Monarch: The Tragic King of California

Monarch: The Tragic King of California

Ink wash & paint pens on Bristol paper

This is my new character, Monarch: The Tragic King of California. I’ll be making a lot of pieces with him featured, mostly because all the pieces of him are fun for me to draw: the tattoos, the hoodie, the weird shape of his hands, and of course, the bear head.

To clarify, he is a bear-man. He has all the tendencies of a bear, but is cursed with the form of a man.

Historically, Monarch was a California grizzly bear who “was captured in 1889 in a publicity stunt concocted by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst and kept for 22 years in a cage (and became) California’s last captive grizzly”. After his death in 1911, his likeness was used for the California flag. Ironically, his death, and the following death of the remaining few CA grizzlies, signaled the extinction of their species in the region in which they are the state animal for.

In the flesh.

In the flesh.

He has been immortalized by being skinned, stuffed and put on display at the California Academy of Sciences, where we can gawk at him today.

His throne.

His throne.

His skeleton is being used for study at UC Berkeley’s Zoology department, however, his skull is currently missing. Maybe it belongs to The Tragic King, it’s rightful owner.

I’m not much of an environmentalist, or humanitarian, but I have focused  causes. And if I can’t help the causes monetarily or physically, I’ll at least make art about it to get the word out there! Every Californian should know about Monarch,

Cheers!

-Xander “Grim” K.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/CA-grizzly-bear-Monarch-a-symbol-of-suffering-2372855.php#ixzz2IML7AOMK

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