This was for my Massachusetts College of Art sophomore illustration class. We had to draw cute animals. Our teacher, Floyd Covert, wanted us show our cute art potential clients in the summer, then have real-world stories to tell the next Fall. I wasn’t in a cute mood at the time, so rebelled by drawing the must disgusting animal I could find. Searching for photo reference, I stumbled on an issue of Scientific Monthly about Rhino Rats.
I also decided to use crosshatch pen-and-ink, with technical pens. My updates must’ve seemed like time-lapse photography, walking in with 2 square inches inked every week. By the time I finished inking the top third,the Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs, Dutch: De Smurfen) had just been optioned as a Saturday morning cartoon. I quickly penciled the Smurf, hoping someone would mistake it as a social statement.
Mr. Covert was surprisingly appalled, calling my work “sophomoric”. Since I was a sophomore at the time, he begrudgingly gave me a “A-“. In fact, the Smurf blue and bloodstains were his ideas.
"Dead Smurf" lives in Paris.
Source: "Dead Smurf" by Yours Truly