Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Killer Whales

Orcas attack and eat anything they want to in the ocean... and sometimes they venture up onto beaches to kill stuff there too. They've even been known to attack great white sharks. Considering the threat they are to everything in or near the sea, it's no wonder that orcas are more commonly known as "killer whales." Then why am I more terrified of sharks than I am of killer whales if killer whales are the ocean's number one predator? I can think of a few reasons.

Because of their natural color markings that look like smile lines, killer whales always seem happy. Sharks are ugly and look mad. So even though both animals have dagger-like teeth that could easily rip my flesh from my bones, I find myself less afraid of the one who would look happy doing it.
Sea World has also influenced my feelings. At the Shark Encounter, ominous music plays in darkened caverns while sharks eerily encircle the exhibit's guests who find themselves trapped in tunnels well below the surface. At Shamu Stadium, cheerleaders in wet suits dance around to Brittany Spears classics while killer whales leap from the water, playfully launching other cheerleaders into the air. It's hard to misread the message Sea World is sending.
And the last reason that sharks are scarier than killer whales... it's impossible to trust a fish.

31 comments:

Ken Chandler said...

Awesome Orca Shane. Love the illusion you give of it being in water. Too cool! His expression cracks me up too. That big smile is deceiving, until you look at his barely visible eye. Then the fact that he's imagining me as a snack before moving on to the main course becomes apparent. Only you can make me laugh while simultaneously improving on the content of my nightmares.

Mike Boldt said...

Great drawing of this happy faced killer. It's funny that they never came up with a different name. Every time I see one, to me it's Shamu. I only saw his show once when I was young, but who can forget that!

lrlewis said...

He's so cute, and so menacing all at once!

Another reason to like them better than sharks - they're not dumb like sharks. If they attack you, it's because they KNOW they're attacking a human.

On a side note, those videos of Killer Whales going crazy on their trainers at SeaWorld are kinda scary. I wouldn't want to be a "cheerleader in a wet suit" when my whale was in a bad mood.

GhettoFab said...

i always considered em like panda fish...

Youre not scared of sharks..you swim with them ( from reliable source )

Todd Oman said...

great whale and I love that john denver below it is dead on, great job.

Alina Chau said...

So many cool new illos!! The whale is great!

aintshakespeare said...

It's always nice to read the stories behind your pictures. Great sense of humor.

I love the reflected water on this guy's back. That is a very nice touch.

Anonymous said...

Shane,

I've been lurking on your site and ToonClub for months now and have finally decided to leave some feedback. And that feedback is that you're insane. In a harmless, neurotic, Calvin & Hobbes sort of way of course. Every time I read your site you trip me out man.

"So even though both animals have dagger-like teeth that could easily rip my flesh from my bones, I find myself less afraid of the one who would look happy doing it?"

"cheerleaders in wet suits dance around to Brittany Spears classics while killer whales leap from the water, playfully launching other cheerleaders into the air?"

Hilarious man. Truly hilarious.

Tom

John Nunnemacher said...

Heh heh heh, totally awesome, Shane.

Years ago I did caricatures at SeaWorld for a little less than a year. I had to draw more Shamus into the pictures than I'd care to shake a stick at. Of course, we weren't really in a position to draw them menacing at all ... just big, cuddly mammal-fish that want to be your child's best swimming partner. Ah well.

Heather Dixon said...

Your posts never fail to make me laugh!

Josh said...

You love to talk about sharks. I googled shark week drawings and you were number 1. Nice.

Kellie said...

Maybe sharks just don't have the right PR managers? Love that desgin.

Joe said...

I always loving seeing great animal designs. Superb!

David Malan said...

Another great post, I often find myself bringing up information I learned on you blog at dinner parties. People are always impressed(I assume from the blank looks on their faces) when I start spouting wisdom like: "Did you know experts conclude people are more frightened by sharks then killer whales because of three primary reasons..."

Anonymous said...

Killer whales are generally gentle to humans; they are very perceptive to how intelligent humans are(for the most part!)and do not attack unless provoked.

L. D. Torres said...

that was probably the hardest i've laughed in some time! i wonder if that 'look happy while doing it' paadigm would work with convicts and terrorists as well... hmmmm... maybe Sadam Hussein with a smile might have been harder to retaliate against...

dancing platypuss said...

hahaah soo cool man! he (or she) looks loke the school butty who steals geeks money for lunch... love it

Brian Cutler said...

I can't wait for Sea World to open the great white show, where great whites launch cheerleaders up in the air. I've seen shark week... I know those things can jump almost as high as killer whales, although with a little less grace. Maybe the "killer" in killer whale is meant in an "awesome" "cool" sort of way. I can just imagine a marine biologist seeing the animal for the first time and saying (in your best Cheech Marin voice) "look at those killer whales, man", and the name stuck.

Jed said...

No way. Killer whales are the scariest things in the deep. They've kept me from enjoying many an olympic size pool.

And those videos of orcas attacking people... guh. they make me afrait to sit on the toilet, or walk on the carpet barefoot.

Do I just need a doctor?

Lindsay said...

i miss your talks of shark week. Last year you got me so pumped to watch it that i watched almost EVERYTHING this year... now i'm extraordinarily scared and nobody to talk to about shark week... i think you should post something.


-random person you don't, if barely, know.

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

Another great one, and a great text entry too! I recently saw Orcas in the wild! If you click on my link and find my photoblog you can see some Orca pics. It was awesome to see them! I also saw Humpbacks doing "bubble net feeding" and got good pics of that. Amazing to see!

Nathan Lindsay said...

"Brittany Spears Classics"

...nice.

Ryan said...

That orca is so fat and happy.

Anonymous said...

this is incorrect orcas dont eat and attack eneything they want they only attack when there hungary i know that and im only 10!.

Anonymous said...

orcas dont attack great whites and there not the number 1 preditors of the sea great whites are i can point out so meny mistakes in this. you should go on are you smarter than a 10 year old to prove me wrong if your so smart and special to dis the name of the killer whale.YOU ARE THE BIGGEST IDIOT EVER!!!!.

Anonymous said...

you are putting false images in the mind's of teenagers im 10 and know better than to believe you YOU HEAR THAT TEEN'S ,SHANES TERNING YOU INTO IDIOT.

Anonymous said...

THEY DON'T ATTACK PEOPLE UNLESS THE PERSON PREVOKES THEM . YOU ARE THE MOST HORRIFIC URCHEN IN THE SEA GO SLITHER BACK TO THE ABASSLE PLAIN YOU INSULT TO HUMANATEY!!

Brandon May said...

That anonymous ten year old is an idiot! He should at least use a spell check before entering his post. Then he should figure out proper sentence structure and format. Look ten year old anonymous, you are a Moron.....

Lindy said...

Yikes, little 10-year old. YOU'RE the insult to "humanatey" - (or "hu-manatee" to the ocean creature lover in you)...

If I were you, I wouldn't go around posting comments about "terning" people into idiots without first checking your spelling. It sort of negates all your points when you yourself are the idiot.

Penelope Crackers said...

Okay, I've decided that you really wrote all those comments from the "10 year old" Shane. :) It's awesome. I'm going to be laughing about this for a while.

kamagra said...

wow lovely article, I also love the reflected water on this guy's back. That is a very nice touch. thank you so much for sharing