Orking Nine to Five

As an ancient Goth who came into the culture for more than the rebellion, I have a soft spot for beauty in non-standard places: which, although his work isn’t overtly Gothic, definitely includes Kris Kukko’s portrayals of orks and trolls as members of Western European nations at various points in history.

A female orc in a tea dress dancing with a female orc in white tie
Orcs. after JC Leyendecker
©Kris Kukko

While classic evil antagonist races being members of society rather than a separate culture has been a trope in urban fantasy for many years, Kukko’s portrayals have a pleasing mundaneness that is often missing: rather than crime bosses, detectives, and other hero/villain archetypes, his portrayals feature parenting, cooking, and other everyday tasks; his subjects actually feel like real people.

Perhaps even more pleasingly—at least for someone whose first visual introduction to orks who weren’t generic male was the Bloodbowl ork cheerleader—they feel neither farcical echoes of humanity nor humans with only cosmetic changes.

A troll in a fancy robe cuddling an armful of cats
Cat Dad
©Kris Kukko

And there are cats.

Which artists—fantasy or otherwise—have captured your interest at the moment?

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