Thursday, January 17, 2008
Emoticons Review: Onion Head
Onion Tou (Tou means head in Chinese), famously known as Onion-kun, is the creation of Taiwanese Mangaka Ethan (aka E, the Father of Onions). He started drawing back in 2005, when trying some 2D functions in MSN Shell. When his earlier versions was well received online, he drew more onions. After that Onion-kun became an online hit and can be seen all over websites, forums, IM or blogs.
Onion-kun is primarily an emoticon character. There are 93 Onion-themed animated emoticons 70 Onion-themed head shots, and 7 Onion-themed comic strips. Aside from Onion-kun, 3 additional characters appears in the comic strip: Onion-Mei, who is Onion-kun's little sister (Mei means little sister in Chinese, by the way), Delinquent Scallion, who is Onion-kun's arch enemy.
From his Interview with Sohu on September 2007, actually E is a 3 artist. Hobbies: mangas, anime, fantasy novels, and collecting toy models.
His favorite emoticon is the one where Onion-kun runs around in joy: This emoticon took him the longest to create, he really want Onion-fans to smile from their heart when they see it. As for the one that most often represent his feelings, he think it's Onion-kun in rage.
When Onion-kun became popular, people start making all kinds of requests : request for collaboration, request for adaptations, request for specific designs, request for interviews, etc. It's really a bother... He wasn't really prepared. "State of emergency" would probably be a good way to describe his situation.
He is currently working on an Onion-themed Manga --that's his main project for now. He thinks the manga is necessary because you can only get a limited amount of audience empathy with simple emoticons and short dialogues. The internet is pretty much a separate world from the real world. In order to market
Onion-kun in the real world, he need something more sophisticated, hr need to make him a product of culture. He is constantly thinking about what to put in the first Onion-Tou Manga, when the book is published, he hope it would be a milestone for himself.
People uses Onion-kun as an extension of their emotions, their feelings, everyone have different feelings so everyone have a different reason for liking Onion-kun.
By using Onion-kun, people let themselves become Onion-kun, and Onion-kun becomes their spokes- person.
Onion-kun was originally created as a representation of himself on the internet. In the beginning, he drew the emotions based on my personal needs, so a lot of the earlier emoticons really represent feelings that he want to express. Of course, he cannot make exaggerated faces like Onion-kun, but the feels are similar..
He doesn't really mind if people equate himself with Onion-kun, but he would prefer that they separate the two. He has created a separate persona for himself on the net, i.e. Onion-E. If people do not distinguish between the two, then Onion-E would become meaningless. Onion-kun needs his own story and personality. If he has to step to the background, that's fine.
He hopes the fans would focus their attention on his work and on not himself personally. He is, after all, not a stage artist or a stage entertainer. People should expect a cute, lively Onion. He would like to work in the background; it's the kind of working environment that he wishes for, one where he can work without interruptions.
All this post images and news copyrights by The Onion Club
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