The Art and Evolution of TwoKinds, Volume 1, by Thomas Fischbach – review by Fred Patten.
by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
The Art and Evolution of TwoKinds, Volume 1, by Thomas Fischbach
Apple Valley, CA, Keenspot Entertainment, December 2016, hardcover $29.99 (89 [+ 1] pages)
This is a large (8.5 x 10 inches) deluxe color artbook featuring Fischbach’s TwoKinds online comic strip cast. Every page is printed in full color on slick, glossy paper. It is a visual feast for fans of TwoKinds, and of all fans of mild cheesecake featuring anthropomorphic characters.
Despite the title, there is nothing here from the comic strip itself. You will not see how TwoKinds has evolved artistically over the dozen years that it has been running (since October 22, 2003). Instead this is a collection of Fischbach’s recent paintings of his main characters. Most of them have appeared on his DeviantArt gallery with the dates painted, and they are all from late 2014 to 2016. This is disappointing in terms of not really seeing how TwoKinds has evolved artistically over twelve years. But, frankly, Fischbach’s art was pretty crude when he began. Every painting in this artbook is in his current, much higher-quality style. It’s what most purchasers will prefer.
The format is to present a finished painting with from one to seven preliminary sketches to show how that painting evolved. Fischbach’s very brief text descriptions of how the plot of TwoKinds has evolved are scattered throughout the book. “Throughout the comic series, Natani is intentionally drawn slightly differently, either more masculine or feminine, depending on the situation.” (p. 43) “Very early on, Trace and Keith were planned to be rivals for Flora’s affection. However, as the story and characters developed, this potential love triangle was quickly abandoned.” (p. 87)
The main characters focused upon are Trace Legacy, the human protagonist; Flora, the tiger Keidran who is his love; Keith Keiser, his wolflike Basitin best friend; Kathrin Vaughn, a mixed-breed Keidran who looks like a clouded leopard; and Natani, a wolf Keidran assassin who has become their friend. Minor characters like Maddie, Raine, Mike and Evals, and Lady Nora the white dragon, are only shown a couple times each.
The title aside, this artbook is a collection of full-color high-quality closeup portraits of the main characters, most of whom are anthropomorphic animals. If you’re not familiar with TwoKinds and Fischbach’s art (he draws excellent fluffy fur), check it out for free online at http://twokinds.keenspot.com/