15. AGH! I wanted numer 3!

  16. Oooh, neat! So creepy and yet so fascinating. Who’s ship is that under attack I wonder? Oh, well; Goliath is going to be awesome!!

  17. Ok I have a really random question…. But how did Lilit know that Deryn was a girl? I read Behemoth like three times and I couldn’t figure it out.

  18. @Absters: Because Lilit is just awesome like that.

    Anywho, kappas from Japanese mythology are basically little water beasts that eat children and cucumbers…apparently in Scott’s world they eat Clankers too.

  19. Hold on, I just thought of something: in Scott-la’s recent blog, Forum Meet-up Transcript, someone asked if the Leviathan series would be made into a movie and I seem to remember him saying something to the effect of, “a contract is being written; I can say no more.”. A contract with whom? Disney?? I dearly hope not. Maybe one of their subsidiaries like Miramax or The Weinstein Company would be alright. I mean, they have produced some Quentin Tarantino films, and that’s some pretty damn good stuff… Or maybe an indie company like Oscilloscope Laboratories. But whoever it is, they MUST give the writers and producers (which no doubt would include Scott-la) FULL artistic freedom. If one word is changed from the original screenplay, boy, I’ll find out about it, you had better believe that. And I’ll look them up. I’ll knock on their door. And I will be as mad as a hornet. I will be hot…

    And I IMPLORE that they cast Christoph Waltz as Count Volger. He’s perfect for the role; he can speak English AND German, he fits the age, nationality and poshness of Volger, and he’s a great actor, which never hurts.

  20. I’ve gotten another one of my friends hooked on Leviathan btw. She stayed up past midnight trying to finish it, & then called me begging for Behemoth. 🙂

  21. Hey, imageek! I am too! And you’re not alone. I and many others share your impatience. This book is gonna kick royal ass. And I’ll bet my frost-bitten bum on that.

  22. I tried to get all of my friends that like to read to read Leviathan but THEY ARE RESISTING!!!! So far I’ve only got two to read it but I know one other person will and probably like five more. Ugh why are my friends so stubborn? I know they have a list of books to read but can’t you just read two extra books before you get back to your list?

  23. OMGOSH epic though does anyone else notice that One of the lizards the one in the middle look like it’s side was being blown off

  24. Hi guys.

    In Amsterdam right now. Can’t type long because I snuck onto business computer (heheheh). Will be back soon…I hope…

  25. Yeah, if you look at the majorly blown-up image of the illustration, the kappa leaping up does have chunks of ribs & such exposed & falling out. Yuk. That kappa is probably not happy about that.

  26. Cool! I can’t wait until it comes out. I’m ordering a copy from Pulp Fiction in Brisbane.Scott met the owner in Sydney

  27. God, these pictures are torturing me! I need the precious! Oh and BTW you know what would be a really useful beastie? An alarm spider who crawls up by your door and makes some noise whenever some one answers it, perhaps a barking noise, like a guard dog!

  28. O My God I can’t WAIT for Goliath!!!!!!!!!!! We’re gonna order it from the UK cause I can’t wait for it to come to NZ. I love seeing the pictures! It makes me want the book even more . . .!!!!!!!!

  29. @oral disaster101 – yeah I tried getting my friend to read it but she thought it was BORING! !!!! Then again, the first time my dad got me to read it I didn’t really get into it. OMG! How could I? I missed out on months of EPICNESS!

  30. Greek. They’re Greek too. (lolz I haven’t been on since forever so am reading back issues like I used to when you did IMterviews. YOU SHOULD DO SOME IMTERVIEWS.) Kappa is the Greek letter K, besides that.

    Also, I’ve been a creeper on you, Scott, and I’m sorry, so I thought I’d introduce myself.

    I’m Annlyn (my Leviathan fandom name, I think it’s steampunky) a Darwinist with a fake British accent (oh, how I wish it was real!) I’ve been a fan of your books since about three-ish-four-ish years ago(also known as end-of-fourth-beginning-of-fifth-grade, when I bada-bing-bada-boom grabbed Uglies at the school library. Tres thrilling for me. Ever since I’ve followed your blog (except for my hiatus from everything when I got grounded.), and I can remember there was an Extras skin at one point. I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE DX

    Anyways, yeah. Tis me. Expect to see me creeing a lot.

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