Jie Peng (jiepeng.0v0) is a devoted Mourner (Court of the Dead fan) whose adorable creepy-cool fan art has captured our imaginations here at Sideshow HQ. Her ultra-cute interpretations of our macabre monstrosities take the Court in an unexpectedly adorable direction, and her work has managed to bring a wry smile to even the Alltaker himself!
We took a moment to interview Jie Peng about her work, her inspirations and her Courtly dreams…
Where are you from?
Peng: I come from Sichuan, China, the hometown of giant pandas!
How did you discover Court of the Dead?
Peng: I think it was at San Diego Comic Con in 2015. I saw these cool characters. Then I found a lot of background settings and characters on the official website. At that time, I was fascinated by the story of the Underworld and regretted that I did not contact them at the first time I discovered them a few years ago.
What is your Faction?
How did you get into illustration? Are you self-taught or did you go to school to train?
Peng: I’m not a trained illustrator. I love painting very much, but I didn’t enter the art academy to receive professional training. But, painting was my dream, and I didn’t want to give up. In 2015, I mustered up the courage to quit my job at the bank, picked up my brush, learned from scratch, joined the ranks of the painters, and did it all again!
What inspired you to depict the characters interacting with smaller, cuter versions of them-selves?
Peng: Good question. I think every person is multifaceted, and everyone’s emotions are diverse. The members of the Court of the Dead are no exception, each of them has a different personality, and there will be different reactions.
So I thought, what if one day Kier encounters a smaller version of herself, what would happen? The more I thought about it, the more interesting I thought it could be, so I grabbed my pen and drew it. If you read the dialogue between them, you will find that the little cute ones in the picture some-times are on a side all of their own!
I like the Court of the Dead. I like its story and characters, so I hope more people can see and accept this series. In many people’s eyes, they may just be sculptures, a toy, or a series of collectibles, but I prefer to think of them as friends in real life. I hope that the people who see my work can also recognize that the characters in The Court of the Dead are not purely dark, they can bring happiness, and everything will be interesting as long as we are careful…
If you could hang out with Kier, what would you want to do for fun?
Peng: Well …it’s a good opportunity to sign her name on her statue. If she doesn’t mind, I would like to invite her to the beach…but what if a shark comes…
What flavor ice cream is Shard eating in your drawing?
Peng: This ice cream flavor is “happy”, it is a bit sweet and smells like fruit. The people who eat it get happy, and then the happier the ice cream gets. But, it is a bit afraid of being eaten.
What types of things do you collect?
Peng: I like to collect albums, books and art. All kinds of Blizzard games, and of course I collect Sideshow statues too- the female characters in DC and Marvel comics, and all the characters in the Court of the Dead.
What other subjects do you like to draw?
Peng: I like to draw cute little animals and cartoons, and bring my own imagination to the painting.
Most of my paintings are closer to real life, but occasionally there will be some cool scenes.