Spooky-Daggers' Fallout Meme: Blazing a Trail from the Wasteland to the Web

Spooky-Daggers’ Fallout meme goes viral, sparking the delight of fans worldwide and capturing the attention of the studios behind both game and show.

Spooky-Daggers' Fallout Meme: Blazing a Trail from the Wasteland to the Web
Image courtesy of Spooky-Daggers, used with express permission.

The new Fallout television series has taken the nearly-three-decade-old fandom by storm, with critics praising it up and down for everything from its script to its costume design. But one Fallout fan in particular, an artist who goes by the online moniker "Spooky-Daggers" found the perfect way to express their appreciation for the series: an Internet meme.

Back in 2013, the artist KC Green created the now famous "This is fine" meme of a dog-person sitting in a burning room as part of a comic titled “On Fire” for his webcomic series Gunshow. That meme is now a staple of the Internet, and I suspect that Spooky-Daggers' homage to it will succeed in an equally long lifespan.

I reached out to Spooky for this interview as soon as I encountered their meme, which has over 12,000 "notes" on Tumblr as of this writing (and has seen wide circulation across other social networks, like Mastodon, as well).

Despite being flooded by positive remarks about their work (including from the producers and game-studios behind both the Fallout show and game), they were kind enough to make the time to sit down and answer some questions about their process, their history with Fallout, and the projects they're hoping to build in the future.

Odin Halvorson: Your rendition of KC Green's iconic "This is Fine" burning room meme has captured the essence of Fallout brilliantly. I might even go so far as to say that it captures the essence of modernity pretty perfectly! Can you share what the moment of inspiration felt like for you?

Spooky-Daggers: The idea for the piece came to me while watching the first 3 episodes of the show. The second time Lucy says "Okey-dokey", after she emerges from the vault and sees the Wasteland for the first time, really struck a cord with me. It seemed the best way she knew how to cope with the horrors she was now facing, relying on her positive attitude and the values that were instilled in her within the vault.

[KC Green's] meme immediately came to mind, and further solidified as I watched the next episode, where she [Lucy] repeated the phrase, faced with another gruesome challenge outside of her comfort zone.

Picturing Lucy in that meme was just too funny. The poor girl was struggling but trying to do her best!

Picturing [Lucy] in that meme was just too funny. The poor girl was struggling, but trying to do her best! Lucy feels very relatable and familiar to how I typically portray my own vault dwellers during my Fallout playthroughs, so I was really drawn to her character. I knew I had to draw it right after that third episode!

OH: Could you walk us through the creative process of drawing this piece? From the initial concept to the final product, what tools did you use, and what challenges did you encounter along the way?

SD: For the drawing itself, I wanted to capture the essence and look of KC Green's original "This is Fine" comic as much as possible, which was an interesting challenge. The tough part was choosing which scene with Lucy that would work best for the meme.

I wanted the color palette to be similar to the original work, and the scene needed to be appropriately stressful without the use of flames. The dead family scene inside the dilapidated home met the criteria, and I added the radroaches that appeared earlier in the episode for extra chaos. This scene is also the first brief instance that Lucy discovers something related to Vault-Tec that doesn't fit within her understanding of them, with the bottle of "Vault-Tec Plan D", so it felt perfect.

As for tools to draw this piece, I used my preferred mobile digital art program, ibis Paint X, and drew it using my Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 with its drawing stylus. I prefer to draw whenever inspiration strikes me, so having a phone that can also function as a drawing tablet works well for me. This isn't my only method to create digital art, as I also have an iPad for using other art programs like Procreate, as well as an XP Pen drawing tablet.

I like to use a variety of tools for art, depending on the piece I have in mind, whether it's digital or traditional media. Inspiration struck me like a bolt for this drawing, so my phone ended up being my first choice.

OH: Since sharing your Fallout meme, what has been the most memorable response you've received from the community? Are there any particular comments or reactions that stood out to you?

SD: The response to my art has been overwhelming, but overall, wonderful! I suspected this piece might become popular, but I could not anticipate just how many people within the Fallout community would resonate with it! It's left me quite speechless. Receiving recognition from some of the official online accounts for Fallout, Bethesda, and Prime Video as well, has been staggering.

So many people have left me such lovely comments and reactions to the meme. I'm so grateful for all of the positivity, and really happy that I could spread some joy to so many people with my art and my love of Fallout.

OH: Having so successfully connected with the Fallout community through your artwork, do you have plans to create more Fallout-themed art or perhaps explore other video game universes in your future projects?

SP: I am currently working on another Fallout drawing that should be completed soon! It relates to another scene that takes place later in season one, and I'm hoping that it will give everyone a good laugh. In addition to that, I have a few more ideas for Fallout art, so there should be even more coming soon after.

Much of my artwork is inspired from my favorite media and video games, particularly Bioware's Dragon Age series along with Baldur's Gate, so people shouldn't be surprised to see more of my work being inspired by my favorite fantasy games in the near future. Although, with Star Wars day having passed recently, my love for The Clone Wars series has been reignited, so Star Wars art is certainly on the table as well!

OH: That will be exiting to see! Well, is there anything else you'd like my readers to know about you and the work you do?

SD: I've been a fan of the Fallout games for well over a decade, and have spent countless hours exploring the Wasteland. These games are very special to me, so seeing the Fallout universe come to life with a live-action adaption has been a real treat. I really appreciated the attention to detail that went into creating the show. I love the three main protagonists, Lucy, Maximus, and Cooper, the Ghoul. Each one gives us a unique aspect of the Fallout universe, and I can't wait to see what will happen next season.

The show has reawakened the Fallout community, and I'm really happy and grateful to be a part of it. I've been having a lot of fun, and being able to make people smile has been really gratifying. As an artist, there's no greater joy.

Someday, I hope to make a living with my artwork, so this experience has given me hope in achieving that long-time dream. I am absolutely humbled by everyone's kindness, and I can't wait to give back to my growing audience.

I post on a few different platforms with my handle, Spooky Daggers.

And I now also have online shops on Redbubble and INPRNT.

Thank you so much for your questions and time!

Hi there! I’m Odin Halvorson, a librarian, independent scholar, film fanatic, fiction author, and tech enthusiast. If you like my work and want to support me, please consider becoming a paid subscriber for as little as $2.50 a month!

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