Section 1: Commonly Asked Questions

Section 2: Mushian Race Structure

Section 3: The Mushian Races

Section 4: Mushian Religion

Section 5: Other Recreational Activities

Section 6: Politics and Infrastructure

Welcome to the Mushian 101 section. Here you will find information on the Mushian race, their lifestyle, the various races, and the comic itself. If you’re new to the comic and don’t want any details spoiled, I suggest you don’t read the information in this section as some minor spoilers may be present. Please feel free to Email me with questions of your own, as the Mushian 101 section could always use some expansion. My email is: Thank you, and enjoy the information!
(c) C. Prince 2008

Section 1: Commonly Asked Questions

What is a Mushian?
Mushi is the Japanese word for “insect.” So the term “Mushian” essentially means “Insect-human”. The Mushians have humanity deeply rooted in their collective subconscious, emulating their cultural trends, clothing styles, and etc. Even some of the human pop culture icons such as Jimmy Hendrix, hide Matsumoto, George Michael, and more have come up as “mythical legends.” This is why all the country names are the same as they are now. Why Mushians call themselves that story wise, I’m not at liberty to day. Humans are seen as a mythical race but they are far more real to the Mushians than they realize…

Why draw bug people when the comic seems to be about everyday life?
Yami is the very first Mushian
The “Mushian” image has been with me since high school (starting with my characters Yami Kumo and Horatio Abeja, a spider and a hornet) and while other comic ideas have failed after 5 pages or so, the Mushians always give me great amounts of inspiration. They have also been really easy to draw, which makes the process of making comics more enjoyable for me. They were even featured in two newspapers (“The Voice” and “The Collegian”) before I revamped the idea for the internet. Every artist has their “thing” and I think the insect human may be my “thing.” Also a great deal of the comic is about ordinary life but there will be some fantastical situations in the story. So while the characters could be human themselves, they’re not and they have different sets of issues to deal with.

If they’re bug people, why do they still live like humans?
Not all Mushians can fly. In fact many don’t have wings big enough to support their bodies; some going so far is to have them removed as they make putting on clothing difficult. So while you won’t see many cars in Mushian cities, you won’t see huge sky buildings either. Those Mushians that do fly avoid ground level, and have public balconies on certain buildings on which they can relax, have lunch, and etc.

What is "The Hive?"
Unlike most fiction dealing with the idea of “big brother” The Hive is far more subtle. The Hive is simply society itself or the main stream. The Hive controls social trends, pop culture, and etc. Since “The night of the long Spindles” (in which the spider race first gained control of the other races by killing their leaders), no leader has successfully been able to control The Hive and despite the droning nature of everyday life for Mushians, The Hive moves on, unabated by dictatorship.

Section 2: Mushian Race Structure

Mushian Races Vs. Human Races
I'm a deconstructionist at heart (maybe) and on the whole I like to pull apart concepts that most people find concrete (sometimes). Things like race often govern people's lives for better or for worse but it is a system that, in this comic, that doesn't exist in the same way as human races do. Mushians are divided similarly to humans on the insect end (divided by species of insect) but their human half is not divided at all. Any of the insect groups have members who’s human origins are black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and etc. You’ll have white and black spiders together in the Spider Supremacy groups, for example, while you’ll have Arab and Jewish butterflies standing together in mass for “anti-hate” rallies. You might also have two people of the same human race bitterly hateful of one another because of their insect racial difference.

Humanoid (Straight Legs) Vs. Insectoid (Bullet Heads)
Sweet Feet and Jason

There are two different “types” of Mushian: The standard more human looking Mushians ( the “straight legs”) and the ones who look more like their insect ancestors (the “bullet heads”). There are bullet head members of every race, and it occurs similarly to the red haired, pale skinned, features in humans. Therefore, two straight legged Mushians can have bullet head children if both parents carry the gene. ALL Insectoids are born with the ability to fly (if their insect type has wings) where a little less than 70% of Humanoid Mushians can actually fly (both Lucia and Sweet Feet can’t fly where Heiko is one of the lucky few who can.)

Section 3: The Mushian Races

Note that all of the races have stereotypes just as humans do. Some of the characteristics mentioned are generalizations and do not apply to all on the individual level. also not all races are represented here, just the ones that are most prevalent in the story.

The communists of the Mushian Races. They live very similarly to their tiny cousins. The entire family lives in the same compound and is ruled over by a matriarch. Everything is shared, but any extra stuff goes to the “queen” or oldest female relative. Many ants choose to leave this state, as ant society has moved to a more liberal state. But it is not uncommon for ants that leave the nest to be written out of wills, and such, in the smaller ant colonies. The most common job for an ant is anything in the technical or engineering field. Especially: architecture, construction, electrical engineering, plumbing, and etc.

Butterflies are the fashion models, prepies, and super celebrities of the Mushian world. Everyone wants to be one and there are very few “mediocre” looking butterflies. If a butterfly becomes scared or if he or she born with birth defects they will often be shunned by other butterflies. Butterflies are one of the few races of Mushian that actually have nose structures (the other major race being mosquitoes.) They also have taste buds on their feet, so butterflies often wear tasty foot pads when wearing enclosed shoes (hence why Jorge got the nickname “Sweet Feet” because his favorite flavors of foot pad are always sweet!). They use their antennae to smell and send non verbal signals to other Mushians.

Crickets are the musicians of the hive and have a reputation for “love um and leave um”. They are not restricted to only one genre of music, however, and tend to succeed at any kind of music they choose to pursue.

Flies are the garbage men and janitors of the Mushian world. This is not because they are underprivileged or stupid, quite the opposite actually. They have an affinity for filth and thrive in it. Some even go on to be porn movie directors and stunt doubles in major films. Many flies also love taking care of cow and pig farms, wonder why...

Dragonflies are the masters of flight and are nearly entirely employed in their national air forces. They also do long term flying, such as shipping packages from one area to another, and tend to have a knack for acrobatics (especially when it comes to public displays of affection).

Grasshoppers are the kings of the delivery business. You’ll find many working as mail delivery or package delivery personnel. Of the races Grasshoppers have the highest number of flying members, and those who can’t fly can hop! They tend to live alone or in small family groups. Grasshoppers tend to party first, work later which gives them a reputation for being party animals though somewhat self indulgent.

Honey Bees
Honey bees are the chemists and brewers of the Mushian world. The most known brand of beer and soft drinks is made by the Buzz Pop Company, a Honey bee owned and operated company. Bees live similarly to Ants, only their lives tend to be a bit less involved with the queen and more involved with their community. Because of this honey bees tend to be a bit clannish and don’t like outsiders, that is any non bee.

Hornets have a nasty reputation for being quick to anger and are one of the few races that carry on the tradition of crime families. They are a tight knit group and if one hornet is attacked the entire family responds with great fury. They are similar to the honey bee in their dislike of outsiders. The Sparrow Hornets (also known as the Great Asian Hornet Family) is said to be the wickedest of the hornet families, and is even rumored to have poison levels in their stingers, so lethal, that if scratched by one, a Mushian can be put in the hospital or even die from the encounter.

Ladybugs are sort of the in betweens of all the Mushian races. Many work as mediators, “middle men”, ambassadors, and court judges. They can be found all over the world and have a sort of wander lust at times, wishing to travel around the world and make new friends. At the same time they’re not as social as say, the butterflies, preferring to be at the party but be a quiet observer rather than a rowdy participant. It is because of this Ladybugs are known to be thoughtful, pensive, and great decision makers.

Mosquitoes are not popular in the Mushian world. Despite that only the females need blood in their diet, males are equally avoided. Though not as despised as the spiders, mosquitoes often get ridiculed for being blood suckers, which is why many of them become layers or insurance reps.

Moths are the philosophers in the Mushian world. Many scholars, poets, historians, and psychologists are moths. The majority of the world’s religious population are also moths (though they see the Cosmic Flower as a Cosmic Flame, see the religion section for details.) It is rare that you’ll find one not contemplating the concept of how the light, in its brilliance can still lead one to ruin. That’s deep man...

Praying Manti
Praying Manti are the greatest of the warrior races. Most males go into the military or police forces once they complete high school, few going on to higher education. The females, however, are just as cunning and educated as the richest spider aristocrats. Manti mirror some aspects of spider culture (matriarchy and eating of troublesome mates) but Manti do not have the reputation that spiders have despite having quite a bit of blood in their own past. Strict, often unreasonable expectations are placed on males whereas the females pretty much make the rules (hence why some males, like Heiko, are brave enough to defy their matriarch and choose non mantis mates). All the various Manti variations have the same basic traits: Humanoid Manti have retractable spines that come from their arm bracers. Insectoid Manti have huge hooks that rest atop their normal, human like hands.

Spiders are actually among my favorite “insects” (though they are arachnids, I’m just trying to keep things simple). My first Mushian was a spider. But in the micro world Spiders are among the top predators, so I wanted to make them top dog. And the top dog in the pile always gets knocked down eventually. They have a matriarchal family system and in the past, eating mates was common place (but in the modem Mushian world, it’s outlawed.) Spiders are both feared and hated for their past crimes, and suffer greatly because of it. The Great Spider Slaughter came when the brutal Spider race was over thrown by their slaves/ play things: the rest of Mushianity in the year 1808 ME (Mushian Era) 300 years before the current date of the comic. The most common jobs for a spider to have are: construction worker, tapestry or rub maker as they have the ability to produce a highly durable silk (through glands in the small if their backs). They have a set of fangs on their head where most Mushians have antennae, and 4 very sturdy legs where others will have wings. They use these structures to help when climbing.

Worms are the doctors of the Mushian world. Though they are weak in body they are among the most intelligent of the races and tend to work as field medics and skillful surgeons (though many worms don’t have fingers).

Section 4: Mushian Religion

The Cosmic Flower
Mushian religions all over the world concur on one thing: the existence of an omnipotent, benevolent being called “The Cosmic flower” Though the religions do diverge on their image of the flower and what happens when one dies. Some sects see it as a rose, as they feel that the rose is the perfect flower. Others see it as tulips, blades of grass, floating seeds, sunflowers, honey suckles, and etc. Some believe that when you die, if you were a good person, you go to live on the face of the great flower where an eternal paradise awaits you. Others believe you will dwell on its leaves instead, or among its roots where you will be protected from harm. While there is a variance in belief on the cosmic flower, the religious sects are far too small to have holy wars, and feuds between the sects are rare.

The Cosmic Light
Not all Mushians see their divine figure as a flower. Some sects, mostly moths, believe that their deity is a great flame and many sun worshiping cults have arisen in their sect of Mushian Religion. It is also the only religion to have an “ultimate evil” figure, of which they refer to “the great bat”. Moth mothers would tell stories to their children about how if they don’t follow and obey the light then the great bat would come from the darkness and eat them. (Sound familiar my fellow Catholic raised friends?) Though despite human religion the only wars waged in the name of The Cosmic Light were against vampire bat populations in Moth communities.

Religious Cults
Though they are a rarity among the already rare sects they do exist. Some worships the stars; others worship the ground or water. Some worship humans, as their gods.

Section 5: Other Recreational Activities

Mushians have two drinks of choice: flower cylix and honey. Other drinks can be derived from both, and there is a wide variety of alcoholic beverages for the Mushians on top of the ones they inherited from humanity (vodka, rum, beer, and etc). Despite this, most Mushians prefer beverages made from Honey or flower cylix to other drinks.

Drugs are easy to get and very difficult to regulate. If a Mushian is caught sniffing flowers with an IPC (illegal pollen content) then they can be fined, or even jailed. Pollen is the most potent of the Mushian drugs, followed by the weaker but more abundant “grass.” As you can imagine, lawn scraps are handled by the government. Rock sugar carries a heavier fine and longer jail sentence.

Because of genetic difficulties it is very difficult for two Mushians of different backgrounds to have children. Though the universal human like genitalia is present (which makes intercourse possible) on the genetic level it would be very difficult for say, a spider and a butterfly to reproduce together. This is part of the reasons why the races are so divided and marriage outside of race is uncommon but not unheard of. Children of mixed couples are rarely ever mixed, at least not on the physical level. The shield will take after one parent or the other physically. For example, if a Beatle and a ladybug have a child, the child will appear as one or the other.

Section 6: Politics and Infrastructure

General World Politics
Despite living in a hive like society, political ideology is as varied as human politics. On the whole communism is quite popular with ants, bees, hornets, and termites, while the less grouped Mushians prefer the other political systems depending on region. Capitalism is king in most free market countries though and often trumps democracy.

There are very few country based wars in the Mushian world. Most wars are contained between the races and since the Mushian world, in the time of the comic, is so integrated, that in fighting, hate crimes, drug related violence, and gang violence combined is, by far, the bigger problem.

Mushian militaries tend to be small, national guard based groups. While flying machines such as planes and helicopters are still used, they are only brought out when needed. Most of the flying is done by the Mushians themselves (Dragonflies and bullet head Mushians doing the majority of it) though some missions, such as shipping cargo are obviously done using planes.

Again varied by country but in most cases the MPF (Mushian Police forces) are by far a larger force than the Military. Since national wars are rare, yet drug trafficking, gang violence, and internal fighting is an everyday fact of life, the Police are a far greater force in the Mushian world. They also have a greater number of unmarked agents, especially on the war on drugs (since hey, you could mow your lawn and have a fresh supply of grass. Someone has to make sure you dispose of it!).

The Media
The Media is a huge driving force in the majority of Mushian countries. If any force in the Mushian world has come to closest to total control of the Hive, the corporations and broadcasting masters have. The Media will play a major role later on in the story, as the Mushian world changes, the Media has its own spin on the events and it will be up to the hive to either listen and believe or draw their own conclusions...

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