A naked pink kobold carrying money and an orange blob runs away from a screaming slate-coloured lizard wearing flannel and pants.

The Heist


A Dignified Conversation with Froge:

"Excuse me m'boy, did you know that Trout is cheating?"

"What? Trout is cheating?"

"Indeed this is the case — Trout is cheating."

"You mean to tell me you are privy to their relationships?"

"No, I do not mean they are physically cheating. I mean… I mean you're cheating."

"How so?"

"I will educate you, my good sir. This artist here, Trout let's call them, as this is their name, specialises in what is known as the fine art of aliasing, most commonly used in the Japanese style of 'oekaki', though is earning a resurgence in recent memory."

"You must tell me more!"

"I will tell you so long as you have the patience to be told! This art style is a simple, joyous discipline, and you, yourself, may have already indulged in it. It works by taking any tool that produces one colour, and one colour only. This may be your pencil, or your binary tool, or perhaps even a paintbrush so long as you remove all the other parts of it that produces more colours, even if indistinguishable from eachother, than the singular colour with which you choose to draw with."


"Now, this discipline, though it lends itself to less techniques, and less force–of–will than other disciplines in digital art, is admired for the reason that it is an incredibly practical style. It limits the choices of the artist so that they may focus on the fundamentals of art — composition, technique, perspective, character, and the like. It does not allow the bad artist to cheat through flash and bang. Instead, it allows the good artist to create their most sincere work through removing any distractions from what they intend to show. And Trout is a good artist."

"Jolly that, eh?"

"And though I cannot tell you why it is popular, I can tell you the effects it produces. It is a novel style, but do not for one second confuse it for a novelty, and especially for a fad. It is a style like that of pixel art, brothers in arms, them. They are seen and admired almost universally by those who but seek to look, though in the eye of the general art appreciator, it is unremarkable."

"Well, is it?"

"It is unremarkable only to those who are bad at it. This discipline is not for everone, and for whose who do it poorly, it lends off an antiquidated, MS Paint feeling, which is certainly a deserved reputation for those who sloppily adopt the style, but not for the entirety of the style. An artist who takes their old techniques and applies it to aliasing will have their expectations shattered."

"Poor craftsmanship."

"Agreed. Proper aliasing creates a feeling of nostalgia — a feeling of a foreign land that you have but visted long ago, and can't quite put your finger on. It brings up memories of a time where we couldn't spare the bytes to use fancy algorithms, where paintbrushes 'anti–alias' your work automatically. Artists treated every single work like every single pixel was important, because this was a time where that was the case. Every byte mattered. In some circles, every byte still does…"

"So this style has practical effects in addition to the stylistic ones."

"Well, yes… but this is the age of Compression Hell, and the majority of aliasing artists use it for the style and not the substance. That said, the style innately lends itself to excellent compression and small file sizes. Aliasing artists learn quickly the value of a limited palette, because otherwise the art looks like an amateur tried to break every good rule that exists for the sake of being different."

"Just like pixel art."

"Just like pixel art. Sometimes we must understand that the rules exist for a reason, because sometimes the only way to do things is the best way to do things. But there is always room for some trial and error, eh?"

"It would not do the arts any good to discourage experimentation."

"Art in itself is one big experiment. Anyway, because of the innate style of aliasing, where there are few colours, work is compressed well and truly effortlessly, even if the artist fails to perform even basic compression. Art of the same dimensions that would normally take megabytes in a traditional format takes up kilobytes with aliasing. And the limited colours make them truly easy to edit, too, making your own job easier."

"Cheery grunting."

"And then, of course, there are times where aliasing artists decide to adopt pixel art wholeheartedly, causing sizes to go down, down, down! Without any downsides! Aliasing, in fact, can be considered as the odd–haired stepchild of the big digital art family. It provides the high resolution and infinite upscaling of pixel art, while having dimensions large enough to allow the typical audience to enjoy it without such modification."

"Does it provide the best of both worlds?"

"They provide their own worlds. Less attention is paid to the detail of each individual pixel, causing a less–than–perfectionist attitude among the artists who adopt the style. The higher dimensions, too, mean that it is not suitable for when you absolutely want to minimise the size of your art assets, causing video games that use the aliasing style instead of traditional pixel art will find their filesizes to be much too huge. And also, pixel art in such projects are typically forced to use a global palette. Aliasing? The discipline doesn't have that much… discipline."

"And what will the future hold?"

"Nostalgia rules the world, Froge. We will see the same style being developed for greater and greater things… Incidentally, these are the same reasons why you're cheating when you use Trout. It's already a small file size. The palette is already limited. You may downscale it easily, and you hardly have to clean up spare pixels."

"Do you discount my work?"

"No, not at all, though I still feel some shame for choosing an artist with all the rape porn and everything."

"The… what?"

"Oh, yes, rape porn, in lurid detail full of suffering and crying and power dominance and what have you. Pages worth of the stuff, small comics, with the propaganda implying it's not rape if they enjoy it by the end. And then there's the fetish for large women, bondage, slavery, some tentacles, a lot of worried kobold men and women in very compromising positions, and just a smattering of voyeurism."

"That isn't even…"

"But it's no skin off my nose; even normies have these fetishes, and people are afraid to admit that. But it really says something about you to write an entire conversation with yourself and have it end on a low note like this."


Then Trout got Robbed.

By the way Trout, I'm aware your terms of service specifically forbids edits. The thing is though, I don't really care. I would be lying if I didn't feel some juvenile glee at the opportunity to piss somebody off, but it's really not in my bag to be contrarian, or to be a "troll", which is just a different word for an asshole.

The fact is that I have principles regarding free culture, and these principles are universal, no matter who they affect. The simple phrase "you are not better than the rest of us" changed my life philosophy for the better, causing me to focus entirely on the good of the many over the good of the few. So, you're the few, I understand. And I understand this will make me unpopular for the few like you. I'm okay with that. I don't feel obliged to serve absolutely everybody's needs, especially when I have a strong community of artists and friends behind me who are doing the exact same thing, indulging in the culture they were born into.

If you don't like it, then that's too bad. If your commissioner doesn't like it, then that's too bad. Pirate politics like mine fucks everybody up… except for those they benefit. Anyway, if I had followed your TOS to the letter, I wouldn't have been able to feature your excellent, excellent work. Copyright only serves to censor, and if I chose to be "legal" and self–censor, then this gallery wouldn't exist. Plain and simple.

Actualy, the funny thing is that I'm still following the law here. Oh, how my juvenile thrills wane!

Date: 2017–02–13. Size: 4,379 bytes. Colours: 11.

Upscaled Dimensions: 879×693. Original Dimensions: 293×231.