Aw yeah Sly Cooper, that series is now one more year from being allowed to legally drink in the USA. It’s one of my favorite series along with Ratchet. It’s comic book and stylistic inspiration from Saturday Morning Cartoons really had me hooked.
Sly Cooper is so good. The first game, while not my favorite, has a lot of charm! The aesthetic is to die for, and it definitely inspired my art!!! The second game is absolutely amazing in every way— the characters, the environments, and the story— so enjoyable! The third game is a cute conclusion to the series, I loved being able to play as Carmelita. While the game is short and not as good as 2, the writing and humor is superb.
A fantastic trilogy that definitely didn't get ruined with an unnecessary game that butchered every character and left the series on a cliffhanger. Thank god it's just an amazing trilogy.
@fraterribilis asked for a griffin inspired clockwerk/clock-la design, so this is what i came up with: a full robot & a part organic
let’s talk about Carmelita and Neyla’s power struggle as presented through visuals
This post was originally going to focus on Carmelita and Neyla being presented as binary opposites but after I started working on it I realised how big a topic this is to cover so I’m just going to analyse the visuals for now. More specifically, the visuals that have to do with the two characters’ antithesis and rivalry. Let’s take a look:
Colour Choice: purple is a really interesting choice for Neyla because I think it highlights the duality and mystique of her character: blue, as seen by Carmelita, symbolises good, the law and justice; whereas red is evil and hatred (which is subsequently the colour of ClockLa’s eyes too). Mix those two up and you’ve got Neyla, an eternity-seeking psychopath masquerading as a cop. Her palette’s duality serves to both compliment and contrast Carmelita’s blue, nicely blending when they’re still coworkers but then contrasting when they’re antagonists. In Sly 2, Carmelita’s outlines and overall appearance are primarily blue, whereas in Sly 3, she swapped to orange (as seen by her thief meter). I think this choice presents how the events of Sly 2 were probably the lowest point in her life, or at least career, and in Sly 3 she manages to overcome all the obstacles she’s faced, such as getting arrested, tortured, working with Sly and managing to “capture” him before he tricks her and escapes.
Angles: the angles used in the cutscenes allude to Carmelita and Neyla’s position in the narrative, and their placements depend on how their storyline is progressing. For instance, A Tangled Web, a significant chapter in the game, starts off with Neyla being shot from beneath as her planes and tanks follow behind her. Her pose adds to the angle she’s being shot from and serves to show how she’s a force to be reckoned with and that, since exposing The Contessa’s deceit, she’s shed her demure, coy demeanour from episodes 1-3.
Despite all this, A Tangled Web is the episode that includes the most character development for both Neyla and Carmelita as their control begins to shift drastically. By the end of the level, Carmelita, who wasn’t even mentioned once in Jailbreak, goes from being completely benched to being the one receiving the low-angle shot. Neyla, on the other hand, got her ass handed to her by everyone, receiving ghosts in her HQ’s chimney and getting stuck in spider cum, and as such is shot from a high angle. Although Carmelita is still a fugitive after this episode, the dynamics here have definitely changed since Neyla’s betrayal.
Another thing I’ve noticed in regards to the angles used in the cutscenes is that Carmelita’s gaze plays a role in the positioning of the characters. Let me explain: the split-screen screenshot used above has Carmelita looking down at Sly. I think the screenshot is trying to convey two things: (a) the horizontal split in the middle as well as the colours used symbolise how Carmelita is conflicted due to Sly rescuing her and their brief alliance; (b) the fact she’s looking down at him literally means just that. Ethically, she’s on a higher ground, and she disapproves of Sly being a thief. At the end of the game, this changes and the screen is split vertically because, even though she’s still not ok with him being a thief, he’s redeemed himself partly because of the entire ClockLa storyline. She’s more accepting of who Sly is and that sets up their relationship nicely for Sly 3.
You’ll notice that, even though Sly and Carmelita are on opposite sides of the law, they don’t overlap each other in the cutscenes. They are equals because both are morally good. The same can’t be said for Carmelita and Neyla, however. Their power-struggle and representation of “good” and “evil” is again presented by Carmelita’s gaze. In the game’s opening cutscene, Neyla is positioned closer to the camera while Carmelita gives her a suspecting look from behind. In He Who Tames the Iron Horse’s closing cutscene, however, Carmelita is framed closer and Neyla in the back. Although Carmelita’s gaze is unaverted, the change in the framing suggests, again, the shifting dynamics and power-struggle. In the beginning, Neyla’s skittish behaviour threatens Carmelita as she slowly but surely rises as a force within Interpol; by the second Canada level however, Neyla seems to be losing her control because, even though she’s still in Interpol, the gang has managed to beat her and gather all the Clockwerk guts successfully. Depending on her position of power, Carmelita is placed in front or behind Neyla.
Similarities: although Carmelita and Neyla are binary opposites, once their partnership ends, they experience the same high and low simultaneously. A Tangled Web opens with Carmelita being held captive by The Contessa. She is tied down to a wooden table and subjected to The Contessa’s experiments. During Operation: High Road, Neyla experiences the exact same thing, when she gets caught in a web. This presents how The Contessa is a badass female villain and that every character is caught in her tangled web, but also how Carmelita and Neyla’s destinies are intertwined.
Similarly, in An Anatomy for Disaster, both Neyla and Carmelita use machinery to ascend to the skies: ClockLa & the Interpol helicopter. The two characters share the same highs and lows to a certain degree, and, even though they were tied down, they managed to get up and push even higher.
Bonus: I find it really interesting that Neyla’s introduction sees her coming out of a sarcophagus with Anubis’s face on it. I mean, Carmelita does the same thing but I think it’s foreshadowing because Anubis is the god of death and that is exactly what Neyla’s rise and reign include. I wish Carmelita’s sarcophagus had a different face on it, something to foreshadow her own storyline or character. Also, since we’re on the subject, this.
So yea ! I’m sure there’s more stuff but this is what I got for now. I wanted this post to focus more on how both SP and S*nzaru are guilty of slapping the “angry POC” label on Carmelita but I guess that post will have to come at another time.
Anybody got any asks? Im bored and Im open to pretty much anything. Fics, HCs, maybe drawings i don't know. Just asking me things id love too. Send em in.
Fandoms in the tags.
Ah, right. Should’ve known. I’m also curious. Of all the villains in the Sly Cooper games, which one is your least favourite? For me it’s Le Paradox. I just think he’s pathetic, he should’ve been sucked into a jet turbine.
So, this is going to be a very controversial statement, but I actually like Le Paradox. To an extent.
I agree that he isn't really well written, but thanks to some certain influences (COUGHCOUGH [email protected]
/sabrinacat for making me realize the sex appeal of skunk man), I just find him inoffensive at worst. His motivation is petty, but his backstory does have a decent idea behind it that, while Thieves in Time doesn't do shit with, is something of substance.
Now do you wanna know which villian I REALLY hate? The one character I actually consider the worst Sly character, not just as a villain, but as the worst CHARACTER in the entire FRANCHISE?
It's Grizz. I fucking hate Grizz with a burning passion, oh my god.
He's forgettable as hell. You probably forgot he even existed until I published this ask. I know the rest of the fandom sure did. And when you do remember him, all he does is fill you with rage because there is nothing good about him.
Even comparing then to the other Thieves in Times villains (Excluding Le Paradox), the ones often considered the worst Sly Cooper villain gang, they at least have some redeeming traits. El Jefe gives me boners, Toothpick is so dumb that you can't help but find him endearing, Penelope could've worked as a villain but just had some REALLY bad execution, Miss Decible.... uh... she has a cute voice. (She's almost as bad as Grizz but I put her a margin higher because I'm not as offended by her as I probably should be.)
But Grizz? I can't think of SHIT to make him likeable. He's forgettable at best and straight up offensive at worst.
His whole motivation just flips on a dime for no reason other than the writers just. Forgot. what his motivation even was. First he's a failed artist, and then he wants to ice skate now? Oh wait, now he's back to the artist thing. And he also raps now. Why was the ice skating thing brought up like it was his primary Thing?
And like, the idea of a failed artist turned criminal could've worked. Imagine if they actually stuck with it instead of flipped him to be an ice skater for no reason. Imagine if they just took that idea and made a fully fleshed out villian with it-
Oh wait! They already did that!
BECAUSE DIMITRI WAS ALREADY CREATED TWO FUCKING GAMES AGO. AND THAT SAME IDEA WAS USED WAY BETTER WITH HIM.
Grizz is a ripoff of an already great character, except with none of the charm or good writing that makes Dimitri such a fan favorite. The reason why Dimitri works so well is because there's an actual reason why he speaks the way he does. It's not just there for shits and giggles, it's because he canonically does not speak English well, and only learned it through hiphop videos and music. Not to mention, he's written in such a way so that Dimitri's speaking quirk is distinct, that you KNOW it's Dimitri, to the point where even dedicated fanfic writers have trouble figuring out how to write his dialogue.
But what about Grizz? Oh, I don't know. They just threw a bunch of hip hop slang into his script without any kind of actual thought into it, to the point where he borders on being a racist stereotype. Actually, speaking of-
Sanzaru: Why the FUCK did you have a WHITE voice actor voice a character (with an exaggerated Black accent, mind you) who not only is a stereotype of the hiphop subculture, but was also based off of an ACTUAL Black person?
And about that last point: Do you want to know worst part about Grizz as a whole? THEY COULD'VE HIT GOLD WITH HIM IF BIZ MARKIE STAYED TO VOICE HIM. Yeah fun fact: Biz Markie, one of my favorite rappers, was actually going to voice Grizz, and his character was much more heavily based on Markie himself (even being named Grizzle B.) BUT SANZARU DIDN'T WANT US TO HAVE ANYTHING GOOD SO BIZ MARKIE LEFT AND ALL WE HAVE IS THIS PIECE OF SHIT BEAR WITH NOT A SINGLE DAMN FUCKING THING GOOD.
TL;DR: Fuck Grizz. He is not only the worst Sly villain, but the worst Sly Cooper character in literally any and every media associated with the Sly Cooper IP. I fucking hate Grizz. Nothing good has ever come out of the existence of Grizz.
Bijou I have a question if you could team up with any other theif from any other universe who would you work with and why?
"Absolutely no one! I am a solo stealing seal for a reason!"
"Do I believe that others should be encouraged to follow in my ways? Yes. Would I be happy to teach them? Also yes. But at the end of it all, if past experiences have taught me anything, it's that collaboration only slows one down."
"Yes, I understand how incredibly unimpressive this sounds coming out of a talking pillow!"
For those who happen to like other things past Star Wars, I also made a couple of side blogs for some of my biggest favorites!
@inky-axolotl-gaia : 100% Sonic centered art and analysis
@inky-axolotl-toon : Gravity Falls and other toons (soon to include Mickey and Oswald art, some animaniacs, sly cooper, etc.)
My primary blog (this one) will be mostly for Star Wars, some marvel (specifically Spider-Man), musicals, and whatever else strikes my fancy that tends to be more “live-action” or Disney if that makes any sense as well as any and all original art I do.
What do you think of SlyFox (Sly/Carmelita)?
Carmelita's feelings stem from an actually dangerous obsession with Sly and Sly's feelings seem to come largely from a the forbidden fruit aspect of her being a hot cop. They had like, 2 conversations before getting together? And when they did get together it was under such strangely specific false pretenses that it makes one or both of them rapists.
I know it's all Saturday morning cartoon logic so it doesn't feel right to criticize it so much but literally everything about them falls apart so fast with the most cursory of examination. If you wanna do anything with them more interesting or character driven than the canon compulsory "they're the main ship and the series is ending" I think they're actually unsalvageable as a couple.
Imagine if Sly, Murray and Carmelita went to court before being taken to Prague, with Arpeggio as the judge sentencing them. BTW i though it would be cite to see that parrot in a powdered wig.
He can’t see shit in that wig and I know it- Taking the term big wig literally. Neyla is there to testify and call them lil beta bitches. What a queen <3.
Also fun fact- this is my first time drawing Murray (And Bentley if you look ahead)
I think this is a funny lil idea,just imagine seeing one of the big bad later on and just being like- “Wait…Was that seriously you earlier? What the hell man?” Goof ass.
Anyway here’s a bonus Bentley.
I adore this man so much
(Anyway,sorry you get just sketches for now,I didn’t have time for something elaborate- I plan on being productive and doing some finished art. Gotta get the motivation Bby!)
Got any humanized forms of Arpeggio?
Ok but serious answer is no! I have tried a few times but the result is just… ehh?? I think I have a dissociation because I think he is cute as a bird man but I don’t find a human equal cute?? So I’m like oh no eww LOL
What I DO have is some ideas for human!Forte who is my OC that’s a bootleg of Arpeggio! He has a human AU and while he’s not the same as Arpeggio there’s a lot of overlap (specifically with my Survived!AU). I also have human!Linda in that AU! She’s had a human form, but I’m in the process of revamping her.
These concepts were drawn by my friend Smashmat :) aka esmachmat2 on Twitter! I attached my art of the chars regularly for comparison.
Out of curiosity, do you have any LGBTQ+ headcanons for Sly Cooper characters?
I’ve already answered this question a few times I think. Check the anon asks tag or headcanons tag. Basically the Cooper Gang bisexual AF
what would a Sly Cooper/Sam And Max AU look like?
Listen this is the oldest ask in my inbox and I've been working on an answer since day 1 of this ask. I've never played, watched, or experienced a Sly Cooper in my life. I asked friends who played it what it was like. The answers, I did not absorb, despite my spongiest efforts. I found a Sly Cooper style that was a little similar to my own and I thought "I could do that".
I was wrong.
Sam's face, it killed me, every time. Every. Time. BUT. I do have a product. For you. I think, if I spent another three weeks on it, planning, molding, I could come up with something better, but I am old and tired and I am throwing in the towel. Enjoy. Sly Cooper Sam and Max AU. It is nothing but this picture, which I resent. I have studied, I have tried, I have prayed. This is all I have.
I hope. I hope it. It is enough.
Turnabout Podcast Ep 45 featuring the incredible @serennes-art !!!!!!!!!
Asks are open, im good with just general fandom stuff, short fic requests or just asks about myself or opinions. Just be respectful of course and we'll be good.
General liked fandoms in the tags, but feel free to ask me about others.
found a compilation video of some old sly ads/promotional videos and one of them had some flashes of concept art and these in particular caught my eye!! looks like some movement studies and a couple death animation roughs :3
(also it looks like these are from when his name was JT!!)
I strongly suggest you to see it when you have the time. Its an incredibly charming movie and has good humor. But i understand if you would rather not.
oh perhaps one day i'll watch megamind!!! i don't hold that fear for a happy meal toy anymore!!!
there's a lot of movies i haven't watched, and some day i'd like to change that :)
*Kicks down your door* Sly Cooper!
Aw m8, not my door lol. Also sorry for answering this late, I was more tired than I realized last night oopsie.
Give me a fandom and I'll tell you
.Favorite Male Character
Dimitri, I fuckin kin that man and I dont know why. I think its because I too, am a greasy artist who likes bad fashion. Its also god tier that Dimitri was a villain, then became a member of the temporary Cooper gang, and then has became an iconic side character. If anybody in sly cooper got the best ending, its Dimitri. Also I just have an inherent love for greasy disgusting villain characters (cough le paradox cough)
.Favorite Female Character
Penelope was made for nerdy girls who didnt enjoy sexy female cartoon characters, and instead loved the nerdy girls in said cartoons. (I call it the Velma phenomenon) and we STAN BABY (not sly 4 Penelope thats a soap box for another day) Also, if Henriette was actually a character in sly 4, and not fucking bob, she'd probably be my favorite.
.Least Favorite Character
Honestly, probably Grizz. If youre wondering why its not General Tsao, its because Tsao actually has substance and is written better as a character. Grizz is just a bad remix of Dimitri, and his design isn't that great.
Uh any female character x me bitch. no im kidding, Penelope x Bentley.
Murray and Bentley, self explanatory.
"What is this with clocks, bro? Have you no vision? Are you hearing what I beam to you? You think you have juice? Don't show me a little mind when talking about such big things. You think you can swing the bat? Show your bling and let me shine you!"
"i have no idea what you're saying, and your suit sucks!" incoherent screeching
.Worst Character Death (if any)
Penelope's character in sly 4, most characters that die in these games deserve it for the most part lol. Except for Arpeggio he was fuckin murdered, and he didn't even do anything that bad.
.This made me so happy you have no idea Moment
When Murray let Bentley drive the van for the first time. Top tier wholesome gang moment.
God dam Sly being thrown into Egypt, hinting that Sly 5 was gonna get made. And then it never happened. Also the implication of Sly never coming back is hard to think about, like can you imagine hieroglyphs being discovered and it shows sly's death. That fucks me up to think about, so I simply don't think.
Mesa City or all of Prague. I like the aesthetics of those locations.
Sorry for the stupidly long post, I have no excuse take my word vomit.