Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Most "Successful" Image Meme Goes Horribly Awry

Perhaps you've seen the image above somewhere on the internet over the past ten years? I saw it just a few weeks ago, being used as a stock "OMG" image on Buzzfeed, and I've rarely lacked for gazing at its horrifying hellstare for more than a few months at a time. It is, I suppose, a classic of a kind.

I made needledog.jpg, the "Hypodermic Chihuahua," as I've always called it, in November of 2003 for a Fark Photoshop Contest. It was a simple, quick idea, and I felt no need to execute it carefully. The topic was, basically, "make a scary-looking animal." I had already found the Chihuahua image*, complete with its insane red eyes, and wanted to push the image where it obviously already wanted to go, thus the addition of the needle. It's not very well done; I hate looking at it now and wondering why I didn't at least color-correct the syringe the tiniest bit to blend into the surrounding photo more convincingly. Likewise, it would have taken only minutes to add the needle into the shadow in the background. Lazy!

I only got third place in the contest, but it didn't take long before HC started popping up everywhere. Whatever. You never know what's going to end up sticking. You can spend hours and hours on a beautiful/hilarious image, fully convinced that this one is going to go viral, absolutely, for sure, no question, and then... nothing. And then the dumb thing you dashed off in five minutes ends up exploding all over the place. It's fun!

All the same, I'm not sure I feel so good about this:

Somebody actually managed to make HC more dreadful. Uhhhh... well done? I don't believe anybody has ever gotten an artwork of mine emblazoned permanently on their body before, so of course I'm honored, but... that one? Couldn't you have picked Kiss Condi?

There's a whole thread about it at the Reddits. Gahhhhhh.

Thank you (?) Pony Pal Dave B. for gently breaking this to me.

*I've never again been able to locate the source of the original, unaltered Chihuahua image. 


dianegsocialist said...

Just a question -- do you think the expeditiousness of the photoshop could actually be making the photo more palatable?

Peteykins said...

Maybe! Its clunkiness could be "endearing," or give a subliminal "this isn't real" signal which makes the image more palatable.

I can't help but think it would be better if I had spent more time on it and done it right, though.

choff said...

The artwork's the worst. An insult to the original.

Peteykins said...

I love how the tattoo artist just completely misunderstood the right side (our left side) of the dog's head.

HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

I still think CH is awesome. But I' a huge fan of Calista Ginrich with that chest tat.

samael7 said...

Ooo, Callista w/ the thug tattoo is a good one, although probably not as popular for self-evident reasons. Similarly, I love the KISS version Peteykins did of various GOP candiates, particularly Bachmann's.

But Hypodermic Chihuahua really is memorable. That FARK contest remains one of my faves of all time because of it.

Anonymous said...

This evidently made-up creature somehow reminds me of your amore Kondi ... evidently you (and, I'm sure, your faithful readers) cannot forget her, reminded as they are of her in their nightmares ...