“Tuzinia” was partially inspired from my daily life with my three pet rabbits. Before adopting and living with them, I had never realized just how pervasive stereotypes can be, even when they appear harmless. For example, people often think that rabbits are only white, or that they only eat carrots. However, stereotypes and common tropes as simple as these influence our thinking and our ability to conceive of the multiplicity and diversity that actually exists in real life. In “Tuzinia,” I set out to depict a multicultural land of rabbits, modeled on real-life geopolitics, group differences, and standards of physical beauty, and thus also functioning as commentary.
Following are the inner pages
Regarding character design, I intentionally departed from the aesthetic “standards” or criteria put forth by mass media, and which we often blindly accept. Hence, I created rabbit species whose appearances and personalities—or “functionalities”—are contradictory, in order to comment on social norms and the stereotypes they engender.For example, the mold of the Northern inhabitants are mountain hares, who are characterized in Tuzinia by their tiny faces and extremely long and impractical legs. This particular image satirizes East Asian standards for female beauty: a cute, small face, pale skin, and straight long legs.