Pokémon Art Appreciation, Day 7: Gulpin RC12

This post is part of a series for WeblogPoMo 2024. Each day in May, I’m sharing my appreciation for my favorite Pokémon card art. View all of the posts in this series.

Today’s card is Gulpin from the Generations set (specifically the Radiant Collection subset). It’s card RC12, released in 2016, and illustrated by Tomokazu Komiya. Here’s how it looks:

The Gulpin RC12 Pokémon card from Generations

Komiya is a long-time and prolific contributor to Pokémon card art, having illustrated more than 260 cards to date. He’s known for a somewhat more chaotic style, especially where color is concerned, but this particular Gulpin card is a bit more tame than usual. Komiya’s style is heavily influenced by Primitivism.

We see a young boy seated beside Gulpin at a table, presumably waiting for a meal to begin. The pair are occupying themselves with the age-old practice of balancing kitchen utensils (forks, in this case) on their philtrums (bet you didn’t think you were going to learn a new vocabulary word in today’s post!). They seem to be in a state of careful concentration, clearly focusing on the task at hand and being careful to avoid the shame of being the first to drop their fork.

There are many cards out there featuring Pokémon and people interacting with one another, but this one is especially fun and lighthearted. There’s nothing surprising about a boy balancing a fork on his face, but to see a Pokémon doing it too is somewhat unexpected. The shared moment defines the immense charm of this card. And as usual, there are questions: did the boy do it first, with Gulpin following his lead? Is this part of a regular dinnertime ritual? (And the most important question: what’s for dinner?)

Tomorrow we’ll explore another card showing people and Pokémon together. See you then!

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