Not going to bury the lede with this blog – I’m a huge Furry, and Ghostpaw is my online avatar/Fursona. You should expect to see lots of art of him around! I’ve gone through lots of characters to represent me online but Ghost has stuck around the longest, perhaps for obvious sexy cat reasons.
This is a recent piece by @PeacheeDEW from Twitter that started as a YCH (Your Character Here) pose a few months ago that I instantly thirsted for. It’s also a good piece to use to talk about Ghostpaw’s design, and my taste in art when I commission artists to draw him!
This picture highlights many little hallmarks that excite me about Ghost’s character design – Big Hair! Big Tail! His smarmy, smug, sexy-and-he-knows-it grin and that little chintuft goatee.
It’s also captures the masc-leaning androgyny I love about Ghost very well, where wide hips, curves, and long hair are always at-odds with his wide shoulders and fluffy-but-flat chest and facial fur.
Common challenges I have with Ghost’s design are here, too. His spot pattern is complex but almost accidental! I try not to weigh artists down with the expectations to dutifully copy these, but I think the refsheet design by Luthien Nightwolf, with those diamond-like tail rosettes, is so tempting (or at least distinct enough) that artists usually include it.
It displays my preference for artistic nudity with Ghostpaw not focusing on frontal nudity, too. I love pieces that highlight his fluffy chest and those shoulders or his angular hips but generally shy away from anything that calls out what’s in his pants.
Ghost is definitely a penis-having-person, but aside from the gender-trolling, it feels like describing and displaying “canon” Ghostpaw crotch-equipment is a subtle betrayal of the idea that he is an adaptive kind of sexy who can appeal to anyone. Some of that is the flexibility from his origin as a text-based sexytimes roleplaying character, but it’s also acknowledging that a lot of people who might otherwise go “Damn he’s so hot!” would be turned-off if the various dials in the genitalia character creation sliders went too far in any direction.