Friday, 9 December 2011

Everything About This is Wrong

Seriously. What in the actual hell?

I so desperately wish I had a picture of the front of this figurine, because that face is clearly very, very special. It is, once again, a dude’s face, but with a horsey snout and eyeliner. I really wish artists would stop giving cats people faces. A cat with a person face is not a lion, it’s a manticore (or, you know, “a nightmare, make it stop”).

And then, why is the head enormous compared to the teensy body? Is it to support the weight of those dramatic black eyebrows that dude-cat is sporting? And why didn’t anyone teach him to match his foundation to his actual skin tone?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Statuary: Adding a third dimension is HARD

I realize that sculpture is a difficult art form, but I’m a bit confused by what, exactly, is being represented by these lions:

I was pretty sure that lions were meant to symbolize nobility and bravery, not terror and depression.

Instead of being awed, I just want to give these two a hug.

Monday, 21 November 2011

And We're Back!

There is literally nothing about this that says "lion" to me, except for the word "lion" printed above its head.

Thanks for the hint, book cover designer.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Squishy, sticky, delicious lions.

It was recently my birthday, and look what the internet gave me:

Bad lion cakes! What could be more appetizing?

The second one is particularly good. I wonder if there's any actual cake under that pile of icing?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Never say I don't give credit where credit isn't due.

St. Jerome in his Study, Jan van Eyck, 1442.

This is, in fact, an excellent rendering of a lion with hydrocephalus.

Of course, Jerome’s lion didn’t HAVE hydrocephalus.

But, you know. Technicalities.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

King Arthur will see Yvain's lion, and raise him TWO

I was looking up something completely unrelated to this website (I swear!) and stumbled upon this:

The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. Edited for Boys* by Sidney Lanier, 1922

A couple sidenotes: I’m rather amused by how grumpy Arthur looks (I guess it's post-G/L), and since when is armour made of scales?

However, let’s take a closer look at those lions:

This is the BOY’S King Arthur. It’s for children. Are they trying to scar them for life?

*Note that this is for BOYS. It is so much for BOYS that they said it twice. Any girls reading this blog, AVERT YOUR EYES.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

There is so much wrong with this, you almost don't notice the lion

It might seem like going into battle on a miniature horse would put you at a disadvantage, but it doesn’t matter when you have one of the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys on your side.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Reader Submission: Yvain and Jerome - Separated at Birth?!

If you’re up on your medieval romances, some of you may have already noticed that Yvain, France’s answer to the bad lion, shares the same backstory as everyone’s favorite saintly lion fancier, Jerome: Injured lion, helpful human, companion for life.

They also share a taste for HIDEOUSLY deformed lions:
The Penitence of Saint Jerome, Albrecht Altdorfer, 1507.

Really, Altdorfer?

It’s like Falkor’s cranky twin brother.

Thanks for the submission, Joanne!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Yvain: the gift that keeps on giving

Seriously, I have about a dozen Yvains queued up, and they're all just AWFUL in their own unique way.

Like today's:

Okay, bad lion aside (and it is bad)...why are they making out?!

Either this is some interesting 'artistic license' or my undergrad Medieval Lit class left out all the juicy bits.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Blatant National Denigration

In case you were wondering if there was a particular demographic that truly failed at lions:

It’s the French. The French sucks at lions.

Look at this thing:

It’s the marshmallow version of a lion. You know, when you accidentally set them on fire? And little bits start to turn to char?

That’s what’s cuddling with that knight right there.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

I'm Becoming a Bit Obsessive

It's gotten to the point where I look for bad lions everywhere. But to be fair, they are EVERYWHERE.

Walking down the street the other day, I saw this:

So far, so good, right? I mean, goodness only knows why its tongue is hanging out, but it looks okay.

But then you see it from the front:

Aaaand, it's a bulldog.


And you were doing so well.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

I Want This in my Home

Today’s submission comes from my friend Stephanie, who doesn’t even know I have this blog.

She just knows the kind of stuff I’m into.

(And proud of it).

I know you’ve all been longing for some more taxidermy, so here you go:

Via Slightly Warped

It’s a masterpiece, right? Everything about it is amazing.

It’s hard to say what I love most. The crazy eyes? The Technicolor gore?

Or that f**cked up rabbit, just watching it all go down.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Harry Potter Movie-Tie Part II: Revenge of the Lions

So, I know the rampant lion of heraldry is stylized, but there is a difference between ‘stylized’ and what’s happening below:

Ah, the noble snake-lion-monster of the Gryffindor house.

Ah, the noble marshmallow lion of the Gryffindor house breakfast cereal.

Ah, the noble blob of mustard in a field of ketchup left on the Gryffindor house table after a meal.

Now, has everyone seen the last movie/read the book? (If you haven’t, I don’t care, you’ve had three years to do so.)

We all remember the dramatic scene in the Room of Requirement, when the Slytherins have conjured fire-monsters, representing each house mascot? Who could forget the terrifying fire-lion?


And of course, everyone remembers that scene where Harry is transfigured into an anthropomorphized lion in full Hogwarts uniform:

Oh wait, there wasn’t a scene like that? Well, then the artist is just a little screwed up.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Harry Potter Movie Tie-In!

Up to this point, I’ve avoided making fun of fanart on this blog, because if the professionals can’t get lions right, why should I expect the amateurs to?

I mean, as we’ve established, drawing lions is HARD. You can be a ‘master’ and still not get them right.

But how about something easy? Maybe you’re not that familiar with lions, but surely you can copy a simple line drawing that’s right in front of you?

So, in honor of the last HP movie, I give you: Gryffindor House Crests.

Here’s the original upon which all the rest are based:

I’ll admit, there’s not a lot to work with here. Rather than ‘traditional heraldic imagery’ they decided to go with ‘cuddly plush toy.’ But, you know, fine. Whatever flies your broom, and all that.

So now, on to the fanart:

This one actually looks fiercer looking than the original, so points for that.

This one stuck with the ‘cuddly toy’ motif, but made the decision to give it a PIERCING DEMON EYE. Because that’s what most cuddly toys are missing.

The Gryffindor Lion: now a different race!

(Also, please try to imagine how those legs might meet up with that torso, if the banner wasn’t there. Special, right?)

The Gryffindor lion goes to a rave!

The Gryffindor lion does the Macarena!

And finally, what might be my absolute favorite:

I only wish I had a bigger image.

Stay tuned, because there’s more Harry Potter coming your way.

And if you think it’s mean to make fun of fans' drawings, let me just note that these are the kind of people who do this, and label it a “hippogrif” [sic]:

Call it what you want, but that, good sir, is a LLAMA.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Not a Bad Lion

Having had this blog for several months now, I feel I’ve earned the right to deviate from the format slightly.

And by “slightly” I mean “the exact opposite of what this blog purports to be about.” Because these are AWESOME lions.

This video contains a very cute boy, with a very cute accent, making out with some very cute lion cubs.

It’s like everything I like in the world.

Seriously, why am I not this guy? Or at least married to him?

Monday, 11 July 2011

Lions: An Art Lesson

In an effort to be helpful, after all the mocking, I thought I’d put together a little tutorial for future lion artists.

Tip #1:


You know, cats?


Meow, meow?

They are not:



Whatever the hell this is. Seriously, what’s wrong with you?

Friday, 8 July 2011

Reader Submission

Today’s lion comes from Sam, whose email was very flattering, and is therefore awesome.

This lion is less awesome.

Apparently this statue is in Sri Lanka, and I know Asian lions have their own stylized aesthetic.

But really?

1. It’s got hooves. The positioning of the body reminds me of nothing so much as a carousel horse. I expect to see a small child dripping ice cream all over it.
2. Its head is exactly what I would expect to get if I genetically spliced together a frog and a duck.
3. Rather than a mane, it has aluminium siding. Which must be very uncomfortable.

On the other hand, I now have a lovely mental image of a carousel of bad lions.

Which would terrify the children, of course, but these are sacrifices we have to make for the sake of keeping me amused.

Thanks for the submission, Sam!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

They're Still After Me...

I went to the Globe Theatre recently, and was admiring their lovely stage:

But what’s that? Way in the back?

(I apologize for the quality on this, I only had my iphone with me)

A bad lion! They’re lurking everywhere these days.

I’d offer you a commentary on this lion’s monstrous, deformed dragon-head or its ridiculously long tail (seriously, think how far back that thing would drag if it was on the ground), but I’m much too distracted by the thing that’s trying to eat the lion’s face.

For those of you who haven’t noticed, these are the astrological signs.

Which means that’s supposed to be a CRAB.

Spin-off blog, anyone?

And remember, if you're being followed, too, you can submit bad lions to me at

Thursday, 23 June 2011

I Think I'm Being Followed...

Since I began this blog, I’m pretty sure bad lions have started stalking me. Out for a walk? Bad lion statue. Glancing at a billboard? Bad lion ad.

And then I was in the library, opened up a book, and was greeted by:

They’re even infiltrating my reading.

I’m not sure what they want, yet. This one appears to have had a stroke, based on the way one side of his face is melting off, so perhaps he’s just after some medical attention.

As for the rest? No one knows.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Baddest Lion of Them All

I can't believe I've let this blog go on for as long as I have without posting this:

And now you'll have the song stuck in your head until you die.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Lion and the Lamb: NOT a Twilight Reference

In case you hadn’t realized, that little one is supposed to be a lamb. I don’t really know what’s supposed to distinguish it as a lamb, since it has the same snout/nose, ear placement, eye shape and fringe as the lion.

I guess it’s the scales covering its body that identify it as a sheep.

However, none of us are here for bad lambs (we could get that at the local curry place)—so I’ll just point out the extraordinarily sassy expression on that little lamb’s face. You can just see it thinking how badass it is, being cradled/squashed/molested by that ‘lion’. (Seriously, where is the back half of its body? Because if it’s under that lion, it should be looking less ‘sassy’ and more ‘permanently disfigured’)

But on to the lion. The contrast between the two expressions may be my favorite part of this statue. That lion is freaked out. I have no idea what’s happening out of the frame of this picture, but the lion is not feeling it. Sassy lamb doesn’t give a rat’s ass, though.

And look at the lion’s paws. No really, what is happening there?! Not only does it have human fingers, but on the paw on the right, it has FINGERNAILS.

Seriously, sculptor? It’s one thing to have never seen a lion before—but have you never seen an animal before?

Well, let me give you an important hint: they don’t have people hands.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Well, it's been awhile

Today's post is brought to you by Oliver, whom I have never even met.

Lowry Lion Statue at Berwick-upon-tweed

The photographer who took this picture said of this lion that it seemed “particularly demonic,” and that “personally, I feel this is because of the open mouth and white eyes.”

First, that is an amazing bit of exposition. Way to dig down deep into your feelings there, photographer.

I agreed with him when I first saw this image, though. However, I saved it to my desktop almost a month ago, intending to make this post, and never got around to it. Over the weeks, the more I looked at the lion, the more I warmed to it. About a week ago I decided it was downright adorable.

Now, that’s obviously my own personal issue that we need not get into. But I do this the expression is less demonic and more surprised, as if it’s thinking “Demonic? Who, me?”

Poor guy.

Or maybe he’s just shocked that his head is so small compared to the rest of his body. Or that, if you took away that mane/beard, he would have the neck of a giraffe under there.

And really, what’s less demonic than an adorable little liaffe (or a gion)?

I’ll just leave you to ponder the implications of that romantic encounter.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

St. Jerome Might Want to Look Into Getting a New Pet

Today we see what Albrecht Durer, 15th century German painter and engraver, thought lions looked like:

St. Jerome Penitent in the Wilderness, Albrecht Durer, 1496

I have no idea if he thought he was going for some visual symmetry with Saint Jerome, or if his perception of the world was just a little skewed (I’ve never known an elderly scholar to be that ripped, after all), but there are DEFINITELY some problems with this lion.

First of all, he’s pissed. And why wouldn’t he be? He appears to be balding.

He looks just like the type of balding man who insists on keeping his long hair, as if the volume around his shoulders will distract from his bald, gleaming crown.*

Rather than being a saintly symbol for all that is noble in the animal kingdom, this lion falls much more into the ‘henchman’ category. Imagine you’re having a chat with Jerome and this lion sidles up behind him: there’s no way you’re going to screw with the guy.

In fact, he reminds of a specific henchman:

*Note to men: this does not work.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Reader Submission

Today’s submission comes from the lovely Joanne.

This statue of two lions is, apparently, in Cambodia. More importantly, it’s hideous.

And, although perspective can be a tricky thing, it appears to be very large.

Because if you’re going to make ugly art, you may as well make it enormous!*

The gold color used here wouldn’t be problematic in and of itself, but with the odd wiry black hairs, the bright white teeth, and the red inside the male’s mouth, it becomes downright offensive to the eyes.

Speaking of eyes—these are CRAZY. Just stare into the male's eyes for a second, and then tell me he doesn't have some deep-seated issues, clawing to get out.

But I think the worst part for me is the lioness’ neck.

Can someone please tell me why she’s part snake?

Found a bad lion? Send it in to!

*This is, as far as I'm concerned, Jeff Koons' motto in life.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Carpaccio's Lion of St. Mark

Ticking the checkboxes of what makes a lion, today’s entry is really not that bad:

The Lion of St. Mark, 1516

The ears are cat-ears, the mane is fine, the paws are good, the tail is totally normal…and yet.

The face will haunt my nightmares for years to come. I really don’t know what it is—it’s got a kitty snout and a kitty mouth and its EYES ARE STARING INTO MY SOUL.

Even worse: they don’t like what they see.